The Cub Cadet LT1042 is a MTD-manufactured lawn mower that was produced from 2005 until 2008. It has a Kohler, 19-horsepower, single-cylinder gasoline engine. There were variations of the Cub Cadet lawn mower that came with 42-inch snow blowers or a 46-inch front blade and a 42-inch mounting deck.
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Like most lawn mowers, the LT1042 steering system has a steering shaft, steering gear, drag links and front axle spindle assemblies. But this particular model has some issues when it comes to steering it correctly. In order to troubleshoot the LT1042 for steering problems, the entire system has to be inspected first.
Set the steering wheel to the forward position in order to check the drag links, which are connected to the wheels from the steering gear. Both wheels should be facing fully forward when the steering wheel is in the forward position. If both or one of the wheels aren't straight, adjust the drag links from behind the front of the wheels. They usually have sharp bends, so if you notice one or both of the links have a curve or are bent, they're damaged and need to be replaced.
The Steering Gear and Steering Shaft
Raise the front of the LT1042 lawn mower by setting it on jack stands. Always use jack stands on a level surface, such as your driveway, and use wheel chocks on both sides of the wheels that are not lifted by the jack. Once it's securely in place and jacked up, crawl under it to inspect the steering gear as well as the low end of the shaft. Wiggle the steering gear in order to be sure that it's secured properly. You'll know that it needs to be refastened if the gear moves vertically.
Check the bottom of the steering shaft for missing teeth or any potential breaks, and replace any missing or broken parts. Also, inspect the upper part of the shaft that's under the hood of the mower and the lower steering shaft for any bends that may be stopping it from steering correctly.
Inspect all of the steering connections to make sure they're tight. Check the spindle-to-drag link connections and the drag link-to-steering gear connections. Also, be sure to check the steering gear-to-steering shaft connection and 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. If there is more than that amount, replace any necessary parts.
Axle Spindle Assemblies
To check the axle spindle, wiggle the tires and wheels up and down, and then from side to side. If they move more than half an inch in either direction, the spindle bushings need to be replaced. If the metal part of the spindle moves before the axle, the entire spindle needs to be replaced.