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Refurb and Modification of 1430 Lawn Tractor

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I wish I had a BEFORE photo to show you guys. This is what the drum looks like, now that I've finished it. There was a lot of surface rust. I had to treat it with KRUD KUTTER, then hose it off to let it dry, and I brush-painted it with Rustoleum from a paint can. Smells great.


This is the blower housing. It was also very rusty. I had to hit this with a wire wheel to get rid of the 3-dimensional rust and dirt. This also got a spray with Krud Kutter, then a bath, and I painted it with a rattle can. It's not perfect, there are a lot of paint drips -- I prefer to brush-paint.


This is how I managed to attach the blower utility to the frame. As you can see, I had to use a bunch of washers to fill the space where the frame of my mower is too narrow. It actually holds very well; the large washers help to create a lot of strength and rigidity... I will eventually change them out for sheets of steel, or maybe just new washers that are not disparate and mismatched.


This is what I've done with the panel where the idiot lights used to be. Since taking this photo, I have painted the sheet metal black, and I also swapped the toggle switch on the right for a push button that resembles a doorbell... The left toggle switch is for the lights, the right button is for the engine shutoff.

This afternoon, I attached the snowblower housing, and got the belts to turn for everything. It is 80% complete, everything lines up. I just need to adjust the tensioner on the blower to compensate for the frame on the mower (the belt wants to rub on the frame when you lift the snowblower off the ground.. not a huge issue, but annoying nonetheless), and I also need to install the utilities that will let me raise/lower the snowblower from the driver's seat.
Mark: I can't believe what your mind conceived or what you were able to deliver on such a platform. Your vision, creativity, and persistence are incredible.
I would suggest using lengths of appropriately sized pipe versus the washers for spacers (to decrease the probability of shifting while in use). If you're not already using it (hard to tell from the picture), I would also advise the use of threaded rod passing all the way through the frame, to provide additional strength and reliability to the hangers.

Thank you for the compliment, I appreciate it very much!

I agree that pieces of pipe might hold better over the years than the stacks of washers I am currently using. It would be a challenge in itself, though, because I would prefer something completely solid, vs hollow in the middle... I could either try to find a thick bar of steel and drill a hole through it with a shop press, or I could try to fit a series of spacers over the bolt until they have filled the pipe (I suppose it would look a lot like a target with a bullseye, or an onion).

It is not possible for me to use a straight length of bar across the frame as you have suggested, because it would interfere with the pullies for the PTO and blower. The setup I am using now is surprisingly strong; compressed between the two surfaces, the large washers become like one piece of 1.5" steel, they are very rigid and sturdy. I also tightened them with lock washers and nylon nuts to make sure they are not likely to loosen.

I have finally assembled the snowblower in its entirety. Unfortunately, I will be unable to use the deck lever as I had hoped: the lever is in a position that is not conducive to attaching with the EOM lift mechanism. I also fear that it is too fragile. The blower is extremely heavy, the parts that are used to raise/lower are solid 3/4" steel. For that reason, I will be removing the lift lever from the tractor. Also, I needed to install extra pulleys to accommodate the frame on the mower, and also to alleviate serious belt slapping. I forgot to take a photo of that, though, and I will have to post it tomorrow when there is sunlight again.

The snowblower is monstrously heavy, the tractor really doesn't like it. It is difficult for me to steer it, and the front tires also bulge quite a bit (they need air, I've known they are low for a while, but I've no air compressor at this time).

One thing that is bugging me -- the wheel weights protrude further than the width of the snowblower. With no wheel weights the snowblower is perfectly sized for the tractor. This kind of frustrates me.... I am now seriously considering filling the tires with concrete.


I know that I should have waited to fix the hole in the hood before painting it, but I was just in the mood to paint something, and figured "what the hell." All you diehards, please don't be offended; I just don't like the classic Cub Cadet colors. Painting with a rattle can is actually really easy, too.
Mark, don't worry about your wheel weights unless your going thru a gate or door that is no bigger than your blower. Its just snow, and even if its super deep the extra width won't effect anything. Otherwise build a "rock box" for the rear end. I wouldn't put concrete in the tires, but that's just my opinion
Gentlemen, I have copied this post from that which I sent to another forum where I am discussing this project.

I gave up on my phone. It's an Andriod, the only way I could get the videos off of it would be to root it and set it up to accept a flash drive. Rather than that, I dug my old camera out of mothballs and shot some new videos. The videos take a long time to buffer, I am not sure why. My guess is that it has something to do with the server YouTube allocated for them. It might be better for you to just right click and follow the link directly to YouTube.

The first video is a basic description and walkthrough of what I had to do. The second video is of the snowblower actually running. The drum spins furiously. I am not sure if it is supposed to spin that fast, as I've never worked with a single stage before. Anyway, in the second video, you will also see the switches I have installed in the center of the console, where the engine/warning lights used to be. The switch on the left is for the headlights, the switch on the right is an interrupter for the engine shutoff - has a dedicated line to the frame, to eliminate the risk of frying the coil.

First video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_TKIcB-rEI&feature=youtu.be

Second video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vq62Ao66-o4&feature=youtu.be
Mark Tarsus

Now it could be the video ! but I thing the blower is going the wrong rotation to move snow up the chute.
I thought the same thing when I first saw the video. The drum is spinning the right way, it's just an illusion.
It seems to me filling the tires with concrete is a short term idea. Obviously it would break up over a short time leaving you with sharp rock filled tires. Which doesn't seem very good at holding air since the concrete will no longer be keeping the tires round.

Filling them with washer fluid is a better idea. You might even enjoy making a "tire bong" to fill them. (Search it on here) then adding a "rock box" or weight box on the back will be much better.

It looks good man, cub had a special edition tractor with a black hood. I'll pretend it's that. And it's spinning fine and fast for me. I just hope you get lots of snow.
Thanks Nic!

The next chapter is to attach the hood to the tractor. Due to the space restrictions for the snowblower belt, I had no choice but to remove the frame utility that held the hinge for the hood. I simply can't use it. Therefore, I am planning to create a lift-off style hood which will sit on pins, or brackets.

First and foremost, I need to repair the missing chunk of fiberglass that came off of the hood (you will see it in the beginning of the first video, it's the white piece that I pluck off of the snowblower and throw to the side).

... is it possible for me to slather that with bondo and then stick it back in place? Does bondo work like that, like glue? I've used Bondo to repair holes in my floors, etc, etc, but never to actually hold separate pieces together.

Oh well, only one way to find out.
No bondo is for filling in and smoothing pits. It's NOT glue and has no real strength. It's like dry play-doh. Your better of trying your hand at actual fiberglass or buying one of those 2part epoxy glue that come in a hand size syringe. Use an actual GLUE to glue your hood together. But even that won't hold weight real well.
I found a kit that came with resin and a large fiberglass sheet. I used that to create a "bandage" that held everything in place from behind. Then, when it dried, I mixed some of the gray epoxy and filled all of the cracks and holes. After it had set, I evened it out with an orbital sander, then wiped it with a damp clothe. Finally, I sprayed it black. It looks good enough. It won't hold up to a close inspection, but it will certainly pass at a glance.
Mark: Thanks for posting the videos, now I have a much better idea of what you were up against and how you solved the problem.

I would be interested in information on the kit you found, I need to repair the fiberglass seat on my new-to-me 122 (see pic):

This is a link to the resin w/ fiberglass sheet:


This is a link to the bondo filler:


There are other brands of this stuff which are cheaper. There is a brand from 3M at Home Depot, which sells for $11, and it is probably the same stuff because 3M owns the Bondo name. The resin with fiberglass is pretty specific, though, and you'll only be able to find it at an autoparts store. Or maybe Wal Mart.

For your job, I would recommend removing the front of the seat, if possible. That way you can shape the fiberglass from behind. It would also help if you had a piece of cardboard, or plastic, or anything, to use as a template to apply the filler. Once it's finished and painted, you won't see the cardboard anymore, so it won't really matter.
From Nick:
It seems to me filling the tires with concrete is a short term idea. Obviously it would break up over a short time leaving you with sharp rock filled tires. Which doesn't seem very good at holding air since the concrete will no longer be keeping the tires round.

Filling them with washer fluid is a better idea. You might even enjoy making a "tire bong" to fill them. (Search it on here) then adding a "rock box" or weight box on the back will be much better.

I am thinking that you are right. If I put a rock box on it, it would also leverage the weight better because it will be further from center of gravity. I can rig something very easily with a milk crate, or even a Homer Bucket from HD. Although, the plastic for either of those would become extremely brittle in winter, and they might split open while I drive it. Perhaps I have found a use for the metal ash bucket that came with my house....
Ok, so now that the blower is installed, I have decided to do something even more ridiculous, and install power steering. Turning the wheel is prohibitively difficult and I fear that I will damage the grooves on the steering wheel. I supposed I could also fashion a gear reduction to increase torque to the steering arm, but I have not read about it yet, and am not yet sure how to go about it.

In the case of hydraulic steering, I have decided to power the system separately, in order to 1) avoid the complication of integrating a pump into the belt system, and 2) to minimize loss of horsepower to the blower.

I have researched this topic for a couple of hours. It looks to me that I could build a hydraulic steering system using disparate parts and materials, but it would cost waaaaaay too much. Upwards of $1000, maybe $500 on the low end, if I hunt online and scrounge materials over the course of 6 months.

On top of that, finding a way to attach everything in a discrete fashion will be a real challenge.

In Nic's thread about his power steering conversion, Trent mentioned that it might be possible to somehow use the hydro from the tractor to power a steering piston. It sounds like a great idea, but I am not sure how to do it, and furthermore, I am concerned that it is not realistic, because the hydro for my 1430 is just very small, and clearly designed for light duty. Does anyone know if it is possible to do this, and if so, how might it be done?

Also, I have read that there are kits to add an electrically assisted steering system, but they're not cheap, either. Perhaps I could build something like that on my own? It would be great, only needing an extra wire from the rectifier. Would electric power steering use an electric pump for its own hydraulics, or would it use an entirely different method? Perhaps something with a worm gear that can move a toothed bar from side to side.
Mark: "[A] worm gear on a toothed rod" is otherwise known as a "linear actuator" and is the basis of the electric lift system found on a Cub Cadet Model 147. I have one scrounged from an older satellite system. You need one with a motor that operates on 12 volts DC.

By-the-way, thanks for the links and tips on the fiberglass repair.
Instead of going to a full hydro power steering setup, how about just modifying an older "3 turn" steering column from a wide frame cub. (Say 1250 Q/L or a 129)

They are much more robust and have been used in our regular cub with no turning problems from 30years.

It would just be a matter of making your own mounts for it. Do you have any friends or neighbors with (no offense) a real cub cadet to see how it works?
Nic, your idea seems to be the most practical. I see that the steering columns are averaging $50-$60 used, so it's about 1/6 of what I was imagining for the cheapest hydraulic system possible. Unfortunately I do not have any friends/neighbors to ask for help, although I found some videos on Youtube, as well as diagrams from a couple of parts vendors. The design for the column is very simple, although I am not sure if it would create a whole lot more torque for steering, as they seem to all have something like ~2.5 turn gear. I was imagining something like a 3 or 4 turn to distribute the force.

I have an idea for something that seems like it would work really well. Although, I do not have a machine shop, nor years of experience to create it. I drew it out on a piece of paper, I'll try to upload a photo.

What if the steering column had a 90 degree gear at the end of it, which meshed with a worm gear, which would turn a larger gear which was attached to the steering bar that pushed the wheels. The worm gear could be thick, 1.5", so that the 90 degree gear on its end could be machined small enough to create clearance between the 90 from the steering column. I imagine the worm gear would have threads about 2/3 as thick as the ones seen on a typical Ross style steering gear, so that it could create a 4-5 turn steering system which would allow for very smooth, high power mechanical steering.

I think it would be really cool to make something like that. I've seen how similar gears are made in a machine shop; it is a VERY time consuming job, and you need $10,000X in machinery just to create a few small implements. Maybe I should be spending my cash on lotto tickets instead of lawnmowers....
Mark, take note that in my last post I stated you need to find the later "3 turn" column. It was not an accident that I called it that.

They old columns were 2.25 turn or so. The later is 3. My 782 has a 3 turn from factory.

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