Speaking of our Cub Cadet. Elizabethe asks me, “How much more money do we dump in to this mower before you buy a new one?”
Well, the next time I cannot do the repair myself, I think that’s the time. I will tell you this, I will never buy another Cub Cadet product again. And, I will never buy another mower from Blazey’s again. Cub Cadet because of the poor engineering, poor quality and lack of support from the manufacturer. (I’ve attempted to contact them on faulty part issues with no response whatsoever.) Blazey’s because of their price gouging* and the incident of putting blades on upside down.
What happened today is neither Cub Cadet or Blazey’s fault. Someone threw a 3/4″ diameter rope on the lawn. It got covered with leaves. When I drove over it, it wrapped itself around the spindle several times causing the spindle to break in two places AND the blade to hit the deck and bend.
Blazey’s charged me $112 for the part. (Later I checked and it goes for about $38 on-line. I’m ordering a spare.) Out of urgency to get the job done today, I paid the $112.
Finishing the Job
It took a while to get the spindle replaced. The self-tapping bolts were the hardest part. They require lots of torque to cut the new threads in the spindle housing.
The after-market blades that Aaron recommends work great. While the rope incident cause the blade to bend slightly, the manufacturer’s brand it would have twisted like a pretzel. (I have several bent ones to prove it.) This is the first time this brand of blade has bent.
It’s a difficult decision to abandon a local business. I originally went with them because they were local, and like buying a bicycle, I figure it is better to buy from a specialist than a generalist. (i.e. a bike shop instead of a department store, for example).
*However, the after sales support was expensive and time consuming. But, what really took the cake was after the upside-down blade incident, I was talking to a friend who was surprised that I went to Blazey’s. He recounted an incident that disgusted me.
It will be cheaper for me to stock some of my own parts (knowing what breaks on this thing), than a single trip to buy a part under the pressure to finish what I started.
For my next lawn tractor, I will be talking to my mechanic for recommendations. AND, I know what engineering flaws to look for. (Namely, the engineering of the deck lift/lowering mechanism, belt guides and housings.)