Is your mower leaving a sloped or wavy cutting finish? There’s a good chance the deck is out of alignment. Here’s what you need to do to get your Cub Cadet’s deck in the correct position, whether you have a riding mower or a ZTR.
Symptoms of a Misaligned Deck
There are three ways that a misaligned deck can result in a poor cutting finish:
– If the finish is wavy or has smooth troughs, the deck is probably misaligned front to rear.
– If the grass slopes in one direction at a width about equal to the deck, the deck is probably misaligned side to side.
– If the deck is scalping the grass even though the mowing height should be high enough to stay off the ground, the deck may be misaligned.
Keep in mind that tire pressure can also affect the angle of the deck. This should be checked first before adjusting the deck position.
Before You Begin
The mower should be on a flat surface, and the parking brake should be engaged. Parking it on a paved surface like a driveway will make it easier to take measurements. Remove the key from the ignition to prevent an accidental start. Always wear thick gloves when handling mower blades to prevent cuts.
Adjusting the Deck Height Front to Rear
1. Using the height adjustment lever, set the deck height somewhere in the middle.
2. Turn the blade next to the discharge chute until the ends are pointed toward the front and rear of the mower.
3. Measure the distance from the blade tips to the ground. On riding mowers, the front of the blade should be between ¼ to 3/8 of an inch lower than the rear of the blade. On ZTRs, the front should be ¼ to ½ an inch lower than the rear.
To change the height on riding mowers, turn the lock nut on the end of the front deck hanger rod to change the height. Some models have a jam nut that needs to be loosened before the lock nut will move. Once the deck is level, retighten the jam nut.
To change the height on ZTRs, loosen or tighten the jam nuts on the stabilizer bracket, located on the front face of the deck.
Adjusting the Deck Height Side to Side
1. Turn the blade next to the discharge chute until the ends are pointed to the sides of the mower.
2. Measure the height between the rightmost blade tip and the ground on the blade on the right side of the deck as well as the height between the left tip of the left most blade on the deck and the ground. If the deck is level, both measurements should be equal.
To adjust the deck on XT Enduro Series mowers, turn the adjustment nuts found on the rods underneath the rear fenders. There is a jam nut over each adjustment nut that needs to be loosened to allow adjustment, then tightened once the deck is level.
To adjust the deck on a ZTR, loosen the ½ inch bolt on the left side adjustment gear, located below the deck hanger rod. Turn the ¾ inch nut that goes over the bolt to raise or lower the deck. Tighten the bolt once the deck is level.
To adjust the deck on all other Cub Cadet riding mowers, loosen the bolt on the adjustment gear, taking care not to remove it completely. This bolt and gear can be found on the left deck hanger. Turn the gear to adjust the height, then once the blade measurements match, tighten down the bolt.
Getting Parts for Your Cub Cadet Mower
Find a bent hanger or notice your blades are due for a replacement? Cubparts.com carries everything you need to fix your mower. Our site integrates factory parts diagrams and descriptions into our search engine so you can quickly find the part you need, and we can ship that part to any address in the U.S. or Canada.