1980 case 448 Restoration - Page 4


This is the point where your exhausted, and interested in getting it DONE !  But, rushing it will only bring future problems. You really need to take it a step at a time, making sure that you complete each area. Everything needs to be tightened to specifications so things are not falling off the tractor for the next six months.

If your doing a similar project, I sure hope you remembered to order your new dash decal and control handle bushings a month earlier because its one of the first things you are going to need ! If your not a Case garden tractor expert yet, I also hope you have some notes as to what order things came apart so you have some guide to go by. For those of us who have had many of these apart, we find that these tractors are some of the easiest to work on ever made.

My first goal is to get the tractor basics done... Front and Rear axles in place and secure. I already had the rear axle in place, so the temporary front axle comes out and the one with the new bushings gets installed (this photo was taken later as you can see the oil cooler). Note that my main pin is now held in place by the setscrews in the shaft collars. Small dimples have been drilled into the main pin for added assurance. If your taking a tractor apart, use caution when grinding the paint off just to the upper right of the main pin. Many tractors have the actual build dates stamped into the steel in this area. If you find it, you can write it down.


Next up is the spindle installation, followed up with tie rods. Don't forget the needle thrust bearings between the axle and the spindle kingpin ! This tractor had these tie rod ends on it when I got it. While they do not look stock, they were still like new so I decided to use them. As you can see, I still have the wheels to paint.


May as well get the fuel tank installed and the rear fenders on..... Don't forget to install new fuel line !
 I decided to use a clear tank from a newer model. When your fueling, you can see the fuel nearing the top BEFORE it runs all over !


Once the tractor can be rolled around, I move to the travel valve, hydraulic motor lines and brake parts.


May as well get the shift lever in place......


 Somewhere along here you need to replace the dash decal, then the control handle bushings can go in. I will advise you to PURCHASE the installation tool for them. I made something I thought would work, but I wrestled with it.... Also, buy a few EXTRA ones... these really are a challenge to get right. While your here, you can also work on reinstalling the neutral safety switch and choke/throttle controls. Here I have slid the control handles in place to get the feel of how its going to look.


Sadly, I couldn't find someone near me who would anodize my control handles, so, I had to resort to using silver wheel paint, then a think layer of clear urethane over the top. All in all, they look pretty good. I hope they hold up. The above photo also shows the angled recess area necessary for the steering reduction. You can see it in the bottom edge of the photo... the two larger bolts in the inspection cover. Note too, the use of stainless hardware rather than painting a zillion bolts and scratching them up anyway, a voltmeter rather than an ammeter (darn ammeters are near useless when you want to know how long you have left to run in a no charging situation), and also you can see that I do NOT use those small carriage bolts for the neutral switch, nor the throttle and choke handles. Why would I want to wrestle nuts off of carriage bolts when I could access it from the top to start with ?

Next up, you have to get the steering gear mounted back into the frame, the steering reduction system in place, all the lower control handle mountings, the PTO handle.


Eventually you get the rockshaft installed with brake pedal, the lift cylinder and hydraulic lines, the main hydraulic return line and before you know it....
 things are really starting to shape up ! note that when you get this far, its time to install a wiring harness. I have never once seen an original harness worth reusing, so i just make my own from scratch. There's little to them, and making your own also lets you parallel in some of the new feeds you desire. In my case, I have learned not to overdo it. I run one spare to the front, One to the rear for a work light, and a heavy single fused lead ends up under the seat for a Cab feed. From that single plug, additional wiring happens in the cab rather than have numerous wires between the cab and tractor.


I put some assembly tape on the top of the frame rails in preparation for setting the engine in the frame, but, I have to get the engine ready first. In this case, that was not exactly an easy task. The original engine was pretty weak and rattled bad. It was either rebuild the one I had or buy a used one that hopefully ran good. After asking around in some of the forums, I was lucky to find a brand new left over Onan B48G. This was a 19.9hp rated engine often used on the John Deere garden tractors. A "48G" is essentially the same exact configuration and size of the 48M, other than it uses a different oil pan so the starter can mount on the opposite side, and it has a Nikki carburetor and square shaped air cleaner.

The oil pan that is going to be used in any restoration must be examined. Remember that an old pan has been rubbing on the frame rails for years, and it like the frame is going to be worn, some too worn for reuse. I flipped the oil pan I was going to use upside down, clamped it to the table on a CNC machine, then used an end mill to fly the mounting points off such that they were once again parallel with the good side of the pan. As I recall, I had to remove .060" to clean things up. At the time of this writing, I was not able to locate my photos of the work I did to the oil pan, nor the photos of the sheet metal work necessary regarding air cleaner/exhaust clearance. After reviewing both the stock round air cleaner and the new square one, the better results would arrive from modifying the square one to work. It turns out that this took a fair amount of time, and if I dig up those photos, I will get them displayed here. Note that you essentially have to use ALL the B48M tin on this "G" series, so there is quite a bit of modification and adjustment if you want it all to look rather stock.

Here you can see the engine painted satin black with the pump bracket and pump. The round ring flange welded to the front shroud is necessary to keep the air intake hose from drifting too close to the exhaust pipe on that side.


With the engine ready for re installation, it can be moved into place. Below I have already located the engine to the frame. Note that to make up for the .060" I removed from the bottom of the pan to true it up, I put 4 large diameter, .060" PTFE washers between the pan and the engine. I think that this will eliminate much of the wear between the frame and the pan in the years to come. PTFE is somewhat slippery, and these engines will always move around some on the frame. I guess I will know in 30 years if it helped or not...... if I live that long to rebuild it again !


This is also the time to fit new throttle and choke cables. Take the time to find new ones that are the same quality of the originals. Some of the new stuff you buy today is too thin for this application and will give you grief down the road.

Moving right along, all the next items seem to fall into place. The exhaust, the exhaust shields, the air cleaner, the oil cooler mount and cooler, new hydraulic oil return hose. By now too, all the handling marks and dust start showing up.


Once you button up those last few wires and mount a seat, you finally are to the point where you have a complete,
runnable rolling chassis, ready for fresh oil, fuel and a test run !


And finally, you install new decals to the hood (I used 3M reflective for the white on this one because I do a lot of night time snow removal), paint the rims and install new tires and put it outside for its first finished photo !!! This is the point in time where you finally realize that it was WORTH the effort ! 

Here it is in turf tires....


I was able to finish this just prior to the fall tractor shows I like to attend. So, I was able to show it off before it received any routine battle wounds. This is a working tractor for me, so I assure you, there will be some. Its unavoidable !

Here the tractor is displayed at the Luxemburg, Wisconsin show September 2010. I was able to get the 3 point hitch painted and hung on the back.


And I spent a day at the Vintage Garden Tractors of America's 2010 regional meet just south of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


Here it is with its new winter snow shoes, ready for a blizzard.


Next up ? Winter Preparations. I mechanically went thru my blower a few years back, but it looks awful and really can not be allowed to bolt up to this tractor looking the way it does. Also, and with some regret, this old man has come to appreciate a WINTER CAB. So, it is somewhat unfortunate that I will be covering up the beautiful lines of the most attractive looking garden tractor ever designed with a Cab. Oh well......

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