View Full Version : bye bye Scag!

12-19-2002, 12:53 PM
You all know the story about my Scag STHM that was featured in December's Turf Mag. If not I refer you to this post about it http://lawnsite.com/showthread.php?threadid=31871&perpage=20&pagenumber=1
Well I don't have it anymore so don't ask about it. I traded it to Big Nate for an early 90's John Deere 38" crank deck 5 speed w/b with a 14hp Kawasaki on it with 455 hrs and a sulky and mulch kit. Needs alittle work but is in decent shape from what I can see. That was all I did yesterday, drive up and back. Here's the JD. Better pic coming soon.

12-19-2002, 01:52 PM
Looks like you'll need some tires there BHB. Anyway, good luck with her.

12-19-2002, 02:01 PM
Looks like it will be a lot less work then the Scag. Best of the luck on the work and let us know how it turns out.


12-19-2002, 02:40 PM
looks good, clean it up a bit and some new tires and your set. congrats on your new purchase

12-19-2002, 02:41 PM
I have never seen a JD like that kinda weird they have the motor turned around

12-19-2002, 02:46 PM
good luck with that deere.

I hope it works for you but I have run one of those before and I didn't like anything about it.

I suppose it's just what you get used to.

it was brand new and I wouldn't have swapped my used lesco for it if I'd have had to used it to make a living.

but I suppose mowing with a running deere beats trying it with a rusting burned out hulk so have fun.


12-19-2002, 02:46 PM
Originally posted by HarryD
I have never seen a JD like that kinda weird they have the motor turned around

I have a 48" that is the same way

12-19-2002, 02:47 PM
opps....forgot the pic

12-19-2002, 02:51 PM
BHB-Well looks like that Deere could use some work too but considering you said that the Scag needed alot more than what this mower has already id say good choice. Hopefully it will run well for you in the next few years till you get something newer.
JD is still in my blood but im a Scag person now some.

12-19-2002, 03:09 PM
Thanks, shouldn't take more than $75-100 at tops to get it properly running. It will really just be for very small lawns or gated areas or as a backup as in spring I should be buying a biz with a '00 eXmark TTHP 48" which will be the main mower.
Geo - care to tell me what exactly wasn't correct about it? Mechanical problems or just not comfortable?
walker-talker, i got your email but couldn't find the chatroom LOL. Thanks for the better pic here. How do you like/dislike it? Any problems you've run into with it? You use it much?


12-19-2002, 05:44 PM
I never liked those cheap thin metal decks that they put on the John Deere equipment.
Other than that I guess they run fine.


12-19-2002, 06:45 PM
BHB, I havn't used the mower in the last 2 years, but the only problem I had with it was it was underpowered. A 14hp KAW is just not enough to run a 48" deck. I really like the crank deck, easy to raise and lower. I am not a big fan of gear drives, especially when mowing under pine trees, having to shift all the time....reverse...forward....reverse....forward. I have a catcher for it and that flat out sucks. I strictly use it as a back-up mower. The engine runs a little rough, so a tune up is needed. I will do something with it one of these days. I was wanting to put a 36" deck on it at one time, but the dealer here told me that was not possible. It did quit running one day, so I took it into the dealer. It turned out to be some diode that burned out. You might remember this in case it happens to you. He said it was a common problem. He clipped some wire and said "there ya go". He said it disabled some auto-kill safety feature, but for the life of me I can't find anything different from before. It will still die if the blades are engaged or in the forward position and you take your hands off the operator present control levers. I hope you enjoy your machine.


12-19-2002, 07:01 PM
Walker-Talker The problem might be the neutral safety switch. My Deere kept doing the same thing so I diconnected it and never had any problems after that. There is another switch underneath the plactic cowl that covers the throttle etc. It was disconnected when I bought the machine. That may be another thing to look at. I don't recommend bypassing safety switches but I don't have any employees so it's not an issue for me.

12-19-2002, 07:05 PM
BHB, you really should use a funnel when filling your gas tank.

12-19-2002, 07:20 PM
Originally posted by HarryD
I have never seen a JD like that kinda weird they have the motor turned around

Why is it weird?

Is there a front?

The crankshaft makes numerous 360 degree rotations.

12-19-2002, 07:25 PM
BHB, I just sold a mower just like that. I bought mine new in 92 and used it untill 2000. It had 1200 hours on her and still started on the first pull, unless it was really cold out then I would have to pull it for ever to get it to start, but after that it would start all day on one pull. Mine was sitting in my garage for the last couple of years just getting in my way so I sold it to a guy for $500. I'm going to miss that mower. I think it's a better mower then my 36" Belt drive Toro with the exeption of the steering levers. That JD was hell on my small hands. I loved the way the deck height adjusted. It's a good thing I never have to change my Toro's height. Actually it's a good thing I only have to use my Toro for about an hour a week.

If it wasn't for me getting this Toro and a 16ft trailer for a $1000. I would have kept that JD untill the day it died. Then I would be getting rid of the customer that requires it on their lawn. But The Toro was only 2 years old and alot easier on my hands, So I kept her instead. The Toro might be getting traded in for a new ZTR next year though, because my Dixie is starting to show her age. And The toro is really costing me money to keep just for one lawn a week.

Enough of my rambling. Good luck on your new mower.


Albemarle Lawn
12-19-2002, 07:26 PM
I owned two of these, both purchased new.

The geared trans are garbage Tuff-Torq units and they have given me a lot of trouble.

One lasted 650 hours, the other still runs at 1050 but it had trans issues...jumping out of gear, etc.

When they break they lose several forward gears. They are not readily repairable and are about $1800 new to replace.

Dump that dog at the first sign of transmission probs.


12-19-2002, 09:08 PM
looks about like mine but its a 48 and electric start.

Does a good job but I like my Great Dane better lol


12-19-2002, 09:11 PM
Jimbo, yea they are kinda thin but there's no rust on it. It has like a 1/2" or 5/8" reinforcement lip around the front and left side on the bottom. I'm not worried about it. I just don't like the whole design of the deck! Very shallow rear section. Oh well I used a 44 or 46" deck like it on a JD 316 GT that worked very well and didn't miss a beat and striped quite nicely.
Walker-Talker, Mine has the 14hp Kaw but 10" less width than yours, should be plenty of power. Why does the catcher suck, because of the deck design or what? I'll be looking out for the electrical stuff, I hate electrical crap it's hard for me. I could rebuild an engine fine but I hate electrical things I can't figure it out.
Ultimatelawn, that wasn't me it wasn't even like that when I picked it up it's an older picture given to me by Nate (previous owner). The hole is so friggin big you would need to be plain senseless to miss it.. about 4" diameter or so!
Soupy, thanks I'll need it.
Albemarle, just sitting in Neutral while moving it around the garage by hand (not got it running yet) it has caught gears but maybe it's just sloppy linkage. Just wiggling it a bit puts it back in "N".
It'll just be for gated yards, real small areas and as a backup. Gears IMO are OK but a hydro is of course alot better.

12-19-2002, 09:40 PM
I used to have that same mower, but with the 17hp ,electric start and 48" deck. I had a bagger and a sulkie for it also.

12-19-2002, 10:38 PM
i had a 48" 17hp, electric start mower like that too. The crank deck was a nice feature that i miss, other than that i'ld say it was ok. I didn't like the way the deck cut at all, no matter what blades i had on. Seemed to be underpowered a little at times too. I traded it in when i got my lazer and wonder at times how i did all the walking i did when i had the JD...lol Good luck with your new machine:blob3:

Albemarle Lawn
12-19-2002, 11:55 PM
I agree that is just the linkage.

At 455 hours you still have a lot of time, esp doing gated yards.


12-20-2002, 12:16 AM
I am glad to see you got a reliable real lawn mower that works.

Now lets see if you can put all those ideas you asked for into working order.

12-20-2002, 02:17 AM
Originally posted by BushHogBoy
Geo - care to tell me what exactly wasn't correct about it? Mechanical problems or just not comfortable?

BHB--as far as my experience with that unit goes I had issues with the location of the gear shifter. it is plain stupid to put a gear shift up next to the handles. you gotta lock the clutches out, reach up select your new gear then reach back and unlock the clutches to get going. a really super PIA if you need reverse!

the ole lesco belt has the knee shifter which works super on a belt unit. you never turm loose of nothing. just squeeze the clutches, knee the shifter and you are gone. I have even disabled one clutch lock and the other is never used to speak of.

another thing I hated about that unit is that it is too long for the width of the deck. to do a 180 and head back the other way, you gotta really over travel past your turn point before you reverse and come back.

I hated the dang thing, but that doesn't mean you won't love it! I hope you do. that unit you got is the closest thing that I know of that I would call a home owner unit.

HOWEVER it does have KAW power which is good and I am not trying to trash deere or deere users. each to his own! deere is very popular in my area, probably right behind gravely.

but that particular unit I hated! I suppose I needed some gates to get it through, that woudda really helped.

BHB--just like I said, its what ever you get used to. good luck.


12-20-2002, 02:26 AM
you know what I meant LG most WB mowers have the muffler out front not by the gas tank :rolleyes: has nothing to do with the way the crank turns just seems odd they would do it this way

12-20-2002, 04:56 PM
Well I got the engine running today. Wow that Kawi is one smooth baby! Just had to disconnect a plug but then the ignition doesn't work so I gotta play with that some. Still need about a million dollars worth of parts to put in it thanks to Deere. An arm and a leg plus your teeth for parts and then they're jerks on top of that. Pathetic they'll never get my business at least not this dealership I'm going down the road next time. Oh well ok. Needs 3 blades, around $20 or so of parts to hold the deck on properly or I could jerry rig it temporarily and I gotta hook up the electric PTO it's missing alittle wiring. And fix the ignition and reseat the front tires and air 'em up and find the hole in the sulky tire and plug it. Yes the rear tires are kinda bald LOL no tread left it slides alot on turns. But then again that could be due to the ground having had standing water on it yesterday LOL. Very muddy. The transmission works fine no gear problems so far and the clutches work great compared to the belt drives, on hills. The operator presence control is what disengages the clutch, there is no brake lever locks. Put it in gear and squeeze the OPC lever and off you go. I don't know how that works with the PTO on. Maybe I shouldn't call it the OPC if it doesn't kill the mower LOL.
More updates later....

12-20-2002, 10:46 PM
My father once had two j/d w/b's they were pretty good mower's. this was about 3 ys ago though but his was elctric start, and they had some kind of electrical problems all the time, so he got ridd of em well good luck, remember nothing runs like a hustler

12-21-2002, 12:15 AM
Originally posted by Mowwithhustler's
remember nothing runs like a hustler

Unless you run into an tree with it.

12-21-2002, 05:06 AM
Originally posted by LAWNGODFATHER
Unless you run into an tree with it.

Or into a pond or off into a ditch:D

12-21-2002, 11:29 AM
LGF, thats exactly what I was gonna do, take the ideas off of that post and some of my own that I didn't post because they're top secret, and build me a good mower. I wanna take a 36" eXmark w/b I have thats just the bones of it, and an 8hp B&S I/C i have laying around and make a wing deck for it like Brad's so I have a 72" mower that quickly and easily converts to a 38". I'd like to build me a flex-deck like thing sometime too maybe. With a 41" wide deck and a 35" tread width this thing has a good amount of deck overlap and trim side to it. Yeah.... This thing flat out moves in 5th gear.

12-23-2002, 03:15 PM
Here is a better picture of the Deere and sulky. I had the recoil starter off to repair it. I need a close up of the sulky alone it is built very heavily the wheels will never get ripped off of it!