I own a very nice (condition-wise) and fully functional Cub Cadet garden tractor made in May of 1985. It is a model CCC 1710. Factory model# 145-682-100, serial# 2050600U747300. Yup, at this time, Cub Cadet Corporation was still using the IH number format for model and serial numbers. Also, I've verified through my research that my tractor was built primarily with IH parts. This tractor has not been abused during its life and is very "clean", which for a 35 year-old tractor is rare indeed. The engine is an early KT17s Kohler twin series II (Spec: 24302). And no, unfortunately, this engine is just before the oil filter era. There isn't even a provision on the block for adding one either. However, the engine was wall taken care of, does not burn oil, and runs very strong. Note that this tractor has an all-aluminum rear end and was, I believe, among the last group of garden tractors made before the merger of IH and Case became "official" in mid to late 1985. After which The Cub Cadet Corporation stopped producing IH-branded equipment.
My plan is to upgrade this tractor with the hydraulic components from an IH 782 with dual hydraulics "donor tractor". The donor tractor was made in 1980. Factory model# 782, serial# 2050594U676024. I've already got the donor tractor in my possession and it has the older-style cast-iron rear-end. Think it does have the aluminum bell housings on it though (these house the axles for the rear tires). IH was apparently slowly transitioning from the cast-iron rear-end design as their tooling aged.
Anyway, to start this thread, a few questions for the experts of this site:
1. I know that around serial# 720000 or so, there were several internal changes made to the design of the hydro-drives made by Sundstrand as well as changes made to the rear-end itself by Cub Cadet Corporation. Though from what I've read thus far, the designed function of both the hydro-drive and rear-end did not change. Would I be able to keep my current all-aluminum rear-end and just install the dual-ported hydro-drive unit from the IH Cub 782 (made in 1980), or would I be forced to swap-out the rear-ends all-together? I'm hoping that all the design changes only affected the internal components of the hydro-drive and rear-end and that the "bolt-up" for the hydro-drives remained the same, thus allowing for the possibility of a direct replacement/upgrade. My current hydro-drive is not "ported" whereas the hydro-drive from the IH 782 is. I would like to keep my current rear-end on my Cub Cadet 1710, If I'm able to. I'll need the dual-ported Hydro-drive from the donor tractor to run the newly upgraded hydraulics on my Cub Cadet 1710. After all the upgrading, my 1710 will thus be turned into a 1712.
2. Anyone have good sage advice for me to follow when I'm ready to begin my approach to the upgrade? I do have OEM manuals TC-193, owner's manual for both the 1980 and 1985 model year Cub Cadets, and the Service manual for the 82 series up through the 1985 model year.
I plan on starting the project in the spring of 2020. Thanks for all suggestions in advance.