Brought home a 154

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Brought home a 154

Postby JayIH » Sat May 16, 2009 10:41 pm

My first 154 actually. I've owned a dozen 10-12hp IH Cub Cadets over the years, but they just weren't that exciting anymore. I still have 2, one for tractor pulls, and one that, for some reason, I move cars around the parking lot at the workshop with (a smart person would realize that one would do both things with the same one... but that's not me.)

So, this IH Cub Lo-Boy 154 is quite the beauty. I love mowing with it. I brought it home, drove it off the trailer, lowered the deck, engaged the mower, and off I went. Mowed 5 acres in a couple hours. I'll tell you, it was quite the ride, a world of difference from mowing with a 124. It is like comparing a Ford Fiesta to a Maserati. There is no comparrison.

So, here's the story. Bought a new house, figured I'd buy a new tractor, gotta mow right? I had my eyes open, few weeks went by, nothing jumping at me. Then on the way home one day I passed a 1950 Case VAC farm tractor with rear blade and bush hog. I loved it, and I had gotten rid of my Farmall Super A with woods deck a few years back, and missed it. They're practically the same right? Well, as it goes, it was an impulse buy. After a few weeks of recconing, I decided that the Case was not a good mower. i had a bush hog that attached to the 3 point hitch. If I wanted a finishing mower that attached, the best thing I could find in the area was $2000+. So I decided to keep my eyes peeled again. Somehow I came across the 154 on the net, and was amazed. I had never seen one before. I quickly searched and found every one in a 300 mile radius. The closest being 15 minutes away, the farthest 292 miles away. I looked up specs, found some could be had with a blade. I wanted a blade, I like to plow snow. There was one with a blade in a reasonable distance (190 miles). He wanted $2500 for the tractor, blade, and deck. The blade and deck were not attached, but rather in pieces elsewhere. I asked him about the price, but he was firm. A bit more than I wanted to spend, quite honestly, plus it had those skinny dig in the mud tires on it. I had seen turf tires, and I wanted them. Badly. So, I went and ruled out all without turf tires. I was at 3. The one in worst condition was $2500, the one in mid condition was $3200, and the one in best condition was $1750. I decided to try my hand at the $1750. It was 129 miles and 3 states away, but when you know what you want, something like that isn't much. Plus, I like road trips. I got as much info as I could, spoke iwth the guy for a while, thought for a day, called back, asked if he'd take $1500, he said yes, I said I'll be there Saturday. So I headed out, it was his late father's estate, and his late father's tractor. I went over it, no leaks, hydraulics worked well, started strong, new battery, clean, etc. I said I'll take it, handed him cash, loaded it to the trailer, and made my way home.

I've owned a tractor or two in my day (roughly 15). I have never in my life been this excited about one. The ride quality is unbelievably comfortable, in general, not just for a tractor's sake. The turning radius... I was driving in strait circles around mid sized tree's. No reverse, forward, reverse, forward, and making 8 passes. I come up on a tree, I circle it, and continue on my way. That was extremely impressive in general, not taking it's size into account. I hit high and wet grass in the back yard, all of the back yard, and it breezed through it. I did hit a surface root, which stopped it dead in it's tracts, even cut the engine off. I was mowing from about 8" grass down to as low as it would go though, can't help it I didn't see the root. Still, started right back up, raised the deck, went over, lowered, and was on my way. The tires... man are they sweet. It's got a cigarette lighter. I've had this before, but they never worked. High and low beams? Now we're talking. I'm going to find a way to install a cup holder to this thing, and it'll be perfect.

Here's some pictures!

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Re: Brought home a 154

Postby RaymondDurban » Sat May 16, 2009 11:03 pm

Welcome to the Forum Jay.

I'd say you got yourself a great machine. Complete with the grille and headlights!! Hard to find one with the nose intact, for some reason, people think that flat nose is a root rake and tear them all to pieces. I also noticed the tractor has the rear lift, another nice feature if you want to use a rear implement. Neither one of mine have the rear lift. I believe you'll find that with proper care, this tractor will last many, many years without issue. The weak link of the machine is the clutch and PTO. Get yourself an owners manual and read up on those sections. Keep them adjusted correctly and you shouldn't have any issues. You've already got a head start, looks like the previous owner keep good care of it. Enjoy the ride!!
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Re: Brought home a 154

Postby John *.?-!.* cub owner » Sun May 17, 2009 8:53 am

Congratulations on your purchase, and I'm glad you like it. The main shortcoming of the number series lowboy seems to be the pto clutch, so if it gives any trouble, look into it right away rather than letting it go till it gets really bad
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Re: Brought home a 154

Postby BigBill » Sun May 17, 2009 9:04 am

WELCOME to the forum ! ! ! !

If its a Mowing Machine you wanted you made the best choice!!!!! My int154 was the first tractor i have ever owned and i have it for 3 years 9 months now. Luckily like you i got it from an estate sale too from the mans wife. Its so comfortable to mow with over the smaller cadets that i have. I can zip thru my two acres in under an hour.

Remember to keep on top of the maintenance on it too. I change the motor oil as soon as it turns dark gray in all my tractors. Keep it greased too.
I'm technically misunderstood at times i guess its been this way my whole life so why should it change now.
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Re: Brought home a 154

Postby JayIH » Sun May 17, 2009 5:19 pm

I just re-greased every fitting I could find. The guy really took care of this tractor, it's in incredible condition. After I greased everything, I went and mowed the neighbors field. It had been last mowed with a bush hog about a week or two ago, so it was quite well grown. I mainly wanted to see what it was capable of. Couldn't mow in second, so I reduced to first, and it mowed quite well. However, I had a weird whine in first that isn't there in second or third. Not sure what that was about. It was evident from when I got it. I want to change the transmission fluid and see what happens, but I haven't located the plug or fill area yet.
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Re: Brought home a 154

Postby JayIH » Sun May 17, 2009 7:53 pm

Also, by the PTO clutch, would a primary symptom of it going be the PTO spinning when not engaged? It doesn't spin if I have the belt to the deck on it, but if I have the belt off, it does. How difficult are they to replace, and where can you find them these days?
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Re: Brought home a 154

Postby 56cub » Tue May 19, 2009 3:25 pm

Nice tractor!
1956 Farmall Cub
1943 Farmall M
Cub Cadet 147
Cub Cadet 128-SOLD
1969 Bolens 850 "Special"
1968 Bolens 1050
Allis Chalmers 712S
Wheel Horse B 111
Wheel Horse Electro 12
National triplex reel mower
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Re: Brought home a 154

Postby RaymondDurban » Tue May 19, 2009 7:31 pm

JayIH wrote:..... However, I had a weird whine in first that isn't there in second or third. Not sure what that was about. It was evident from when I got it. I want to change the transmission fluid and see what happens, but I haven't located the plug or fill area yet.

The whine in 1st is somewhat normal. The transmission has straight cut gears, which are not known for being quiet. The fill and drain plug are a little harder to get to with the extra sheetmetal installed. Fill plug is on top of the transmission, drain on bottom. The transmission also doubles as the hyd resevoir. Use Hy-tran or equivalant when you fill up. Also don't overfill or it will spill out in several possible places.

JayIH wrote:Also, by the PTO clutch, would a primary symptom of it going be the PTO spinning when not engaged? It doesn't spin if I have the belt to the deck on it, but if I have the belt off, it does. How difficult are they to replace, and where can you find them these days?

This, in my opinion is not an issue. Mine do this as well. The problem with the PTO is that it is a series of friction plates stacked together. As old as these machines are, most are near the end of their life. Parts are near non-existant, unless you get them used, and then face the same issues. As long as it is engaging, holding, and not slipping under a load, you are good to go!!
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Re: Brought home a 154

Postby JayIH » Wed May 20, 2009 9:01 pm

Oh it's most certainly not slipping under load. I moved the bush hog and 2 trailers this afternoon, haven't moved them in over a month. The grass had grown quite well where they were, up past my knees. I lowered the deck, put it in first, cranked the throttle, and hit it strait on. If it bogged, it was unnoticable. I cut the field, it didn't bog. It does, however, occationally disengage. I haven't figured that one out yet. I'll be riding along minding my own business and bam. Usually I look down thinking the belt jumped, but nope, it disengaged.

I also get a bit of a whine in reverse too. When I moved the bush hog today I put it on the back of the cub, and drove in first with the throttle all the way down. Engine was near silent, but holy crap you could hear it screaming. It made me think of having no trans fluid. However, 2nd and 3rd are silent, and all gears are tight and have appropriate power.

Haha, I like your directions on the location of the plugs, I would assume that the fill plug would be on the top, and the drain plug on the bottom. I just haven't had time to tear it apart. Flushing fluids is something I like to make a habit of when-ever I get a new toy, first thing, because you really don't know when it was last done.
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