Touch Control Lever Pivot Swap

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Touch Control Lever Pivot Swap

Postby lazyuniondriver » Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:00 am

If your cub is the only piece of equipment you operate, I'm sure you're used to the Touch Control lever moving most attachments in the opposite direction of lever travel, in which case this modification may not be for you.

If you've done any TLB work with other equipment, you may agree Touch Control operation on a cub is like a turn signal switch wired backwards. Muscle memory pushes forward to lower and pulls to lift just as you press down to signal left, and up to signal right, without even thinking.

When operating the cub, you have to think, and 99% of the time I forget to think and move the TC lever in the wrong direction while grading or plowing. I will also drop trailers I meant to raise with the drawbar hooked to the rear liftarm because I simply can't remember to correct my operator instinct before I react.

This complaint is nothing new. A search through the forums produces past posts and threads with the topic of discussion about fixing this annoyance in addition to some completed modification descriptions and a photo or two.

I finally had some time and brought my grading and towing tractor into the shop to fix this seemingly backwards feature.

I chose the following modification method because it maintains factory lateral movement of the Touch Control rod and only requires the drilling of two holes.

My goal was to raise the control rod above the pivot point of the TC lever however this created a bind against the dash. Lowering the rod onto an additional pivoting link below the lever rubbed the top of the hydraulic line block.

Not wanting to deface the dash, I was also determined to work around the existing rod dimensions. Extending, shortening, reforming, or bending was not an option so the tractor could be quickly and easily restored to its original configuration when necessary.

Taking all of the above into consideration, the solution was to move the entire control station down the steering support tube 2 3/4" lower than when it originally left the assembly line.

For me, reaching the lever is not an issue as touch control means exactly that, you only need to touch it to move it, not get a grip around it to push or pull with effort. Even in the levers' lowered position, it is still within reasonable reach in both the fore and aft position.

If upon completion of the modification finds the Touch Control levers' 2 3/4" drop out of comfortable reach for you, a short lever extension can be fabricated out of a piece of 3/4" copper pipe, flattened on one end to slip tightly over the lever, the other end capped for aesthetics. You could polish it too.

If you are really looking for work or a factory look, the lever itself could be cut in half with a short extension piece of similar stock welded or brazed in place and re-finished, but I think you'll find that the little less than 3 inch difference is still workable without an extension.

30 minutes start to finish will complete the job. Secure an additional steering support through bolt, nut, and lockwasher, plus a couple of flat washers then drill two holes, bolt it back together and drive it out.

Add a little more time if you service the TC friction spring under the support assembly and touch up the steering support paint.

Start by removing the clevis pin from the rod on the TC control lever. Remove the bolt attaching the touch control lever support from the steering support.

The engine speed control assembly will remain in its original position.

Remove the acorn nut holding the TC hand control quadrant from the speed control lever bolt. Remove the quadrant and add a couple of washers or use an extra nut to fill the void left by the quadrant, tighten the speed control assembly back up.

Drill a hole above the pivot point in the TC lever exactly 2 3/4" center to center above the original hole for the linkage rod. Since this hole is above the pivot point, this achieves our goal of pushing in on the rod to lower, pulling out on the rod to raise. Since the lever assembly is off the unit, drill it on a press if you have one then service the spring tension if necessary.

The second and final hole is drilled through the steering support, exactly 2 3/4" center to center below the original TC lever support hole. Mount the TC lever support in the new hole. Take every precaution to ensure this hole is drilled perfectly parallel to the operators platform so the TC support block mates well against the steering support tube.

Bolt the TC quadrant into the vacant hole left by the TC control lever support with a suitable fastener.

Besides the obvious push to lower, pull to raise results, you will notice the travel of the TC lever stops just short of full travel on both ends of the hand control quadrant. This is because we reused a mounting hole instead of drilling a second hole in the steering support arm exactly 2 3/4" below the quadrants original location.

If the hand lever quadrant was mounted exactly 2 3/4" inches lower than its original placement, the lever would travel fully from end to end within the quadrant however, when mounted at this measurement, the speed control rod interferes.

This shortened travel has no effect on operation or friction stop use. The rod still makes its full travel from end to end however visually it seems to stop short in the confines of the quadrant because the quadrant is mounted a little lower than desired to clear the fuel rod.


No adjustment of the TC rod is required at the hydraulic block and no modification is necessary at the clevis end either. If the rod was adjusted properly before you started, leave it alone. Connect the rod to the new upper hole on the TC lever and install a cotter pin.

Five minutes with two box wrenches and a pair of pliers has the TC lever and control quadrant back in the stock configuration if required.

Nothing is permanently altered with this modification with the exception of the hole in the lever and the hole in the steering support which could be utilized for a beverage holder.

The TC lever on this tractor is the later version with the extended tail link. Tractors with the earlier shorter style lever can also be modified just as easily, just don't use the 2 3/4" measurement, use 2 1/4" instead and follow the same steps.

Happy Motoring






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Re: Touch Control Lever Pivot Swap

Postby Super A » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:08 am

Nicely done! I have never, ever gotten "up and down" backwards on one of these tractors, even though they are backwards from everything else in the world. When I get on a Cub/Super A, or on one of the others, I just "know."

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Re: Touch Control Lever Pivot Swap

Postby Winfield Dave » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:41 am

Why change something that has been around for 50+ years. :big give up:
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Re: Touch Control Lever Pivot Swap

Postby Barnyard » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:13 am

Winfield Dave wrote:Why change something that has been around for 50+ years. :big give up:

I agree, I've been doing it "Backwards" for quite a while and am used to it. I guess for someone who may be new to Cubs and can't adapt to the factory way this would be the way to go.
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Re: Touch Control Lever Pivot Swap

Postby Paul Wells » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:10 am

I have learned over the years that original is better. Most things I have tried to customize didn't turn out to good and was better left alone. I once had a radio that i thought I could turn a few things in the back and maybe dial in police calls, well I fixed it so it wouldn't pick up anything. Nothing wrong with adapting controls of a car,truck,or tractor for special needs. I guess I just think the factory engineers were a lot smarter than me.

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Re: Touch Control Lever Pivot Swap

Postby Rudi » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:15 am

Since I started using heavy equipment, I quickly realized that operating the TC on a Cub is indeed backwards. I never got used to forward being up and it has led to some interesting moments. I think I understand what you did, may take another trip around the block or two on the process but seems pretty straight forward. I am not sure I like drilling the extra holes but as I said, I gotta re-read this a time or two. I take it that this is a mod for any year Cub?

I have been meaning to get to this modification - maybe this might be the year.

Billy aka Cowboy is a heavy equipment operator and a really good one at that - he modified his as well. One difference is that his is a later TC quadrant and lever assembly. He managed to reverse it without drilling any holes. It might be worth a read - it isn't easily found though - Forwards up Back down

Going to have to re-read these both a few times out in the barn when I get around to doing this conversion. Oh yeah, I am not a fan of Cat's but I sure like the IH/Dresser TD7/8 dozers.
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Re: Touch Control Lever Pivot Swap

Postby Mr E » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:30 am

Well, maybe I'm just old and set in my ways, and I'm used to the cub, but I don't really see a problem with the way it works?????????????? :lol:
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Re: Touch Control Lever Pivot Swap

Postby danovercash » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:57 am

That has not been a problem for me. Cub is left hand and the Ford I drove for 20 years was right hand, back (up), up, down, down.
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Re: Touch Control Lever Pivot Swap

Postby Rudi » Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:07 am

I guess there is some confusion here. There is nothing wrong with how a Cub's TC works, it is perfectly fine. :!: And for those who learned on a Cub - it isn't even an issue.

The only time that there is confusion is for those who work with heavy equipment on a regular basis. I find I still have to think about it before I adjust the blade. I still have to think about angling the blade as well. Even though everything is fine on the Cub - my brain/hands co-ordination has been tuned to how heavy equipment operates. So yeah, it can get confusing. Where it gets really tricky is when you are working very close to a building or structure of some type that you do not want to damage -- your brain/hands have to automatically do what they are trained to do. If they don't damage will result.

For those of us that it does affect, it can be a small problem. For the vast majority of us -- not so much :D
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Re: Touch Control Lever Pivot Swap

Postby Barnyard » Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:20 am

I don't think there is any confusion. It basically comes down to knowing what equipment you are running. I ran heavy equipment for almost ten years in the excavation trade for my uncle when I got married. I found that a John Deere loader worked different than a Cat loader. A Cat dozer was different than a Terex dozer. Depending on what equipment you used you adapted to it. Like my uncle always said, "If you don't know your equipment, learn it". I find that is a wise thing to do in a lot of things in life.

I don't think anyone is saying this fix is a bad thing. Many of us know that Billy did basically the same thing several years ago. What I am reading here is that most like the Cub as is.
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Re: Touch Control Lever Pivot Swap

Postby Ike » Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:28 am

Rudi wrote:I guess there is some confusion here. There is nothing wrong with how a Cub's TC works, it is perfectly fine. :!: And for those who learned on a Cub - it isn't even an issue.

The only time that there is confusion is for those who work with heavy equipment on a regular basis. I find I still have to think about it before I adjust the blade. I still have to think about angling the blade as well. Even though everything is fine on the Cub - my brain/hands co-ordination has been tuned to how heavy equipment operates. So yeah, it can get confusing. Where it gets really tricky is when you are working very close to a building or structure of some type that you do not want to damage -- your brain/hands have to automatically do what they are trained to do. If they don't damage will result.

For those of us that it does affect, it can be a small problem. For the vast majority of us -- not so much :D


Thanks Rudi! You said it much nicer than I was thinking. :lol: My muscle memory learned over 40 years ago on the farm still wants to go forward-down/back-up. :?

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Re: Touch Control Lever Pivot Swap

Postby Former Member » Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:58 am

Barnyard wrote:I don't think there is any confusion. It basically comes down to knowing what equipment you are running. I ran heavy equipment for almost ten years in the excavation trade for my uncle when I got married. I found that a John Deere loader worked different than a Cat loader. A Cat dozer was different than a Terex dozer. Depending on what equipment you used you adapted to it. Like my uncle always said, "If you don't know your equipment, learn it". I find that is a wise thing to do in a lot of things in life.

I don't think anyone is saying this fix is a bad thing. Many of us know that Billy did basically the same thing several years ago. What I am reading here is that most like the Cub as is.


Heavy equipment operator means adaptability. Case backhoe compared to JD. or even a case 4 stick backhoe to a 2 stick.

Dozers- hand controls - foot controls- wrist controls

If you use multiple brands, or even newer and older equipment, you have to adapt.

That said, if it makes it easier for you, more power to you, it is a great modification :big afro:
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Re: Touch Control Lever Pivot Swap

Postby muleboss » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:34 pm

I think it is a great modification for the folks who want to use it. Do not know that I will. But I do think you for posting it and it should go in the HOW TO. Thanks Bob
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Re: Touch Control Lever Pivot Swap

Postby lazyuniondriver » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:17 pm

In response to your questions, I'll briefly touch them without using the quote format.

Why? Personal preference.

Confusion? Shouldn't be any.

The scope of this post was not to debate modification or operator skill and competency but to merely demonstrate the minimal amount of time and materials needed to make this conversion if one chooses to do so to their own equipment.

Prior to starting the project, the forum archives were searched for ideas (I have no problem using an idea that someone is willing to share) and I located a similar modification done by a HEO a few years ago with the same end result. His modification drew interest but the thread ended. Since this modification worked for him, it was an inspiration for me and I moved ahead with the project.

About drilling. Within 10 minutes of starting the project, the TC lever support and the hand quadrant can be temporarily clamped with welding or other suitable clamps in the proposed location to determine if this modification is right for you from the perspective of the operators seat before drilling commences. If you feel the mod will be unsatisfactory for your needs, simply clean and reassemble.

The only hole left vacant is at the end of the control lever, the factory hole on the steering support is utilized therefore lending this modification the look of a factory installation to the untrained eye.

Does it work on the original style shorter lever with the welded stud at the bottom instead of the hole? Yes

You will need a brake clevis pin to attach the control rod to the lever because the lower stud is welded.

Since the lever support is lowered by only 2 1/4", you have a couple of options on what to do with the control quadrant.

You can leave it mounted with the speed control and...

A) Inverted the friction stop guide rail or...

B) Cut two tabs from flat stock and lower the friction stop guide rail leaving it in its original orientation.

Both methods allow full lever travel and friction stop function but I preferred to take a little extra time and lower the rail.

Rod adjustment is the same as with the newer style lever, if lever travel was adjusted properly before you started, no adjustments is necessary.
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Re: Touch Control Lever Pivot Swap

Postby Yogie » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:33 pm

I'm no heavy equipment operator but I have had my share of using tractors of all kinds. I do a lot of 22 mowing with my cubs and this backward system has always been a PIA for me, mowing for the past 5 years I've still never got the hang of it yet.

Great modification, I'll look this posting and Billys over and change all of mine this Winter. :{_}:
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