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Cadet 75

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    Cadet 75

    A while ago I picked up a Cadet 75 because I needed a riding mower and had fond memories of riding my great-grandfather's Cadet 85 when I was about three years old in the 80s.

    I'm in Michigan and I drove 11 hours to go pick up the Cadet 75 in Rockford Illinois. Got it from a really nice old man who gave me a good deal on it for $200. After buying a few more of these I realize now that he gave me an awesome deal because I bought it in perfect running condition with the original moter with original paint and decals and the original mower deck with decals. Only problem was the fiberglass has busted in the front.

    Came with no bumpers. All four original tires and they hold air.

    This Thread will detail my work on the 75.
    Last edited by AcidTonic; 08-08-2020, 07:57 AM. Reason: Writing this on a cell phone and accidentally hit submit early



      I decided against uploading duplicates of all the photos but the original condition was rather dirty and I spent quite a few hours with a spray bottle and magic erasers cleaning up the body. Magic Eraser seem to work really well and it avoids having to use any cleaning agents.

      I cut my grass with it a few times and discovered the rod connecting the brake pedal lost a cotter pin and fell out when I hit some bumps causing me to lose brakes.

      I fixed that but didn't take any photos of it.


        I kept noticing that the fuel tank was completely empty when I would go out to fill it up before mowing, yet I didn't see any fuel puddling.

        I figured maybe I left the fuel shutoff valve open and it leaked but it wasnt that. So this time I filled up the tank again and carefully looked and it was trickling out of a crack in the fuel tank. At lower levels of fuel it wasn't leaking out but the air was evaporating it.

        So I went on to eBay and located a replacement fuel tank. $85 shipped and it came in perfect condition never used.


          I ended up getting some vintage merchandise that shows the various attachments for older Cadet rear engine riders. I somewhat have the urge to collect everything available for these...

          So moving on a little bit, I decided to get myself an International Harvester Model 2 Lawn Sweeper to compliment the mower.


            I was unhappy that there was no pull cord, so I challenged myself to try to weave something cool without cutting it....

            This is just one long string, no splicing. Used cheap dollar store string since it looked and felt "correct".


              Then it happened.... I was out mowing and my neighbor wanted to come over and see the Lawn Sweeper so I shut off the motor and it seemed to not want to start or run after that. My grass was half cut kind of sucked.

              I ended up swapping carburetors with the cadet 85 that I purchased and am restoring in another thread here. Still didn't seem to want to run right. I put some Mystery Oil inside the tank and let it sit. Out of a random thought I swapped the gas cap and as soon as I unscrewed the cap it seemed to run on choke. I put the gas cap back on and it wouldn't run. Seems it was sealing too well and making a vacuum lock only if I filled the tank more than 3/4ths.

              I spent about an hour playing around with the fuel screws and got it back to running perfect. Now regardless of which cap I use it seems to be happy so I think I had a couple different things going on, likely a small plug in the fuel tank possibly resolved with the cleaner, incorrect fuel settings on the carb, an air intake filter that collapsed in a spot which didn't let the engine get the kind of vacuum it wanted.

              All I can say now is it runs good. The carburetor that I took off is now bathing in an ultrasonic cleaner getting ready for the 85 that I'm restoring.


                So the next problem is doing something about the seat....

                I found an upholstery company that normally works on boat seats and was able to talk them into restoring the seat to look like factory, but to be softer and more plush.

                2 weeks and $350 later, I think I have the best seat possible for one of these .

                I can't describe how soft the materials are or how plush it is. This thing is like a couch cushion.

                I know it was a bit expensive but a skilled craftsman reproduced that from a photo and entirely made it by hand.


                  Now I'm pretty happy with where I'm at on the 75, only remaining gripes are the ruined pieces of the fiberglass, and once I'm done restoring the 85 I may switch it to primary lawn-cutting-duty and overhaul the 75 with fresh paint...

                  For now I kind of just like it as it is. I'm waiting for my second Cadet 85 to be delivered here Tuesday... that will be another thread of course.

                  Thanks for reading so far. I also have YouTube videos documenting this progress that I'll eventually share the link to.


                    Nice to save the older equipment. Seat looks very comfy. Well done.


                      Thank you very much. Now working on the 85 and looking into another project...