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982 Cub Cadet

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Author  [Modern View]

03-22-2018 17:59:03

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I'm looking to buy a heavier duty lawn mower than the 1211 I'm currently using around the farm house and property. I see a 982 with a heavy duty 60" deck, supposedly all original with less than 1,000 hours. It looks real clean and even newer.
Is this series a pretty good, heavy duty lawn mower? How is the engine? It's an Onan according to Tractor Data, and I don't know much about them. I was looking at the 2072s and 2082s that I used to mow lawn with 25 years ago and they were great, heavy duty lawn mowers, but they are a little steep for me.

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03-25-2018 07:50:06

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 Re: 982 Cub Cadet in reply to Navajo350, 03-22-2018 17:59:03  
As everyone has staye Onans are terribly expensive to overhaul. However, there are secrets to long life. Make sure the fins on the cylinders are always clean. Use 30W oil in them and religiously change it every 25 hours. If it hasn't had one do a de-carb on the heads and valves. You do all of this and that Onan engine will run forever. Parts are easily obtained from Boomers Influence and onanparts.com. I have a Case with a 16hp Onan and it's the best running small engine I own. Good luck.

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03-26-2018 05:48:50

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 Re: 982 Cub Cadet in reply to wgm, 03-25-2018 07:50:06  
But when buying one its real easy for a lot of abuse to have occurred in it 30+ year history that you know nothing about.

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03-24-2018 18:42:47

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 Re: 982 Cub Cadet in reply to Navajo350, 03-22-2018 17:59:03  
I used to think I wanted an 82 series Cub but 982s, 782s, and the 682s have engines that are extremely expensive to repair. Overhauling an Onan or a Kohler KT17 (at 30+ years old) are nearly as expensive as a small block Chevy V8 (possibly more) to overhaul. The 1282, 1450 and 1650 quietlines are many times cheaper to repair and keep running.

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03-23-2018 11:32:50

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 Re: 982 Cub Cadet in reply to Navajo350, 03-22-2018 17:59:03  
The biggest problem with those tractors is the decks being rusted out. They're 30+ years old, and even though they're much heavier built than your average stamped steel decks they still succumb to time, wear, and the corrosive nature of macerated grass.

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03-23-2018 06:53:09

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 Re: 982 Cub Cadet in reply to Navajo350, 03-22-2018 17:59:03  
Good mower and good drivetrain. If the Onan is in good shape, it will likely last for some time yet, but as another wrote, Onan engines are very expensive to work on and likewise for parts. I had to replace the starter on the Onan which was in my 318 Deere. It was north of $200. When I traded my 318 in, the engine had something like 1500 to 1600 hours and it was pretty tired. I was going to re-power the tractor with a different engine, but when I tried out a newer model with all wheel steer and low hours, I could trade up to that for what it was going to cost me to repower my older 318, and the cutter deck on the newer tractor did a much better job of cutting versus my older one, thus why I opted to trade.

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Jim MA

03-23-2018 05:42:05

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 Re: 982 Cub Cadet in reply to Navajo350, 03-22-2018 17:59:03  
I would personally stay clear of any Onan they are very expensive to service as mentioned. I would look at a 3000 series cub, it will have power everything and being newer parts and implements will be easier to locate.

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03-23-2018 10:12:55

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 Re: 982 Cub Cadet in reply to Jim MA, 03-23-2018 05:42:05  
Actually, after over 50 years of running Cub Cadet garden tractors, an Original, 70, 72, 129, and my 982, I bought a Tank zero turn, 54 inch deck, 27 hp Kawasaki V-twin OHV pressure lube engine, twin Eaton hydrostatic drives, went from just over 4 hours mowing with the 982 to 3 hours the first time with the tank, and the grass was long and lush! First mowing 3rd week of April. Now I mow in about 2-1/2 hours. I have some stump grinding to do and prune some more trees & bushes and should be around 2 hours on my 2.3 acres with around 50 trees & bushes. If my yard was smoother I could mow lots faster, Tank runs up to 12 mph, plenty of HP. 982 runs 7-1/2 mph.

The cutting performance of the new designed decks is WAY Better than the old decks of 40-50 years ago. I thought I would never want to just have a single purpose machine to just mow. It mows SO much better, plus I can pull my big Pronovost P-503 tandem axle cart to pickup branches, can't dump it, but could also pull a broadcast fertilizer spreader, or lawn sweeper, or yard vacuum system. It actually hangs on side slopes better than my garden tractors.

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Russ from MN

03-23-2018 13:27:27

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 Re: 982 Cub Cadet in reply to DR. EVIL, 03-23-2018 10:12:55  
Jim, that's what I was going to suggest too, Cub Cadet had some pretty good prices on the new zero-turns, both with Honda or Kawasaki engines. We bought a new JD zero turn a couple of years ago, once you use one you wouldn't want to go back to a tractor.

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03-23-2018 04:35:51

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 Re: 982 Cub Cadet in reply to Navajo350, 03-22-2018 17:59:03  
The power steering from a 2072 bolts right onto a 982 but ps was never available from IH or MTD on a new 982. I think they offered a power steering kit to install after the 1911 & 2072's were being built. There are plain 982's, no cat O 3-point, no front hyd outlets, no steering brakes, and no rear pto. Then you can find tractors with the brakes, second hyd lever & frt outlets. The 3-pt and pto seems to come as an option package. I got lucky and found a Loaded tractor with everything! IH 982's had diecast rear axle carriers and cast iron differential housings. Sometime during 982 MTD production the diff housing switched to diecast like the 1572/1872/2072's. If the rearend dipstick extends out of the square hole for the battery under the seat you have a diecast rear, if it is reached from the little cover under the front of the seat where the manual trans shifter would be, you have a cast iron diff housing. The serial number break is given in the parts books. I've had my fully optioned 982 for 18 years. The tractor itself is dead reliable, any possible part is easy to get from Cub Cadet, or in some cases CIH. The Onan engine parts are stupidly expensive. My Onan had close to $2000 spent on a complete rebuilt just before I bought it. But every 125 engine hours it needs new ignition points and condensor at close to $100. Onan parts are easy to find, just terribly expensive. I have the 50 inch deck, about 5-6 years ago I spent $172 to replace the ONE waterpump style spindle bearing and housing. The 60 inch deck is a Haband deck, you could replace all 3 spindles for less than $172. 60 inch deck is a good deck. The 982 turns easily for a non power steering tractor. It rides smooth, long wheelbase, wide tires. The hydrostatic trans is completely bullet-proof. The later model Kohler engines fit into the 982, think it's the Command series. The Onan has several bad design flaws, fragile conn rods, stupid governor design can allow engine to over-speed. Poor placement of ignition points INSIDE engine. I don't really want another 982, but I'm kinda glad I got the one I have. I was looking for a 2072 or 1872 but they were inpossible to find back around 1999 when I was looking. Everybody that had one was hanging on to it, and most people still are.

Check the classified ads on IHCubCadet.com for past sales history of 982's. Couple restoration threads there too.

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Chris NW Ind

03-22-2018 18:44:02

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 Re: 982 Cub Cadet in reply to Navajo350, 03-22-2018 17:59:03  
The 982 is the first of the Super series cadets that you are used to. You didn't mention but it's not likely to have power steering. I would say the Onans are a pain and parts aren't easy to get and expensive when you find them, but those old Kohler twins are the same way anymore. A 982 would have the cast rear end vs the problematic aluminum types of the newer models.

If the motor and tractor has a good history and the price is right, that's a good mower.

My 2072 is a lot of fun and powerful, but not my main mower because of it's lesser maneuverability.

Chris B.

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