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  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    26
    Location
    Monticello, MN
    Tractor
    '71 International 444

    Default IH 444 Trans Problem - Shifter Screwed Up?

    Hey all,

    Just ran into another problem with my 444 today. I had been working with it for only about an hour when I drove back in 4th gear (low) to go scoop up another load of dirt with the FEL. After pushing in the clutch, braking to a stop, then shifting into first, it wouldn't move when I let out the clutch. Bogged down as if something were holding it back and had to push the clutch in to keep it from stalling. Checked the box blade - nope, that was up. Loader bucket in the air. No brakes on. Shifted to neutral and let out the clutch, and it lurched forward like it was in one of the high range gears.

    I didn't notice anything "happen" - no particular sound or feel that anything changed until I tried letting clutch out in first.

    With the shifter in position for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or reverse, it won't move. Like something's locked up. Can't get it into the 4th gear position. With shifter in neutral position, seems like it's in one of the high range gears. Can't get it to reverse at all. I tried shifting to high range and back to low, and no change.

    I saw a couple other posts here where someone talked about the ball on the end of the shifter slipping out of the slides. Does that sound like what my situation is?

    I suppose I need to dig in and remove the shifter cover and take a look, but I would appreciate any input on whether this seems likely. At least it would be better news than breaking a gear or shift fork or something that required trans disassembly.

    Don't know if this makes any difference, but I had just drained and refilled the trans/hyd fluid, and had used it for maybe about 10 hrs before this happened.

    (Changed the fluid after finding how milky the fluid was. I seem to be finding that this machine probably was not maintained very well. Brake disks were worn down to the rivets also and have just replaced. Not sure I made the best decision buying this tractor... very frustrating to have it down as much as I have for repair! )

    Thanks!
    Keith

  2. #2
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    4,086
    Location
    ONTARIO
    Tractor
    MASSEY, CASE , FARMALL

    Default

    Sounds like the transmission is jamed up. In two gears at once. You can raise the rear of the tractor with a jack and have somone rock the wheels back and forth while someone else play with the shifter. It will probably take 15 minutes of playing around with it to get it fixed. I am not sure what would cause this to happen.

  3. #3
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    473
    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: IH 444 Trans Problem - Shifter Screwed Up?

    Quote Originally Posted by MIKE R View Post
    Sounds like the transmission is jamed up. In two gears at once. You can raise the rear of the tractor with a jack and have somone rock the wheels back and forth while someone else play with the shifter. It will probably take 15 minutes of playing around with it to get it fixed. I am not sure what would cause this to happen.
    If you are not lucky doing it that way you may need to pop the top of the gearbox (he says pop the top off casually as though its a 5 min job) the align all the selector shafts in neutral and you should be ok. What you have to figure out is why it selected 2 gears at once.????
    Last edited by zonta223; 09-16-2012 at 06:28 PM.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    551
    Location
    South Carolina

    Default Re: IH 444 Trans Problem - Shifter Screwed Up?

    Quote Originally Posted by zonta223 View Post
    What you have to figure out is why it selected 2 gears at once.????
    Likely yhe end of the shifter that engages the shift rails is worn. The fix is to build it up by welding so it can't cause to rails/shift forks to move at the same time.
    IHC 424 Diesel
    Ford 917 Flail Mower

  5. #5
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    743
    Location
    pa
    Tractor
    kubota 7040sud

    Default Re: IH 444 Trans Problem - Shifter Screwed Up?

    the shift fork might be to bent to fix that happened to me on the case245 its not a 15 min job maybe 2 hrs

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    26
    Location
    Monticello, MN
    Tractor
    '71 International 444

    Default Re: IH 444 Trans Problem - Shifter Screwed Up?

    Finally got this fixed. Mike R nailed it.

    Unfortunately, I initially thought it sounded more like a problem with the shifter, so the first thing I did was remove the top cover on the trans. Once I took apart the shifter, there was no apparent problem with the ball end of the shift level or the rails or anything. I couldn't find any reason why it would have gotten stuck in two gears at once.

    I talked to a local guy who said the springs behind the detent balls get weaker with age, so when I re-assembled the shifter, I added a small washer under each spring to give a bit more preload. This makes it lock in to each gear position with a more positive feel.

    When I started lining up all the gears in the neutral position to replace the trans top cover, the 2nd/3rd gear set was WAY out of place. It would slide back and forth an inch or two, but still needed to slide forward more like four inches. I couldn't get it to move up into place, UNTIL I finally jacked up one back wheel and moved it back and forth a bit... then the 2nd/3rd gear set finally slid forward to where it belonged.

    So, in retrospect, maybe following Mike's advice would have worked and would have been the quicker route to getting it fixed.

    I still don't understand what made those gears get stuck in that position. I especially don't understand how the shifter could be moved to neutral position without moving those gears forward. Doesn't seem like any way the shift fork could jump out of the groove. The wear on the shift forks and rails looked very minimal for an almost 40-year old tractor.

    There was some damage in the trans. The gear on the countershaft for 3rd gear has the corners broken off on about a third of the teeth. Still looks like enough there for good positive engagement; I wouldn't expect these gears to slip or skip when they're engaged (but who knows). I don't think this damaged just happened. I believed I would have heard more noise if teeth were breaking off.

    Thankfully the tractor is back in use. I will be more careful about my shifting to follow the 'H' pattern, and hopefully won't run into this issue again. But if I do, I definitely will first try jacking up one wheel to see if I can work it back into neutral!

  7. #7
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    4,086
    Location
    ONTARIO
    Tractor
    MASSEY, CASE , FARMALL

    Default

    Good to hear you got it fixed. Is there any possible way the shifter got lifted out of the fork grooves and got put back in, in the farntic scrambling to get it into neutral. Pushing the trans into other gears.

  8. #8
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    5,964
    Location
    Central wisconsin
    Tractor
    International 2500a with Loader

    Default Re: IH 444 Trans Problem - Shifter Screwed Up?

    i had a h that jumped the gates and you would neutral but yet you be in gear.i took the shifter out and built the end up with weld and that took care of the problem.

  9. #9
    New Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    2
    Location
    AL
    Tractor
    '68 International 444

    Default Re: IH 444 Trans Problem - Shifter Screwed Up?

    I think I have the same problem with my 444 . How did you get the cover off the transmission? The hydraulic valve blocks one of the bolts for the cover. Can I just pull the valve off to get to it?

  10. #10
    Super Member
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    Apr 2000
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    6,198
    Location
    central New York
    Tractor
    all makes and models

    Default Re: IH 444 Trans Problem - Shifter Screwed Up?

    We have seen this before and will see it again, even with cars and trucks. The problem is that when you went to remove the gear it didn't but the linkage did move so it allows you to put in another gear which is why it locks up. While in neutral or the gear that didn't move out the unit will move and operate.

    I've been lucky enough to be able to get the shifter back into the right position and get the gear back! Not all of the time have I been successful! Have had to remove the shifter cover and realiagn and reinstall.

    Normally other then shifting in a good H pattern have had to redo if no work was done to restore the rails or forks to near new condition. Notice the H pattern which using variations of is what caused the problem to begin with!

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