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My 149 runs away into the woods!!!!

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Marc Eric Johnson

New member
May 3, 2021
Bloomingburg, NY
Yes, I know someone here had this problem. The F/W lever controls speed on the left of the steering column by adjusting the hydrostatic transmission through a linkage that runs under the cover in front of the seat. My 149 will randomly accelerate without any touch to the control. On Sunday, I mowed my lawn for the first time this year, and I adequately compensated for the random acceleration by either pulling the lever back and gingerly starting forward again or stomping on the brake (which actually just locks the Hydrostatic into Nuetral). However, the 149 picked a turn as I was finishing the lawn to accelerate and threw me off the tractor before my 65 year old reflexes kicked in. My wife is still making fun of me for this! The 149 headed off into the woods and landed on its nose after diving off a 10 foot embankment on the edge of the lawn. I hauled it back up with my Jeep and it restarted right up. I drove it to the front and parked it. I would really like to fix this. Now I've heard that what keeps the speed constant is some kind of bushing that by friction prevents the lever from moving. Where is this bushing? It would make sense that it is in the steering column assembly, but someone suggested to me that the bushing is in the linkages under the cover in front of the seat, that I should look there. I can make a new bushing and put it in, but I'm famous for taking off too many parts unneccesarily. Hopefully, someone here can let me know the best way to access the bushing and replace it.

It's an original 1974 IH Cub Cadet 149 with a Kohler engine.

Here's a picture of it sitting on its nose in the woods below my yard. Remember any modern lawn tractor made of plastic would have been pretty heavily damaged. The 149 is completely unscathed (except for the rusty old hinge on the hood and one headlight). So proud of my 149.
Wow, good thing you weren't hurt!

There are two versions of the tension adjustment for the 1x9, here's a link to the service manual, the section on the tension adjustment starts on page 78 of the PDF file, and page 2-55 on the actual page.

1x9 Service Manual
Random acceleration and deceleration may not be the friction bushing. The trunnion at the transaxle may be worn and the springs lose allowing speed changes that you aren't controlling. Have you had a chance to look into the FAQ's? I think you'd be wise to inspect this before another run across the back yard.
Cub Cadet Specialties Manuals Cub Cadet FAQ

OH, welcome to the site.
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What Mike mentioned is true. If the lever doesn't seem to be moving, but yet the tractror accelerates, it is likely the trunion. If the lever is actually moving itself in the forward direction when it takes off, then it's probably the friction adjustment.

Oh, yeah, and; WELCOME! :groupwave:
Hey thanks guys! I really haven't noticed the lever moving, mind you, it's pretty exciting when it accelerates. I think my 149 wants to be a racer! I will take a look at the manual sections (thank you kmcconaughey) and the FAQ. Didn't know about that so thank you, mfrade! Sounds like I need to at least check the Trunion first, if I can figure out what it is.
Interesting. The FAQ on Hydro Trunion repair suggests that the machine will self accelerate downhill and bog down up hill. This is definitely the case with my 149. I have to move the lever to compensate for going up hills and the self acceleration does happen with any slight, slight downhill. Unfortunately, I can't weld. Is it possible to buy this part from anyone who can weld and build it from keystock?
Welcome Marc. If you search for speed control in the search box you will see the post that will show you some info on the problem you are having. Glad you were not hurt.
Marc - First, welcome to the forum! Second, I'm glad you weren't seriously injured, because that would have made it totally inappropriate for me to laugh so hard at your descriptive tale of woes. At first I thought it was poetic license when you said it landed on its nose, but the photo showed it to be plain fact! You're right about any of today's plastic tractors not surviving the ordeal like your 149 did. And, I know what you mean about 65 year old reflexes - I'm 66 and sometimes my reflexes are disturbingly slow. Finally, I agree with Mike Frade that the problem is likely a sloppy trunion spring assembly. I just replaced the springs & guides on my 782, and had that trunion repair piece welded on. It makes a huge difference. I also recommend you shim the linkage plates to reduce slop. The FAQs include forum member Matt Gonitzke's write-up on that. Again, welcome to the forum, thanks for the laughs, and good luck!
Welcome Marc!

Now that pic is a keeper Marc and Kraig,
It deserves special mention in the IH-CC annals of humorous pics. (thread to be assembled)
My first attempt at a title would be:
2nd prize for using oversize weapons to create firewood in the woods. or
Third prize in the spring lawn-tractor steeplechase, sadly points deducted for landing. or
Fourth prize as a Jeep recovery vehicle ...evidence of failed attempt

First prize remains to unclaimed as yet .....

glad you weren't hurt and hoping you Can chuckle
just saying.. for a friend
Oupa G
second prize has a new new contender,

Hand-standing CC tractors after being naughty at trade-school for telling stories about the mechanics while hiding behind their fenders

Alternatively testing for drive line oil seal leaks

voltage regulators would have suffered somewhat
nonetheless fascinating, if not humorous....

note the red IH (?? CC) )peaked caps... any still available, if not then Digger needs to consider his options
One of the German Shorthair Pointers we used to have wearing my IH hat. Not sure whatever happened to this hat. Circa 1986.

IH Pup.jpg
Marc That happened to me. Had a trailer full of pine trees. Lost control on steep hill in my back yard. Went into the ol power slide into a tree. LOL flew off tractor. Could have gotten injured badly. But i was lucky. like you.
Don't just post the picture with your best title, we will think up the most improbable title and see if you beat what Kraig's posted,..... I might add that his leads by a short (electrical) lead....
(sorry....... that was terrible)

if the hat fits, wear it..... is my offer, handsome pooch !