Would my Dads old Cub Cadet make a good garden tractor?

wertach zone 7-B SCDecember 24, 2012

Sitting here alone on a rainy and cold Christmas Eve, I got to thinking about making some use of Dads old Cub.

It's a Koler twin. I have forgotten the HP, I think it is an 18hp. It was built in the eighty's. It was running good when he died 2 years ago but the mower deck was rusted out.

I changed the oil and drained the gas before I put it in the barn.

It is too nasty outside to go to the barn 100 yards away, so I dug in my billfold and found an old piece of battered and hard to read paper that Dad gave me to pick up belts for it years ago. I think the serial number is 1e315h20212000001. and MN 13ak11ck709. It also has the number 4423577 and further down MTD.

I think it can accept a manual lift for attachments.Since it has the mounting brackets on the back for using pull behind plows and stuff.

If I can find attachments I could use it instead of my CA Allis for small stuff like hilling potatoes and stuff.

What do you think?

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Wertach - 13ak11ck709 is an MTD/Cub cadet model # for a SLT1554 LAWN tractor.... not a cub garden tractor.
The 1500 series are not capable of taking ground engaging implements per CC manuals. Best wait for better weather, get out to that shed with a good lantern and check for what full model number is on that machine - it may be in the cavity under the tilting seat or along the main frame edge by the clutch or brake pedals.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 4:14PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

It was still too nasty to get out there yesterday and I'm at work today. It will be too late when I get home. I'll have to move a lot of stuff to get to it.

I know it's a lawn tractor but it may can be used as a garden tractor since it has a 2 speed axle. I can't remember how many forward gears it has but in first gear and in the low axle gear it would pull a 1977 3/4 ton Chevy pickup up a pretty steep hill easily. I know because I did it one time!

The back of it is a thick flat steel plate with all kinds of slots and holes in it. It is built solid not plastic like the pics that I found on Google of the SLT1554.

It came with turf type tires, not the tractor type. That may be a problem in soft dirt.

Dad bought it at one of the bent and dent sales (or whatever they called them)at the SC factory, I'm thinking 1981 or 82, so it could be a leftover model from before MTD bought them out? Maybe they added their nameplate?

Sorry if I'm boring you, but it is a slow day at work and I'm thinking too much! LOL

This post was edited by wertach on Wed, Dec 26, 12 at 13:25

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 1:02PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

My opps, He did have a Model SLT1554 that he bought later. I forgot about it.He kept it at my step moms house and she's got it.

I dug it out last night and it's actually a Poulan instead of a Cub! LOL MN xc1182hb serial 3030501016 Product 954 00 51 31.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 12:35PM
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These are beast like. Steer like it too. I have a close Sears counterpart. Expect odds and ends may not be available for them, but mostly are. That Kohler OP twin is about the best there were as far as power plants go. The transaxle is tough one as well. There is a rear hitch assy available for attachments, but I don't have that on mine. Ebay? I think I've seen them. Maybe Sears has the manual on their site which could give more info.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 8:35PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

I got it running this morning, I just put in some gas hooked up jumper cables and it fired right up. It needs a battery, of course and a new drive belt, dry rot. I pumped up the tires and they are still holding even though they have some dry rot.

I found a Sears 3 point hitch and plows on Craiglist about 50 miles from me. I am going to look at and probably buy them New years day. $75 for the 3 point hitch and he said he has all kinds of assorted plows and stuff.

I probably need to buy ethanol free gas for it since it is so old? I didn't hear any spark knock but I'm pretty sure that it would be worth the extra 15 cents a gallon.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 3:26PM
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I'm not sure exactly what you are implying in your reference to ethanol free fuel and spark knock.
Whether the fuel is formulated with ethanol or not, it is the octane rating of the fuel that one needs to be cautious of (regarding the need to control spark knock) if you have a choice of buying ethanol laced fuels, or ethanol free.
I have doubts about a 1980s engine having a compression ratio high enough to require use of anything above 87 octane rating.
The real concerns of ethanol blended fuels is that some rubber parts of the fuel system components might not fare very well in the presence of ethanol, plus the fact that ethanol blended fuels DO tend to collect more water vapor from the atmosphere (through tank vent respiration) and precipitate that out later on.
Your vintage of engine might in fact benefit from keeping ethanol away from its rubber fuel system parts as ethanol blended fuels were well below the OEM radar back them days.
Most of the issues due to ethanol attacking certain rubber parts has been addressed by OEMs improving ethanol resistance in the latest rubber compounds they use for making their parts.
As to the extra water..........about the only way to guard against that becoming a problem is to not store large amounts of fuel for extended periods of time.
One way to keep from having extra fuel on hand for the OPE fleet is top off the fuel tank as far as it can be filled at the time of dead-lining the machine for the off season. A completely full tank respires less volume of atmosphere when ambient temperatures fluctuate.
After doing that, any fuel you have left over should be poured into your car or truck fuel tank for daily driving.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 4:01PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

mownie, You are correct.

I wasn't thinking, I was just excited that it started so easy. I have had problems with high compression motors spark knocking with ethanol blends. I have an original 1968 Camaro Z-28 that I bought used in 1969. It does not like ethanol even using the highest octane! It gets the real stuff.

As you said, with the tractor it could be a problem with the rubber components. Even though I am sure Dad didn't buy the ethanol free gas and problems could arise. I bought 5 gallons of the ethanol free about an hour ago for it.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 5:49PM
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Atta boy! Be sure you use some gasoline stabilizer in it so it doesn't "spoil" while you have it in storage.
Your '68 Camaro is probably a gem.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 6:06PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

It is a gem mownie I drive it to the grocery store and back at least every two weeks to keep it running good. Ten mile round trip. It has 83,000 miles on it now. It had around 700 miles on it when I bought it.

I take it to the drag strip 2 or 3 times a year for fun, it still turns low twelves in a quarter! It used to do high 11's but I attribute that to the low octane gas. I used to buy 108 octane at the pump many years ago. I tried the octane booster but it didn't seem to help. Or maybe I'm not as quick on the clutch? LOL

I don't have any kids to leave it to, but my 11 year old grand nephew keeps asking me if he is in my will! LOL

Of course it is in my will for him if I die before he turns 18, with a provision that his Momma rides with him! I think she wants it too she rode in it from the time she was one year old till she became a tweener and then she wasn't hanging around. Too grown up for Uncle Ted.

I'm not going to give him a death trap when he gets his drivers license at 15 or 16! He loves that car! Every Saturday he calls and asks if I'm going to take it to town or the drag strip, if I say yes he makes my niece bring him over for a ride! He is always there when I plan to go drag it, his Mom brings him since they live closer to the strip.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 4:19PM
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If your Cub has a creeper gear its a GT model. I use a 196os 126 with a 10 inch plow, a 48" snow blade and a 4 foot spike tooth drag as well as a brinly cultivator. I also have an earlier 122 and a 1979 1450. The 1450 is a hydro with a hydro 3ph. The others are manual with spring assist. These old tractors never die with a bit of maintenance. There are 2 types 3ph so make sure you know which yours is before acquiring equipent.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 8:20PM
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