late 80's cadet

Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:56 pm

does anyone know if a late 80's model cadet is any good and if parts are readily available?

Re: late 80's cadet

Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:23 am

Most of the Cub Cadet GARDEN tractors are very good, regardless of the year. There are plenty of parts available also, regardless of the year. The lighter weight tracotrs, ones with Peerless transmissions, and smaller frame tractors are not that desirable and you can have difficulty finding parts, as most were considered basically throw-away equipment.

In the late 1980s, they made a few tractors that lots of people are looking for, the 1606 and 1806 are both desirable (in my opinion) as they were the largest horsepower (16hp and 18hp) gear drive tractors that CC ever made, and both came standard with creeper drive. Some other tractors, the 1512, 1572, 1772, are all VERY desirable as they all had the Kubota diesel engine. I also wouldn't be afraid of the tractors that were offered with the Onan 20-hp gas engine, however they are a bit expensive to rebuild. Regardless, the Onan engine is a really nice powerplant, and I would regard it as a much better quality engine than the Kohler. Kind of like a Honda motorcycle engine -vs- a Harly Davidson.

The 1811 was the first air cooled Kohler engine with a spin on oil filter, so that was a good move, as it basically eliminated the problems with the KT-17 engines that starved for oil and broke one connecting rod. So, that is something to watch out on the 1711 and earlier 682/782 tractors, which are all prone to the infamous KT-8.5 syndrome. This one kind of stinks too, because the tractor will start and run fairly well on 1 cylinder, and it is not really noticed until you try to engage the PTO and the motor just dies from lack of power. I've run across a BUNCH of 682 and 782 tractors in this condition, with one broken connecting rod, and still being run around the lawn. Owners are kind of POd when you pull the one spark plug and show them no compression on one cylinder, and will even go on to tell you they've run it that way for years, and just thought that the mower or PTO was messed up so they bought something else to mow with and still use the tractor to pull around a cart or just ride around in the yard.

Some will argue that MTD screwed up with this series of tractors because they changed the transmission case to all aluminum, but they maintained the standard IH transmission (gearing) from the old tractors, and there are few real problems that were ever encountered and most are still in operation today. Also, this series of tractors still has the all metal hood, grill and side panels. All of which were changed to plastic starting with the 1990s tractors.


Re: late 80's cadet

Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:44 pm

thank you, that is a lot of information, i was going to look at a cc from the 80's now i have an idea what to look for. :D

Re: late 80's cadet

Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:42 am

You ask a rather broad question that is hard to answer, much easier to answer questions about a given model because there were both good and bad ones. The red 682/782 and the yellow and white versions of the same had Kohler KT 17 engines. The KT 17 series I engines did not have a full pressure lub system (splash lub for the rods/crank), and if they had been used on hill sides, ditch banks etc., it was not uncommon for them to add a "window" the one cylinder or the other. The problem was bad enough that Kohler developed the KT 17 Series II that had full pressure lub and provisions for a remote oil filter.

A known problem with all models, specially the longer frame Super Garden Tractor (SGT) models like the 982 (and the many yellow/white versions) that had an aluminum transaxle case, gear drive or hydro, was the mount bolts that bolted the case to the frame would come loose and if not repaired would break and or strip the threads out of the casting, and or contribute to the case developing cracks from the bolt holes. There are 3 mount bolts on each side, 2 at the axle tubes, and 1 at the front end of the case. Most of the problems originated with the front bolts. I won't say it was a common problem, but it certainly was not an uncommon problem. Just check the mount bolts.