Zturn advice

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Ned888, Sep 30, 2019.

  1. Ned888

    Ned888 LawnSite Member
    from Poconos
    Messages: 16

    New user to the site, looks like a good forum. I would like to ask for help

    I currently have a 2012 Scag Turf Tiger with 600 hours on it. It has been used to cut my grass which is 5 acres of mixed terrain. Steep hills, some rocky and bumpy, some smooth, I maneuver around at least 100 trees. Last year a slow leak has developed around the hydro pumps, I changed the oil, filter and one hose that looks suspect. It seems to have helped a little bit but now is getting worse. I cleaned it up and looked for the leak but its hard to tell where its leaking on one side. Its like its spraying a fine mist? Please see attached photos for reference. On the right side there's a silver knob with a hole in it that is next to the hose, it appears to be leaking from there or the seal that hold this clamshell together? I snugged up the knobs on both sides but didn't want to overtighten. I am bring the machine to the dealer today to get his diagnosis.

    I know the hydro units are $500 each, and replacing both will be expensive. I don't know if he has the ability to rebuild or not yet. Even if they are rebuilt or replaced, and it costs upward of $1500 to fix, is it even worth it? I read that it's the older hydro units and they aren't as good as the new ones on the turf tiger 2.

    SO,

    Is it worth to fix an older technology where it will just break again in 5 or so years?

    Should I sell as is, or fix and sell with thoughts on trading up to Turf Tiger 2?
    I will ask the dealer today what his thoughts are but didn't want to get hosed which is why I'm looking for an honest opinion here.

    What about diesel engines on the Scag anyone have any good experience with those?

    I had the kawasaki engine break down due to ethanol related failures, and it needed a rebuild which cost me $500. Nowadays I get ethanol free gas, but it costs close to $3.75 a gallon. I figured I would pay at the pump vs at the shop and not lose my machine for 4 weeks which killed me. Thats why I 'm thinking of going diesel.

    I'm open to suggestions about which new model I should buy if any, or if I should just pay for the new pumps. I need a reliable machine, so far the Scag has done a great job but I have no other practical experience.

    I'm not very mechanically inclined and can do simple things but even replacing both hydro units seemed a bit much for me. I saw a post where someone was asking for help on how to do it here and got through it, but the comment, "It's not rocket science" threw me off. I know it's not rocket science, most things in life aren't, but its experience that will make a good mechanic. I don't have many tools, and find that when I try to take on a task I spend money on $$$ tools that I use once and never touch again, and even still i've had several major problems arise from trying to fix things myself and cost more money, downtime, and additional trips to the mechanic than I can afford because I made it worse.

    Any comments or advice would be appreciated.

    Thank you

    IMG_2179.jpg IMG_2180.jpg
     
  2. scagman52

    scagman52 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 483

    Do yourself a favor before you spend big bucks with your dealer. Power wash the entire area and or the complete mower to get it clean. Then run it until you spot the leak. If you do that then let us know and maybe we can help you
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Ned888

    Ned888 LawnSite Member
    from Poconos
    Messages: 16

    I did that already and it was hard to spot. I even tied some paper towels around each of the silver knobs on top, and it looks like some was coming from one side, but was close to the clamshell seal so I couldn't really tell if it was from one, the other or both. When I ran the machine at idle, I saw no leaks on the one side, but when I was done cutting after three hours, I saw the overspray on the other hydro unit but couldn't find the source. The hoses appeared to be fine, I thought maybe there was a pinhole, but nothing.

    Anyways, I dropped it off at the shop and the mechanic said its just four bolts and the clamshell seal could be replaced, although he said he was going to drain and refill to make sure it was done properly. (Ive been servicing the hydro fluid since day one so I didn't really understand what I could have done wrong this season.) He said the silver knob was an overfill of sorts and I could have put in too much... Anyway I'll get a call back and find out what the deal is and report back.

    I'm still open to suggestions about the tiger cat 2 or any of the diesel models if anyone has feedback on that. I thoughtI could get 2,000 hours out of the scag, but he said that the age and 600 hours was a lot... I wouldn't mind upgrading to the 61" from my 52" but not sure how it would operate on my bumpy terrain.

    Thanks for taking the time to respond.
     
    hort101 and Cam15 like this.
  4. Cam15

    Cam15 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,088

    I think it's got quite a bit of life left in it. As long as your not hearing the crap out of it I would think you could get another 600hrs out of it....
     
    Ned888 and Mumblingboutmowers like this.
  5. AlohaMowing

    AlohaMowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    You need a new mechanic.

    It is impossible to "overfill" the hydraulic system in a way that would cause a leak, and there is no "overfill knob" on the pump. I am a bit disoriented from your photo, but that "silver knob" in your photo looks like the dump valve that is opened to relieve pressure in the system so the drive wheels can freewheel when you need to push or tow the mower. The oil for the hydraulic system goes into the reservoir tank to the left of the engine. If overfilled, the oil would simply overflow from that reservoir tank. You know that from checking and adding oil from time to time. If the mechanic does not understand that, he should not be trusted to know anything about this system. If he does know, then he is knowingly telling you untrue things, perhaps to get you to pay for unneeded work.

    And to say that 600 hours is a lot for a Turf Tiger is a crock unless you have been seriously abusing it. Your expectation of 2000 hours is quite reasonable, although maintenance and repair expenses will increase as the hours increase.

    I recently replaced one of the hydraulic pumps on my Turf Tiger. I looked into the feasibility of rebuilding and concluded that was a non-starter. Getting the pulley off the shaft was a bear, and it is critical that no grit be allowed into the system when the hoses are being disconnected, but other than that it is a simple project. There should be no need to replace both pumps if one is failing. A competent mechanic should be able to do the job in well under 2 hours.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Ned888

    Ned888 LawnSite Member
    from Poconos
    Messages: 16

    Thank you for the honest reply. I will follow up once I hear back from the shop.

    I don't beat on it, it takes me anywhere from 3-6 hours to cut the 5 acres so I drive at a reasonable speed, and I store it in a heated garage.

    At what point do you think does the maintenance and repairs become a losing battle? Since I'm not making any money off the machine do you think I should sell it while I'm ahead and put it towards a new purchase?

    Looks like I can get 4K for it now, and if I pick up a new machine, I can probably get one just under 10K. I'm thinking the 61" Kawasaki version, and one place I saw on tractorhouse has a warranty of 500 hours as long as its residential. Not sure if it was just the seller or if its the manufacturer warranty, but would be ideal in my situation. I need to do more research.

    Again, any comments would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
    Cam15 likes this.
  7. AlohaMowing

    AlohaMowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    It sounds as if you are taking good care of it and it should last a very long time.

    The question when the cost of repairs become too great to keep it depends a bit on your ability to perform repairs. For the most part, these machines are fairly simple once you troubleshoot to determine what needs to be fixed or replaced. On my Turf Tiger, the most expensive repair prior to 1000 hours was to replace the electric clutch, I think that was around $350. At about 1100-1200 hours I replaced one wheel motor and replaced seals in the other. Those totalled about another $500. At a bit over 1300 hours I replaced one of the hydraulic pumps, and I see lots of references in here of those pumps failing at about that point so the other might fail before long. But once replaced, the new pumps will probably be good for another 1300 hours. I have replaced the hydraulic hoses, and there have been occassional electrical issues, but those are no biggie.

    To sell it now for $4k, whatever is causing the leak would first need to be fixed. Once that is fixed, you can probably sell it in 2 years, or even 4 or 6 years from now, for close to the same amount. You are putting on, what, about 100 hours/year? In 4 years it will have 1000 hours, which really is not much.

    If you sell it now for $4k and buy a new one for $10k (good luck finding one for that price) that is a net $6k out of your pocket. You can pay for a whole lot of repairs for $6k, and that new machine will start depreciating immediately. As for the warranty - the standard Scag warranty covers 3 years of non-commercial use.

    Don't get me wrong, I like my new Turf Tiger II with the 31 hp Kawasaki, but the only way it made economic sense for me to replace my Turf Tiger was that going from a 52" deck to a 72" works much more efficiently for the spacing of trees in orchards I mow.

    If you sell the Turf Tiger now for $4k the buyer should be very, very happy to get a great mower with lots of life left in it. And if you buy a new TT II you will be happy with the new machine. So there would be two people happy. Sounds like a good deal all around as long as you ignore the $6k (or more) difference.
     
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  8. OP
    OP
    Ned888

    Ned888 LawnSite Member
    from Poconos
    Messages: 16

    Thank you for the informative reply. With what you're telling me, I guess I could hold onto it for a bit longer. I do admit that trading up to the Tiger Cat 2 in a 60" deck with the 26hp Kawasaki, vs my current 52" is attractive. Weight is concern, as I drive over a few old old pipe systems/cesspools, otherwise I would go for the Turf Tiger 2, even a diesel... Part of the property I care for is an orchard too, and saving time would always be a bonus. If I can find a sweet deal on the machine I'll consider it. Local landscapers wanted to charge me close to $4000 per season to landscape the property so the money is a worthy investment imho.

    I'm curious if the failures are as much on the "2" versions versus the originals? You would think that they would have figured out where they went wrong and corrected their mistakes? Like adding fans to the hydro units. Has it proven itself in the field?

    As it stands I've only had to replace a pulley, a safety switch (I hate those things) and one hydro line in the 7 years I've owned it. I also changed out the rear tires after 500 hours, and was forced to add inner tubes in the two front tires after numerous flats, in the first 2 years of ownership. After that I've never had a flat again.
    All in all I would say its a great machine, but down time is difficult and in my rural area, repairs take close to a month no matter were I go.

    Thanks again!
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Ned888

    Ned888 LawnSite Member
    from Poconos
    Messages: 16

    Turns out the clamshell seals were leaking, mechanic said it was an easy fix, added a quart of 20w to top it off, only needed to drain it enough to remove the 4 bolts off the top to install the new seals on both units. Ran it for a while to heat it up and no apparent leaks. The true test is my 5 acre cut around the house so lets hope it holds! $127.00 and done!
     
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  10. OP
    OP
    Ned888

    Ned888 LawnSite Member
    from Poconos
    Messages: 16

    I found a demo unit 60" TC 2, on the cheap so as soon as it passes a recall they found on the kawi fuel lines, I may just go for it. I'll post in the marketplace soon.
     
    Cam15 likes this.

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