Thanks for the help, guys!
I got the tractor working this weekend, and for a few glorious moments (40 minutes, maybe), she was a tilling machine!
The push rod came off once, and I reattched her with cotter pins.
Then, the engine died, and I could not get her started again. I disconnected the cultivator attachment, and pushed the 444 back to the pole barn (The Case 444 lives under a lean-to roof out back).
We were amazed that the thing even worked, after sitting for probably two decades.
Sypmptoms: Weak attempts at starting (starter motor seems weak and likely needs replacing), some weak backfiring through the carb intake, appears to be some liquid gasoline collecting on outside of block -- something's loose, I guess).
Next steps: I'm going to clean up the engine and start to systematically examine for problems (anybody know the head bolt torque specs?) At the very least, I know I should remove and inspect the carbureutor, etc. I will also replace the original spark plug, remove cylinder head, and see how much carbon and what not is in there. Here are some pics.
Edited by mkow1234, May 12, 2014 - 10:08 AM.