Antique Case tractors?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by mustanggirl, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. mustanggirl

    mustanggirl Member

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    :confused: Hi, I'm not into shop talk, but my boyfriend just got me an antique (1938) Case tractor for Christmas. It is a little bit rough to look at, but it supposedly runs and has OK tires, but no farm implements to attached to it. It is a lovely piece for the homestead, but I also don't want a bunch of broken down stuff on my property, in case I ever sell out.

    I could use the tractor to farm my acreage. I've heard they can be dangerous to drive. Does anyone have any advice on these tractors?
     
  2. BigBoy

    BigBoy No attitude here...

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    Any tractor can be dangerous and the older ones a little moreso since they are sometimes fenderless and some have a higher center of gravity. They were also built for real men (no slight to the ladies intended) so they can be hard to operate. That said, as long as you are careful and pay attention you should be ok.
    Another thing to think of is that this one will probably not have a 3-point hitch or PTO which are needed for modern implements. If you can find some old pull type implements then you would be good to go.

    Added this: Something like this one? Fenders and not too high.
    [​IMG]
     

  3. John Hill

    John Hill Grand Master

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    A Case of that age may have had the PTO as an option and a power lift, which was by worm and gear mechanism rather than hydraulic.
     
  4. ace admirer

    ace admirer Well-Known Member Supporter

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    i'm sorryto hear that your boyfriend is rough to look at. but any boyfriend that would give an antique case as a gift has to have redeeming value. do you know what model you have. you will not have any problem having the tractor removed if you sell out. and as others have pointed out you have to have your brain in gear before working with power equipment. seriously, if you can find model you can get operators and repair manuals pretty easy try www.ytmag.com for specific questions.
     
  5. countrymech

    countrymech Well-Known Member

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    This is probably one of the only things that you could ever own and actually take it for what it is, no computers, no sensors, no servos. Built to last and designed to be worked on out in the field. 4 wheelers are more dangerous than these old tractors, just stay clear of the PTO and moving engine parts and everything is fine. My 14 year old daughter loves to run our old 8N around our place every chance she gets. Now that you've started down the road a classic tractors, might I suggest that you dress this one up and then try to get and old Ferguson or a Ford with a 3pt system. They are worth their weight in gold when you need 'em. P.S. Welcome to the world of 6 volt positive ground.
     
  6. John Hill

    John Hill Grand Master

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    Countrymech will that Case have any sort of electrical system at all?

    I suspect magneto ignition and an 'Armstrong' starter!


    Mustanggirl. now on the subject of starting, this can indeed be dangerous on old tractors and could well be the reason you were warned of them. But there is nothing to be afraid of if you learn the technique and observe safety procedures.

    A four cylinder engine can be easy thing to start by hand but to be sucessful everything must be in good order. Obviously good mechanical condition of pistons and valves etc that are important for adequate compression and eventually (hopefully) power output, plus you need a magneto in good condition, clean and properly adjusted spark plugs and good fuel.

    If there is serious doubt of the magneto do not intrust its care to anyone except those fully qualifed to handle it. There are a few sites on the web and considering that the replacement cost of a working magnetto is quite likely more than you pay for the entire tractor it is worth taking care of.


    The most obvious safety check is to ensure the tractor is out of gear before you step up to the starter handle! If it has a brake ensure that is set too. If it is in a garage or shed ensure you have plenty of room to escape if it should run or even roll forward when the engine starts.

    Never grip the starter handle with your thumb around the handle, wrap your fingers around with your thumb hooked over the bottom of your index finger, do not lay your thumb along the top of the handle. Try to avoid pushing down on the handle and always start the engine by pulling upwards. Keep your legs and body well clear of the entire swing of the handle.


    To start the engine first ensure the brake is set, gear in neutral. Turn the fuel on, usually from a tap under the fuel tank. Most tractors of that age have ignition advance control near the drivers seat and a choke control that may be near the starting handle. The throttle will be settable from the drivers seat too.

    If the engine is in good order it will not require much throttle to start, likely only about 10% or even less of it's range.

    First of all set the ignition advance to 'stop'.

    Now remembering the safety issues (and I know you checked the oil and radiator levels of course!) go to the front of the tractor.

    Pull the choke full on and taking the starter handle engage it with the engine in the position where the handle is nearest to the ground, there will be two positions where it will engage and close to the ground is the one you want. Ensuring the legs are clear and using just one hand and the grip I described pull the handle up so that the engine turns half a turn. Move the handle to the bottom again and repeat for a total of four times by which time all four cylinders have been primed with fuel.

    Now comes the really exciting bit! Move the ignition advance just a little away from the stop position. Push the choke control in and this time being really mindful of the safety grip and stance move that handle to the bottom of its swing, say a little prayer to the patron saint of old tractors, pull briskly up on the handle! You may be rewarded with a satisfying roar from your 65 year old engine! You can try about three more times before closing off the ignition and re-priming with the choke.

    If the engine starts but only runs for a few turns you can try advancing the ignition just a little but beware the more advance the more chance of backfire. If the temperature is cold you could try just a little choke too.

    Once the engine is running you advance the ignition control as far as you can but never so far as you hear a 'pinging' noise from the engine. Pinging indicates detonation and is very undesirable but best power is just before the onset of pinging and advance usually needs to be adjusted according to load.


    I expect your Case will have an 'impulse starter' on the magneto, as the engine is cranked the magneto is held by a little automatic catch thing and a spring is wound. When the engine reaches the point where it should fire the catch releases and the spring gives the magneto a little flick. The point of mentioning this is that it is pointless and a bit risky trying to get a 'good spark' by winding the handle like crazy. You will hear the clacking noise from the magento as you turn the engine.

    The most common hazard when hand starting is a 'backfire' that causes the handle to turn against you and that is why your legs and body must be well clear and if your thumb is around the handle you risk dislocation or worse. If there is a really strong backfire the handle will be jerked from your fingers and come right around to wack the back of your hand. So be prepared, that you hand is moved out of the way in time, this is not really a great risk and is most likely if you foolishly try to start a hot engine with the ignition advanced!

    Another hazard is that the handle gets jammed in the socket and spins around when the engine starts. Scarey though this looks it is not really a hazard if you have followed the safety grip and stance.

    Maybe your Case is a dual fuel tractor able to burn gasoline or kerosine. I expect it would be happy to run all day on gasoline but if you want to use kerosine you need what was once called 'power kerosine', as opposed to 'lighting kerosine'. Power kerosine is quite like jet fuel, or so I have been told. When running on kerosine you need to ensure the manifold is kept hot and there may be shields or shutters on the exhaust system to do this, for petrol you need these fully open and they would only be closed when using kerosine. You would have great difficulty starting on kerosine so always start on gasoline. Once the engine is hot you turn off the gasoline and when the engine starts to die turn on the kerosine. It may also have water injection which is usually only used with kerosine although it may be of some advantage when running on gasoline, the general technique is that when the ignition is advanced to induce pinging a little water stops the pinging allowing the ignition to be further advanced.



    I drove tractors of that era when I was just a little kid and never ever got even a bruise from any of them, except a Lanz Bulldog but that is another story!