Tiller Maintenance

Overview of Cub Cadet Garden Tillers

Have you spent the winter planning out this year’s garden? Now that spring is here, you can finally start turning the soil to make new seed beds and clean out planting rows to get a fresh start. Make sure your Cub Cadet tiller is ready with these maintenance tips.

Maintenance Schedule

Before each use or every 5 hours of operation: Check oil level, clean engine
First two hours of use: Check nuts, bolts and drive belts for tightness, change engine oil and check transmission oil level
Every 10 hours: Check nuts, bolts and drive belts for tightness, change the engine oil and lubricate the foam air filter element, if equipped.
Every 30 hours: Check transmission oil, tire air pressure, and tine wear.

Engine Oil

The Honda GC 190 comes with Oil Alert, which will shut off the engine if the oil level is too low. If you’re having trouble starting the engine, you may need to add more oil to the crankcase.
The 29cc Cub Cadet engine does not have a dipstick. When changing the oil, use exactly 3.04 oz (90 ml) of oil. Oil burn off should be minimal between oil changes.
To check the oil level on other models, make sure the engine is cool and sitting level on the ground. Set the tiller upright and remove the filler cap/dipstick from the oil filler neck. The method for getting an accurate reading will depend on your engine:
— On Honda engines and Cub Cadet 208cc engines with a quarter turn locking dipstick, screw the dipstick into the filler neck.
— On Briggs & Stratton engines and Cub Cadet 208cc engines with a threaded filler neck, push the dipstick cap in flush with the filler neck, but do not screw it in.

The drain plug for the 29cc engine is located in front of the cylinder. On all other engines, the plug is on the base of the crankcase to the left of the oil filler neck. Cub Cadet recommends disconnecting the spark plug wire and draining the fuel tank before tipping the engine to drain the oil.

SAE 30 is recommended for the 29cc Cub Cadet used in the CC 148. 10W30 is recommended for all other engines, but synthetic 5W30 can also be used in Cub Cadet 208cc and Briggs & Stratton engines.

Transmission Oil

If your tiller has a drive system, it will have a separate transmission with its own gear oil. Check the oil when the tiller is cool and sitting level. The fill cap is located on the tiller frame directly above the wheel axle. When the tiller is level, the oil should cover half of the main drive shaft. GL-4 rated SAE 140 or 85W-140 is recommended. SAE 80W90 can be used to top up the transmission.


Lubricate the handlebar hardware, tine shaft, wheel shaft and depth regulator lever. The tines and wheels will need to be removed to get full access to the shafts they’re mounted on. Cub Cadet recommends using any clean lubricating oil or multi-purpose grease.

Air Filter

To clean paper a paper air filter, simply hit it against a hard surface to remove any loose dirt.

If your engine has a foam filter element, clean it with a non-flammable solvent or water and a mild detergent, then let it dry completely. Honda filters should be soaked in clean engine oil, then squeezed out to remove any excess oil. Do not oil Briggs & Stratton foam filters.

Spark Plug

Replace the plug if it is fouled or the electrode or insulator is damaged. Set the plug gap according to your engine model:
Cub Cadet 29cc — 0.020 inches (0.5 mm)
Briggs & Stratton and Cub Cadet 208cc — 0.030 inches (0.76 m)
Honda — 0.028-0.031 inches (0.70-0.80 mm)

Cleaning the Engine

Let the engine cool for at least a half hour after use. Remove the cover. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the engine and inside of the cover. Clean out the cooling fins with a dry, stiff brush. Do not use a pressure washer: this can force water into the engine, contaminating the oil.

Tire Air Pressure

Recommended tire air pressure will be listed in your owner’s manual and on the tire sidewall. If you’re having problems with the tiller pulling in one direction, make sure the air pressure is the same in both tires.

Getting the Parts You Need for Your Tiller

Cubparts.com has the OEM parts you need for your Cub Cadet, including factory parts from Honda and Briggs & Stratton. Our site can show you factory diagrams and descriptions to help you find exactly what you need, and we can ship your order to any address in the U.S. or Canada.

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