Save The Scag - It is Now Toast - Literally

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by pjm123a, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. pjm123a

    pjm123a LawnSite Member
    from FL
    Messages: 164

    Hi All,

    I have been a member on this forum for a while but mainly just lurked never really having much to say. I do not own a landscaping business but live on 10 acres that I mow myself. I have been the proud an happy owner of a Scag Tiger Cub model stc48-20CV. It has given me great service for the last 7 years. I was mowing this past FRI and smelled something like burning rubber. Got off the mower saw nothing and flipped up the seat. Then I saw flames licking up the front of the engine. It was still running! I took off my shirt and tried to beat down the flames. Needless to say that did not work. Hydro hoses caught fire and the fire started to climb towards the fuel tanks. I backed away realizing there was nothing I could do. All happened probably in about a minute. Dialed 911. Within about 2 minutes the entire machine was ablaze and the tires started exploding. The grass around it started to catch fire. I moved further back. Fire dept got there within a few minutes and put it out. It is pretty much completely destroyed. Needless to say I felt terrible and moped around the rest of FRI. Did the usual soul searching - should I blame somebody, file an insurance claim etc. Then I thought some more about it. The thing is I love that mower. It is built like a tank. This may be nuts and I don't really know if I can pull it off, but I am determined to rebuild it or at least try my darndest. Attached is a pic from the site where the fire happened. It looks like somebody dropped a bomb on the poor thing. I spent some considerable time yesterday (SAT) and today tearing everything apart. I am now down the the bare chassis. Had another neighbor stop by to see what all the fuss was about and he could not believe the steel in the chassis. He swears auto frames don't have steel that thick. Anyway I am going to sandblast the chassis and rattle-can prime it as a first step. Then I'll decide what to do next. I know there is lots of experience on this forum. I welcome any and all suggestions for how to proceed. I'm not looking for a pity party. I also don't intend to try to make it a museum piece or a souped up hot-rod mower. I want my scag back as close as possible to the way it was before!

    Thanks in advance,

    p.s. Hard lesson leaned: I will never again operate a machine like this without a class B fire extinguisher mounted to it.


  2. PerfectEarth

    PerfectEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,734

    Wow... sorry about your mower. Cool idea- I supposed you are going to have to walk up to the parts counter and say,

    "Hey, I need some parts for my Scag."
    "What do you need?"
    "All of them!"

    I'd file a claim.... but good luck!
  3. TX Easymoney

    TX Easymoney LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,109

    Just post all your progress...guys will give you advice
  4. Spring Valley Lawn Service

    Spring Valley Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    Messages: 142

    I d file insurance and look for used one. You will probably come out better this way. If you find a deal you may have money left over to fix a used one up. Good luck
  5. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    It can be hard loosing a loved one and bidding them farewell, This looks like a time to do just that. Bid er farewell and let er mow around the pearly white gates above.

    My condolences in your loss...... [​IMG]
  6. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,253

    You would be better off to find a used one, maybe even a new one. I see many hours of labor and $4-$5k in parts.
  7. retrodog

    retrodog LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,429

    I had a customer hit a rock truck head on and mower flipped over vehicle. We traded for it for parts but i couldnt stand seeing it go to waste. We repaired the mower and sold it, but as a dealer with parts at cost i still had $2500 plus several days labor and it was no where near that bad. In fact seat frame was the worst part. I wouldve made more money just selling the tranny and motor....
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  8. retrodog

    retrodog LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,429

    Believe me when i say this that is nowhere near repairable you can buy a new one for what you are gonna have in that. I highly recommend changing ur mind! And get the $100 the scrap yard will give you.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. pjm123a

    pjm123a LawnSite Member
    from FL
    Messages: 164

    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.
  10. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,904

    YOU should dig a hole and bury it with all the dignity and respect it deserves, it served you well.

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