How to Install a Mulch Kit on Your Riding Mower

These instructions will guide you through how to install a mulch kit on your Cub Cadet riding mower. Depending on your model, the instructions may vary slightly. Always be sure to check your operator's manual for detailed instructions.


Step 1: Prepare your riding mower for maintenance. Place your mower on a flat, level surface. Turn the mower off and make sure the engine is cool.  Remove the ignition key, disconnect the spark plug ignition wire, and engage the parking brake. This helps ensure the machine doesn't start accidentally and cause you or those around you harm.

Step 2: Check the components of the mulch kit. Remove all parts from the carton to make sure everything is present. Refer to the manual included with the mulch kit for a list of parts.

Step 3: Install the blades included with the mulch kit.

Step 4: Set your mower’s deck height to the lowest setting.

Step 5: Remove the deck drive belt from the engine pulley. Using a 9/16” socket or wrench pull the idler pulley arm forward to release the belt tension.

Step 6: Remove 3 cotter pins and release the deck pins that secure the deck. For models with manual PTO, be sure to disconnect the PTO cable prior to deck removal. With the pins removed the deck can be slid out from under the mower.

Step 7: Carefully flip the deck over to access the blades. Wear gloves for protection.  A block of wood or the Arnold Blade Removal Tool (490-850-0005) can be used to stop the blades from rotating. Use a 15/16” socket or wrench to loosen the blade nuts.

Step 8: Install the mulching blades. Carefully install the mulching blades included with your mulch kit and tighten the nuts securely per the specifications in your owner’s manual. When properly installed the word bottom or the blade part number will face the ground.

Step 9: Reinstall your cutting deck following the steps in reverse order. Flip the deck over and carefully slide the deck back into place under the mower.

Step 10: Reattach the deck. Slide the deck pins back into place and reconnect the cotter pins.

Step 11: Reinstall the belt. Place the belt in position as per the routing diagram. Use the 9/16” socket or wrench to release the tension and finish routing the belt.

Step 12: Installing the mulch plug. Pivot the discharge chute deflector upward and remove the rubber protective cover from the pin on the deck’s surface.

Step 13: Insert the rod of the mulch plug into the hole found in the front deck wheel bracket. Hold the discharge chute deflector upward while attaching the mulch plug.

Step 14: Position the rear of the mulch plug over the pin on the deck’s surface.

Step 15: Verify the bottom edge of the mulch plug is installed on the inside lip of the deck opening.

Step 16: Slide the mulch plug wire over the pin on the deck’s surface. Secure the mulch plug on the pin with the washer and wing knob included in the mulch kit.

Step 17: Reconnect your spark plug wires. In the future, if you want to mow without mulching, simply remove the mulch plug. You will not need to change the blades to use the side discharge.

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Always use genuine OEM replacement parts when servicing your equipment. Use our parts finder to locate and order any replacement parts you may need for maintenance. Refer to your owner's manual for additional maintenance information.