Please help, Gear shift lever super loose!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by green-pa, May 29, 2008.

  1. green-pa

    green-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 737

    I have a 2007 36 inch Scag Advantage Wb ( belt drive) and had got my gear lever fixed as it broke off a few weeks ago. Had to spend about $200, they said it was my fault and that the my velke must have hit it. Just cause they saw it chained up on the trailer when I brought it in. I only did that because I had to push it up the trailer without help that time and the velke was in my way, besides that I always travel with it down. But they claim it was my fault. Really pissed me off but I got over it, 'til just today ( even after being ultra careful and gentle with the shift lever) it's getting more and more loose, to where it feels like it may almost slide into another gear on it's own if I don't get it in check. Problem is that tommorow ( friday) is about my busiest day. I'm a one man deal and have over 10 jobs. I'm hoping someone on here has one of these machines or knows what I can do to adjust it properly. There are 2 nuts it looks like that hold the lever onto the transmission along with a small washer. It's kinda strange how there are 2 nuts though. I tightened one early and just a little bit makes it to where it won't even shift, but then a little to the other way and the nut, and lever, feel super loose. Do I need a special tool? How do I tighten the lever without locking it in?
    I'm obviously not a mechanic but am really anxious to find out as surely this is something I can handle with a little guidance. I'm really pissed off at those people and if I can't fix it and they try to charge me again ( when it must be the mechanic's fault) I'll surely never buy so much as a can of oil there again.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  2. green-pa

    green-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 737

    I forgot to mention that I'd bought the machine at this place and had hoped the warranty would've covered it. It's possible that when I had an aerator or seeder behind it a few times last year that one of those could've bumped the lever and weakened it but it surely wasn't my velky. The woman who works there claims that the velky's weight 80lbs so they could easily break the lever. I know for a fact that they aren't near that heavy. Perhaps 25-30. People like that make me sick. Tell you something with an attitude of expertise and they really don't know sh...
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Oh yes, that joyous lever :p

    I'd like to know what exactly the problem was, what did the dealer fix?
    The reason I'm not so sure of this is, why $200...?
    This is a tricky but simple repair, no offense to your dealer but I am curious if something else could be the matter...?

    Because, here's what I'm thinking:
    Them two nuts, the reason it's like that is they are supposed to lock together...
    As you noticed if you tighten the top one the bottom one moves too, right?
    Right, and if you do that it's soon too tight...

    So what you do is tighten or loosen these two until it's just about right.
    There's not much to play with, easy does it, I know...
    One way a little ooops dang, the other way CRAP!
    But just keep playing with it, I am willing to bet there's a sweet spot.
    Once you find that spot, you want to HOLD that bottom nut firmly with one wrench and tighten the top nut against it!

    Might take more than one try...
    So last but not least, keep whatever tools you just used in your truck!
    That way if or when it happens in the field, it's a quick fix.
    It might mess you around a few more times, but sooner or later you'll get it.

    Also if all else fails a tube of red lock tite can be of assistance.
  4. green-pa

    green-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 737

    THanks a mill Topsites! I was hoping that there would be some sensible solution to this. I will print this out and try what u said in the morning or if I can't sleep, lol, 2nite. Damn, just added it up and I have 13 to do tommorow, including a tree and flower planting. I'm happy about the $, but the hours leaves me little time or energy to enjoy it. I'm sure I'm not alone though, as some guys are working mad hours every day and owe even more than me.
  5. green-pa

    green-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 737

    Oh, I'd thought it was just a bolt that broke off, but that piece that looks like a bolt is actually a whole part that goes inside of the trans. I was upset that warranty didn't cover it, especially because of how the woman talked to me on the phone about it with an attitude and like she was glad the warranty didn't cover it so I'd have to pay more. Anyway, the mechanic had another one from some trans on another scag that he was able to use. I hope he didn't give me a bad part. The part is about the size of a fist. I'd have to find the invoice to tell u the name of the part. I was expecting the repair to be like new. I had about 115 hours on my scag when it broke off. It worked absolutely fine 'til then. After paying all that $, I was expecting it to be as good or better than new. If I can't get it right by morning I'm going to see ( as busy as they prolly will say they are) if he can make a quick adjustment on it. I would think it should only take an "expert mechanic" as they call him, a few moments to tighten something like this. Yet I believe your advice is solid and will try that like I said. Have a super night! Wish me luck.
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Oh all right, $200 might sound a bit steep but I think it's about right...
    It does involve several more complicated matters right along those same lines, and unfortunately it's at least somewhat time-consuming. I would be super careful, if you're not hip with DIY repairs the best I can tell you is put that tranny in the best all-around gear and DON'T touch that lever lol.

    That's what most of the guys around here do that don't like fooling with it, they pick one gear and leave it there, use the belts to adjust for speed changes and do NOT find yourself in a situation you'd have to use reverse (but if you do, pull it out by hand). Yes, these trannies are touchy, that much I do know.

    I have two mowers with that same (or similar) transmission, and I have three transmissions total, I keep one around as a spare and it costs more in parts than whole too LOL. Rebuilding one can take hours, it's not near as bad as an automotive transmission but easy it isn't either. The entire case is aluminum and everything is real precise, pita.

    As for the warranty, we could probably argue about it, I don't know from here...
    That she sounded relieved wasn't too nice, but maybe you assumed it would be covered, see?
    My suggestion is when you take something there let them handle it and keep an open mind, that usually helps.

    Either way I would take it past the dealer, one for what you said, two to make sure it didn't break like that again, but it probably is just the adjustment.
  7. green-pa

    green-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 737

    I did like u said Topsites and brought my hatchet with the socket on it. Once I got it to a decent tightness it at least got me through the day. THank God. It was getting pretty loose though by the end of the night even though I tried to keep it in one or 2 gears. I just don't understand why he can't make it like it used to be though. I had over 100 hours on it and would switch speeds often and never had a prob with it being loose. Almost seems like there should be another washer there or something. I will do like u say, bring it by the dealer. Maybe the tech will make it better than I can. Can't wait 'til I can afford a backup 36 inch. Hopefully I can find a gently used one in nice shape for around $1500 or less. Your insite and encouragement is really dug.

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