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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Consumer Reports Rates Cub Cadet Mowers

Tank LZ

Are Cub Cadet mowers worth buying? Consumer Reports certainly thinks so. After extensive testing,
6 Cub Cadet models made their recommendation list, noting their ease of use and superior cutting performance.

How Consumer Reports Tests Mowers

Consumer Reports is an independent, non-profit organization that does not accept any form of advertising or payment from advertisers. That even includes test models, which they buy themselves at stores just like regular owners to avoid any outside influence. Their tests are developed to simulate real world use, going beyond the testing manufacturers are able to conduct on individual pieces of equipment to judge how they’ll work in the hands of regular buyers.

Every winter, Consumer Reports’ staff spend 6 weeks in Ft. Meyers, FL at a testing site with 6 acres of grass. During this period, they test a wide range of residential mowers ranging from reel models to lawn tractors, using them in every cutting mode including side discharge, mulching, and bagging. This lets them observe performance in a controlled environment while being able to compare similar models back-to-back. While they can’t test every mower on the market, they aim to create a selection that covers a broad spectrum from basic models like the SC 100 push mower to state-of-the-art equipment like the fuel injection-equipped XT1 LT42.

Each mower is rated on mowing performance in each mode as well as handling and ease of use on a 5 point scale going from “poor” to “fair,” “good” “very good” and “excellent.” Testing notes are included, letting buyers see which features reviewers did and didn’t like so they can find the best fit for their particular needs.

SC 700h Self Propelled Mower

This mower was rated “Very Good” in all categories including mulching, bagging, side discharge, handling and ease of use. The testers were impressed by the clump-free mulching performance and ability to fill the mulching bag, as well as the inclusion of a washout port for cleaning the deck, a feature normally seen only on riding mowers.

The only flaw Consumer Reports found was some difficulty turning the mower with the engine off. However, they found this was more than an acceptable trade off for its four wheel drive and independent front and rear drive controls, making it a breeze to handle when mowing.

SC 100 Push Mower

Although rated merely “good” in bagging and ease of use, this is more a matter of features lacking in this category than problems with the mower. In fact, the SC 100 got the highest score in the push mower category.

While it can’t quite fill a bag like the SC 700h, testers were impressed with this mower’s mulching ability and the inclusion of a washout port. They were particularly fond of the SC 100’s easy handling and the priming-free starting of the Cub Cadet engine.

XT1 LT45 and LT 42 Lawn Tractors

Like the SC 100, the XT1 was a top scorer in its category, receiving an “Excellent” rating in mulching and bagging and “Very Good” ratings in all other categories. The testers would have preferred an electric PTO, but they liked seeing a model with a hydrostatic transmission and cruise control in this category. The reviewers also liked the high backed seat and superior cutting performance in every discharge mode.

In a recent shootout, the LT42 faced off against John Deere’s D130. Both mowers were tied in every category, despite the Cub Cadet costing hundreds less.

XT1 LT42 EFI Lawn Tractor

Despite a much smaller engine, this version of the XT1 scored just behind the standard LT42 with testers noting the bagging performance fell just short of the Kohler-powered version due to a slightly different chute design. They liked the reliable starting provided by the recent addition of electronic fuel injection and recommend it for anyone who needs to mow in lower temperatures.

CC30 H Lawn Tractor

While CR wished this model had an electric PTO and high backed seat, they found these minor flaws were easy to overlook thanks to the CC30’s inclusion of a hydrostatic transmission, making it much easier to control in tight spaces than geared rear engine riders. Like Cub Cadet’s other mowers, its overall score was near the top of the segment.

Maintaining Your Cub Cadet’s Mowing Performance

When you need parts for your Cub Cadet, visit Cubparts.com. As a certified dealer for Cub Cadet, we’re able to ship OEM parts for everything from classic tractors to their new fuel injected engines. Our site makes finding the right part simple by integrating factory parts diagrams and descriptions into the search engine so you can see exactly what you’re buying. We can ship parts and accessories to any address in the U.S. and Canada.

 

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Taking Care of Spark Plugs

Taking Care of Spark PlugsYour Cub Cadet’s spark plugs need to be checked and replaced regularly to keep the engine running at peak performance, and it can also help you diagnose problems.

Spark Plug Characteristics

Gap: The spark jumps between the upper and lower parts of the electrode, igniting the fuel. This space needs to be the correct length to get proper ignition. As the electrode wears down, the gap will increase, requiring adjustment.

Heat range: The spark plug needs to stay hot enough to burn off deposits, but still cool enough to prevent melting. This temperature range is determined by the contact area between the plug and the head of the engine.

Removing the Spark Plug from Your Engine

Each cylinder needs a plug to ignite the fuel/air mixture inside, so single cylinder engines found in small equipment will have one plug, while the V-twins found in most riding mowers and commercial equipment will have two plugs. Since they screw into the head of the engine, they can get extremely hot; wait at least a half hour after running the motor before trying to remove a plug.

First, find the spark plug wire and trace it to the motor. Pull up on the spark plug cap at the end of this wire to disconnect it from the plug. Next, using a spark plug wrench or socket, unscrew the plug. The rubber sleeve inside the socket should keep the plug secure so that you can slide it out of the engine. Depending on the model, the plug may be 5/8, ¾ or 13/16 inch; Cub Cadet offers a single wrench designed to fit all three sizes.

Reading Spark Plugs

Once the plug is out, look at the electrodes on the end that was in the engine. Their appearance indicates how the engine is running:

If everything is working normally, the plug should be a light gray or brown.

Misfiring will leave a thin layer of ash are caused by misfiring. This is due to bad fuel or excess fuel or oil reaching the combustion chamber.

Wet, oily build up is the result of oil or excess gas in the combustion chamber. This is usually caused by carburetor problems resulting in a rich fuel mixture, worn out piston rings, valvetrain issues or a bad head gasket.

Dry, black soot is usually caused by a clogged air filter or carburetor. Using the wrong plug and ignition timing issues can also cause this build-up.

A broken insulator or a bent electrode is the result of contact between the plug and piston or sudden thermal expansion or shock. If the plug is the right size, it may be due to bad gas, a lean air/fuel mixture or timing issues.

If the spark plug wasn’t installed correctly, the plug can’t transfer heat to the engine, causing the electrode to melt. Using the wrong plug can also result in melting, as can an extremely lean air/fuel mixture.

If the insulator looks glazed and is coated in small black specs, the plug has overheated. This is the result of a lean air/fuel mixture, timing issues, poor cooling or the wrong plug.

Addressing Issues

Always use OEM plugs to ensure reliable performance and a good fit.

Ignition timing on small engines is controlled by magnets on the flywheel moving past the coil. If there are indications of timing being too advanced or retarded, the coil position may need to be adjusted and the flywheel checked for damage.

Air/fuel mixture issues are usually caused by a clogged air filter, clogged fuel system or perished seals around the carburetor.

The engine can overheat if the cooling fins are dirty or the air/fuel mixture is too lean.

Tipping the engine can let oil leak into the combustion chamber, as can worn piston rings.

Gapping the Plug

Using a feeler gauge, check the distance between the electrode and the ground against the specifications in your engine’s owner’s manual. Gently pry up on the electrode ground to expand the gap, and tap it to close the gap.

Reinstalling the Plug

Make sure the washer is on the end of the plug before installing.

Always start by hand tightening the plug to prevent cross-threading. Once the plug has bottomed out, use the plug socket or wrench to turn it until seated, plus a ¼ turn if the plug is used, or a ½ turn if the plug is new to get a good seal.

Get the Spark Plugs and Spare Parts You Need for Your Cub Cadet from Cub Parts

Cubparts.com is a certified dealer for Cub Cadet and their engine partners including Briggs & Stratton and Kawasaki, which means we have the OEM parts you need to keep your equipment running. Factory diagrams and descriptions are built into our search engine, making it easy to find what you need, and we can ship those parts to any address in the U.S. and Canada.

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Getting a Good Finish with Your Cub Cadet Mower

getting a good finish with your cub cadet

Cub Cadet is famous for the finish of their Signature Cut mowers, but just buying the right mower isn’t enough to get a smooth, even finish on your lawn. These tips will help you get the most out of your mower.

How Your Mower Deck Works

The deck on your mower isn’t just there to shield you from clippings thrown up by the blade, it’s part of a system that ensures each blade of grass is cut evenly.

The blade acts as a fan, pulling air up from the ground and pushing it toward the top of the deck. This pulls the grass straight up so that the mower cuts each blade of grass at the exact same height. Cub Cadet’s Signature Cut design has a low leading edge to get maximum vacuum around the front of the grass to ensure that it’s standing up before the blade reaches it.

Where the clipping goes next depends on the shape of the chamber, the shape of the blade, and the deck configuration. A low lift blade flings the grass outward where it can pass through the chute for side discharge, while a high lift blade throws clippings upward. In the tall mowing chamber of a mulching mower, the clipping will fall back through the blade for another cut. Once the clipping pieces are small enough, they can fall through the blade and onto the ground, creating mulch.

When bagging, small clippings are desirable as they compact more tightly, letting the bag hold more clippings before being emptied. That means they’re still mulched, but the high position of the deck opening lets those clippings exit through the back instead of onto the ground.

To get the best cutting performance, the blade needs to be the right lift to match the mode the deck is being used in, and the edge needs to be sharp to get a clean cut. A clean deck is important for airflow, especially if the mower is being used to mulch or bag.

Mowing Height

Most novice mowers set the height too low thinking that it will reduce the number of times they need to mow, but this can severely limit the sunlight the grass is able to absorb, reducing turf density and opening spaces for weeds. The best growth height for grass varieties varies widely, but in general most warm season grasses like zoysia and Bermuda should be mowed to a height of 2-3 inches, while cool season grasses like Kentucky bluegrass are at their best between 3-4 inches. No more than 1/3 of the length of the grass should be cut at one time.

Mowing too low also increases the chance of scalping. When going over a bump or small hill, the height difference between the left and right wheels on the deck can let the blades come close enough to the ground that they slice too deep, cutting into grass crowns and sometimes even into the topsoil.

Deck Leveling

If the deck is tilted in one direction, the blades will be angled, leaving a scalloped finish. This angle can be checked by placing the mower on a flat, paved surface and measuring the distance between the deck and the ground on each corner. Check your owner’s manual on the correct angle: some decks are designed to be used with the deck tilted forward slightly. The deck position on small walk-behind mowers is set by the height of each wheel, while wide walk-behinds and riding mowers have a floating deck with adjustment knobs or bolts on each corner.

Striping

Ball parks and golf courses take finishing one step further with striping. While the contrasting stripes may look like they require some special planting or cutting techniques, the process is actually quite simple: at the back of their mowers, there’s a small roller that pushes the blades of grass in one direction. As the mower goes back and forth over the turf, the grass is bent in different angles which affect how it reflects light, creating a distinctive pattern.

Cub Cadet offers striping kits for most of their mowers so you can get the same look at home with the right technique. Decide on the pattern you want and drive the mower over the turf with minimal overlap. If the pattern is slightly off in one area, simply drive the mower back over it with the blade shut off.

Getting the Parts You Need to Get the Most from Your Lawn

Cubparts.com is a certified dealer for Cub Cadet, so we have blades, striping kits and everything else you need to get the best performance from your mower, whether it’s a small walk-behind or a Pro Z commercial ZTR. We can ship to any address in the U.S. and Canada.

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SC 500 EQ: The Quiet Mower

sc500

In recent years, mower manufacturers have switched from concentrating on raw power to making their products easier to use. Cub Cadet has led the way with innovations including their MySpeed propulsion control system and Sure Start guarantee. Now with their new SC 500 EQ, they’re addressing an issue few other manufacturers touch: noise.

A Quieter Engine

Sound is a major problem for small engines across the board, annoying neighbors and causing damage to operators who aren’t using hearing protection. To combat this, Cub Cadet developed SmartSound technology. While lawnmower engines are usually designed to run at a specific RPM to output maximum power, SmartSound engines are built to operate at two speeds. In low speed “quiet” mode, the engine can deliver enough power for most conditions, but since there are fewer combustion cycles, it runs quieter. At times when maximum power is needed, the engine can be set to a high speed “boost” mode. Together with a redesigned intake and exhaust, this system significantly reduces engine noise.

Cub Cadet first introduced this technology on their snowblowers a couple years ago, reducing noise by 45%. Thanks to improvements in the new 159 cc OHV QUIET engine used in the SC 500 EQ, noise has been reduced by 60%.

Top Level Performance without Compromise

The SC 500 EQ isn’t just quiet, it has all the performance and usability expected from a top-of-the-line walk behind mower.

The EQ is based on the HW design which uses large diameter back wheels for more stability. All four wheels ride on ball bearings, and the front wheels are mounted on lockable casters, letting them swivel for easy turning or stay aligned with the back wheels for hill stability.

The deck can be set to 6 height positions ranging from 1.25-3.75 inches using a pair of levers that move the front and rear wheels as a pair. Clippings can be sent through the side discharge, mulched back into the soil, or collected using a 1.9-bushel bagging system. The mulch plug is integrated into the deck, so switching between side discharge and mulching modes is just a matter of removing or installing the discharge chute. The deck also has the same SmartJet washing system found on Cub Cadet’s riding mowers: hook up a garden hose, and the water is pushed through jets that clean out the deck without needing to tip the mower on its side.

The self-propulsion system is controlled by Cub Cadet’s MySpeed system. The top of the handle has a set of joints connected to the drive. When you push on the handle, it swings forward and activates the drive system. If the mower starts to get ahead of you, the handle angle changes and slows or stops the drive system. This keeps the mower rolling with you, automatically slowing down on hills and rough terrain and speeding up again when you’re on flat ground. This design still accommodates a folding handle, making the mower easy to store and transport.

The engine also retains the automatic choke of the standard engine found in Cub Cadet’s self-propelled mowers, and it’s still backed by their Sure Start Guarantee. That means the company will cover repairs if the mower refuses to start on the first or second pull during the first 3 years of ownership. An electric starter is available as an option.

Getting Parts for the SC 500 EQ

Getting parts for maintenance and repair of this mower is simple: just visit Cubparts.com. We’re a certified Cub Cadet dealer, so we’re able to offer OEM parts ranging from blades and spark plugs to major components, and we can ship them across the U.S. and Canada. Not quite sure what you need? Our site has built-in factory parts diagrams and descriptions so you can quickly identify the right parts for your equipment.

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CB 2800 and CB 2900 Wheeled Leaf Blowers

CB 2800 and CB 2900 Wheeled Leaf BlowersFeel like your leaf blower is falling behind the rest of your lawn equipment? Cub Cadet’s CB 2800 and CB 2900 are high power wheeled blowers that deliver several times the power of a backpack unit, making them a great choice for homeowners who need to get a lot of ground covered quickly.

Performance with Flexibility

At the front of the blower, a 17 x 5.25-inch fan with 6 vanes drawing air past a metal shield and into the blower housing. Shutters on the intake allow airflow to be controlled to fit the job at hand, while the nozzle has a 15-degree pitch control for aiming the airflow. At a low angle and full power, the jet of air leaving the nozzle can push leaves and debris off the ground, while using a higher angle and partially closed vanes makes it easy to gather a pile for collection. When rolling past fences and buildings, a steep angle helps bounce debris off of the surface and out into the open for easy cleanup. The nozzle can also rotate across a 180 degree arc for cleaning out corners without having to move the blower back and forth in tight areas.

Like any leaf blower, this unit is noisy: rated at 100 dB at the operator’s position, its use should be limited to daytime hours, but faster cleanup speeds ensure you’re less likely to get complaints from the neighbors. This blower should have no problem clearing 1,600 square feet in under three minutes.

Engine

Cub Cadet uses a 14 hp 429 cc Kohler CH440 Command Pro in both the CB 2800 and CB 2900. This motor is a single cylinder design with overhead valves and a cast iron cylinder liner. These features are par for the course when it comes to commercial engines, but what makes the Command Pro perfect for this application is its air cleaner.

Kohler’s Quad-Clean filtration system uses a metal screen, a cyclonic intake, a foam prefilter and a paper filter to protect the inside of the motor from the dust kicked up by the blower. By breaking up filtration into stages, maintenance is also reduced: most of the particles are separated mechanically by the air stream, while the foam element can be cleaned multiple times before needing to be replaced.

The mount can hold the filter in two positions. Under normal operation, the filter inlet is pointed away from the motor to draw cool air for lower operating temperatures. When temperatures dip, it can be flipped around to aim the inlet toward the motor. This brings in air that has been pre-heated by the engine block and head, making it easier for the engine to run in cold fall temperatures.

Electric start comes standard on both blowers, and with a 1.85-gallon gas tank on board, fuel refills are infrequent.

CB 2800 vs CB 2900

Overall, the CB 2800 and CB 2900 use the same basic design, but the 2900 adds some useful features for control and ease of use.

The CB 2800 can pump 2,700 cubic feet of air through the nozzle each minute at speeds up to 180 mph for fast cleanup. The blower shutters are controlled by an adjustment knob at the front of the blower housing.

The CB 2900 trades volume for speed, pumping air at a rate of 2,300 cfm at speeds up to 200 mph, making it better for handling heavy debris like wet leaves. Air speed can be controlled from the handle during operation, and it also has a self-propulsion system.

Warranty

Cub Cadet covers these blowers for three years of residential use, while Kohler covers the engine for two years of residential use or 90 days of commercial or rental use.

Getting Parts for Cub Cadet’s Wheeled Leaf Blowers

Cubparts.com is a certified dealer for both Cub Cadet and Kohler, so we can supply you with everything you need for your CB Series wheeled leaf blower. Our site makes finding parts simple thanks to integrated factory parts diagrams and descriptions, and we can ship your order to any address in the U.S. and Canada.

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