Do-It-Yourself Plans: Backhoes, Loaders & More

DIY: The 1000-pound Front Spindle Upgrade

Bear the weight of a new loader by beefing up your garden tractor’s front-end spindles.

Norman explains how to upgrade the spindle on his Cub Cadet 149.

How to do it:

Step 1

Start by cutting off the old spindle. Then, grind the surface of the spindle bracket smooth.

New and old spindles

Step 2

With a 1 1/4-inch bi-metal hole saw, cut a hole to accept the new stub axle shoulder. Remember to put a large chamfer on the outside of the spindle bracket for welding. Weld the inside and the outside.

New stub axle shoulder

Step 3

Box in the spindle bracket with 1/4-inch plate steel, and weld the inside and the outside.

Boxed in spindle bracket

Step 4

Make sure your outer weld is contained within the chamfer because you only have 1/8 of an inch between the spindle bracket and the new hub assembly.

Diagram that comes with the new spindle

Step 5

Install the hub, pack it with grease and check the clearances.

Spindle with hub installed

Step 6

Install your tires on the new rims. Then, you’re all set.

Boxed in spindle bracket
A Cub Cadet with newly upgraded 1000-pound spindles

The Cub Cadet with newly upgraded 1000-pound front axles … Now you won’t have to wonder if the front end can take it.

What if you have L-shaped spindles?

Here is an idea from Doug H.

Doug’s new spindle; the one on the right already bored out to slip over the existing ones on his tractor
Doug demonstrates how he can slip a new spindle over the old
The new spindle is locked to the old one with a cotter pin
Doug’s finished upgrade

Another method from Stan C.

Stan’s method
Reusing stock steering arms
Stan’s finished project

Jon’s solution

John’s custom fabrication
John’s completed project

Before & After

Chris’s Cub Cadet HDS 2185 - Before
Chris’s Cub Cadet HDS 2185 - After
Chris’s Cub Cadet HDS 2185 - After

What Next?

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Questions? Contact Paul at , or call the office at 413-256-4960. You can also reach Paul on his cell at 413-835-5801.