While regular maintenance can help the Cub Cadet garden tractor work like new for many years, more significant service may be required to keep the blades and the deck belt working properly over the course of the garden tractor’s long useful life. This maintenance procedure is actually quite involved, since the mower deck itself must be removed to enable access to these key components. Despite being a rather involved process, it requires a logical, step-by-step procedure that most operators will find pretty easy to follow. To get started, make sure that all necessary parts, tools, and safety guidelines are in place.
Safety First: What to Keep in Mind During Service Work
Safety should be a top priority when replacing these key parts. Before beginning, allow the engine to cool off and disconnect the garden tractor’s spark plug. Move the mower to an area with excellent ventilation, a level and solid surface, and few bystanders or external safety risks. Use protective goggles and gloves when handling the cutting deck, and make sure that all of the proper tools and instructional guides are on hand for maintenance. With the right tools, guides, and safety procedures, it’s easy to ensure safety and equipment integrity from start to finish.
A Step-by-Step Guide Cutting Deck Removal
Because of the nature of blade and belt replacement, the cutting deck must be removed so that access to these parts is enhanced. Start by putting the Blade Engage switch in the disengaged position, and set the parking brake. Place the deck in its lowest position and begin removing the idler bracket that keeps the deck drive pulley in place. Remove the PTO belt by weaving it around the drive belt pulley, feeding it forward to get it away from the cutting deck.
Next, remove the deck support pin from the left side of the cutting deck and pull it outward so that it clears the deck lift arm. Perform this same procedure on the right side of the cutting deck. Slide the deck forward slightly, and then remove it from underneath the garden tractor.
The Garden Tractor Blade Removal process
Removing the blades from the mower is actually quite a bit easier than removing the cutting deck itself. Since the deck is already removed, access to the blades is easy and removal requires just a few additional steps.
1. For safety, put a block of wood between the blade and the deck frame so that the blade is presented from moving.
2. Remove the flange nut that holds the blade to the cutting deck, and then slide the blade off of the spindle assembly for sharpening or replacement.
3. Sharpen blades using either a grinder or a manual file, removing equal amounts of metal from both sides of the equipment. Balance the blades using a small screw before reinserting them into the deck. If the blades are not balanced, remove more metal from the heavier side of the equipment.
4. Replace the blades, whether newly sharpened or new altogether, by following these steps in reverse.
How to Change the Cub Cadet Garden Tractor’s Deck Belt
Deck belts can become significantly worn after a long period of use, which can cause the mower to malfunction or simply run into problems when producing a uniform cut around the home. Deck belt removal can be used to change out an old belt and insert an OEM replacement, and requires a few basic steps.
1. Remove the self-tapping screws that keep the belt covers secured to the mower deck, and set the screws aside for replacement later.
2. Insert a half-inch drive wrench into the square hole found on the mower’s idler bracket. With the wrench set to “loosen,” pivot toward the rear of the deck until tension on the drive belt is reduced.
3. Remove the deck belt from the spindle pulley on the left side of the deck while the wrench remains in place. Continue removing the belt from the right and center pulleys, and any deck idler pulleys, until it can be safely removed from the deck.
4. Insert the new belt by weaving it around the various pulleys underneath the cutting deck, and make sure to use the drive wrench to tighten the idler pulley back into place before reattaching the deck and giving the tractor a test drive.
Get OEM Deck Belts, Replacement Blades and More at CubParts.com
Garden tractor service that replaces the deck belt or mowing blades can be particularly involved, but its results can last for years if OEM parts are used. The online parts search tool at CubParts.com makes it easy for Cub Cadet equipment owners to find perfectly compatible blades and deck belts for their equipment models. These parts can be narrowed down using part numbers, model number information, or engine manufacturer details, for quick results that ensure perfect compatibility every time. There’s no easier way to keep the mower working perfectly for many years to come.