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My 982 refurb project

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Active member
Aug 15, 2012
Dennis M Day
After wanting a red CC for quite a while, I finally got one this summer - a 1980 IH built 982 model, with a 50" deck. I'm just getting a good start in tearing it down, and since it seems like there isn't much discussion about this model here - thought I would open up a string to document my project, maybe it will be useful to others. Although it doesn't look to bad from a distance, it's had lots of wear & tear. Hour meter quit working at 640 hrs, but I suspect it has many more than that. Engine doesn't smoke, & sounds ok but does drip some oil out the front breather hose. Here are some initial photos after getting it home.



So far I've found many parts worn out, broken, rusted, or from some other tractor. A brief list of problems would be: steering has 1/4 turn of free play, hydro control very sporadic (don't mention to my wife - the dent in her car door is a sore subject), cracked frame and seat pan, muffler shot, front wheel brgs shot, gages don't work, broken grill & hood support, etc. Here is a picture of the engine coming out.


And another picture of current state with frame stripped of components and separated from rear case. I have been taking lots of pictures before disassembly, and labeling parts as to where they came from.


My next focus will be to get the frame crack fixed, then on to fix the sloppy hydro controls and leaky axle seal. I plan to paint and assemble parts to the frame as they are refurbished. Stay tuned for more updates.
Dennis, looks like you're off to a great start on your 982 refurb.
I'll be watching.
DENNIS - Bet your 982 looks like new when you're done, Where exactly was the crack in your 982's frame? I heard they liked to crack towards the front where the frame compresses down and flares out on each side.

The 982 has a different steering design than any other CC, plus the steering gearbox is bigger & tougher. The pivoting yoke attached to the back of the frt axle is where most of the free play is on my 982.
DENNIS FRISK - most of the steering play on mine is in the ball joints for tie rods and drag link, although the axle pivot yoke has some wear in the pin, & the steering box has some. My hope is that the 6 new ball joints will solve most of problem - we will see.

As for the frame crack - it is in LH rail as you suggested, where tall section tapers to shallow section just behind engine (I believe that is a common problem area). Here are a couple of pictures:

The inside of the bottom lip looks very rough - so that jagged edge to the inside problably contributed to an already weak section with the two bolt holes acting as stress risers.

I made a 3/16 plate to be welded all around to the bottom lip, as shown in next picture. (I will have to modify the bottom screen to fit around this new plate.)

I also made a 3/16" plate to weld to inside of frame, to serve as a backup strip. I had to carefully avoid the steering box mounting bracket to the rear, and the engine mounting plate on bottom, as I made this plate - as shown here in picture:

Here is outside view of frame after gouging out crack, welding up crack and holes, dressing up the weld with filler, & prime painting. Note I eliminated the unused hole that the crack ran through - I think it was used for the power steering cyl on later models, which I don't plan on ever adding.
Here is last picture of previous post that I forgot to upload, showing the outside view of finish frame weld job in primer paint.

More later.
Well I made some progress this week on the 982. I got the frame cleaned up, sanded, primed and finish painted (with a rattle can). Here are a couple pictures showing the frame crack repair area. I don't think it turn out too bad.

Here is inside view of frame in same area:

Also got the sloppy hydro trunion fixed, and will post some pictures later.
I also worked on the hydro controls this week - which were terrible when I got the 982. I could hardly control speed or direction, and when it decided to go - there was a big jerk. Well I found the trunion badly worn and the vertical plate mounted way off center. The spring buttons would catch in the trunion grooves, which bypassed the springs action. This first picture shows the vertical plate tilted towards the center line of the tractor, barely touching the spring package. I think that this was caused by the snap ring on the hydro control shaft being assembled without being seated in the groove around the bottom of the shaft - so the whole vertical plate eventually tilted with wear.

This next picture shows how the trunion plate was worn with grooves. You can also see where I marked the trunion plate for cutting it off, so I could weld a new slotted plate on (got the new slotted plate from Charlie).

The last picture shows the finished weld job (I'm not too proud of the weld's appearance though), and how the verical plate is now centered (once I cleaned up the snap ring groove and made sure that it was fully seated in the groove all around). I also made a little fixture to hold the new trunion plate horizontal and centered in the opening of the vertical plate cut-out, as I welded it into position.

Hopefully this will make the hydro control now predictable and consistent. Well on to the leaky axle seal next week.
Did you ever hear why they were pron to crack there? Is it cause the frame is weaker due to the steel being stretched or reshaped? Now you guys have me worried and want to go check mine! Didn't realize the 982's had anything bad going for them except the Onan engine's that a lot of people cursed?

I think the 982 is an awesome tractor. I just wish I had one with a diesel in it. Hmmmmm....perhaps will have to get a brother to the one I have someday and do some modifications to it!

I do like where this thread is going though!
Mike P. - concerning the frame cracking on the LH side rail just behind the engine, I'll have to admit that my knowledge is rather limited. Although I have admired the Cub Cadet line for years, it's only been in the last couple of years that I followed the CC websites. From reading the owner posts, I get the impression that this frame cracking isn't something every 982 will see, but on the other hand several tractors have had this. My opinion is that the LH side of the frame has some geometry differences that make it more susceptible to crack if the hours are high and the useage been more harse - as compared to the RH side. The RH side has the lift bracket bolted on the inside with some pretty big bolts, that may clamp this area and stiffen that side. In my case on the 982, it looked like the lower edge on the LH side may have been kind of jagged on the bottom lip that faces the center of the tractor, maybe a manufacturing issue, which could of contributed to the crack starting there. Yes I believe it's related to the necked down area of the frame, and the placement of the several bolt holes that makes this area something to watch. Keep an eye on this area of your 982, would be my advise.
Made some more progress on my 982 last week, working on the rear axle & hydro. Drained the old oil from axle case. 1st picture shows the crud inside case. The walls were also coated with an orange jelly like stuff that I had to cleaned out.

Next I removed the LH axle shaft assembly, and removed the outboard axle seal, that was leaking and making an oily mess on the brake disc. This picture shows the new seal ready to go in.

Next I removed the hydro unit to replace the seal that goes between the hydro unit and front of the case. It wasn't leaking, but from all the things I've heard suggested that while I was in this area - I should replace the seal with a new one. Next picture show new seal on hydro unit, ready to go back together.

While I had the rear hitch removed, I saw where it was bent down from some heavy load, so I reinforced it by adding two gussets and welding them in place on bottom side of hitch, clearing the mounting bolts and hitch pin, as shown in this next picture.

Finally I cleaned the rear end up and gave it a coat of IH red paint, as shown in this last picture.

Next repair is on to the hydro controls, next time.
Looking good Dennis! Those gussets will definitely help your hitch situation if you plan to work this thing at all by hauling stuff around. These supers are neat looking tractors but they are also hard working and functional! Looks like you are doing a great job and I'm going to be keeping a close watch on your progress.
Well my progress this week doesn't seem like much. I first worked on installing the hydro controls after I cleaned everything up and painted. This 1st picture shows the top view of the new damper springs assembled in the trunion plate and how they are centered.

This 2nd picture shows the side view, and the damper springs nicely centered in the slots from this view.

Next I finally joined the finished frame and the finished rear axle together - now it seems like I'm starting to make some progress.

I noticed when I got the tractor it had a vibration in it, and seeing that the front rag joint was pretty bad - I thought that must be the reason. But when I was working on the rear axle, I found that the splined input yoke to the hydro was very loose on the splines and the roll pin was sticking out about 1/2 way, which must of let one side of yoke move on the splines with each rotation. This next picture shows how I found the original yoke and pin. Luckily, the new yoke fits much tighter on the splines, and with a new pin - I seems to fit pretty tight.

Finally I spent quite a bit of time cleaning, inspecting, and then painting the next parts to go back into the chassis - as shown in last picture. Notice the 2 brake pedals - the are new to this tractor as it came with only the standard single brake pedal, so I found these 2 pedal brakes for sale off a later tractor (they were yellow).

More next time, as I move on to the brakes and linkage.
Jeremiah - I'm using IH 2150 red in a rattle can from Case IH for top coat, & Rust-oleum self etching primer for bare metal. (Some spots though, I'm not too proud of the rattle can job, but its much better than it was.)

Your project is coming along very nicely!

Thanks for taking the time to take and post all of the pictures. I recently bought my first cub cadet, it too is a 982 with some off the same issues. Having good reference pictures to look at is great.

I had even more slop in the steering than yours. I replaced all the rod ends with beefier joints, tightened the slop out of the steering box, re-shaped the tip of the follower bolt, replaced the yoke pivot pin, and bored and bushed the yoke. When I got it all re-installed and dialed in I found more slop in the side walls of the front tires than the steering, super pleased with the results.

I like the reinforcing gussets on the hitch. I think I will have to do that with mine if I don’t replace it with a hitch receiver type.

Keep going, really looking forward to seeing the finished product!!!
Time for an update on my progress, as slow as it is. Worked on the brake system first - it essentially had no brakes. They were badly out of adjustment, the calipers were so rusted up and full of crud they wouldn't move to equalize the actuation pressure, and the left side was all slick with axle oil. I cleaned up everything and found that the pads still had almost 1/8" of material over the rivets - so I decided to reuse them. Painted things, assembled & adjusted - they seem to work nicely now, as shown in this 1st picture.

One issue I did have with the brakes was with the two steer brake pedals - which were add to is tractor from a newer CC tractor. The inside or left steer pedal wouldn't rest in the notch that is cut into the front right step bracket, like the right pedal did. But I gave it a good pull & bent it outward and it now bottomed out in the notch like the right pedal, and the rubber pedal pads still had clearance, as shown in this next picture.

Next I moved on to the steering box - it was a mess. I dumped a 1/2 cup of water out of the column, and found the lower bearings in bad shape and the bearing cup was badly chipped - with metal chips floating around. The box didn't have much grease in it either. Next picture shows some of the parts after cleaning. Note this is an earlier 982 Ross box, that has the 3/4" pivot shaft welded to the steering arm plate, unlike the later models with a 5/8" bolt together design - which makes it impossible to use the aftermarket ball thrust bearing kit some of the sponsors sell for the 3/4" design.

Next picture shows a close up of the steering stud setting in the worm - note the clearance on either side of stud, and how it is bottomed out already, so no hope of adjusting the clearance tighter. New parts on order.

Next picture shows the bent steering column - over 1/4" clearance with the level. I assume this was from some sort of accident - maybe someone rolled the tractor or dropped something heavy on it from the left side. Probably explains why the steering wheel was non-standard, it was probably broken.

Last picture shows my method of straightening the steering column - using a black iron pipe that was about 1 5/16" in diameter, with an aluminum bushing I made to make a tight fit into the inside of the upper end of the steering column tube. I put the steering box end into a bench vise and blocked up the middle of the bent column. Using the long black pipe without too much force, I got the steering column tube now to be nearly straight without much distortion.

Well I'm waiting on some new bearings and stud, and I'm trying to cobble up a ball thrust bearing to fit my pivot shaft. More next time.
Thanks for the pics and the update. That steering box sure was in rough shape but it looks like you are on the right track to have it better than new. Keep plodding along. That is going to be an awesome beast once you get it together.
Here is my latest progress to finish up steering box. I got my new bearings and pivot stud last week and installed them in the steer box, then filled it with grease. Next, to complete assembly I moved on to the bearing holding the pivot shaft in place. I wanted to install an upgrade in place of the factory washer to take the steering thrust load - like the kits some sponsors sell, but found out that those kits fit the 5/8" shaft and my pivot shaft is 3/4". First picture shows the factory washer and nuts.

So I had to cobble up a thrust bearing on my own. I found that a sealed roller thrust bearing for a 3/4" shaft was too big on OD to fit into the mounting bracket hole(I didn't want to torch up the bracket to take out 1/4"+ material). So the next best bearing I found was an unsealed unit, that would fit into the bracket. If I did this again I would of ordered a similar unsealed bearing through McMaster Carr, instead of a local industrial bearing supplier - and saved several $. Next picture shows painted steering box with thrust bearing installed on shaft.

Next I applied Permatex gasket maker to the box, to seal up the gap between box and bracket, before I dropped the bracket on. After bracket was on I sealed the other side of box to bracket.

Next I applied a bead of Permatex around the top of the bracket and bearing, so that I could seal the top side of the bearing.

Finally I greased up the washer (so Permatex would not stick to it), dropped it on shaft, added one original jam nut and then a new lock nut - and torqued it up, as shown in next picture.

Next I finished up the steer box rebuild by adding a roller bearing (from sponsors) that goes in the upper steering colum tube. I thought this bearing was supposed to fit all 82 columns - but my tube was about 1/8" larger than OD of bearing, so I cut some thin aluminum strip and wrapped it with tape for a nice snug fit.

Lastly, while I was waiting for the bearing parts to arrive, I moved on to the front axle and steering parts. I cleaned, inspected and painted the axle, steer lever, spindles, tie rods and drag link. I installed 6 new ball joints on the tie rods and drag link. This last picture shows all installed on tractor. To my pleasure, there is no free play in steering system now - SUCCESS!

Well now on to the dash and mounting the hyd. valve next time. Have a good Thanksgiving!

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