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Case 448 Hood Scoop Tractor - Should I buy it?

case 448 compression

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#1 Case448 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 10, 2015 - 07:26 PM

I'm thinking about buying this Case 448 hood-scoop tractor. Overall the tractor looks like it hasn't seen hard use. Little bit of surface rust here and there on the body, rims still white and not rusted, seat in good condition, good tread on tires, etc. I realize each of these can be replaced after hard use, but the "overall impression" I get is a tractor that belonged to someone that did not use it hard, but probably negected to maintain oil levels / change fluids / etc.


Compression is 50 on one side, 75 on the other. Could mean valve problems, or piston/rings. Motor turns over without any strange noises.  Going to try and start it / run it this weekend and see if can drive it around. Figure that might tell me a bit more.


I'm thinking about buying this tractor with the idea of restoring it.


The tractor has no PTO, so no tiller, so probably only used for cutting grass.


From the looks of the whole thing, I'm guessing the owners probably ran it low on oil a few times (?) and damaged the motor.


I'm very mechanically inclined, but I don't want a money-pit.


Question 1.) If the motor is in that condition, what are the chances the drive-train / hydraulics / transaxle / main pump / etc. and other moving parts are also shot?


Question 2.) Am I nuts? Should I think about buying this tractor, or run the other way, and fast? The guy has other 448's available, maybe I could make a deal on two tractors (as a package deal) and come up with one in the end (?)


Also, IF I should buy it, what would be a fair price?


Any thoughts / suggestions / advice would be much appreciated.




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#2 crittersf1 OFFLINE  


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Posted March 10, 2015 - 07:29 PM


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Posted March 10, 2015 - 07:48 PM

Welcome aboard Dave not to familiar with 2 cyl engines is it a Kohler or Onan I do own a Case 155 that I really like
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#4 Case448 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 10, 2015 - 07:57 PM

Tractor looks totally stock, doesn't appear to be restored or modified / tampered with.


Motor is a 18 H.P. Onan, with oil filter.

#5 dthomp17 ONLINE  



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Posted March 10, 2015 - 08:16 PM

The onan is a great engine but you can almost buy a new engine for what it will cost for a major engine rebuild if it is needed.  I had a 16 horse onan that had low compression when I checked it cold.  I got it running and rechecked the compression on a hot engine and both cylinders read about 110 to 115.  The good compression readings fooled me into thinking the engine was in good shape but I was wrong.  Turned out that one cylinder had a cracked piston, broken rings, and a scored cylinder and would require a major rebuild.  After pricing rebuild parts and machine shop cost, I opted to repower.  If I were you, before I decided to buy I would check out the cost of rebuild parts for that engine.

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#6 glgrumpy OFFLINE  


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Posted March 10, 2015 - 08:24 PM

Without pix, hard to add value.  Most 400's I've seen are in the $400 to $600 range when needing work. Price goes down at end of swap meets when not sold, ha! 

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#7 Case448 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 10, 2015 - 08:37 PM

I believe its only safe to assume the motor is junk, at least from the perspective of likely cost to rebuild it.


I just read elsewhere that the Onans were likely to throw a rod if run low on oil. So the cause for poor motor condition is likely heavy use (?)


So here are my next questions:


1.) MAINLY --- BECAUSE of the poor condition of the motor, are there other things I need to be careful about - - - re: the rest of the tractor, i.e. worn-out drive line parts / pumps / transaxles / steering / etc. Not sure what the "weak points" of these tractors are (except for the Onan engine).


2.) Assuming I repower, what are some options to go with? I've seen the Briggs Vanguards (seems most common). Also, some Kohlers (said to be cheaper to buy / cheaper parts), any other options? Seems fairly simple to install a variety of motors, due to the mechanical construction of the tractor?


3.) This guy also has other Case / Ingersoll 448 tractors, maybe I can find a good running motor and make a package deal?  --- OR --- should I not bother with the Onan motor at all, and just look to repower?

#8 Oldford OFFLINE  

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Posted March 10, 2015 - 09:53 PM

You ask, should you buy the case?

..depends what you want to do with it.


How much is it worth?

..depends on what they sell for near your, right now.  Not last year in Tennessee or halifax...


Case specific issues?

..mostly the hydraulic system, if it fails you'll need to get dirty, modify some wrenches, get a high pressure gauge, a bunch of rags & kitty litter.   Or maybe just adjust the travel valve or purge/replace the oil.  Major parts like drive motors, pumps, etc are around $200 apiece if the dealer has the ones you need.  There's no hydraulic filter so you have to hope the oil got changed at some point.

To test the system usually put it against a tree and see if the wheels break loose or the relief pops.  If you suspect poor maintenance check the rear end fill/drain plug, see what comes out.  The hydraulic tank should have motor oil in it.


Onan questions?

..this guy http://boomersonanparts.com/ is in your region and can tell you everything about those motors.



..most Case guys say you won't get your money back out of it.  New kits are 2k+, a running 448 w/deck usually sells for around half that.  You may need to hack the hood to fit.


Different onan?

Need to make sure the pump housing, pump, pto, oil pan all fit yours.  Boomer would know.


Onans are expensive and out of business, parts are high.  They are heavy and use a lot of fuel.  Also powerful if you need that.


Otherwise they are tough little tractors, but getting older and need attention, if that's your thing.  good luck, welcome to the forums





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#9 Case448 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 10, 2015 - 10:33 PM

I want to buy a Case tractor because I want a "Real" garden tractor (heavy-duty), NOT the cheap over-priced disposable junk made in our day.


I want a Case tractor for:


1.) 12,000 sq ft garden / hobby-farm, will probably expand to 1/4 acre. Mainly want tractor for heavier tasks, ie. the cleanup of tons of leaves (leaf vac), dumping on garden & shredding, course tilling & tilling leaves in for winter. I have a lighter-duty tiller for planting / everyday tilling between rows, etc. 


2.) Trailer for misc. hauling, use extensively in the garden.


3.) Plow for moving dirt / gravel.


4.) Cutting grass.


5.) Possibly snow-blowing.

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#10 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted March 11, 2015 - 02:46 AM

Welcome to GTT. There are a bunch of older tractors that would work well for you. My preferrence is my large frame Bolens. They are bigger and more powerfull than the Case. They are also alot more plentifull with many attachments available. I suggest that you take some time and shop around. The Case sounds like it will be a money pit and with no rear PTO it isn't what you really want anyway. Check out our Manuals and Galleries for more ideas. Good Luck, Rick
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#11 Case448 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 11, 2015 - 09:07 AM

I'm partial to Case, and parts are plentiful in my area. Also, from what I've seen, (I could be wrong), it seems that Case parts / tractors are more common in the USA than any other brand. Also, from what I've seen (I could be wrong), Case seems to bring the highest prices, which means either scarcity (not likely), or the "illusion" of quality (brand) - not likely, so most likely because of recognized quality / other things people like about them / etc (??).  Again, I could be wrong about all of this, but thats what I'm believing at the moment, based on my observations.


Feedback / other observations are welcome!!


Case is plenty heavy for what I'm doing.


Neighbor had a Bolens, he loved it (it was cool), but he just got rid of it because he couldn't find parts. I've never seen near as many Bolens for sale in my area.

#12 Oldford OFFLINE  

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Posted March 11, 2015 - 01:35 PM

If you post up a pic or 3 and asking price you may get more responses.


With Case there is no "illusion" of quality, it is there.   But Case is not the only quality GT with dealer support, as well as used parts suppliers.  It comes down to individual preference.  If you like high pressure hydraulics and they are available near you, C/I may be the right machine for you.


The tractor you describe sounds like a money pit, as others have said.  Generally you save money over time by buying a good tractor up front with more of the implements you want.


Kohler singles generally cost less to repair than Onans, they are lighter and use less fuel.  Some newer Ingersolls have Briggs OHV twins which are still in production.


Really it comes down to the individual machine, maintenance history, etc.  Test it out hard, make sure you like how it drives, changes direction, goes over bumps.  Case tractors can freewheel downhill and snatch you back pretty hard if you change direction too quick.  Newer ones have a "holding valve" that helps with runaway.  High wheelers have a lot of ground clearance but can feel tippy.  It's like buying a car and can cost as much, better to try it out first.


It is best to do as much research as you can before buying an old GT, then be patient, and be ready to pick up a good deal when it comes up.  Unless you get one for free and have the time and money to get it working, good luck-

#13 tater195 ONLINE  


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Posted March 11, 2015 - 01:55 PM

Sounds like you are set on buying a case. I have never owned one, or even kicked the tires on one. I was late getting to an ingersol at give away prices. Your area must be loaded with Case like mine is loaded with JD. The prices are driven by what the others are listed for, not by what they sell for. 

My advise is dont get in a hurry to buy one unless you have a check from the IRS burning a hole in your pocket and you need to spend it before your wife does. Do your homework and look around. Just about any thing with bolt on rear wheels will do what you need. Look for one that has the implement you need as a package deal (as stated before). Other options like hydraulic lift/ 3ph are nice but you can get by without them. 

#14 Case448 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 12, 2015 - 09:44 AM

Okay, so I've been thinking about all of this, and considering different options.


RE: The hydraulic system:


Q.) I'll assume the hydraulic system consists of (other than hoses/fittings) mainly pumps and valve bodies.  How much of that is rebuildable, and if so, is it rebuildable at a reasonable cost? Or is it more like a one-shot deal --- its shot, so you look for a used one (which might also be near the end of it's life), or you buy a new one (IF its available).


Q.) I understand the hydraulic system doesn't have a filter. Would there be any benefit to adding a hydraulic oil filter of some type, and if so, can it be done?


Thanks again!!

#15 nbent OFFLINE  



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Posted March 12, 2015 - 10:30 AM

On my 195 which I believe is similar to this there is 1 pump 1 drive motor 3 valves I can remember the pump and motor can be rebuilt by a good hydraulic shoo the valves shouldn't need to be rebuilt maybe change o rings a filter wouldn't be a bar idea to install just make sure it's the correct one for your application