Preparing Your Mower for Winter

preparing mower for winter

Winter is on its way, which means it’s time to put your Cub Cadet mower into storage. Taking a few preventative steps now will ensure your mower won’t be damaged from sitting for months and can save you from doing maintenance when you’re ready to mow next spring.

Fuel

Fuel should be completely drained from walk-behind mowers. There are two ways to do this: disconnect the fuel line and put the end in a funnel that leads to a gas can or open the gas cap and tip the mower so that the gas flows into the can. Once the fuel has been drained from the tank, reconnect the fuel line if it was removed, then start the engine to burn off any fuel remaining in the carburetor.

Fuel can be left in the tank of models with fuel injected engines as long as that fuel has been treated with a stabilizer, and it can also be helpful for occasionally recharging the battery on models with carburetors. Before storage, run the engine for a few minutes with this treated fuel to ensure any untreated fuel has been pushed out of the fuel system. A full tank reduces air exposure, slowing oxidation.

Oil

The oil should be changed before storage, no matter how many hours the mower has been used since the last oil change. Even lightly used oil can be acidic, which can cause harm to internal components over long periods of exposure.

The cylinders should also be lightly lubricated. To do this, remove the spark plug or plugs from the engine. Add a half ounce (one to two tablespoons) of oil into each cylinder. On pull start engines, place a rag in front of the spark plug hole to catch any splashes and give the starter handle a couple quick pulls to circulate the oil around the cylinder surface, then reinstall the spark plug and wire. On electric start engines, reinstall the plugs, but leave the plug wires disconnected. Use the starter to turn the engine over a few revolutions to circulate the oil, then reinstall the plug wires.

Don’t be surprised if your mower smokes a little the next time you start it: that’s just the oil from the cylinder lubrication burning off.

Battery

Batteries on riding mowers should be fully charged before storage. While most manufacturers suggest putting the battery on a trickle charger, Cub Cadet recommends starting the mower every two months and run it at full throttle for 20-30 minutes. This will recharge the battery and circulate fuel through the engine. It may be cold out, but you still need to move the mower outside before starting to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning from the exhaust gases.

Lubrication

Your owner’s manual will have a detailed list of locations; be sure to check the deck spindle shafts, axles and driveshaft bearings for zerk fittings. Axle zerks are located on the inside of the wheel so they can be easy to miss. Always clean the area around the fitting to keep from pushing debris into the bearings when adding grease.

Other points of friction should be lubricated with a light oil or silicone spray including axles on push mowers and handle attachment points.

Control cables should be lubricated with a light lubricant, not a water displacer or penetrating oil. There are several options on the market including non-detergent motor oil, graphite, air tool oil and motorcycle chain lubricant. Whatever you choose, make sure it says “non-gumming” on the label.

After a thorough cleaning, all bare metal surfaces should get a light coating of oil to inhibit rust formation.

Storage

Keep your mower indoors if possible. If it needs to be stored outside, use a cover designed for your model. Covering with a tarp is not recommended: the fabric can’t breathe, which lets them collect moisture that will lead to rust.

Even if the fuel system has been drained, there may still be some residual fumes. For this reason, your mower should be stored away from ignition sources including torches, power tools, and furnaces.

On models with pneumatic tires, park the mower on cardboard to prevent direct contact with cold concrete.

Getting Parts for Your Cub Cadet Mower

Find something wrong with your mower while you were getting it ready for storage? Skip the spring rush and repair it now with parts from www.cubparts.com. We’re a certified dealer for Cub Cadet and their manufacturing partners, letting us provide parts for everything from blades to spark plugs. We ship across the U.S. and Canada.

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LS 25 CC and CC H Log Splitters

LS 25 CC

Looking for a log splitter with enough force to be usable without being too expensive and difficult to operate? Cub Cadet’s LS 25 CC and LS 25 CC H strike the perfect balance between size and power, offering the strength to cut through any seasoned log in a package that’s designed to be easy to use and transport.

The Power and Speed for Real World Use

The LS 25 CC comes with a 9.5 GPM pump that enables the cylinder to exert a force of 25 tons. That’s enough to go through anything except the biggest, greenest logs. This combination has a cycle time of 19 seconds while an auto return system retracts the wedge without requiring a hand on the control lever. This lets you get the next log and load it without having to wait between cycles.

Logs are supported by a cast steel foot plate and split using a cast iron wedge that can be sharpened for consistent cutting performance. A log dislodger and log trays come standard, saving time and frustration when loading and removing logs.

This splitter can handle logs up to 25 inches and can be operated horizontally or vertically, letting you choose between having an easier loading height for small logs or shorter lifting distance for large chunks of wood. Switching between modes is easy: just pull a pin near the pivot point and tilt the beam into position. Coils of steel wire wrap around the hydraulic hoses to protect them during movement.

The pump has a three-gallon oil reserve which is filled at the factory, saving on initial use costs and saving new owners the lengthy task of purging air from the system.

Built for Portability

This log splitter is built into a trailer with a two-inch tow hitch and a pair of D.O.T. approved transport wheels and tires. Polymer fenders deflect debris when towing while resisting impacts from falling logs while in use. Once on site, the trailer can be detached and the tongue propped up using the built-in jack.

One Splitter, Two Engines

The LS 25 CC is offered in two versions. Aside from the engines, everything on these models is identical down to the 585 lb. curb weight.

The standard LS 25 CC is powered by a 208 cc Cub Cadet OHV engine. Like all the company’s engines, the design focus is on ease of use with a simple starting procedure and minimal maintenance.

The LS 25 CC H uses a 160 cc Honda GC-Series engine. Thanks to its overhead cam head and advanced internal design, its output is similar to the Cub Cadet motor. The GC uses an internal timing belt, precision manufactured components and a resin cam to greatly reduce noise during operation.

Warranty

Cub Cadet guarantees the LS 25 CC and its engine for three years of residential use. The engine in the LS 25 CC is covered by a three-year warranty from Honda, while the rest of the components are guaranteed for three years by Cub Cadet.

Parts

If you need parts for one of these splitters, you can get them at www.cubparts.com. We’re a certified dealer for Cub Cadet and their manufacturing partners including Honda, letting us provide parts for these splitters and the engines that power them. Our site makes finding parts easy with sections of popular parts as well as a search engine with built-in parts diagrams and descriptions. We ship across the U.S. and Canada.

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LS 33 CC Log Splitter

cub-cadet-log-splitters-ls-33

Do you need to split a lot of big logs quickly? Cub Cadet’s LS 33 CC may be a residential model, but this log splitter delivers the power and performance you would normally expect from a large commercial splitter. Its cylinder is powerful enough to cut through hardwoods, its cycle time is short, and it comes with features that are normally optional in this market.

Powerful Enough for Anything

The LS 33 is powered by a 277 cc engine that is designed and built by Cub Cadet. It has the same easy starting, durability, and longevity as their other engines, and, since this motor is used in their snow blowers, particular attention was paid to cold weather starts. There’s no choke, throttle or priming bulb: just pull the starter cord, and the log splitter is ready to use.

The engine drives a 15 GPM pump fed by a 5-gallon hydraulic oil reservoir. The hydraulic system is filled at the factory, saving money on fluid and time setting up the splitter. The hoses connecting the pump to the cylinder are wrapped in a steel coil to prevent damage while remaining flexible.

Together, the engine and pump can exert 33 U.S. tons of pressure. That’s enough to go through the hardest woods at any diameter and shape, including crotches on hickory and dogwood.

Fast and Flexible

The cycle time for this model is just 15 seconds, putting it in line with kinetic splitters, and it has an auto return system so you can get your next log in position while the wedge moves back into the cylinder.

The bed is designed to handle logs up to 25 inches long. To make it easier to maneuver large logs into place, the splitter can be flipped up to work vertically.

Logs are split using a cast iron wedge that can be sharpened as the point wears down, while the cast steel foot plate and robotic welds throughout the frame ensure reliable cutting performance through years of service. A log dislodger and log trays are included straight from the factory, so there’s no chance of dropping freshly split logs or having to hammer them off of the wedge.

Ready to Tow

The LS 33 CC is mounted on a trailer with a 2-inch tow hitch and 16 x 4.8-inch D.O.T. approved transport wheels. The fenders are made out of diamond plate to resist damage from falling logs. Total weight of the equipment and trailer is 615 lbs.

Warranty

Cub Cadet guarantees the entire log splitter including the engine for 3 years of residential use.

Maintenance

If you need parts for the LS 33 CC, its engine or anything else from Cub Cadet, visit www.cubparts.com. We’re a certified Cub Cadet dealer, letting us provide a full range of OEM parts and accessories for equipment ranging from mowers to clean up tools like this log splitter. Not quite sure what you need? Our site can show you parts based on your model and has integrated parts diagrams so you can see exactly where a part fits on your machine. We ship across the U.S. and Canada.

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CSV 070 Chipper Shredder Vacuum

CSV 070 Chipper Shredder VacuumThe CSV 070 may be small, but it manages to combine a chipper/shredder and vacuum into a compact unit. If you can use a walk-behind mower, you can use this chipper/shredder to bag leaves and dispose of small branches without having to rake or cut wood by hand. The resulting mulch is more compact for lower disposal costs and can be used as fertilizer.

Vacuuming and Shredding Lawn Debris

The CSV 070 is designed primarily to vacuum up lawn debris, turning them into fine mulch. It does this by using a 24-inch wide vacuum nozzle that hovers above the ground, picking up loose material. Debris is pulled in by a 13.5 inch cast aluminum impeller and then pushed through two sets of cast steel flails, breaking down leaves and lawn debris at a ratio of 8:1, increasing the amount of material that can be stored on-board while reducing the number of bags needed to collect the waste. Even if you throw out the mulch, it can still save a lot of money on disposal.

When you need to get in hard-to-reach areas like bushes and landscape features, the suction from the impeller can be switched from the nozzle to a 7-foot vacuum hose by moving a lever on the base of the unit.

Turning Small Branches into Wood Chips

As you clean up your lawn, you can feed branches up to 1.5 inches in diameter into the chipper chute next to the motor. A hardened steel blade chops up the wood and sends it into the bag along with the rest of the debris.

Disposing of Yard Waste

The felt-lined, dustless bag mounted on the rear of this vacuum holds up to two bushels. The bag is designed so only the bottom is unhooked to dump material in place or be fully removed so the contents can be dumped into trash cans and mulch piles.

As Easy to Use as a Walk-Behind Mower

At first glance, the CSV 070 may look like a mower with a couple of attachments, which shouldn’t be a surprise since it borrows heavily from the company’s walk-behind models. This starts with the engine, a 159 cc unit built by Cub Cadet for their small outdoor equipment. All of its features carry over, so starting and maintenance are easy. Underneath the deck-like housing, the engine shaft directly powers the impeller, flails, and blades directly, so there’s no belt to change. The semi-pneumatic tires come from the company’s self-propelled mowers as well as their ball bearing-supported mounts. Combined with a weight of just 95 lbs, the 070 is surprisingly easy to push.

Warranty

Cub Cadet guarantees the entire vacuum including the engine for 3 years of residential use.

Getting Parts for the Cub Cadet CSV 070

Cubparts.com isn’t just an online warehouse, we’re a certified Cub Cadet dealer, letting us offer genuine factory parts for everything from classic tractors to modern residential lawn care equipment like the CSV 070 lawn vacuum. Our site has integrated factory parts diagrams and descriptions so you can be sure you’re ordering exactly what you need. We ship across the United States and Canada.

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Using Your Cub Cadet Chipper Shredder Safely

Using Your Cub Cadet Chipper Shredder Safely

Chipper/shredders can make quick work out of fall leaves and fallen branches, but that same power can make them dangerous to operate without the right protection and operation practices. Here’s what you need to know to use your equipment safely.

More Than Just a Horror Movie Staple

Wood chippers have torquey motors that move blades and flails at high speeds to turn leaves and branches into small, compact pieces that are easy to dispose of or use as mulch. That same power also makes them good at chopping up body parts, making them a featured mechanism in death and body disposal in movies ranging from “Woodchipper Massacre” to “Fargo.”

Movie-based reputation aside, the Center for Disease Control estimates an average of 200 workers are injured by chipper/shredders every year. Most of these injuries are due to contact with the blades, object kickback, and mechanical failure, three things that are easy to avoid with proper use.

Have You Read the Manual?

It’s easy to skim through the safety information, but this is based on injury studies, recommendations by organizations like the CDC and OSHA and Cub Cadet’s own in-house testing on your specific model of a chipper shredder, making it your best source for information on avoiding injury.

Wear the Right Protective Gear

While you might only need some hearing protection when using a lawn mower, adding to your equipment can greatly reduce your risk when using a chipper/shredder:

– A Type II, Class G or Class E hard hat that meets the latest ANSI Z89.1 standard, currently revision 2014. If you have an older helmet, the standards information should be molded into it, making it easy to ensure you have a model that meets current design requirements.
– Safety glasses that meet the latest Z81.1 standards, currently revision 2015. As with helmets, this information should be stamped into the glasses.
– Leather or cut protection gloves to protect your hands from splinters. This protection should cover the entire glove, not just the palm and bottom side of the fingers.
– Hearing protection. As with all small engine equipment, the noise from the motor can cause permanent hearing damage.
– Non-slip boots to help prevent falls.

Locating Your Chipper/Shredder

This equipment should be placed on a flat piece of ground for stability and well away from pets and people to reduce the chance of an accident. Since it uses an internal combustion engine, the chipper/shredder needs to be at least three feet (one meter) away from buildings to prevent deadly carbon monoxide build-up.

Inspect the Impeller Housing

Older wood chippers use a metal band that covers the sides of the impeller. This hood can pop off, striking the operator. The CDC has identified this failure as one of the top causes of chipper/shredder injuries; to prevent this, newer Cub Cadet chippers use a clamshell design that spreads the load over a larger area, decreasing but not eliminating risk. With either design, you should periodically check the tightness of the housing bolts to ensure these parts don’t become projectiles.

Use the Right Size Wood

Your chipper/shredder has a limit to the size of branches that it can handle. Larger branches can be kicked out of the chute by the flails, making them a serious safety hazard. Likewise, over-sized chips are more likely to become projectiles when exiting the chute. When chipping wood, go slowly to give the flails time to break it into small pieces.

Get Something Stuck? Use Some Wood.

Sticking your fingers into a chute do dislodge a stuck branch or lump of stubborn leaves is a good way to pull your arm directly toward the flails and blades. Instead, use a stick to probe the area and dislodge the material.

Keep Everything Tidy

As the chipper/shredder is used, debris from dust and clippings will build up around it, creating a slip hazard. Keep the area clean to keep from sliding and falling into your chipper.

When In Doubt, Shut Off the Engine

Get something stuck? Hear a strange noise? Shut off the motor and disconnect the spark plug before trying to find the problem.

Use Original Equipment Manufacturer Parts

OEM parts are designed and built by Cub Cadet for their equipment so you can be sure they’ll maintain the safety that was built into your equipment. Where can you get these parts? Cubparts.com. We’re a certified dealer for Cub Cadet as well as Briggs & Stratton, the manufacturer of the engine used in the CS 3310 chipper/shredder. Our site lets you see factory descriptions and diagrams so you can be sure you’re getting the right part. We ship parts and accessories across the U.S. and Canada.

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Cub Cadet Handheld Leaf Blowers: Gas Vs. Rechargeable

Cub Cadet Handheld Leaf Blowers- Gas Vs. Rechargeable

If you’re looking at getting a new leaf blower for your home, you’re faced with one major choice: gas or electric? While electric blowers used to fall far behind the power of internal combustion models, today they’re almost evenly matched. Which type of Cub Cadet handheld will work best for you?

CORE CCU410 Power-Lok Drive Unit and CCB410 Power-Lok Blower Attachment

CORE stands for “Conductor-Optimized Rotary Energy.” In a nutshell, this motor design uses a printed circuit board in place of windings, creating a high power, lightweight, and compact motor. When Cub Cadet first released the CORE system to the market, they pitched it as a direct replacement for their 25cc two-stroke engine, offering similar power and performance. The lithium-ion battery can power the motor for up to 45 minutes and only takes an hour to fully recharge.

While there are two string trimmers that use the CORE drive system, the only blower available is an attachment that works with the CCU410 drive unit. Together, they move 400 CFM of air at 110 mph.
Together, the drive unit and attachment weigh 21.4 lbs. with a battery. Cub Cadet guarantees the CCU410 for 5 years.

BV 428

This gas-powered blower uses a 25 cc four-stroke engine, eliminating the high emissions, hard starting and oil mixing of two strokes. The motor is also EPA rated to meet emissions for 125 hours of use, while most two strokes at this end of the market are only built to last 50 hours. Even if you don’t care about what’s coming out of the exhaust, this makes a strong case for the motor’s superior durability.

With the CORE built to match Cub Cadet’s old two strokes, it would seem that it should easily out-power this four-stroke model. However, the BV 428’s wide torque band and efficient design give it the edge with an output of 450 cubic feet per minute at a speed of 150 mph. The entire blower minus fuel weighs just 13 lbs, making it easier to handle than CORE. Want to pick up leaves? This model can also be used as a vacuum. The BV 428 is covered by a three-year warranty.

Which One is Right for Me?

The BV 428 costs less than the CCU 410 Power-Lok Drive Unit and CCB 410 Power-Lok Blower Attachment combined, but if you’re looking to add or replace several tools in your lawn care arsenal, it may make more sense to start your CORE collection here and add the string trimmer and hedge trimmer attachments later on.

If you live in an area with heavy fall rains, the BV is a better fit as the extra wind speed is more effective at lifting wet, matted down leaves. For dryer climates, both blowers are about equal.

The long runtime per charge means its unlikely that you’ll rarely run out of power when using the CCB 410 when working on a residential lawn. The vibrations from the BV 428’s engine increase fatigue, but this is easily outweighed by its low weight, making it easy to carry and tilt to blow leaves away from buildings and fences.

Maintenance is also a strong point with the CCU 410, requiring only charging and a fresh battery every couple of years, and starting it is just a matter of pushing a button. However, the BV’s four-stroke engine makes it much easier to start and maintain than older two-stroke blowers. There’s no oil that needs to be mixed with the fuel, and there’s little that needs to be done outside of occasional oil changes, air filter cleanings and spark plug replacements.

In the end, going electric is the right choice if you put ease of use above everything, want a multipurpose tool that can be used most of the year, and don’t mind breaking out a rake after a major storm. If you don’t mind doing a little maintenance and have space for more equipment, Cub Cadet’s gas-powered handheld provides a little more comfort and power.

Getting Parts for Your Cub Cadet Leaf Blower

Whether you decide on gas or electric, you can get everything you need for your Cub Cadet from www.cubparts.com. As a certified dealer, we’re able to ship OEM parts across the U.S. and Canada ranging from carburetors to battery chargers.

 

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Changing the Oil in a ZTR

Changing the Oil in a ZTRDue to the use of pressurized lubrication systems, filters, and unique mounting setups, oil changes on a Cub Cadet ZTR require different techniques from an oil change on a regular riding or walk-behind mower. These tips will help you do the job the right way so you can get more hours out of your mower’s engine.

When Should I Change the Oil?

Oil change intervals can be found in the engine owner’s manual, but keep in mind that these recommendations are the most minimal requirements in ideal conditions. If you mow in dusty areas, fine dust particles can make their way into the oil, accelerating engine wear. Changing the oil more frequently can keep this dirt out of the lubrication system, helping the motor last longer.

Can’t find the manual? Cub Cadet, Kawasaki, and Kohler all have engine manuals online that you can download.

What Oil Should I Use?

Again, check the owner’s manual: small revisions to an engine can change recommendations, and you may need a different oil depending on the temperatures you’ll experience while using your mower.

Currently, conventional oil meets all the manufacturers’ requirements for these engines. Synthetic oils can be used in Kohler engines if that oil is changed at the same intervals as conventional oils. The company recommends using conventional oil for the first 50 hours if the engine is new or has been rebuilt.

Preparing the Mower

Park your mower on a flat, level surface. Some engine manufacturers recommend changing the oil when the engine is up to temperature to remove as much of the oil as possible, while others recommend letting the motor cool to prevent the possibility of burns. You’ll need to use your judgment here, but if you do plan on working on a hot engine, be sure to wear some protective gloves. Even if you don’t get near the fins or muffler, the drain plug can still be very hot.

To prevent the mower from rolling or starting accidentally, remove the ignition key, disconnect the wires from the spark plugs and engage the parking brake.

Clean the area around the dipstick before pulling it out of the engine to prevent grass and debris from falling into the crankcase. Removing the dipstick will let air enter the top of the crankcase, helping oil flow out of the drain hole.

Oil Draining Options

Usually, the oil is drained by removing a drain plug and letting the oil flow into a drain pan. However, there are two other ways to get the oil out that will reduce cleanup:

Cub Cadet makes pump kits that work with any engine. The pump fits over the filler neck, pulling the oil out of the crankcase and pushing it through a tube. This means there’s no need to bend down or crawl under the mower to reach the plug.

Kawasaki offers a drain valve and hose kit that fits in place of the drain plug. This hose clips to the side of the engine then is let down when it’s time to change the oil. This lets the oil drain outside the frame, making it easier to get the used oil into a drain pan.

Drain Plugs on Kawasaki Engines

Some of these engines will have an O-ring on the drain plug which needs to be replaced every oil change. Dripping a little clean oil onto the plug will make installation easier and ensure a tight, leak-free fit.

Replacing the Oil Filter

On Kawasaki engines, the new oil filter should be pre-filled with oil before installation. Turn the filter ¾ of a turn once the seal is touching the engine.

On Kohler engines, the new filter should be pre-filled with oil, then allowed to sit with the filter opening pointing up for a couple minutes to let the filter medium absorb the oil before installation.

Post Oil Change Check

Run the engine for three minutes at low idle and check for leaks around the engine. Shut off the motor and check the oil level after a few minutes to make sure it’s at the correct level.

Getting the Parts and Accessories You Need for an Oil Change

Cubparts.com is a certified dealer for Cub Cadet, Kohler, and Kawasaki, so we have everything you need for your ZTR including parts, accessories, and oil. Have an older mower with a Tecumseh or Yanmar engine? We have parts for those, too. We ship anywhere in the U.S. and Canada.

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Replacing a Deck Spindle

Replacing a Deck Spindle

A deck spindle is a shaft supported by bearings that transfers power from the pulley to the blade, rotating hundreds of times per second. After so many rotations, it’s inevitable that these parts will fail, requiring replacement. How do you know a spindle has gone bad, and what do you need to do to install a new one?

When Do I Need to Replace a Spindle?

Spindles fail because the bearings inside break down. As the metal in the bearings grinds down, the shaft is harder to turn and can move out of alignment, stressing the housing, pulley, deck and drive belt. There are three symptoms that indicate spindle failure:

– The spindle won’t spin freely. This can cause belt squeal, and will be noticeable if you try to turn the spindle by hand.
– The bearings make grinding or squealing noises.
– The resistance creates large amounts of heat around the spindle.

Premature failure is caused by a lack of grease. While this requires physical damage to cause failure in the sealed spindles found on most Cub Cadets, there are still some professional models that use grease fittings. Check your owner’s manual for instructions and guidelines for greasing your mower’s spindles.

Planning Your Repair

A little preparation and the right tools will make this job a lot easier.

The bolts that have held the spindle to the deck have been exposed to years of water and debris, which makes it highly likely that they have rusted in place. Penetrating oil is an absolute must. If possible, spray down the bolts and pulley the day before working on your mower to give the fluid time to loosen things up. A small impact wrench will also make it easier to remove these bolts, as the impact action helps break the rust loose without applying steady torque that can strip the bolt head.

Most Cub Cadet spindles come as a complete assembly, but a few models use a separate pulley or shaft. While it may seem frugal to reuse these parts, they should be inspected thoroughly: a pulley that has seen the same wear that has caused a spindle to fail may be all but impossible to remove, while a shaft of the same age is likely to be pitted.

Removing the Old Spindle

First, remove the deck from the mower. Instructions can be found in your mower’s owner’s manual.

If your deck has a center spindle, it will be exposed, while the spindles on the sides of the deck may have covers that need to be unbolted from the top of the deck to provide access. Once the pulleys have been uncovered, slide the drive belt off of the pulleys.

Most replacement spindles come with a pulley installed. If yours didn’t, now is a good time to remove the pulley from the old spindle. Use a wood block to keep the blade from spinning and unscrew the top nut on the spindle. Lift the pulley off of the spindle. Some penetrating fluid and some light tapping around the face of the pulley may be needed to shake it loose. If the pulley is tight enough to require a puller, it’s probably a good time to replace it.

Flip the deck over or lift it to a height that allows access to the bottom of the deck. Remove the blade, then unscrew the bolts holding the spindle to the base. The spindle can now be removed from the deck.

Installing the New Spindles

Clean the area around the mounting holes and spindle mount on the deck: more than likely, there will be a thick layer of compacted grass that can get stuck in the holes, preventing the spindle from mounting flush.

Turn the deck over, positioning the spindle underneath it. Screw in the bolts.

Follow the removal instructions in reverse, reinstalling the pulleys, belts, and covers, then put the deck back on the mower. Don’t remember how the belt fits? There should be a diagram on the top of the deck.

Getting the Right Spindle for Your Cub Cadet

www.cubparts.com isn’t just an online parts warehouse, we’re a certified Cub Cadet dealer. Our site has factory descriptions and parts diagrams to find the OEM replacement you need to get your mower working again, whether you need a new spindle assembly or just a new blade bolt. We ship to the United States and Canada.

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Installing a Mulching Kit

mulch kit

Want to save on fertilizers and reduce the amount of effort needed to maintain your lawn? When you mow, the long clippings left behind blow off of the lawn, taking their nutrients with them. By setting up your Cub Cadet mower for mulching, you can return those nutrients to the soil, reducing the need to augment the soil and helping microorganisms break down thatch so you don’t have to remove it.

Why Mulch?

Mulching creates small clippings that can mix with the thatch and top soil where they’re quickly digested by microorganisms. This helps your lawn in three ways:

– The nutrients inside the clippings are put back into the soil, reducing the need for fertilizers.
– Mulch digestion increases microorganism activity, which speeds the digestion of thatch. This keeps the thatch layer from becoming too thick, encouraging insect infestations, mold growth, and other lawn problems.
– Since the clippings fall back into the soil, there isn’t an unsightly trail left on top of the lawn like there is when side discharge mowing.

How does Mulching Work?

Your Cub Cadet lawn mower came from the factory setup for side discharge mowing. In this mode, the blades chop the grass and fling the clippings toward the chute.

To mulch, the clippings need to be cut a few more times to make them small enough to mix with the thatch. Instead of going straight out of the deck, large clippings are pushed up by the air coming off of the blade and then fall back down for another cut. Once these clippings are small enough, they can fall through the cutting area and onto the ground. Three conditions have to be met for this to work effectively:

  • The deck needs a tall mowing chamber to provide space for the clippings. Your Cub Cadet comes with a mulching-compatible deck from the factory.
  • The blades need to be “high lift.” This type of blade curves up at the edges so it acts like a fan, pulling grass blades up from the ground and pushing clippings into the mowing chamber. On large decks like those found on the Pro Z mowers, the mulching kit also includes side skirts that fit around the blades, creating a smaller chamber for added suction.
  • The chute opening needs to be covered with a mulch plug to ensure clippings are directed toward the ground.

The parts included in a mulching kit will depend on your mower’s design: some walk-behind mowers come with a mulching plug, so they only need a high lift blade. Other walk-behind and riding mowers need both high lift blades and a mulching plug, while the Pro Z also needs plates to get increased suction.

Mulching Kit Installation

When installing a kit on a riding mower or wide walk-behind, the deck needs to be removed from the mower for easy access to the blades. To access the underside of the deck on small walk-behind mowers, tilt the mower so that the fuel tank and carburetor are facing up to reduce the chance of spillage and flooding.

There is no difference between installing standard and high lift blades: simply remove the bolts holding on the old blade, then bolt in the new blade, torqueing everything to the specifications in your owner’s manual. The chamber-shaping plates included in the Pro-Z kit bolt into existing holes in the deck using the included hardware. The chute and mulch plug are either held down by clips or by two nuts on the inside of the deck.

Should I Always Mulch?

In most cases, mulching is the best option, but there are some reasons why you may not want to mulch:

– Stopping the distribution of seeds and spores from weeds.
– Keeping toxic plant material, such as black oak leaves, from getting into the soil.
– Mowing when the grass is soaked, which can cause the clippings to clump together.

There’s nothing wrong with mulching leaves, so long as you mow frequently to reduce the amount of material deposited on the soil at one time so the microorganisms can keep up with digestion. During the peak of the season, this can be as often as twice a week.

High lift blades provide the best performance when bagging, and while they aren’t the best for side discharge, they’ll work in a pinch. If you do find that you occasionally need to discharge wet clippings, it’s best to hold onto your low lift blade and install it as needed.

Get Your Mower Ready to Mulch

www.cubparts.com is a certified Cub Cadet dealer, so we have everything you need for your Cub Cadet including mulching kits, plugs, and blades. We can ship parts and accessories to any address in the U.S. or Canada.

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Dealing with Lawn Rust

lawn rustThe leaves on your trees will yellow in fall, but your grass shouldn’t. Changes in grass color can be an indicator of lawn rust, a fungus that can hamper your grass’ growth and its ability to survive the winter. Fortunately, this problem is easy to deal with if caught soon enough.

What is Lawn Rust?

This fungus starts as yellowing grass blades, then turns orange, red or brown when it starts making spores. On closer inspection, this colorful coating is a fine dust that can be wiped off of the blade.

Lawn rust starts growing on grass that has been wet for 6-8 hours. Cool nights with heavy rains and dew can create the perfect conditions for the mold to grow, while excess thatch can hold onto moisture to let the spores take root. In most of the northern U.S, fall conditions are perfect for the growth of rust.

Why is Rust a Problem?

The coating created by the mold keeps sunlight from reaching the chloroplasts inside the grass, stopping photosynthesis. Without this process, the grass can’t make the carbohydrates it needs for fuel, causing it to thin out. Prolonged periods of rust coverage in the fall can keep the grass from storing enough food to last the winter. This makes it more susceptible to snow molds, which can kill the grass entirely.

What Can I Do to Prevent Rust?

Prevention starts with controlling moisture. Water early in the morning to give the soil time to absorb the moisture before peak mid-day temperatures. If you have a sprinkler system, make sure it’s off after heavy rains so it won’t add to the problem.

Thatch is the layer of woody, dead material that forms on top of the soil. A small amount promotes microbe growth, but a layer of over a half inch thick should be removed to keep water off of the blades of grass. It may sound counterintuitive to mulch when you have thatch issues, but the easily digested bits of grass left behind promote microbe growth. These added microbes break down thatch faster to keep it from building up.

Unlike most fungi, lawn rust thrives in soils low in nitrogen. Fertilizing your lawn this fall to keep the soil’s nutrients balanced can limit mold growth.

If rust is a frequent occurrence, consider seeding fungi-resistant grasses like Kentucky bluegrass and ryegrass.

How do I Get Rid of Rust?

The same steps used to prevent rust can also halt an infestation. Without moisture and the right soil conditions, the fungus will quickly die off. After mowing, wash your shoes and mower to keep spores picked up from infected areas from being spread across your lawn.

In most cases, rust can be managed without needing to resort to fungicide, but there may be spots on your lawn where poor drainage, shade, and other conditions make the area prone to infection. Most general fungicides are effective against lawn rust if applied correctly: the lawn needs to remain relatively undisturbed until the product dries, and temperatures need to remain cool, typically below 85 degrees. Try to apply the fungicide at least two days before and two days after mowing for maximum effectiveness.

Be Ready to Defend Your Lawn from Infestations

From mowers to dethatcher attachments, if it’s Cub Cadet, you can get everything you need for it at www.cubparts.com. As a certified Cub Cadet dealer, we’re able to offer replacement parts and accessories for everything from the company, past, and present. Our site makes it simple to find what you need with built in parts diagrams, and we can ship your order to any address in the U.S. or Canada.

 

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