HI YA! new member with 185 Lo-boy mower question

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HI YA! new member with 185 Lo-boy mower question

Postby crazee » Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:57 pm

Just wanted to say hello.
I'm in southern Ohio area.
Bought me a beat up 185 last spring (2011) and bush hogged 4 acres of grass that had not been cut for 3 years immediately with the old girl. She bogged a few times but got the job done.
Then I maintained my 5 acres with her for the rest of the summer. She never missed a lick.
This spring I had to file my points and clean my cap & rotor because she woke up missing badly after sitting in the garage all winter ( had her full of sea-foamed gas for storage). Threw in a set of new plugs too and mowed the place with zero issues.
Well I decided to tighten the left side belt on my belly mower as she was kinda sloppy all last summer compared to the right side.

Of course after I did this, the old girl mowed about 15 minutes with no problem & then threw the darn belt I had just adjusted. The belt was pretty ragged anyway & I was surprised it lasted all last summer from the heavy mowing.
Belt is not broke, just has the cable coming out of the inside and now won't stay on no matter the adjustment.

I'm not sure what kind of mower this has. Doesn't look to be a Woods to me.Says IH in a square sticker on it on both sides with a thin white stripe under it. Uses 3 belts instead of one big one. I'm wondering what the procedure is for changing out the bad belt and adjusting it. Looks like the 3 blade pulley's on the deck are held in place with 4 bolts each in slots. Of course I need to remove the drive pulley coming off the PTO to swap out the left pulley. PTO pulley is on top of the middle blade 3 pulley setup - then left side in middle slot, then right side in bottom slot.

Do I loosen the middle pulley to remove the PTO belt so I can get to the side blade pulley belt?
Any certain order to follow to remove and then re-adjust?
Any advice on where to buy the replacement belt or what brand?

Thanks in advance for all input. :)

I'll take a few pics in the morning and post them. Don't laugh.......she's not a beauty queen but she does the job. Planning on dolling her up when I get time.

Again HELLO & THANKS! :)
Last edited by crazee on Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:54 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: HI YA! new member with 185 Lowboy mower question

Postby twotone » Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:31 pm

welcome Crazee. I can't answer your questions, but someone will be along shortly that can.


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Re: HI YA! new member with 185 Lowboy mower question

Postby crazee » Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:57 pm

Thanks :)
I'm attempting to figure out which deck I have. Maybe the 3160? Like I said, I'll post pics in the morning when it's light out. ( tractor sitting out back tonight).
5Ft deck I think.
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Re: HI YA! new member with 185 Lowboy mower question

Postby randallc » Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:26 pm

Welcome from Arkansas. I bet someone will recognize it once you post the pictures, maybe a C-3, just a guess. Be careful working with these little ole cubs -- they will get you hooked and you will have to get another one with a mower to use while one is down. Never changed a belt on one like you describe.
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Re: HI YA! new member with 185 Lowboy mower question

Postby Rudi » Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:41 pm

G'day to ya :D Click the following links

IH 3160 Rotary Cutter

IH 3260 Rotary Cutter

IH 60 Inch Rotary Mower

I do not have a lot of information for the Numbered Cubs but what I do have can be found here: Numbered Series Cubs, look under Cub-185 Lo-Boy for the Owner's Manual and under Cub-154 Lo-Boy for the Parts Catalog that shows the different mowers.

Also, there is a lot of other information/resources for our members, just follow the links below:

Image to Farmallcub.com :big smile: Forum Family. And you have come to the right place for all things Cub related. If you click on the Site Rules, Regulations, & Important Information, it will point you to :arrow: the Welcome Wagon wherein you will find links to many useful sites and topics. One of which is the Cub Manual Server. Enjoy!.
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Re: HI YA! new member with 185 Lowboy mower question

Postby RaymondDurban » Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:18 am

Welcome to the Forum!,
After you figure out the exact model of the deck you have, then we can get you pointed in the right direction with belt numbers, placement and how to tighten them.
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Re: HI YA! new member with 185 Loboy mower question

Postby crazee » Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:50 am

Here are pics of deck and my homely yet lovely Cub 185. Been so busy using the old girl I haven't had time to properly clean her up. :)
I have done the important stuff like lube and change oil and such of course. I am a gear-head after-all, lol.
And of course I'm missing the expensive to replace front grill. Figure I'll make a custom one and add bolt on bug-eye headlights until I run on to a decent front surround for a good price.
So ........ is this a 3160 deck as I thought? And what are the best way to change belts and adjust (certain order? etc.) What belts are best to get & where? All that good info & advice I need to know.
Thanks again :)

PS---- I LOVE how nice this machine cuts grass. Makes it look like a golf course and FAST! and sips gasoline too!

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Last edited by crazee on Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: HI YA! new member with 185 Lowboy mower question

Postby Rudi » Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:10 pm

Looks like an IH 3160 to me... compare the Manual with your pics and it is pretty clear right from the first pic. Nice looking mower :)
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Re: HI YA! new member with 185 Loboy mower question

Postby crazee » Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:42 pm

Rudi wrote:Looks like an IH 3160 to me... compare the Manual with your pics and it is pretty clear right from the first pic. Nice looking mower :)


Yeah, I though so too. Just wasn't 100% sure since the pulley covers are missing.

Now I just need to figure out proper belt change method -proper adjustment - belt type - where to buy info. Wonder if tractor supply has the belts??? Nearest Case dealer is Circleville which is 50 miles north.

BTW- I gave $900 for this tractor. So, it's definitely worth fixing up and keeping IMHO.
It has no blow-by except a tiny bit when under extreme load coming out of the oil spout.
Not charging so I have to charge battery after every several hours of use.Not a huge deal so I have not looked into why and fixed it yet. Maybe the old points regulator?

Clutch & hydraulics seems fine. Brakes are good enough. It started dripping a tiny bit of oil or hydraulic fluid from somewhere under the trans area on to the top back of mower deck this spring. Not enough to get alarmed about, just a few drips. Tires are kinda cracked but seem solid and hold air just fine. Not sure what the air pressure should be.

Just a bunch of details to work out.
Last edited by crazee on Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: HI YA! new member with 185 Lowboy mower question

Postby Rudi » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:01 pm

I can't help with tensioning/belt size etc., as I am not really familiar with the Numbered Series. However, if you click on the link below for Carter & Grunewald and talk to Ken Updike, I know Ken will be able to get you what you need. No sense driving that far ifn you can get it in the mail.

You got a good deal at $900.00 :D Definitely worth playing with :-:-):
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Re: HI YA! new member with 185 Lo-boy mower question

Postby SONNY » Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:00 pm

Looks like the 3160 that is on my first 185----they are a bear to work on!---First thing is to take the deck off and back the tractor off over the deck on blocks, (some guys frown at me when I say to do this,--but I do it all the time)---Then you will need to get ALL the spindle bolts loose WITHOUT breaking them off ( I think a 3/4" socket fits them,---thats what mine are). Turn each one very carefully in both directions and get oil started around the threads and take them completely out and clean the threads so as to remove the rust!---these castings have to slide easy to get belts tight.
After putting on the new belts I start with the short ones first then drag the center one back last. you will at some point have to loosen the pulleys back at the angle changer and re-adjust the whole thing when you put the deck back under the mower.---Flip the deck over and remove the blades and sharpen them while the deck is out.---make sure these bolts work freely too!

Welcome to a great forum! thanks; sonny
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Re: HI YA! new member with 185 Lo-boy mower question

Postby crazee » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:06 am

SONNY wrote:Looks like the 3160 that is on my first 185----they are a bear to work on!---First thing is to take the deck off and back the tractor off over the deck on blocks, (some guys frown at me when I say to do this,--but I do it all the time)---Then you will need to get ALL the spindle bolts loose WITHOUT breaking them off ( I think a 3/4" socket fits them,---thats what mine are). Turn each one very carefully in both directions and get oil started around the threads and take them completely out and clean the threads so as to remove the rust!---these castings have to slide easy to get belts tight.
After putting on the new belts I start with the short ones first then drag the center one back last. you will at some point have to loosen the pulleys back at the angle changer and re-adjust the whole thing when you put the deck back under the mower.---Flip the deck over and remove the blades and sharpen them while the deck is out.---make sure these bolts work freely too!

Welcome to a great forum! thanks; sonny


Thanks, But I think I'll just change the one belt that needs it ( right side). Already had that spindle loose ( thank you PB blaster :lol: ). I'm just wanting to cut more grass, not over haul the deck. She is cutting just fine.....just needs a belt. The old girl is a work horse rather than my hobby.
My plan is ( using common sense) to loosen center spindle... loosen right spindle.... lift off center belt to get to right belt. replace right belt... tighten center spindle back to previous position. Tighten right belt. GO CUT GRASS.

Looks like tractor supply sells the belt. 5/8 x 56 ( Case calls it 0.71 x 56.85).
Thanks for the advice. It all sounds very sound.
Maybe come fall I'll actually remove the deck and give her a good going over, paint her up and such.... but for now I'm just going to use her without doing anything not really needed.
:)
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Re: HI YA! new member with 185 Lo-boy mower question

Postby crazee » Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:22 pm

BTW--->

Procedure is as follows -

1- Drop deck all the way down
2- loosen all 3 pulleys ( the 4 - 3/4" bolts around each pulley)
3- slip off top drive pulley belt from middle pulley(mule drive)
4- Then the middle belt ( right side)
5- then the bottom belt ( left side)
6- re-install in reverse order
7- tighten middle blade pulley first ( which tightens the drive ( mule) belt. ( only tighten this with deck fully down)
8- then tighten left side - then right side
9- tighten about same as you would an alternator belt on your car.
10- go cut grass! :)

PS--> Hamilton Bob's Cub supply outside Cincinnati, Ohio sells an after market set of belts for the 3160 that are a great price and seem to be very good quality from what I'm seeing so far. They told me 100% guaranteed including return shipping if there is a problem!!!! SUPER nice guys to deal with and they ship out fast! Easy to get on the phone and very helpful. Need I say more.
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