RevRico GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/16/24 6:35 a.m.

We have fans of all sorts of weird things here, surely we have some old IH Cub fans right? 

If you've followed my house thread, I picked up a 1250 last year or the year before that came with the IH 1A tiller. After rebuilding the fuel system that had supposedly just been rebuilt, it's been a good runner. Well I needed front tires this year and my mini tire changer from HF bent, so I found someone to swap them for me. 

Turns out he has 3 1650s sitting in his yard. With good decks, straight mule drives, and one has hydraulics with front ports. 

So it turns out I'm buying a 1650 with a good deck and front hydraulics in the next month or so. $500 purchase price, I'm good with it. I'll probably have $1000 into it by the time it's running around the property as it definitely needs some work, still, less than I paid for the 1250, and way less than the parts are worth individually. But I also happen to know a guy with a front loader on an old Bolens tractor that is just returning to nature very slowly. 

The goal of the 1650 is to first acquire the loader from my neighbor, then get it installed and running to shove gravel around. If I can permanently mount the tiller, even better. Then I can have a dedicated work tractor and a dedicated mower, with a spare deck, essentially ensuring my not even thought of yet grandchildren still have good running working cubs long after I'm gone. 

The thing is, I don't know Jack about the hydraulic systems on these things beyond spend the extra money for hytran fluid and the front ports were a pretty rare option.

Im hoping some of you guys that are older and wiser have experience in this area you can share with me. I know parts aren't getting any easier to come by, but I've been led to believe the aftermarket has stepped up where cub cadet stopped 40+years ago. I have a browser window opened on the old Cub cadet forums, but a lot of those posts are 10+years old. I do have a very good and helpful cub dealer that's been around since these were new fairly local to me, and they've helped me out a lot through the years, but they're certainly not the cheapest place to get parts. 

So any gotchas you can share with regards to the hydraulics? Or tips on how to make things work or even test them without needing to tear everything down and rebuild it multiple times? Maybe common failure points on the hydraulic system and ways to prevent the failures? Or even good after market part businesses that are still around?

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/16/24 11:04 a.m.

I'm a huge old tractor fan, but know little on specifics.  There are tons of resources at

I do know that I need PICS!

WonkoTheSane GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
4/16/24 11:10 a.m.

I'm of little help, other than I still use our 74(?) 149 hydro for property maintenance.   I did find it was too light to successfully shovel plow snow many moons ago, so I'm not sure how well it would it would work for gravel?  Maybe a 1650 would work better, though?    

I have a local place that still stocks parts for it(!) so I just pay the man.  They're good people.  I'm not looking to save a buck on something that those guys have had kept waiting for me for 30+ years :)  I retired it from mowing duty back in 2017 or so, so really, the only thing it gets now is an oil change & air filter every few years and hydro every decade or so.   It mostly sees action in the fall & spring for leaf cleanup, and occasionally to haul logs and such.   Other than I don't think the generator charges the battery, it works every time.

Each of my kids (3 out of 5 so far) have learned to drive on that thing:

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
4/16/24 11:51 a.m.

There are several online forums dedicated to Cub Cadet lawn tractors.

Apis Mellifera
Apis Mellifera Dork
4/16/24 7:26 p.m.

How old?  Here's our good Cub.  We have two more and my uncle has my Grandfather's Cub.  I don't like sports, but I am a Cubs fan.

RevRico GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/17/24 8:38 a.m.

Because it's Pennsylvania so it's always raining, no action shots, but I'll indulge a little. 

the 1A tiller in actively looking for an extension for. Because why would they make it wide enough from the factory to cover the while rear end of the tractor? 

and the 1250 with new front meats that are looking a little low at the moment. 

Apparently 16x6.5x8 changed widths between the 70s and now, because these are a good inch narrower than the ones they replaced. 

I don't know the weight of the rear weights or if the tires are loaded, but I'm still happy it came with rear weights.

RevRico GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/17/24 2:40 p.m.

foot tall grass on a hill in the wet? No problem

barely even bogged down on the flat. I'd actually mowed this once already with the push mower but you couldn't tell from all the rain. 

I forgot this things battery is toast. I thought I replaced it last year but I guess I only talked about it. Still, 3 minutes at 10 amps on the charger and it fired right up. No smoke, no struggles, same half tank I put it away with in the winter, didn't even need to drain the bowl. Maybe I'll actually get the air cleaner back on this year. It's been off because a carb screw likes to wiggle loose and you can't get to it with the backing plate on. 


I also put up a post in a Facebook group looking for a tiller extension. Found a guy with the 2b tiller about an hour away for $175, already have permission from the wife to get it. So I'm going to try to go get it Sunday. 

The 2b is 40 inches wide, the 1a I have is 34 inches. 40 inches will cover the while width of the tractor, so then I can sell the 1A and the predator swapped ariens rocket. With the sale of both I should pay off the 2B and get a chunk of cash to throw at the 1650 and loader project. Wins all around there.

VolvoHeretic GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
4/17/24 7:03 p.m.

We had a 1971? 127 Cub Cadet for some 40 years since it was new. The hydrostatic drive was bullet proof as was the 12 hp cast iron Kohler engine. The 3 blade 42" mower deck wasn't so great because the two 12" outside blades didn't spin fast enough to cut well. Let's face it, 12 hp will only cut so much grass so fast (crawl speed) which took all day for 1.3 acres so it was a gas hog. At least you had plenty of time to drink beer. My steering was shot so I had to add a speed ball onto the steering wheel to keep it on track.

My 19 HP Poulan Kohler / hydrostatic drive will mow circles around the old IH. But won't last half as long. smiley

Similar to this.

RevRico GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/21/24 7:32 p.m.

2b came home today. It's a bit heavy. 

I'm not ready to till the garden yet so it's living in a cart in the garage for now. God I still haven't started seeds yet

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