I got this 1976 Case 224 for free with another tractor that I bought on Craigslist. I only really wanted the other tractor, but the guy said I had to take this 224 too. I can't say no to a free tractor even though I didn't really want it. It sat outside for a few months while I contemplated parting it out. I never was really a fan of Case garden tractors orange paint scheme (sorry guys, no offense) and I already had enough (big) vintage garden tractors in my collection.....more uncommon ones like a Massey Ferguson 1855 and Ford LGT 195 as you guys probably know of from my other threads, so I had no real desire to do anything with this 224. BUT, I did have a bug in the back of my mind about doing up a Case with silver and orange wheels, white fenders and hood (not the earlier cream color), and ag tires after seeing a picture. Then not too long ago, I realized that I could make my 224 look like this with not too much work or too much money. So I got a better look into what I was working with on the free 224 I had in my yard.
It was actually not too bad once I got into looking over it, but it had a broken rod in the Kohler K321 (I remember the previous owner telling me this, and I see why he gave it to me) and someone messed with the wiring a little bit....they did a decent job, but it had no spark. Fast forward to about a month ago, I'm looking at Craigslist one night and there's a Kohler K301 for sale that a guy took out of a Case 446 to put the correct Onan back in......for only $60 and it ran! I bought it and we got talking and he told me about how there's all kinds of info on this site and he restored his 446 back to original condition. A very nice guy he was. I switched a few things over, pulled the K321 with a broken rod out, and bolted the K301 in. Everything worked, even the headlights, but I had no spark. After I ran a wire from the + on the battery to the + on the coil, I found my problem (thanks for your help with this, everybody!). I then had spark and I hooked up all my cables, exhaust, etc. I'll change the fluids and I'll be replacing the tie rod ends and other little worn parts as I go with McMaster-Carr pieces, but mechanically she's pretty sound.
Next up is the fun stuff! Most of my other garden tractors are the very big ones with 26" tires, but I had a set of new 23x10.50-12 Carlisle Tru Power ag tires that I mounted on 12x8.5 Cub Cadet wheels that I never used but saved for some reason. The offset was perfect so they bolted right on and didn't hit the hydraulic motor. Next up was the front tires. I wanted ags up front to match because I think it gives the little Case a "BIG farm tractor, 4 wheel drive" kind of look. $30 later for a brand new pair of Carlisle 16x6.50-8 ags off Craigslist and I'm all set there. Then I changed my mind....I dismounted one oft the 23 Tru Powers and put on a 26x12-12 Goodyear Super Terra Grip......I like it a lot! For the fronts, I needed a tire that's slightly taller than the 16" stock ones, so I found Carlisle Turf Glide tires in a 8.00-6 size. I had a set of 6" wheels with a 3/4" bore laying around that worked perfect (which I painted up to match the rears, orange center, silver lips. The new front Turf Glide tires are about 17.5" tall by 7.5" wide, which should be perfect as far as proportion to the rear 26's goes and they shouldn't hit on the frame at full crank when turning. This combination looks like the Spirit of '76 big Case farm tractors with the front flotation tires. I'm pretty sure this is what I'll be sticking with, but we'll see for sure when I actually get them on the tractor.
Next, I got a set of 224 decals with the earlier pre-1976 "case" logo from Maple Hunter Texas (they do great work). I also got a set of later Case 200 series, larger, longer running boards. They probably did this so your feet didn't come in contact with the rear tires I'm assuming. I ground the heavy rust off the metal parts and took them along with the hood (which looks rough but only needed a very little bit of Bondo to fill dings and deep rust pits) and the running boards, and rear fenders to my favorite sandblasting/weld shop where I always have my work done for a sandblasting and a coat of industrial primer. I already had the rear wheels in primer so I shot the hubs/centers with a coat of Rustoleum Chevy Engine Orange (not the red/orange) Enamel and then clear coat. I then did the rims with Rustoleum Wheel Silver. These look SOOOOOOO GOOD with the ags on them.............this is just what I was aiming for. It already looks like a mini "big farm tractor." The Chevy Engine Orange is a PERFECT match for the Case orange. I plan on giving the chassis a fresh coat of it as well once I'm done with everything else. Finally, I'll be adding some flush mount LED lights (the ones they sell on ebay and Amazon) and try to make them fit and look as "factory original" as possible. I'll have a lot more pics of my tractor up this week along with a couple questions on the front PTO and the rear sleeve hitch I picked up off Craigslist. Thanks guys!
Here's a few pics.....the before, the next is during painting, and the next is the finished paint on my hood, the wheels and tires (my first configuration of 16's and 23's and then the larger 8.00-6 and 26's), and one of a big 1976 Case farm tractor that I'm looking to replicate.
Edited by jpswift1, December 18, 2017 - 01:43 AM.