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Most people prefer the cub clutch over a belt drive, but they also refer to the variator handle as a cheater stick…:ROFLMAO:
You can make or buy an aluminum clutch disk for a cub cadet. Also, you can buy any spring rate you want for a 5/8" id. When that spring loaded pressure plate pushes the aluminum into the fixed pressure plate, you're moving. The hotter it gets, the better it grabs. I don't think the centrifugal design of a variator can compete with that. The weak spot is the rag joint, which could be replaced with a cv joint if you're serious about it.
 
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