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Apr 12, 2022
Turkey Point Kustoms
Hey gang, figured I'd post here and finally introduce myself. I actually tried joining this forum way back in 2013, shortly after I got my first Cub, but the application didn't go through, due to some goofy technical issues and totally forgot about it, until recently. I've learned a ton over the years from Cub forums like these and it's something I'm passionate about, so it was worth actually trying to join again.

Anyway, I bought my '68 IH Cub Cadet 125 back in 2012 and the rest is history.. I've been hooked on them ever since. My history with garden tractors actually goes back to when I was a kid, when I learned the ropes on an 80's 14hp or 16hp Power King that was my uncle's, which I used up until a few years ago when I foolishly traded it. My first encounter with a vintage Cub Cadet was through my cousin, who lived next door to my uncle. I always thought it was a neat looking tractor as a kid, but I don't exactly recall the model. It was definitely a wide frame model though, a 149 maybe? I knew I had to get another one just like it someday. Unfortunately it and the Power King are long gone, but I do know who has the PK and I may try to get it back eventually.

Flash forward to 2012.. I first spotted my future 125 on my way to & from work, at a local small engine repair shop I drove by every day and was immediately intrigued. I stopped by after work one day, inquired about it and struck a deal. In hindsight, I probably overpaid a bit since it was a bit of a hackjob and I didn't know any better at the time. At any rate, I liked that it was hydrostatic and came with a rev. 2 (68-72) QA 48" (482U111 2) 3-spindle triangle deck, so that was a plus. I used it for a couple years to cut grass before the engine blew up. Then it sat in my garage for a few years, waiting for the right moment to be revived and brought back from the dead. I knew it was worth fixing up, instead of going out and buying some new, modern, POS sheet metal, junk lawn tractor from Lowes or wherever, which I'd be lucky to get 3-5 years out of at best. The 125 was built like a tank, plus it had style!

In the meantime, I picked up some other tractors.. another 125 parts tractor for $100 locally and also a running 124 (w/a front blade & QA 42" 3-spindle triangle deck), but for way too much ($600 iirc?). Then, I traded my old '97 Yamaha Blaster quad for a running Cub Cadet 1200 (though I kind regret trading it at this point).

Flash forward again, to 2018 this time. After sitting there broken down and needing an engine, I decided to get the old Cub 125 going again. I ended up swapping the K301a out of the 124 and in to my 125, which I used clear up until last year. Back in 2018, I had the old blown up K301 from the 125 parts tractor rebuilt and on standby, up until this year when recently pull the tired K301 out before it blows up and possibly ruins the block and finally swapped in the freshly rebuilt Kohler K301. So far, so good. It runs like a top!

During the 125's downtime, I've completely gone over the whole thing and restored it (plus the 48"deck deck), mind you I didn't go down to the bare frame, over every nut & bolt. Since this is a working garden tractor that I need to cut grass with every week, a total, complete restoration at this point isn't really feasible. However, I probably will do so with the other 125 parts tractor, at least using that frame since it's unmolested, unlike my main, working 125. I hate to think how much time and money I've spent on this thing, but it's a labor of love and despite a few issues I still need to remedy, it's now a nice, running tractor that should last many, many years, hopefully decades to come. Plus, if you're going to cut grass , you might as well do it in style! 😎

Currently, I'm working on restoring the 1200, which I'm REALLY starting to dig (how easy it starts & steers, etc). It's going to look pretty rad after I'm done with it. Plus I need a backup tractor to cut grass with, incase the 125 goes ever goes down. However, this is going to be a custom mashup of sorts and will end up looking more like a Wide Frame style cub rather than a Quietline (WF grille/hood extension & lower housing, etc.) After that, I may restore the 124, but we'll see. It has a creeper unit, so that's the one thing it really has going for it, though I'm seriously thinking about robbing the creeper unit out of it and swapping it into the 1200.

In conclusion, I'll always cherish and use my 125, but I REALLY want a 149 next.. My dream tractor!

Cheers, -TJ

PS - here's some before & after pics. 1st: is when I first got my basketcase of a 125 back in 2012. 2nd pic is the after/restoration. 3rd pic is the current 1200 to WideFrame mashup project along side of the my restored 125. 4th pic is the before, how I received the 1200. 5th onwards are different shots/angles of the restored 125. ✌️


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Since Kraig just posted,

I grew up on a 124, without a creeper. I think that would be an awesome set up, but I can't argue with those who want a hydro (that's the only kind I have now). Great looks in that era. Ours is long gone, but went to a good home.

Good luck with all of yours.
Welcome, and enjoy the forum.

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