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Basket case rescue - my 125's journey

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TOdoubleD740

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2022
Messages
8
Location
OH
displayname
Turkey Point Kustoms
Here's my beloved 125.. It's been a long journey, from a complete hack job/basketcase that I bought back in 2012, to the well-oiled, restored machine that it is today!

It had been poorly spray bombed with some horrific shade of light yellow and had some weird homemade hood on it. It was in rather rough shape, but it did run and cut grass, which was all I needed and cared about at the time. Once I did some research on what I had and saw what they were supposed to look like, I knew what I had to do. These narrow frames were too gorgeous not to restore, especially the 125. I just love how they look.. So 60's. Groovy! 😎

It's since had a total make over and is restored for the most part. This has been a WIP over the past few years, with serious restoration work beginning in 2018, clear until this year. I'm sure I'll always be tinkering on and improving on it.. You can bet on that. 😉

I gotta thank Marlin @ IHCCW Inc, Charlie @ CCSpecialties, Scott Urschel, Kirk Engines, Maple Hunter Decals, Hamilton Bob's, and other various guys on the facebook Cub groups, for helping me obtain some of these parts & pieces, for this wouldn't have been possible without them! ✊

This is how it looked when I first got it. 🥴 Hideous!

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I repainted the whole thing and replaced a LOT of parts. The first thing that had to go was that horrible, gaudy looking hack job of a homemade hood! Thankfully, I had a second parts 125 tractor to pick bits & pieces from. I don't have pics of everything from over the years, but do have a lot. Here's what I do have that wasn't lost to corrupt SD cards & HDD's, lost old phones, etc.

I had a NOS dash tin but ended up not using it, then eventually selling it since it's an actual working tractor, not a show piece or garage/trailer queen. I ended up restoring another dash tin that was salvageable, rather than pasting a decal over the entire thing. Here's some pics showing how I masked certain sections off before painting them. I used bits & pieces of a decal from Scott Urschel to cut the logos & labels out of before pasting them over the appropriate area, before clear coating over the entire thing. Trying to repaint logos and whatnot would've been a nightmare, so I did "cheat" a little bit there. The blue is Duplicolor Metalcast blue, but I should've done one less coat to make it a lighter blue, closer to the original. There's a side by side featuring a NOS tin & my restored tin towards the end, followed up by a final, installed and assembled pic.
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NOS on the left - my restoration on the right.
FB_IMG_1647830594119.jpg

Installed!

The Kohler K301a was totally rebuilt, bored .10 over and is running a rev 2 head (heart-shaped combustion chamber). Balance gears have been deleted. I do have a crank balance plate from Kirk Engines but it didn't get installed this time around.. Though I might send another crank off to have it installed and hopefully can swap it in someday. Vibration isn't too much worse than the other old, worn out K301 engine w/balance gears, TBH. 🤷🏻

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Heart transplant!

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Up and running!

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Again, this is a working tractor and is the only thing I have to cut grass with. I put some serious hours into this thing, over the better part of a month to get it "right" again, since last year turned out to be an expensive nightmare of a grass cutting season.. It chewed PTO belts up like crazy, literally every other mow I was replacing the PTO mule drive belt. This was because of the mule drive itself, which I also completely overhauled. It was a necessity. One idler arm in particular was super wallowed out from 50 years of use, so I had to remove it, weld up the hole, redrill it, paint it, stick it back on the pivot rod than weld that back up. Replaced the pulleys with the aftermarket "deep v" Stenns branded ones, plus a new adjuster bracket and now it's like a whole new mule drive. Once installed and set up/adjusted, I haven't had to touch a thing. Wish I would've done this long ago! Oh well, better late than never. 😉

I also completely redid the 482U1112 48"and 3-spindle deck too, complete with new paint & decals. It was like Swiss cheese in a couple spots, so I cut all that rot out and welded in new metal. Repainted with Iron Guard IH935 white paint and the underside coated with Chassis Saver. Mows great and looks even better!

All in all, it was a lot of time, work and money but it was worth it. I'm sure I missed a LOT of details, mods etc, but you get the gist. I do have the original fiberglass pan seat that I'd like to install once I get it reupholstered, plus some other additions (sleeve hitch, etc), but I'll follow up on this thread once that's all installed. For now, I just wanted to document the restoration for once, how it currently sits and show some of the work I've done. I have a TON of more pics, but unfortunately the forum limited me on how many pics I can upload here, at least on this one post, but here's a couple more closing shots and how she looks today. Cheers 🍻

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jkoenig

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 14, 2002
Messages
989
displayname
Jim Koenig Halfway between Harvester, MO and Cadet, MO
Looks great!

What tires are on it? Fronts resemble one option originally available, but rears are begging to be identified, and then reviewed.
 

TOdoubleD740

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2022
Messages
8
Location
OH
displayname
Turkey Point Kustoms
@jkoenig Thanks! I'm currently running Hi-Run 16X6.50-8 front tires & Deestone 23x10.5-12 rear tires on the 125.

I also have some brand new Vredestein V61 16X6.50-8 170/60-8 6-Ply 5-Rib front tires & Carlisle Tru Power 23x10.5-12 rear tires that aren't mounted up yet, but I'll probably put those on my 1200 though.

I kind of wish I would've tried some 12" wide rears though, but wasn't sure if they'd fit or not. Love the look of wide rear tires on these Cubs. 😎
 

PACub100

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Messages
756
Location
Woodbury, Pennsylvania
Very nice and great job with the pictures as well!
My thoughts are that the only time originality matters is if you're trying to take first place in a show. Other than that, whatever you prefer. I like the dash color 👍😎👍
After a month of hard work, your tractor should be good for a lot longer than anything bought new today 😁
 

TOdoubleD740

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2022
Messages
8
Location
OH
displayname
Turkey Point Kustoms
Got a good bit accomplished today.. Quite a few more things knocked off the to-do/install list on the ol' 125.

Spring assist, Rear lift, tail light (plus the rear cover under the seat that the taillights affixed to, missing in my previous pictures/first post) and backlit Ammeter wiring is completely installed and ready to go, finally!
20220531_210123.jpg

Got the decals applied on my 1200/WF project too, but I'll save that for a separate, dedicated thread. 😉 Back to the 125!

20220604_202915.jpg


Fixed some annoying squeaks too.. All deck subframe pivot points were lubed up and is now silent when moving the implement lever up & down. Replaced a couple worn out cotter pins while I was down there too. 👍

Finally, had a bit of a situation with the PTO pulley loosening up and then issues with the PTO itself, but it's all fixed and should be good to go, hopefully for a few years this time!

It all started because I apparently forgot to reapply Locktight on the pulley set screws, causing it to eventually loosen up, wiggle back & forth on the crank and make annoying rattling noises. That was remedied, but then my PTO (more like the throw out spring) suffered a couple failures, all because I overtightened the turnbuckle for the rockshaft, which made the button push too hard on the PTO itself. It started glowing red hot in the middle, literally, so much so that it warped the spring, causing it to lose it's "springyness", hence causing the PTO to start slipping real bad. My theory on cherry red/orange overheated spring is it had to have been pushing the spring against the end of the crankshaft itself. This happened twice, with 2 different "HD" single springs. Whoops! Lesson learned..read the manual. 😝

Being a 125, it used the weaker, 1st gen NF style PTO, but luckily, I had a later WF style PTO kicking around in my parts stash. After picking up a pair of the WF style springs off of Mark @ Machtech Direct on ebay, I assembled everything to spec and got it installed, this time following the procedure outlined in the service manual. It's working beautifully now.. Wayyy more heavy duty than the old NF PTO. However, I have the NF one rebuilt with a HD Machtech spring on standby, should the WF PTO let me down. Doubt it will though! The WF PTO is a drastic improvement. 😎

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Well, that concludes my 125 update. Next up on the to-do list is splitting the rear end to replace my leaky hydro cork gasket! 😬

I should've done this ages ago.. She leaks pretty bad after sitting a few days, leaving me a nice puddle of Hy-tran to deal with. This is definitely the next thing getting fixed! It should be good for quite a while after that, as far as mechanical issues go. 👍
I'll probably concentrate on cosmetics after that and then it'll be the 1200 refurb project. Later! ✌️

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dschwandt

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 31, 2012
Messages
4,354
displayname
David Schwandt
You say that's a 1200 but the pictures show a 108/128 with an AQS engine,
and a hood from a QL??
What's up with that??
Looks good though.
 

mgonitzke

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Joined
Aug 4, 2006
Messages
4,178
Location
Wichita, KS
displayname
Matt Gonitzke
I don't think that mechanical PTO clutch is assembled right. Pretty sure the ends of the spring should be in the three notches around the periphery of the clutch casting.
 

hydroharry

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 22, 2007
Messages
4,202
displayname
Harry Bursell
I don't think that mechanical PTO clutch is assembled right. Pretty sure the ends of the spring should be in the three notches around the periphery of the clutch casting.
Matt - those 3 notches around the periphery of the clutch casting are for the blade/brake style PTOs used on the late 1x8/9 series. I do agree tho that the clutch doesn't look quite right. The triangular spring looks over-compressed, but it could just be because there are usually 2 springs. If it works, well then I guess it's put together correct.
 

TOdoubleD740

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2022
Messages
8
Location
OH
displayname
Turkey Point Kustoms
Thanks guys! Yep, exactly.. the 1200 is a custom "mashup" of sorts. I love the look of the earlier 1x8/9 Wideframe cubs, more so than the Quietlines, so I decided to "convert" it for s#its & giggles. I have the 1x8/9 headlight panel & repro decal for that too, but it needs totally redone, which I haven't gotten around to quite yet. The Quietline headlight panel was a lot easier to cleanup & paint, so I tossed it in for the time being.

One of these days I'm hoping to snag myself an actual wideframe cub, a 149 hopefully.. That's my dream Cub. 👍

As far as the PTO, that's what I thought too. I assumed those 2 springs would sit in the 3 slots, but if you look closely, the screw holes are in line with the slots and are where the thowout levers go, making it impossible to assemble it that way. It's definitely assembled correctly though.. I went by the service manual and used the gauge to set the tension, so it's all good there. Plus it looks just like the one pictured in the manual and the HD one that's for sale on Charlie's website. I'll upload a pic of it below. 🙂 The part # is IH-546775-R92

newpto.jpg



I guess it could probably be used as the brake type PTO too, but I don't have those particular parts. Even if I did, I'm not sure if bother since it works fine as is. The brake seems like overkill and a lot more of a headache to deal with. I could be wrong though.. I have no experience with those, to be honest.

All in all, I like these old, mechanical PTO's.. They're dead simple. I think I'd take one of those over an electric Pto any day! 😜 They're certainly a lot cheaper to rebuild.

Wish I could put one on the 1200.. I'd up and cutting grass with it already. The crank is too long though, unfortunately.
 

Harry Lime

Member
Joined
May 31, 2022
Messages
14
Location
Michigan
Out of all of your pics... that top one here with the back lit ammeter... perfection. That picture reminds me why I am involved in any of this madness to begin with. You should crop/rotate that, send it to a poster printer, frame it and hang it in the garage.

Got a good bit accomplished today.. Quite a few more things knocked off the to-do/install list on the ol' 125.

Spring assist, Rear lift, tail light (plus the rear cover under the seat that the taillights affixed to, missing in my previous pictures/first post) and backlit Ammeter wiring is completely installed and ready to go, finally!
View attachment 149574
Got the decals applied on my 1200/WF project too, but I'll save that for a separate, dedicated thread. 😉 Back to the 125!

View attachment 149573

Fixed some annoying squeaks too.. All deck subframe pivot points were lubed up and is now silent when moving the implement lever up & down. Replaced a couple worn out cotter pins while I was down there too. 👍

Finally, had a bit of a situation with the PTO pulley loosening up and then issues with the PTO itself, but it's all fixed and should be good to go, hopefully for a few years this time!

It all started because I apparently forgot to reapply Locktight on the pulley set screws, causing it to eventually loosen up, wiggle back & forth on the crank and make annoying rattling noises. That was remedied, but then my PTO (more like the throw out spring) suffered a couple failures, all because I overtightened the turnbuckle for the rockshaft, which made the button push too hard on the PTO itself. It started glowing red hot in the middle, literally, so much so that it warped the spring, causing it to lose it's "springyness", hence causing the PTO to start slipping real bad. My theory on cherry red/orange overheated spring is it had to have been pushing the spring against the end of the crankshaft itself. This happened twice, with 2 different "HD" single springs. Whoops! Lesson learned..read the manual. 😝

Being a 125, it used the weaker, 1st gen NF style PTO, but luckily, I had a later WF style PTO kicking around in my parts stash. After picking up a pair of the WF style springs off of Mark @ Machtech Direct on ebay, I assembled everything to spec and got it installed, this time following the procedure outlined in the service manual. It's working beautifully now.. Wayyy more heavy duty than the old NF PTO. However, I have the NF one rebuilt with a HD Machtech spring on standby, should the WF PTO let me down. Doubt it will though! The WF PTO is a drastic improvement. 😎

View attachment 149569 View attachment 149570

Well, that concludes my 125 update. Next up on the to-do list is splitting the rear end to replace my leaky hydro cork gasket! 😬

I should've done this ages ago.. She leaks pretty bad after sitting a few days, leaving me a nice puddle of Hy-tran to deal with. This is definitely the next thing getting fixed! It should be good for quite a while after that, as far as mechanical issues go. 👍
I'll probably concentrate on cosmetics after that and then it'll be the 1200 refurb project. Later! ✌️

View attachment 149571 View attachment 149572
 
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