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Part 1 - Gearing a Cub Cadet Pulling Tractor. (Scroll down or click here: updated 7/8/14)
Part 2 - Strengthening the Differential & Axles. (Click link, scroll further down or click here: updated 10/20/08)
Part 3 - What type of oil should be used in the Cub Cadet transaxle?
Click here to see an IH Cub Cadet "Original" with a 9-Speed Transmission! Optimized for 1024 x 768 screen resolution. To search for a word or phrase in any of my web sites, with Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.x, or Google Chrome, press CTRL+F to open the Find dialog box. FYI - I'm not an OEM Cub Cadet parts dealer. Cub Cadet won't let me become a dealer because there's already one in my area. (It's another way how big businesses support other big businesses, or how the rich help the rich get richer. Besides, competition from different dealers in the same area help keep prices low. I think this is unfair business practice because by allowing only one dealer in a wide-spread area can have them gouge (overcharge) unsuspecting customers on parts and/or repair costs. They probably laugh all the way to the bank after every sale, too.
Part 1 - Gearing a Cub Cadet Pulling Tractor -
In tractor pulling, understanding the concept of having the correct gearing to achieve adequate ground speed so the engine will have enough power to spin the tires on any given track conditions can be a challenge. Overdrive and underdrive gears either speed up or slow down the transmission gears in the transaxle. And by changing the transmission gears, this will give the puller a choice of slower or faster gears according to track conditions.
Having very slow ground speed or very high ground speed can sometimes hurt how well a tractor can pull. With a healthy engine, at the end of the track, if the engine is still revving like there's no load on it, then this means the gearing is too low. But if the engine bogs down and die, this means the gearing is too high. In other words, the gearing needs to be "balanced" to the strength of the engine so when the sled's weight is on the tractor (entire weight of tractor transferred over the rear tires), the tires will still spin some, but the engine will bog down slightly.
The reason to use the right gearing in a pulling tractor is to match an engine's ability to give the tractor momentum so it can pull the sled a little further down the track without sacrificing horsepower or increasing/decreasing torque at the rear wheels. In other words, if one pulls in a particular gear that is too fast, they increase the ground speed, but run out of horsepower in the end. If they pull in a gear that's too slow, they have plenty of power, but don't have the needed ground speed, meaning they may run out of traction at the end. The point here is to obtain a correct "balance" between an engines' power output and torque at its rear tires, which should result in a good pull every time.
The factory-installed gears that originally came in IH Cub Cadet transaxles
(a "transaxle" is the union of a transmission and rear axle in one case)
are 13 tooth 1st gear, 16, 17 or 19 tooth 2nd gear
and 26 tooth 3rd gear. The "tooth" count are the number of teeth
on each upper gear. The 16 tooth 2nd came out in the early 1960's,
while the 19 tooth replaced it in later years.
NOTE: The model 100's used a 16 tooth 2nd gear in serial numbers 65458 through 96765. After that, they went to the 19 tooth second. And a Cub Cadet having a factory installed 17 tooth 2nd gear is rather rare. To find the gear ratio, always divide the number of teeth on the lower gear by the number of teeth on the upper gear. Place a mark on one tooth, then count the other teeth until you get back to the mark. The mating upper and lower gears together have a total of 52 teeth. There are no exceptions. For example: 2nd speed has 19 teeth on the upper gear and 33 teeth on the lower gear to equal 52 teeth total (19 + 33 = 52). And 3rd speed have two 26 tooth gears, resulting in a total of 52 teeth (26 + 26 = 52). And so forth. Factory stock OEM gear ratios are as follows:
The number of factors to take into consideration when choosing the right gearing for a garden pulling tractor are:
If a pulling club's rules require that 23-10.50x12 [Carlisle Super Lug or Vogel] tires to be used, then these tires can be mounted on 12" wide wheels. I've seen this done many times on pulling tractors with great results. The wider wheels will allow the tire tread to lay flatter for better traction, but it'll also shorten the overall tire height slightly which will reduce the tractor's ground speed. Therefore, to regain the ground speed, if it's a Cub Cadet, perhaps installing 10% overdrive gears should do the trick. Also, 23-10.50x12 inner tubes may need to be installed to get the tire(s) to take air due to the wider wheels and narrow tires.
Rule of thumb in choosing the right gear ratios are as follows: NOTE: The following statements are meant only as a reference. The right gearing depends mainly on the strength and/or size of the engine and track conditions. And when it comes to pulling competition, nothing is really certain. Weights shown is with driver.
Remember, there's about a 600 rpm difference (reduction or increase) in gearing between one set of gears with a particular number of teeth and another set of gears with one tooth more or one tooth less.
The reason for a combination 2nd and 3rd speed gear set is to slow down the tires in 2nd gear when pulling on a biting track (moistened, sticky surface), which will provide more traction and reserve engine power, because the tires probably wouldn't be able to spin as easily. With a slightly faster 3rd gear, (faster than 2nd gear, but slower than factory-stock 3rd gear), would perform better on a hard, dry or loose track (which will allow the tires to spin more easily), will provide more ground speed without sacrificing engine power. So having a double gear set is better than pulling in just one gear all the time, which is either too slow or too fast. Click the photo to the right for a larger view.
OR, the stock OEM 10 tooth pinion gear can be swapped out with an aftermarket 13 tooth pinion gear and the large OEM reduction gear can still be used. This will increase the drive gears about 1 tooth. If you want your tractor to go faster, then both the pinion and reduction gears must be changed. See picture è
To replace the reduction shaft/gear (small pinion gear), first pry out the oil seal, then remove the snap ring, then drive the shaft out from the rear of the housing with a hammer and 1/2" round steel rod. Be careful not to damage the needle bearing. After the new shaft is installed, apply a thin bead of Clear RTV Silicone Adhesive Sealant to seal the bearing in the rear of the housing. By the way - I've always preferred to use Clear RTV Silicone Adhesive Sealant for three reasons: Gaskets don't always seal the irregularities between mating metals, especially thin metal covers; being it's an adhesive, it bonds parts together, forming a leak-proof seal; and being it's clear, it makes for a clean and professional-looking repair job. It can't be seen between the parts.
Or, to remove a pinion and not destroy any parts (seal, etc.) use a "slide hammer" and put an angle or channel steel to use as a lever. Using this method, you do not damage even the most stubborn pinion. You can reuse everything and don't have to worry about any leaks.
No machine work is required when installing overdrive gears. Just remove the small upper pinion gear and the large lower gear and install the aftermarket gears.
And when reassembling a Cub Cadet gear drive transaxle, there's no need to install any high-dollar gaskets that are prone to leaking oil. Instead, apply a thin bead of Clear RTV Silicone Adhesive Sealant to reassemble the entire transaxle case. Silicone rubber is what I've always used on my transaxles since 1989 and to this day, they haven't leaked a drop of oil. And by eliminating gaskets, the use of silicone "strengthens" the transaxle housings by securely "bonding" them together or having them make positive metal-to-metal contact, which keeps the bolts securely tight, plus the silicone fills in any imperfections between the two metals, eliminating oil leaks. By the way - I've always preferred to use Clear RTV Silicone Adhesive Sealant for three reasons: Gaskets don't always seal the irregularities between mating metals, especially thin metal covers; being it's an adhesive, it bonds parts together, forming a leak-proof seal; and being it's clear, it makes for a clean and professional-looking repair job. It can't be seen between the parts.
FYI - If oil leaks from an engine, transmission/transaxle or steering box, causing an oily mess on a concrete floor, mineral spirits (paint thinner) can be used to dry out the oil. Just pour some thinner on the oil, use an old broom to thoroughly mix the thinner with the oil, and eventually the oil will dry with no signs of it ever being on the floor. Because of its low volatile flammability, paint thinner also works great as a cleaning solvent, which is used to clean oily or greasy mechanical parts.
The Cub Cadet "Creeper Drive Unit" -
The Cub Cadet "creeper drive unit" is a 2-speed selective high/low gearbox. It's a small gearbox that mounts on the front of the Cub Cadet transaxle. When the lever is placed in LOW position (reduction speed; 2:1 ratio), all the gears in the transaxle are reduced by half, which means the tractor will move half its speed, in forward and reverse. When the lever is placed in HIGH position (1:1 ratio), the gears in the transaxle turn their normal speeds. Creeper drives are required when mowing heavy grass, plowing a garden, pushing snow or hauling heavy loads up a steep hill, doing all this especially with a small engine and for safety.
The creeper drive unit was optional equipment that was offered by Cub Cadet. The same cast iron case creeper drive unit fits all models of clutch drive IH and MTD Cub Cadets, except the IH Cub Cadet "Original". This unit will fit models 70, 71, 72, 73, 86, 100, 102, 104, 106, 108, 122, 124, 126, 128, 582, 800, 1000, 1050, 1200, 1535, 1604, 1606 and 1806. A shorter driveshaft is required with a creeper drive unit.
If your tractor didn't come with a creeper drive unit and you wish to install one, here's how to do it:
The official Cub Cadet (MTD) repair manual says upon reassembly of the MTD-built creeper drive unit, to pack it with 14 oz. of grease. But grease gets slung away from fast spinning parts, leaving the moving parts with very little lubrication for the life of the unit. Being this unit has an oil seal, O-ring and gaskets, for smoother operation of the gears that operate under extreme pressure and for less wear of the moving parts, drill and tap an 1/8" NPT [oil level/check] hole for an 1/8" NPT tapered plug on side of housing opposite of shifter just below the level of the oil seal, after installing the unit on the transaxle, fill the unit with SAE 90 weight gear oil through the breather tube opening until it runs out the oil level/check side hole. Replace the side plug and breather cap. Also, the MTD-built creeper drive unit will fit and bolt right up to the older IH-built Cub Cadet transaxles (except the IH Cub Cadet "Original"), but the upper part of the tractor frame on models 70, 71, 72, 73 and 100 will need to be modified to accommodate the taller MTD-built creeper drive unit housing and the driveshaft will need to be shortened by 4-3/4".
And as with all transmissions, transaxles, creeper drives and gear boxes, before shifting from one gear into another, ALWAYS bring the tractor or vehicle to a full complete stop with the clutch pedal fully depressed or the engaging lever fully disengaged to allow the gears to stop spinning and to avoid "grinding the gears," which could break or wear the gear teeth or engaging splines.
If you're using either old or new gears, due to severe stress that pulling places on the gears, it's always a good idea to install a sturdy bracket on the tractor frame to hold the shift lever in gear when pulling. If pulling in 2nd gear only, an adjustable yoke end can be used, or the bracket can be made of 1/8" x 1" flat steel. For pulling in 2nd and 3rd speed gears, make the bracket of 1/4" x 1" flat steel. Or when pulling in 4 forward gears (no reverse), make the bracket "U" shape from minimum 1/8" x 1" flat steel. For the 2nd gear only and the 2nd / 3rd gears brackets, use a single 3/8" bolt (stud size) to fasten the bracket to the tractor fame. But for the 4-speed bracket, use two 1/4" bolts to fasten the bracket to the tractor frame. Measure accurately before fabricating and permanently installing!
When pulling competitively, it's best to lock the shift lever in gear despite the best gears/shafts/bearing retainers installed and if the gears are properly aligned. Because sometimes they'll still jump out of gear under hard pulling pressure. I believe there's no bigger disappointment and embarrassment than having your tractor jump out of gear on the track, especially when you knew there was a chance that it would jump out of jump.
When building a Cub Cadet tractor from scratch (parts from other Cub Cadet tractors), remember - there's a difference between Cub Cadet shifters. Models "Original", 70, 71, 72 and 100 use the same shift lever (part # IH-376214-R12). Models 73, 106 and 126 use the same shift lever (part # IH-528881-R1). Models 102, 104, 122 and 124 use the same shift lever (part # IH-392628-R11). And models 86, 108, 128, 582 (IH), 800, 1000 and 1200 use the same shift lever (part # IH-544135-R1).
Sometimes while the tractor is connected to a heavy trailer, or still hooked to the sled just after a pull, the clutch(es) on a Cub Cadet will refuse to release (with the clutch pedal fully depressed, of course) and at the same time the puller/operator tries to force the shift lever into the neutral position, this may cause the transmission gears to become locked up.
If this has happens, to fix this, first, the entire transaxle will need to be removed from the tractor's frame, or just move it back enough so the shift lever cover can be removed. After that, use a large flat screwdriver to shift the gears into the neutral position. (That's when the slots in the shift forks [where the shift lever ball end fits into] are aligned.) Then, you'll notice that the shifter forks are flared out. Use a hammer to bring them back together so the shift lever ball will fit snugly into them. Due to worn gears and pulling force, these slots will sometimes flare out on their own.
Shifter forks get broken, too. I've welded many of them back together with success. And if they don't break, they get bent from someone trying to jam or force the shifter into gear when the tractor is sitting still with two gear teeth aligned and not offset with each other. This is when the operator needs to lightly engage the clutch or physically roll the tractor back and forth to get the gear teeth offset so the shifter will go into gear. The same thing needs to be done with a car, truck or anything that has a manual shift transmission or transaxle to prevent damage.
To replace a broken shifter fork, first, remove the rod it attaches to. To do so, remove the transaxle from the tractor, remove the front gear reduction housing, remove the rear end cover, then use a long drift (3/8" bendable steel rod) to drive the shifter rod forward from the transaxle case. Be sure to place a finger over the hole so the small steel ball and spring won't pop out and possibly get lost. Reassembly is in reverse order of removal.
To prevent the gears from locking up again, first, make sure that the slots are properly aligned and they're not flared out. Then place a bead of weld on each side of the shift forks as shown in the picture to the right so they won't spread out again. The weld will prevent the slots from spreading again and also keep the clamp bolts from loosening.
And in high-torque engine tractors, the mainshaft (upper shaft) could become twisted, resulting in total lock up of all the gears. Contact A-1 Miller's Performance Enterprises for quality hardened gears, shafts, ring gears and other Cub Cadet transaxle components.
The Cause for Reverse to "Jump Out" of Gear -
If the transaxle jumps out of reverse, especially when backing up a slight grade (hill), this means either the shift forks are bent and need straightening and welding. Or the gear teeth on the reverse idler are worn and the gear itself needs to be replaced. The gear teeth on the 1st/reverse sliding gear suffers the same abuse, so it should be replaced, too. What cause this is when the operator don't come to a full stop before shifting into reverse. Instead, they grind the transmission into reverse, which wears off the gear teeth. The gear teeth loses their "squareness," and cannot stay engaged correctly. The same thing happens with the reverse idler gear in automotive transmissions. To replace the reverse idler and 1st/reverse gears, the entire transmission or transaxle must be completely disassembled. There is no other way to fix this.
By the way - all IH gear drive transaxles use the same shifter forks from the IH Cub Cadet "Original" until MTD made the 3 piece aluminum case. And you use caution if using an aluminum case transaxle for competitive pulling. Aluminum don't have the strength that the cast iron ones does. When pressure is applied to the case (the gears pushing against each other under stress; the case is what holds the gears together), the aluminum case will sometimes crack or break.
|If you need any of the parts and/or services listed below Ê, please contact A-1 Miller's Performance Enterprises | 1501 W. Old Plank Rd. | Columbia, MO 65203-9136 USA | Phone: 1-573-256-0313 (home/shop) | 1-573-881-7229 (cell/text). Please call Monday-Friday (except Holidays), 9am to 5pm, Central time zone. If no answer, please try again later. (When speaking with Brian, please be patient because I stutter.) A-1 Miller's shop is open to the public, including weekends. Please call before coming so I'll be here waiting for your arrival. Fax: 1-573-449-7347. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Send a message with Yahoo Messenger: | Directions to our shop | Yahoo! Maps, 1501 W. Old Plank Rd., Columbia, MO | 1501 West Old Plank Road, Columbia, MO - Google Maps or Map of 1501 West Old Plank Road, Columbia, MO by MapQuest. Click here for more parts and services. | NOTE: To place an order, please call or send an email with a list and description of the parts or services you need. Because as of right now, we're not set up to accept orders through our web sites online. Due to the rising cost of... everything, prices are subject to change.|
NOTE: True Gear stocks a lot of gears, but late Winter through early Spring is the rush time when they fill most dealers' orders. Customers' orders may be delayed due to this fact.
|True Gear Custom
Two Upper Cluster Slider Gears and Two Lower Stationary Gears for IH/MTD
Cub Cadet transaxles. Precision CNC-ground, heat-treated and hardened gears.
Smooth engagement with no rattle or gear teeth clatter. Gear sets includes
one upper cluster gears and two lower gears. NOTE: Tooth count on upper
cluster gear and matching bottom gear must add up to 52. Listed are the most
1st and reverse gears (The 1st and reverse gears can have all the tooth counts for what ratio you would like; 13 teeth over 14 teeth up to 29 teeth), 14/15, 14/16, 15/16, 15/17 , 16/17, 16/18, 17/18, 17/19, 18/19, 18/20, 19/20, 19/21, 20/21, 20/22, 21/22, 21/23, 22/23, 22/24, 23/24, 23/25, 24/25, 24/26, 25/26, 25/27, 26/27.
Other gear sets are also available; from 13 teeth to 28 teeth in any combination you would like, as long as the gear teeth of both matching upper and lower gears add up to 52. Exception: for the upper 13 tooth cluster gear, reuse the OEM Cub Cadet 39 tooth lower gear.
Custom Gears Installation Information: On the custom 2nd and 3rd gear set, the bottom gears are wider than the Cub Cadet OEM bottom gears. Therefore, the cone-shaped spacer at the front of the lower pinion shaft will need to be narrowed about .050" so the pinion gear will mesh correctly with the ring gear. Exception: for the 13 tooth cluster gear, reuse the OEM Cub Cadet 39 tooth bottom gear. And if the upper gears are larger in diameter than the OEM gears, the shifter fork may need grinding for clearance. Or if the gears are really big, a billet shifter fork will need to be installed. Otherwise, 1st and reverse gears and everything else should remain the same in the transaxle.
|Install custom upper and lower transmission gears in
your IH Cub Cadet transaxle, or complete IH Cub Cadet transaxle repairs,
gear changes and modifications.
|Top Shafts for
IH-built cast iron housing Cub Cadet transaxles.
|Gear Shifter Rail
Detent Poppet Ball for all models of gear-drive Cub Cadet garden tractors.
3/8" diameter. Replaces Cub Cadet part # 741-0359.
|True Gear 13
tooth/5% Overdrive Input Pinion Shaft/Gear for IH/MTD Cub Cadet transaxles.
Speeds up all transmission gears about one tooth for more ground speed.
OEM IH/MTD Cub Cadet 12 tooth input pinion shaft/gear. Used and in excellent condition. OEM Cub Cadet part # 717-3073.
|True Gear Constant Mesh Overdrive and Underdrive Gear
Sets for IH/MTD Cub Cadet [Reduction Gear Housing] Transaxles. Precision
CNC-ground, heat-treated and hardened gears. Smooth operation with no rattle
or gear teeth clatter. Gear sets includes one upper pinion gear/shaft and
one lower gear. (OEM stock upper gear has 12 teeth, lower gear has 84 teeth.)
Overdrive Gear Sets. Increase gear ratio for more ground speed.
Underdrive Gear Sets. Decrease gear ratio for less ground speed.
Bearing for Input Shaft/Pinion Gear. Cub Cadet part # 941-0362.
high-speed radial ball bearings for IH-built and MTD-built Cub Cadet cast
iron and aluminum gear reduction housings with OEM and aftermarket overdrive
input shaft/gears that require a .667" i.d. (17mm) i.d. bearing. Dimensions:
.667" i.d. (17mm) x 1.575" o.d. x .470" height. (All ball bearings have
always been made to the metric dimensions. The US and import manufacturers
try to make them close to the inch dimensions as possible.)
Precision, high-speed radial ball bearings for IH-built and MTD-built Cub Cadet cast iron and aluminum gear reduction housings with OEM and aftermarket overdrive input shaft/gears that require a 5.8" i.d. bearing. Dimensions: .625" i.d. (5/8") x 1.575" o.d. x .470" height. (All ball bearings have always been made to the metric dimensions. The US and import manufacturers try to make them close to the inch dimensions as possible.)
for IH-built Cub Cadet Cast Iron Case Reduction Housing Input Pinion Shaft/Gear
(above È). Dimensions: 5/8" i.d. x 1.625"
o.d. x 5/16" height. IMPORTANT: Apply automotive grease in lip of seal
before installation to keep seal lubricated and cool until internal oil can
reach it. With no prior lubrication, the rubber will get hot and burn away,
causing an oil leak. Replaces Cub Cadet part # IH-385076-R91.
|Oil Seal for MTD-built
Cub Cadet Aluminum Case Reduction Housing Input Pinion Shaft/Gear above
È. Dimensions: 5/8" i.d. x 1.574" o.d.
x 5/16" height. IMPORTANT: Apply automotive grease in lip of seal before
installation to keep seal lubricated and cool until internal oil can reach
it. With no prior lubrication, the rubber will get hot and burn away, causing
an oil leak. No longer available from Cub Cadet. Replaces Cub Cadet part
|Oil Seal for Cub
Cadet "Original" Input Shaft. Dimensions: 3/4" i.d. x 1.756" o.d. x 3/8"
height. IMPORTANT: Apply automotive grease in lip of seal before installation
to keep seal lubricated and cool until internal oil can reach it. With no
prior lubrication, the rubber will get hot and burn away, causing an oil
leak. No longer available from Cub Cadet. Replaces Cub Cadet part #
|New True Gear,
Heavy Duty / Hardened Ring and Pinion Gears for IH-built Cub Cadets.
Note: The OEM IH Cub Cadet ring or pinion gears will not properly
engage with True Gear's ring or pinion gears. Neither can be used with True
Gear ring and pinions because True Gear ring and pinions have additional
metal in the teeth area to hold up to the added stress of
OEM IH Cub Cadet Ring and Pinion Gears, used and in excellent condition. OEM Cub Cadet part # IH-350787-R1.
OEM IH Cub Cadet Ring Gear only, used and in excellent condition. OEM Cub Cadet part # IH-350787-R1.
|Light duty, one-piece "thin casting" cast iron IH-built Cub
Cadet differential case (carrier) assembly for coarse spline axles. Suitable
for general yard use, light towing or for a competition pulling tractor with
a 10" drawbar height and 23-10.50x12 cut-tread lug tires. Definitely not
recommended for a competition pulling tractor with a 13" drawbar height and
26-12.00x12 cut- or professional-tread pulling tires. Used and in excellent
condition. No longer available from Cub Cadet. OEM Cub Cadet part # IH-223472-C91
Heavy duty, one piece, "thick casting" cast iron IH-built Cub Cadet differential case (carrier) assembly for coarse spline axles. Suitable for heavy yard or garden use, heavy towing or for a competition pulling tractor with a 13" drawbar height and 23-10.50x12 cut-tread lug tires. Not recommended for a competition pulling tractor with a 13" drawbar height and 26-12.00x12 cut- or professional-tread pulling tires. Used and in excellent condition. No longer available from Cub Cadet. OEM Cub Cadet part # IH-223472-C91 (thick casting).
* NOTE: To remove the ring gear, drill the rivets with a 1/4" drill bit halfway through, then punch them out with a 1/4" roll pin punch. Then install 5/16" fine thread grade 8 bolts with grade 8 nuts and split lockwashers. Torque each nut to 35 ft. lbs. to secure the ring gear to the carrier.
|Cub Cadet Differential
Flanges. Used and in excellent condition. Replace a broken flange. Fits the
"Original" and all MTD- and IH-built clutch- and hydrostatic-drive Cub Cadets,
except belt drive models 482, 580, 582 Special and 1100. The flange with
the O-ring groove (part # IH-376158-R91) is no longer available from Cub
Cadet. OEM Cub Cadet part #'s IH-376158-R91, 717-3203, 759-3803.
|Coarse spline axle
shaft with wheel flange. Fits IH-built Cub Cadet models 70,
72, 73, 100, 102, 104, 105, 106, 107, 122, 124, 125, 582, 682, 782, 784 (prior
to serial # 720000), and certain 800, 1000 and 1200's. In excellent condition,
not twisted, bent or damaged. Being each axle is the same length, can be
used in either side of transaxle. OEM Cub Cadet part # IH-531179-R1.
axle shaft with disc brake and wheel flange. Fits IH-built
Cub Cadet models 86, 106, 107, 108, 109, 126, 127, 128, 129, 147, 149, 169,
784 w/serial number 720000 and up, 1250, 1450, 1650, and certain 800, 1000
and 1200's. In excellent condition, not twisted, bent or damaged. Being each
axle is the same length, can be used in either side of transaxle. OEM Cub
Cadet part # IH-531180-R2.
| Wheel Studs for
IH-built Cub Cadets with an internal (wet) brake. 7/16-20 NF x 1-1/2"
long (thread length). For use with no wheel spacers. Grade 8 steel screw-in
bolts that act as studs when installed from the backside in the flanges.
Along with lug nuts (below Ê), these
make for much easier mounting of wheels on a garden tractor. NOTE: Not
for tractors with external brake disc welded to axle. An innovative
concept by Brian Miller because nobody else advertise this by-product for
use on a garden tractor. Replaces Cub Cadet part # 710-3027.
|Wheel Studs for
IH-built Cub Cadets with an internal (wet) brake or external axle/disc
brakes. 7/16-20 NF size. Made of B7 hardened alloy all-thread steel rods
that act as studs and secured from the backside in the flanges with jam nuts.
Along with lug nuts (below Ê), these
make for easier mounting of wheels on a garden tractor. Each set includes
10 studs and 10 jam nuts. An innovative concept by Brian Miller because
nobody else advertise this product for use on a garden tractor. Replaces
Cub Cadet part # 710-3027.
Lug Studs for MTD-built Cub Cadet 30mm Fine Spline Axles. Convert OEM Cub
Cadet 7/16-14 NC coarse thread studs to automotive 7/16-20 NF fine thread
studs so nice looking chrome acorn lug nuts below
Ê can be used. OEM brake discs can be
reused with these studs. Made of extremely hardened steel. Install with a
1/2" impact wrench with grade 8 nut and flat washer/spacer. An innovative
concept by Brian Miller because nobody else advertise this by-product for
use on a garden tractor. Replaces Cub Cadet part # 710-0852.
|Zinc-Plated Open-End Lug/Wheel
Nuts for steel wheels. 7/16-20 NF size. Along with studs (above
È), these make for easier mounting of
wheels on a garden tractor. NOTE: The mounting holes in steel garden tractor
wheels will need to be drilled (enlarged) to 21/32" to allow for these lug
nuts to tighten properly and keep the wheel centered. Torque to 50 ft. lbs.
Closed-End Lug/Wheel Nuts for steel wheels. 7/16-20 NF size. Along with studs
(above È), these make for easier mounting
of wheels on a garden tractor. NOTE: The mounting holes in steel garden
tractor wheels will need to be drilled (enlarged) to 21/32" to allow for
these lug nuts to tighten properly and keep the wheel centered. Torque to
50 ft. lbs.
|Bronze Axle Bushings
for IH Cub Cadet axle housings with 1" axle shafts. Bronze axle bushings
are originally installed in the Cub Cadet "Original", and IH Cub Cadet models
70, 71, 72, 73, 100, 102 and 122. All other models have needle bearings.
Dimensions: 1" i.d. x 1.125" o.d. x 1-1/2" length. Direct OEM replacement
with no machining required. IMPORTANT: Before reinstalling axles, apply
grease inside bushings or on axles for lubrication and to prevent premature
wear of the bushings. No longer available from Cub Cadet. Replaces Cub
Cadet part # IH-384664-R2.
Oversized Axle Bushings for Worn [Cub Cadet Original] Axle Housings. Dimensions: 1" i.d. x 1.250" o.d. x 1" length. Axle housings MUST be precision machined to accept these bushings.
Bearings to replace bronze bushings in IH Cub Cadet axle housings
with 1" axle shafts except the IH Cub Cadet "Original". Reduce friction and
free up some horsepower in a high-speed pulling tractor! Made of high quality
heat-treated steel. Dimensions: 1" i.d. x 1.250" o.d. x 3/4" length. NOTE:
Axle housings with a bronze bushing will need to be bored precisely to 1.250"
to accept these bearings. Not a direct replacement for the OEM IH Cub Cadet
needle bearings because these have a smaller outside diameter. IMPORTANT:
Before reinstalling axles, apply grease inside bearings or on axles for
lubrication and to prevent premature wear of the bearings.
|Oil seal for IH
Cub Cadet 1" diameter rear axle shafts except the IH Cub Cadet "Original".
Direct replacement with no machining required. Also fits various other
makes and models of garden tractor transaxles and garden tiller gearboxes.
Dimensions: 1" i.d x 1-1/2" o.d. x 1/4" thickness. IMPORTANT: Apply automotive
grease in lip of seal before installation to keep seal lubricated and cool
until internal oil can reach it. With no prior lubrication, the rubber will
get hot and burn away, causing an oil leak. Replaces Cub Cadet part #
921-0187. Our part # 27897.
|Oil seal for Peerless
model 2300 4-speed transaxle with 1" diameter rear axle shafts. Fits Cub
Cadet belt drive models 482, 580, 582 Special, 1100, and other makes and
models of garden tractors with the Peerless 2300 transaxle. Direct replacement
with no machining required. Dimensions: 1" i.d x 1-3/8" o.d. x 1/4" thickness.
IMPORTANT: Apply automotive grease in lip of seal before installation
to keep seal lubricated and cool until internal oil can reach it. With no
prior lubrication, the rubber will get hot and burn away, causing an oil
leak. Replaces Tecumseh/Peerless part # 788008. Our part # 252277.
and Oil Seal Kit to install 30mm MTD Cub Cadet fine spline axles in the 1"
aluminum or cast iron IH Cub Cadet axle housings. Bushing dimensions: 1-3/16"
i.d. x 1-1/2" o.d. x 1" long. Oil seal dimensions: 1-3/16" i.d. x 1-11/16"
o.d. x 1/4" thickness. Axle housings will need to be precision machined to
accept these bushings and seals. High quality aftermarket parts. No Cub Cadet
garden tractor originally came with this type of axle bushing. IMPORTANT:
Apply automotive grease in lip of seal before installation to keep seal
lubricated and cool until internal oil can reach it. With no prior lubrication,
the rubber will get hot and burn away, causing an oil leak.
|Bronze Bushings, Oil Seals and
Locking Shaft Collar Kit for Retaining
Ford Pinto Axles in 1" IH Cub Cadet Axle Housings. Length of axles must be
turned down to 1.1875" to fit these oil seals, bushings and locking collars.
Also, axle housings will need to be precision machined to accept these bushings
and seals. 1-3/16" i.d. steel collar w/set screw. Bushings and seals same
as above. NOTE: To prevent premature wear to bushings and seals, apply
motor oil or grease in bushings and seal lip and on axles before
E-Clip for IH Cub Cadets with 1" coarse spline axles. 5/8" size. Fits
tractors with serial number 719999 & below. Replaces IH Cub Cadet part
Axle Retaining E-Clip for IH and MTD-built Cub Cadets with 1" or 30mm fine spline axles. 17mm size. Fits tractors with serial number 720000 & above. Replaces IH Cub Cadet part # 716-0136.
| External Snap
Ring for "Original" IH Cub Cadet Axles. 1" size. Retains axle in axle housing.
Replaces IH Cub Cadet part # 916-0102.
Set for IH Cub Cadet Gear-Drive Transaxles. Includes gaskets for the following:
Gear reduction housing cover, gear reduction housing, shifter cover, two
axle housings and rear cover. High quality OEM Cub Cadet gaskets, not aftermarket
that may leak oil.
|IH-Built Cub Cadet Creeper Drive Unit Overhaul Parts -
Oil seal for all IH-built Cub Cadet cast iron housing creeper drive units and IH-built Cub Cadet hydrostatic drive pumps. Fits hydrostatic drive models 105, 107, 109, 123, 125, 127, 129, 147, 149, 680, 682, 782, 784, 882, 982, 984, 986, 1210, 1250, 1282, 1340, 1450, 1512, 1650, 1810, 1811, 1812, 1860, 1862, 1882, 2082, 2182 and 2284. Dimensions: .625" i.d. x 1.1275" o.d. x .250" height. IMPORTANT: Apply automotive grease in lip of seal before installation to keep seal lubricated and cool until internal oil can reach it. With no prior lubrication, the rubber will get hot and burn away, causing an oil leak. Replaces IH Cub Cadet part #'s 921-3011 (creeper) and 921-3032 (hydro pump).
Creeper drive mounting gasket. OEM Cub Cadet part # 721-3009.
Precision, high-speed radial ball bearing for all IH-built Cub Cadet cast iron housing and MTD-built Cub Cadet aluminum housing creeper drives. Dimensions: .625" i.d. x 1.375" o.d. x 7/16" height. (All ball bearings have always been made to the metric dimensions. The US and import manufacturers try to make them close to the inch dimensions as possible.) Replaces Cub Cadet part #'s 741-0145 (IH) and 941-0155 (MTD). Our part # 150-310.
Neoprene or Silicone Rubber O-Ring for Inner Shift Lever on IH-built and MTD-built Creeper Drives. Dimensions: 1/4" i.d. x 3/8" o.d. x 1/16" thick. NOTE: To prevent damage upon installation, apply motor oil or grease on O-ring and inside housing before installing. Replaces Cub Cadet part # 721-3012.
Neoprene or Silicone Rubber O-Ring for Outer Shift Lever on IH-built Cast Iron Case Creeper Drive. Dimensions: 3/8" i.d. x 1/2" o.d. x 1/16" thick. IMPORTANT: Apply automotive grease on O-ring or on shaft before installation to keep it lubricated and cool until internal oil can reach it. With no prior lubrication, the rubber will get hot and burn away, causing an oil leak.Replaces Cub Cadet part # 721-3008.
Neoprene or Silicone Rubber O-Ring for Front of IH-built Cub Cadet Cast Iron Case Creeper Drive Gear Box. Goes in input shaft bearing cage. Dimensions: 2-7/16" i.d. x 2-5/8" o.d. x 3/32" thick. IMPORTANT: Apply automotive grease on O-ring or on shaft before installation to keep it lubricated and cool until internal oil can reach it. With no prior lubrication, the rubber will get hot and burn away, causing an oil leak. No longer available from Cub Cadet. Replaces Cub Cadet part # 721-3010.
|Overhaul IH Cub Cadet Creeper Drive Unit.
|Neoprene or Silicone
Rubber O-Ring for all IH-built and MTD-built Cub Cadet Internal Brake Transaxle
Brake Pad Retainer. Dimensions: 1-3/16" i.d. x 1-3/8" o.d. x 3/32" thick.
IMPORTANT: Apply automotive grease on O-ring or on shaft before installation
to keep it lubricated and cool until internal oil can reach it. With no prior
lubrication, the rubber will get hot and burn away, causing an oil leak.
Replaces Cub Cadet part # IH-378031-R1.
Neoprene or Silicone Rubber O-Ring for IH Cub Cadet "Original" Rear Axle 3-bolt Flange Bearing Retainer. Dimensions: 3-1/8" i.d. x 3-3/8" o.d. x 1/8" thick. IMPORTANT: Apply automotive grease on O-ring or on shaft before installation to keep it lubricated and cool until internal oil can reach it. With no prior lubrication, the rubber will get hot and burn away, causing an oil leak. No longer available from Cub Cadet. Replaces Cub Cadet part # IH-285723-R1.
|Oil seal for IH
Cub Cadet "Original" rear axle 3-bolt flange bearing retainer.
Dimensions: 1" i.d x 1.826" o.d. x .296" thickness. NOTE: To prevent
premature wear to seal, apply motor oil or grease in seal lip and on shaft
before installing. Replaces Cub Cadet part # IH-610465-C92.
Drive Transmission Oil Filter. Replaces: Cub Cadet IH-395789-R2, 923-3014.
Fits Cub Cadet models 105, 107, 109, 129, 123, 125, 127, 147, 149, 680, 682,
782, 784, 882, 982, 984, 986, 1210, 1250, 1282, 1340, 1450, 1512, 1650, 1810,
1811, 1812, 1860, 1862, 1882, 2082, 2182 and 2284. Also replaces Ariens 31928;
Bobcat 48045B; Bolens 1726450; Gravely 39306; John Deere AM39653; MTD 727-0162;
Onan 122-0185; Simplicity 171439, 1650954; Toro/Wheel Horse 795270, 108335;
Troy Bilt 1719859, 1726450, 1863211, 1870167, 1872167, 1876209, GW-1726450,
GW-B1726450. Specifications: Thread Size: 3/4-16 NF; Micron: 16. Has
anti-drainback valve; 8-11 PSI pressure relief.
Hydrostatic Drive Transmission Oil Filters. Replaces: Gravely 039306; Jacobsen 130555; John Deere AM-39653; MTD 927-0162; Simplicity/Allis Chalmers 1650954, 171439; Toro 104-5169, 23-2300; Troy-Bilt 171-9859, 172-6450, 3" fits Husqvarna Zero-Turn Mowers. Specifications: Thread Size: 3/4-16 NF; Micron: 28. Has anti-drainback valve; 8-11 PSI pressure relief.
|Machine Shop Services
Repair "sloppy" or broken IH or MTD Cub Cadet shifter assemblies. If interested, I will need entire shifter assembly, including the cover plate and the H-pattern shift guide, which is part of the MTD shifter. (See drawings to the right.)
Machine and install bronze bushings or needle bearings and oil seals in IH Cub Cadet 1" axle housings for installation of 30 mm MTD Cub Cadet axles.
Install custom upper and lower transmission gears in your IH Cub Cadet transaxle.
Complete IH Cub Cadet transaxle repairs, gear changes and modifications.
Rebuild IH Cub Cadet creeper drive unit.
I can also professionally rebuild riding mower and garden tractor transmissions and transaxles virtually of any kind, as long as replacement parts are available. We can also accurately fabricate wheel hubs, axle flanges, drill Chevy wheel bolt pattern in Ford axle flanges, etc. Please contact us if you have any questions.
|Automotive Rear End/Differential Narrowing Service -
To control the weight box in a pulling sled, for a mini-rod pulling vehicle, street rod/hot rod, etc. Details include:
How to Replace a Broken Shifter Fork in an IH Cub Cadet Transaxle -
How to Replace a Leaking Rear Axle Oil Seal in a Cub Cadet Garden Tractor (except the IH Cub Cadet "Original") -
How to Change the Gears in an IH Cub Cadet Transaxle -
To replace 2nd and 3rd speed gears, the entire transaxle must be removed from the tractor and completely disassembled. But first, when you get the replacement gears, stack them on top of each other, arrange them in the order they go in the transmission, to see if the centers match up. Align them perfectly, too. If in fact they do match up, mark each one to avoid confusion during the installation process. After doing this, you can drain the oil from the transaxle, then remove the transaxle from the tractor. (By the way - the transaxle, completely assembled, weighs 150 lb. So if you have trouble lifting it by yourself, ask someone to help.) With the housing on a sturdy work bench, support it with wood blocks. Now, remove the reduction drive unit, then remove the rear cover. The rear differential unit (carrier assembly) must be removed first in order to replace the gears.
The procedure to remove the carrier assembly is as follows:
If the shift lever "rotates around" or feels sloppy with no direct engagement into any of the gears, then this means that due to years of metal fatigue and use, the metal have broken loose next to the factory weld where the shift lever is connected to the alignment cup. Sometimes the alignment pin that's riveted inside the shifter cover can break off too, but this is rare. If the alignment cup broke loose on the lever, to fix this, the entire shifter assembly will need to be completely disassembled, and the alignment cup realigned with the shift lever, then securely re-welded. But if the alignment pin broke off, to fix this, a short, hardened 1/4" diameter pin of some kind will need to be installed and bead-welded from outside of the shift cover. The welding bead may need to be ground down so it won't interfere with the movement of the gear shift lever shield. I can perform this repair for you for $35.00 labor, plus return shipping & handling. If interested, I will need entire shifter assembly, including the housing assembly (cover plate).
To remove the differential unit, first remove the 3-bolt flanges from the housing. NOTE - identify the number and thickness of shims removed from the each side for aid in reassembly. And it may be necessary remove the side bearings from the differential case for ease of removal. Then remove the differential carrier from the case. To remove the carrier, remove the flanges on each side of the case, then carefully remove the carrier.
Now, remove the shift lever/top cover assembly. Remove the shift fork retaining bolts. Rotate the shifter rails with pliers to unseat the poppet balls. Using a long drift (or rod) from the differential end, drive out the shifter rails forward and out of the housing. CAUTION! Hold your fingers over the holes or insert a 1/4" roll pin punch into the poppet bores to prevent the balls from flying out while the rails are being removed!
Remove the bolts from the main shaft bearing retainer and bump the main shaft and bearing forward and out of the housing. The upper 1st and 2nd/3rd sliding gears can be removed as the shaft is removed from the housing. Inspect the reverse idler gear for excessive wear or damage and replace it if necessary. Otherwise, the reverse idler gear doesn't need to be removed.
Remove the countershaft nut and bump the shaft rearward out of the housing. The lower gears and spacers can now be removed. Note the sequence of the spacers and gears for correct reassembly!
Correct Installation of Cub Cadet Gears and Spacers on Countershaft
Inspect all parts for wear, clean the housing and install the parts in reverse order of above È.
NOTE - When installing a set of special-made 2nd and 3rd speed gear set (especially a 21 tooth and higher second speed gear), the shift fork and sometimes the lower (inside) front portion of the transaxle housing may need grinding for gear clearance and for the bottom 3rd gear clearance, because the aftermarket lower 3rd gear is wider than the stock one. After tightening the nut on the pinion shaft, rotate the shaft/gears by hand to check for noise, adequate clearance and smooth rotation before permanently installing! Also, before installing the shift lever cover, shift all the gears by hand and check for correct bottom and top gear tooth alignment. Being the center part between the 2nd and 3rd aftermarket upper gears are larger in diameter, you'll probably need to grind out the center "U" shape of the shifter fork. Or if you wish, instead of grinding the original shift forks for clearance, you can order special-made shift forks that will clear the 21 tooth and higher gears from A-1 Miller's Performance Enterprises.
The bottom 2nd and 3rd speed aftermarket pulling gears are wider than the OEM gears. Therefore, the tapered spacer needs to be narrowed about .060"±. But measure the thicknesses of the OEM gears and aftermarket gears, then subtract the difference from the tapered spacer. None of the other spacers will need to be narrowed. Remove metal from the wide end of the tapered spacer. This way, it'll still allow plenty of room for the tapered end not the interfere with the front bearing. When using aftermarket gears, reducing the length of the front spacer will properly align the bottom gears with the top gears, and it'll prevent pushing the pinion gear too far back, which will throw off the backlash in the ring and pinion gears. (The correct backlash of the ring and pinion gears is .003" to .005".) For accuracy and trouble-free service, remove the metal from the spacer by chucking it in a small metal lathe (with a self-centering 3-jaw chuck). But do not grind on the lower gear itself! And because the lower 3rd gear is larger in diameter than the stock one, slight grinding of inside the transmission case may be needed.
After completion, rotate the gears by hand using the input shaft with the shift forks in the neutral position, the gears should turn freely and there should be no strange sounds. Shift all the gears into position and look at the gear teeth mesh. They should be perfectly aligned. If one or two isn't aligned, then a couple of spacers are in the wrong place. And if there is a noise, the only two things that could be causing it is the shift fork(s) wasn't ground enough to clear the gears or the lower inside portion of the transmission housing to clear the lower 3rd speed gear wasn't ground away enough.
And if you were wondering, ALL Cub Cadet transaxles are offset to the right when standing behind the tractor. They did this so the driveshaft will clear the steering box and so the driveshaft will be inline with the engine crankshaft centerline on the single cylinder Kohler engines.
How To Install Three (3) Forward Pulling Gears (with working reverse)
The two paragraphs below Ê was written by Dan Floyd of Springfield, Missouri. His email address is: email@example.com.
Installing 3 forward pulling gears is exactly the same as the 4 gear setup (below Ê) with the exception of the reverse idler gear. Simply machine the opposite end from the spacer end of the reverse idler gear back approximately 1/4" and turn down the spacer end diameter a bit (to clear the gears). The reason for this is the gear will be moving back towards the case of the transmission a bit. It is really very simple, especially if using the forks and spacers from Midwest Super Cub.
If you want to use your factory shift forks, you will only have to modify one. To do so, cut the forks off of the rail assembly and weld on new ones. I used a large, flat heat-treated washer with a side cut out to make one of mine after doing the first. Just place the gears in position with the rails in what gear it should be aligned the new fork. Tack weld it in place, then you can weld it on the bench to finish it. It isn't any big trick, no remachining the rails, no fancy gear grinding and no headaches. I did use an aftermarket spacer kit for the first transaxle I repaired. I kept the dimensions and made our own for the other installments. Their spacers let you use the original detents on the rails. Plain aluminum round stock can be used.
How To Install Four (4) Forward Pulling Gears (with no reverse) -
The two forward gears that replaces the original 1st and reverse gears installs pretty much the same way a custom set of 2nd and 3rd gears are installed. Except they install and operate in reverse of 2nd and 3rd gears. To install a set of four (4) forward gears, you'll need a set of special-made 4-speed shift forks and a 4-speed gear spacer kit (see pictures above È or to the right) from an aftermarket manufacturer.
To install the gears, the transaxle must be completely disassembled. Then you'll need to remove the reverse idler gear, shaft and boss. Take a torch and carefully cut the boss off, then use a die grinder to grind it smooth. Also grind the casting flash (ragged edges). You also may have to grind the case for gear clearance depending on the ratios that you choose. After all the grinding is done and the case has been cleaned, repaint the bare metal and let dry before reassembly. (Paint prevents oil from seeping through the cast iron case and making a mess on the outside.) Make sure that the oil holes that feed the bearings are clear. You could replace the shift detent springs with the stiffer YELLOW springs. They're about 3 times stronger than stock springs. Available from Vogel Manufacturing.
Listed below Ê are the dimensions for making the spacers on a 3- or 4-speed Cub Cadet transaxle. Spacers listed in order going from the pinion bevel gear (lower shaft) towards nut: (Reverse gear - third or first - fourth gear, depending on gear selection.)
Cross Sectional View of IH Cub Cadet Transmission
Exploded View of Cub Cadet Transmission Gears and Components
If your tractor sometimes "skips a gear tooth" in the transaxle when pulling, this is caused by the flimsy OEM stamped steel front pinion bearing retainers. They'll flex when placed under a load. What happens is the lower stationary gears on the pinion gear/shaft are being pushed forward from the pressure of the ring gear, causing the bottom gears to become misaligned with the top gears, which allows them to skip a tooth. This could also cause the ring and pinion gears to skip, chipping a tooth on the ring gear, or breaking the ring gear.
To prevent "gear skipping" and possibly breaking a tooth off a gear or ruining the ring and pinion gears, you'll need to install a set of billet steel pinion bearing retainers on the bearing where the lower pinion shaft protrudes through the front of the transaxle case. You can get a new set of billet steel pinion bearing retainers from Midwest Super Cub (http://www.midwestsupercub.net/).
The "original" (belt to disc clutch drive) Cub Cadet had the rear end differential carrier installed with the spider gears on the right of the ring gear (viewed with the operator sitting in the seat). The transmission gears turns in the same direction as the engine.
On the later model (direct disc clutch drive) Cub Cadets, which utilize a gear reduction housing, IH installed the carrier in reverse. The spider gears are on the left of the ring gear. This made the transmission gears turn in the opposite direction as the engine. The early and later carriers, ring and pinion gears are identical and are made to do this.
You must "flip the carrier" if you want to use an engine when the crankshaft PTO end turns counterclockwise when it faces the transaxle. Otherwise, it'll have 3 reverse gears and 1 forward gear.
So if you want to install an engine that turns in the opposite direction on a Cub Cadet, it's safe to flip a carrier to make your tractor go forward in the forward gears. And the ring and pinion gears will still mesh with no problem.
This section explains which OEM Cub Cadet differential carriers and axles are best to use for pulling, and how to machine two different automotive differential carriers and axles for installation into a Cub Cadet transaxle.
Depending on the class your tractor is going to pull in and engine size/modifications, there are many variations in which clutch/driveshaft design and carrier/axles to use. Listed are the weakest to the strongest:
The stock Cub Cadet differential carrier (the part that the ring gear is fastened onto) is made from inferior or weak cast iron material. This means that they're not suitable for extreme pulling competition. Most unprotected stock carriers will break when used with a 13" hitch height, sharpened 26x12.00-12 tires and especially when hooked to a very heavy sled.
What happens is this: when a tractor is pulling, and when the weight of the sled comes up on the tractor, force on the spider gears (side gears and differential pinion gears, the four angled gears that's inside the carrier) places extreme outward pressure on the differential carrier, causing it to explode without warning. To reduce the chances of this happening, read below Ê. Also, if you're running a lightweight pulling tractor (900 lb. w/driver) with a hitch height that's below the center line of the rear axle (10" hitch height), and small diameter rear tires (23x10.50-12), you don't have to worry about a stock carrier or axles breaking. The transfer weight of the tractor won't be placing that much strain on them.
What is the maximum horsepower recommended with a stock Cub Cadet carrier?
I don't think that question has just one answer. Because it's not necessarily horsepower that breaks a stock IH Cub Cadet coarse spline carrier and axles. The combination of engine size and torque, gearing of the tractor, weight of the tractor, tire size, if the tires have cut tread or not, hitch height, weight of the sled and track conditions all play a part in rather if a stock carrier and axles will break or not. To put it plain and simple, a heavy tractor with 26-12.00x12 cut tread tires and a 13" hitch height that pulls in 1st gear on a biting track is murder on a stock carrier and axles.
IH Cub Cadet tractors originally came with a thin casting, then later, a thick casting cast iron carrier. Both of these carriers have been known to break under pulling strain, even when "strapped." The thin casting carrier is suitable for light yard or garden use, or for a competitive pulling tractor with a 10" drawbar height and 23-10.50x12 cut-tread lug tires. Definitely not recommended for a competitive pulling tractor with a 13" drawbar height and 26-12.00x12 cut- or professional-tread pulling tires. And the thick casting carrier is more suitable for heavy yard or garden use, or for a competitive pulling tractor with a 13" drawbar height and 23-10.50x12 cut-tread lug tires. Definitely not recommended for a competitive pulling tractor with a 13" drawbar height and 26-12.00x12 cut- or professional-tread pulling tires. The early thick casting carrier has coarse spline side gears for the coarse spline axles. And the later thick casting carrier has fine spline side gears for the fine spline axles. The thick casting carrier is the 4th strongest carrier available, but not as strong as the two-piece MTD-built Cub Cadet fine spline, Dodge or Pinto carriers and axles.
Weld the Spider Gears Together to Strengthen the Stock Cub Cadet Differential Carrier -
A sure way to prevent a stock carrier from breaking is to weld the spider (side and pinion) gears together. I don't have a picture, but the spider gears are welded together where they make contact with each other. A welded or "locked" rear end will definitely provide superior pulling traction. But on the other hand, the tractor won't be as maneuverable as one with a free-spinning rear end. This means it would require a large area just to turn it around. Also, some extra weight (approximately 10 lb.) may be required on the front of the tractor to control it while going down the track. If one does decide to weld the spider gears, the carrier won't need a strap. Because under pulling stress, the spider gears wants to push outward, causing the differential carrier to break. But if the gears are welded, they can't push outward and break the carrier. Just weld the teeth together so they won't rotate on each other. And there's no need to remove the carrier out of the rear-end to weld the spider gears. You can reach in through the rear of the housing and weld side, then rotate the carrier and weld the other side. It's that simple. Use mild steel welding wire or rod to securely weld the spider gears together. Use some kind of metal shield to keep the welding splatter off the ring gear teeth. NOTE - welding of these gears is permanent! It cannot be undone!
A word of caution before welding the spider gears: if there's inadequate weight on the front of the tractor, a welded rear end could cause a high-speed pulling tractor to wander from side to side on the track. Therefore, that's why most pullers prefer an open (free spinning spider gears) rear end.
KEEP THIS IN MIND: If running you're a 13" hitch height and 26x12.00-12 tires, isn't a "100% guarantee" that stock [coarse spline] axles won't break. The above È methods only lessens the chances of them breaking. If you have a high horsepower engine, it's best to install a re-machined automotive carrier and axles. Scroll down to find out what it takes to machine an automotive carrier and axles yourself. And as far I know, there's no posi-trac clutch packs for any carrier that can fit in the Cub Cadet transaxle. Therefore, the only way to make both axles pull at the same time in a Cub Cadet is weld the spider gears together.
Using Coarse Spline IH Cub Cadet Axles -
Anything with coarse splines will twist or break a lot easier than anything with fine splines. That's why the stock Cub Cadet axles twist or break easily, and that's also why late-model automobiles use only fine splines throughout the entire driveline, including the axles. Factory-hardened Cub Cadet coarse spline axles will ALWAYS twist at the splines whenever too much torque is applied to them. So when using coarse spline axles, try to use a set that's heat-treated to the center. To check for this, drill into the the center of the splined in. If the drill bit cannot bore into the axle, then the center is heat-treated. But if it bores into the axles, then the center is not heat-treated and the axle may break easily.
"Gun drilling" axles or making them hollow inline with the splines are is not a "100% guarantee" that they won't twist or break in pulling competition. But it will add approximately 15% more strength in the spline area. And stock axles should only be used in a pulling tractor with a stock engine, with an operating governor - maximum 4,000 rpm engine speed.
The IH-built Cub Cadet one-piece carrier with the fine spline side gears and 1" diameter fine spline axles came in some of the later models 682, 782, 1282 and maybe a few others have them. The later one-piece carrier have thicker metal for increased strength. This carrier is about 75% stronger than the earlier one-piece coarse spline carriers. These carriers and axles can be used in a stock pulling tractor. Only certain carriers and axles in the red color Cub Cadets are fine spline. You can't tell from the outside. The rear cover must be removed and an axle pulled to see if it has fine spline axles. As far as I know, the early model IH 582's and all of the model IH 1282's came with these particular carrier and axles. These came in IH Cub Cadet models below serial number 720,000 (models 582, 682, 782 and 1282).
At 720,000 they kept the 1" fine spline axles and upgraded the carrier to the 2 pc. These models go from the late red 82 series and continue with all the models with that same body style (1811, 1806, 1210 etc). These models had the all aluminum transaxle case but still had the hex shaped axle housings. This setup will drop right in an older Cast iron rear without any machine work to the axle tubes. The ring gear needs swapped over to the new carrier.
Beginning at serial # 800,000 (for the 1990 model year) they changed the styling by changing the hood and grille to plastic. These models are often referred to as the "cyclops" series because they have a single headlight lens that covers the two bulbs. These models kept the same 2pc carrier but the outer end of the axle had its diameter increased to 30mm. These models have the larger round axle housings and use ball bearings at the outer end of the axle instead of the needle bearings. To use these axles and carrier in an older cast rear, the axle housings need bored out and larger bearings and seals put in.
The two-piece/bolt-together fine spline carrier and 30 millimeter (1-3/16") fine spline axles were manufactured by MTD (Modern Tool & Die) and not International Harvester. This carrier and axles will fit in the early [coarse spline] IH Cub Cadet transaxles, except the "Original", with no modifications, with the exception of swapping out the ring gear, carrier bearings and enlarging the axle housing ends for larger bearings and oil seals for the bigger 30 mm axles. The carrier itself will fit in the Cub Cadet Original (with the ring gear swapped), but the fine spline axles won't work because the Original use snap rings midway of the axles to retain them in the housings, one axle has a Woodruff key slot for the brake drum, and both axles have an oil seal in the 3-bolt flanges.
These fine spline units were used in the heavier [spread frame] garden tractors (mostly with a twin cylinder engine), and found in all Cub Cadets manufactured by MTD after serial number xxxxxxxx720000 (1983 and later). The serial number will probably have a long row of numbers, but if the last six numbers are higher than 720000, the tractor should have the fine spline carrier and axles. This includes all late model yellow and white gear- and hydrostatic-drive Cub Cadets with an aluminum transaxle case, except the model 582 Special, which have a Peerless 2300 series transaxle. (The 2300 series are very tough transaxles.) An easy way to identify the MTD fine spline axles is they have pressed-in automotive-style wheel studs w/lug nuts and not the screw-in lug bolts to fasten the wheels to the axle flange. The center of the flanges have that "automotive look" because the flanges are cast onto the axles and not welded. These may be quite as strong as the automotive carriers and axles. (See further down.)
The MTD-built Cub Cadet bolt-together fine spline carrier & 30mm axles came in all tractors an aluminum transaxle housing. Available from 1982 to 1994. Including models: 580 (disc clutch drive), 582 (disc clutch drive), 680 (hydrostatic drive), 682 (hydrostatic drive), 782 (hydrostatic drive), 784 (hydrostatic drive), 982 (Onan; hydrostatic drive), 984 (hydrostatic drive), 986 (hydrostatic drive), 1050 (disc clutch drive), 1204, 1210, 1211, 1282 (hydrostatic drive), 1340, 1440, 1512, 1535 (disc clutch drive), 1540, 1541, 1572, 1604 (disc clutch drive), 1606 (disc clutch drive), 1641, 1710, 1711, 1712, 1772 (Diesel), 1782, 1806 (disc clutch drive), 1810, 1811, 1812, 1860, 1861, 1862, 1863, 1864, 1872, 1882, 1912, 1914, 2072, 2082, 2182 and 2284. Any Cub Cadet that originally came with a cast iron transaxle housing, rather if it's a hydrostatic- or clutch-drive, doesn't have the bolt-together fine spline carrier and 30mm axles.
The new style bolt-together MTD fine spline carrier is much stronger than the older cast iron carrier and the ends of the fine spline axles are much stronger than the old coarse spline axles. There's no need to center-drill through the coarse spline axle splines to strengthen the splines. The spline will still twist and break under pulling force. In most cases, the ring gear may need to be swapped with an older IH angle-cut gear teeth ring gear because the ring gear teeth on the hydrostatic drive models of MTD Cub Cadet tractors are straight-cut. The old style IH ring gears will bolt directly to the fine spline carrier with no modifications, and the MTD side bearing caps (flanges) will also interchange with the IH housing. They're a direct fit.
Although the IH- and MTD-made 10-tooth pinion shafts will interchange between the IH- and MTD-built transaxles, it's best to install a ring gear with angled teeth from an IH carrier onto the two-piece MTD-made carrier. The reason being is angled gear teeth makes 1-1/2 teeth contact with each other, which is stronger, and the MTD straight-cut gears only makes contact with 1 tooth at a time, which is weaker. The more tooth contact is less prone to ring gear breakage. If the straight-cut tooth ring gear breaks under pulling strain, it's likely to break the flange on the carrier, too.
The splines on the fine spline IH and MTD axles are the same. The only difference is the IH axles are 1" in diameter the whole length of the axle, and the MTD axles are 30 mm (1.181" or close to 1-3/16") at the wheel flange. This means when using MTD axles with IH axle housings, the ends of the housings would need to be bored to accept 30mm i.d. or 1-3/16" bushings or needle bearings in order for them to work. The needle-roller bearings from the MTD housings can be reused and installed in the IH housings. But the oil seals should be purchased new. Also, either of the axle housings on the MTD transaxle won't work on an IH Cub Cadet transaxle narrow side because the mounting flange is too wide for it to fit inside the tractor frame.
NOTE: When installing the MTD fine spline, Chrysler or Pinto axles in an IH transaxle, and if the IH Cub Cadet has external axle [disc] brakes, the MTD or automotive axles won't work because the MTD brake discs are too big in diameter, and the automotive axles have no brake discs. Therefore, Midwest Super Cub offers aftermarket disc brake add-ons. Otherwise, an IH internal brake transaxle would need to be installed in the tractor.
Oil seals for the 30 mm MTD Cub Cadet axles is 721-0187. The needle bearings is 741-0363. The axle housing gaskets is 721-3014. Rear cover gasket is 721-3015. For the 1" axles, the OEM part numbers for the oil seals is 921-0187, and for the needle bearings, it's 941-0363. The coarse spline and fine spline Cub Cadet differential carriers use the same [tapered] bearings and races, and the carriers are exactly the same width.
The splines on the 7-¼" Chrysler axles are much coarse (but still considered as "fine spline") and stronger than any fine spline Cub Cadet axle. Therefore, when used in a highly modified garden pulling tractor, sometimes the splines in the [Cub Cadet] side (axle) gears will strip out. The side gears from a 7-¼" Chrysler carrier can be installed in a bolt-together fine spline MTD Cub Cadet carrier. The side gears and axles from a 7-¼" Chrysler rear end will fit in a bolt-together fine spline carrier, and the Chrysler axles can be used, but the cavities in the carrier where the side gears rest will need to be machined (enlarged) to 1.501" so the side gears from the Chrysler will fit.
I believe that ALL fine spline axle/carrier tractors have external brakes. To install this type of carrier and axles in an internal brake transaxle, just knock out the wheel studs from the axles, remove the brake discs and reinstall the studs. You may need to swap out the ring gear, too.
A Dana 30 carrier and axles out of John Deere models 140 above serial number 63,905, and all JD models 300, 312, 314, 316 and 317 will work in a Cub Cadet transaxle. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org . He can tell you all about how to get a Dana 30 carrier and axles to fit in a Cub Cadet transaxle.
Information about Using a Chrysler, Dodge or Plymouth Differential Carrier and Axles in a Cub Cadet Transaxle - Top of page
The 7-¼" Chrysler carrier and axles are super strong. I think there's no way they will break in a highly modified garden pulling tractor.
This type of rear end was introduced in 1960. It has a 7-¼" ring gear. It has 9 bolts on the cover and a filler plug. It was a low performance differential unit that came in all cars with a slant 6 and some cars with a 318 cid engine. Casting numbers are # 2070051, 3507881 and 3723675. It came in any Chrysler, Dodge or Plymouth car from 1960 to the mid 70's such as the Aspen, Dart, Diplomat, Duster, LeBaron, Mirada, Valiant and Volaré. They were also used in the mid 80's in the down-sized Chrysler Cordoba, New Yorker, 5th Avenue and the Dodge Dakota trucks with a 4-cylinder engine. 63-76 Dodge Dart, 63-72 Plymouth Valiant; 65-72 Plymouth Barracuda, 73-73 Plymouth Duster, 75-80 Plymouth Volare, ASPEN 76-80, CORDOBA 75-83, DAKOTA (Front) 87-96, DAKOTA (Rear) 87-96, FIFTH AVENUE 80-89, IMPERIAL 77-89, LEBARON 75-83, MIRADA 77-82, NEW YORKER 77-89, NEWPORT 77-89, ST. REGIS 77-83, Belvedere: 1963 - 1970 (Rear), Challenger: 1970 - 1974 (Rear), Charger: 1966 - 1978 (Rear), Coronet: 1963 - 1976 (Rear), Dakota: 1987 - 1998 (Rear), Dakota: 1987 - 1998 (Rear), Diplomat: 1977 - 1989 (Rear), Durango: 1998 - 1998 (Rear), Durango: 1998 - 1998 (Rear), Duster: 1970 - 1976 (Rear), Fifth Avenue: 1983 - 1989 (Rear), Fury: 1966 - 1978 (Rear), Imperial: 1977 - 1983 (Rear), Magnum: 1978 - 1983 (Rear), Monaco: 1965 - 1979 (Rear), New Yorker: 1977 - 1982 (Rear). They're still manufactured today.
The newer (1978 +/- and newer) have changed the casting. Some are quite a bit wider and won't fit into the Cub Cadet housing. Some have the side gears offset from the centerline and the bearing cups are odd looking. If installed in a Cub Cadet transaxle, one axle will be longer than the other. One axle will need to be shorter than the other so they'll project out of the axle housings the same length. The late '60's Dart, Valiants and early '70's Demons works best. They're the ones with no ribs. The ones with the tall ribs, the knocked off ribs are the junkers.
The rear end that's needed for use in a Cub Cadet transaxle are ones with a 2.7:1 or lower ring and pinion gear ratio (2.76, 2.93, 3.23 and 3.55). Ones with a 2.22:1 or 2.4:1 ratio won't work because of ring gear flange offset location. The ratio can be found stamped into a small metal tag that's attached to one of the rear cover bolts. After founding the right rear end, the only the parts you'll need are the carrier with all spider gears intact and in good condition, the Timken roller bearings and races, and at least 15" of each axle (when measured from the spline end). The ring and pinion gears aren't needed.
How to Machine and Install the Chrysler Carrier and Axles in a Cub Cadet Transaxle -
The process to install a Chrysler-made automotive differential unit in a Cub Cadet transaxle housing is fairly simple. It can become time consuming fitting all the parts and getting everything shimmed and clearances set. And as always, for trouble-free service, take your time when machining any rear end for use in a Cub Cadet. Measure the parts/clearances with extreme accuracy before final installation.
Machine the Differential Carrier for Proper Fit: (Updated 12/23/08)
By the way - back in the day when Cub Cadet machined their cast iron case transaxles, shafts and gears, quality control wasn't as strict as it is today with the precision of CNC machines. The same is true with the Kohler cast iron case engine blocks, camshafts and crankshafts. That's why the ring and pinion gear teeth require [steel] shims to set the clearance and back-lash, and the tapered bearings need to be shimmed to set the preload. And the camshaft and crankshaft require shimming (steel shims or various thicknesses of gaskets) to set the end-play clearances of either. Nowadays, thanks to the precision of CNC machining, virtually all makes and models of transaxles and engine blocks don't require shims... for anything! As a matter of fact, many of them don't even use or require gaskets. They use silicone sealant instead (except for the head gasket(s) on the engines).
Machine the Axles for Proper Fit:
|If you need heavy duty transaxle parts such as custom gear sets, Chrysler carrier and axles, aluminum transaxle cases and etc. for your Cub Cadet, contact:|
Information about Using a Pinto Carrier and Axles in a Cub Cadet Transaxle -
This particular carrier and axles are actually easier to install than the Chrysler unit because less machining is required. And they're just as strong. When machined and installed correctly, they'll hold up with no problems when used with a 50+ c.i. or a highly modified V-twin engine.
The 1961-'64 Ford Comet, Falcon and Mustang with a 6 cylinder engine, and the 1971-'80 Ford Pinto, Mustang II and Mercury Bobcat carrier and axles will work, as long as it's of the integral differential type rear axle, splines are smaller in diameter than the length of the entire axle, splines on are smaller in diameter than the entire length of the axles, 6-3/4" ring gear design, 8 bolts on the cover and the car originally came with a 4 cylinder engine. And it's not the later model full size "Mustang," but rather the smaller "Mustang II." Also, some Mustang II's came out with an 8" ring gear rear end with a removable differential carrier and welded-on cover, which would be more difficult to install because both the carrier and axles are bigger.
FYI: An 8" Ford carrier and axles will also fit in a Cub Cadet transaxle, but a lot of machining is required. Ask Chuck or Kevin Vogel for details.
The below Ê was written on 01/19/02 by Jim Williams (email@example.com (Jim Williams)) This is his experience with a Pinto rear end.
|Hi folks. As for the year of the Pinto rear end, it was already out of
the car and they thought it was a '76? The axles were 1-1/8 inch at the splines.
To install the ring gear I had to machine the long end of the carrier for
the ring gear to fit. The Pinto ring gear faced the other direction on the
short end of the carrier. I had to do some clean up machining on the ring
gear on the mating surface's to get a machine fit, the bolt holes matched
and I used grade 8 cap bolts, I choose to use allen head bolts and self locking
I had to put the carrier and ring gear in unbolted as the carrier is longer and they would not fit inside bolted together I used the Pinto bearing for two reasons, 1- they are bigger than the Cub's and 2- the carrier housing was not thick enough where the bearing fit to turn down to fit the Cub bearings. We turned the inside of the bearing cups so we could get the Pinto bearings in plus I had to make the bearing cup on the long end of the carrier shorter as there was not enough meat on the carrier to set the bearing closer to the ring gear.
Also machined the cup deeper, on the long end and due to the deeper bearings they are inside of the hole in the transsexual so the cup is stronger there due to the position of the cup. Had to use extra shims to get the right gear lash. I also made a cup plate of steel and bolted it on the outside of the short end of carrier cup to keep the bearing cup from breaking under stress. I also made the hole bigger in the axle housing as the axles were bigger and welded plates to the housings and installed wheel seals. I used a self aligning bearing plate with locking screw's instead of axle bushings and I made a small flat spot on the axles so as to lock the bearing plate to the axle. The bearing plates have grease fittings. I am well pleased with my setup and the tractor at 1150 lbs. rolls with very little effort due to the bearings on the axles.
The axle flange's are Cubs and I cut the flange's off and machine a hole in the center and machined a shoulder on the axle so as to be able to weld the flange on both sides and also true up the flange's. I installed some wheel studs in the flange's instead of the Cub axle bolts.
If anyone have any questions let me know, I didn't think to take any pictures. Hope this helps.
Information about which model of the Pinto rear end is best to use in the IH Cub Cadet transaxle. (Created 11/14/01)
This was originally written by Todd O'Neill. He had some problems installing a Ford Pinto rear end. Through his investigation, he have found the following:
I did not machine the Pinto differential case to make it shorter. It seemed to me that this would make the bearing surface area about 1/8" thinner due to the fact that the farther you go towards the ring gear the larger the hole becomes. I machined the bearing cup .900" on the long end of the differential, to make the bearing race go farther back into the cup. See photo #1. This made the area on the bearing cup that keeps the bearing from pushing out very thin. I then used a 3/8" thickness steel plate over the flange to give it support. See photo #2. This cup is on the opposite side of the ring gear, so there should not be much pressure pushing it out.
When shimming the backlash, I had to remove all of the shims from the bearing cup on the ring gear side. I didn't use a dial indicator to check the backlash, but I think it will be okay. If I decide to move the ring gear closer to the pinion, I would have to add a shim behind the differential bearing or machine the flange on the bearing cup. By not shortening the differential, you must put the differential and ring gear in separate and bolt it together inside the rear end.
- Todd O'Neill - My e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org (Todd O'Neill)
Remember - Ford made two (2) different size axles for the Pinto rear ends. Some have a spline o.d. of .982" and some have an o.d. of ± 1.045". If you have the smaller axles, you need to only turn them down to 1.000" and use the original bearings or bushings in the Cub axle housings. There's no need to do anything to the OEM bronze bushing or needle bearing on the housings. Just leave them alone but do install new oil seals. But if you have the larger axles, they'll need to be machined down to 1.125" (like the Chrysler axles), then in the end of each axle housing, use either a 1.128" i.d. x 1" long bronze bushing or a Torrington bearing # B-1816 or equivalent (for a 1.125" diameter shaft) and the oil seal for the axle housing is a National # CR11734 or equivalent (for a 1.125" diameter shaft). It doesn't matter which brand of bushings, bearings or oil seals are used, just as long as they're the right size.
NOTE: If you don't want to use the original bronze bushings, and if you wish to install needle bearings for less friction, you will need to remove the bronze bushings and the axle housings will need to be bored to accept the needle bearings. To do this, you'll need to measure the outside diameter of the needle bearing housing, then bore the axle housings .003" smaller for a press fit. Or, look for another set of axle housings off a later model Cub Cadet with the [1" i.d.] needle bearings already installed.
How to Machine and Install a Pinto Differential Carrier and Axles in a Cub Cadet Transaxle -
As always, for trouble-free service, take your time when machining any rear end for use in a Cub Cadet. Measure the parts/clearances with extreme accuracy before final installation.
Machine the Carrier for Proper Fit:
Machine the Axles for Proper Fit:
|If you need the parts listed below Ê, please contact A-1 Miller's Performance Enterprises | 1501 W. Old Plank Rd. | Columbia, MO 65203-9136 USA | Phone: 1-573-256-0313 (home/shop) | 1-573-881-7229 (cell/text). Please call Monday-Friday (except Holidays), 9am to 5pm, Central time zone. If no answer, please try again later. (When speaking with Brian, please be patient because I stutter.) A-1 Miller's shop is open to the public, including weekends. Please call before coming so I'll be here waiting for your arrival. Fax: 1-573-449-7347. E-mail: email@example.com. Send a message with Yahoo Messenger: | Directions to our shop | Yahoo! Maps, 1501 W. Old Plank Rd., Columbia, MO | 1501 West Old Plank Road, Columbia, MO - Google Maps or Map of 1501 West Old Plank Road, Columbia, MO by MapQuest. Click here for more parts and services. | NOTE: To place an order, please call or send an email with a list and description of the parts or services you need. Because as of right now, we're not set up to accept orders through our web sites online. Due to the rising cost of... everything, prices are subject to change.|
|Bronze Bushings, Oil Seals and
Locking Shaft Collar Kit for Retaining
Ford Pinto Axles in 1" IH Cub Cadet Axle Housings. Length of axles must be
turned down to 1.1875". Bushing dimensions: 1-3/16" i.d. x 1-1/2" o.d. x
1" long. Oil seal dimensions: 1-3/16" i.d. x 1-11/16" o.d. x 1/4" thickness.
Axle housings will need to be precision machined to accept these bushings
and seals. Collar dimensions: 1-3/16" i.d. x 2" o.d. w/Set Screw. Collar
made of mild steel. Bushings and seals same as above. NOTE: To prevent
premature wear to bushings and seals, apply motor oil or grease in bushings
and seal lip and on axles before installing.
Remember, when installing an automotive rear end in a Cub Cadet, it's important to install a steel (3-bolt) flange on the side of the transaxle that's closest to the ring gear (the right side, as viewed when sitting on the tractor). The reason for this is because under pulling stress, the pinion gear pushes against the ring gear. And the only thing keeping them together is the original 3-bolt cast iron flange, which could break. Or better yet, install 2 steel machined flanges, one for each side. Midwest Super Cub sells machined flanges for the Chrysler carrier. When using a Pinto carrier, install an 1/8" thickness steel plate over the original flange that's closest to the ring gear.
How to Install New Rear Axle Bushings or Needle Bearings and Oil Seals in a Cub Cadet -
|The following is how to install new rear axle bushings
and oil seals in the IH Cub Cadet "Original". (They're different than later
model Cub Cadets.)
||The following is how to install new rear axle bushings or needle bearings
and oil seals in a later model IH Cub Cadet. The same applies to all hydrostatic
and clutch drive models.
For the IH and MTD Cub Cadet transaxles, the official Cub Cadet repair manual says the recommended oil to use is Hy-Tran B-6, Hy-Tran PLUS (MS-1207), Hy-Tran ULTRA or equivalent. "Equivalent" means that it's safe to use any quality, name-brand hydraulic oil that meets or exceeds CASE/IH requirements. These oils can be used in both the hydrostatic and gear drive transaxles. Most Farm and Home stores should have Hy-Tran in stock. When or if you do find Hy-Tran, look on the back label of the IH/Case hydraulic oil containers. It should say something about Hy-Tran. And to prevent the wear of gears in hydraulic pumps and motors, always use hydraulic oil in a hydraulic system.
If Hy-Tran isn't available locally, then it's safe to use virtually any type of hydraulic oil, power steering fluid, hydraulic jack oil (which are nothing but ordinary hydraulic oil), Dexron® III Mercon® automotive automatic transmission fluid (ATF) or a high quality universal heavy duty hydraulic and transmission fluid in a Cub Cadet or other makes and models of the gear drive, hydrostatic drive transaxles or hydraulic systems. Dexron® III Mercon® is a very durable and high quality hydraulic oil with a red dye and scent added to determine it from other oils when it leaks from equipment. It also has a rust inhibitor and it helps keep the inside of a transaxle clean. It's available at most auto parts stores and in the automotive isle at most major department stores.
For pulling competition only, hydraulic oil, automatic transmission fluid or Hy-Tran should be used in the gear drive transaxles. These lightweight oils provides adequate lubrication for all moving parts, with no problems. And there's no need to worry about the gears, bearings and other internal parts wearing prematurely because of the low viscosity (light-weight or thin) oil. The parts are made of extremely hardened material. Synthetic oils will allow the internal moving parts to operate much cooler. And being gear drive transaxles don't have a hydraulic pump like the hydrostatic units do, the oil will never get hot. The above È mentioned oils protect automatic transmission parts, don't they? And auto transmissions work a lot harder and operate for longer periods of time than any garden tractor transaxle ever will. Personally, we've always used Dexron® III Mercon in our gear drive transaxles since we've started pulling, and we've never had any problems.
Note: Use caution when using motor oil in a garden tractor transmission or transaxle. Some motor oils doesn't have rust inhibitors and the internal parts in the transaxle will rust just above the oil line when stored in a cool, damp environment. The parts will rust so bad, they will look like they've been sitting out in the rain.
When filling the Cub Cadet internal brake transaxle with oil, don't use heavy gear oil, such as 90 weight. If heavy gear oil is used, the tractor won't stop as well. Instead, use SAE 30, 10W30, 10W40 motor oils, power steering fluid, lightweight hydraulic oil, automatic transmission fluid or Hy-Tran fluid. These types of oils are much thinner than conventional gear oil, which will allow the brake to grip better and for a pulling tractor, it allows the gears to spin faster, freeing up horsepower. And don't worry about the internal parts wearing because of the light oil. They're made of extremely hardened material.
For pulling competition, when filling the Cub Cadet, Peerless, Wheel Horse or any other gear drive transaxle, don't use high viscosity (such as SAE 90 weight) gear oil. This also applies to automotive manual transmissions and rear ends used in mini-rod pulling vehicles. Use the lightweight oils that's mentioned above È. Because gear oil is thick and heavy and when used with pulling competition, it will slow down the gears slightly and rob the engine of valuable horsepower. By the way - the only place that sells gears for a Peerless transaxle is a Tecumseh Engine dealer. And there are no special pulling gears made for any Peerless transaxle. The only alternative is to change the diameter of the pulleys (and length of belt) on the engine and mid-shaft or transaxle to increase or decrease the ground speed of the tractor.
Oil for the Cub Cadet "Original" transaxle is installed through the oil fill hole on top of the transaxle, just behind the shifter. And the oil level check hole is located on the lower right side of the transaxle, towards the front. Fill with oil until it runs out of the hole on the side. Oil for all other models of Cub Cadet transaxles, including the gear drive and hydrostatic drive, is installed and added through the oil fill/level hole (with a 1/2" drive NPT tapered-thread plug) that's on the rear cover of the transaxle. An automotive automatic transmission funnel with a long, flexible tube may need to be used to put the oil in. Fill the transaxle until the oil starts to run out of the hole. On a transaxle that's just been rebuilt or modified, it's a lot easier and less effort to install the oil through the shifter opening, before installing the shifter housing, then check the level at the hole in the rear cover. Make sure the transaxle is positioned level too, for accuracy.
It takes 3-1/2 quarts of oil to fill a Cub Cadet gear drive transaxle. For pulling competition, less oil can be used in the transaxle. To do this, don't fill the transaxle full of oil (to the full level hole). Instead, tap another fill hole 2" (on the rear cover) below the original one and fill it to there. The lower driven gears and ring gear will still pick up plenty of oil and sling it on the upper moving gears and bearings, keeping them well lubricated. A grease fitting may need to be tapped into each axle housing end to help keep the axles lubricated as well.
What makes most hydrostatic drive and driven parts (gears) to wear prematurely isn't because the wrong type of oil was used, it's extreme heat. Whenever petroleum oil gets hot, it loses it's "thickness" or viscosity and turns thin. The hotter it gets, the thinner it gets. This is called viscosity thermal breakdown. Oil is supposed to keep all moving parts separated. But when oil gets hot, it gets thin, and this will cause the moving parts (gears and such) to make contact with each other (metal to metal contact) causing them to wear excessively. Extremely hot oil will cause the rubber seals to harden and crack, too. No petroleum oil, even Hy-Tran, is immune from thermal viscosity breakdown. Only full synthetic oil is 100% immune from thermal viscosity breakdown. So remember, it's very important to change the oil, keep the cooling fins that's on the hydrostatic pump/motor clean, make sure the fan that blows air over the hydrostatic pump/motor is in good condition, and do routine maintenance at least once a year before using the tractor, and the hydrostatic unit will probably last forever. By the way - it takes approximately 7 quarts to fill the hydrostatic drive transaxle and filter.
A non-synthetic oil will provide superior lubrication as long as you keep the cooling fins and hydrostatic drive areas clean and free of grass and debris. Make sure the fan on the driveshaft is in good condition, too. Clean the fins and hydrostatic drive areas the beginning of every year and the hydrostatic drive system should last a lifetime. Return to top of page. È
How to Make a Hydrostatic Drive Garden Tractor a Competitive Pulling Tractor -
Replace the OEM Cub Cadet Charge Pump Relief Spring (by-pass/pressure relief spring) with one that's twice as stiff or much stiffer than the original so when the tractor (hydrostatic system) is under a severe strain, oil pressure will not by-pass the hydraulic motor and return or circulate back to the hydraulic pump. In other words, doing this will allow much more oil pressure to be applied to the hydraulic motor. On Cub Cadet models with a PORTED pump, the Charge Pump Relief Spring is located under the plug on the LEFT SIDE of the hydrostatic pump housing. And on NON-PORTED pumps, the spring is located under the plug in the CENTER of the hydrostatic pump housing. See pictures below Ê. Also, the use of [heavier velocity] SAE 30 weight hydraulic oil will help increase the pressure. And the tractor will definitely need a healthy or bigger engine, preferably one that's built to the max to increase the torque.
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