Scag Transmision about to break?!?

Orkin Yards

LawnSite Senior Member
Jackson, MS
My 48" Scag seems to be having problems with 5th gear, and i need it to work! i put it in fith gear and it will run for alittle while then it will make a grinding noise and the two things conected to the belts stop spinning and then it starts again and i hop to a quick start, is this something bad? the grinding noise by no means is pleasurable, sometims i can make it do it by stoping the mower and slowly letting off the brakes, it will catch and not go, also this might just be my imagination but sometimes if i kick the gear shifter when it does this it goes, but i think that is wrong b/c the gear thing is all the way over...NEED HELP PLEASE

Eric ELM

Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
Chicago, IL USA
It doesn't sound good. If I remember right, you bought that in the spring, so it should still be under warrantee. I would take it to the dealer. My guess is that the two things that are attached to the belts are called pulleys. Are you still using the Pro Slide? How much do you weigh? That has to put a strain on the transmission. Do like Stone does, keep an extra transmission ready to slip in it. The only one around here that I know that uses a Velke type ride on device has had lots of transmission problems. I guess that's why they call them Walk Behinds, that's what they are intended to be used as.


LawnSite Senior Member
Portsmouth, VA
What it sounds like is this: Your tranny has 2 shafts inside. One turns when the engine runs, the other when you select a gear. Sounds as if yours is damaged where 5th gear is selected. If you shift while there is tension on the drive system, it will cause this. 5th is a transport gear, so I wouldn't change it unless you are having other troubles. If you decide to change it out, crack open the case and see how everything works. I don't think it will be a warranty part unless Scag does things differently then other mfg's. Usually the engine and tranny have separate warranties. If you can't afford downtime, make sure your dealer keeps one in stock or buy one to keep in your shop. They're only about $200, and that's cheap "insurance."


LawnSite Fanatic
I have a 48" 14 Kaw. 5 speed SCAG also. Same problem as I had, have. The shifter slot isn't long enough to the right and isn't allowing the trans to fully engage in 5th gear. I got a grinder and lengthened the slot. Sometimes it doesn't engage unless I persuade it.

P.S. I only use my 5th to "idle" at a fast pace back to the trailer. What are you using 5th for? Mowing , the shifter only sees 1st and 2nd. I really hate the cut of the SCAG and cant seem to get it to cut at 3" unless you take some spacers out from the bottom of the spindles, which makes it cut even worse... 14 hp isnt enough for 48" anyway. I would love a 17 or 19 Kaw!



5th gear on my peerless tranny did the same thing yours did, until there was nothing left of that gear at all. I was not using a sulky and it only lasted a year. The dealer replaced the whole tranny for me.

Orkin Yards

LawnSite Senior Member
Jackson, MS
i've finally decided i want to fix this, i never did get it fixed, i tried cutting out the slot where the gear shifter rest but that didn't fix my problem, is their some place i can order the gears from or should i just get a whole new transmision?!? i really would rather swap the gears but i don't know if this can be done, does anyone know?


LawnSite Senior Member
Southwest VA
I would get a whole new tranny or take it to a dealer. You could replace the WHOLE tranny yourself, but if you take it apart-they're complicated inside! On the other hand, get a Hydro! ;)


upstate new york
Fitst problem- peerless warranty for commercial use is 90 days. (more reasons for a hydro)
your problem could be a couple of things, first check the easy stuff.
1-check your trans drive belt for tightness
2-check your trans drive coupling's splines.(the larger diameter parts of the shafts with the grease zerks)
3-internally... the shifter fork has detents that hold it in to a chosen gear, if you use your trans in one gear most of the time(ie.. 5th) it will wear the detent and the detent ball.
4-internally... shifter keys may be worn, they make the chosen gear in the trans do the driving. if the key dosn't engage fully it can skip.

you might want to take it to your dealer for the internall problems.

also be very carfull of using a pressure washer around the trans.


LawnSite Senior Member
Eastern NC
Order the appropriate transmission for your mower. Install it.(15 minutes, max) Take the old transmission to a trained mechanic and have it rebuilt or that one gear replaced. Cost is minimal. Then you have a good trans ready for the next breakdown. The cheapest place to order your transmission is probably J. Thomas.

Site is 1-800-828-7980

Runs about 180.00. You probably have the 9-spline if it is a new one.

No charge for info. Good Luck

P.S. Part number is stamped on the transmission housing.

[Edited by lakegastonla on 01-18-2001 at 12:40 AM]

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