The IH Cub Cadet Transaxle (internal brake model)Modifying Cub Cadet Transaxles for Heavy Use and/or Pulling Applications

Please check out: HOT ROD GARDEN TRACTOR PULLERS ASSOCIATION, Miller's Pulling Sled Rental and A-1 Miller's Performance Enterprises - Online Catalog

Click Refresh to see changes or updates.
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, 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 and 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:

  • Strength of engine. If it has limited rpm or runs at wide open throttle, stock condition, mild build-up, modified or fully modified. Engine specifications.
  • Tire size, diameter/circumference, tread width, cut/uncut tread, tread compound (hard or soft rubber), condition of tread and if turf or lug tread.
  • Wheel width.
  • Hitch height.
  • Weight of tractor with driver.

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.

Overdrive/underdrive gears & Exploded view of the reduction gear housingOR, 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 and 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 two reasons: being it's an adhesive, it bonds parts together, forming a leak-proof seal; and being it's clear, it makes for a clean-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 two reasons: being it's an adhesive, it bonds parts together, forming a leak-proof seal; and being it's clear, it makes for a clean-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:

  1. Remove the driveshaft/clutch assembly and rear driveshaft coupler from the tractor.
  2. Remove the two upper bolts from front of the transaxle.
  3. Install the splined coupler on the input shaft of the transaxle with a 3/4" long spiral pin.
  4. Instead of a using a high-dollar gasket that's prone to leaking oil, apply a thin bead of Clear RTV Silicone Adhesive Sealant and then fasten the creeper drive unit gearbox to the transaxle. By the way - I've always preferred to use Clear RTV Silicone Adhesive Sealant for two reasons: being it's an adhesive, it bonds parts together, forming a leak-proof seal; and being it's clear, it makes for a clean-looking repair job. It can't be seen between the parts.
  5. Shorten the original driveshaft where the machined groove is, or if there's no groove, cut exactly 4-3/4" off the rear of the driveshaft.
  6. Reinstall the rear coupler on the driveshaft and reinstall the driveshaft/clutch assembly in the tractor.
  7. Remove the square plug from the side of the creeper drive unit and top breather cap, fill unit with (preferably) SAE 90 weight gear oil through the top breather tube opening until the oil runs out the side hole. Replace the side plug and breather cap. NOTE: The official IH Cub Cadet repair/maintenance manual says to use SAE 30 weight motor oil, but being the unit has gears that operate under extreme pressure, it's best to use SAE 90 weight gear oil for less wear of the moving parts.
  8. Go here to learn more: http://cubfaq.com/creeper.html.
  9. NOTE: Due to it's age, some parts are no longer available from Cub Cadet for this unit.



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.

To acquire a creeper drive unit, look on eBay (under keyword Cub Cadet) or request to have a want ad posted in my web site: FREE Advertisement Posting Page. And remember, when a creeper drive unit is acquired and before installing it in the tractor, first make sure it's in good condition, and that you received the splined coupler and all the hardware with it. Otherwise, it's useless.


Shifter Locking BracketsIMPORTANT! 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).

Welding shifter slotsSometimes 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, and 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.

IMPORTANT! 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.


Advertisement:
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: 1-573-875-4033. 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.) Fax: 1-573-449-7347. E-mail: pullingtractor@aol.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.
A-1 Miller's Performance Enterprises is an Authorized Dealer for the Super Tough TRUE GEAR Pulling Gears and Hardened Top Shaft!

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. NOTE: Tooth count on upper cluster gear and matching bottom gear must add up to 52. Listed are the most popular sets.

1st and reverse gears (The 1st and reverse gears can have all the tooth counts for what ratio you would like; 13t 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. Sets includes upper and lower gears. Exception: for the upper 13 tooth cluster gear, reuse the OEM Cub Cadet 39 tooth lower gear.

  • Above È gears, any combination. $120.00 per set, plus shipping & handling.

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.
  • $200.00 and up labor, plus return shipping & handling. Parts are extra charge.
Top Shafts for IH-built cast iron housing Cub Cadet transaxles.
  • OEM Cub Cadet top shaft, used and in excellent condition. $40.00 each, plus shipping & handling. (When available.)
  • New True Gear heat treated, heavy duty top shaft. Won't twist like OEM top shaft. $75.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
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.
  • $75.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

OEM IH/MTD Cub Cadet 12 tooth input pinion shaft/gear. Used and in excellent condition. OEM Cub Cadet part # 717-3073.

  • $40.00 each, plus shipping & handling. (When available.)
Oil Seal for Input Pinion Shaft/Gear (above È) in IH-built Cub Cadet cast iron reduction housings. Dimensions: 5/8" i.d. x 1.625" o.d. x 5/16" height. 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-385076-R91.
  • $20.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
Oil Seal for Input Pinion Shaft/Gear (above È) in MTD-built Cub Cadet aluminum reduction housings. Dimensions: 5/8" i.d. x 1.574" o.d. x 5/16" height. NOTE: To prevent premature wear to seal, apply motor oil or grease in seal lip and on shaft before installing. No longer available from Cub Cadet. Replaces Cub Cadet part # 721-0193.
  • $20.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
True Gear Constant Mesh Overdrive Gear Sets for IH/MTD Cub Cadet transaxles. Increase gear ratio for more ground speed.
  • 10% increase; speeds up transmission gears by 1-1/4 turns.
  • 16% increase; speeds up transmission gears by 2-1/2 turns.
  • 23% increase; speeds up transmission gears by 3-1/2 turns.
  • 26% increase; speeds up transmission gears by 4 turns.
  • 33% increase; speeds up transmission gears by 5 turns.
  • 38% increase; speeds up transmission gears by 6-1/2 turns.
  • 43% increase; speeds up transmission gears by 7 turns.
    • Any ratio above È: $120.00 per set, plus shipping & handling.

True Gear Constant Mesh Underdrive Gear Sets for IH/MTD Cub Cadet transaxles. Decrease gear ratio for less ground speed.

  • 10% decrease; slows transmission gears by 1-1/4 turns.
  • 20% decrease; slows transmission gears by 2 turns.
    • Any ratio above È: $120.00 per set, plus shipping & handling.
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 pulling.
  • $355.00 per set, plus shipping & handling.

OEM IH Cub Cadet Ring and Pinion Gears, used and in excellent condition. OEM Cub Cadet part # IH-350787-R1.

  • $100.00 per set, plus shipping & handling. (When available.)

OEM IH Cub Cadet Ring Gear only, used and in excellent condition. OEM Cub Cadet part # IH-350787-R1.

  • $50.00 each, plus shipping & handling. (When available.)
Light duty, one-piece "thin casting" cast iron IH 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 (thin casting). [When available.]
  • Without ring gear.* $30.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • With ring gear. $50.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

Heavy duty, one piece, "thick casting" cast iron IH 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). [When available.]

  • Without ring gear.* $60.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • With ring gear. $80.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

* 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 IH-built clutch- and hydrostatic-drive Cub Cadets, except belt drive models 482, 580, 582 Special and 1100. Will not fit the MTD-built Cub Cadets with the aluminum transaxle housings. No longer available from Cub Cadet. OEM Cub Cadet part # IH-376158-R91.
  • $5.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
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. OEM Cub Cadet part # IH-531179-R1.
  • Used. $50.00 each, plus shipping & handling. [When available.]
  • (Cub Cadet dealer: $505.00± retail each!) 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, too.
Coarse spline 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. OEM Cub Cadet part # IH-531180-R2.
  • Used. $150.00 each, plus shipping & handling. [When available.]
  • (Cub Cadet dealer: $701.00± retail each!) 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, too.
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. Hardened 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. Replaces Cub Cadet part # 710-3027.
  • $10.00 per set of 10, plus shipping & handling.
Wheel Studs for IH-built Cub Cadets with an internal (wet) brake or external axle/disc brakes. 7/16-20 NF size. Hardened 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. Replaces Cub Cadet part # 710-3027.
  • 1-5/8" long for use with no wheel spacers. $20.00 per set, plus shipping & handling.
  • 2" long for use with 5/16" wheel spacers. $22.50 per set, plus shipping & handling.
  • 3-5/8" long for use with 1" wheel spacers. $25.00 per set, plus shipping & handling.
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.
  • $15.00 per set of 10, plus shipping & handling.
Chrome Acorn 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.
  • $25.00 per set of 10, plus shipping & handling.
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.
  • Our part # 153227. $9.00/pair, plus shipping & handling.

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.

  • Our part # 153135. $9.00/pair, plus shipping & handling.
Needle-Roller 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.
  • $15.00/pair, plus shipping & handling.
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. NOTE: Before reinstalling axles, apply motor oil or grease in seal lip and on axle to prevent premature wear to seal. Replaces Cub Cadet part # 921-0187. Our part # 27897.
  • $2.50 each, plus shipping & handling.
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. NOTE: To prevent premature wear to seal, apply motor oil or grease in seal lip and on axle before installing. Replaces Tecumseh/Peerless part # 788008. Our part # 252277.
  • $10.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
Bronze Bushing 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. Aftermarket parts. No Cub Cadet garden tractor originally came with this type of axle bushing. NOTE: To prevent premature wear to bushings and seals, apply motor oil or grease in bushings and seal lip and on axles before installing.
  • $15.00 per kit, plus shipping & handling.
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.
  • $125.00 labor, plus return shipping & handling.
Axle Retaining 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 # IH-378066-R1.
  • $1.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

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.

  • $1.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
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. NOTE: To prevent premature wear to seal, apply motor oil or grease in seal lip and on shaft before installing. Replaces IH Cub Cadet part #'s 921-3011 (creeper) and 921-3032 (hydro pump).

  • $10.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

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. Replaces Cub Cadet part #'s 741-0145 (IH) and 941-0155 (MTD). Our part # 150-310.

  • $10.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

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.

  • $1.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

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. NOTE: To prevent damage upon installation, apply motor oil or grease on O-ring and inside housing before installing. Replaces Cub Cadet part # 721-3008.

  • $1.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

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. NOTE: To prevent damage upon installation, apply motor oil or grease on O-ring and inside housing before installing. No longer available from Cub Cadet. Replaces Cub Cadet part # 721-3010.

  • .50¢ each, plus shipping & handling.
Overhaul IH Cub Cadet Creeper Drive Unit.
  • $75.00 labor, plus return shipping & handling. Installation of new parts (shown above) are extra charge.
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. NOTE: To prevent damage upon installation, apply motor oil or grease on O-ring and inside housing before installing. Replaces Cub Cadet part # IH-378031-R1.
  • $2.50 each, plus shipping & handling.

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. NOTE: To prevent damage upon installation, apply motor oil or grease on O-ring and inside housing before installing. No longer available from Cub Cadet. Replaces Cub Cadet part # IH-285723-R1.

  • $2.50 each, plus shipping & handling.
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.
  • $15.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
Oil seal for MTD-built Cub Cadet transaxle reduction housing input shaft/gear. Dimensions: 5/8" i.d. x 1.574" o.d. x 5/16" height. No longer available from Cub Cadet. NOTE: To prevent premature wear to seal, apply motor oil or grease in seal lip and on shaft before installing. Replaces Cub Cadet part # 721-0193.
  • $10.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
Hydrostatic 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.
  • Purolator brand. 3-3/4" diameter for wider space and extended use. $7.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Quality Aftermarket. 3-3/4" diameter x 3-13/16" height for wider space and extended use. Our part # 120-519. $15.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

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.

  • Quality Aftermarket. 3" diameter for limited space and general use. Our part # 30-1017. $7.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Purolator brand. 3" diameter for limited space and general use. $7.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Purolator brand. 3-3/4" diameter for wider space and extended use. $7.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
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.)

  • $35.00 labor, plus return shipping & handling.

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.

  • $125.00 labor, plus return shipping & handling.

Install custom upper and lower transmission gears in your IH Cub Cadet transaxle.

  • $200.00 labor, plus return shipping & handling.

Complete IH Cub Cadet transaxle repairs, gear changes and modifications.

  • $200.00 and up labor, plus return shipping & handling. Parts are extra charge.

Rebuild IH Cub Cadet creeper drive unit.

  • $75.00 labor, plus return shipping & handling. Installation of new parts are extra charge.

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 Narrowing Service -

For a mini-rod pulling vehicle, street rod/hot rod, to control the weight box in a pulling sled, etc. Details include:

  • Dana, GM, Ford (8" or 9") or Import automotive rear ends. Or you can furnish your own.
  • Professionally narrow axle housings and axles to your measurements and specifications.
  • Install ring and pinion gears to your specifications (ratio) or requirements, new axle bearings (if needed) and new axle oil seals.
  • For a pulling sled, install a minimal tooth count sprocket for a #50 chain on right axle (when facing center yoke) and reinstall brake drum and brakes with a long parking brake cable on left axle (when facing center yoke).
  • $500.00 and up (depending on type of rear end and work involved), plus shipping & handling. Financing available. A minimum of 50% deposit is required on all narrowed rear end orders until it's paid in full. This is to secure your rear end so no one else can come along and purchase it.
  • Please contact Brian Miller if you're interested in this service part.

How to Replace a Broken Shifter Fork in an IH Cub Cadet Transaxle -

  1. Drain the oil from the transaxle.
  2. Remove the transaxle from the tractor and place it on a sturdy work bench or table.
  3. Remove the rear cover.
  4. Remove the large gear that's in the front gear reduction housing and remove the gear reduction housing itself.
  5. Remove the shift lever/top cover assembly.
  6. Remove the shifter fork retaining bolt.
  7. Rotate the shifter rail with pliers to unseat the poppet ball.
  8. Using a bendable 3/8" steel rod, drive the shifter rod out of the transaxle housing forward and out of the housing. Be sure to hold your finger over the hole for the poppet bore to prevent the ball from flying out when the rail are being removed!
  9. The shifter fork can then be lifted out.
  10. Installation is in reverse order of removal. Except use a 1/4" roll pin punch to depress the poppet ball so the shifter rod can be inserted.


How to Replace a Leaking Rear Axle Oil Seal in a Cub Cadet Garden Tractor (except the IH Cub Cadet "Original") -

  1. Drain the oil from the transaxle unit. If there's no drain plug present, then remove the rear cover to drain the oil.
  2. Remove the rear cover.
  3. Remove the E-clip snap ring from the axle that has the leaking oil seal. Actually, it's best to replace the oil seals for both axles to prevent from having to do this again in the near future.
  4. Pull the axle out of the housing.
  5. Reassembly is in reverse order of disassembly.


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, and 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:

  1. Drain the oil from the transaxle.
  2. Remove the rear cover
  3. Use a large flat screwdriver and hammer or two large flat screwdrivers to remove the E-clip snap rings from the inner ends of the axles and then pull the axles out of the housings.
  4. Remove the axle housings
  5. Remove the bearing flanges.
  6. The carrier assembly can now be removed from the transaxle housing.



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 and 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).

Removal of the differential image 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 (Bevel Pinion)

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.

IMPORTANT! 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, and 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: jeep30dhf@yahoo.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) -

MSC's 4-Speed Forks. CNC Machined and Heat Treated & 4-Speed Spacer Kit too be used with forks.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.)
  • 1st = spacer .350" thickness
  • 2nd = gear reverse or first (depending on 3 or 4 speed)
  • 3rd = spacer 1.220" thickness
  • 4th = gear first/second (depending on 3 or 4 speed)
  • 5th = spacer .073" thickness
  • 6th = gear second/third (depending on 3 or 4 speed)
  • 7th = spacer 1.220" thickness
  • 8th = gear third/fourth (depending on 3 or 4 speed)
  • 9th = original cone shaped spacer
  • 10th = bearing, retainer and nut.


Cross Sectional View of IH Cub Cadet Transmission
Cross Sectional View of IH Cub Cadet Transaxle


Exploded View of Cub Cadet Transmission Gears and ComponentsExploded view of Cub Cadet transmission gears and components


IMPORTANT! 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.


Part 2 - Strengthening the IH Cub Cadet Rear End Assembly for Pulling Competition Top of page

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.


Use a Heavy Duty, Thick-Casting One Piece IH Differential Carrier for Competitive Pulling -

IH Cub Cadet tractors originally came with a thin casting, and 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!

IMPORTANT! 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.

IMPORTANT! 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.

IMPORTANT! "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.


Install a Fine Spline Differential Carrier and Axles For Additional Strength -

Fine Spline Axles & Early Style Fine Spline CarrierSome of the later IH Cub Cadet models 682, 782, 1282 and maybe a few others have the fine spline side gears and 1" diameter axles, and the early-style cast iron carrier, which have thicker metal for increased strength. This carrier is about 75% stronger than the earlier 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 (582, 682, 782 & 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.) All Cub Cadet models that have the "heavy duty" fine spline carrier and axles are listed in the following link: Click here to identify which year of MTD Cub Cadet you may have.

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 tuffy_puller@yahoo.com or 72buick@charter.net. They 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

Chrysler, Dodge & Plymouth 7-1/4" (Dana 25) Differential AssemblyThe 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. 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)

  1. The only parts that's needed out of the Chrysler rear end assembly is the carrier, both axles (with the flanges), side bearings and races. Discard everything else.
  2. Cub Cadet Ring GearRemove the Cub Cadet carrier and axles. Save the ring gear off the carrier because it'll need to be installed on the automotive carrier. The stock Cub ring gear is removed by drilling out the rivets. To remove the rivets, grind the end off each rivet, then use a 1/4" roll pin punch and medium size hammer to drive out the rivets, or drill the remaining rivets out with a 5/16" drill bit. Removing the ring gear from the automotive carrier is the same process.
  3. The Cub ring gear can then be bolted to the automotive carrier with 5/16" diameter fine thread grade 8 steel bolts with grade 8 nuts and split lock washers. Loctite® Threadlocker Blue 242® is optional. Use bolts that's long enough where the shank (unthreaded part) makes full contact with the ring gear and carrier. There should be no problem of lining up the ring gear on the carrier, meaning the carrier shouldn't need to be machined. Just clean the parts, install the bolts and torque the nuts to 35 ft. lb. But if the inside diameter of the Cub Cadet ring gear is larger than the shoulder on the Chrysler carrier, when installing the gear, a precision machined spacer is required for the gear to be perfectly centered on the carrier. A machined spacer can be purchased from Zack Kerber at http://www.zkbrmachine.com.
  4. Save the bearings from the automotive carrier and races from the rear end housing. Tapered Roller BearingThe inside of the [3 bolt] Cub Cadet bearing retainers will need to be machined to accept the larger automotive bearing races. Also, the Chrysler carrier is .100" wider than the Cub Cadet one. So either bore .050" deeper into each retainer so the width of the carrier will have proper fit, or narrow the Chrysler carrier .050" on each side. This is performed in a metal lathe (with a self-centering 3-jaw chuck). Or just order a set of CNC machined steel bearing cups (retainers) from Lakota Racing or Midwest Super Cub, because the OEM cast iron bearing retainers may break if not reinforced with a steel cap. And when using the stock Cub Cadet shims, the carrier can be moved side to side to reach the desired lash between the ring and pinion gears. It's best to set the lash between .006" to .008".

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:

  1. Set the Cub axles aside. Nothing is to be used off of them.
  2. On the automotive axles, measure from the splined end out approximately 14" and cut each axle off. Cut the wheel hub flange from each axle also. (The automotive flanges have the same bolt pattern as the Cub Cadet axle flanges.)
  3. Needle Roller BearingWith the splined end of the axle in the chuck of a metal lathe (with a self-centering 3-jaw chuck), turn the entire diameter down to 1.000" and use the original bronze bushings or needle bearings in the Cub axle housings. Unless they're worn or damaged, there's no need to do anything to the OEM bushings or bearings in the housings. But do install new oil seals. The oil seal size is 1" i.d. x 1-1/2" o.d. x 3/8" thick. The oil seals are part # CR 9878 and National # 4712224. They're the same size seal that most garden tiller tine shafts use and the 5hp V50, 6hp V60 and 7hp V70 Tecumseh vertical shaft engines use on the PTO end of the crankshaft. But if you choose to machine the axles down to 1.125" (1-1/8") in diameter instead, then install either a 1.128" i.d. x 1" long bronze bushing or a Torrington roller bearing # B-1816 or equivalent (for a 1-1/8" shaft) and the oil seal is a National # CR11734 or equivalent (for a 1-1/8" shaft) in the axle housings. It doesn't matter which brand of bushings, bearings or oil seals are used, just as long as they're of high quality and the correct size. NOTE: The bronze bushings will need to be removed and axle housings will need to be bored to accept the over-sized needle bearings. To do this, you'll need to first measure the outside diameter of the needle bearing housing and then bore the axle housings .003" smaller for a press fit.
  4. Steel Locking CollarThe Chrysler axles can have either an E-clip or a [1" or 1-1/8" i.d.] set screw collar (like for the Pinto axles further down in this web page) to retain them in the carrier. If an E-clip is used, in the lathe, flip the axle end for end, and cut a .025" wide snap ring groove in the splined area .250" from the end. If a set screw collar is used, be sure to install a heat-treated washer between the collar and housing to prevent the collar from wearing against the rough casting inside the housing.
  5. 8" super spacer (with a 3-jaw chuck)Fabricated wheel flangeBefore welding the axles to the flanges, the axles will need to be pressed in the flanges. In the lathe, machine the ends of the axles (opposite the splines) .003" larger than the hole in the flanges, or bore a .003" smaller hole in the flanges. However it's done, just make sure it'll be a press-fit. Fabricate two new flanges from scratch. For precision, the five holes in the flanges (and wheel spacers) or the boring process for the center of the automotive flanges should be performed in an indexing fixture, super spacer or rotary table with a self-centering 3-jaw chuck that's fastened on the table of a vertical milling machine.
  6. Using a hydraulic press, press the axles into the flanges.
  7. In the lathe, true up the flange(s) with a dial indicator for zero run-out. Weld the flange(s) thoroughly on each side for strength. FYI - Use a wire feed welder with mild steel wire to weld the flanges to the axles.
  8. Allow the axles to slowly air-cool. Cooling them too quickly could cause the weld area to crystallize and become brittle.
  9. Clean and sand smooth the area where the bearing and oil seal will make contact on the axle to insure a smooth bearing surface and leak-proof seal.


Advertisement:
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 -

Ford Pinto, Mustang II & Mercury Bobcat Differential AssemblyThis 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 (jrwilliams@go-concepts.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 nuts.

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:

  1. The 1971-'73 Pinto differentials are interchangeable, '74 through '78 differentials are interchangeable and '79 and '80 differentials are interchangeable.
  2. The '71-'78 dfferentials have the same bearings as IH Cub Cadet. '79-'80 have a larger bearing. I do not know the difference in the '71-'73 and the '74-'78 but I had two salvage yards find the same information, that the '73 and '74 were different.
  3. Axles in the '79-'80 models have 25 splines and about 1-1/8" in diameter at the spline area. Axles on the '74-'78 models have 23 splines and about 15/16" in diameter at the spline area. I do not know about the '71-'73 axles. Note: I am using a '75 model differential in my Cub Cadet.

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: oneills@svs.net (Todd O'Neill)

Needle Roller BearingRemember - 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), and 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 and 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:

  1. The only parts that's needed out of the Pinto rear end assembly is the carrier and both axles. Discard everything else.
  2. Drill new 5/16" holes between the original Pinto ring gear holesThe Cub Cadet ring gear fastens on the opposite side of the flange where the Pinto ring gear originally went. Don't use the original Pinto ring gear bolt holes in the flange to fasten the Cub Cadet ring gear to. They're too big and they don't line up properly. Also, the ring gear could slip and/or break when under severe pressure if the Pinto's ring gear holes are used. Instead, align the ring gear on the flange so the holes are halfway between the Pinto bolt holes, and clamp the ring gear on the flange. Now drill new 5/16" holes into the flange (it's just soft metal) through the ring gear holes for perfect alignment. "Shouldered" BoltUse 5/16" diameter grade 8 or stainless steel fine thread bolts with a 3/4" shoulder, split lock washers and grade 8 nuts to secure the ring gear to the flange. Torque the bolts to 35 ft. lb. This may seem kind of tight for 5/16" bolts, but they must be this tight to prevent the ring gear from slipping and possibly breaking.
  3. The Pinto carrier's ring gear flange is too large for the inside of the Cub Cadet ring gear to fit so the outer edge will have to be turned down to exactly 5.705" for a correct fit of the Cub Cadet ring gear. Don't machine it any smaller, or the ring gear will be too loose and not turn true on the carrier.
  4. The original Cub Cadet side bearings will fit perfectly on the Pinto carrier with no machining.
  5. The overall width of the Pinto carrier must be narrowed to 3-15/16" (3.9375") in order to fit inside the Cub Cadet housing. Machine only the long end of the Pinto carrier. Use the Cub Cadet carrier as you will need it to take some measurements for the Pinto carrier.
  6. Install the Pinto carrier (with the Cub Cadet ring gear) in the Cub Cadet housing. You might need to use more or less shims depending on the amount of machining.

Machine the Axles for Proper Fit:

  1. From the splined end to about the middle of the axle, cut off each Pinto axle to 12-1/2" long. Discard the rest of the axle/hub. You can make them longer if you want your tires to set out farther. NOTE: The splined part of the Pinto axles are small in diameter. The rest of the axle is larger in diameter.
  2. In the lathe, machine the larger diameter portion of each Pinto axle down to 1" in diameter. Be sure to clean and sand smooth (polish) the area where the bearing and seal will ride on the axle to insure a smooth bearing surface and good seal. Drawing showing dimensions of the Pinto axlesThe oil seals are part # CR 9878 and National # 4712224. They're the same seal that most garden tiller tine shafts use and the 5hp through 7hp Tecumseh vertical shaft engines use on the PTO end. The size is 1-1/2" o.d. x 1" i.d. x 3/8" thick. NOTE: The splines on the end of the axles are either .982" (23 spline axle) or 1.045" (25 spline axle). The axle then steps up to over 1.125" the rest of the axle length. Basically, you will not turn the spline but only the area between the spline and the wheel mounting flange.
  3. Fabricated wheel flangeFabricate two new wheel flanges, or in the lathe (with a self-centering 3-jaw chuck), machine the weld from the Cub Cadet axles next to the wheel flange and then press the flanges onto the Pinto axles. True up each hub (in the lathe with a 3-jaw chuck), then weld them onto the axles. For strength and durability, weld each side of the hub. Discard the Cub Cadet axles, or keep them for future use in a stock tractor. FYI - we've always used mild steel wire welder to weld the wheel flanges to the axles. I weld them on both sides of each flange and never had one break loose.
  4. Steel Locking CollarNow, you need a couple of steel "locking shaft collars" to retain the axles in the rear end. These collars measure 1" i.d. x 1-5/8" o.d. x 5/8" in thickness and they have an Allen set screw. Be sure to install a heat-treated washer between the collar and housing to prevent the collar from wearing against the rough casting inside the housing.
  5. Drill a small hole in each axle housing exactly 1-1/2" from the end. These holes will allow access to the set screw in the collars. Cut threads in the holes for either a short bolt or a NPT threaded pipe plug. Leave the original Cub Cadet bronze bushings or needle bearings and oil seals intact, or install new seals to prevent oil leakage.
  6. Fasten the axle housings onto the transaxle case with a couple of bolts and then slide the Pinto axles in until they bottom out against the pinion shaft.
  7. Place a punch mark on each axle through the drilled holes. This is to locate the set screw in the set screw collars.
  8. Remove the axles, and then drill a shallow hole into each axle where the punch mark were made. This shallow hole is for the set screw in the collars to tighten into, and to keep the collars from slipping on the axles.
  9. Remove the housings from the transaxle case then slide the Pinto axles in along with the set screw collar on each axle.
  10. Fasten the housings onto the transaxle case, locate the set screw in each collar through the drilled holes and then tighten them securely into the shallow hole that was drilled in the axles.
  11. After tightening the set screws on the axles, plug the holes in the housings with either a short bolt or a NPT threaded pipe plug. There's no need to install a grease fitting in the holes because the oil in the transaxle will provide adequate lubrication for the bushings or bearings.
  12. See the detailed drawing below Ê for how the axles are held in place.

Use Steel Shaft Collars to retain the Pinto axles


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.)
  1. Drain the oil from the transaxle.
  2. Remove the axle housings.
  3. Remove the snap rings from the axles.
  4. Slide the axles out of the axle housings.
  5. Remove old bushings. (Use a 1-1/8" o.d. socket or round steel tubing to drive out bushing.) And pry out the oil seals with a seal puller.
  6. Install new bushings and seals.
  7. Reassembly is in reverse order of removal.
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.
  1. Drain the oil from the transaxle.
  2. Remove the rear cover. The rear cover may need to be removed to drain the oil.
  3. Remove the snap rings from the axles.
  4. Slide the axles out of the axle housings.
  5. Remove the axle housings.
  6. Remove old bushings. (Use a 1-1/8" o.d. socket or round steel tubing to drive out bushing/bearing.) And pry out the oil seals with a seal puller.
  7. Install new bushings and seals.
  8. Reassembly is in reverse order of removal.


Part 3 - What type of oil should be used in Cub Cadet transaxles? Top of page

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.

IMPORTANT! 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.


A-1 Miller's Performance Enterprises Offering Quality Products and Professional Workmanship at Reasonable Prices!

à Return to Main Pulling Tips Page | Return To Previous Page | Reputable Garden Pulling Tractor Engine Builders, Parts Suppliers and Service Providers | Miller's Garden Pulling Tractor Picture Gallery | Pulling Sled for Garden Tractors Picture Gallery | Classified Advertisements for Garden Pulling Tractors, Related Parts & Pulling Event Announcements | Hot Links for Various Garden Tractor Pulling Clubs and Associations | Top of Page

© 1996-Present. Designed and maintained by Brian Miller.