How to Change the Oil on a Cub Cadet Riding Lawn Mower

How to Change the Oil on a Cub Cadet Riding Lawn Mower

Regular oil changes are essential to keeping your mower’s engine in working condition and will maximize its lifespan. To keep your Cub Cadet running smoothly and efficiently, follow these steps to change the oil in your machine.

Before performing any maintenance on your , refer to your owner’s manual for recommended maintenance and safety information. Maintenance instructions vary by model, so depending on your riding lawn mower model our instructions may vary slightly. Check your owner’s manual to get instructions specific to your model, including information about the recommended oil type.

Begin by parking your mower 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.

Place a piece of cardboard under your mower to catch oil drips and use an oil basin to catch the old oil when it is drained from the engine.

Remove the dip stick from the oil fill tube and drain the oil and allow the engine oil to completely drain. If your Cub Cadet has an oil filter, replace it with a new one. Use an oil filter wrench to unthread the oil filter from the engine. Use a rag to clean the area around the engine of any spilled oil.

Replace the oil filter and add a little oil to the seal of the new oil filter to help with the install. Use your hand to thread the new oil filter onto the engine. Do not overtighten. Use your oil filter wrench to snug the fit but do not overtighten.

Add new oil to your Cub Cadet riding lawn mower. Use the oil recommended by the engine manufacturer and fill to the recommended levels. Replace the dip stick and check the engine oil levels.

Check the oil level with the dip stick. Depending on where it reads, you may need to add more oil. When checking the oil with the dip stick, place the dip stick into the oil and push it all the way down. Remove the dip stick, clean it with your rag, and place it in the oil one more time to check the oil level.

Reconnect the spark plug wire and your maintenance is done.

Use our illustrated parts diagrams to locate any replacement parts you may need for maintenance.

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How to Change the Air Filter on a Cub Cadet Riding Lawn Mower

How to Change the Air Filter on a Cub Cadet Riding Lawn Mower

To ensure that your engine runs smoothly this season and the next, regularly clean or replace the air filter on your Cub Cadet riding lawn mower. It’s recommended that your air filter be cleaned or replaced every 50 hours of use. In dry, dusty conditions this should be done more frequently.

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

Begin by parking your mower 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.

Use a rag to clean the engine of dirt and debris. Remove the air filter cover and the air filter.

Check and clean the air filter. Remove the foam pre filter. Use a flashlight to check for any damage to the air filter. Clean the paper element filter by tapping gently to remove dust. If the element is very dirty or damaged, replace it with a new one.

Wash the foam pre filter. Use mild detergent and warm water to wash the foam pre filter and allow it to dry completely. Keep in mind – never use gasoline or low flash-point solvents for cleaning the air filter elements.

Place the dry pre filter back onto the air filter and reinstall the air filter. Secure the air filter cover and lock handles.

Reconnect the spark plug ignition wires on your Cub Cadet riding lawn mower.

Use our illustrated parts diagrams to locate any replacement parts you may need for maintenance.

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How to Change the Oil on a Cub Cadet Ultima

How to Change the Oil on a Cub Cadet Ultima

Regular oil changes are essential to keeping your Cub Cadet Ultima’s engine in working condition. Regular oil changes also maximize the lifespan of your mower and keep your Cub Cadet running smoothly and efficiently.

Before performing any maintenance on your Cub Cadet Ultima, refer to your owner’s manual for recommended maintenance and safety information. Maintenance instructions vary by model, so depending on your model our instructions may vary slightly. Check your owner’s manual to get instructions specific to your model, including information about the recommended oil type.

To change the oil on your Cub Cadet Ultima, begin by parking your mower 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.

It may be helpful to place a piece of cardboard under your mower to catch oil drips. Use an oil basin to catch the old oil when it is drained from the engine. Remove the dip stick and drain the oil. Use a ¾-inch and a ½-inch wrench to unthread the stopper plug from the oil outlet and allow the engine oil to completely drain. After the oil has drained, secure the stopper plug to the oil outlet.

Replace the oil filter with a new one. Use an oil filter wrench to unthread the oil filter from the engine. Use a rag to clean the area around the engine of any spilled oil.

Replace the oil filter and add a little oil to the seal of the new oil filter to help with the install. Use your hand to thread the new oil filter onto the engine. Do not overtighten. Use your oil filter wrench to snug the fit but do not overtighten.

Add new oil to your Cub Cadet Ultima. Use the oil recommended by the engine manufacturer and fill to the recommended levels. Replace the dip stick and check the engine oil levels.

Check the oil level with the dip stick. Depending on where it reads, you may need to add more oil. When checking the oil with the dip stick, place the dip stick into the oil and push it all the way down. Remove the dip stick, clean it with your rag, and place it in the oil one more time to check the oil level.

Reconnect the spark plug wire on your Cub Cadet Ultima.

Use our illustrated parts diagrams to locate any replacement parts you may need for maintenance on your Cub Cadet Ultima.

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Fall Lawn Care Tips

Fall is here, though some of us are still experiencing periods of warm temperatures. While we still have some warm weather left, this is the perfect time to prepare your yard for fall and winter.

Keep the grass tall

Tall grass helps keep moisture during warmer temperatures. Mowing high also decreases turf damage from mowing too short, the grass is more drought tolerant, and more weed and grub tolerant.

Trim and edge

Hedge trimmers and pruners are great lawn care tools. Fall is the perfect time to handle overgrown bushes and shrubs and these tools do just that. Note that cutting old and thick branches promotes the growth of new stems.

Edgers, string trimmers, or brushcutters are also great tools. They enhance the look of your yard and add new definition to the area. They can help stop the entrance of plant roots in your sidewalk and driveway. Once winter is over, it will be easier to reestablish a beautiful lawn.

Fertilize

While there are a variety of blended fertilizers in stores, fertilizing starts with you and your mower. Mow your lawn as you normally would and leave the finely chopped grass clippings on your lawn as mulch. Mulching allows the grass to naturally decompose while allowing nutrients to reach your soil and improve the health of your lawn.

Overseed when needed

Soon your lawn will be covered in leaves, and shortly after covered in snow once winter hits. You don’t want bald spots on your lawn when fall ends so it’s a good idea to overseed now.

If you are overseeding, do not mow high. Instead cut the grass at your mower’s lowest height and bag the mower clippings instead of using them as mulch. This way, the seeds will get maximum contact with the soil and new grass will grow.

Dethatch the lawn

The thatch layer is the layer of dead grass, roots, and debris that accumulate on the surface of the soil. Over time, a thick mat forms and this prevents air and water from reaching the soil. Therefore, your lawn is more susceptible to diseases and pests.

If the thatch layer is over a half inch thick, it should be removed. Most lawns need dethatching once a year. To check if it’s time, work your fingers into the grass and take note of the thatch layer. To remove thatch from your lawn, use a dethatching rake or power dethatcher.

Aerate compacted soil

Lastly, consider aeration. Aerating entails punching holes into the lawn to allow oxygen, water, and nutrients to reach the soil. The goal of aeration is to loosen compacted soil and is needed for lawns that suffer from heavy foot traffic and construction.

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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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How to Change the Spark Plug on Your Cub Cadet Lawn Tractor

How to Change the Spark Plug on Your Cub Cadet Lawn Tractor

The spark plug on your Cub Cadet equipment should be replaced at least once a year of after 100 hours of use. Spark plugs provide an ignition source for your machine’s engine to power your Cub Cadet lawn tractor. When they go bad, mowing your lawn becomes a challenge. Change the spark plug on your Cub Cadet lawn tractor regularly to keep your mower up and running throughout the whole season.

Before performing any maintenance on your Cub Cadet lawn tractor, 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.

Before working on your Cub Cadet mower, follow these safety precautions:

  • Shut off the engine
  • Allow the engine to become cool to the touch
  • Disconnect the spark plug wire to prevent accidental starting
  • To carry out this task, you’ll need these tools:
  • 5/8 deep well socket
  • Wrench
  • Extension

To change the spark plug on your Cub Cadet lawn tractor:

  • Locate the spark plug on the side of the engine.
  • Use your socket to loosen the spark plug. Loosen it and grab the spark plug on the end, and give it a couple more turns.
  • Install the new spark plug.
  • Replace the old spark plug with a manufacturer approved replacement part (refer to your Cub Cadet owner’s manual).
  • Hold the spark plug on the end and stick it into the proper hole on the tractor.
  • Turn the spark plug to the left to make sure that it is starting to thread in properly, but turn it to the right to tighten it.
  • Tighten the spark plug by hand. By doing this, you can tell if the threads are going in correctly and won’t strip the threads out of the head of the engine. Tighten as much as you can and then put your socket back on the spark plug to tighten it all the way down. Give it an extra snug turn.
  • If you are working with a twin-cylinder engine, repeat the same steps to change the spark plug on the other side of the machine. Once the spark plugs have been changed, reconnect the spark plug wire.

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Lawn Tractor Tire Chains

Lawn Tractor Tire Chains

When using your Cub Cadet Lawn Tractor during the winter season, you may find that the tractor tires don’t have the stability and traction needed when the pavement is covered by hard-packed snow or ice. Under these conditions, you can increase the traction by using lawn tractor tire chains.

Most tire chains are used on lawn tractors’ rear drive tires. Since manufacturers have been making snow blowers more and more powerful, they can also provide added grip to 2-stage snow blower tires that would otherwise slide around when under full power.

Not only do tire chains add traction to your rear wheel drive, they also help break up ice on your drive and walkways. Tire chains are highly suited for driveways that are inclined. Since they are made of hardened steel, combined with the weight of the tractor, there is risk of damage if tire chains are used and operated on brick pavers. If you store your Cub Cadet tractor in the garage, it could possibly damage weak floor surfaces.

There are 2- and 4-link chains available, which refer to the spacing between skipped side links. For 2-link spacing, cross chains occur between every two side link chains. For 4-link spacing, cross chains occur between every four link chains.

Which chain is better? That depends on which chain spacing suits your needs. The 2-link spacing tire chains will give more traction because there are more cross links and the tractor’s ride will be steadier. The 4-link spacing chains are generally less expensive, and still provide a little extra traction.

The chain size is the same dimension that is formed into the side of the tire wall. Tire chains are available in every size used for lawn and garden tractor wheels. Some chain sets are meant for more than one tire size, and links may have to be removed with bolt cutters or by bending the connecting links with pliers.

To Install Lawn Tractor Tire Chains you will need:

  • Tire chain set
  • Air compressor
  • Bolt cutters or strong pliers
  • A level area of pavement to work from

Here’s What To Do:

  1. Semi-deflate the tires that you will be installing chains on
  2. Lay the chains out flat on the ground and remove any tangles
  3. Lay the chain over the tire, cross chain hook facing up, and fastener to the outside
  4. Tuck the first cross chain between the front of the tire and pavement
  5. Move the tractor forward until the end fasteners are about axle high
  6. Hook the inside fastener first, remove slack, then hook outside fastener
  7. You want the chain to be hand tight which will extend the life and performance of the tire chains
  8. Fill tires to the proper PSI rated on tire wall – this will seat the chains to proper tension

Any remaining length can be shortened by removing one or more cross sections. Using pliers to pry the cross chain connecting link open and unhook or use bolt cutters.

It is important to check that you have enough clearance in both rear wheel wells for tire chains. There should be, at minimum, three inches of clearance between the tire and the inside wall and any drive components.

If you still need more traction, some tractors have wheel weight kits that mount on the outside of the rim, or “suitcase” styled weights to add to a rear weight bar bracket, if available as an accessory.

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Fuel Tips for Cub Cadet Snow Blowers

Fuel Tips for Snow Blowers

Your Cub Cadet snow blower’s fuel system is designed to withstand 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. Read more as our experts explain how to avoid fuel-related problems in your Cub Cadet snow blower.

Fuel Recommendation #1 – 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.

Fuel Recommendation #2 – Do not use gasoline with 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 Cub Cadet 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 Cub Cadet snow blower owner’s manual for information on the proper fuel to use in your machine.

Fuel Recommendation #3 – Remove fuel for summer storage

When winter comes to an end, drain the fuel out of your Cub Cadet snow blower. After draining, 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.

This is an important step for off season storage because if old fuel is left in your snow blower it 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.

Fuel Recommendation #4 –Add fuel stabilizer to your fuel storage container

If you use your Cub Cadet snow blower infrequently during the winter, add 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. Ensuring that the fuel in your Cub Cadet snow blower is stabilized minimizes the chances of deterioration and damage.

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When to Sharpen or Replace Your Cub Cadet Lawn Mower Blade

When to Sharpen or Replace Your Cub Cadet Lawn Mower Blade

To achieve a great cut and a healthy lawn, it is essential to regularly sharpen or replace your Cub Cadet lawn mower blade. While many people only need to sharpen their lawn mower blades once every couple of months, people who mow more than once a week will need to increase maintenance to once each month. The exact timing depends on workload, but if you’re not sure how often to perform blade maintenance, there are a few tell-tale signs that will help you stay on schedule.

With the following tricks, you can develop a trained eye and keep your Cub Cadet lawn mower blade up to par all season.

The first and most obvious thing to look for is unevenness in your lawn. When your Cub Cadet lawn mower blade is sharp, your grass should be cut at the same height every time with just one pass of the mower. If you find yourself making multiple passes to compensate for missed patches of grass, a dull blade may be the culprit.

Another way to tell if your Cub Cadet lawn mower blade needs sharpening is by closely inspecting the grass. If you notice that the tip of each grass blade is torn and not cleanly-sliced, it may be time to switch out your blade. Torn tips may also decrease grass health, causing grass to lose its lush, green color to an unhealthy shade of brown.

Lastly—and perhaps most obviously—you can inspect the blade itself. While your Cub Cadet lawn mower blade can usually be salvaged with routine sharpening, it is important to look for large chips or dents in the cutting edge that cannot be smoothed out. Inconsistencies in the blade are likely to tear grass rather than delivering the clean cut that’s important for your lawn.

Also pay attention to the thickness of your Cub Cadet lawn mower blade. Over time, sand, dirt, and other yard debris can erode the blade, causing the metal to weaken and become paper-thin. If you notice this, replace the blade immediately to avoid breakage during mowing, which can cause pieces of metal to fly apart and possibly injure you or other bystanders.

Overall, paying close attention to your lawn and your mower will help greatly in determining when to sharpen or your replace your Cub Cadet lawn mower blade. Remember the signs, perform maintenance regularly, and your Cub Cadet lawn mower blade should cut beautifully every time you mow.

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How to Install a Mulch Kit on a Cub Cadet Tractor

How to Install a Mulch Kit on a Cub Cadet Tractor

A mulch kit is a way to convert your Cub Cadet tractor into a mulcher. When you change the tractor’s standard blades to mulching blades, the mulch kit recycles the lawn clippings as you mow and spreads them back onto your lawn. This returns nutrients back into the soil, keeping your grass healthy. Here’s how to install a mulch kit on your Cub Cadet tractor.

Depending on your model number, these instructions may vary.  Be sure to refer to your owner’s manual for detailed instructions, recommended maintenance and safety instructions.

Before performing any maintenance on your machine, engage the parking brake on a flat, level surface and remove the key from the ignition. Disconnect the spark plug wire to prevent accidental starting.

To install a mulch kit on a Cub Cadet tractor, begin by removing the mower deck. Set the deck height to its lowest setting. Pull the right idler pulley to release tension on the deck belt, and then ease the deck belt off the engine pulley.

Use pliers to remove the cotter pin from the front deck lift rod and slide the rod out of the hanger bracket. Remove the hairpin clip securing the right side of the deck to the hanger bracket supporting the cutting deck and release it from the hanger bracket by moving the deck outward and off the hanger rod making sure the deck doesn’t fall. Repeat this step on the left side and slide the deck out from underneath the tractor.

Once the mower deck is off, flip it over to access its underside to prepare to remove the old mower blades. Note: always wear heavy duty gloves when handling blades.

Use a block of wood and wedge it between the blade and the frame of the mower deck. Make sure it’s good and steady because you’ll be applying force. Remove the center holding nut from the mower blade with a wrench. Use a gloved hand to keep the blade from turning while removing the nut. Save the nut for installing the mulching blade. Repeat this blade removal step for the mower blade on the other side of the deck.

Once the old blades are removed, you can replace them with the new blades included in the mulch kit. Place the center hole of the mulching blade over the mounting stud on the underside of the mower deck. Make sure each blade with the side marked “bottom” or with the part number on it is facing the ground when the mower is in the operating position.

Use your gloved hand to hold the blade in place while tightening the holding nut with your wrench. Repeat this step to install the mulching blade on the other side of the deck as well.

To install the mulch plug on your Cub Cadet tractor, lift the discharge chute up. Place the mulch plug into the deck discharge chute by fitting the bolt on the rear side of the mulch plug into the hole in the deck.  Move the mulch plug into place, then pull and stretch the retaining plug on the mulch plug over the deck wheel bracket and hook it under the bottom of the bracket.

Slide the deck back under the tractor and reattach the deck. You are now ready to use your Cub Cadet tractor as a mulcher.

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