Cub Cadet questions...

Discussion in 'Tractor Tech' started by David Banner, Nov 9, 2018.


  1. David Banner

    David Banner High Wheeler

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    I know there are several good forums devoted to the IH cub cadets...
    But I would be using this thing like I use my Scout, not restoring it...

    I'm asking my questions here 'cause this is a more practical community and I'd like the more practical answers to my questions:
    I'm moving to a ½acre property near Columbus, OH. I imagine I'll need to mow the grass weekly during the spring & early summer. This is new to me coming from Colorado...
    I know I don't want to buy a $1500 new throw-away mower. I damn sure know I won't enjoy working on a used throwaway mower...

    I like the look of the IH 70 & 100 models over the late 60's & 1970's models.
    I'm assuming I would enjoy working on one of these little tractors. I've rebuilt the SV 304 in my Scout so rebuilding anything on the cub should be more than manageable for me...
    BUT do these old mowers actually cut the grass fast enough to be worth it? Or would I be spending hours wrenching on the tractor every time I needed to mow only to spend hours more actually cutting the damn grass?
    Ideally this tractor will run well enough that my wife could mow the grass when I can't get to it.

    Is the only difference between the 70 and the 100 the size of the Kohler engine -- or are there other major differences to be aware of?
    Can the 12hp Kohler or some other newer engine be put in place of the 7hp or 10hp oem engine?

    Thanks for any insight and practical knowledge anybody can share.
     
  2. Jeff Jamison

    Jeff Jamison Lives in an IH Dealership

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    I have a 67 123 hydro that I use to cut my yard,48 inch deck(I think) it does as good as any new mower,but you will have to find a good one,or spend some money on what You find.The hardest thing to find is a good deck(they like to rust out,been hunting a better one for 2 years)
     
  3. David Banner

    David Banner High Wheeler

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    Thanks!
    I'm figuring a good or repairable one (not a "restored one"!) is still a lot cheaper (and hopefully more fun) then a new one... But that's why I'm here -- for the reality check!

    The hydro drive came just after the 70/100 models correct?
    Mower decks rotting out makes sense -- packed with wet grass most of the time...
    can't be harder to rebuild a mower deck than a Scout's inner/outer rocker body mount! :cornfused:
     
  4. Jeff Jamison

    Jeff Jamison Lives in an IH Dealership

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    Most of the mower deck is flat metal.Yes the first hydro came out in 1966 I beleive,I found mine sitting a year,charged the battery and used it ,had deck and snow blade for under $400,keep an eye out on craigslist, 70/100 usualy go for 400 to 700 in running condition(or close to it.When is the move happening,you have been talking about it for a while now.
     
  5. David Banner

    David Banner High Wheeler

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    Wife is getting settled in the new house -- My military position precludes me being out there full time just yet -- hoping for Jan/Feb to get settled in myself! The new place has a nice detached shop I'm looking fwd too!
    And then watch over the winter for a decent deal on CL and have it ready for spring... :whistling:
     
  6. Greg R

    Greg R Dreams of Cub Cadets

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    I have a Cub Cadet 1650, and Cadets as a whole are extremely well made and engineered. They're very handy to service and you can swap the mower deck out in minutes. Compared to "consumer" mowers and JDs that just changing belts is a major chore and half the machine has to come apart on the JDs with belts running $80 from the dealer. They were truly built for the farmer or a grounds department in mind.

    The hydrostatic drive is a real time saver and easy to maneuver around, no clanging gears or shifting belts; just move the stick for various speeds and reverse. The drive and axle are actually cast iron with a differential scaled down from an IH tractor, I believe the Cub. The one BIG caution with hydrostatic drive is you CANNOT move them with a dead engine. They may be pushed a couple of feet, but over that put the rear wheels on dollies.

    The bigger engines shake a lot until they're in their power band or rpm, very annoying but that's how it was and there are work arounds on the engine mounts. What some owners do is swap to a Briggs & Stratton Vanguard V twin engine which is very powerful and smooth.

    There are a couple of forums dedicated to just cadets of all vintages. One I can remember is Only Cub Cadets dot net. Good source for leads on machines and parts for sale, plus insights on service. Wherever you go, keep us posted! Some Case/IH farm implement places have licensing for the Cadet parts biz as you can still get some new parts such as mower deck bearings and blades . Out here I have to use AgWest.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
  7. Randall Barringer

    Randall Barringer Y-Block King

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    I have owned a 70, 100, and 124. I still have the 124 and really like it. I bought it from the original owner who really took care of it and it shows. It will cut grass with the best of them, but cannot compare (speedwise) to a high quality zero turn mower.
    I do regular maintenance and it has always been good to me.
    The narrow frames like the 70 and 100 are becoming collectible and therefore the prices are slowly rising. Deals are still out there if you can act fast.
    Good luck and thank you for your service!
     
  8. Mater

    Mater Farmall Cub

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    I have a 147 Cub cadet. It is a hydrostatic. And the last year for narrow frame. I use it to cut my grass. It has a 42” cast iron deck. Best lawn tractor I’ve owned. It will cut some grass. Thus, an IH cub cadet will be just fine to cut an 1/2 acre of land!
     
  9. David Banner

    David Banner High Wheeler

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    How long would you expect one of these mowers to cut a mostly flat ½ acre? The trees are mostly all on the perimeter.
    I have no clue how fast/slow these tractors go...
     
  10. Randall Barringer

    Randall Barringer Y-Block King

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    If it's very flat you might be able to use 3rd gear, but I stay in 2nd for a better cut on my choppy St Augustine grass.

    Not sure about a time estimate, I'd guess 30-40 minutes. Someone will surely correct or confirm.

    Only cub cadets is a decent site, but I don't visit much due to the drama that is typical.



    Sent from my Moto G Play using Tapatalk
     
  11. David Banner

    David Banner High Wheeler

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    Thanks -- I figured on the "Cub only" forums I'd be told they were the best thing since sliced bread...
    That's why I asked here -- so it's sounding like I can have a cool ol' IHC tractor w/out my wife thinking I've gone completely nutz. That these tractors will still get the job done compared to a newer but similar box-store mower.

    Next stupid question -- with the 3sp manual trannys can you shift them on the fly or do you come to a complete stop to select the next speed for what you're doing?
     
  12. kdsmit

    kdsmit Farmall Cub

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    If you are moving to Ohio, look on Craigslist or go to a tractor swap meet (there is usually about one just about every weekend in the spring, summer & fall). They made a lot of cub cadets and there are quite a few still in good condition (they are hard to wear out). The old Kohler engines are good and last a long time, but are expensive to overhaul, so make sure it does not smoke a lot or use too much oil. You should be able to mow in second gear, if you are not trying to brush hog. It won't take too long, but it is not a zero turn!
    The transmission is the same one used in a Farmall Cub, so third gear is really fast. Many of them also have a creeper gear, there is a little stub lever on the center trans cover. It's like the transfer case on your scout (low range) and gives you three more forward and one more reverse speed. It is good if you are going to snow-blow or roto-till. There are also quite a few attachments for them. Snow plow, snow blower, rototiller, moldboard plow, disc, drag, rotary mower, reel mower and a fancy little trailer, oh and a leaf sweeper...….. A person could develop an obsession.
    Also, usually the front spindle, that the rod from the steering gear attaches to, has the hole all egged out and will need to be bushed, welded and drilled or replaced. If not the steering is really sloppy.
    There are a lot of parts for theses tractors that are now being re-popped, including all of the decals and also a lot of used parts at the swap meets!
     
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  13. David Banner

    David Banner High Wheeler

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    So it's time to pull the trigger on an ol' (pre-Murray of course!) Cadet...
    There are several locally available and all reasonably priced for condition...
    Time to revive my own thread...
    So my big question is manual gears or hydro-static?
    Now that I'm settling in to my digs in Columbus I realize one of the little tractors duties will be towing my 14' camper from behind the workshop back to the front of the house. The space between the workshop and a large shed is too tight for the Scout make the bend without running over trees, fence or worse... garden tractor will solve that, but which transmission is best for towing?

    And then I realize with a long flat paved driveway (I sold the Scouts plow before leaving CO!) I'd probably like a snow-blade or snow blower for this ol' cadet as well... Again which transmission is best for those functions?

    I googleed it all and came up blank... So your real world opinions will be very helpful to me. Thanks!
     
  14. Greg R

    Greg R Dreams of Cub Cadets

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    Personally I really like the hydrostatic transmission. Infinite speed changes just moving the stick, easy to maneuver around things like gate, shrubs, or trees as well as regulating speed from short grass to tall weeds as well as just move the stick to R for reverse, no clutching needed Remember the gears and axle in these little tractors are a scaled down real tractor such as a Cub or Farmall 100; but every bit as tough for their size. I've never towed with mine but where ever you put the trailer have a spotter who can set chocks before you unhitch. The one caveat with hydrostatic is with a dead engine you can NOT tow or push them far. Anything over 25/30 feet I have to put the rear wheels of mine on dollies. It is the real deal with a Vickers hydraulic set up but they are essentially a dead and stuck duck with no engine power.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
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  15. Jeff Jamison

    Jeff Jamison Lives in an IH Dealership

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    I have a 1967 123 hydro,I have pulled cars around with it,up hill is alittle hard as the tractors not heavy enough,but it will do what you want
     
  16. David Banner

    David Banner High Wheeler

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    Thanks guyz. Sounds like either tranny will do what I need then...
    I thought the hydo's had a couple of check valves you could release if you had to push them around with a dead engine?
     
  17. Greg R

    Greg R Dreams of Cub Cadets

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    Yes they have a release button to scoot them across the shop floor, but any distance requires a trailer or dollies.
     
  18. David Banner

    David Banner High Wheeler

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    So if it dies in your yard while mowing you have to fix it in the field -- just like the real tractors!
    (dollies aren't gonna work on grass so good... :cornfused:)
     
  19. Jeff Jamison

    Jeff Jamison Lives in an IH Dealership

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    You can push them,just hard to do,I have moved mine back to the garage by hand,it just takes awhile to do.
     
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  20. Chris Cooper

    Chris Cooper Farmall Cub

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    I have a '65 122 given to me by a customer, the most expensive freebie I can remember receiving . When it runs, it mows okay (not golf-course quality by any stretch of the imagination, even with sharp blades), but Armstrong steering, manual trans, high noise level, and a large turning radius put it way behind modern lawn tractors. Right now, I'm in the process of replacing a distorted clutch pivot bracket mount with a fabricated one, which is just the latest in repairs/restorations. There's always something to fix on this thing.
     

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