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Case Tractors Discussion Forum

Rescuing 5 DCs This one the worst condition

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07-17-2020 17:44:29

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I may have inferred that my brother’s modified 49 DC was the first “junker” that I rescued. Actually, it was the first DC that I finished refurbishing. Carl’s old “D” was actually the 4th DC that I rescued from the junk man.

During the winter of 2002, an ad offering used DC parts for sale led me to this old barn with a dirt floor. There was no electricity and the only light came thru a people door. The night vision feature on my video camera was stretched to its limit.

Fitting words to describe the inside of this barn include “clutter everywhere”. The biggest piece of clutter was the rear half of a 52 DC detached from its engine. Parts of its busted engine lay in the dirt. This 52 DC’s engine had broken its crankshaft. The owner said he had done some tractor pulling. Buried in a pile of parts was a ruined D-series block with domed pistons from some tractor. That indicated he had been a serious puller. There were also two high compression head assemblies in that pile of parts.

I rescued this sad looking 52 DC along with the two high compression heads: maybe cracked? Both heads turned out to be in good enough condition to rebuild. The ruined block had been junked. The owner attached another sparse one in his “inventory” to help make the tractor moveable.

I had another engine in mind. I knew that my older brother, “packrat Dean”, had a D series combine engine—supposedly low hours on an overhaul. Eventually his engine got bolted to this DC’s rear half. The engine turned out to be in good condition. The only downside it had standard bore CAST IRON pistons and standard compression head

I decided to put a single front wheel on this DC. I found an assembly in PA. I converted it to 12v. The front pulley on the crank was bigger diameter that the tractor engine pulley. I had to find a longer fan belt. I lucked out and had just enough pulley clearance with the frame to squeeze the belt thru the clearance gap. It was started up in late July 2004. It started like it had ran yesterday. It was kept sealed up, cylinders oiled, and the crank case was clean. It was loose but It had not been run for around 20 years

This DC helped plow 80 acres in Oct 2004. See the IRL.

I found a good home for it in 2016. 4 of my 5 DC’s rescued went to the same good home having barns, sheds and 3 generation of family interested in old tractors. The junk man is not happy.

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07-18-2020 11:52:40

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 Re: Rescuing 5 DCs This one the worst condition in reply to RonSa, 07-17-2020 17:44:29  
Were you able to save those domed pistons, I would be interested in them if in usable/salvagable condition, did you try to remove them?

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07-18-2020 15:52:09

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 Re: Rescuing 5 DCs This one the worst condition in reply to mEl, 07-18-2020 11:52:40  

Looking back sadly, I made a quick decision to not try to save them. I knew that I did not have any need to soup up a DC that much and I was not in the parts buying and selling business. At that time, I was not into the YT Forum. If so, I would have likely posted something about them. Sorry.

In the dim light, the pistons and cylinder walls all looked very cruddy. Hours later, when I looked at what my night vision camera had recorded, the cylinder walls looked quite capable (maybe) of being cleaned up with a berry hone.

Besides the cylinders looking in bad shape at first, the engine was deep in a junk pile. Most of the engine's details were not visible. I remember quickly reasoning, one would half to purchase the whole short block in order to be in charge of carefully extracting valuable pistons and sleeves. I took a pass and focused on the two high compression heads.

I found information in my tax records for 2003. The name of the owner was/is Frank Horvath (in his 50s? then) My timing is off a year. It was not 2002 as I posted here. The farm was NE of Canton, IL 10 miles +/- 5 miles.

My phone log offers the following information. The ad was placed under "Great old cars.com" ad # 10228. Contact person was Ben Hendrick 309 647 6878. The note I wrote in my log book included--- "take cell phone and call him when I get to Canton". Obviously, Frank wanted to remain anonymous. Obviously I was given directions over the phone to his farm.

You have me curious, I might spend a little time trying to locate the place using satellite imagery. Long time ago!!

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Pastor John

07-18-2020 08:19:47

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 Re: Rescuing 5 DCs This one the worst condition in reply to RonSa, 07-17-2020 17:44:29  
Thanks so much for sharing! It is amazing how much restoration you can do on those DC’s.

Ron keep those old pictures and stories coming!

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07-18-2020 12:30:36

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 Re: Rescuing 5 DCs This one the worst condition in reply to Pastor John, 07-18-2020 08:19:47  
Pastor John,

My next post will also cover more about how "easy" the nice paint jobs happened. Stay tuned and God bless.

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J Hamilton

07-17-2020 17:50:23

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 Re: Rescuing 5 DCs This one the worst condition in reply to RonSa, 07-17-2020 17:44:29  
So glad they didn't go to the junk like so many old tractors have

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