Side Discharge, Mulch or Bag?

SC 100 Walk-Behind MowersVirtually all Cub Cadet mowers give you a choice of mulching, bagging or discharging clippings, either straight from the factory or with the addition of a few accessories. When should you use each mode? It depends on the condition of the grass, its health and the look you want it to achieve.

Side Discharge

As the grass is cut, the clippings are thrown out a small chute on the side of the mowing deck. This is the simplest, most power efficient way to deal with clippings. This works best with standard or “low lift” mower blades. They have a profile that flings grass outward, throwing clippings out of the chute where they can settle on the ground. Side discharge is a good choice for cutting heavy, thick grass, and wet grass that clumps together as it’s cut.


Mulching works by cutting grass clippings multiple times to make smaller. These tiny pieces integrate themselves into the thatch where they’re broken down by microorganisms, returning nutrients to the soil.

To get this fine consistency, the blade creates a vacuum, throwing large clippings upward into the mowing chamber where they can fall back down to be cut again. Small pieces can slip between the blade edges and land on the ground. Cub Cadet builds all of their mowers with tall mowing chambers for good mulching performance, while high lift blades are shaped to produce the maximum vacuum. Stamped decks have a curved profile that hugs the blades, increasing vacuum. Constructed decks are more open, but they can get similar performance by adding a set of baffles. These are included in Cub Cadet’s mulching kits.

If you’re just starting to mulch, it may look like you’re increasing the amount of thatch on your lawn, but over time the opposite will happen. The microorganisms in the soil will thrive on this new food source, and in turn, they’ll be able to break down the woodier materials in the thatch layer faster.

Having trouble mulching a thick lawn? Cub Cadet makes Xtreme blades for most decks. These have added cutting surfaces near the tips of the blade for better mulching performance.


Bagging results in the cleanest finish, but by removing clippings, you’re also taking away the nutrients they contain. On average, a lawn that is constantly bagged will need twice the fertilizer treatment to keep the soil nutrients balanced. That’s not to say it should be avoided completely. Bagging clippings can halt the spread of mold spores and weed seeds, making infestations easier to manage.

If you want to bag your grass throughout the season, consider composting. By letting the clippings break down naturally, you can use them to fertilize your lawn or as cover for gardens. Fully digested mulch will be free of any surviving weed seeds or fungi spores.

Bagging works best with high lift blades. Mulched clippings pack down more so more grass can be held inside the bag.

Leaf Control

When fall comes, you can use your mower to help manage falling leaves. Whichever method you choose, you can reduce or eliminate the amount of yard waste you need to dispose of. This is better for the environment and your wallet.

In most circumstances, it’s fine to mulch the leaves. The soil should be able to handle mulch from layers three to four inches deep. You can also use your mower in side discharge mode, making two passes to cut the leaves down to size.

The leaves of black walnut trees have a toxic chemical in them that can harm many types of grasses and plants, so it’s better to bag these leaves instead of mulching them. However, if these leaves are composted, the digestion process will break down this chemical in about a month, making it safe to spread them on your lawn.

Looking for Blades and Kits for Your Cub Cadet?

Whether you live in the U.S. or Canada, you can get the parts and accessories you need for your mower from That includes mulching kits, blades, replacement bags and baffles for constructed decks. Finding parts is easy, too: browse our blade section, or select your model and serial number from the search engine to see parts that will fit your model.

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RZT S Zero

RZT S Zero

In the past, electric mowers have been little more than low-end walk-behinds used for tiny lawns. Cub Cadet’s changed all that with the RZT S Zero. Introduced nearly 5 years ago, this full-size residential ZTR has proven to be a serious competitor to traditions gas-powered mowers. Since then, Cub Cadet has listened to feedback, updating this model to deliver the performance buyers expect with the convenience of battery power. Today, there are plenty of reasons to consider this mower outside of being green.

It’s Quiet

When you remove the engine from a mower, all you’re left with is the sound of moving blades. When Consumer Reports tested the Zero, they likened the sound to standing next to a washing machine. This makes it easier on the operator and anyone else nearby. Better still, if you want to mow late in the evening or early in the morning, you can be sure that you won’t be disturbing your neighbors.

It Still Has Cub Cadet Cut Quality

For the most part, the deck is just like the ones you’ll find on any RZT mower. 12 gauge steel is stamped into shape to make the 42-inch deck shell. This gives the blades maximum vacuum to delivering the high-quality finish Cub Cadet is known for. The company’s Smart Jet washing system is included so the underside can be cleaned out by simply attaching a garden hose. The deck height system also works the same as other ZTRs with 8 height positions ranging from 1.5 to 4 inches.

The difference comes from the drive system. Instead of using a set of belts running from a PTO, the spindles are driven directly by their own electric motors. These motors have a normal mode that can handle most mowing conditions and a high power “blade boost” mode to cut through thick, wet grass and thoroughly slice up clippings to make high-quality mulch.

It’s Easy to Handle, Even on Slopes

This mower has a four-wheel steering system that works in much the same way as the Synchro Steer system found in some of Cub Cadet’s commercial ZTRs. Each drive wheel is powered by its own motor, while the casters are turned by their own servo motors. Instead of using lap bars, the mower reads inputs from a steering wheel and a set of pedals to change the drive wheel speed and caster angle. Turn the wheel all the way in either direction, and it will spin in place like a regular ZTR. Cruise control is included to keep a steady mowing speed without having to use fine control of the forward pedal. Top speed for this model is 6 mph.

With batteries sitting well below where the engine would be in a normal ZTR, the S Zero has a low center of gravity that lets it mow safely on slopes up to 15 degrees.

It Has Enough Power for Most Mowing Jobs

Four 48 volt, 92 Ah batteries provide enough power for 60 minutes of cutting time with no fade in Blade Boost mode, while staying in normal mode can be extended mowing times to as long as 90 minutes per charge. Running out of power? A warning will turn on if the battery is low, and the deck will shut off so you can drive back to a charging point. It takes between 10 and 16 hours to fully recharge the batteries using the included quick charger.

It’s Easy to Take Care Of

There are still blades to sharpen, wheels to air up and points to grease, but a lot of the maintenance has been eliminated. There are no belts to replace or oil to change, and since there isn’t a hydrostatic drive, there are no hydraulic hoses that can spring a leak. Instead of draining the fuel system, you can just recharge the battery before putting the mower into storage. Both the drive and servo motors are brushless, so they’re virtually maintenance free.

It’s Cheap to Own

The entire mower is warrantied for three years or 120 hours of operation, but the batteries have an expected lifespan of around 6 years. While they’ll need to be replaced at least once during the life of the mower, the total cost of ownership should be lower than a traditional mower that needs gas and oil.

Find Parts for Any Cub Cadet, Past or Present is a dealer for Cub Cadet and their manufacturing partners, letting us offer parts for everything from classic tractors to the latest equipment including this electric ZTR. Need help finding a part? Just select your model and serial number from the drop-down menus in our search engine, and it can show you factory parts diagrams and descriptions for every system on your equipment. We ship across the United States and Canada.

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Installing a Mulch Kit On Your Cub Cadet Riding Mower

Installing a Mulch Kit On Your Cub Cadet Riding MowerMulching turns clippings into fine pieces that can be absorbed into the soil. This helps feed the grass and encourages the growth of microorganisms that can keep thatch build-up in check. Here’s how you can install a mulching kit onto your Cub Cadet riding mower so you can get the benefits of this natural fertilizer.

What You’ll Need

Along with a basic set of wrenches, there are a few tools and items you’ll need to complete this job.

Mulch kit: For the best results, the mulch plug needs to be used with a set of high lift blades. Both are included in mulch kits.

Cardboard or another soft surface: The mower deck will need to be flipped over. Placing it on some padding prevents the pulleys from being scratched.

Heavy duty gloves: Mower blades are sharp and can easily cut your hands when handling them.

Wood block or blade removal tool: This keeps the blades from spinning so you can remove the blade bolt.

Breaker bar and socket: Although the maximum torque specification is 90 ft-lbs, the blade bolts can tighten with use.

Torque wrench: Getting the right amount of torque on the blade ensures it will stay on the deck without damaging the threads on the bolt or the spindle.

A set of needle nose pliers may be needed to remove some older decks. Newer QuickAttach decks require no tools for removal or installation.

Step 1: Remove the Deck

Set the deck height adjuster to its lowest position.

Push the deck’s idler pulley inward to relieve tension on the drive belt, then slide the belt off of the engine pulley. If there is a belt keeper surrounding the engine pulley, it needs to be unbolted to allow enough space to slide off the belt.

Disconnect the deck from the three brackets holding it to the mower. QuickAttach decks have J-hooks that can be pulled out, while older models use hairpin clips to secure the deck to the brackets. Some models also have a PTO cable that needs to be disconnected: remove the bow tie clip holding it onto the deck, then disconnect the tension spring on the end of the cable from the deck.

Raise the deck lift handle to the highest position to move the brackets out of the way.

Slide the deck out from under the mower. You can give yourself extra room to remove the deck by turning the steering wheel all the way to the left and sliding the deck from the right side of the mower.

Flip the deck over onto the sheet of cardboard.

Replace the Blades

Position the blade tool or wood block to keep the blades from spinning. Use the breaker bar to unscrew the blade bolts.

The blades should have a part number or the word “bottom” stamped on them. When installing the blades, this side should be facing away from the deck. Torque the blade bolts to 70-90 ft-lbs.

Install the Mulch Plug

Tilt the discharge chute up. The plug has a bolt on the backside. Slide this bolt into the hole on the top of the deck next to the opening. Push the plug into the deck, then attach the strap on the front of the plug to the bracket for the front wheel of the deck. Release the discharge chute. The deck can now be reattached to the mower.

Switching Between Mulching and Side Discharge

The side discharge chute can be left on the mower when mulching, and the high lift blades can be used for both mulching and discharge. To go back to side discharge mowing, simply remove the mulch plug before starting the mower.

Get the Parts and Accessories You Need for Your Riding Mower

Do you need a mulch kit for your riding mower? Are you looking for replacement blades or other parts for your Cub Cadet? is a certified Cub Cadet dealer, so we stock everything you need to repair your mower as well as accessories that add new functions and improve performance. Our site has factory diagrams and descriptions of parts and assemblies, making it easy to find exactly what you need. We can ship your order to any address in the U.S. or Canada.

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Changing the Oil in Your ZTR

Changing the Oil in Your ZTR

Are you changing the oil in your ZTR correctly? Cub Cadet recently changed their recommended procedure for changing the oil in their zero turning radius mowers. This new method applies to all models and will ensure maximum protection for your engine.

What You’ll Need

For information on oil change frequency, the type of oil required and the amount of oil needed, check the owner’s manual. Cub Cadet uses engines from several manufacturers in their ZTRs, and each one will have running design changes over its life that can change oil requirements. For most engines in most conditions, 10W30 motor oil is recommended. Some engines have a drain plug O-ring that needs to be replaced after every oil change.

The only tools needed are a set of wrenches and a container to collect the old oil for recycling. Depending on the engine, the oil drain plug will be either SAE or metric. The mower does not need to be lifted to access the drain plug.

Cub Cadet offers a siphon pump that will make the job easier and less messy. This draws oil out through the dipstick tube, depositing oil directly into the used oil container.

Before You Begin

– Park the mower on a flat, level surface.
– Shut off the engine and give it some time to cool off. If you just had the engine on long enough to roll it into position, it should be fine after a couple minutes. If you just finished mowing, it can take up to a half hour for the engine to fully cool. While hot oil will flow out of the engine faster, it’s not worth the chance of burning yourself on hot components.
– Engage the parking brake to keep the mower from rolling.
– Remove the ignition key and disconnect the spark plug wires to prevent an accidental start.
– Clean off the areas around the oil filler cap, oil drain plug, oil filter, and dipstick. This will keep debris from falling into the crankcase.
– Remove the dipstick. This will let air enter and exit the crankcase while you’re changing the oil.

Draining the Oil

Using a siphon pump: Place the inlet tube on the pump into the dipstick tube and the outlet tube over the oil drain pan or another suitable container. Pump the handle on the siphon three or four times. This should prime the chamber, drawing oil through the hoses. As long as the inlet tube is submerged, it will draw the old oil out of the engine and into the drain pan.

Using the drain plug: The drain plug is directly above the frame rails, so a drain hose is included to direct the oil away from the mower. Depending on the model, this hose will be fitted to the drain plug, clipped to the side of the engine or packaged separately. If the hose isn’t already installed, it can be attached by snapping it onto the end of the plug. Once in place, set a drain pan below the hose and loosen the plug. Once the crankcase is empty, tighten the plug and remove the drain hose.

Adding Oil

Remove the oil filler cap and add the oil specified in your engine owner’s manual. Put the dipstick back into the tube. After a few minutes, the oil you poured in will have made its way to the crankcase. Use the dipstick to check the oil level and add more oil as needed.

Replacing the Oil Filter

This can be done any time after the old oil has been drained and before the engine is first started. Remove the old filter. Apply some clean engine oil to the gasket of the new filter before installing it. Newer automotive-style filters can be turned until hand tight. For older bolted-on filters, check the engine manual for torque specifications.

Finishing Up

Reconnect the spark plug wires. Before you mow again, let the engine run for a few minutes to circulate the new oil.

Get the Parts You Need for Your ZTR

Do you want to make oil changes mess-free with a siphon pump? Want to use Cub Cadet OEM oil for the best engine protection? Did you lose the drain hose? No matter what you need, you can get it from We’re a certified dealer for Cub Cadet and their manufacturing partners including Kohler, Kawasaki, Briggs & Stratton, and Honda, so you can get everything for your ZTR from one place. Our site has built-in factory descriptions and parts diagrams so you can be sure you’re ordering exactly what you need. We can ship your order to any location in the U.S. or Canada.

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Staying Safe When Using a Cub Cadet Pressure Washer

Cub Cadet Pressure Washers

A pressure washer is a great tool for cleaning everything from boats to patios, but in inexperienced hands, this piece equipment can be dangerous and destructive. Here’s what you need to know to operate your Cub Cadet pressure washer without endangering yourself or your belongings.

More Powerful than You Think

Cub Cadet’s pressure washers are rated between 3,000 and 4,000 psi. What does that mean in layman terms? The average garden hose hooked up to a residential water supply delivers water at a pressure of around 50 psi, so by the time that water leaves the spray nozzle, it has 600-800 times the force behind it. That’s also about 6 times the pressure of the most powerful fire hose nozzles.

Setting Up Your Pressure Washer

The engine is not shipped with oil in the crankcase. This needs to be added before you first start the pressure washer, or the engine can be damaged.

Since you’ll probably use your washer intermittently, it’s a good idea to use fuel treated with a stabilizer. Stabilized fuel can be used for up to three months from its purchase date, but after that, the tank should be drained.

Basic Safety and Use

Keep your pressure washer dry. Spraying the engine can force water inside which will mix with the oil. The resulting sticky emulsion won’t coat internal components, leading to accelerated wear and damage. If water gets in the intake, it can lead to a sharp increase in combustion chamber pressures, causing major damage to the piston, head and connecting rod.

Keep the hose away from the engine. Parts of the motor, and the exhaust, in particular, can get hot enough to melt the hose’s outer coating.

Be sure to check the screen on the inlet before hooking up the hose. If it’s missing, debris can enter the pump, damaging it.

If there’s a leak in the wand, handle or high-pressure hose, stop the engine immediately. These parts need to be replaced before the washer is used again.

When operating your pressure washer, you should always wear safety glasses, rubber gloves clothing non-slip shoes.

Skin Contact Is Serious

Fluid injection is not the same as a cut. Water forced into your body can lead to infections and blood poisoning, turning what seems like a minor injury into a major medical problem that can require hospital stays, months of physical therapy and possibly amputation. If you spray yourself and it splits the skin, go to a doctor immediately. Your chances of a good outcome increase dramatically if the wound is debrided within 6 hours of the injury.

Preparing the Area

Keep people and pets well away from the work area. Remove or secure any lightweight objects. If struck by the spray, they can turn into projectiles.

If possible, work in an area far away from any electrical wiring. Where that’s not feasible, be sure to cover any nearby electrical outlets to prevents shorts from overspray.

Soaps and Detergents

Only use cleaning chemicals designed specifically for pressure washers. Other off-the-shelf soaps and cleaners may damage the pump. Never use any solution that contains bleach: runoff is poisonous to plants and can cause skin damage on contact.

Read the instructions: some chemicals are ready to be used straight out of the bottle, while others need to be diluted. The wand will only dispense detergent if it’s being used with the black nozzle.

Starting the Engine Safely

Before starting, turn on the water at the faucet, then hold down the trigger on the gun. This will purge air inside the system, taking stress off of the pump when the engine is started. If the engine doesn’t start after a couple pulls, hold down the trigger on the gun to release any pressure inside the pump. This will make the engine easier to turn over and will prevent kickback.

Using the Wand

If you need to set down the wand for any reason, lock the safety on the trigger. When using, always hold the gun with two hands so you can compensate for the initial kickback.

Choosing a Nozzle

A smaller spray angle means more power, which means better, faster cleaning, right? If you reach for the narrow red nozzle first, there’s a good chance you’ll end up damaging whatever you’re cleaning. For painted surfaces, stick to the white tip. For other surfaces, use the green tip. The yellow and red tips are only for cleaning thick buildup off of sturdy, wear-resistance surfaces.

Keep Your Pressure Washer in Top Condition is a certified dealer for Cub Cadet and their manufacturing partners, making us your one-stop shop for everything on your pressure washer. Our site can show you exploded parts diagrams straight from the manufacturer so you can match up what you’re ordering with the part on your machine. We ship across the USA and Canada.

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RZT SX Mower

RZT SX Mower

Does a ZTR seem like a good choice for your lawn, but the steering system looks too complex? Do you need a mower that’s stable on a wide range of terrain and is still easy to maneuver? The RZT SX comes with Cub Cadet’s Synchro-Steer system, replacing the lap bars with a steering wheel and adding four wheel steering to handle terrain better than other ZTRs. Add in a choice of quality engines and the company’s renowned cut quality, and you have a mower that’s perfect for homeowners with large, obstacle-filled lawns.


Instead of using lap bars that control the wheel motors independently, Synchro-Steer uses a steering wheel and pedals to control both the wheel motors and the front caster wheels. Operation is simple: push the right pedal to go forward, push the left pedal to moves backward, and turn the steering wheel to change direction. Turn the wheel all the way, and the mower will spin in place just like a regular ZTR. This is more than a gimmick to make steering easier for beginners to learn: Cub Cadet offers the same system on their Pro Z models, and their tests show even a trained operator can shave 10% off mowing times.

Cub Cadet recently redesigned the SX’s steering column. It can now tilt to get a comfortable operating position, and it comes with an LED headlight.

Engines and Transmission

Cub Cadet offers this mower with engines from Kohler, Kawasaki and their own engine division.

The 21.5 hp Kawasaki FR651V delivers most of the features of the commercial engines its based on including a metal grass chopper screen over the fan intake and an internally vented carburetor with a solenoid that automatically closes the fuel line when the engine stops. This engine is only available on the RZT SX 54.

Like the Kawasaki, the Kohler 7000 is based on the manufacturer’s commercial engines. Features include the Consistent-Cut system, a governor that quickly adjusts to changes in power demand so the blades can maintain their speed when passing over tall grass. Cub Cadet pairs this engine with every deck.

Cub Cadet also makes their own V-Twin fitted with electronic fuel injection. This provides a better air/fuel mix than a carburetor to get more power out of less fuel. Cold starts are easier, and the engine is less sensitive to stale fuel, so the gas tank doesn’t need to be drained at the end of the season. This engine is available with all decks.

All models use Hydro-Gear EZT 2200 hydrostatic transmissions with cruise control. The maximum speed for these mowers is 7 mph going forward and 3 mph in reverse.


The RZT is offered with 42, 46 and 50-inch wide decks.
The 42-inch deck is stamped from a single piece of 12 gauge steel. This gives it a rounded shape that hugs the blades for increased vacuum, delivering the best possible finish.

The 46 and 50-inch decks are fabricated using flat pieces of steel. They lose a little in finish quality, but they make up for it through durability, withstanding impacts that will bend a stamped deck.


ZTRs aren’t known for their towing ability, but you can add a hitch plate for the SX to pull utility trailers, overseeders and other small, light equipment. The added traction of the Synchro-Steer system also enables the use of a 52-inch wide snow blade.

The mulching kit comes with high lift blades that can cut clippings into small, digestible pieces. Kits for fabric decks include liners that increase vacuum for better performance.

Get Parts and Accessories for Your Cub Cadet

When you need something for your ZTR, visit We’re able to sell OEM parts and accessories for your entire mower because we’re a certified dealer for Cub Cadet, Hydro-Gear, Kohler Engines and Kawasaki Engines USA. Our site even has factory parts diagrams and descriptions built in so you can be sure you’re ordering exactly what you need. We ship across the U.S. and Canada.

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How to Clean with a Pressure Washer

Cub Cadet Pressure Washer 2

Getting a new pressure washer can be exciting, but it can also be dangerous and destructive in the wrong hands. These tips will help you use your Cub Cadet pressure washer to clean effectively and safely.

Staying Safe

Never point the wand at people or pets. Water exits the wand with enough force to penetrate the skin, causing injury and blood poisoning.

Always wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from water, detergent, and dirt.

Never spray closer than 6 feet to power lines or electrical outlets.

If there is a leak in the wand or the high-pressure hose, shut off the pressure washer immediately. These small leaks can become dangerous in hurry. Replace the leaking parts before using your pressure washer.

Water Supply

Before hooking up a garden hose, be sure to check the inlet on the pump. Remove any debris. If the screen is missing, it needs to be replaced before using the washer.

Increasing the length of the hose or decreasing its diameter will reduce flow rate. If you need to work more than 50 feet from a spigot, use a ½ inch diameter hose.

Always purge air from the pump before starting the engine. Once the hose is connected and the spigot is open, hold down the trigger on the gun to let water flow through the pump and hoses. Keep the trigger held down when starting the engine so you don’t have to fight water resistance inside the pump.

Choosing a Spray Tip

Each tip is designed to spray water at a specific angle: a narrow-angle tip will deliver a concentrated, powerful spray while a wide angle tip will spray a wide area for faster cleanup. Using a tip that’s too narrow for the job can damage the surface you’re cleaning. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and use a wider tip.

The red zero degree tip delivers maximum force. This should only be used to remove caked on material stuck to durable surfaces. The yellow tip has a wider spray that can peel off heavy contamination with less danger of damage.

The green tip is good for general purpose cleaning on unpainted surfaces.

The white tip is the widest cleaning tip. It’s gentle enough to use on cars, boats and other painted surfaces.

The blacktip is the only tip that will draw detergent. It has the widest spray, so it’s not effective at cleaning when using plain water.

Using the Wand

When the gun isn’t being used, the pump will heat up as it tries to redirect pressurized water. To extend the life of the pump, never leave the engine idling for more than three minutes. If you need to take a break, shut off the engine. Keep the safety lock engaged when you’re not using the wand.

The nozzle should be kept between 12 and 18 inches from the surface you’re cleaning for the best results.

Approach surfaces from a 45-degree angle. This lets the water peel away dirt and grime. Spraying head-on can force dirt deeper into the surface, especially when working with porous materials like brick and concrete.

To prevent streaking, start from the bottom and work your way up.

Never spray an engine with your pressure washer. This can force water inside which will mix with the oil, turning it into a sticky emulsion that won’t lubricate the motor.

Using Detergents

Only use cleaning chemicals designed specifically for pressure washers. Other cleaning chemicals can damage the pump.

Check the instructions on the bottle: some are pre-mixed so they can be drawn directly into the detergent system, while others need to be diluted with water.

The end of the detergent hose needs to be fully submerged to draw in cleaning chemicals. If you aren’t getting a soapy solution, make sure the hose hasn’t moved out of place. If it is submerged, check the hose filter for debris build-up.

Most cleaning chemicals have a “dwell time.” This is how long the chemical needs to be left on the surface being cleaned to have the greatest effect. If you’re using a product with a dwell time longer than 5 minutes, try to put the object you’re cleaning in the shade to keep the soap from drying up on the surface.

Before switching back to rinsing, let the wand spray until any remaining soap residue has been flushed from the system.

Check your local drainage regulations. In some areas, you may be required to biodegradable detergents, while other areas will require all wastewater to be directed away from storm drains.

Get the Parts You Need for Your Cub Cadet Pressure Washer can ship everything you need to keep your Cub Cadet equipment running. We’re a certified dealer for Cub Cadet and their manufacturing partners, so we stock parts for Cub Cadet as well as the Honda engines and AAA pumps used in some models. We ship across the U.S. and Canada.


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How to Replace the Drive Belt on a Walk-Behind Mower

Consumer Reports Rates Cub Cadet Mowers

Are you having trouble getting your self-propelled mower to move? Has it been a while since you’ve inspected the drive system? Here’s how you can replace your Cub Cadet’s belt and get it rolling again.

When Do I Need to Do This Repair?

Cub Cadet self-propelled walk behind mowers use a belt to transfer power from the engine’s crankshaft to a rear-mounted transmission. A worn or broken belt will prevent power transfer, turning your self-propelled mower into a push mower. It’s a good idea to check the belt at least once a season, and it should be the first thing you check if the drive system isn’t working.

The belt drive and transmission are covered by an engine baffle and belt cover. Both of these parts and the mower blade need to be removed to access the belt.

Tools Needed

Along with common hand tools, there are a few other things you should have on hand for this repair:

Universal blade removal tool
Fuel container and funnel
A pair of heavy gloves
A spark plug wrench or socket

Optional: a siphon pump to remove fuel from the gas tank

Accessing the Belt

First, a few things need to be done to make it safe to flip the mower up on its side and to make it easier to remove the blade:

1. Disconnect the spark plug wire and remove the spark plug from the engine.
2. Unscrew the fuel tank cap. Drain the tank by pumping the fuel out with the siphon pump or by tipping the mower so that gas flows out of the filler neck into the fuel container. Always keep the air filter facing up to keep fuel from flooding the carburetor.
3. Set the mower on its side with the air filter pointing up.

Next, remove the blade and covers to gain access to the belt:

1. Fit the universal blade removal tool on the deck and blade.
2. Unscrew the blade retaining bolt, then remove the blade.
3. Remove the screws that hold the drive belt cover and engine baffle on the deck. Some models have easy-to-miss screws on the outside of the deck behind the rear wheels. Remove the cover and baffle from the mower.

Changing the Belt

1. Slide the drive belt off of the drive pulley/blade adapter.
2. Slide the belt off of the transmission pulley, working from the back of the mower and around the belt retainers. You should now be able to remove the belt from the deck.
3. Install the new belt, sliding it over the transmission pulley, followed by the engine pulley/blade adapter. It’s normal for the adapter to want to slide off the shaft without the engine baffle in place: just make sure to slide it back on to fit in the keyway on the crankshaft.

Reassembling Your Mower

Follow the previous steps in reverse to put your mower back together. When reinstalling the spark plug, thread it in by hand to make sure it doesn’t cross-thread before tightening it down.

Getting Parts and Tools for Your Cub Cadet

Is it time to replace the drive belt on your walk-behind mower? Do you need specialty tools like a blade remover? You can get everything you need from Our site can show you parts descriptions and diagrams straight from the factory for your Cub Cadet so you can be sure you’re ordering the right part. We can ship your order to your door whether you live in the U.S. or Canada.

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UTV Accessories

UTV Accessories

Cub Cadet’s UTVs are great straight from the factory, but with the right accessories, you can add better weather protection, more utility and increased performance. Here’s what you can add to your vehicle to make it a better fit your needs.

Power Equipment

The bus bar kit makes it easy to access to the electrical system for installing lighting and other power accessories, while the auxiliary power kit to run a switch to the cab. Cub Cadet also makes an accessory wire harness designed to power factory accessories. To help the electrical system keep up, Volunteers that use Kohler engines can be fitted with a heavy-duty alternator.

Want to add a winch? The Challenger can be fitted with one that has a 2,000 lb. limit, while a 4,000 Warn winch can be attached to the Volunteer. While other UTVs use the winch to move their dozer blade, these winches aren’t compatible. Instead, you’ll need an electric blade angle kit to control the blade height.


The rearview mirror is convex to give a wide view, while side mirrors, turn signals, and brake lights can be added to meet neighborhood vehicle requirements. A reverse backup alarm and horn are available for workplace compliance.

36 watt LED lights can be added to the Challenger 400’s bumper and can be positioned in any direction, giving you more forward or side vision at night. Light bars for other models are available as part of the enclosure accessories.

Suspension and Off-Roading

Your UTV’s suspension and drivetrain can take a beating on rocky terrain, but adding rock sliders will protect the underside of your Challenger 550 or 750 while adding a rear bumper will protect the back end. Fender kits in camo and solid colors help keep mud off of the vehicle and the passengers. Do you frequently use your UTV in wet conditions? Aluminum wheels don’t just look nice, they also don’t rust.

Using your Volunteer in town? The sway bar kit reduces articulation, trading off-road ability for more stability and less body lean on paved and level surfaces.

If you’re using a full cab or a dozer blade with your Volunteer, you can add heavy-duty shocks to restore its handling and ride height.


When it comes to enclosures, there are plenty of options. Cub Cadet offers solid glass windshields and polycarbonate windshields that are solid, vented or folding. The back of the cab can be sealed by a rear dust panel or window, while the top of the ROPS can be covered by a soft top or hard roof. Soft doors add the final piece to get a sealed cabin. Want to get everything at once? The soft enclosure kit for Challenger 500 and 700 includes everything except a windshield. Need a windshield wiper? A wiper and light bar kit are available for use with the glass windshield. Operating in cold weather? Cab heaters are available for UTVs equipped with liquid-cooled engines. Want lights, but don’t want the glass windshield? A separate light bar kit is available.

Want more comfort when you’re using your UTV? A grab handle can be added to the roll bar, making it easier to get in and out of the vehicle. The Volunteer can also be fitted with a plush bench seat, but this can’t be installed alongside a roof or rear dust panel. What about cleanup? Add some floor mats and your UTV will be easier to clean and a little quieter. The stealth sound/heat kit insulates the cab, reducing both noise and heat loss. Headrests can be added to the ROPS, and the Challenger 400 can be equipped with the same premium seats used in larger models. Electric power steering is also available for the Challenger 500 and 700 to take the effort out of driving, especially when the rear differential is locked.


The Volunteer’s bed can be protected with a heavy-duty bed liner, and operating the dump mechanism can be made easier by adding an electric bed lift. For extra space, add a hood rack: it fits any Volunteer not equipped with a dozer blade.

Add some accessory rack tubes to the back of the ROPS and you can attach a spare tire mount, gun boot or chainsaw mount to the Challenger 550 and 750. The Kolpin Rhino Grip kit has U-shaped rubberized grips that are great for carrying long, awkward objects including rifles, bows, fishing poles and shovels.

Need a little extra space? The 12.5 cubic foot swivel dump cart works with 1 7/8 and 2 inch balls as well as a pin hitch so it can be pulled by just about anything. Want something a little more fun? Cub Cadet makes a 50-quart cooler with optional ice packs that will drop into your UTV’s bed.

Get the Accessories You Want Delivered to Your Home

Getting these accessories is easy: just visit As a certified Cub Cadet dealer, we can ship anything you need to any address in the U.S. or Canada. Our site lets you search by model and serial number so you can be sure you’re ordering accessories that will work with your UTV.

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Z-Force S/SX Series ZTRs

Z-Force S/SX Series ZTRs

No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you: Cub Cadet’s Z-Force S and SX ZTRs really do have steering wheels. This unique control system is easier to learn than lap bar steering, and since it uses four wheel drive, it makes these mowers easier to control on slopes. Combine that with commercial quality components and you have a mower that provides ZTR maneuverability with the traction and power of a lawn tractor.

SynchroSteer Control

Being able to use a steering wheel instead of the tank-like controls of traditional ZTRs is enough reason to choose these mowers, but that’s not the only advantage to Cub Cadet’s SynchroSteer system. Unlike lap bar mowers, the controls don’t just operate the rear wheels. Instead, the mower is fitted with dual hydrostatic transmissions to drive all four wheels, allowing wheel speed to be adjusted at each corner. This gives the S and SX better traction on slopes, letting them tackle lawns that could previously only be handled by lawn tractors.

Speed is controlled by a pair of foot pedals: one to go forward and one to back up. Once underway, the cruise control can be set to keep a steady mowing speed. Turning the wheel automatically adjusts hydraulic pressure left to right to steer the mower. Turn the wheel to full lock, and the mower will spin in place.


S models use a Kohler 7000 Series engine producing either 24 or 25 hp, while SX models are powered by 24 hp Kawasaki FR engines. Both engines are based on their manufacturer’s commercial V-twins, bringing advanced engine governors, cooling systems, and full pressure lubrication systems. The result is excellent performance and reliability.

Cub Cadet pairs these engines with Hydro-Gear hydrostatic transaxles. Kohler-equipped mowers use the ZT-2800, which has a maximum speed of 7 mph going forward and 3 mph in reverse. The Kawasaki-powered SX uses ZT-3100 transaxles, increasing speed to 8 mph going forward and 4 mph in reverse.


All S and SX mowers come with fabricated decks that use the tool-free QuickAttach system for easy service. Anti-scalp wheels are standard, as is the SmartJet deck washing system. By attaching a garden hose, the mowing chamber can be cleaned out to maintain performance. Deck height can be set from 1-4 inches in ¼ inch increments.

Comfort and Convenience

A 12 gauge, one-piece frame absorbs bumps and vibrations reaching the high backed seat, and the tilt steering column and armrests make these mowers more comfortable than their lap bar competition. An hour meter is included on all models to keep tabs on maintenance.


Force S and SX mowers are largely the same, so choosing a model is a matter of picking the right deck size and engine. The S 48, S 52 and S 60 have 48, 52 and 60-inch decks respectively. The S 48 comes with a 24 hp 7000 Series engine, while the S 52 and S 60 have 25 hp engines. Likewise, the SX comes in 48 KW, 52 KS, and 60 KW versions, each named after their deck size. All SX models are powered by the 25 hp Kawasaki FR Series.


The mulching kit takes advantage of the stock deck’s tall mowing chamber, adding baffles and high lift blades for increased vacuum. If you need to collect clippings, you have the option of a standard bagging system, or one with power assist to help draw clippings out of the deck. There’s even a lawn striping kit that shapes the grass as it leaves the deck for a smooth, ballpark-like finish.

Need to change the deck height frequently? The power deck lift kit takes the effort out of making adjustments. The 12-volt outlet kit won’t improve your lawn, but it does let you charge your smartphone while you mow.


Both Kohler and Kawasaki offer three-year warranties on their engines, while Cub Cadet guarantees the rest of the mower for three years with no hour limit.

Getting Parts and Accessories for Your Cub Cadet ZTR isn’t just a Cub Cadet dealer: we’re also a certified dealer for manufacturing partners including Hydro-Gear, Kohler, and Kawasaki. That means you can get anything you need for your Force ZTR from one place. Ordering is simple thanks to our search engine, which can show you factory information including exploded diagrams and factory descriptions. We ship across the U.S. and Canada.

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