WHEN YOU FIRST GET YOUR TRACTOR HOME
This section is for you new tractor owners and specifically new Case Ingersoll owners, BUT can be very helpful as many of the things can be used also on all other brands and models of garden tractors. This is mostly for tractors you do NOT know the history, what work or maintenance was done recently etc. But there are some things everyone should do when first bringing their new to them machine home
FIRST TIME BRINGING MACHINE HOME CHECK LIST
Some things you really should do when bringing any machine home for the first time if you are not aware of when the last time, or if these things have ever been done.
Change Engine Oil
Make sure you use the correct high-quality engine oil. Many 15-40 Diesel or 20-50 Racing oils are good choices in many climates. In the cold let the machine warm up for at least 5 mins. 5-40, and 15-40 diesel oils are great choices as are 5-50, 20-50, 15-40 and 15-50 synthetic or conventional Racing oils with high Zinc. We only use 15-50 synthetic or 20-50 synthetic racing oil in Briggs Vanguard engines. Kohlers and Onans we use all of the above options. Choose best oil for the average temp the engine STARTS in, not runs in also not your areas average temp. Example if stored inside, use the inside temp where its starts. If it get 0 degrees where you are, but you never START it when it is 0, but most times you start it outside when its 28 out and snowing then 28 is the temp range to use when selecting oil.. Synthetic oils are better in very cold and with very hot engine temps. . Synthetic oil is also a great choice and WATCH VIDEO HERE FOR MORE INFO ON OIL AND CHANGING THE ENGINE OIL.
CHANGE THE HYDRAULIC OIL
It is very important to have the correct oil in the hydraulic system of these machines and that the oil is clean! MOTOR OIL IS what is used in the hydraulic system of ALL Case Ingersoll Tractors. Typical hydraulic/hydraulic trans oil etc are NOT to be used! We recommend 15-40 diesel oils, 20-50, 15-50 oil. Synthetics are better in very cold and very hot temps so 5-40 diesel engine oil is a good choice in extremely hot and cold climates too. As is 5-50 racing oil. If using 15-40, 15-50 or 20-50 allow more time for warm-up in the very cold as these oils perform great but are very thick when cold and need to get up to temp before operating. Be sure to only use OEM or the only non-OEM high-quality Wix filter we have found spec'd to OEM numbers on these machines available in our store. There are many places selling other filters and using other non-OEM filters on these machines and they are incorrect specs and can cause damage and issues. The black non-Case Ingersoll filters being sold are NOT to spec, they may be good quality filters for their original use but are not a good choice here for the hydraulics. You only have to change the hydro fluid every 200 to 500 hours! To save $10 once every 5 or 10 years is foolish as to the hundreds or thousands it can cost you by using the wrong filter. FOR LOTS MORE INFO ON THE OIL AND HOW TO CHANGE THE HYDRO FLUID ON CASE INGERSOLL WATCH THE VIDEO HERE
CHECK BRAKE OPERATION AND CONDITION
Make sure your brakes work, if not figure out why. Is it an adjustment? Lack of brake lining material? Linkage issues? The brakes should lock the rear wheels right up when applied fully and bring the travel lever into neutral on the dash at the same time to halt all movement.
FULL TUNE UP ON ENGINE
We highly recommend doing a full tune-up on the engine before putting the machine into service. This way you can get a good assessment of how it is truly running and if it has bigger issues than simple tune-up parts. It also can prevent engine damage by making sure your fluids and filters are clean and full. That your spark plugs are new and correct and that
the ignition system is functioning correctly. It also will make sure you get the most power and the best fuel efficiency and burn as clean as it can for you guys concerned about keeping things green. We have full tune-up kits available for each engine model where we did the leg work putting together all the things you need with quality parts into one simple and complete kit. We use and tested these kits you can purchase them at our store here. Also, watch the videos below for each specific make and model engine you have.
DECARBON & ADJUST ENGINE VALVES
We highly recommend doing a full de-carbon and adjusting the engine valves before putting the machine into service. This is very important and can save the engine from catastrophic engine failure as well as make it run much, much better overall. This intimidates many but really is pretty straightforward and easy and not very costly. We sell the full master tune-up kits that include the gaskets needed to do this and have videos linked below on how to do this task. It is possible and fairly common that excessive carbon buildup inside the engine can blow an engine. As the carbon builds up eventually the piston makes contact with the head and or valves and very bad, expensive things happen. Also, valves that are out of adjustment will cause all kinds of performance, running, and engine issues. 85% of the machines we deal with have the valves out of adjustment and in roughly 50% of them, the engines run significantly better after de-carbon and valve adjustment. Also, watch the videos below for each specific make and model engine you have. Click to get to our YouTube tune-up playlist
CHECK TIRE CONDITION AND PRESSURE
Yes, a very simple thing but often overlooked. Besides the obvious reasons for dealing with leaking or near future leaking aggravation as far as condition goes. Correct tire pressure is important in lawn and garden tractors for 2 main reasons. Traction is one, under, and fully inflated tire pressure effect traction poorly. Most times depending on load and tire itself running tire PSI at 1/2 to 3/4 max PSI rating is ideal for most situations. The other major factor with inflation is the quality of mower cut and snow removal. If your tires are not inflated from left to right equally your mower deck will cut unevenly and or poorly as will your snow plow/blower will not perform the best and can wear the plow or blower cutting edges unevenly.
CHECK OVER ELECTRICAL & WIRING
Check for obvious wire or electrical component damage. Broken wires, spliced wires, taped wires, chewed-on wires, etc. These all should be addressed sooner than later you do not want your new machine to burn up before you get a chance to use and play with it.
CHECK OVER HYDRAULIC HOSES & BELTS CONDITION
Check for obvious damages, wear, rub marks, etc. Make sure connections are tight. Also, you will want to make sure your machine has hydraulic fittings and NOT pipe fittings. Replace hoses and fittings if any major wear or damage is present. Make sure belts look in good condition with no wear spots, cracks, brakes etc.
CHECK FOR BELT PTO ADJUSTMENT AND OPERATION
Check the front PTO adjustment space and operation if an attachment is present. Watch the video below for quick field adjustment or the full rebuild video for a better understanding of the PTO. HERE
CHANGE REAR END OIL
Make sure you use the correct high-quality oil. This is a very easy job to do and well worth the small cost. You can use the same 15-40 Diesel or 20-50, etc engine oils you use in your engine or hydros to keep it simple or you can use true "gear oil" of 75, 80, 90 up to 140 weight. Standard or synthetic oils are fine. We fill all rears with roughly 3 quarts of oil. Depending on the model and year the manual shows different amounts. We feel that using 3 quarts is best. It helps with condensation and moisture dilution/contamination, corrosion issues, and cooling and keeps all the parts lubed and covered for sure. The different amounts listed in the manuals vary and our feeling is the rear ends themselves between years and models do not vary much at all, just maybe the work they are doing. Watch the video on changing the rear-end fluid on Case Ingersolls here.