CASE 448 Garden Tractor - Continued - Page 4!

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Alright, more progress ! I guess I have the tractor to the point where I will be able to use it thru the winter. I gave it a quick layer of orange with 2 rattle cans of the right color orange and then threw together a quick set of decals. Sure is nice having your own vinyl cutter !

The amount of power with the 20HP Kohler is impressive, and the Ag tires (filled with windshield washer fluid) pull like crazy. Even with the larger pump (14gpm), I have a lot of very useable power in high range. It will be interesting to see what additional power the blower will require. I had been practically "swimming" in oil as of late because I stuck in a newer travel valve with the holding feature built in, and I just finally got the right hoses for my new front lift cylinder. I also had to tighten up the relief valve on the newer travel valve because it was a little soft, so needless to say, I have gone thru my share of oil lately. I was easily able to modify the original hydro lines to fit the newer valve to get me by for this year, but they might need to be changed if i find they are too low for the mower deck or something.


Below is the view of the new front lift system. Recall that I have mounted a second travel valve under the engine, and the lift section from that valve controls this lift completely seperate of any other lift system. The cylinder mounted to the left side frame rail actuates the arm on the left side, and a 1" diameter rod runs thru a tube to the other side of the frame, where another arm lifts on the right side. Having the lift arms on both sides takes care of the annoying action when things lift crooked because of one arm on one side, and also allows you to force a different height on each side if desired. THIS is the system Case SHOULD HAVE made available to all tractors from day one.



Below, I made my first version of "lift rods" out of some 3/4" thick bar stock. These will be used for solid work where I really need to use the power down option. These very same lift rods can be used on the blower. You can also see that I modified my blade so I can take the springs out and completely remove the blade from the plate located immediately behind the blade. That plate system will be used for additional front attachments such that they can be attached quickly, by just driving "into" an attachment, lift it up, then throw in some locking pins. I may even power the locking pins so you can "grab" an attachment without leaving the seat. Behind the blade you can see some large bolts sticking out. These bolts allow me to adjust the "approach angle" of the blade for various needs, and later, when I modify some attachments, they will allow adjustment of any other attachment for parallel or approach.



Below: Yep, I labeled it as a 449 ! When I go down the list of what has changed so far, it just cant be a 448 anymore. It is "one better" than a 448. Next summer, there is still plenty more mods to do ! I am quite happy with the way the hood turned out. I did not want big cut-outs for the new V-Twin, and the extensions made from Rol's spare hood (thanks Rol !) allow me to run a full uninterrupted set of decals. When this tractor gets its final paint job, the white on the decals will be made out of white reflective vinyl. That should look great at night !

In the view below, you can easily see the lower height snow blade. I know some advised that I shouldn't cut that extra height off, but there will be some future changes to this blade. One will be the superior scoop style "bucket" system, and after that, there might be an extension that pins on. By using that top portion for a 54" wide underbelly grader blade, I saved time and ended up with a center blade that looks pretty professional. I really did not want to drill holes in the top of my rear fenders, but I did anyhow and mounted some square yellow lights set up to flash when I need them.

Those flashers are probably a good thing with how fast this thing hauls down the road in high range!

Under the engine on the right side, I mounted the front PTO connections. I don't know if I like them here, or if they are even going to work here, but I had to plug the holes in the valve. I think next year, they will get moved to the left side of the frame, just under the cylinder mount bracket. Time will tell.

Below: What is that lump on the right rear fender ? Well, I settled for a magnetic box with the two switches I need for my blower rotate and chute height control. It is a blurry picture, but the plate is engraved with arrows and the words "rotate" and "height". It is in a really comfortable location, but I dont think it will be staying there. Next year I can examine my options a little more. This year, I just needed to "get'r done". The black handle in the photo is the start of my rear lift control. I have already mounted a smaller fuel tank under the seat to the left of the opening, and vertically, I have mounted a 3rd travel valve. This handle is super convenient to use, and is already connected to the lift circuit of that valve. Unfortunately, I will not be able to run any hydraulic feed lines until next year. At this point, I think the PTO side of that valve will be controlled by a rotary knob just under the front edge of the seat. BUT, I have to figure out how to identify the CENTER position so I can never be caught trying to start the engine of a locked system. I do not have that one figured out yet.

Below: I wish I had my wheel spacers in but I do not as of yet. I need to find some 3" wheel studs and nuts for 1/2-20. Most racing studs are 5/8", and I really do not want to drill the original holes out. Over the winter, I will likely start looking at what it is going to take to put a hydraulic cylinder on that sleeve hitch. At first, I thought I would put one under the right rear footrest area and just push on the existing lift arm, but I am afraid things might twist up under heavy load. So, something similar to the 3 point setup will have to be put together. I plan on keeping the sleeve style hitch, but I am going to make it swivel along the 3 hole attachment pin plate, and include a top link not much unlike a 3 point uses to allow parallel adjustment when necessary.

That's probably going to wrap things up for this year other than fine tuning the blower. I have swapped out my rotate motor for one that is 150 rpm and it is much better, about 7 seconds for a full sweep. I also added a "Chute Light" to my blower that rotates with the chute. That way I can see where I am blowing the snow. I also will be adding even more lighting because the chute on the blower kind of hides the lights on the Cases narrow hood, especially when the blower is raised.

Next year, I will finish the rear lift, and tear it all apart for a real paint job. I also have the itch to create a matching "229".....


BUT, I better wait... ONE AT A TIME ! <G>

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