How to Install a Mulch Kit on a Cub Cadet Tractor

How to Install a Mulch Kit on a Cub Cadet Tractor

A mulch kit is a way to convert your Cub Cadet tractor into a mulcher. When you change the tractor’s standard blades to mulching blades, the mulch kit recycles the lawn clippings as you mow and spreads them back onto your lawn. This returns nutrients back into the soil, keeping your grass healthy. Here’s how to install a mulch kit on your Cub Cadet tractor.

Depending on your model number, these instructions may vary.  Be sure to refer to your owner’s manual for detailed instructions, recommended maintenance and safety instructions.

Before performing any maintenance on your machine, engage the parking brake on a flat, level surface and remove the key from the ignition. Disconnect the spark plug wire to prevent accidental starting.

To install a mulch kit on a Cub Cadet tractor, begin by removing the mower deck. Set the deck height to its lowest setting. Pull the right idler pulley to release tension on the deck belt, and then ease the deck belt off the engine pulley.

Use pliers to remove the cotter pin from the front deck lift rod and slide the rod out of the hanger bracket. Remove the hairpin clip securing the right side of the deck to the hanger bracket supporting the cutting deck and release it from the hanger bracket by moving the deck outward and off the hanger rod making sure the deck doesn’t fall. Repeat this step on the left side and slide the deck out from underneath the tractor.

Once the mower deck is off, flip it over to access its underside to prepare to remove the old mower blades. Note: always wear heavy duty gloves when handling blades.

Use a block of wood and wedge it between the blade and the frame of the mower deck. Make sure it’s good and steady because you’ll be applying force. Remove the center holding nut from the mower blade with a wrench. Use a gloved hand to keep the blade from turning while removing the nut. Save the nut for installing the mulching blade. Repeat this blade removal step for the mower blade on the other side of the deck.

Once the old blades are removed, you can replace them with the new blades included in the mulch kit. Place the center hole of the mulching blade over the mounting stud on the underside of the mower deck. Make sure each blade with the side marked “bottom” or with the part number on it is facing the ground when the mower is in the operating position.

Use your gloved hand to hold the blade in place while tightening the holding nut with your wrench. Repeat this step to install the mulching blade on the other side of the deck as well.

To install the mulch plug on your Cub Cadet tractor, lift the discharge chute up. Place the mulch plug into the deck discharge chute by fitting the bolt on the rear side of the mulch plug into the hole in the deck.  Move the mulch plug into place, then pull and stretch the retaining plug on the mulch plug over the deck wheel bracket and hook it under the bottom of the bracket.

Slide the deck back under the tractor and reattach the deck. You are now ready to use your Cub Cadet tractor as a mulcher.

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High-Lift Blades and Mulching Blades

High Lift Blades and Mulching Blades

The most important function of your lawn mower is to cut your grass and the biggest factor in achieving a quality cut is your lawn mower blade. While all blades cut the grass, not all lawn mower blades are created equal. Different types of lawn mower blades function differently, and there are two styles of blades you should be aware of – high-lift blades and mulching blades.

High-lift blades

High-lift blades are also referred to as 2-in-1 blades. These blades aid in assist in cutting grass and discharging the grass clippings out from the deck to fall back onto your lawn. High-lift blades are designed to create higher-lifting airflow. These blades can be identified by a drastic upward angle on the back end of the blade, which helps to propel the clippings through the discharge chute to the back of the bag, reducing clogging.

Mulching blades

Mulching blades are also referred to as 3-in-1 blades. They cut the grass into extremely small particles, eliminating the need to frequently unload heavy bags or pick up clumps of grass clippings. This method of cutting has a positive effect on the health of your lawn. The mulching blades chop grass clippings into small particles that can become a natural fertilizer. That fertilizer replenishes the soil with nutrients that your grass has absorbed over the season.

Mulching blades are designed with a more curved style surface. They frequently include extra cutting surfaces along the blade edges and may also come in a “+” design. The “+” design is two individual blades arranged in a perpendicular manner to enhance mulching.  Usually older style mowers utilize this blade design.

Mulching blades are used with mulch kits. Mulch kits generally consist of mulching blades, a mulching plug which closes off the discharge opening to keep grass clippings contained under the deck for re-cutting, and any necessary hardware for installation.

There is a different lawn mower blade for different situations and each one serves a very specific purpose. There isn’t one lawn mower blade that can do it all as effectively as the lawn mower blade specifically designed for the method you wish to use.

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