I appreciate everyone's comments. Insurance considerations: I have a $2500 deductible. How much would I end up getting for a 7 year old mower? If I file a claim, how much will my premium go up? I live in FL where homeowner's insurance is not always so easy to get. I changed companies last year and save $1,0000 on the premium. Do not really want to rock the insurance boat.
I am going to look at a used SCAG from a private party this evening. I want to purchase a used one so I have something to mow with.
If I try to put it back together, it won't be to save money. I called the same SCAG dealer where I purchased it 7 years ago. A new mower that is as close as possible to what I have is $8300. Obviously, if I think that I will spend more than that in parts to restore this, I won't do it. What I am not counting is my time. Frankly, I don't care how long it takes or how much time I put in. I am not a trained mechanic but I like working on stuff. Up till now the most complex thing I have done is replacing a timing belt in a Hyundai Sonata. On the SCAG itself, the most complex thing was replacing the PTO clutch. I also had a leaking wheel motor and I replaced all the seals in it using a $59 seal kit. I view this as a challenge and learning experience. I plan to do all the work myself with help from my son and some friends of course (none of whom are also trained mechanics).
If this works out, I want the repaired/restored mower to be my backup and want to keep it for as long as I live where I live then hope someday my son wants it. Another fantasy is to have some before and after pictures framed and hung in my garage and have a few cold beers with my friends while we admire it.
Anyway, that's my plan. Not saying things are going to necessarily work out. I will post pictures here as things go along. Only real time I have to work on it though is weekends so it will be slow going. Fortunately, I am not in a hurry.
Thanks again for the comments.