108 wheel "alignment"

Wed May 04, 2005 11:57 am

I recently bought a cub cadet model 108, overall in good shape, but there is a strange wheel alignment problem.
The right front wheel is tilted out at an angle of about 5 degrees or so.
It see how to adjust the toe in but I can't understand why the wheel is tilted out, the spindle is not bent and the unit appears to as it should be.
The tire is quite worn on the outside so it has probably been this way for a while.
is it possible that the spindle assembly is not the correct one for this tractor?

Wed May 04, 2005 1:59 pm

They are all tilted some, and that may be a bit more than normal, but it is not unusal, specially on the wide frame, which a 108 is, and 82 series tractors, but it is usually the left front wheel that shows the most. And the 16-6.50-8 tires show the wear more so than the narrow 4.80-8 do. I would look very close at the spindle for a slight bend, or that the holes in the spindle for the bolt (the one that goes through the spindle and axle) does not have excessive wear. There is a sleeve in the axle that the bolt goes through, and when properly installed, the spindle, bolt and sleeve turn as an assembly. The torque on the nut for that bolt is 80 ft. lbs. Over the years, for what ever reason, that will loosen to where the spindle will start turning or pivoting on the bolt, which in turn will wear the holes in the spindle, the bolt itself, or the sleeve and or axle. The spindle matches the the other one except for the steering arm part, it is probably the correct one, because nothing else will fit it unless someone adapted something to it. You might also look to see if the axle has been broken and welded, and possibly was not positioned right when welded. Through wear and lack of care or maintenance, the mule drive belt pulleys are known to wear or cut groves into the back of the axle, near the center pivot pin, and the axle can break where those groves are, specially if the tractor had any rough treatment or use (read that as young operators that liked to pull wheelies etc.). If you find none of the above wrong with it, I wouldn't worry about it. Go on and enjoy the tractor, and believe me, there are some more out there with a similar problem, if you can call it a problem.

Wed May 04, 2005 5:47 pm

Thanks for the reply, I took the tires off, and the spindle to inspect for wear, (although if it were wear it would tilt in, not out) and to see if the spindle was bent or looked repaired, everything looks perfect, the spindle is square to the steering arm and has never been bent or welded.
If it were only a slight tilt I would think nothing of it, but the wheel leans out considerably.
I even took the tires off and put the ends of the pivot bolts on a couple of pieces of 2x6 to look at the angle of the spindles, the right one is angled down by quite a few degrees.
If nothing else I guess I could cut a little out of the top of the steering bracket and pull the spindle up and reweld the bracket.
I'll post a picture soon.

Wed May 04, 2005 7:51 pm

You can replace the spindles if you like, they are still available, or you can find used ones on ebay or elsewhere, but I have seen some with a pretty good tilt to them - almost makes me think someone didn't get the axle locked down good when the holes for the spindle bolts/sleeves were drilled or broached or however they were made. The Cub Cadets were made at the Louisville Works (Plant), and unfortunately Louisville seemed to have a few more labor problems than some of the other IH plants. You can try swaping the left and right spindle assembly and that should tell you if the problem is in the spindle or if the axle is drilled at the wrong angle.

Wed May 04, 2005 9:47 pm

Thanks Paul, I hadn't thought of that before, but it must be the drilling in the axle casting.
I will check the angle with the axle held level and see, if that is what it is, the only solution is to correct the angle on the spindle bracket by shortening the top section enoungh to pull the spindle up, or buy a new axle and hope it is better.....
Nah, I've got a welder and a good sharp cutoff wheel in my grinder, with a little work I can make an invisible modification, and besides what good are a garage full of tools if you don't play with them;-)

Thu May 05, 2005 7:22 pm

I happened upon a picture in a and Cub Cadet ad the wheels were turned hard right and the lean as very noticeable. The side that is worn may be more from how the guy cut his grass and turned to the side that is worn and cause more wear on the tire than if he change directions when mowing the grass. I know i always mow my grass the same way and I do mostly right turns. You are suppose to change the pattern you cut but it doesn't matter on my weed patch. Just a thought.