What to Look for When Buying a Cub Cadet Riding Lawn Mower

What to Look for When Buying a Cub Cadet Riding Lawn Mower

Thinking of buying a Cub Cadet Riding Lawn Mower?

There are several Cub Cadet riding lawn mowers that have been developed throughout the years, including the new Ultima Series, as well as new XT2 Enduro Series models. Thanks to a range of features that are key to a great looking lawn, there are many Cub Cadet options to choose from. It can be difficult to decide which model is right for you so before making any purchasing decisions, you should first ask yourself the following questions.

How large is the area that I want to mow?

To make sure you can get the most out of your mower, you must take the size of your home or property into account. This will have an impact on the features you want and the level of power you will need.

What size mower deck do I want?

Lawn mowers with larger cutting widths and more horsepower will get the job done faster. However, smaller mowers allow you to work in more areas with limited access, such as backyards obstructed by narrow gates, that larger mowers cannot fit through.

What type of terrain will I be facing?

Understanding your terrain is critical in deciding how much horsepower you need. Homeowners that work on flat, less challenging terrain can choose a tractor with the least amount of horsepower, while those that work with slopes and hills will require a mower with more horsepower and stability.

How many obstacles will I need to mow around?

The more obstacles within a space, the tighter turning radius you will need. Cub Cadet zero turn riders tend to have a smaller turning radius than tractors. Theses zero turns are designed to help you cut grass faster with fewer twists and turns.

Use our illustrated parts diagrams to locate any replacement parts you may need for your Cub Cadet riding lawn mower.

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How to Change the Blades on a Cub Cadet Ultima

How to Change the Blades on a Cub Cadet Ultima

Over time, the blades on your Cub Cadet Ultima zero turn rider can become worn out or dinged. The gradual damage of the mower blades can reduce the effectiveness of your mower. Check the blades on your mower at least twice a year, at the beginning and middle of the mowing season. Check the blades more often if you mow more frequently. Here’s how to change the blades on a Cub Cadet Ultima.

Before performing any maintenance on your Cub Cadet Ultima, refer to your operator’s manual. It lists required maintenance, safety information, and instructions for your machine. Maintenance instructions vary by model, so depending on your model our instructions may vary slightly.

Begin by parking your zero turn on a flat, level surface. Turn the engine off and allow it to cool, remove the ignition key, disconnect the spark plug ignition wire to prevent accidental starting, and engage the parking brake.

Set the deck height on your Ultima to the lowest setting. Use a 3/8-inch socket or wrench to remove both belt covers from the deck.

Remove the access panel. Use the panel access tool included on Cub Cadet Ultima mowers to remove the bolt from the panel.

Remove the belt from the spindle pulleys. Use a 9/16-inch socket or wrench to pull the idler pulley arm back to release the belt tension.

Remove the belt from the idler pulleys and PTO clutch. Use both a 9/16-inch socket and wrench to loosen the idler pulley bolts.

Remove the cotter pins and deck pins from the deck. Slide the deck out from under your Cub Cadet mower. Flip the deck over to access the blades. Wear gloves for protection when working with blades.

Remove the blades. Use a block of wood and wedge it between the blade and the frame of your machine to stop the blades from rotating. Use a 15/16-inch socket or wrench to loosen the blade nuts.

Replace the blades on your Ultima and tighten the nuts. Make sure the word “bottom” or the blade part number is facing the ground when installing the blades.

Flip the deck over and slide the deck back into place under the mower. Reattach the deck and slide the deck pins back into place. Reconnect the cotter pins.

Reinstall the belt. Route the belt around the PTO clutch. Route the belt through the idler pulleys.

Use both a 9/16-inch socket and wrench to tighten both idler pulley bolts. Route the belt around the spindle pulleys. Use a 9/16-inch socket or wrench to release the tension and finish routing the belt.

Reinstall both belt covers and then reinstall the access panel and bolt. Reconnect the spark plug wires and start your Cub Cadet mower.

Use our illustrated parts diagrams to locate any replacement parts you may need for your Cub Cadet Ultima zero turn rider.

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Convert Your Cub Cadet Tractor To a Snow Blower

Convert Your Cub Cadet Tractor To a Snow Blower

We know many of you dread clearing snow during the winter. We also know that maneuvering your shovel or snow blower through heavy, wet snow can be exhausting. If you own a Cub Cadet tractor, you have an alternative way to remove snow this year.  You can convert your tractor into a snow blower, avoiding the need to shovel or purchase a snow blower. Our experts explain what you need to convert your Cub Cadet tractor into a snow blower this winter.

Attachments and accessories vary by model. Different attachment and accessory models are compatible with different snow blower models. Refer to your owner’s manual or contact us for information on attachment and accessory compatibility.

Snow blower attachment

To convert your Cub Cadet tractor into a snow blower, you need a snow blower attachment to remove the snow from your drive and walkways. These attachments have the capacity to handle big snow removal jobs and work well in all snow conditions.

With this attachment, all you need to do is start up your tractor, get on, and let it do all the heavy lifting.

Plow blade attachment

If you prefer to push snow instead of throw it, there is an assortment of Cub Cadet tractor mounted plows to help clear snow from your driveway. Plow blades get closer to the pavement than blowers, leaving you with little to no snow on your pathways.

Tire chains

When using your Cub Cadet tractor in the snow, your tractor tires may not have the stability and traction needed to remove snow. When the pavement is covered by snow or is icy, you can increase the traction by using tractor tire chains.

Tire chains are also beneficial when working on steep terrain and narrow roads. To maintain traction, make sure you have tire chains on your tires. They will make your snow removal tasks safer and more productive.

Wheel weights

Similar to tire chains, wheel weights provide extra traction when working on snowy or icy terrain. Weight wheels are also recommended when adding attachments to the front of your Cub Cadet tractor. Apply these wheels to the rear tires to help weigh down the back end of your machine and press down so the tires grip better.

For even better traction you can apply both tire chains and wheel weights to your mower.

Cast-iron weights

Cast-iron weights are a great accessory when it comes to adding attachments to the front end of your tractor. These weights counterbalance heavy attachments and provide better traction and stability.

Some tractors have built-in front and/or rear weight brackets to hang the cast-iron weights on. Other tractors require a weight bracket. Refer to your owner’s manual to determine what your tractor has and/or needs.

 Snow cab

In addition to snow, winter brings freezing temps and harsh winds so add a snow cab to your Cub Cadet tractor for extra protection from these elements.

It’s important to know your options when it comes to snow removal. Consider converting your tractor into a snow blower this year because it’s a great alternative to shoveling and snow blowing. With these attachments and accessories you can work comfortably and efficiently, while remaining protected from the frigid cold.

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Fuel Recommendations for your Cub Cadet Snow Blower

Fuel Recommendations for your Cub Cadet Snow Blower

The fuel system in your Cub Cadet snow blower is designed for years of use. However, if you are not mindful of the fuel in your machine and allow it to go bad this can cause starting or running problems and damage to the fuel system. Here’s how to avoid most fuel-related problems in your snow blower.

1 – Do not use gasoline containing more than 10% ethanol.

Gasoline containing higher levels of ethanol is corrosive and attracts water, which can cause starting or running problems and damage to your snow blower’s fuel system. Engines produced for use in outdoor power equipment are not designed for gasoline with more than 10% ethanol.

Read your owner’s manual for information on the proper fuel to use in your snow blower.

2 – Remove fuel from your snow blower for summer storage.

When you’re finished using your snow blower for the season, drain the fuel out of your machine. There may still be fuel in the fuel line and carburetor so start your blower and allow it to run until no fuel is left in the machine.

Make sure there is no old fuel resting in your snow blower. Old fuel left in your snow blower during the off-season will deteriorate and cause problems for your machine. Your blower may not start or run properly and, in some cases, there will be damage to the fuel system.

3 – If you use your snow blower infrequently during the winter, add a fuel stabilizer to your fuel storage container.

Untreated gas left in your snow blower can deteriorate quickly, causing problems for your machine and the fuel system. By ensuring that the fuel in your snow blower is stabilized, you can minimize the chances of deterioration and damage.

4 – Store fuel properly.

Store your fuel in a clean, plastic, sealed container approved for fuel storage. This will help prevent rust and metallic contaminants from entering the fuel system. Close the vent, if equipped, when not in use and store the container away from direct sunlight. Fuel will deteriorate faster when exposed to air and sunlight.

If it takes longer than 30 days to use the fuel in the container, add a fuel stabilizer when you fill the container.

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How to Clean a Lawn Mower Deck

How to Clean a Lawn Mower Deck

Keeping the underside of your Cub Cadet lawn mower clean plays a huge role in the performance of the machine. Grass clippings and other debris cling to the underside of the lawn mower each time you mow, affecting airflow under the deck. Clean your mower deck soon after you’re done mowing. Don’t wait until grass clippings dry and become difficult to remove. Here’s how to clean a  lawn mower deck.

Before performing any maintenance on your Cub Cadet lawn mower, refer to your owner’s manual for maintenance instructions and safety information. Maintenance instructions vary by model, so depending on your lawn mower model our instructions may vary slightly.

Some Cub Cadet mowers have washout ports that make cleaning the bottom of the deck easy. If your mower has a washout port, park the machine on a flat, paved surface and lower the cutting height to the cutting setting. Remove the bag and attach a garden hose to the washout port.

Turn the hose on, start the lawn mower engine and stand behind the machine while you engage the mower blades. Run the mower until no more clippings come out from under the lawn mower deck. When the deck is completely clean, stop the lawn mower engine, shut off the garden hose, and disconnect it from the washout port.

Start the engine again, and stand behind the mower while engaging the mower blades.  Engage the blades for a few minutes to dry off the underside of the mower.

If your mower does not have a washout port, you can still clean the mower deck. Park the machine on a flat surface, shut off the engine, and lower the cutting height. Use your garden hose and aim it in front of the right rear wheel, right in the pavement.

Wait a few seconds then top the hose and engage the mower blades. Run the machine until no more clippings disperse from underneath the mower. Once you’re completely done with the garden hose, run the mower again for a few minutes to dry the underside of the deck.

You can also clean the lawn mower deck by scraping the underside. To scrape the underside of your mower, use a scraper or putty knife.

Make sure the engine is off and all moving parts have stopped before you begin scraping the deck. When you tip the mower on its side to access the underside of the deck, make sure the air filter side is up. This will prevent oil from flowing into the air filter and carburetor, which will prevent your mower from running.

Note: never use a pressure washer to clean your lawn mower deck. The pressure washer can force water into important areas of the mower that should not get wet.

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Cub Cadet Enduro XT1 and XT2 Tractors

Cub Cadet Enduro XT1 and XT2 Tractors

Cub Cadet redesigned their Enduro XT1 and XT2 tractors from the ground up for exceptional strength, durability and operator comfort.

Cub Cadet Enduro XT1 Lawn Tractors

Some of the differences on the XT1 are they start with a 42-inch deck with a single cylinder engine where from this model forward they go into a twin cylinder. You get smoother operation and increased torque with a twin cylinder engine but the single cylinder engine for a smaller lawn will perform and do a great job.

Other Enduro tractors come with a five-year frame and front axle warranty and they’re able to do that because they’ve gone to a cast iron front axle. This cast iron versus stamped out hollowed steel axle is exceptionally durable. There’s not going to be any breakage with this heavy cast iron front axle. Cub Cadet also redesigned the ergonomics of the tractor, so some nice features include ease of getting on and off the tractor, a lever to slide your seat back and forth, and as the seat slides back it also goes up so to accommodate a taller operator and offer increased legroom.

All your controls are easily accessible. Cub Cadet Enduro tractors feature a key switch, throttle positioning, and brake and transmission operation pedal. The transmission operation pedal is a hydrostatic drive transmission which is a fluid drive system so it’s like an automatic transmission in the car. The way this is designed, the further you push forward on the pedal the faster the machine goes. When you release the pedal, it will return to neutral, and for reverse you push on the opposite pedal.

Cub Cadet also added a nice feature of cruise control. Push the pedal, push down on your cruise control lever and it’ll lock in that position so if you have a lot of straight areas and don’t want to hold your foot on the pedal you can lock the cruise. Release the cruise either by tapping the pedal or you can just tap your brake pedal.

There are controls for your height of cut. Your height of cut is adjustable from one to four inches. It has a spring assisted lever so with one finger you can raise your mower deck up and down. You can set the height in quarter inch increments.

Cub Cadet Enduro XT2 Lawn Tractors

The XT1 and XT2 lawn tractors are on the same chassis. The key difference when you go into the XT2 series, from the front you’ll notice the front bumper is standard. It gives you added protection if you hit something and protects the front grill and front hood. The XT2 tractors go to a turf master tire. This will give you increased traction and durability. Cub Cadet upgraded the battery on the XT2 models for longer life and better cold-weather starts, and in your front axle they use a bearing which is typically found on much higher priced tractors. This bearing in the front axle will give you much longer life. The bushing on the XT1 models is easily replaced but this bearing really should last for the life of the tractor.

Cub Cadet also added armrests. These can be added to XT1 models but is standard for XT2 tractors to give you a little added comfort. The XT2 models have larger engines so you have an increase in performance. Another nice feature is the easy maintenance. Cub Cadet has a color-coded oil drain plug and a color-coded dipstick for checking your oil; it’s easy to spot. When you need change that oil, there’s no tools required. Just push the hood forward, pop the cap off the oil drain, twist the yellow part, and the oil will drain.

The engines on the Cub Cadet Enduro tractors are all protected by an oil filter. This oil filter is easy to access, you don’t have to remove anything because it’s right out in the open.  These tractors are available in 42, 46, 50, and 54-inch deck sizes. As you go into the 46 inch and larger another feature Cub Cadet added is electric PTO clutch. Other models have a lever to push to engage the mower, but these tractors have a switch. Just pull the switch to engage the mower and push to disengage. The key advantage is you get longer belt life.

Cub Cadet offers some enhanced engine and deck features such as an electronic fuel-injected engine or EFI for short. The electronic fuel injection gives you enhanced features including a little better fuel economy and better cold weather starts.

Cub Cadet has what they call SLX which stands for “super lawn tractor.” This is available in 54-inch mower decks and the first thing to note is the much larger tires. Typically, this tire size is found on a garden tractor. The advantage you have with this is if you have rough terrain, those bigger tires give you a little smoother ride. If you’re planning on adding a snow blade or snow blower it gives you better traction with the larger tires. To handle the larger tires Cub Cadet upgraded the transmission for a longer life and you still get that tight turning radius and exceptional performance.

Cub Cadet Enduro XT2 lawn tractors are very easy to operate. To round out the XT2 line Cub Cadet has the GX series. The GX is a garden tractor and the advantage you have with the garden tractor is an upgraded transmission. The garden tractor is designed for heavier use. The GX54 comes with a differential lock. To engage, just push down on the pedal with the heel of your foot. This will lock both wheels together. Differential lock is very useful in snow conditions, it gives you increased traction. Additionally, if you have some areas that are a little slippery on your lawn and you need to increase traction to eliminate that tire slip that’s where differential lock comes in handy. This feature is available on the GX models in the XT2 line.

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Cub Cadet Ultima Series

Cub Cadet Ultima Series

Cub Cadet Ultima Series Zero Turn Riders are built with a two by two frame for structural strength typically found on a lot of commercial mowers, and the unique style really stands out.

Some nice features on the Cub Cadet Ultima Series are larger front and rear tires, large grips for comfort, and, instead of foam, a nice, heavy padded grip on the lap bar for a real positive feel. The lap bars are adjustable and will easily adjust for operator comfort. The padded comfort seats also maximize comfort.

The control panel makes it very easy to view your keypad, hour meter, PTO and control system. For your height of cut adjustment, the Cub Cadet Ultima Series did a nice job for your mower deck lift. Instead of a hand lift there is a foot pedal with a simple knob. The presets are easy to view for what height you want. Adjustments are made in quarter inch increments.

There are two mower series in the Cub Cadet Ultima Series. The ZT1 series mowers are powered by EZT 2200 series engines. The ZT1 uses primarily Kohler engines but there is one model with a Kawasaki engine. The ZT2 is the other series and these mowers are on the same chassis, but Cub Cadet upgraded the transmission to a EZT 2800 series. ZT2 mowers have larger front and rear tires for less turfing and better flotation. The EZT  2800s will give you a longer life. You also pick up about a half mile an hour speed, so you go from 7 mph to 7.5 mph. Armrests also come standard on ZT2 mower models.

On both the Cub Cadet ZT1 and ZT2 LED headlights and rear tow hitches some standard. The Kawasaki FR691V Series engine comes standard on all ZT2 series mowers as well as the ZT1 50-inch mower.  The FR691V delivers 23 horsepower, which is a nice upgrade over some of the base engines available in this size mower.

The ZT1 series mowers are available with a 42, 46, 50 and 54 inch cutting width while the ZT2 mowers are available with a 46, 50, 54, and 60 inch cutting width.

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How to Sharpen Your Walk Behind Lawn Mower Blade

How to Sharpen Your Walk Behind Lawn Mower Blade

Your Cub Cadet walk behind lawn mower is useless without a sharp cutting blade.  The only way to achieve a quality cut and healthy lawn is to regularly replace or sharpen the blade on your lawn mower. To determine if it’s time for a blade sharpening or replacement, periodically inspect your lawn and lawn mower. If you see unevenness in your lawn or notice the tip of grass blades are torn and not cleanly-sliced, it’s time to sharpen or replace your lawn mower blade. Additionally, if your Cub Cadet lawn mower blade has dings, nicks or rust, then it is time to upgrade your blade.

Here’s how to sharpen the blade on your Cub Cadet walk behind lawn mower.

Before performing any maintenance on your lawn mower, refer to your owner’s manual for maintenance and safety information. Maintenance instructions vary by model. Depending on your model number, these instructions may vary.  Be sure to refer to your owner’s manual for detailed instructions.

First, disconnect the spark plug wire from the spark plug to prevent accidental starting. Then turn the mower on its side to remove the lawn mower blade – make sure the air filter and carburetor side is facing up.

Place a block of wood between the blade and the frame of the mower to support the blade as you apply force to remove it. Remove the hex bolt and the blade bell support holding the blade and blade adapter to the engine crankshaft. Take the blade and adapter off the crankshaft. Remember, cutting blades are sharp so always wear heavy duty gloves when working with them.

Sharpen the blade with a mower blade sharpener, file, or on a grinding wheel. Do not try to sharpen the blade while it is still on your mower.

Secure the blade in a vice when sharpening with a file or hand-held grinder. When you sharpen the blade, follow the original angle and grind. To keep the blade balanced, grind each cutting edge equally. To test the blade balance, remove the blade and balance it on a round shaft screwdriver. Shave metal from the heavy side until the blade balances evenly.

Before placing the blade back on your lawn mower, lubricate the blade adapter and crankshaft. Lubricate the crankshaft and inner surface of the blade adapter with light oil and then slide the blade adapter onto the engine crankshaft.

Replace the blade adapter. The side of the blade marked “Bottom,” or with the part number, should face the ground when the mower is in operating position. Make sure the lawn mower blade is aligned and seated on the blade adapter flanges. Place the blade bell support on the .

Align the notches on the blade bell support with the holes in the blade. Replace and tighten the hex bolt by hand. Place the block of wood between the and the mowing deck housing again and tighten the hex bolt to the torque recommended in your owner’s manual.

Turn the lawn mower right side up and reconnect the spark plug. Start your lawn mower and listen for noises or vibration. Adjust the blade balance if necessary.

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Cub Cadet Seasonal Lawn Care Tips

Cub Cadet Seasonal Lawn Care Tips

Lawn care is a never-ending job. For many of us, sunshine and warm temperatures indicate that it’s time to make our lawns healthy and beautiful. However, you should take care of your lawn throughout each season, even if ice is thawing and leaves are falling. Whether or not you live in an area that experiences all four seasons, these lawn care tips will help keep your lawn looking its best whether it’s spring, summer, fall, or winter.

Lawn Care Tips for Spring

In the spring, there is a list of obvious maintenance to perform on your lawn from watering the grass to fertilizing to mowing. There are also a lot of not-so-obvious things to handle once the winter snow melts. For starters, remove leaves, sticks, twigs, and any other debris that accumulated during the winter. If your lawn suffered damage from cold temps, snow, ice, snow blowing or shoveling, you should replace the divots and place down new seed.

Many people know the importance of applying fertilizer to your lawn. In spring, applying herbicides to grass is beneficial as well. However, don’t apply both fertilizer and herbicide at the same time because herbicides will restrict grass growth.

Lastly, spring is the best time to get your equipment ready to work. Make sure your lawn mower and other equipment has had basic maintenance and is working properly. If not, you will still have time to perform repairs or buy new parts before too much grass has grown.

Lawn Care Tips for Summer

During the summer you should focus on mowing your lawn and watering it. With the high temperatures that summer brings, the best way to keep your lawn healthy and beautiful is to keep the grass a little long. Do not cut your grass to less than two inches in height because when grass is cut too short it is more likely to dry out and become damaged since the mower’s blades can’t shade the soil and roots from the sun.

If you’re using a sprinkler to water your grass, make sure you move it every half hour to ensure even watering. When watering during the summer, it’s best to do so early in the morning or in the evening. When the temperature is cooler, this prevents searing or scorching your grass when the sun is at its hottest.

Lawn Care Tips for Fall

To prepare for the fall and winter, fertilize your lawn one more time. Applying nutrients before the cold months will keep your lawn healthy and recuperate quicker in the spring. During the fall, it’s fine to mow your grass shorter than normal. This shorter grass won’t get as damaged by snow during winter. Fall is also a great time to put down new grass seeds in any dead areas.

Lawn Care Tips for Winter

During the winter, you’ll want to prevent damage and breakage to your grass, trees, plants, and shrubs. To do this, shovel your walkways to keep visitors off your lawn, which keeps the grass blades from flattening or breaking. Removing snow from shrubs and tree branches will also prevent breakage.

Winter is also a good time to trim branches, if needed. When tree limbs are dormant, the plant sustains less damage than when in full bloom.

Your yard will look its best if you utilize these seasonal lawn care tips. Well-maintained outdoor power equipment and parts are also essential to a great looking lawn. Just like your lawn, inspect your lawn mower and other equipment on a regular basis to make sure it’s ready to work when you need it.

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Cub Cadet Single-Stage and Double-Stage Snow throwers

Cub Cadet’s snow throwers  come in single-stage 200 and two-stage 500, 700, and 900.  The single-stage snow thrower is best for walkways and driveways, while the two-stage snow throwers are recommended for larger spaces.  However, both of Cub Cadet’s snow throwers feature the following:

  • zero-turn posi-steer power steering
  • fingertip steering controls for precise turning
  • no rust
  • single-hand operation for chute
  • high-impact, clog-resistant chute

The Cub Cadet two-stage 500, 700, and 900 snow throwers also include the following:

  • more durable for use in extreme conditions
  • cast-iron engine construction
  • scratch-resistent cool blue skid shoes