International A-414 Tractor – May 2022 – July 2022 Cover Story
In August 2021 I acquired my neighbour’s forlorn and forgotten International A-414 diesel tractor. It was a basket case, with extensive rusted panels, three flat and damaged tyres and in a borderline scrap-or-restore condition. The 14.9 x 28 rear tyres cost around $800 each now, 7.50 x 16 fronts are near $200 each, plus a council tip disposal fee of $90 for rear tyres and $60 for fronts.
On the plus side, I had assisted my neighbour to replace the engine and front axle assembly with good low hour second hand parts back in September 2005. Paul had only used the machine a few times to tow fallen trees etc. Sadly he passed away eight years ago and his tractor sat neglected, accumulating a covering of fallen leaves.
I swapped wheels from one of my tractors, topped up the oil and water and fitted a battery, did a bit of rewiring for the glow plugs then started it. The engine ran fine but I could not move the tractor. It turned out that the brakes had jammed on. I consulted Dr Google, and found Canadian Redneck Tractor Repairs on YouTube, where Dave has an excellent video of an International 444 brake repair. He explained how the double disc dry brake system works, and how to repair it. I was able to back off the brake cover bolts a few turns on each side, and this freed the discs enough to drive the tractor next door to our place.
I parked the tractor in front of the shed for handy access and, after a Gerni down, covered it with a tarp to think about where to start. Over the next few months I changed the oils and filters and fiddle-faddled my spare time away scraping, sanding and welding in bits of metal here and there. The dash and fuel tank were removed and a 55-year accumulation of gunk was cleaned from the tank. It had completely blocked the sediment and water draw-off cup in the bottom of the tank. Having the tank out also gave access to the steering box, which was topped up with fluid.
New oil pressure and temperature gauges, a steering wheel and Agri tractor oil were obtained from Heads Tractor Parts at Logan Village. Heads carries a huge range of new spare parts and have workshop facilities for tractor repairs. Second hand front tyres with new tubes were obtained locally.
One vital part missing was the top steering tube bush. Fellow BVRC club member John H kindly turned up a red poly bush from a spare boat trailer roller that I supplied. Prior to undercoating all surface rust was treated with rust converter, then scrubbed down before applying two heavy coats of red oxide metal primer. I left this to harden for a month or so before following up with two coats of the red enamel. It was slow drying, so it picked up a few insects, and even a gecko had a paddle around in the wet paint. It isn’t pretty, but then again it is a tractor, and from ten feet away it looks great.
The machine has now headed out to Dalby for a new life with Luke and family on a 100 acre property. She replaces an ailing cousin – an A-414 with terminal engine problems. It will be hitched up to the five-foot slasher to continue vegetation regrowth management.
Source : “The Bayside Vehicle Restorers Club Inc. Magazine”