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Rebuild Restore a Case

8713 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  dbeiter

I'm new to the forum (see the intro forum for more on that). I'm interested in doing a frame up rehab of an older garden tractor. I have a Case 530C wide front utility tractor. It's from the late 1960's. I like the two tone paint and round headlights with the eagle on the front.

I am looking for a tractor to refurbish that can also be used. Not a show tractor, but one to use everyday in the garden and plowing snow, we get a lot in NW Wisconsin.

Also looking for one that would be able to use hydraulics and have a 3 point hitch.

What model, year, version would you suggest? Can you show me photo's of the ones you've redone so I can tell which model is looks like what? (I have looked at the restoration forum here, WOW) Any tips on which Case's (even if it's not the two tone late 60's early 70's version) would be the best for parts availability, cheap initial cost to get, and strength to actually do some work?


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Hi Tom,
Glad that you made it here.........finally :sidelaugh:

With respect to your question, there is good news and there is bad news.

As I told you previously, the model that cosmetically fits the image of your 530 is the 180 Case. The photo you see below is actually a Colt Rancher from 1965. It is almost identical in build to the 1965 Case 180. Notice the 16" rim size that give the tractor tires that are 31 inches tall, the round top fenders and the round headlamps. Naturally, the 180 Case would be painted in Flambeau and Sunset instead of the burgundy and white used by Colt in that year.

1965 is the very first year for the Case Garden Tractors. The round top fenders were only used for that one year. So that's just one part of the bad news. The rest of the bad news goes like this. The production numbers were apparently not all that high, compared to later years. The 180 is a sought after model by those who collect. I have seen them bring more than $2000.00 for an un-restored tractor. In my opinion, they are probably one of the best choices for a collector/show/parade tractor but the worst choice for a working tractor, which is what you want it for. First off, the 180 has no brakes nor does it have a PTO clutch to drive implements. Instead, it used a crude belt tightening arrangement to power the deck and snowblower. And speaking of decks and snowblowers, those are very difficult to find in the marketplace 45 years later.

There was no three point hitch available nor was there even a sleeve hitch for rear attachments. Almost all of the parts for this model are unique. Therefore, if you break anything in the trans-axle, you have a major problem to find a replacement. If you do get lucky enough to find a used part, there's no telling what that part will cost you.

In 1966, Case produced the 190 model to replace the 180. It was a dramatically different tractor. The trans-axle was a new design, the fenders were no longer the round-top style but the paint choice and round headlamps were still there. Here are two photos from the original 1966 Case brochure for the 150/190 models.

Even the 190 only lasted for one year as a model and it got replaced 1967 by the 195 and that lasted 2 years. Below is a photo from the 1968 sales brochure showing the 195 with a Haban sickle bar mower on it.

The era of the round headlamp tractors with Flambeau/Sunset paint ended in 1968. In 1969, Case introduced a completely new garden tractor design that emulated the new 70 Series ag tractors that were now replacing the older 30 Series that you have. The round headlamps were replaced with rectangular units to match the new squarish design of the hoods. The Flambeau was replaced by Power Red, a nearly identical colour. When it comes to owning a "work tractor", the one below is a ten times better choice. Easy to find, inexpensive to buy, much stronger frame and axles, superior PTO clutch, better hydraulics, huge pool of attachments including the sleeve hitch and three point hitch. Much easier to switch attachments too.

So there you have it. I fully understand your motives to try and get a running-mate for your 530 and that's OK as long as you don't want to put it to work. Or if you definitely want to put it to work, then don't say that you were not cautioned about the cost of repair should something break in the trans-axle.

Now it's your turn to ask whatever questions come to mind.
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