Save The Scag - It is Now Toast - Literally

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

  1. dboyd351

    dboyd351 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,124

    I'm guessing the hard re-start problem might be either 1) a coil starting to go bad, or 2) some sort of vapor lock.
    However, I'm nowhere near as good a mechanic as a bunch of other guys on this site, so I think starting a new thread on those problems would be beneficial.
    Good luck on ironing out those last few problems.Probably has nothing to do with the rebuild.
    You done GOOD:clapping:
  2. Johnagain

    Johnagain LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 410

    Make sure you have the right spark plugs installed. I bought a used cub a few years ago that had the wrong temp plugs that gave me the same problems. Put correct plugs in and it started and runs fine all the time now.
  3. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    I am sure I'm not the first to say it, but say it I will, anyway.

    I know about being stubborn and having that desire to do something just because I think I can...

    I know about this morning I went to try and mount a car tire (four of them, to be exact).
    Yes, I have tire mounting tools, not the nice fancy pneumatic ones, but the manual kind...
    Still it wasn't my first.
    And things weren't going so well, minutes before I ruined a tire I went up the road to ask how much...
    Get a load of this, $60 all four tires mounted and balanced.

    The guy got the one tire I thought might be ruined (and he too wasn't so sure) mounted and holding air.
    That saved me a headache and about $80, the rest were still new so no problem.
    Not an hour and $60 later, I was back on the road.

    You have to know, some days, whether the sweat and effort is truly worth the money saved.
    As things stand it would have been hours before I had them tires mounted, and it wouldn't be the first time I've ruined a tire's inner bead out of sheer force of will trying to get it on the rim, you really have to know sometimes...
    When to call, when to raise, and when to fold.

    I could have seen using that charred frame, cleaning it up and re-coating it, then using it to make some type of a gasoline-powered offroad vehicle...
    Just for the fun of it.

    As for the mower, I am pretty sure it would have been cheaper to just buy a new one.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2013
  4. dboyd351

    dboyd351 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,124

    You really DON'T get it, do you Topsites?
  5. clydebusa

    clydebusa Inactive
    Messages: 1,660

    I noticed one thing missing from the picture,,,,

    FIRE EXTINGUISHER!! :laugh::waving:
    Nice JOB congradulations.
  6. pjm123a

    pjm123a LawnSite Member
    from FL
    Messages: 164

    The hot-start problem ended up being caused by the engine running too hot. It got that way because it was running too fast at wide open throttle (over revving). While mowing with the engine under load it was not as noticeable as when I ran it as part of my testing specifically to get it to the no-start condition. After adjusting the governor and ensuring that all the carb linkage could run it's full length, the engine now runs slightly slower at wide open throttle. In turn, it does not get quite as hot after it has been running for a while and now reliably re-starts even when hot. In the end, I no longer automatically think that this was always a problem with the donor engine. When I moved the Kawi engine from the donor chassis to the burned chassis I obviously had to disconnect and re-connect everything. I was very careful about the cables but did not pay much attention to the mounting bracket. Part of the fix was moving the bracket a bit lower. See pic.

    For anyone who thinks it would be cheaper to buy a new one, let me tell you that you are wrong (at least in pure dollars sense). Grossed up I have a little under $2000 total and that includes every thing (even the sand for sandblasting). However, I have sold some parts (even from the burned engine). I am net now around $1600. If I can sell everything that I want, the total cost will be about $1200 - $1400. This does not even count the value of parts that I now have and intend to keep. A new engine alone for this mower is over $2000 at the dealer. An entire new mower is over $8,000 at the dealer.

    Now there are those who will tell me that I should count my time. I viewed my time spent on this as leisure time. I do not have a landscaping business. I work on motorcycles (my own) and decided to try my hand at a zero turn mower. I learned a lot, enjoyed it and would do it again. Sure there was some frustration but without that you cannot experience the joy of figuring something out and making it work!

    Also, I know my limits. In deference to herler, I have mounted motorcycle tires, trailer tires, and lawn mower tires with hand tools (tire spoons). No way though that I would try that with a car tire. Anyone who followed this thread knows that I brought another SCAG mower because I knew that this was going to be a labor of love that would take a long time. I was prepared to work on this for years buying parts piecemeal on ebay if that is what it took. Only reason it took months instead of years was because I lucked out and found the wrecked mower that had almost all the parts I needed. Going into this, I was prepared to walk away and harvest all the parts I could and sell them and scrap the rest if it did not work out.

    Anyway, enough ranting. I did what I did, am happy I did it, and would do it again!

  7. Bashby

    Bashby LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 445

    I agree with calling it liesure time, great project! Did you happen to keep track of how many hours you had into it?
  8. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,275

    You needn't explain anything mate! Enjoy the machine and keep us up to date with how it goes. Love to see some more pics of it out in the field cutting grass!
  9. ztman

    ztman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,115

    I think what you did is great. Nice to accomplish something in leisure time.
  10. pjm123a

    pjm123a LawnSite Member
    from FL
    Messages: 164

    I'm finally considering the restore project complete. Someday I will do something about the seat but it now runs, cuts, and looks pretty good if I do say so myself. I've placed it back into service as my backup mower and have cut several acres with it under varying conditions. It feels just look it's old self. Here are a few pictures showing some late adder little touches like the brake lever grip and the stopper cable that holds the seat. It is quite complete. The obvious addition is the fire extinguisher. It is mounted to a quick disconnect bracket which in turn is mounted to the ROPS with hose clamps. Pull one pin and the extinguisher is ready. Final picture shows a before and after. Thanks again to all for the virtual help, encouragement, and words of wisdom. It is now July 2nd 2013. I've been at this since Thanksgiving 2012 but I can finally say: THE SCAG IS SAVED!!!






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