Cub Cadet | SC 500 | Operator`s manual | Cub Cadet SC 500 Operator`s manual

Safe Operation Practices • Set-Up • Operation • Maintenance • Service • Troubleshooting • Warranty
Operator’s Manual
Self Propelled Mower — Models SC 500, SC 500 E, & SC 500 HW
Printed In USA
Form No. 769-08332
(November 28, 2012)
To The Owner
Thank You
Thank you for purchasing a Lawn Mower manufactured by
Cub Cadet. It was carefully engineered to provide excellent
performance when properly operated and maintained.
If applicable, the power testing information used to establish
the power rating of the engine equipped on this machine can be
found at or the engine manufacturer’s web site.
Please read this entire manual prior to operating the equipment.
It instructs you how to safely and easily set up, operate and
maintain your machine. Please be sure that you, and any other
persons who will operate the machine, carefully follow the
recommended safety practices at all times. Failure to do so could
result in personal injury or property damage.
If you have any problems or questions concerning the machine,
phone your local Cub Cadet dealer or contact us directly. Cub
Cadet’s Customer Support telephone numbers, website address
and mailing address can be found on this page. We want to
ensure your complete satisfaction at all times.
All information in this manual is relative to the most recent
product information available at the time of printing. Review
this manual frequently to familiarize yourself with the machine,
its features and operation. Please be aware that this Operator’s
Manual may cover a range of product specifications for various
models. Characteristics and features discussed and/or illustrated
in this manual may not be applicable to all models. We reserve
the right to change product specifications, designs and
equipment without notice and without incurring obligation.
Table of Contents
Throughout this manual, all references to right and left side of the
machine are observed from the operating position
Safe Operation Practices......................................... 3
Assembly & Set-Up................................................... 9
Controls & Features.................................................13
Maintenance & Adjustment..................................16
Replacement Parts................................................. 23
Attachments & Accessories................................... 25
Warranty....................................................Back Page
Record Product Information
Model Number
Before setting up and operating your new equipment, please
locate the model plate on the equipment and record the
information in the provided area to the right. You can locate the
model plate by standing at the operator’s position and looking
down at the rear of the deck. This information will be necessary,
should you seek technical support via our web site, Customer
Support Department, or with a local authorized service dealer.
Serial Number
Customer Support
If you have difficulty assembling this product or have any questions regarding the controls, operation, or maintenance of
this machine, you can seek help from the experts. Choose from the options below:
Visit us on the web at
Call a Customer Support Representative at (800) 965-4CUB
Locate your nearest Cub Cadet Dealer at (877) 282-8684
Write us at Cub Cadet LLC • P.O. Box 361131 • Cleveland, OH • 44136-0019
Important Safe Operation Practices
WARNING: This symbol points out important safety instructions which, if not followed,
could endanger the personal safety and/or property of yourself and others. Read and follow
all instructions in this manual before attempting to operate this machine. Failure to comply
with these instructions may result in personal injury.
When you see this symbol. HEED ITS WARNING!
WARNING: Engine Exhaust, some of its constituents, and certain vehicle components
contain or emit chemicals known to State of California to cause cancer and birth defects
or other reproductive harm.
WARNING: Battery posts, terminals, and related accessories contain lead and lead
compounds, chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and reproductive
harm. Wash hands after handling.
DANGER: This machine was built to be operated according to the safe operation practices in
this manual. As with any type of power equipment, carelessness or error on the part of the
operator can result in serious injury. This machine is capable of amputating fingers, hands,
toes and feet and throwing objects. Failure to observe the following safety instructions could
result in serious injury or death.
General Operation
Read this operator’s manual carefully in its entirety before
attempting to assemble this machine. Read, understand,
and follow all instructions on the machine and in the
manual(s) before operation. Keep this manual in a safe
place for future and regular reference and for ordering
replacement parts.
Thoroughly inspect the area where the equipment is to be
used. Remove all stones, sticks, wire, bones, toys and other
foreign objects, which could be tripped over or picked up
and thrown by the blade. Thrown objects can cause serious
personal injury.
Plan your mowing pattern to avoid discharge of material
toward roads, sidewalks, bystanders and the like. Also,
avoid discharging material against a wall or obstruction,
which may cause discharged material to ricochet back
toward the operator.
Be completely familiar with the controls and the proper use
of this machine before operating it.
This machine is a precision piece of power equipment,
not a plaything. Therefore, exercise extreme caution at all
times. This machine has been designed to perform one job:
to mow grass. Do not use it for any other purpose.
To help avoid blade contact or a thrown object injury,
stay in operator zone behind handles and keep children,
bystanders, helpers and pets at least 75 feet from mower
while it is in operation. Stop machine if anyone enters area.
Never allow children under 14 years of age to operate this
machine. Children 14 and over should read and understand
the instructions and safe operation practices in this manual
and on the machine and should be trained and supervised
by an adult.
Always wear safety glasses or safety goggles during
operation and while performing an adjustment or repair
to protect your eyes. Thrown objects which ricochet can
cause serious injury to the eyes.
Only responsible individuals who are familiar with these
rules of safe operation should be allowed to use this
Wear sturdy, rough-soled work shoes and close-fitting
slacks and shirts. Shirts and pants that cover the arms
and legs and steel-toed shoes are recommended. Never
operate this machine in bare feet, sandals, slippery or lightweight (e.g. canvas) shoes.
Do not put hands or feet near rotating parts or under the
cutting deck. Contact with blade can amputate fingers,
hands, toes and feet.
A missing or damaged discharge cover can cause blade
contact or thrown object injuries.
Many injuries occur as a result of the mower being pulled
over the foot during a fall caused by slipping or tripping.
Do not hold on to the mower if you are falling; release the
handle immediately.
Never pull the mower back toward you while you are
walking. If you must back the mower away from a wall or
obstruction first look down and behind to avoid tripping
and then follow these steps:
Step back from mower to fully extend your arms.
Be sure you are well balanced with sure footing.
Pull the mower back slowly, no more than half way
toward you.
Repeat these steps as needed.
Do not operate the mower while under the influence of
alcohol or drugs.
Do not engage the self-propelled mechanism on machines
so equipped while starting engine.
The blade control is a safety device. Never attempt to
bypass its operation. Doing so makes the safety device
inoperative and may result in personal injury through
contact with the rotating blade. The blade control must
operate easily in both directions and automatically return
to the disengaged position when released.
Never operate the mower in wet grass. Always be sure of
your footing. A slip and fall can cause serious personal
injury. If you feel you are losing your footing, release the
blade control handle immediately and the blade will stop
rotating within three seconds.
Mow only in daylight or good artificial light. Walk, never
Stop the blade when crossing gravel drives, walks or roads.
If the equipment should start to vibrate abnormally, stop
the engine and check immediately for the cause. Vibration
is generally a warning of trouble.
22. Shut the engine off and wait until the blade comes to
a complete stop before removing the grass catcher or
unclogging the chute. The cutting blade continues to
rotate for a few seconds after the blade control is released.
Never place any part of the body in the blade area until you
are sure the blade has stopped rotating.
When starting engine, pull cord slowly until resistance
is felt, then pull rapidly. Rapid retraction of starter cord
(kickback) will pull hand and arm toward engine faster than
you can let go. Broken bones, fractures, bruises or sprains
could result.
28. If situations occur which are not covered in this manual,
use care and good judgement. Contact Customer Support
for assistance or the name of the nearest service dealer.
Slope Operation
Slopes are a major factor related to slip and fall accidents, which
can result in severe injury. Operation on slopes requires extra
caution. If you feel uneasy on a slope, do not mow it. For your
safety, use the slope gauge included as part of this manual to
measure slopes before operating this machine on a sloped or
hilly area. If the slope is greater than 15 degrees, do not mow it.
Mow across the face of slopes; never up and down. Exercise
extreme caution when changing direction on slopes.
Watch for holes, ruts, rocks, hidden objects, or bumps
which can cause you to slip or trip. Tall grass can hide
Always be sure of your footing. A slip and fall can cause
serious personal injury. If you feel you are losing your
balance, release the blade control handle immediately and
the blade will stop rotating within three (3) seconds.
Do Not:
Do not mow near drop-offs, ditches or embankments, you
could lose your footing or balance.
Do not mow slopes greater than 15 degrees as shown on
the slope gauge.
Do not mow on wet grass. Unstable footing could cause
Tragic accidents can occur if the operator is not alert to the
presence of children. Children are often attracted to the mower
and the mowing activity. They do not understand the dangers.
Never assume that children will remain where you last saw them.
Keep children out of the mowing area and under watchful
care of a responsible adult other than the operator.
Be alert and turn mower off if a child enters the area.
Before and while moving backwards, look behind and
down for small children.
Use extreme care when approaching blind corners,
doorways, shrubs, trees, or other objects that may obscure
your vision of a child who may run into the mower.
24. Muffler and engine become hot and can cause a burn. Do
not touch.
Keep children away from hot or running engines. They can
suffer burns from a hot muffler.
25. Never attempt to make a wheel or cutting height
adjustment while the engine is running.
Never allow children under 14 years of age to operate this
machine. Children 14 and over should read and understand
the instructions and safe operation practices in this manual
and on the machine and be trained and supervised by an
Never operate mower without proper trail shield,
discharge cover, grass catcher, blade control or other safety
protective devices in place and working. Never operate
mower with damaged safety devices. Failure to do so can
result in personal injury.
26. Only use parts and accessories made for this machine by
the manufacturer. Failure to do so can result in personal
Section 2 — Important Safe Operation Practices
Check the blade and engine mounting bolts at frequent
intervals for proper tightness. Also, visually inspect blade
for damage (e.g., bent, cracked, worn) Replace blade with
the original equipment manufacture’s (O.E.M.) blade only,
listed in this manual. “Use of parts which do not meet the
original equipment specifications may lead to improper
performance and compromise safety!”
Mower blades are sharp and can cut. Wrap the blade or
wear gloves, and use extra caution when servicing them.
Safe Handling Of Gasoline:
To avoid personal injury or property damage use extreme
care in handling gasoline. Gasoline is extremely flammable
and the vapors are explosive. Serious personal injury can
occur when gasoline is spilled on yourself or your clothes,
which can ignite. Wash your skin and change clothes
Use only an approved gasoline container.
Never fill containers inside a vehicle or on a truck or trailer
bed with a plastic liner. Always place containers on the
ground away from your vehicle before filling.
Keep all nuts, bolts, and screws tight to be sure the
equipment is in safe working condition.
Never tamper with safety devices. Check their proper
operation regularly.
Remove gas-powered equipment from the truck or
trailer and refuel it on the ground. If this is not possible,
then refuel such equipment on a trailer with a portable
container, rather than from a gasoline dispenser nozzle.
After striking a foreign object, stop the engine, disconnect
the spark plug wire and ground against the engine.
Thoroughly inspect the mower for any damage. Repair the
damage before starting and operating the mower.
Keep the nozzle in contact with the rim of the fuel tank or
container opening at all times until fueling is complete. Do
not use a nozzle lock-open device.
Never attempt to make a wheel or cutting height
adjustment while the engine is running.
Extinguish all cigarettes, cigars, pipes and other sources
of ignition.
Never fuel machine indoors because flammable vapors will
accumulate in the area.
Never remove gas cap or add fuel while engine is hot or
running. Allow engine to cool at least two minutes before
Grass catcher components, discharge cover, and trail shield
are subject to wear and damage which could expose
moving parts or allow objects to be thrown. For safety
protection, frequently check components and replace
immediately with original equipment manufacturer’s
(O.E.M.) parts only, listed in this manual. “Use of parts
which do not meet the original equipment specifications
may lead to improper performance and compromise
Never over fill fuel tank. Fill tank to no more than 1 inch
below bottom of filler neck to provide for fuel expansion.
Replace gasoline cap and tighten securely.
Do not change the engine’s governor setting or over-speed
the engine. The governor controls the maximum safe
operating speed of the engine.
If gasoline is spilled, wipe it off the engine and equipment.
Move machine to another area. Wait 5 minutes before
starting engine.
Check fuel line, tank, cap, and fittings frequently for cracks
or leaks. Replace if necessary.
Do not crank engine with spark plug removed.
Never store the machine or fuel container near an open
flame, spark or pilot light as on a water heater, space
heater, furnace, clothes dryer or other gas appliances.
Maintain or replace safety and instruction labels, as
To reduce fire hazard, keep machine free of grass, leaves,
or other debris build-up. Clean up oil or fuel spillage and
remove any fuel soaked debris.
Observe proper disposal laws and regulations. Improper
disposal of fluids and materials can harm the environment.
According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission
(CPSC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),
this product has an Average Useful Life of seven (7) years,
or 140 hours of operation. At the end of the Average Useful
Life have the machine inspected annually by an authorized
service dealer to ensure that all mechanical and safety
systems are working properly and not worn excessively.
Failure to do so can result in accidents, injuries or death.
Allow machine to cool at least 5 minutes before storing.
General Service:
Never run an engine indoors or in a poorly ventilated area.
Engine exhaust contains carbon monoxide, an odorless
and deadly gas.
Before cleaning, repairing, or inspecting, make certain the
blade and all moving parts have stopped. Disconnect the
spark plug wire and ground against the engine to prevent
unintended starting.
Do not modify engine
To avoid serious injury or death, do not modify engine in any
way. Tampering with the governor setting can lead to a runaway
engine and cause it to operate at unsafe speeds. Never tamper
with factory setting of engine governor.
Section 2 — Important Safe Operation Practices
Notice Regarding Emissions
Engines which are certified to comply with California and federal
EPA emission regulations for SORE (Small Off Road Equipment)
are certified to operate on regular unleaded gasoline, and
may include the following emission control systems: Engine
Modification (EM), Oxidizing Catalyst (OC), Secondary Air
Injection (SAI) and Three Way Catalyst (TWC) if so equipped.
Spark Arrestor
WARNING: This machine is equipped with an
internal combustion engine and should not be used
on or near any unimproved forest-covered, brush
covered or grass-covered land unless the engine’s
exhaust system is equipped with a spark arrestor
meeting applicable local or state laws (if any).
If a spark arrestor is used, it should be maintained in effective
working order by the operator. In the State of California the
above is required by law (Section 4442 of the California Public
Resources Code). Other states may have similar laws. Federal laws
apply on federal lands.
A spark arrestor for the muffler is available through your
nearest engine authorized service dealer or contact the service
department, P.O. Box 361131 Cleveland, Ohio 44136-0019.
Section 2 — Important Safe Operation Practices
Safety Symbols
This page depicts and describes safety symbols that may appear on this product. Read, understand, and follow all instructions on the
machine before attempting to assemble and operate.
Read, understand, and follow all instructions in the manual(s) before attempting to
assemble and operate
To reduce the risk of injury, keep hands and feet away. Do not operate unless discharge cover
or grass catcher is in its proper place. If damaged, replace immediately.
Do not mow when children or others are around.
Keep hands and feet away from rotating parts.
Remove objects that can be thrown by the blade in any direction. Wear safety glasses.
Use extra caution on slopes. Do not mow slopes greater than 15°.
Allow the engine to cool at least two minutes before refueling.
Never run an engine indoors or in a poorly ventilated area. Engine exhaust contains carbon
monoxide, an odorless and deadly gas.
Engine parts, especially the muffler, become extremely hot during operation. Allow engine
and muffler to cool before touching.
WARNING: Your Responsibility—Restrict the use of this power machine to persons who read, understand and
follow the warnings and instructions in this manual and on the machine.
Section 2 — Important Safe Operation Practices
Section 2 — Important Safe Operation Practices
Figure 1
Figure 2
15° Slope
WARNING! Slopes are a major factor related to tip-over and roll-over accidents which can result in severe injury or death.
Do not operate machine on slopes in excess of 15 degrees. All slopes require extra caution.
Always mow across the face of slopes, never up and down slopes.
To check the slope, proceed as follows:
1. Remove this page and fold along the dashed line.
2. Locate a vertical object on or behind the slope (e.g. a pole, building, fence, tree, etc.)
3. Align either side of the slope gauge with the object (See Figure 1 and Figure 2 ).
4. Adjust gauge up or down until the left corner touches the slope (See Figure 1 and Figure 2).
5. If there is a gap below the gauge, the slope is too steep for safe operation (See Figure 2 above).
15° d
15° Slope
Slope Gauge
Assembly & Set-Up
Contents of Carton
One Lawn Mower
One Lawn Mower Operator’s Manual •
One Grass Catcher
One Bottle of Oil
One Engine Operator’s Manual
One Side Discharge Chute
NOTE: Please be aware that this Operator’s Manual covers both
the low and high wheel models of this mower. While this manual
illustrates the low wheel model, the instructions and features
are equally applicable to the high wheel model as well, unless
otherwise noted.
NOTE: This unit is shipped without gasoline or oil in the engine.
Fill up with gasoline and oil as instructed in the accompanying
engine manual BEFORE operating your mower.
Remove any packing material which may be between
upper and lower handles.
Remove wing nuts and carriage bolts from handle
as shown in Figure 3-1. Do not loosen or remove
adjacent hex head screws.
Figure 3-2
Remove the T-bolts from the handle brackets as shown in
Figure 3-3.
Figure 3-1
While stabilizing mower so it doesn’t move, pivot
upper handle up as shown in Figure 3-2. Do not
crimp cables while lifting the handle up and make
sure they go on the outside of the handle.
Figure 3-3
Follow the steps below to complete handle assembly:
Pull upward on the handle approximately 8 inches
until holes in lower handle (shown in Figure 3-3 deck
cutaway) line up with holes in handle bracket. See
Figure 3-4.
The rope guide is attached to the right side of the upper
handle. Loosen the wing knob which secures the rope
guide. See Figure 3-6.
Figure 3-6
Figure 3-4
NOTE: When pulling upward on handle, make sure to not
pull handle all the way out.
Insert the T-bolts removed earlier through the
handle brackets and lower handle and tighten
securely to secure the handle in place. See Figure
Reattach wing nuts and carriage bolts removed
earlier into lower holes of handle as shown in Figure
Figure 3-5
Section 3 — Assembly & Set-Up
Hold blade control against upper handle.
Slowly pull starter rope handle from engine and slip
starter rope into the rope guide. See Figure 3-6.
Tighten rope guide wing knob.
Use cable tie(s) to secure cable(s) to lower handle.
Grass Catcher
Follow steps below to assemble the grass catcher (if
needed). Make certain bag is turned right side out before
assembling (warning label will be on the outside).
Place bag over frame so that its black plastic side is
at the bottom.
Slip plastic channel of grass bag over hooks on the
frame. See Figure 3-7.
On the side of the mower, lift the side mulching plug. See
Figure 3-9.
Side Mulching
Figure 3-7
Follow steps below to attach grass catcher:
Figure 3-9
Lift rear discharge door.
Place grass catcher into the slots in the handle
brackets as shown in Figure 3-8. Let go of discharge
door so that it rests on the grass catcher.
Slide two hooks of side discharge chute under hinge pin on
mulching plug assembly. Lower the mulching plug. Do not
remove side mulching plug at any time, even when you are
not mulching.
Cutting Height
There is a cutting height adjustment lever located above the
front and rear left wheel.
Pull the height adjustment lever towards wheel (unit will
tend to fall when lever is moved outward).
Slide lever to desired position for a change in cutting
height. See Figure 3-10 and Figure 3-11.
Figure 3-8
To remove grass catcher, lift rear discharge door on the mower.
Lift grass catcher up and off of the slots in the handle brackets.
Release rear discharge door to allow it to close rear opening of
Side Discharge Chute
Your mower is shipped as a mulcher. To convert to side discharge,
make sure grass catcher is off of the unit and rear discharge door
is closed.
Low Wheel
Figure 3-10
Section 3 — Assembly & Set-Up
Position the handle in one of the three positions that is
most comfortable. See Figure 3-12 inset.
Secure into position with star knobs and carriage bolts
removed earlier.
Drive Control
The adjustment wheel is located in the speed control housing
and is used to tighten or loosen the drive belt. You will need to
adjust the drive control if the mower does not propel itself with
the drive control engaged or if the mower’s wheels hesitate
with the drive control engaged. If either of these conditions
occur, rotate adjustment wheel clockwise to tighten cable or
counterclockwise to loosen the cable. See Figure 3-13.
High Wheel
Figure 3-11
NOTE: For mowers with low wheels, the height adjustment
levers move in the opposite direction to adjust; for those
with high wheels, the levers move in the same direction.
Release lever towards deck.
IMPORTANT: Both the front and rear wheels must be
placed in the same relative position. For rough or uneven
lawns, move the height adjustment levers to a higher
position. This will stop scalping of grass.
Handle Pitch
For convenience of operation, you may adjust the pitch of the
handle as follows:
Remove star knobs and carriage bolts from handle. See
Figure 3-12.
Figure 3-13
NOTE: For ease of adjustment, the speed control should be in the
second or third speed.
Gas and Oil Fill-Up
Refer to the separate engine owner’s manual for additional
engine information.
Add oil provided before starting unit for the first time out
of the box.
Service the engine with gasoline as instructed in the
separate engine owner’s manual.
WARNING: Use extreme care when handling
gasoline. Gasoline is extremely flammable and the
vapors are explosive. Never fuel the machine
indoors or while the engine is hot or running.
Extinguish cigarettes, cigars, pipes and other
sources of ignition.
Figure 3-12
Section 3 — Assembly & Set-Up
Charge battery as instructed in the Service section of this
manual (Electric Start Units).
Controls and Features
Blade Control
Drive Control
Electric Start
Ignition Switch
Recoil Starter
Cutting Height
Deck Wash
Side Discharge
Cutting Height
Figure 4-1
Blade Control
Cutting Height Adjustment Lever
The blade control is attached to the upper handle of the mower.
Depress and squeeze it against the upper handle to operate the
unit. Release it to stop engine and blade.
One adjustment lever is located on the left rear wheel and one
is located on the left front wheel. Both levers have to be at the
same relative position to ensure a uniform cut. To adjust the
cutting height, refer to the “Assembly & Set-Up” Section.
WARNING: This blade control is a safety device.
Never attempt to bypass its operations.
Drive Control
The drive control is located on the underside of the upper handle
and is used to engage the drive. Squeeze it against the upper
handle to engage the drive; release it to slow down or stop
mower from propelling.
Speed Control
The speed control is located on the left side of the upper handle.
This control is used to select the forward speed of the mower.
See Figure 4-1 inset.
IMPORTANT: Move the speed control only when the engine is
running. Changing the speed control setting with the engine off
can damage the mower.
Deck Wash
Your mower’s deck is equipped with a water port on its surface
as part of its deck wash system. Use the deck wash to rinse grass
clippings from the deck’s underside.
Side Discharge Chute
Your mower is shipped as a mulcher. To discharge the grass
clippings to the side instead, follow the instructions in the
“Assembly & Set-Up” section to attach the side discharge chute.
WARNING: Keep hands and feet away from the
chute area on cutting deck. Refer to warning label
on the unit.
Electric Start Ignition Switch (If Equipped)
The electric start ignition switch is located on the right side of
the upper handle. It is used only for the electric starter.
Starting Engine
WARNING: Be sure no one other than the operator
is standing near the lawn mower while starting
engine or operating mower. Never run engine
indoors or in enclosed, poorly ventilated areas.
Engine exhaust contains carbon monoxide, an
odorless and deadly gas. Keep hands, feet, hair and
loose clothing away from any moving parts on
engine and lawn mower.
Before starting the engine, you must determine the type of
starting system that is on your engine. Your engine will have one
of the following types:
Auto-Choke System: This features an automatic choke
that does not have a manual choke or primer.
Primer/Electric Start System: This features a primer on
the engine and an electric start switch on the handle.
To start your engine, follow the instructions for your type of
starting system.
Auto-Choke System
Standing behind the mower, squeeze the blade control
against upper handle. See Figure 5-1.
Pull the starter grip lightly until resistance is felt, then pull
rapidly to overcome compression, prevent kickback and
start engine. Repeat if necessary.
Figure 5-1
IMPORTANT: Do not allow the starter grip to snap back
against the engine. Return it gently to prevent damage to
the starter.
Primer/Electric Start System
Push primer 3 times. Wait about two seconds between
each push. See Figure 5-2. In temperature below 50°F,
prime 5 times. After the engine is warmed up, one prime
may be needed for all temperatures.
Standing behind the mower, squeeze and hold the blade
control against upper handle.
Electric Start: Turn ignition key to the right to start the
engine. Release the key after the engine starts.
Recoil Start: Pull the recoil starter lightly until resistance
is felt, then pull rapidly to overcome compression, prevent
kickback, and start the engine. Repeat if necessary. See
Figure 5-2.
IMPORTANT: Do not allow the recoil starter to snap back
against the rope guide.
If engine does not start, it may be necessary to re-prime the
Figure 5-2
Stopping Engine
Release blade control or turn off the engine switch (if
WARNING: Wait for the blade to stop completely
before performing any work on the mower or to
remove the grass catcher.
Using Your Lawn Mower
Be sure lawn is clear of stones, sticks, wire, or other objects
which could damage lawn mower or engine. Such objects could
be accidently thrown by the mower in any direction and cause
serious personal injury to the operator and others.
Once the engine is running and while continuing to hold
the blade control down, squeeze the drive control against
the upper handle to propel mower.
To change speed, move speed control to the desired speed.
See Figure 5-3.
NOTE: When selecting a drive speed, use the first speed
until you are comfortable and familiar with the operation
of the mower.
IMPORTANT: If you are shifting speeds while the mower
is stationary it may be difficult to shift into first speed
under certain conditions. This is easily remedied by briefly
engaging the drive lever.
WARNING: The operation of any lawn mower can
result in foreign objects being thrown into the eyes,
which can damage your eyes severely. Always wear
safety glasses while operating the mower, or while
performing any adjustments or repairs on it.
NOTE: Your mower is equipped with an advanced internal
drive system for ease of use and smooth shifting. When
turning or pulling the unit rearward, you may notice higher
than normal resistance in the rear wheels under certain
conditions. This is perfectly normal and can be remedied
by allowing the unit to roll forward slightly without the
drive lever(s) engaged before pulling backwards.
Figure 5-3
Using as Mulcher
For mulching grass, remove the grass catcher and allow the rear
discharge door to close the rear opening of mower. For effective
mulching, do not cut wet grass. If the grass has been allowed to
grow in excess of four inches, mulching is not recommended. Use
the grass catcher to bag clippings instead.
Using Grass Catcher
You can use the grass catcher to collect clippings while you are
operating the mower.
Attach grass catcher following instructions in the
“Assembly & Set-Up” section. Grass clippings will
automatically collect in bag as you run mower. Operate
mower till grass bag is full.
Stop engine completely by releasing the blade control.
Make sure that the unit has come to a complete stop.
Lift discharge door and pull grass bag up and away from
the mower to remove the bag. Dispose of the grass
clippings and reinstall the bag when complete.
NOTE: Make sure to clean any excess grass from around
the rear opening of the mower, especially between the
transmission cover and sidewall on the left hand side and
along the bottom, to ensure tight fit of bag onto mower.
WARNING: If you strike a foreign object, stop the
engine. Remove wire from the spark plug,
thoroughly inspect mower for any damage, and
repair damage before restarting and operating.
Extensive vibration of mower during operation is an
indication of damage. The unit should be promptly
inspected and repaired.
Section 5 — Operation
Maintenance & Adjustments
General Recommendations
The transmission is pre-lubricated and sealed at the factory
and does not require lubrication.
Follow the accompanying engine manual for lubrication
schedule and instruction for engine lubrication.
Always observe safety rules when performing any
The warranty on this lawn mower does not cover items that
have been subjected to operator abuse or negligence. To
receive full value from warranty, operator must maintain
the lawn mower as instructed here.
Changing of engine-governed speed will void engine
All adjustments should be checked at least once each
Periodically check all fasteners and make sure these are
WARNING: Always stop engine, disconnect spark
plug, and ground against engine before performing
any type of maintenance on your machine.
Lubricate pivot points on the blade and drive controls
at least once a season with light oil. These controls must
operate freely in both directions. See Figure 6-1.
Figure 6-1
Deck Care
Clean underside of the mower deck after each use to prevent
build-up of grass clippings or other debris. Follow steps below
for this job.
Disconnect spark plug wire. Drain gasoline from lawn
mower or place a piece of plastic under the gas cap.
Tip mower so that it rests on the housing. Keep the side
with the air cleaner facing up. Hold mower firmly.
WARNING: Never tip the mower more than 90º in
any direction and do not leave the mower tipped for
any length of time. Oil can drain into the upper part
of the engine causing a starting problem.
Scrape and clean the underside of the deck with a suitable
Put the mower back on its wheels on the ground. If you had
put plastic under the gas cap earlier, make sure to remove it
Deck Wash (If Equipped)
Engine Care
Your mower’s deck may be equipped with a water port on its
surface as part of its deck wash system.
A list of key engine maintenance jobs required for good
performance by the mower is given below. Follow the
accompanying engine manual for a detailed list and instructions.
Use the deck wash to rinse grass clippings from the deck’s
underside and prevent the buildup of corrosive chemicals.
Complete the following steps AFTER EACH MOWING:
Push the mower to a level, clear spot on your lawn, near
enough for your garden hose to reach.
CAUTION: Make certain the mower’s discharge
chute is directed AWAY from your house, garage,
parked cars, etc.
Thread the hose coupler (packaged with your mower’s
Operator’s Manual) onto the end of your garden hose.
Attach the hose coupler to the water port on your deck’s
surface. See Figure 6-2.
Maintain oil level as instructed in engine manual.
Service air cleaner and carbon canister filter every 25 hours
under normal conditions. Clean every few hours under
extremely dusty conditions. Poor engine performance
and flooding usually indicates that the air cleaner should
be serviced. To service the air cleaner and carbon canister
filter, refer to the engine manual.
Clean spark plug and reset the gap once a season. Spark
plug replacement is recommended at the start of each
mowing season. Check engine manual for correct plug
type and gap specifications.
Clean engine regularly with a cloth or brush. Keep the
top of the engine clean to permit proper air circulation.
Remove all grass, dirt, and combustible debris from muffler
Engines stored between 30 and 90 days need to be treated
with a gasoline stabilizer such as STA-BIL® to prevent
deterioration and gum from forming in fuel system or on
essential carburetor parts.
Figure 6-2
Turn the water on.
Start the engine as described in the Operation section.
Run the engine for a minimum of two minutes, allowing
the underside of the cutting deck to thoroughly rinse.
Release blade control to stop the engine and blade.
Turn the water off and detach the hose coupler from the
water port on your deck’s surface.
After cleaning your deck, restart the mower. Keep the engine
and blade running for a minimum of two minutes, allowing the
underside of the cutting deck to thoroughly dry.
Section 6 — Maintenance & Adjustments
Blade Care
WARNING: When removing the cutting blade for
sharpening or replacement, protect your hands with
a pair of heavy gloves or use a heavy rag to hold the
WARNING: An unbalanced blade will cause
excessive vibration when rotating at high speeds. It
may cause damage to mower and could break
causing personal injury.
Place the blade on the adapter such that the side of the
blade marked “Bottom” (or with part number) faces the
ground when the mower is in the operating position. Make
sure that the blade is aligned and seated on the blade
adapter flanges. See Figure 7-1 inset.
Place blade bell support on the blade. Align notches on the
blade bell support with small holes in blade.
Replace hex bolt and tighten hex bolt to torque: 450 in. lbs.
min., 600 in. lbs. max.
Periodically inspect the blade adapter for cracks, especially if you
strike a foreign object. Replace when necessary. Follow the steps
below for blade service.
Disconnect spark plug boot from spark plug. Turn mower
on its side making sure that the air filter and the carburetor
are facing up.
Remove the bolt and the blade bell support which hold the
blade and the blade adapter to the engine crankshaft. See
Figure 7-1.
To ensure safe operation of your mower, periodically check the
blade bolt for correct torque.
Belt Care
NOTE: Several components must be removed in order to change
the mower’s belt. See an authorized Service Dealer to have your
belt replaced.
Blade Bell
Figure 7-1
Remove blade from the adapter for testing balance.
Balance the blade on a round shaft screwdriver to check.
Remove metal from the heavy side until it balances evenly.
When sharpening the blade, follow the original angle of
grind. Grind each cutting edge equally to keep the blade
Replacing Battery (If Equipped)
Charging Battery (If Equipped)
WARNING: Batteries contain sulfuric acid which
may cause burns. Do not short circuit or mutilate
batteries in any way. Do not put batteries in fire as
these may burst or release toxic materials.
Unhinge cover seal and lift off battery cover.
Remove positive and negative leads from battery, and pull
up on battery to remove. See Figure 7-2.
WARNING: The battery contains corrosive fluid
and toxic material; handle with care and keep away
from children. Do not puncture, disassemble,
mutilate or incinerate the battery. Explosive gases
could be vented during charging or discharging. Use
in a well ventilated area, away from sources of
NOTE: The special designed plug on the charger will only fit into
the plug on the battery box.
Unhinge the cover seal and plug the battery charger into
the port on the side of the battery housing. See Figure 7-4.
Figure 7-2
Replace with new battery. Connect the positive lead (red)
to the positive side of the battery pack, then connect the
negative lead (black) to the negative side. See Figure 7-3.
Figure 7-4
(+) Positive
(-) Negative
Insert the battery charger plug into a standard 120 volt
household outlet. Charge battery for 8 to 10 hours before
initial use. Do not charge longer than 12 hours. The battery
should only need to be charged upon initial setup, at the
end of the season, after any other extended periods of
non-use, and as needed.
NOTE: If you frequently stop and restart the mower
during each cut throughout the season (for instance when
bagging), more frequent charging may be necessary.
After charging, disconnect charger plug from outlet first,
then disconnect charger lead from battery and reattach
cover seal.
IMPORTANT: Do not remove the battery pack from
the electric starter housing for any reason other than
Figure 7-3
IMPORTANT: Always plug charger lead into battery pack
lead first, and then insert battery charger plug into 120
volt standard household outlet. Follow this order of action
every time you charge the battery.
Reattach battery cover and cover seal.
Section 7 — Service
Replacing Fuse (If Equipped)
Off-Season Storage
The electric starter circuit and battery are protected by a 40
ampere fuse. If the fuse burns out, the electric starter will not
operate. If the unit fails to start with the electric starter, perform
the following steps to check the fuse inside the battery housing:
The following steps should be taken to prepare your lawn mower
for storage.
Clean and lubricate mower thoroughly as described in the
lubrication instructions.
Open the battery cover as described in Replacing Battery.
Remove fuse from socket and inspect as shown in Figure
7-5. If it is burned out, replace with standard automotive 40
ampere fuse.
Coat mower’s cutting blade with chassis grease to prevent
Refer to engine manual for correct engine storage
Secure side discharge chute to handle as shown in Figure
Figure 7-5
Carefully place wiring back into housing, and reattach
battery cover.
NOTE: The engine can be started manually if the fuse burns
Figure 7-6
Store mower in a dry, clean area. Do not store next to
corrosive materials, such as fertilizer.
When storing any type of power equipment in a poorly
ventilated or metal storage shed, care should be taken to
rust-proof the equipment. Using a light oil or silicone, coat the
equipment, especially cables and all moving parts of your lawn
mower before storage.
Battery (If Equipped)
The battery must be stored with a full charge. Extended storage
of a discharged battery will reduce life and capacity of the
battery. For optimal battery life, charge the battery once per
month while in storage.
Section 7— Service
Engine Fails to start
1. Blade control disengaged.
1. Engage blade control.
2. Spark plug boot disconnected.
2. Connect wire to spark boot.
3. Fuel tank empty or stale fuel.
3. Fill tank with clean, fresh gasoline.
4. Engine not primed (if equipped with primer).
4. Prime engine as instructed in the Operation
5. Faulty spark plug.
5. Clean, adjust gap, or replace.
6. Blocked fuel line.
6. Clean fuel line.
7. Engine flooded.
7. Wait a few minutes to restart, but do not
8. Fuel valve (if equipped) closed.
8. Open fuel valve. See engine manual.
9. Engine not choked (if equipped with choke).
9. Choke engine. See engine manual.
10.Burnt fuse. (Electric Start only)
10.Replace fuse (see Service Section).
1. Spark plug boot loose.
1. Connect and tighten spark plug boot.
2. Blocked fuel line or stale fuel.
2. Clean fuel line; fill tank with clean, fresh
3. Vent in gas cap plugged.
3. Clear vent.
4. Water or dirt in fuel system.
4. Drain fuel tank. Refill with fresh fuel.
5. Dirty air cleaner.
5. Refer to engine manual.
6. Unit running with CHOKE (if equipped)
6. Push CHOKE knob in.
1. Engine oil level low.
1. Fill crankcase with proper oil.
2. Air flow restricted.
2. Clean area around and on top of engine.
Occasional skips
(hesitates) at
high speed
1. Spark plug gap too close.
1. Adjust gap to .030”.
Idles poorly
1. Spark plug fouled, faulty, or gap too wide.
1. Reset gap to .030” or replace spark plug.
2. Dirty air cleaner.
2. Refer to engine manual.
1. Cutting blade loose or unbalanced.
1. Tighten blade and adapter. Balance blade.
2. Bent cutting blade.
2. See an authorized service dealer.
1. Wet grass.
1. Do not mow when grass is wet; wait until
later to cut.
2. Excessively high grass.
2. Mow once at a high cutting height, then
mow again at desired height or make a
narrower cutting path.
3. Dull blade.
3. Sharpen or replace blade.
Engine runs erratic
Engine overheats
Excessive Vibration
Mower will not
mulch grass
Continued on next page
Uneven cut
Mower will not self propel
High pullback effort
1. Wheels not positioned correctly.
1. Place front and rear wheels in same height
position. (Dual Height Adjusters)
2. Dull blade.
2. Sharpen or replace blade.
1. Belt not installed properly.
1. Check belt for proper pulley installation and
2. Debris clogging drive operation.
2. Stop engine, disconnect spark plug boot,
and clean out debris.
3. Damaged or worn belt.
3. Inspect and replace belt.
4. Drive control out of adjustment.
4. Adjust drive control. (See Assembly & Set-up
1. Pulling mower backwards before
transmission disengages.
1. Allow the unit to roll forward slightly without
the drive lever(s) engaged before pulling
Section 8 — Troubleshooting
Replacement Parts & Accessories
Part Number and Description
Spark Plug (159cc Engine)
Spark Plug (173cc Engine)
Fuel Filter
Air Cleaner Kit
Fuel Cap Assembly (159cc Engine)
Fuel Cap Assembly (173cc Engine)
Wheel (Front)
Wheel (Rear - Low)
Wheel (Rear - High)
731-07131 Discharge Chute
Mulching Blade
Xtreme Mulching Blade
Phone 877-282-8684 for your nearest Cub Cadet Dealer to order replacement parts or a complete Parts Manual (have your full model
number and serial number ready). Parts Manual downloads are also available free of charge at
Part Number and Description
Grass Bag
Battery Charger
† If Equipped
Phone 877-282-8684 for your nearest Cub Cadet Dealer to order replacement parts or a complete Parts Manual (have your full model
number and serial number ready). Parts Manual downloads are also available free of charge at
Section 9 — Replacement Parts
Attachments & Accessories
Model Number and Description
Blade Removal Tool —
Holds blade in place for faster, safer
Spark Plug Wrench —
Duel ended wrench to serve multiple
uses. Fits ¾” or 13⁄16” hex plug.
Oil Siphon —
Makes it easy to transfer gas, oil and
liquids from tank to container.
Side Discharge Blower —
Blows leaves, grass clippings and
debris. Eliminates need for separate
blower. Easy installation with no tools.
Cargo Carrier —
Conveniently holds drinks, tools and
more. Simple installation. Attaches in
less than two minutes with no tools.
Garage Floor Mat —
Anti-skid mat, measures 24” x 36”.
Projects garage floor form stains.
Mower Kick Stand —
Keeps mower stable for changing/
sharpening blade and cleaning
underside of deck.
Phone (800) 800-7310 or (330) 220-4683 to order attachments and accessories. Have your mower’s full model number and serial
number ready to assure compatibility. Items can also be purchased online at
Section 10 — Attachments & Accessories
Model Number and Description
STA-BIL® fuel Stabilizer, 32 oz —
Treats 80 gallons of fuel. Keeps stored
fuel fresh for quick, easy starts.
Prevents corrosion from moisture and
ethanol-induced attraction. Prevents
gum and varnish.
Mower Cover —
Protects your mower against sun, rain
and dust damage. Coated for maximum
water resistance and repellency. U.V.
and milddew resistant
Non-Stick Mower Deck Spray —
Long-Lasting anti-stick graphite spray.
Prevents grass clippings buildup in
mowing deck.
The SureStart Guarantee®
Provisions of Your Limited Warranty
In addition to the other terms and conditions of the Limited
Warranty applicable to your new mower, Cub Cadet LLC (“Cub
Cadet”) hereby warrants that your mower’s engine will start on
the first or second attempt by an able-bodied adult (subject to the
limitations described below) for the duration of the manufacturer’s
limited warranty applicable to your product. If the engine on your
mower fails to conform to this limited warranty, Cub Cadet will
cover the cost of parts and labor associated with any adjustments
and/or repairs necessary to return your engine to its warranted
condition. In order to make a claim under these provisions of your
warranty, you must bring the product and proof of purchase to an
authorized Cub Cadet service provider. In many cases, the retailer
who sold you your mower is not equipped to provide warranty
service, so please locate the authorized service dealer nearest you
by either calling the phone number provided in your Operators
Manual or looking up an authorized service dealer on-line
Items and Conditions Not Covered
The SureStart Guarantee® does not cover and/or apply to the
Cost of regular maintenance service or parts, such as filters,
fuel, lubricants, oil changes, spark plugs, air filter, blade
sharpening, worn blades, cable/linkage adjustments, or brake
and clutch adjustments
Transportation costs to and from an authorized Cub Cadet
service provider
Any engine used for commercial, rental, institutional,
governmental, or non-residential applications
Any product or part that has been altered or misused or
required replacement or repair due to misuse, accidents, or
lack of proper maintenance
Repairs necessary due to improper battery care, electrical
supply irregularities, or failure to properly prepare the mower
prior to any period of non-use over three months
Pickup and/or delivery charges
Operational misuse, neglect, accidents, unauthorized repairs
or attempted repairs of the engine or its components by
anyone other than an authorized Cub Cadet service provider.
GDOC-100165 Rev. B
Repairs or adjustments to correct starting difficulties due to
any of the following: failure to follow proper maintenance
procedures — rotary mower blade striking an object —
contaminants in the fuel system — improper fuel or fuel/oil
mixture (consult your Operator’s Manual if in doubt) — failure
to drain the fuel system prior to any period of non-use over
three months
Any starting problem which results from the use of
inappropriate fuels, lubricants, or additives
Special conditions or circumstances that normally require
more than two pulls to start, specifically: 1) First start-up
following your initial purchase, 2) first time starts after
extended period(s) of non-use over one month or seasonal
storage, 3) cool temperature starts such as those found in
early spring and late autumn, and 4) difficult starting that
results from the operator’s failure to follow the proper
starting procedures identified in the Operator’s Manual. If
you are having difficulty starting your unit, please check the
Operator’s Manual to ensure that you are using the correct
starting procedures. This can save an unnecessary visit to a
Service Dealer.
Owner Responsibilities
You must maintain your mower (including its engine) by following
the maintenance procedures and starting instructions described
in the Operator’s Manual. Such routine maintenance, whether
performed by a dealer or by you, is at your expense. In addition,
please retain your proof of purchase and service receipts as these
may be required to validate a claim.
General Conditions
An authorized Cub Cadet service provider using approved
replacement parts must perform all repairs covered by the
SureStart Guarantee®. Repair by an Cub Cadet authorized service
dealer is your sole remedy under this warranty. Cub Cadet is
not liable for indirect, incidental, or consequential damages
in connection with the use of the products covered by these
warranties, including any cost or expense of providing substitute
equipment or service during reasonable periods of malfunction or
non-use pending completion of repairs under this warranty.
Some states do not allow exclusions of incidental or consequential
damages, or limitations on how long an implied warranty lasts, so
certain exclusions and limitations may not apply to you.
IMPORTANT: To obtain warranty coverage owner must present an
original proof of purchase and applicable maintenance records to the
servicing dealer. Please see the operator’s manual for information on
required maintenance and service intervals.
The limited warranty set forth below is given by Cub Cadet LLC with
respect to new merchandise purchased or leased and used in the
United States and/or its territories and possessions, and by MTD
Products Limited with respect to new merchandise purchased or
leased and used in Canada and/or its territories and possessions
(either entity respectively, “Cub Cadet”).
Without limiting the foregoing, this limited warranty does not provide
coverage in the following cases:
Routine maintenance items such as lubricants, filters, blade
sharpening, tune-ups, brake adjustments, clutch adjustments,
deck adjustments, and normal deterioration of the exterior
finish due to use or exposure.
Service completed by someone other than an authorized
service dealer.
Cub Cadet does not extend any warranty for products sold
or exported outside of the United States and/or Canada, and
their respective possessions and territories, except those sold
through Cub Cadet’s authorized channels of export distribution.
Replacement parts and\or accessories that are not genuine Cub
Cadet parts.
Transportation charges and service calls.
Cub Cadet does not warrant this product for commercial use.
This warranty is in addition to any applicable emissions warranty
provided with your product.
Cub Cadet warrants this product (excluding its Normal Wear Parts
and Batteries, as described below) against defects in material and
workmanship for a period of three (3) years, commencing on the date
of original retail purchase or lease and will, at its option, repair or
replace, free of charge, any part found to be defective in materials or
Normal Wear Parts are warranted to be free from defects in material
and workmanship for a period of thirty (30) days from the date of
original purchase or lease. Normal wear parts include, but are not
limited to items such as: belts, blades, blade adapters, grass bags,
engine oil, air filters, spark plugs and wheels.
Batteries have a one-year prorated limited warranty against defects
in material and workmanship, with 100% replacement during the
first three months. After three months, the battery replacement
credit is based on the months remaining in the twelve (12) month
period dating back to the original date of original sale or lease. Any
replacement battery will be warranted only for the remainder of the
original warranty period.
This limited warranty shall only apply if this product has been
operated and maintained in accordance with the Operator’s Manual
furnished with the product, and has not been subject to misuse,
abuse, commercial use, neglect, accident, improper maintenance,
alteration, vandalism, theft, fire, water, or damage because of other
peril or natural disaster. Damage resulting from the installation or
use of any part, accessory or attachment not approved by Cub Cadet
for use with the product(s) covered by this manual will void your
warranty as to any resulting damage. In addition, Cub Cadet may deny
warranty coverage if the hour meter, or any part thereof, is altered,
modified, disconnected or otherwise tampered with.
HOW TO OBTAIN SERVICE: Warranty service is available, WITH
through your local authorized service dealer. To locate the dealer in
your area:
In the U.S.A.
Check your Yellow Pages, or contact Cub Cadet LLC at P.O. Box 361131,
Cleveland, Ohio 44136-0019, call 1-877-282- 8684
or log on to our website at
There are no implied warranties, including without limitation
any implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a
particular purpose. No warranties shall apply after the
applicable period of express written warranty above. No other
express warranties beyond those mentioned above, given by
any person or entity, including a dealer or retailer, with respect
to any product, shall bind Cub Cadet. The exclusive remedy is
repair or replacement of the product as set forth above.
The terms of this warranty provide the sole and exclusive
remedy arising from the sale and/or lease of the products
covered hereby. Cub Cadet shall not be liable for any incidental
or consequential loss or damage including, without limitation,
expenses incurred for substitute or replacement lawn care
services or for rental expenses to temporarily replace a
warranted product.
Some jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion or limitation of
incidental or consequential damages, or limitations on how long an
implied warranty lasts, so the above exclusions or limitations may not
apply to you.
In no event shall recovery of any kind be greater than the amount of
the purchase price of the product sold. Alteration of safety features
of the product shall void this warranty. You assume the risk and
liability for loss, damage, or injury to you and your property and/or to
others and their property arising out of the misuse or inability to use
the product.
This limited warranty shall not extend to anyone other than the
original purchaser or to the person for whom it was purchased as a
warranty gives you specific legal rights, and you may also have other
rights that vary in different jurisdictions.
In Canada
Contact MTD Products Limited, Kitchener, ON N2G 4J1, call 1-800668-1238 or log on to our website at
Cub Cadet LLC, P.O. BOX 361131 CLEVELAND, OHIO 44136-0019, Phone: 1-877-282-8684
MTD Products Limited, Kitchener, ON N2G 4J1, Phone: 1-800-668-1238
GDOC-100088 REV. A
Download PDF