My Cub Cadet Snow Blower Keeps Breaking Shear Pins – Why? What To Do?

Broken shear pins can be frustrating because the auger of your snow blower won't turn and you cannot use the machine. Why do they keep breaking and how can you replace them? We researched this, and here's what we found out.

Cub Cadet snow blower shear pins are technically designed to break if:

  • The machine hits hard, compacted snow
  • The blade comes in contact with large debris or a foreign object

When it breaks, half of the shear pin will fall off and the other half will be left in the auger shaft. You will need to remove and replace the remaining shear pin to get your snow blower working again.

Read on below to learn more facts about your Cub Cadet snow blower and how to replace broken shear pins. And if you don't know it already, we'll also show you where you can find the extra shear pins that come with your Cub Cadet snow blower.

Why Does My Shear Pin Keep Breaking?

A single shear pin used in snow blowers

If you are experiencing frequent breaking of shear pins on your Cub Cadet snow blower, then you are not alone. In fact, it's one of the most common issues ou can encounter when you have a snow blower.

Is this normal? It actually is. In fact, that is exactly what it's designed to do when a foreign object gets jammed between the housing and auger.

When a shear pin breaks, it allows the auger shaft and gears to spin freely without disturbance from the jammed object. This way, it protects the gear shaft and gear case from any damage.

Why do your shear pins keep breaking? There are two possible reasons:

  1. Your machine is hitting hard and compacted snow
  2. Your machine hit or picked up large debris or a foreign object (e.g., rock, branch, piece of concrete)

When your shear pin breaks, however, the snow blower won't be able to clear any snow. To remedy the problem, you will need to replace the shear pins.

If the frequent shear pin breaking is giving you second thoughts about your chosen snow blower brand, rest assured you still made the right purchasing decision. It's not the machine that's the problem but the area where you are using the machine.

Cub Cadet snow blowers are included in some of the top picks for best snow blowers in the market. They provide good value for money because of their excellent features. They come with durable metal chutes, power steering, and even a digital throttle.

To prevent pins from breaking, survey the area you're going to work on. Assess the hardness of the snow and clear your path of any large visible foreign objects.

How Many Shear Pins Does A Cub Cadet Snowblower Have?

A group of three shear pins for snow blowers

Cub Cadet snow blowers have around 4 to 6 shear pins. The number depends on whether you have a stage 2 or stage 3 machine and also the clearing width of the auger shaft and auger flight.

View this 20 pcs Cub Cadet shear pins and cotters on Amazon.

Single Stage, Stage 2, and Stage 3 Cub Cadet Snow Blowers - What's The Difference?

man operating snow blower to remove snow on driveway, My Cub Cadet Snow Blower Keeps Breaking Shear Pins - Why? What To Do?

Cub Cadet offers 3 levels of snow-clearing power. The differences are in their performance and capacities.

  •  Single stage - clears up to 6 inches of snow on concrete, ideal for smaller areas.
  • Stage 2 - clears up to 12 inches of snow, with its heavy-duty augers and 12" serrated steel shave plates.
  • Stage 3 - Heavy duty and clears up to 23 inches of snow, with powerful gears that work 50% faster than the Stage 2 machines.

Where To Find Extra Shear Pins On Your Cub Cadet Snow Blower

If it's your first time owning a Cub Cadet snow blower or just about to buy one, take note that the unit comes with extra shear pins and retaining clips. These are located on the sides of the control area near the side handles.

The extra pins give you the convenience of having readily available parts in case the shear pins break in the middle of your snow-clearing task. Additionally, it is always a good idea to buy extra replacement pins once you've used up the extras.

Check out this video below to show you exactly where you can find the shear pins.

How Do You Replace The Shear Pins On a Cub Cadet?

Before replacing the shear pin of your snowblower, make sure you follow the following safety precautions:

  • Ensure the engine is cool
  • Make sure that the engine has very little to no fuel inside the tank

Here's what to do next:

  1. Remove the wire and boot from the spark plug to prevent the engine from accidentally starting
  2. Tip the snowblower back so it rests on its handles
  3. Rotate the applicable auger blades to align the shaft holes
  4. Use a punch and hammer to knock out any remnants of the old broken shear pin
  5. Install the new shear pin by inserting it into the shaft holes and secure it with the retaining clip
  6. Return the snowblower to its upright position
  7. Reattach the sparkplug wire and boot
  8. Refill the fuel tank and it should be good to go again

Sometimes the broken shear pins get completely stuck in the shaft holes and are difficult to remove. When this happens, you can use WD40 oil and leave it alone for a few hours until the pin loosens. Repeat oiling when necessary.

Get your discounted WD40 original formula on Amazon.

If you find it difficult to remove the shear pins, it's always best to bring it to a professional for a second look and not attempt to disassemble the parts yourself without any professional guidance.

Check out this video below on how to remove seized shear pins from a Cub Cadet snow blower.

Can I Use A Bolt Instead Of A Shear Pin?

Cub Cadet and other snow blower forums do not recommend using generic nuts and bolts to replace shear pins because it could do permanent damage to the gearbox.

It is always best to use original equipment replacement parts for proper operations and not to void any warranty. You can order replacement parts on the Cub Cadet website or in online stores.

Can You Snow Blower On 3 Inches Of Snow?

Measuring the snow depth with yellow ruler 10 Centimeters

A snow blower will generally work at any level of snow. However, the ideal depth would be at least 2 inches or deeper.

If you have snow less than 2 inches, it would be better to simply use a shovel or a leaf blower if you have one.

Standard snow blowers can clear around 6 to 9 inches of snow. For anything deeper than that, you may need to use a stronger commercial-grade machine.

You can measure the depth of snow you currently have by simply sticking a ruler on the ground in several areas to get the average snow depth.

Who Makes Cub Cadet Snow Blowers?

Cub Cadet snow blowers are made by the company MTD Holdings, a manufacturer of power equipment for home and commercial use. The company was founded in 1932 and is currently based in Valley City, Ohio, USA.

Cub Cadet was acquired by MTD in 1981 from the company International Harvester. MTD did not change the brand name but took over the production of power equipment.

Cud Cadet products are manufactured and assembled in the U.S. The products sold in North America are manufactured and sold in North America. Some are shipped to other parts of the U.S.

How Do I Tell How Old My Cub Cadet Snowblower Is?

You can tell how old your Cub Cadet snow blower is by looking at the product's serial number. This number will be composed of 11 characters, which is a mix of numbers and letters.

From the left, count to five. The year of manufacture will be the 5th character from the 11-character product serial. Here's an example below.

Example: Serial Number = 2A153J21392 The 5th character above is a 3, which means that the year of manufacture is a year ending in 3.

What Is The Average Life Span Of A Snow Blower?

A man is cleaning the country road with snow blower in winter

The cheaper and standard snow blowers in the market will generally last around 3-5 years.

Modern mid-level snow blowers like the ones made by MTD (Cub Cadet, Craftsman, etc.) will last around 10 to 15 years if well maintained. It also comes with a 3-year limited warranty which starts at the purchase date.

However, there are premium high-end and commercial snow bowers that can last up to 40 years with proper maintenance.

Wrapping Up

man operating snow blower to remove snow on driveway

Shear pins breaking are normal and is in fact a way to protect your auger and gears. To avoid breaking any more shear pins, survey the area where you are going to use the snow blower.

Additionally, always have a spare shear pin on hand in case it breaks so you can finish your snow-clearing task without any long delays.

Thank you very much for reading through. And while we have your attention, do read more about Cub Cadet snow blower troubleshooting tips in these articles.

My Cub Cadet Snow Blower Is Not Starting After Summer – What To Do?

How To Start A Cub Cadet Snow Blower

How To Tighten Drive Belt On Cub Cadet?

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