Tag Archives: lawn mower

Design Flaw

I found the reason I keep bending mower blades is that the deck lifter cable had jumped the pulley on the right and the right blade would dig in on corners.  So, with new blades on the deck, I disassembled the pulley, routed the cable over the top, and reinstalled it.  Before I started I made sure the deck would rise and lower evenly.  It did, so I started mowing.

About my 2nd lap around the yard, I had an impression to check the deck.  The left went up when I raised it, but the right side did not raise.

I shut off the power to discover the cable had jumped the pulley again.  Putting on my engineering cap, I tried to figure out how I would re-design this mower to avoid this problem.  I can’t believe that I’m the only one with this Cub Cadet LTX 1042KW that has experienced this.  What the cable lacks is a tensioner.  When the wheels lift the mower deck, the cable can easily slip off and come down between the frame and pulley.  If this were a car, it would be recalled for this design flaw.

I managed to complete the lawn driving very slowly.  (Personally, I think you should be able to drive a mower at full speed without issue.)  But, we live and learn.  I know some of the things to look for the next time I buy a lawn tractor.

A Small Part a Big Problem

I started mowing the lawn this morning.  I had made about 3 laps when the blade hit something and came to an abrupt stop.

Pulling the lawn mower away from where it stopped, there was no rock, or chunk of wood, just soft dirt.  Once I got the mower on the pavement, I could see the blade was bent in to an “L” shape and the tip of that “L” is what had buried itself in the dirt.

Why?  What caused this?

Well, as I was removing the deck, I noticed the deck was at an sharp angle downward.  Further investigation revealed a missing cotter pin that lifted the deck.  Thus, it appears the small cotter pin finally wore through and the pin holding the lift cable disengaged.  This caused the deck to drop about 5″ on that side of the mower.  The sharp angle and the fact that the down side was near the grass exit shoot, caused the blade to dive in to the dirt.  The tip remained in the dirt while the rotational inertia twisted the blade to the “L” shape.

It’s amazing that such a small thing can cause such big problems.

The deck, once removed, revealed that the damage extended in to the shaft housing, the deck itself, and the struts that support the shaft housing.  I’m probably looking at $200 to $300 for the repair.  A 50 cent pin did all of this.  I guess the lesson regarding the mower is this… replace those pins a couple of times a year.

The bigger lesson is this, small things make a difference in life.  It’s just like $1 and two cotter pins and 60 seconds of time could have saved me a lot of grief, there are small things in life that can make the difference in disaster or smooth sailing.