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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Troubleshooting Tips for Cub Cadet Lawn Mowers

Troubleshooting Tips for Cub Cadet Lawn Mowers

If you want your Cub Cadet lawn mower to work effectively each time you start it, there are certain maintenance steps to take to ensure your machine is in great condition. Maximize the life of your mower with these troubleshooting tips.

Tip #1 – Keep up with routine maintenance

Stay on top of routine maintenance. This will increase the performance and life span of your Cub Cadet lawn mower. Your lawn mower is most likely the most frequently used piece of outdoor power equipment so perform the proper maintenance to maximize life and efficiency.

Tip #2 – Check spark plugs and carburetors

Clogged air filters, fouled spark plugs, and flooded carburetors are common problems that can affect the starting and performance of your Cub Cadet lawn mower.

Replacing the spark plug can make a huge difference in the performance of your mower. To combat a flooded carburetor, you need to drain the carburetor and put new fuel in it.

Tip #3 – Utilize new fuel and air filters

Fresh fuel and a clean air filter will help prevent lawn mower problems. Use fresh, mid-grade fuel with no higher than E10 Ethanol rating, stored in a clean, sealed container.

To clean your air filter, tap it to remove loose dirt and debris. Hold your filter to the light. If you see the light, the air filter is okay to use. If there is no light, replace the old air filter with a new one.

Tip #4 – Keep a sharp lawn mower blade

Look at the blade on your Cub Cadet lawn mower. Dull lawn mower blades trim grass unevenly and leave the tips of your grass torn and not cleanly sliced.

Tip #5 – Check bolts, wheels, cables and belts

Tighten all bolts on your Cub Cadet lawn mower and check to make sure that the wheels, cables and belts are not overly worn. This can cause problems when mowing.

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

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

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

The longevity of your Cub Cadet lawn mower depends on the maintenance you provide. Changing the air filter regularly will keep dirt and debris out of the engine and keep your mower running efficiently.  We recommend changing or replacing the engine air filter every 50 operating hours. In dry, dusty conditions this should be done more frequently.

Before performing any maintenance on your 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.

Before changing the air filter on your mower, disconnect the spark plug wire to prevent accidental starting. Clean the engine of your mower and remove any dirt and debris. Remove the air filter cover and remove the air filter from the housing.

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

Wash the foam pre filter using mild detergent and warm water. Allow the pre filter to dry completely. Never use gasoline or low flash-point solvents for cleaning the air filter elements.

Reinstall the air filter and pre filter. Install the air filter cover and reconnect the spark plug ignition wire.

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

The air filter on your mower provides proper air induction into the engine and allows the engine to run a lot cleaner. If you have a plugged air filter, dirt can get sucked into the engine or the machine won’t run correctly or run too rich. It’s important to replace the air filter regularly to keep you machine up and running all season long.

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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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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 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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How to Change a Cub Cadet Walk Behind Lawn Mower Blade

How to Change a Cub Cadet Walk Behind Lawn Mower Blade

Sharpening or changing your lawn mower blade is imperative to a well-manicured lawn. A lawn mower with a dull blade will cut the grass unevenly and the tips of grass blades will be torn instead of cleanly-sliced. Periodically inspect your lawn and lawn mower to determine if a new blade is needed. As a rule of thumb, sharpen or replace your lawn mower blade at least once a year. Refer to this guide when it’s time to change your .

Before performing any maintenance on your 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.

Before changing the wheels on your lawn mower, please abide by 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

First, turn the mower on its side to access the blade. Make sure the air filter and carburetor side is facing up. Mower blades are sharp so make sure you always wear gloves for protection. Secure the lawn mower blade using a blade removal tool or place a block of wood between the blade and the frame of the mower to support the blade when you apply pressure to remove it.

Remove the blade retaining bolt and then remove the blade. Depending on wear and tear, either sharpen the blade or replace it with a new one. Secure the new or sharpened blade with the blade removal tool or block of wood. Then tighten the blade retaining bolt to the torque indicated in your owner’s manual.

The side of the blade that says “Bottom,” or shows the part number should face the ground when the mower is in operating position. Once the blade is secured on your lawn mower, turn the lawn mower right side up and reconnect the spark plug. Start your lawn mower and listen for noises or vibration.

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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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High-Lift Blades and Mulching Blades

High Lift Blades and Mulching Blades

The most important function of your lawn mower is to cut your grass and the biggest factor in achieving a quality cut is your lawn mower blade. While all blades cut the grass, not all lawn mower blades are created equal. Different types of lawn mower blades function differently, and there are two styles of blades you should be aware of – high-lift blades and mulching blades.

High-lift blades

High-lift blades are also referred to as 2-in-1 blades. These blades aid in assist in cutting grass and discharging the grass clippings out from the deck to fall back onto your lawn. High-lift blades are designed to create higher-lifting airflow. These blades can be identified by a drastic upward angle on the back end of the blade, which helps to propel the clippings through the discharge chute to the back of the bag, reducing clogging.

Mulching blades

Mulching blades are also referred to as 3-in-1 blades. They cut the grass into extremely small particles, eliminating the need to frequently unload heavy bags or pick up clumps of grass clippings. This method of cutting has a positive effect on the health of your lawn. The mulching blades chop grass clippings into small particles that can become a natural fertilizer. That fertilizer replenishes the soil with nutrients that your grass has absorbed over the season.

Mulching blades are designed with a more curved style surface. They frequently include extra cutting surfaces along the blade edges and may also come in a “+” design. The “+” design is two individual blades arranged in a perpendicular manner to enhance mulching.  Usually older style mowers utilize this blade design.

Mulching blades are used with mulch kits. Mulch kits generally consist of mulching blades, a mulching plug which closes off the discharge opening to keep grass clippings contained under the deck for re-cutting, and any necessary hardware for installation.

There is a different lawn mower blade for different situations and each one serves a very specific purpose. There isn’t one lawn mower blade that can do it all as effectively as the lawn mower blade specifically designed for the method you wish to use.

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