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Super 446 Build- Diesel Swap

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I will start slowly posting my Case 446 with diesel swap here which I'm going to call the Super 446. I'm currently half way through the build but I'll start from the beginning and post a little bit at a time until I'm at the current state of the build.

So a bit of background, I got into Case tractors this past summer. With the help of this forum my son and I 100% mechanically restored a 1988 446. That is our mowing tractor. We went over it top to bottom, and besides paint.... it is basically brand new like it was from the factory with the exception of a few mods like the TCV linkage and factory looking led headlights. It is a wonderful tractor and is quite amazing how nice it mows and how quiet it is while it mows.

So moving forward, this past summer I needed to remove a tree stump in my yard and my powerstroke F250 would not even budge it. So I rented a kubota BX23 with loader and backhoe. That little diesel tractor was absolutely amazing, but the $20k price tag was now. After the tree stump was removed, I no longer needed a loader or backhoe on my property but still wanted a diesel tractor.

In comes a excellent condition one owner 1982 446 that I drove 4 hours one way to Virginia from Pennsylvania to buy. It came with a plow and tiller. The gentleman who owned it said his father bought it brand new in 1982 and used it till he died in the mid 2000's. He himself never used it but it was in amazing condition and came with a book full of records and receipts for everything that was done. So definitely a good score.

So the plan is to completely redo the '82 446 and make it better at least in my opinion. I love to tinker and have the necessary skills and knowledge to do so. I know there will be naysayers but I honestly don't really care as it is my tractor and I already have a stock 446 to do things the Super 446 can't but it won't be many things. Please don't take this the wrong way, as this is a hobby and passion of mine always tinkering and making things better.

So here's the start of my 1982 Super 446.

I started with completely stripping it and cleaning everything. Nothing real special here but as I put it back together I started to replace little things that needed it and fixing little things as I went.





I put on some new Firestone tires all the way around. The fronts are the 16x6.50-8 tri-ribs from Miller tire. The rears are 8-16 Firestone Regency. I like these tires for the fact they aren't as steep of an angle on the bars and bite a good bit better in dirt. I do kind of wish I would have went with 9.5-16 but I still can down the road and put these on the '88 446.

I cleaned and the reamed the front spindles for a nice smooth turn. They were extremely gunked up with old grease. I also drilled out all the grease fittings and tapped them for 1/4-28 fittings. I also did the poor man's power steering on the front with parts from McMaster Carr.

The pivot pin was replaced on the front axle. I also did this on my '88 446, but on the Super 446 it still had some slack. I'm not sure if I want to try and fix that and how I'd go about it. Carefully slicing the frame from the bottom up and then pull it tight with some clamps, then rewelding it would probably fix the slop left but I'm not sure if it is even worth messing with.

What have some of you done to fix the excess slop on the front axle? It isn't much but with my OCD it bothers me.
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So I managed to get the injectors cleaned and reassembled today. First two checked out great.... nice chatter, good stream and popped off right at 1700 psi.

Its always the last one.... why is that? It started out OK, seemed like the injector was fine. I figured I'd give it one more go and it went to crap. The spray pattern went all wacky and it won't even hold a 1000 psi now.

I figure the nozzle is bad. Not much else inside to go bad really. All they really are is high pressure needle valve. If the valve (nozzle) doesn't seat and hold pressure, then they don't work right.

So I think I'm probably gonna order new nozzles through john deere. They are $93 each. I guess I'll try one and see what it is like before I do all of them.

This really sucks because I'm ready to test fire it and planned on trying tomorrow 馃様.
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So I managed to get the injectors cleaned and reassembled today. First two checked out great.... nice chatter, good stream and popped off right at 1700 psi.

Its always the last one.... why is that? It started out OK, seemed like the injector was fine. I figured I'd give it one more go and it went to crap. The spray pattern went all wacky and it won't even hold a 1000 psi now.

I figure the nozzle is bad. Not much else inside to go bad really. All they really are is high pressure needle valve. If the valve (nozzle) doesn't seat and hold pressure, then they don't work right.

So I think I'm probably gonna order new nozzles through john deere. They are $93 each. I guess I'll try one and see what it is like before I do all of them.

This really sucks because I'm ready to test fire it and planned on trying tomorrow 馃様.
Just wondering if a little piece of crud snuck past you during the reassembly process? Might be worth another teardown and cleaning.

Cheers,
Gordy
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I thought that too..... I took it apart two times and no change. I'm assuming something settled differently in the nozzle and now it's shot unfortunately.

On a better note today my son 3d printed the flywheel hub today. It was a great proof of concept and works perfectly. Now I can get it mounted on the engine and design a mount for it.





I'm getting so close I can smell the diesel, oh wait that is just how the shop smells like now 馃槅. Seriously though I cannot wait for this thing to run!
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Pretty high teck LOL making it out of plastic! The drive on my 4 cylinder Kubota that I pirated off a reefer used the same concept to drive the compressor's splined crankshaft. In fact I kept the splined drive and mated it to a bearing supported output shaft to hang the pulleys on for the generator and soon to be PTO drive setup. I don't know what kind of plastic is used, but it sure must be tough to stand the harmonics of a v twin refrigeration compressor for umpteen thousand hours.
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It definitely is a stronger setup than a lovejoy IMO plus no worries on crankshaft end play taking out the pump.

A lot of stuff anymore is made from all types of plastics and composites. Was your hub larger in size?
My [actually Carrier's] setup is about 5 1/2" outside and the splined hub [neatly tapered so easy to fit any shaft into] is about 1 1/2" with about 16 splines [never counted]. Mind you this is on a 40 hp application. Sorry about the pics, it is 40 degrees here tonight with 110% humidity and light rain and everything in the quonset is sweating despite both ends being open. Sucks!
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My Kubota diesel had an internal spline flange that drove the transmission on the RTV it came out of. I ditched the spline for a lovejoy, I was able to find one that can handle the hp of the engine. Technically it should only see about 14hp of load instead of the whole 25hp of the engine because that's the max loading for the pump, however the lovejoy I got can handle up to about 30hp I believe. I did something similar to yours, I made a "puck" that the lovejoy pressed into and I welded the lovejoy to it and then that puck bolted directly to the flywheel. The spline would've been the better option but I had hell finding one that fit and the overall connector size was too long. Looks like the yanmar you got is significantly smaller than my kubota as far as block size so it seems to be making your swap far easier than mine which is good, mine is/was a huge PITA...
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So some good news...... actually great news!!!! I stopped by a local tractor/equipment dealer today. They used to be a john deere farm equipment dealer but was dropped by john deere a few years ago unfortunately. Anyway, I just wanted to see if maybe they had some parts or serviced injectors. Even better they had a set of injectors on the shelf ready to go. Original oem serviced injectors apparently a customer ordered and never picked them up. They sold them to me for three bills and told me if I had any problems to let them know. This was awesome! Of course it sucked I had to buy injectors but a got a pretty good deal I think anyway.

Got home and tested them out quick and sure enough all three are perfect. They actually spray better than my originals that I tried to clean. So they are all installed in the engine and ready to go. All I need to do to is run some fuel lines, a few temporary wires for the fuel pump, bleed the fuel system and it is ready to test fire! Hopefully I can do that this weekend.

Another good thing is I believe I can run a front pto.... but I need a bit more room in front. I got a electric pto from Amazon to see if it could be done and I think I can. So what I'll need to do is ditch the factory oil cooler. If I do that, I'll have the needed room for the electric clutch.

I'll have to design a stub shaft to bolt to the front pulley right off the crankshaft. It should be plenty strong to do so as the journals are a lot bigger than the Onan and the pulley is kind of press fit over the end of the crankshaft. The stub shaft will allow me to slide the electric clutch on with the pulley towards the engine which basically drops the belt down in the oem location. Then I'll just have to make a anti rotation bracket.

Now for the oil cooler, I think I'm gonna go one of two ways here. It is definitely gonna be a fluid to fluid cooler using the engine coolant. I'll either run a tube style cooler or a plate cooler. I think I have room above the engine off to either side of the valve cover. I'm gonna try to keep it over on the injection pump side, but I'm afraid I may have to run it above the exhaust manifold and make some heat shields. The other option is to mount it outside of the engine compartment on either side of the engine.

A tube style cooler is basically one big tube (2" to 4" in diameter) with a bunch of little tubes inside. The coolant would run through the main shell and the hydraulic oil would run through the little tubes. I've seen these that would flow upwards of 20gpm so it should work no problem.

The other style is a plate style cooler. It is basically a cube with alternating plates that run each fluid past each other in different plates. These coolers are actually extremely efficient and are used in tons of applications today. My F-250 6.0 powerstroke uses one for the engine oil and it isn't very big at all. Maybe 6"x6"x4". It keeps oil temps within 5 to 10 degrees (higher) of coolant temps almost all the time.

I'm really leaning towards the plate style at the moment. My only concern with these are temperature. I've done a lot of searching on the forum and it seems that most are saying really working a Case like tilling or equivalent use of rear pto, the hydraulic system is running upwards of 200掳. So maybe I'm over thinking it. If the oil cooler and my little radiator can keep the coolant temps around 160掳 to 200掳 I'd guess I probably would be ok. Guess I'm gonna find out because adding a front pto back would actually be really nice.

I wasn't initially even concerned about a front pto but the more I think about it, the more excited I get to keep this feature. Mowing the lawn with a diesel swap would be awesome considering the fuel consumption alone. My '88 446 is a absolute gas guzzler.
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So some good news...... actually great news!!!! I stopped by a local tractor/equipment dealer today. They used to be a john deere farm equipment dealer but was dropped by john deere a few years ago unfortunately. Anyway, I just wanted to see if maybe they had some parts or serviced injectors. Even better they had a set of injectors on the shelf ready to go. Original oem serviced injectors apparently a customer ordered and never picked them up. They sold them to me for three bills and told me if I had any problems to let them know. This was awesome! Of course it sucked I had to buy injectors but a got a pretty good deal I think anyway.

Got home and tested them out quick and sure enough all three are perfect. They actually spray better than my originals that I tried to clean. So they are all installed in the engine and ready to go. All I need to do to is run some fuel lines, a few temporary wires for the fuel pump, bleed the fuel system and it is ready to test fire! Hopefully I can do that this weekend.

Another good thing is I believe I can run a front pto.... but I need a bit more room in front. I got a electric pto from Amazon to see if it could be done and I think I can. So what I'll need to do is ditch the factory oil cooler. If I do that, I'll have the needed room for the electric clutch.

I'll have to design a stub shaft to bolt to the front pulley right off the crankshaft. It should be plenty strong to do so as the journals are a lot bigger than the Onan and the pulley is kind of press fit over the end of the crankshaft. The stub shaft will allow me to slide the electric clutch on with the pulley towards the engine which basically drops the belt down in the oem location. Then I'll just have to make a anti rotation bracket.

Now for the oil cooler, I think I'm gonna go one of two ways here. It is definitely gonna be a fluid to fluid cooler using the engine coolant. I'll either run a tube style cooler or a plate cooler. I think I have room above the engine off to either side of the valve cover. I'm gonna try to keep it over on the injection pump side, but I'm afraid I may have to run it above the exhaust manifold and make some heat shields. The other option is to mount it outside of the engine compartment on either side of the engine.

A tube style cooler is basically one big tube (2" to 4" in diameter) with a bunch of little tubes inside. The coolant would run through the main shell and the hydraulic oil would run through the little tubes. I've seen these that would flow upwards of 20gpm so it should work no problem.

The other style is a plate style cooler. It is basically a cube with alternating plates that run each fluid past each other in different plates. These coolers are actually extremely efficient and are used in tons of applications today. My F-250 6.0 powerstroke uses one for the engine oil and it isn't very big at all. Maybe 6"x6"x4". It keeps oil temps within 5 to 10 degrees (higher) of coolant temps almost all the time.

I'm really leaning towards the plate style at the moment. My only concern with these are temperature. I've done a lot of searching on the forum and it seems that most are saying really working a Case like tilling or equivalent use of rear pto, the hydraulic system is running upwards of 200掳. So maybe I'm over thinking it. If the oil cooler and my little radiator can keep the coolant temps around 160掳 to 200掳 I'd guess I probably would be ok. Guess I'm gonna find out because adding a front pto back would actually be really nice.

I wasn't initially even concerned about a front pto but the more I think about it, the more excited I get to keep this feature. Mowing the lawn with a diesel swap would be awesome considering the fuel consumption alone. My '88 446 is a absolute gas guzzler.
I'm genuinely impressed by all of your progress so far. But if you manage to shoehorn working PTO in there too, then in my book you have really hit the trifecta for a the "ideal" engine swap.

Just fantastic.

Bob
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WOW! What a deal, front PTO and all. Like said Ideal engine swap............Curt
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Thanks guys I appreciate that!
Just got caught up.. really great stuff.

I think hydraulic system temps are generally LOWER than engine oil temps can get to in any car/truck that doesn't have an oil cooler. So definitely 'fine' to do the liquid to liquid you were mentioning. My mom's Volvo i just did some work on has one like that right off the side of the oil pan. Some people use them between their air conditioning lines and a liquid tank for an air to water intercooler, etc.. all cool stuff. :)

I'm wondering why bother doing a mechanical belt drive to a mower deck when Case is all about hydraulics.. just because a stock deck would attach and work easily?? You're jumping through huge hoops in other areas, in that sense just converting a stock mower deck to a hydraulic motor drive with a couple of quick disconnects is relatively simple, probably much simpler than getting a stock-style pto clutch in place. Would actually make hooking and unhooking the deck a lot simpler as well. But i'm not against the pto.. it's obvious you can pull it off. I'm just not sure why it's an attractive idea.

I have mowed a bit with my Kubota B7100 which is a similar sized machine with similar size 3cyl diesel.. nice and easy. The only thing i've ever hooked to my kubota 3cyl diesels (i have 3 of them) that made it noticeably suck down the fuel was run a 48" pto trencher bar. Everything else i don't look at the fuel level more than once a week, lol. What i really liked about mowing with the b7100 though was that it has 3 pto speed ranges.. so under some conditions i was able to mow with pto in 3rd gear and trans in 3/hi just loafing along at 1500rpm with the blades zinging and cutting some grass. Still cutting at ~5mph but with a 'half throttle' noise level. Could do the same hydraulically but you'd need another type of valve to do it. I've noticed one thing with small machines and hydraulics is all the stuff you want to try exists... but packaging it all attractively into a small space becomes a REAL struggle because it's a mini machine and none of the controls are mini.
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I believe you're correct. As nice as it would be, I just think adding a front engine pto is gonna be overall a PIA compared to just driving a deck hydraulically. It would be much easier running hoses from the rear pto to a oem mounted deck. I think that is how I'm gonna go about it anyway. I just need to figure out how to size the hydraulic motor and then pulleys to get the rpm correct.

Like you said it almost seems pointless especially after I've upgraded the entire hydraulic system to do stuff exactly like this and power almost any attachment you could dream up via the hydraulics.

I like what you said about your kubota and I'm hoping to accomplish the same but different execution since Case is hydraulic. While I like mowing with a Case, it is painfully slow in low and way to fast in high on my other 446. With the Super 446 having flow control, I'm hoping I can accomplish what you do with the flow control. I may not be able to idle down as far as you but I won't have to be wide open either.
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I believe you're correct. As nice as it would be, I just think adding a front engine pto is gonna be overall a PIA compared to just driving a deck hydraulically. It would be much easier running hoses from the rear pto to a oem mounted deck. I think that is how I'm gonna go about it anyway. I just need to figure out how to size the hydraulic motor and then pulleys to get the rpm correct.

Like you said it almost seems pointless especially after I've upgraded the entire hydraulic system to do stuff exactly like this and power almost any attachment you could dream up via the hydraulics.

I like what you said about your kubota and I'm hoping to accomplish the same but different execution since Case is hydraulic. While I like mowing with a Case, it is painfully slow in low and way to fast in high on my other 446. With the Super 446 having flow control, I'm hoping I can accomplish what you do with the flow control. I may not be able to idle down as far as you but I won't have to be wide open either.
Tagging off this post as it is something I'm going to look in to as well but could you not run the PTO ports out from the valve, to a plain T fitting and run from the T to the front and the rear of the tractor, then have quick connects at the front and the rear and use the front connection for mid and front mount attachments and the rear for rear attachments. So long as you only use on attachment at a time I don't think it could be a problem right? Would make the hydraulic spaghetti from a front or mid hydro attachment a lot more manageable if the attachment was close.
Yes you are correct and I have thought about this as well. As long as you don't try to use both at once (and even that isn't a problem, you'd just need to make sure the pump can keep up with what you're trying to do) the pressure is just going to go which ever way the path is back to return.

Same concept as the factory setup on the mid-lift and 3 point hitch.

I really should invest in a bender and run hard lines lol.
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Yes you are correct and I have thought about this as well. As long as you don't try to use both at once (and even that isn't a problem, you'd just need to make sure the pump can keep up with what you're trying to do) the pressure is just going to go which ever way the path is back to return.

Same concept as the factory setup on the mid-lift and 3 point hitch.

I really should invest in a bender and run hard lines lol.
I agree. After finishing it and testing it this coming spring I will be investing in one and replacing almost every line on the tractor with hard lines. It's amazing, I added about 10-1/2" to the frame length and still have little to no space...
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Well its been almost a month with no updates. I apologize but I have been waiting on some important parts to be made. Well the one major part is finally finished.

First I'll start with the motor mounts. They are perfect and came out exactly how I designed them. They overlap the front of the frame to help reinforce that thin area.





Next is the all important flywheel hub adapter. I've posted the 3d file earlier in the thread. It is finally finished. I took the file and chunk of material to my sons votech school and let the kids learn some cool import skills to add to their machining knowledge. Unfortunately it took longer than I had expected. Either way I'm glad they got to learn some cool stuff and make something that is an actual part and not just a textbook assignment. It is made out of 1045 cold rolled. The hub itself locates off the shoulder which centers to the center of the flywheel, which itself centers to the crankshaft. I decided to go with a splined pump to save space and get away from the lovejoy coupler. It is basically the same as the internal splined crankshafts. They cut the splines using EDM wire cutting. This is the same process you might see on Facebook videos where machined parts slide together and the seam completely disappears. They also call it zero tolerance machining.









Now that the adapter is finished I can mount the pump and design the mounting bracket which should be very easy.

I have the new injectors installed and now the engine is ready to test fire. I'm hoping to do that tomorrow. Some very simple wiring for the fuel pump and fuel shutoff solenoid.

The exhaust is finished up as well. That was really easy though. I had a nice thick 3/8" flange cut for the manifold. Maybe at some point in the future a turbo is in store.





Either way I'm coming down to the final few things. All that is needed yet is some wiring, a bit of welding, and finish the cooling system.
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No apologies needed just keep up the work
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Hope you have a better time getting it running than me! Got my Kubota diesel swap started and it immediately ran off and filled my neighbor's front yard with black smoke! I think I got some parts backwards when I rebuilt the injection pump so I went through and rebuilt it again and gonna try it again sometime this week. I like the engine mount idea there. Any issues with the inside radius of the bend interfering with the front corners of the engine block? I'm a sheet metal guy so I enjoy seeing stuff like that being used.
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