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garden tractor tires

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Joined: 21 Jun 2008
Posts: 27

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:43 pm    Post subject: garden tractor tires Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I have a case446 that has 16/6.50/8 tires on the front of it and it steers hard, could I put a smaller tire size on it, as I only use it for blowing snow. Would like it to steer easier, does anyone have any ideas on how to fix this problem?? Maybe a narrower tire??
Also looking for doors for cab on this tractor that swing out. Thanks for any help.
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Tom Arnold
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Joined: 23 Aug 2007
Posts: 1686

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:52 pm    Post subject: Re: garden tractor tires Reply to specific post Reply with quote

That is the standard size of tire for Case GT's and going to a smaller tire just creates problems and does nothing to fix the real problems.

Your tractor is suffering from many years of use, neglect and abuse. If you want it to steer like it did when it left the factory, then you have to correct every problem.

- I bet that at least one side of the front axle is bent rearward from having the tire rammed into objects that caused it to twist. The kingpin holes are supposed to be vertical, not tilted.

- The pivot pin is probably badly worn because no one greased it. A new pin is needed and perhaps the hole in the axle needs to be bored true and bushed back to OEM diameter.

- the top bushing in the steering shaft is probably worn out and you can rattle the steering wheel back and forth.

- The steering quadrant is probably not adjusted correctly with the pinion gear. If you owned the Operator's Manual, then you would have instructions on how to make this adjustment.

- The rod ends on the drag link and tie rod are likely close to be worn out. All four should be replaced.

- If either the drag link or tie rod are bent, then they should be straightened back perfection.

- worn out wheel bearings can affect how well the tractor steers

- if the kingpin holes in the axle are worn, then those holes need to be bored out and have bronze bushings pressed in.

- the kingpin/axle units need to be checked to make sure they are not bent.

- when all the problems have been corrected, then a front-end alignment needs to be done to make sure the quadrant gear is centered and that the toe-in is correct.

These are the things that go wrong with a Case GT after more than 24 years of use. Today, you can expect to pay about $8000.00 to replace your 446 with a new model. So, the question is this. Are you prepared to spend the time and money to truly repair your steering? If not, then you may as well sell the 446 to someone else because it's only going to get harder to steer.

There is no magic fix.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:22 am    Post subject: Re: garden tractor tires Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Rather than berate you, let me try to give some constructive comments. You are carrying a pretty good sized load on the front. Probably you should make sure that everything that can be lubed is. More air in the front tires could be another cheap fix/helper. Turf tires have a lot of rubber on the road to keep from rutting the lawn. You might think about a 3rib tire or 5rib front tire similar to an ag tractor. This might help some and you would have the added benefit of being able to turn in the snow better. The other post suggests you don't take care of your equipment. How would he know if he doesn't know you? I would guess that he is speaking from personal experience of abusing his tractor.
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Tom Arnold
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:59 am    Post subject: Re: garden tractor tires Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I suggest that you read my post again....only do it slowly this time.

Nowhere did I accuse the OP of neglecting this tractor. I simply pointed out that his complaint about hard steering is most likely due to neglect or abuse in one or more of the listed areas. This gave him solid information as to what could be the root cause of the hard steering.

Knowing where to look and what to look for will aid the OP in pinning down the true problem. On the other hand, your suggestions are nothing more than band-aid solutions that solve nothing. You accuse me of not knowing the OP. I accuse you of knowing little to nothing about Case GT's. Unlike you, I am speaking from the personal experience gained by helping hundreds of Colt, Case and Ingersoll owners solve problems with their tractors.

I suspect that the OP is more likely to be the 4th or 5th owner of this tractor. He has no idea as to how well his tractor DID steer when it left the factory decades ago. For all either of us know, he could have a kingpin close to seizing up from lack of grease. How would changing front tires undo that problem?

It's real easy for some people to come on these forums and tell someone looking for help to go and spend $150.00 on a pair of tri-rib front tires. And then when the OP finds out that the tri-ribs didn't change anything, those people just go "Oops, sorry about that." and then they move on to the next post where they can give out bad advice.

Those are my constructive comments about your post.
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Roger in Iowa
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Joined: 12 Oct 2007
Posts: 2638
Location: Ottumwa, Iowa

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:43 am    Post subject: Re: garden tractor tires Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Build a weight box to install on the back of the tractor. Get it as far rearward of the rear axle that you can. This will take weight off of the front axle and make steering easier. Will also add traction to the rear wheels. You can build concrete weights to fit in your box or other innovative weight (steel, lead, whatever you have)
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