Thoughts about '52 Cub

Sat Aug 17, 2013 10:17 pm

What a great site. A tad about me...I've got a small farm (10 acres) in Maryland, dad gave me a piece off the 'big' one few years back. Come to find that I need (want... :lol: ) a REAL tractor for various things 'round the place.

I have a chance to buy one, a 1952 Cub.

It comes with:

L59 Woods Mower
Snow Blade (?)
Tire chains

The downside? Owner says:

The brakes need adjusting or replacing

Throttle handle set teeth are worn on higher settings

Has turf tires on rear but weatherworn

Asking price is 2200 or REASONABLE best offer.

I have a basic degree of mechanical knowledge but am hungry to learn more. (That is why I'm interested in this..something I can work on if need be...and my 14 year old son too!). I'm no rocket scientist but can read manuals and plans (I've already read the basic manual for the Cub and printed same from here).

I've made some 'ready reference' checklists for the tractor when I go to look at it, but I guess my question is, how difficult (No BS assessment..and I don't have a garage with lifts etc... just have basic tools and a 3 ton jack) would it be for me to do the brakes? On the other side of that coin, how much would I expect to reasonably pay someone to do them for me if it were outside my level of knowlege?

Based on that, 2200, reasonable? Or try to go lower?

I have pics but they aren't on a public server. Will happily send them to anyone so all can see.

I know, having been on boards before, how sometimes tiring these noob questions can be, so any help and assistance is appreciated. love for Farmall started as a kid with my Grandfathers "C". Alas, it's gone forever, but I still have the memories.

Re: Thoughts about '52 Cub

Sun Aug 18, 2013 1:12 am

Prices vary alot by area...2200 seems like alot to me, but thats only my opinion..I would say 1300/1500 would be a good price...Others will chime in, I'm sure...Check out the classified section here or Craigs list...I kinda figure what you pay, most of the time, is just a down payment anyways, so keep it low :lol: Dave

Re: Thoughts about '52 Cub

Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:51 am


Ok... from someone who ain't no mechanic but has been learning over the years . NO BS ..

Jason G wrote:The downside? Owner says:
The brakes need adjusting or replacing
Throttle handle set teeth are worn on higher settings
Has turf tires on rear but weatherworn

Downside? No downside .. these are all simple fixes.

Brakes are not hard to adjust. Not even hard to replace. Been there done that. And I am no where near as capable now as I was a few years ago. If I can do it anyone can.

Throttle guadrant - you can fix it or replace it - not very expensive available either in our classifieds and ebay. There are how to's on how to fix it.

The turfs .. well, those are pretty easy - throw a little cash at em, have em mounted at a tire shop. :idea:

As far as price and based on basically no info and no pics ... yeah. $2,200.00 OBO -- well he is trying to maximize his gains -- although he is probably smart enough to know that anybody who knows anything about Cubs is going to offer him substantially less.

A running Cub should be priced depending on those variables of course somewhere between $900.00 and $1,500.00 for a fairly good Cub. Since it needs tires - well that is at least $300.00/pair or more so subtract that from the ask right off. Brakes need replacing - lose and $150.00. Throttle quadrant -- not very expensive .. but chop it again by $100.00. Then of course add for the mower. Since we do know know if it is in top notch shape or not ... add $100.00 and for the blade .. well add $75.00. Chains - another $50.00 So, I guess somewhere around $1,200.00 to $1,500.00 would be a good price. Start at $1,200.00 and work up - see where it gets to.

Re: Thoughts about '52 Cub

Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:21 am

THAT is exactly what I was looking for. No BS dead on answer. That is what I'll work with and start from. My 'gut' told me to go lower based on what he said, but I didn't want to go so low as to be insulting LOL. And I don't exactly have 2200 just lying around these days, either. 1500 would hurt but be more manageable.

Thanks again!

Re: Thoughts about '52 Cub

Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:30 am


Remember that this cub is not the only cub out there. In my area $2,200 is about as low as I ever see them on Craigslist. They go up from their (asking price, I don't know what they actually sell for). You said you have 10 acres. Are you going to mow with the cub? Do you want it to plow a garden? Depending on your needs you may want to get a cub with different implements.

My opinion is that if the engine and drive train is in good shape then the tractor is worth more than if it is not. You'll spend $1,500 and up to have the engine redone at a machine shop. Like Pickeransinger said, the purchase price is generally just a down payment for the future costs of repair and implements. They are nice tractors but do have limitations of 10 horse power (10 HP when brand new!) and not being able to use standard PTO equipment. Also, a 6 volt tractor can't power a 12 volt sprayer or generator, etc.

I have 2 cubs here. Both get a lot of use, one to mow and the other to garden. They are good father/daughter son time. I just split and put in a new clutch and throw out bearing with my son. What a great learning experience for us both. My kids like discing the garden, etc. Plus it lets them learn to shift a clutch transmission.


Re: Thoughts about '52 Cub

Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:35 am

Above is an edit. Some place on this site is a list of things to inspect on a Cub before purchase. Perhaps someone will provide the link.

Conduct a compression test on engine before purchasing. Engine rebuild could cost $1200- or more.

Make a list of all the tasks you want a tractor to perform and the implements you want to use. Cub has a non standard PTO. Some implements are hard to find and expensive. Changing implements can be labor intensive.

$2200- asking price. Tad high. Tractor and implements would have to be in top notch condition.

Other side of coin. Bought a standard Cub years ago for $600 or $700-. I now have more than $2200- invested in that tractor and implements. I picked up a 154 Cub Low-Boy just over a year ago for $500-. To date I have around an other $1000- invested in the 154 and planning on an engine overhaul this winter.

Cubs are great little tractors. But depending on tasks to be performed there might be a better tractor for your needs.

Re: Thoughts about '52 Cub

Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:51 am

Jason G wrote:Throttle handle set teeth are worn on higher settings


Asking price is 2200 or REASONABLE best offer.

This past week I just bought a 1954 Cub here in Connecticut for $1250.00 and it came with a snowplow. It needed some tuning (you'll see a recent post from this past week that talks about the purchase) but was mostly ready to go with some minor work. I put $125 into her; mostly comprising of some ignition parts and fluids. I'm a weekend warrior so I don't like paying for work done on my machines if I can do the work myself. Sometimes you have to throw yourself into the fire and figure out how these things work. There is a massive amount of info on this site that will show you anything and everything that needs doing. Don't be afraid to venture out of your realm a bit.

If the tires hold air and you're not going to beat the tractor I'd just stick with them until they fail.

The brakes are quite easy to do with standard homeowner's tools. But don't take the owners word for their condition. Lock the brakes using the brakes pedal and the small tab on the right of them. Give the tractor a push. It shouldn't budge. Now unlock the brakes and give it a push. It should roll freely but don't forget you're pushing a few thousand pounds.

The throttle teeth can be easily "reshaped" with a dremel or rotary tool and small grinding disc. I just did this on my Cub Betty and it works fine. But chances are you won't be using the last few teeth. When the tractor is appropriately adjusted you'll use only a few teeth up to, or just beyond the steering post.

Things to check on the spot:
Put the front crank in and turn it in neutral. The crank should turn easily meaning the engine is not seized. Do the same (slowly!) for each gear (making sure the battery is disconnected or the ignition is OFF) and see if it rolls a little. That shows the transmission (mostly) functions.

I didn't see anything in your post that says the unit won't start. So have the owner start it up for you and make sure it sounds smooth. You can then do a transmission check with it running. Just make sure you're on the flats as we're not sure about those brakes. Listen to the tranny in each gear. You shouldn't hear any grinding or loud whining though the straight gears do make some standard whining noises. It just shouldn't be excessive.

Look for obvious leaks around the block and its components. If you see a leak around areas like the rotor or the governor (right side - front) that's not so bad. Probably just needs some gaskets. Any leaks around the head requires further investigating.

Check the oil level to make sure it has oil in the block. The dip stick is on the left side and looks like a rounded metal button about 2" in diameter. No oil = ask questions!

The tranny fluid level screw is hard to get to. But you can take the tranny oil filler screw off and look into the tranny for anything obvious. It's located right behind the shifter to the left of the seat. Oil coated gears are a good thing.

These Cubs are very easy to work on. I just spent 30 hours on mine this week and I had no clue what I was doing. And you're in the right place. I can't begin to express my own super appreciation for the people you'll find here. If it wasn't for them little Betty would still be sitting in the garage.

Re: Thoughts about '52 Cub

Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:57 am


Eugene mentioned this so here is the link: How a New Cub Enthusiast Can Inspect a Cub Purchase

I have 25 acres. A lot is wood lot that I manage with my Cub. Ellie hauls wood out of the bush sometimes in tree length and most of the time on my wagon in 4 foot lengths:

Ellie splits wood:

Ellie plows the garden:
Ellie-Mae's First Plowing
This is a PowerPoint show but it is kinda cool.

Ellie plows snow with old blade:

with new Cub-54 Hydraulic blade:

Ellie grooms the driveway:

The driveway is 1.3kms long :big smile:

So ... don't let anyone tell you that a Cub is too small to do real work. This one does it all including leveling and grading. Soon hopefully one of my other Cubs will have the C-2 and the Cub-22 on em so I can get more work done. Now that I am wholly dependent on bottled O2 when I am outside, my Cubs are even more important to me and have to do all the work around here. :!:

Re: Thoughts about '52 Cub

Sun Aug 18, 2013 5:56 pm

Wow. Thanks...EVERYone for the assistance. Much to think about but I prefer more information rather than less. I'm going to go an look at her tomorrow, I'm thinking.

And she does run, has working factory hydraulics and is a 6V.

If I could figure out how to post a pic I would LOL.

Re: Thoughts about '52 Cub

Sun Aug 18, 2013 5:59 pm


If you have pics let me know and I can post em for you and then show you how. Send me a PM if you wish.

Re: Thoughts about '52 Cub

Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:17 pm

OK, I figured out how to post pics! Yaaaay! It helps when you READ the INSTRUCTIONS. Durrr.

Anyway, here they are:



You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Re: Thoughts about '52 Cub

Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:42 am

You will need the standard draw bar with brackets.

Re: Thoughts about '52 Cub

Mon Aug 19, 2013 8:49 am

Hi Jason, That's a nice looking tractor but I don't think it's worth $2200, at least not around my neck of the woods, especially if the brakes bands need replaced. I'd say realistically 1500 to 1800 if it runs well, no smoke and minor/slow leaks. I would be sure to check for cracks in the engine block particularly on the front right, near where the lower radiator housing bolt on, usually a weak point. I would check for cracks in the lower rad housing as well, seeping oil or water from nowhere in particular is a strong sign of a crack. Both these areas could have been repaired, brazed up, and may not be easy to see. Things like no battery box or tool box and a different seat indicate it's sat around outside maybe for years, not necessarily a bad thing, but doesn't add value. The mower deck isn't a Woods, not that it matters either except when you need to do repairs. If you do get it try to be sure to get the metal blocks for the grading blade that go into the bolster, that long bolt fits through them and they're a little pricey.

Re: Thoughts about '52 Cub

Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:55 pm


A nice looking Cub. I think I will stand besides my previous costing out - start at $1,200.00 and go from there. The Blade seems to be an early blade - can't tell completely - need a pic of the other parts behind the blade. At best it would be an early Cub-54. See the CBI-1A Revision 12 - Miscellaneous Equipment - Cub Leveling and Grader Blade, Not sure what brand the mower is .. interesting to find out. Have seen similar but it isn't a Danco C-3. The Ba..buster seat is an implement seat and doesn't belong. I see them on Cubs all the time and are actually a negative than a positive. Good place for that seat is on the wall in the shop :idea: :lol: Grille is a replacement if it is a '52 Cub. Check the Serial Number. The Turf tires can be a plus is this is to be a mowing machine but can be a hindrance if you are wanting to make a garden. Drawbar is about $150.00 +/- depending on where it is sourced. 6v battery ignition.

Re: Thoughts about '52 Cub

Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:04 pm

Roger. Thanks! I'm going to go take a long at this today, will get some pics and get back with ya'll. Without the knowledge you have thoughtfully provided, I'd be going in it is MUCH appreciated!