Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    26
    Location
    Monticello, MN
    Tractor
    '71 International 444

    Default Intl 444 Front Spindle Broken

    Well, my new-to-me '71 Int'l 444 is out of commission, with a broken front spindle. This leads to a few questions. If anyone has suggestions, I'd appreciate it.

    I've found a replacement available at several places online.
    Bates Corp, $301 new
    Worthington Ag Parts, $233 new
    Abilene Machine, $253 new
    All States Ag Parts, $234 new
    Tractorhouse lists several places that have salvage 444s for parts (plan to call some tomorrow)
    One eBay listing that claims new, but looks used, $165

    Are there any other places that would be good to check for a replacement?

    Would it be a bad idea to get a used part? (Are these prone to cracking?)

    Are there any other reasonable options? Any way it could be welded and machined and have normal strength?

    Are there other parts that would make sense to replace at the same time as the spindle?

    If the right spindle just snapped, is the left probably also on it's way out?

    The other thing I wonder is if I've been overloading it with the front end loader. I've been moving a lot of dirt, but I thought these are heavy duty machines. This has a IH 2020 loader. The bucket is a manure bucket with dirt plate. Not sure what it's rated for, but after measuring the bucket, I'd say a full bucket is around 11 - 14 cu. ft.

    Thanks, Keith

  2. #2
    Super Member rswyan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    7,404
    Location
    Northeast Ohio
    Tractor
    Kubota B2910, Simplicity 18 CFC, Cub Cadet 782

    Default Re: Intl 444 Front Spindle Broken

    Quote Originally Posted by Crashcup View Post
    Would it be a bad idea to get a used part? (Are these prone to cracking?)
    I can only offer a single anecdote: my father bought a brand new 444 around 1970.

    Perhaps rather unwisely, he allowed me, as an ignorant and foolish young teen, to use it to mow the lawn and fields .... and in our garden (plowing, discing, and cultivation - but no loader) .... mostly unsupervised.

    The IH double-disc we had was heavy enough that with no front weights it was fairly easy to pop wheelies (to a height of 3' or so) and I did that a lot.

    We never had a broken axle in around 3800+ hours .... I think I did toast a clutch though if memory serves ....

    Quote Originally Posted by Crashcup View Post
    The other thing I wonder is if I've been overloading it with the front end loader. I've been moving a lot of dirt, but I thought these are heavy duty machines. This has a IH 2020 loader. The bucket is a manure bucket with dirt plate. Not sure what it's rated for, but after measuring the bucket, I'd say a full bucket is around 11 - 14 cu. ft
    FWIW, I felt they were pretty much built like a tank ....

    Are you using any counter-weight on the rear while doing loader work ?

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    2,102
    Location
    Carroll, Ohio
    Tractor
    Massey 180 Diesel

    Default Re: Intl 444 Front Spindle Broken

    There have been 2 break on my 656. One Dad was loading a 20', 24" to 30" cherry log. Not sure what it weighed, but probably more than what is was designed for. The other I snapped, while unlolading a bundle of fence posts. The load shifted, and dropped about 24", and the shock of the load snapped the spindle. The first I'm sure was an OEM, the second was aftermarket. I replaced it with an aftermarket one also.

    Personally, on a spindle, I would go for new, whether OEM or aftermarket, especialy if I had a loader on. Who knows what was done with what it was taken off of.

    If you have the part numberfor that spindle, you can copy and paste it to Google, and spend an hour or so shopping I'd imagine. That's how I found the best deal on mine. More than likely the aftermarket ones are from China.

    I reused the bearings that were in it, as they seemed in good shape. I did replace the seal, as it got somewhat boogered.

  4. #4
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    6,173
    Location
    central New York
    Tractor
    all makes and models

    Default Re: Intl 444 Front Spindle Broken

    When something is that old it can break! The parts are still available so that tells you that you are not the first to break one! Loaders are tough on tractor front ends both two and four wheel drive with the toughest going to the two wheel drives. Do I think you were abusing it, not for the bucket you have vs a 72" wide bucket that was often attached to those loaders.
    Something to think about for you in the life of a spindle. Tractors often run in or make ruts in the ground, this is not a problem till they might get a little deep, a two wheel drive when the front axle is touching the soil on the inside of the hub it is putting a lot of load on the axle while trying to drive out of the rut! Most times they won't pop up out! Same for four wheel drives even with the front engaged especially if the fronts have lag instead of lead on the fronts! Many actually give it some extra power to get the front to pop out of the rut and that puts that much more stress on the axle. Does it make a difference as to the metal that the axle is made of, you bet! Parts of the axles have to be hardened for better wear, that reduces the ability to flex so a better made axle is important for overall durability. Most of the parts from a forty year old tractor are easy to make because they did not have the metal alloys we use today.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    26
    Location
    Monticello, MN
    Tractor
    '71 International 444

    Default Re: Intl 444 Front Spindle Broken

    Thanks.... I did find out the eBay part is new, old stock, so bought that. Need to get the old spindle off tonight after work and see what shape the bearings are in.

  6. #6
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    468
    Location
    Adelaide South Australia
    Tractor
    Foton FT404, International 444 with forklift, International B250, Kubota L2000DT, Truck converted to all terrain forklift and lots of other junk

    Default Re: Intl 444 Front Spindle Broken

    Quote Originally Posted by Crashcup View Post
    Well, my new-to-me '71 Int'l 444 is out of commission, with a broken front spindle. This leads to a few questions. If anyone has suggestions, I'd appreciate it.

    I've found a replacement available at several places online.
    Bates Corp, $301 new
    Worthington Ag Parts, $233 new
    Abilene Machine, $253 new
    All States Ag Parts, $234 new
    Tractorhouse lists several places that have salvage 444s for parts (plan to call some tomorrow)
    One eBay listing that claims new, but looks used, $165

    Are there any other places that would be good to check for a replacement?

    Would it be a bad idea to get a used part? (Are these prone to cracking?)

    Are there any other reasonable options? Any way it could be welded and machined and have normal strength?

    Are there other parts that would make sense to replace at the same time as the spindle?

    If the right spindle just snapped, is the left probably also on it's way out?

    The other thing I wonder is if I've been overloading it with the front end loader. I've been moving a lot of dirt, but I thought these are heavy duty machines. This has a IH 2020 loader. The bucket is a manure bucket with dirt plate. Not sure what it's rated for, but after measuring the bucket, I'd say a full bucket is around 11 - 14 cu. ft.

    Thanks, Keith
    I had a thread in here about exactly the same thing.
    look it up under my user name.
    Gives the details what I had to do.
    There is a UK company called Sparex that specializes in parts for these type of tractors. (they have dealerships in the states) The original thick oil seal for the spindle is no longer available but sparex do a bearing and seal kit which was cheaper than the seal only from a bearing supply house.
    My 444 has a forklift on the front. Spindle breakage on these tractors is not unknown they were not designed to lug 1 ton loads hanging off the front of them.
    If I can be of any help just PM me
    Bob

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    26
    Location
    Monticello, MN
    Tractor
    '71 International 444

    Default Re: Intl 444 Front Spindle Broken

    Got the broken spindle out and cleaned up the parts to get a better look at the damage.




    The small end of the broken spindle. Not sure if I remember right from my Materials class long ago, but I thought that if a broken shaft had a smooth, shell-like appearance, the failure was due to gradual crack growth. If it appears rough and fibrous, it would indicate a sudden failure. This spindle shows both. It may have had a crack on both sides of the shaft, which gradually grew until it weakened the shaft, and the load was too much, and it snapped off. I was wondering whether I should check the other spindle, and based on looking at this one, I think I will take the spindle off the other side to see if there are any cracks.


    Part of the hub broke off when the spindle broke. This "collar" area is where a seal retainer fits inside. My thinking right now is that I can install the new retainer and the seal will have enough support and work fine. I really don't want to shell out more money for a hub.


    The outer race of the large bearing got a couple of dents. Could have been there previously, but probably from the impact when the spindle snapped. This will be replaced with a part from a bearing kit.


    The outside race of the small bearing got flattened a bit. This might work okay, but I didn't want to take a chance with it. Also will be replaced from the bearing kit.


    On the right is the seal retainer - bent. The grease seal got mangled up. Both parts were included in the bearing kit.

    After reading some people's experience with bearings that weren't quite the right size, seals that aren't available any longer, I think I got lucky. I found a bearing kit at Abilene Machine for $18 which included both bearings, both outer races, grease seal and retainer, and a new gasket for the hub cap. They also got it here in two days - awesome!

    I ended up buying a spindle from eBay, which was described as "New old stock"... but I have my doubts. I agree with what someone else said - who knows what kind of use or abuse a used part got? So I wanted new or reman. This one had some minor dings on some machined surfaces, and the end of the threads on the spindle were buggered up a bit, so it may be used. But, for $165, I'm going to go with it.

    Now, the last thing I need is bushings. There are bushings where the vertical shaft goes through the end of the front "axle". They are supposed to be fit to something like .006 to .010 in clearance, but mine are WAY more than that... really sloppy. I'm not sure what harm will come from running them that way, but it's probably best to replace them.

    Any suggestions on how to get the bushings out? I spent some time beating on them with a long punch and hammer, but I can only get a good "grip" on one side of the bushing. In most places the punch slips off. Heating the outside with a torch may help, but I don't have one. If nothing else, I could take the axle extension off (adjustable width front end) and take that somewhere to get the bushings removed and new ones fitted and reamed to the right clearance. But, if I can get them out myself, that'd be better.

    Thanks,
    Keith

  8. #8
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    468
    Location
    Adelaide South Australia
    Tractor
    Foton FT404, International 444 with forklift, International B250, Kubota L2000DT, Truck converted to all terrain forklift and lots of other junk

    Default Re: Intl 444 Front Spindle Broken

    Quote Originally Posted by Crashcup View Post
    Now, the last thing I need is bushings. There are bushings where the vertical shaft goes through the end of the front "axle". They are supposed to be fit to something like .006 to .010 in clearance, but mine are WAY more than that... really sloppy. I'm not sure what harm will come from running them that way, but it's probably best to replace them.

    Any suggestions on how to get the bushings out? I spent some time beating on them with a long punch and hammer, but I can only get a good "grip" on one side of the bushing. In most places the punch slips off. Heating the outside with a torch may help, but I don't have one. If nothing else, I could take the axle extension off (adjustable width front end) and take that somewhere to get the bushings removed and new ones fitted and reamed to the right clearance. But, if I can get them out myself, that'd be better.

    Thanks,
    Keith
    My spindle snapped right by the rear grease seal..Luckily I was just backing the tractor out to use it when the front wheel fell off completely and the tractor did a slow lean to the right. If you can get the axle extensions off I would do it and just give it to a shop to get the bushings done. If you have to do one side the other will be in the same condition. Problems is those axle extensions have probably not been moved in 50 years I tried with mine but gave up after about 4 hours without getting any movement. Good luck keep us updated.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    26
    Location
    Monticello, MN
    Tractor
    '71 International 444

    Default Re: Intl 444 Front Spindle Broken

    Zonta, do you know what the risk is to running with the bushings loose? It didn't seem to affect the steering, and I didn't notice movement while driving over bumps, but I'm concerned about the shaft hammering away at the axle extension and doing further damage.

    I don't know... maybe I just shouldn't worry about it.

    Good that you had a gentle lean when yours broke. The FEL bucket caught mine before it fell too far. Also happened while backing, no load in the bucket. If the other spindle breaks, I just hope it's not while I've got the bucket raised high full of dirt!

  10. #10
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    468
    Location
    Adelaide South Australia
    Tractor
    Foton FT404, International 444 with forklift, International B250, Kubota L2000DT, Truck converted to all terrain forklift and lots of other junk

    Default Re: Intl 444 Front Spindle Broken

    Quote Originally Posted by Crashcup View Post
    Zonta, do you know what the risk is to running with the bushings loose? It didn't seem to affect the steering, and I didn't notice movement while driving over bumps, but I'm concerned about the shaft hammering away at the axle extension and doing further damage.

    I don't know... maybe I just shouldn't worry about it.
    My bushings were fine. Guess it all depends on how easy your axle extensions come out. Have you tried them yet?. These are great old tractors what kind of condition is the rest of the tractor in?. Are you looking to keep using it for years into the future or quitting it soon?. If you are going to keep it I would get them replaced. You may have no steering problems but because of the wear the spindle angle (wheel angle) is not perfect this may be putting extra strain on the spindles.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. IH 444 Front Spindle
    By zonta223 in forum Case-IH
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 04-05-2012, 06:41 AM
  2. Broken Spindle/Axle YM2000
    By phatgemi in forum Yanmar
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-26-2011, 09:56 PM
  3. JD 855 MFWD Frt Spindle Broken Spider gears
    By thiel17 in forum John Deere Owning/Operating
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 07-05-2011, 11:17 AM
  4. B2400 Front Spindle Assembly
    By Pks in forum Parts/Repairs
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 04-29-2004, 04:38 PM
  5. Front Spindle Greasing - TC 21D
    By kwright in forum New Holland Owning/Operating
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 05-07-2002, 10:14 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
© 2013 TractorByNet.com. TractorByNet is a registered trademark of IMC Digital Universe, Inc. Other trademarks on this page are the property of their respective owners.