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Putting the Brakes on a Cub Cadet

Inspiring Small Engine, Lawn & Garden, and Garden Pulling Tractor Enthusiasts Since 1996. Where Science and Common Sense Come Together for Safety and Improved Engine/Tractor Performance
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If you want go, you gotta have whoa. There's no question about it. For safety, it's best to repair or replace worn brake parts and adjust them if needed.

Separate the Brake and Clutch Operations and Use a Hand-Operated Brake Instead of a Foot Brake -

Many professional Cub Cadet garden tractor competition pullers prefer to use a hand brake because they run an extremely stiff pressure spring on the driveshaft to prevent clutch slippage. When they depress the clutch/brake pedal to apply the brakes, the stiff spring must fully compress, which makes it very hard to easily apply the brakes. The hand brake makes it effortlessly and much safer to apply the brakes. It requires a lot less muscle (in the arm) to stop the tractor.

When safely rolling the tractor off a trailer, sometimes this requires great effort to depress the clutch/brake pedal to apply the brakes, especially by hand (and arm muscles). What can be done to change this is separate the brake(s) and the clutch operations by disconnecting the brake linkage from the clutch/brake pedal cross shaft, and fabricate a long upright lever (with an adjustable linkage) on the right side of the steering column support pedestal which can be easily and effortlessly pulled back (rearward) by hand to apply the brakes. The clutch/brake pedal will then become just the "clutch pedal," and the lever will be the "brake lever." This would also make it much safer and easier to fully stop or slow the tractor down a steep hill or when unloading the tractor down the ramp(s) of a utility trailer or platform work table. Also, a "parking brake" lock mechanism can be installed on the brake lever-to-tractor frame to securely lock the brakes in position to prevent the tractor from rolling or coasting when the tractor is out of gear and the engine running.

Cub Cadet garden tractors that have the brakes integrated with the clutch/brake pedal, when applying the brakes on a competition pulling tractor that has an extremely stiff clutch pressure spring (on the driveshaft), great effort is required (strong leg muscles) to overcome and compress the clutch spring before the brakes can be fully applied. I don't have any photos of the hand brake (yet), but to make it work, fabricate a 3/4" diameter cross-shaft next to the original clutch/brake cross-shaft, mount it between the tractor frame rails and allow it to rotate slightly. The brake lever is then positioned on the right side of the tractor (if you're right-handed), and it can be made to a comfortable length (height) and it's securely welded to the cross-shaft. Then a bellcrank or short lever is installed or welded to the cross-shaft with an adjustable link (turnbucket) which connects to the brake lever on the transaxle. The adjustable link is used to set the proper position of the lever. Install an extension spring to allow the pressure to be taken off the brakes when the lever is released.

If your IH Cub Cadet model 70, 72, 73, 100, 102, 122, 124, 582 (prior to serial # 719999), 682 (prior to serial # 719999), 782 (prior to serial # 719999), 784 (prior to serial # 719999), and the early 800, 1000 and 1200 models have an internal brake assembly like the one shown to the right ->, the adjustment is easily made by loosening the jam nut on the square-head bolt and rotating the bolt clockwise. Make the adjustment when there's a slight drag on the brake pads and disc when the clutch/brake pedal is about 3/4 depressed, then tighten the jam nut.

If you can't get the brake to stop the tractor at all by tightening the square-head brake adjustment bolt, and you are sure that the adjustment bolt is pushing against the brake push rod firmly when the pedal is depressed, then the brake pad retainer (plunger) is obviously frozen/rusted in the reduction housing. This is common for tractors that was stored in a high humility environment or sat outside in damp weather for many years.

If the pivot pin for the brake lever (with the adjustment bolt/nut) on the gear reduction housing is stuck in place and will not move side to side and/or rotate, then the lever itself or the two yokes and the pivot pin are rusted together. To fix this, there's no need to remove the transaxle from the tractor...

  1. Remove the square head adjustment screw from the lever.
  2. If the lever moves freely on the pin, but the pin is stuck in the two yokes, then thoroughly heat the two yokes with an oxy-acetylene torch. But if the pin is stuck in the lever, but moves freely in the yokes, then just thoroughly heat the lever with the torch. Or if the pin is rusted in the lever AND in the two yokes, then thoroughly heat all three with the torch.
  3. Once the metal is almost red-hot, VERY GENTLY, tap the pin out with a steel rod and medium size hammer. If the pin will not move, apply more heat and eventually the pin should loosen and be easy to remove.
  5. Before reassembly, apply automotive grease on the pin, in the lever and in the yokes to ensure the brake will operate freely and not rust again.

How to Free-Up a Frozen/Rusted-In Brake Pad Retainer (Plunger) -

This happens when a tractor is left outside in damp weather for many years, which causes the brake pad retainer (plunger) to get rusted in the bore. To free the plunger, remove the transaxle from the tractor, and from inside the reduction gear box housing, remove the large reduction gear, then use a large, flat cold chisel and big hammer between the plunger and brake disc to drive the plunger forward. Use Liquid Wrench to dissolve the rust around the retainer. The brake disc may get scored or scratched from use of the chisel, but this is the only way I know how to do this. Once the plunger is removed from the reduction housing, the scratches on the brake disc can be removed and smoothed over with a fine file. Before reinstalling the plunger, clean the rust from the plunger, install a new rubber O-ring and new brake pads if needed, and remove the rust from the plunger bore with a small, automotive wheel cylinder hone tool, then apply clean motor oil, gear oil or lubricating grease on the plunger and inside the bore so the brake will work flawlessly for many years.

To replace this type of brake, first remove the transaxle from the tractor. Then, remove the square head bolt, drive out the rocker shaft and remove the cast brake arm. Try tapping on the piston and use penetrating oil on it to free it. Often, the transaxle will have to be removed from the tractor and the reduction housing removed to drive the brake pad retainer out from inside and clean up the bore and retainer. If you go that far, replace both pads/pucks with new ones, they are cheap. On reassembly, coat the outside of the piston with a thin layer of motor oil.

If the brake pad retainer is rusted and stuck in place, here's how to fix this...

  1. Remove the transaxle from the tractor.
  2. Remove the large gear that's in the gear reduction housing.
  3. From inside the housing, use a hammer and flat chisel to drive the retainer out. Be careful not to damage the brake disc!
  4. Once the retainer is out, clean it up and clean the housing bore where the plunger goes into. Install a new neoprene "O" ring to prevent oil from leaking.
  5. Before reinstalling the retainer, coat both the plunger and bore with anti-seize compound.

Parts for this job will involve a new "O" ring for the retainer that the cast rod and shaft pushes on, a reduction gear housing gasket or use clear RTV silicone adhesive sealant and 2 new brake pads/pucks. Use only OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) material when replacing the brake pads/pucks. FYI - I'm not an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) Cub Cadet parts dealer. Cub Cadet won't let A-1 Miller's become a dealer because there's already one in my area. (It's another way how big businesses support other big businesses, or how the rich help the rich get richer.) Besides, competition from different dealers in the same area help keep prices low. I think this is unfair business practice because by allowing only one dealer in a wide-spread area can have them gouge (overcharge) unsuspecting customers on parts and/or repair costs. They probably laugh all the way to the bank after every sale, too.

The internal brake is preferred by most Cub Cadet owners and pullers over the external disc setup, and are normally almost totally trouble-free because the parts stay cleaner than the external brakes.

Only the early Cub Cadets (models 70, 72, 73, 100, 102, 122, 124, 582, 682, 782, 784 (prior to serial # 720000), and certain 800, 1000 and 1200's) were equipped with an internal brake. The Cub Cadet engineers realized later that people were hauling heavy (fully loaded, automotive-type) trailers around their property (farms) with these tractors, and the small internal brake pads couldn't stop the tractor and trailer well, especially when going down a steep hill. Nor does it have the ability to "park" well (with a heavy trailer) downward or upward on a steep hillside. That's why Cub Cadet converted to the external disc/axle brake system, as described further down in this web page. External disc/axle brakes have more contact area, permitting the external brakes to hold about 5 times better than the internal brake.

How to Replace the Internal (Wet) Brake Pads/Pucks in an IH Cub Cadet Garden Tractor Transaxle -

  1. Acquire new brake pads from A-1 Miller's Performance Enterprises or your local Cub Cadet dealer.
  2. Drain the oil from the transaxle, then remove the transaxle from the tractor. The drain plug is located on the bottom of the transaxle case, facing forward of the tractor.
  3. Remove the brake adjusting screw, pivot pin, brake lever and push rod from the gear reduction housing. NOTE: Sometimes the pivot pin can rust in place. If this happens, the best way to remove a rusted-in pin is with an oxy-acetylene torch. Thoroughly heat the yokes with the torch and GENTLY tap the pin out with a steel rod and medium size hammer. DO NOT USE A HAMMER TO DRIVE THE PIN OUT WITHOUT FIRST APPLYING HEAT! Doing this will likely break one of the [brittle cast iron] yokes that retains the pin.
  4. Remove the front cover plate from the reduction housing.
  5. Remove the reduction gear by removing the center bolt and washer.
  6. Now the sliding brake plunger can be removed from the reduction housing. If the plunger is stuck and/or rusted in place, it can be difficult to remove. The only way I found to remove it is to apply rust penetrant on the plunger, allow it to soak, and then use a large [flat] cold chisel and a large hammer. Place the flat end of the chisel against the brake disc (or place a protective thin sheet of metal/tin against the disc), and use the hammer to drive (wedge) the plunger out of its bore.
  7. Once the plunger is removed, clean it up and use an automotive drum brake wheel cylinder honing tool to clean out the remaining rust from the plunger bore. Don't worry about the pivot ball inside the plunger if it's stuck in place. It don't need to be removed.
  8. The worn brake pads will need to be chiseled out with a small cold chisel and medium size hammer so new ones can be installed. The brake pads in the reduction housing and in the sliding plunger will need to be chiseled out and the counterbores thoroughly cleaned so the new pads can be installed.
  9. Install the new pads with Krazy Glue, Super Glue, Gorilla Glue, or any industrial strength adhesive to bond them in place. It doesn't matter which brand of glue to use. Virtually any industrial-strength glue will work.
  10. Install a new neoprene rubber O-ring on the sliding plunger. Lubricate the bore for the plunger with motor oil or automotive grease so the plunger will easily move (slide) back and forth when the brake is applied and released, and then reinstall everything in reverse order of removal.

The external/axle disc brakes on Cub Cadet models 86, 106, 107, 108, 109, 126, 127, 128, 129, 149, 784 w/serial number 720000 and up, 1250, 1450, 1650 and certain 800, 1000 and 1200's are much easier to service than the internal brake models above. Unlike the internal brake, a piece of .125" thickness 6061 (medium hardness) aluminum will work. Use highly adhesive glue or countersink some 3/16" aluminum rivets or flat-head brass bolts to fasten the aluminum in place.

The front brake pads that's made for a 1998-2001 Chevrolet S10 2wd pickup can be used in place of the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) pads for these type of brakes. This is the flat pad with slotted ends. They're available at virtually any auto parts store. The thickness of a new OEM Cub Cadet brake pad is .100". The automotive pads are thicker.

The automotive brake pads to use are the riveted-on type. Grind the backs off the rivets. The two top rivet holes should line up enough to get two screws through them. Then turn the pads over, and from the back side, use a drill bit to go through the Cub backing plate. Drill through the pad and turn it over. Counter sink the holes to install two more screws.

Also, I have no information on how to mount the S10 brake pads on a Cub Cadet. Somebody gave A-1 Miller's this information and I posted it here. Use the information here to the best of your knowledge.

Also, seasoned oak wood or 6061 aluminum can be used as external brake friction material for a Cub Cadet. But only if the tractor doesn't go any faster than factory gearing! NEVER use wood or aluminum as brake friction material in a high speed (above 20 mph) vehicle or in an automobile! The reason being, due to severe friction, wood will burn and aluminum will melt!

To adjust these type of brakes, there's an adjusting rod going forward from each axle end. You'll need to remove them, clean the dirt and paint from the threads with a threading die, a wire brush or a wire wheel, then reinstall them. Place the brake pedal with the hold down lever in place then adjust them to where each axle has the same amount of braking.

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Click here to contact A-1 Miller's Performance Enterprises to place an order, send your parts for repairing, and/or for FREE professional and honest technical customer service assistance and support and payment options. Please contact A-1 Miller's if you need a part or parts, or service(s) performed that's not listed or mentioned in this website.
New Brake Band w/Lining. Fits 1961, '62 and '63 IH Cub Cadet "Original" Garden Tractors with 4-1/2" diameter brake drum. High quality aftermarket. Replaces discontinued Cub Cadet part # IH-358753-R21.
  • $40.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
Internal (Wet) Brake Pads/Pucks and Neoprene Rubber O-Ring Seal. Fits Cub Cadet garden tractor models 70, 71, 72, 73, 100, 102, 104, 105, 122, 123, 124, 125, 580, 582, 680, 682, 782, 784, 800, 1000, 1200, 1210, 1250, 1282, 1450, 1604, 1606, 1650, 1710, 1711 and 1712. IMPORTANT: Before installing any new oil seal, always apply oil or grease inside the seal and on the shaft to keep the rubber seal lubricated and cool until internal oil can reach it. With no prior lubrication, the dry rubber will wear away, causing another oil leak. Do the job right the first time, and it won't have to be done again.
  • High quality aftermarket. Neoprene Rubber O-Ring Seal Only for Cub Cadet Internal Brake Retainer. Replaces discontinued Cub Cadet part # IH-378031-R1. $2.50 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Two Brake Pads with Neoprene Rubber O-Ring Seal -
    • High quality aftermarket. Replaces Cub Cadet part # IH-384719-R2. $35.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
    • OEM Cub Cadet part # IH-384719-R2. $48.40 each, plus shipping & handling.
External/Axle Disc Brake Liner Kit. Fits Cub Cadet garden tractor models 106, 107, 127 and 147 with H-H Products type brake calipers. OEM Cub Cadet part # IH-544835-R91. $251.85 per set (as shown), plus shipping & handling. External/Axle Disc Brake Pad. Fits IH Cub Cadet garden tractor models 86, 108, 109, 128, 129, 149, 169, 800, 1000, 1200, 1250, 1450 and 1650. NOTE: These are sold each, and not sold in pairs. Because sometimes one pad on the same axle will wear more than the other. OEM Cub Cadet part # IH-548122-R2. $75.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
Wheel Stud Kits for IH-built Cub Cadets with an internal (wet) brake or external axle/disc brakes, but will work on other makes and models of garden tractors as well. Along with wheel spacers, these are a must when wheels will not clear the fenders and/or brake calipers. With lug nuts (below Ê) installed, these make for easier mounting of wheels with or without spacers on a garden tractor. Along with lug nuts (below Ê), these make for easier mounting of wheels with or without spacers on a garden tractor. Made of 125,000 PSI hardened 7/16-20 UNF studs and secured from the backside in the wheel flanges with jam nuts. Each set includes 10 studs and 10 jam nuts. Replaces Cub Cadet part # 710-3027. An ingenious and innovative concept by Brian Miller. Please accept no advertised copycat products of this kind. (But I do appreciate them acknowledging my ingenuity and intelligence.)
  • 1-5/8" length for use with no wheel spacers. $20.00 per set, plus shipping & handling.
  • 2" length for use with 5/16" wheel spacers. $22.50 per set, plus shipping & handling.
  • 3-5/8" length for use with 1" wheel spacers. $25.00 per set, plus shipping & handling.
  • Custom lengths available. Please specify length when ordering. $25.00 per set, plus shipping & handling.
Stainless Steel Plain Nuts and Flat Washers for Mounting of Aluminum Wheels. 7/16-20 UNF thread size. Will not rust. Along with studs (above È), these make for easier mounting of wheels on a garden tractor. The flat washers allow for equal load distribution across the wheel for additional strength, and they prevent the socket from marking the wheel. Torque to 50 ft. lbs.
  • $15.00 per set of 10, plus shipping & handling.
Zinc-Plated Tapered Lug/Wheel Nuts for Mounting of Steel Wheels. 7/16-20 UNF thread size. Along with studs (above È), these make for easier mounting of wheels on a garden tractor. Torque to 50 ft. lbs. NOTE: The mounting holes in steel garden tractor wheels will need to be drilled (enlarged) to 21/32" to allow for these lug nuts to tighten properly and keep the wheel centered with the axle.
  • $15.00 per set of 10, plus shipping & handling.
Chrome Acorn Closed-End Tapered Lug/Wheel Nuts for Mounting of Steel Wheels. 7/16-20 UNF thread size. Along with studs (above È), these make for easier mounting of wheels on a garden tractor. NOTE: The mounting holes in steel garden tractor wheels will need to be drilled (enlarged) to 21/32" to allow for these lug nuts to tighten properly and keep the wheel centered with the axle. Torque to 50 ft. lbs.
  • $25.00 per set of 10, plus shipping & handling.

Internal Brake VS External Brake Transaxles -

Many professional pullers prefer to use the internal brake transaxle so the rear wheels can be set closer to the tractor frame, allowing for a narrower wheelbase. This require the driver to lean less when heading toward the boundary line, and the tractor can pull more straight down the track.

To convert a Cub Cadet external brake transaxle into an internal brake design, a front gear reduction housing, brake pad retainer, brake link, brake lever, push rod, pivot pin, brake pads, disc and the lower main shaft, off/out of an internal brake transaxle are required. The opposite will need to be done when converting a Cub Cadet internal brake transaxle into an external brake design. It's exactly easier (and less costly) to acquire an entire internal or external brake transaxle (in good condition, of course), install it, and fabricate or install the required brake linkage. All IH Cub Cadet tractor frames, except the "Original", are made for use with either transaxle.

(Available Soon) Click Here for Detailed Illustrated Plans on How to Construct a Professional Pull-Back and Self-Propelled Garden Tractor Pulling Sled. FYI - The self-propelled garden tractor pulling sled that I built is such an excellent design, I realized later that I made something very special when other people copied it. - Brian Miller

To place an order, send your item(s) for repairing, and/or for customer service assistance, and FREE honest and accurate technical support, please contact: A-1 Miller's Performance Enterprises, 12091 N Route B, Hallsville, MO (Missouri) 65255-9604 USA. Please call in your order or send an email with a list parts you need and your contact information. Phone: 1-573-881-7229 (cell; call, text or leave voicemail) or use Whatsapp. Please call Monday-Friday, 9am to 5pm, Central time zone, except holidays. If no answer, please try again later. (When speaking with Brian on the phone, please be patient and understanding because I stutter.) E-mail: Payment Options. A-1 Miller's shop is open to the public Monday-Friday, 9am to 5pm, Central time zone, with an appointment on weekends, except holidays. If you're the kind of person who don't trust delivery/shipping companies (mis)handling your high-dollar and fragile merchandise, you can make the long drive to A-1 Miller's new shop (click image to the right) to personally purchase parts, or drop off and/or pick up your carburetor, clutch assembly, engine and/or parts, etc., for repairing and/or rebuilding. Or visit the address of our (old) shop mentioned above to drop off your engine, transmission, transaxle, garden tractor, small motorized vehicle, etc. We also custom build pulling tractors and other small vehicles. Please contact me before coming so I'll be at my shop waiting for your arrival. When you visit our shop, you will be dealing directly with the owner for the best customer service. 12091 N Route B, Hallsville, MO - Google Maps "The road to a [trusted] friend's house (or shop) is never long." Don't sacrifice quality workmanship for distance. [Return To Previous Paragraph, Section or Website]

By the way - As business is booming, we relocated our business at 12091 N. Route B, Hallsville, MO 65255 with a new, bigger, better, fully insulated, heated and air-conditioned building/shop (shouse) so we can provide many more professional services and high quality parts, and hire more reliable and knowledgeable help to have our customer's parts orders fulfilled sooner, parts repaired sooner and engine rebuilds performed promptly without a long delay. We will also offer custom welding fabrication jobs and other custom services. And we also provide pick up and delivery service and perform professional repairs for various small engines and lawn & garden equipment! Photos of our new building/shop are posted here! 12091 N Route B, Hallsville, MO - Google Maps

Payment Options, and We Ship to Canada and Worldwide
Item(s) in a package or cushioned envelope weighing less than 1 lb. is sent by US Postal Service Airmail Letter Post for a 4-7 days delivery. Packaged item(s) weighing over 1 lb. and up to 66 lb. is sent by US Postal Service Airmail Parcel Post for a 4-10 days delivery. I cannot use the US Postal Services' Flat Rate Priority Mail envelopes and boxes to ship outside U.S. territories. Item(s) weighing over 67 lbs. or more is sent by FedEx Ground or equivalent services. We try to keep our shipping cost to customers within reason. Therefore, we don't ship our products in a fancy-looking package with our company name and/or logo on it because most customers will just toss it in the trash after they remove the contents. And being there is no USPS tracking number outside the US, all I can do is make sure I write your address correctly on the customs form and on your package.

My websites are not set up to process orders and accept payments. Therefore, to place an order with me, please call either number above or send an email with a list of parts you need, with your name, complete and correct postal mailing address and phone number. For payment options, I accept cash (in person), USPS Postal Money Orders, cashier's checks, business checks, MasterCard, VISA, Discover, American Express (please add 2.5% to the total amount for the credit/debit card processor's surcharge). If paying with a credit/debit card, please call me at either number above. Or to make a payment to me through PayPal, please click this link: Or use Cash App (username: pullingtractor) or Venmo (username: Pullingtractor) to make a payment to me. And be sure to mention a description of what the payment is for with your full name, postal address, phone number and email address. I also accept payments through Western Union Money Transfer or MoneyGram Money Transfers. If sending a money order or cashier's check, please include a note in the envelope with your name, complete mailing address, phone number, email address and a description of what the payment is for. I'll make a note of your order when I have all your information, and I may have to order some of the parts on your list, which should take a few days to come in, but I will send everything to you as soon as I have the parts in stock after I receive your payment.

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