The Cub Cadet LT1042 was produced from 2005 until 2008, and was manufactured by MTD. The LT1042 was equipped with a Kohler, 19-horsepower, single-cylinder gasoline engine. The LT1042 was available with a 42-inch mid-mounted mowing deck, as well as 46-inch front blade and 42-inch snow-blower attachments. The LT1042 steering system is similar to most lawn tractor steering systems, with a steering shaft, steering gear, drag links, and front axle spindle assemblies. Troubleshooting the steering problems on the LT1042 will require inspecting the entire steering system from the steering wheel to the wheels.
Steering Gear, and Steering Shaft
Raise the front of the LT1042 with a jack, and set the mower on jack stands. Crawl beneath the mower to inspect the steering gear and the lower end of the steering shaft. Wiggle the steering gear with your hand to ensure that it is properly secured. If the gear moves vertically at all, the gear needs refastened. Check the teeth on the steering gear and the bottom of the steering shaft for breaks or missing teeth. Replace either part as needed. Inspect the lower steering shaft for bends. Check the upper shaft from under the hood of the mower.
Set the steering wheel to the straight forward position. Both front wheels should be facing straight forward as well. The drag links are connected to the wheels from the steering gear. If one or both wheels are not straight, then you need to adjust the drag links from behind the front wheels. The drag links have natural sharp bends from the factory. If you notice one or both of the drag links have a smaller curve or are bent where they are not supposed to be, replace them.
Axle Spindle Assemblies
Wiggle the wheels and tires up and down, then from side to side. If there is more than 1/2-inch of play in either direction, then you need to replace the spindle bushings. If the movement is coming from the metal part of the spindle before the axle assembly, replace the entire spindle.
Inspect all of your steering connections to make sure they are tight. Check the spindle-to-drag link connections. Check the drag link-to-steering gear connections. Check the steering gear-to-steering shaft connection. Check the steering wheel-to-steering shaft connection. All of these parts should have no less than 20 to 35 foot-pounds of torque on them. Tighten each link as needed.