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View Full Version : My SCAG Tiget cub burst into FLAMES today!!


kb9nvh
05-24-2009, 09:47 PM
My SCAG Tiget cub burst into FLAMES!!
Model STC48V-19KAI serial C1602194 bought in 2006.
Today after about 30 minutes of mowing my SCAG tiger cub smelled like gasoline for a second, died 10 seconds later and then, after about 30 more seconds BURST into FLAMES and burned to the ground. This was used for my yard and had very low hours.
Here's some pictures
http://picasaweb.google.com/grimshady/SCAG_burnedup#
Doesn't look like I"m in the recall...so what the heck!!
You dont know how it feels to watch helplessly as your 6 thousand dollar mower burns to the ground before your eyes..Water just made the flames worse (the fire department was spraying it). Must have lost a fuel line I guess somehow and had raw gas feeding the flames... dont know what sparked it since the muffler is on the back and the flames were, well, I guess everywhere on the engine...but seemed like a lot of flames between the engine and the seat.

Anyone have any recommendations besides call SCAG, my dealer, my insurance company (wonder if they will pay this much money for a mower)??
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_s-A-fQC6IJ4/ShmNKHduSZI/AAAAAAAAAYM/5gio1011_MA/s512/IMAG0004.jpg

CHEESE2009
05-24-2009, 10:03 PM
holy crap!

Now that's what I call a bad friggen day!!!

I hope your insurance company can help you out!

The worst part is, there is no one to take your frustrations out on lol, that thing just blew up!

Glad to hear your ok! I'm assuming you are! Are you?

musician/lawnman
05-24-2009, 10:33 PM
Wow, I hope you are ok, Sorry to hear about the fire. Seems to me this is not an isolated incident.....
Check out this post here: http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=7997&highlight=burns+95%25

This woman lost here life to a fire on a Scagg earlier this year. Was very sad to hear.

kb9nvh
05-25-2009, 07:55 AM
SCAG had a recall but seems to have ended in 2004. Mines a 2006 with like 50 hours on it. On another forum most think the insurance wont cover something like this..I needed to get specific insurance for it. I hope SCAG comes through with something or its back to kmart mowers for me....

SuperiorPower
05-25-2009, 09:34 AM
SCAG had a recall but seems to have ended in 2004. Mines a 2006 with like 50 hours on it. On another forum most think the insurance wont cover something like this..I needed to get specific insurance for it. I hope SCAG comes through with something or its back to kmart mowers for me....

I would start with the Scag dealer. Explain to them what happened, BUT be honest with them IF there is anything that you know could have caused this. Don't get irate with them because, a) they are only representing the manufacturer, b) they can be a great help to you to fight the manufacturer if you keep them on your side.

If the dealer tells you they can do nothing, ask for a telephone number for Scag or a Scag distributor representative. They may not give you contact info for their contacts (and I can't say that I blame them). If they don't, ask if they can have someone from Scag call you. Remember, don't get irate because getting irate does not help you. After all, if you get irate that makes you look like a looser. And if this was my Scag dealership, I would think that you are at fault and are trying to cover something up. Professional frustration at the lose of your expensive machine is to be expected and is completely different than being irate.

or its back to kmart mowers for me....

Oh. I am suddenly sick to my stomach. I am about to puke! (no offense to you) Any machine you buy from a box store is going to be junk before it is loaded into your truck or trailer. If the Scag were a box store machine I GUARANTEE you would not be getting reimbursed by the manufacture.... It would be your lose. Completely, absolutely, and indefinitely. To be nice about it, with a box store, they care nothing about you as the end user unless you buy another machine from them. To be plain about it, the box stores and the manufacturer who sell through the box stores care only at money in their pocket which is why they have teamed up. The manufacturer only wants to sell machines and does not care about making sure they get proper warranty coverage or proper service from a qualified dealer otherwise they would use a servicing dealer. The box store does not care about warranty or proper service either. This is evidenced by the fact they do not provide a service center in their facility. But then again, I don't know that I would take my machine to them if they did have a service center in-house....

A servicing dealer (like the Scag dealer) will work for you and cares about you as a customer even when you are not buying another new machine from them every 5 years. They care about creating a relationship. Most end users would not permit a servicing dealer to get away with the things that they permit a box store to get away with. And after the box store has done them wrong they go right back to the box store or another box store and buy another junk unit. Remember "don't expect different results if you continue to do the same thing". Let me ask you, why did you ever go buy a Scag? Was it perhaps because you were feed up with the box store junk?

Box stores care only to sell you another machine once your current poorly designed machine has broken down and is no longer yard worthy. And another one after that. And another after that one. The box store machines are cheap consumer grade and are designed to, at best, last only up to 7-8 years in consumer use while the commercial units (like Scag) are designed to last for up to 15 years under commercial use. So please understand my nausea.:D

kb9nvh
05-25-2009, 10:46 AM
***I would start with the Scag dealer. Explain to them what happened, BUT be honest with them IF there is anything that you know could have caused this. Don't get irate with them because, a) they are only representing the manufacturer, b) they can be a great help to you to fight the manufacturer if you keep them on your side.

I wont get Irate...although I feel like I should have known about this issue before putting myself at risk..what if this had burst into flames close to my home?? I would have had to watch both burn while waiting for the fire department. I understand that engineering mistakes happen...SCAG should bear the cost to make this right. They are a premium commercial mower and I do absolutely expect superior service from them. In this case, there's not much gray area...This mower was greased and oil changed by me and I wasn't in the engine area tweaking bolts or messing with the carburetor. The mower only had about 50 hours on it and the only things I've done to it was grease it, change the blades this year and change oil and filter.



***Any machine you buy from a box store is going to be junk before it is loaded into your truck or trailer.
This is sort of my point...my scag went from premium mower to junk in and instant but only 2 years to recover my 6.5K it had better been good. I know people who spent way less on a ZTR mower and they are still going strong.


***A servicing dealer (like the Scag dealer) will work for you and cares about you as a customer even when you are not buying another new machine from them every 5 years. Let me ask you, why did you ever go buy a Scag? Was it perhaps because you were feed up with the box store junk?

Well, here's where the rubber meets the road. We will find out what the 6.5K bought me tomorrow. I bought the SCAG for the reason you cite. A mower to last me (homeowner non-commercial) a lifetime. That's not what I got apparently

***Box stores care only to sell you another machine once your current poorly designed machine has broken down and is no longer yard worthy. And another one after that. And another after that one. The box store machines are cheap consumer grade and are designed to, at best, last only up to 7-8 years in consumer use while the commercial units (like Scag) are designed to last for up to 15 years under commercial use.

It was just tounge in cheek on the box store mower but yous have to admit that I could have had a lot of new mowers a lot longer for 6.5K.

Fresh Cut
05-30-2009, 09:29 PM
Sorry to hear this man. :(

I hope Scag comes through for you, it seems like something like this should be small potatoes for a big company to cover. Even if only to possibly keep a customer and keep you from bad mouthing them from here to Tulsa.

The yard looks great, though. :D

kb9nvh
05-30-2009, 09:37 PM
thanks, I'll update when I find out more.


Sorry to hear this man. :(

I hope Scag comes through for you, it seems like something like this should be small potatoes for a big company to cover. Even if only to possibly keep a customer and keep you from bad mouthing them from here to Tulsa.

The yard looks great, though. :D

Steve
05-31-2009, 11:05 AM
This does make me wonder if there are more mowers out there catching on fire like this and we just don't know about it.

kb9nvh
05-31-2009, 01:04 PM
Well, certainly a few. It appears that mine just had a catastrophic gas line failure. I think that it might be possible to force the failure points of something like this to a place where the gas wont leak around the engine. Positive threaded gas lines would keep a line from just "popping off" and then dumping the tank contents onto wherever its pointed. Vacuum operated fuel petclocks (cant say pet****..LOL) could be used to shut off fuel flow in the event the engine quits.

These expensive commercial mowers surly have the headroom to add a few safety measures into the fuel deliver system.

This does make me wonder if there are more mowers out there catching on fire like this and we just don't know about it.

SuperiorPower
05-31-2009, 09:48 PM
I understand what you are saying about the investment and now, nothing.... $6,500 is a lot of money to watch it burn up. I hope Scag makes it right with you. Like you said, heck, you could have been in or near your house and garage.

As far as the vacuum operated part, I think that would work. The other thing would be have an electronic fuel solenoid at the gas tank, similar to what is already being used by many manufacturers on the carburetor. For example, on carbs, when the engine is shut off, the solenoid stops fuel flow into the venturi thus effectively shutting the engine off even if the ignition part does not shut the engine off. Now this is not effective if the carburetor float is leaking and running gas over into the venturi. This solenoid is currently used basically as an "anti-dieseling" solenoid to eliminate the problems that some engines had with continuing to run (aka, dieseling) even after the spark was interrupted. I see no reason why a similar solenoid could not be used at the gas tank. Granted, the design would have to be right otherwise it could leak or break there and be no better despite the solenoid.

BTW, as far as a replacement mower, I would consider the Hustler line if you decide to not reinvest in Scag.

Just hang in there and just let us know what happens.

kb9nvh
06-01-2009, 05:19 AM
I can see where and electronic solenoid would work but the engine key would have to be turned off for the positive shut off. The idea of the vacuum shut of is that if the engine stops running for whatever reason, then fuel is stopped from flowing. In my case, since apparently a fuel line came loose, when the engine stopped running it would have been nice for the fuel to stop dumping as well. Maybe it would have gone out on its own once the initial gasoline had burned off?


I'll be contacting my insurance and SCAG again today to find out where I stand.


I understand what you are saying about the investment and now, nothing.... $6,500 is a lot of money to watch it burn up. I hope Scag makes it right with you. Like you said, heck, you could have been in or near your house and garage.

As far as the vacuum operated part, I think that would work. The other thing would be have an electronic fuel solenoid at the gas tank, similar to what is already being used by many manufacturers on the carburetor. For example, on carbs, when the engine is shut off, the solenoid stops fuel flow into the venturi thus effectively shutting the engine off even if the ignition part does not shut the engine off. Now this is not effective if the carburetor float is leaking and running gas over into the venturi. This solenoid is currently used basically as an "anti-dieseling" solenoid to eliminate the problems that some engines had with continuing to run (aka, dieseling) even after the spark was interrupted. I see no reason why a similar solenoid could not be used at the gas tank. Granted, the design would have to be right otherwise it could leak or break there and be no better despite the solenoid.

BTW, as far as a replacement mower, I would consider the Hustler line if you decide to not reinvest in Scag.

Just hang in there and just let us know what happens.

SuperiorPower
06-01-2009, 06:34 AM
I can see where and electronic solenoid would work but the engine key would have to be turned off for the positive shut off.

I'll be contacting my insurance and SCAG again today to find out where I stand.

Actually, no. Just like the lights on some mowers operate only when the engine is running because it is based on the alternator. The solenoid would only activate when the engine is running and creating an electrical current. Or better yet, it could be activated by a seat safety switch which would be activated only if the operator is sitting on the mower seat. I personally would rather use an electronic than a vacuum operated mechanism since vacuum lines can, and will, get leaks and would thus become defective just because of old age and would be difficult and expensive to diagnose. I personally believe that an electronic system would be more stable.

However, with all of this being said, this would likely add an easy several $100 to the cost of a mower (and also a lot of headache). And I am not sure how effective it would be. When you think about it, the fuel line comes off the engine and starts dumping fuel where ever, which causes a fire. What is going to cause the engine to shut off? The primarily reason for the engine to shut off is if the key is turned off or the engine runs out of fuel. Unfortunately the engine does not shut off as soon as the fuel stops entering the carburetor (and thank goodness for this!!). Let me tell you, the engine can run for a short while (up to 30 seconds or more) just on the fuel that is still in the carburetor and as long as the engine is running, whether vacuum operated or electronic via the alternator, we are in the same boat. Even if the mower had a vacuum or electronic fuel shut off at the gas tank that shuts off as soon as the engine shuts off, just remember, it will not shut off until the carburetor runs out of fuel which by that time can be too late. By now the fire can have burned the fuel line back to the fuel tank. Today, most fuel tanks are plastic and by the time the engine shuts off the fire can have burned the fuel line back to the gas tank and have melted the gas tank and then all the gas in the tank is on fire. At this point no safety system is effective.

Plus, most mowers today have a fuel pump (almost invariably, they are mounted to the engine and are vacuum operated) and as long as the engine is running, it will continue to pump fuel, unless of course the fuel line is disconnected between the engine and the fuel pump. Absent a fuel pump, we are looking at a gravity flow fuel supply system that will continue dumping fuel onto the problem until there is no more fuel.

Let us know what you find out,
Eli

kb9nvh
06-01-2009, 12:25 PM
Well, I'm sure there are multiple scenarios that could be worked out and the cheapest one that fixes the problem would be the one that gets used.
I know on my 1981 Honda silverwing they used a vacuum operated pet**** at the tank. No engine runny/No gas flowy. You are right that eventually the lines will crack and a vacuum leak will result...But thats the case with every rubber hose on the thing.

The main idea is to stop gas flowing by gravity if a catastrophic fuel line leak somehow occurs.

Here's how my fire played out....
1) smell of raw gas (assume fuel line failure here)
2) 5 or 10 seconds later engine stalls (remaining fuel from carb exhausted)
3) 20 or 30 seconds later engine area explodes in flames. (fuel running from broken line runs from down around engine and flows off back engine deck (gravity) and hits hot muffler...flames travel back to fuel source.

If fuel had cut off when the engine had stopped the fire would have either not occurred or maybe self extinguished.

Also, If you look at my photos you will see that the plastic tanks did not melt where the gas was in contact with the inside of the tank...The tanks melted on the tops, where there was no gas in contact with the plastic, and then the gas fumes burned from those holes once they melted open. I had two nearly full tanks of gas. When the fire was put out 35 minutes later the tanks still had gas in them and maybe still half full. (for 20 of those minutes the firemen were spraying copious amounts of water over the whole mower but the flames would not go out until a dry chemical extinguisher was used.

kb9nvh
06-01-2009, 04:24 PM
SCAG contacted me today...They want to work WITH my insurance company to an equitable solution. (whatever that means for me).

Fair to me would be if I end up with a 60 hour equivalent tiger cub back or better and out no deductible.
I told my insurance company about the past recall on this type of mower and that I felt SCAG should replace this due to the type of failure it was. I could have been seriously hurt and SCAG has the responsibility to produce a safe product and liability for the consequences of a mishap.

SuperiorPower
06-01-2009, 05:26 PM
Hopefully everything will work out with Scag. It would be nice if they chose to give you a new one, plus some accessories due to the danger to you and the inconvenience.

You are right about the safety issue. You know it does not matter how good or how perfect a safety device is, if it is not installed then it is no good. A crummy device that is installed would be better than a perfect one that is not installed. Perhaps you could work with Scag to incorporate a safety valve on future models?

Let us know what happens in the coming days.

Good luck,
Eli

tomustang
06-02-2009, 11:02 PM
This does make me wonder if there are more mowers out there catching on fire like this and we just don't know about it.

Steve,


They are all over youtube, I was looking for videos of ztr's and "my tiger cub on fire" was showing up..

Steve
06-02-2009, 11:51 PM
That is amazing!

Steve W
06-03-2009, 12:24 AM
Glad you didnt get hurt. I know one thing for sure, this has made me check my fuel line and it was cracked.It had to be replaced.
Thanks for sharing this with us.

kb9nvh
06-05-2009, 08:21 PM
To close out the SCAG part of this thread..SCAG has made its final decision.
They are willing to sell me a tiger cat for 6200 + tx. I'm guessing that's about 800 less than what most folks can get one for...Unfortunately, the price still puts me out 1K of insurance deductible.

So, SCAG has made a minor gesture towards helping me but nothing close to replacing the mower.

So, since I have to pay minimum 1K, and insurance will pay "replacement value" I'll be buying up and into a different brand.

I'll have the old 48" deck probably still good to sell as well as most of the front parts of the mower...could be that drive motors are good too but will have to take a look.

Thanks everyone for following this thread. I consider the matter closed but would invite anyone to continue to post their experiences with SCAG or any other mower that may have an potential fatal flaw. I've been chastised, in another forum, for not keeping up with my preventative maintenance (although I have met or exceeded whats listed in the manual).

When its your business or your life on the line I think it prudent to do more and now I know that both are at risk and that the manufacture wont do much to back you up.

SuperiorPower
06-05-2009, 08:47 PM
In my opinion, you are the only one that really knows about the upkeep. And I think it is crappy what they are doing to you. Have you checked to see if there is a class action law suit being drawn up for Scag's treatment of their end users with mowers that burned up?

kb9nvh
06-16-2009, 08:57 PM
No, I'm awaiting notification from the cpsc hoping there some type of recall. recently a gravely 2001 model burned up just like mine (on another forum).

Looks like the ZTR's are prone to fires.

In my opinion, you are the only one that really knows about the upkeep. And I think it is crappy what they are doing to you. Have you checked to see if there is a class action law suit being drawn up for Scag's treatment of their end users with mowers that burned up?

SuperiorPower
06-16-2009, 11:31 PM
No, I'm awaiting notification from the cpsc hoping there some type of recall. recently a gravely 2001 model burned up just like mine (on another forum).

Looks like the ZTR's are prone to fires.

I don't think I would lump them all in together. I think that would be like saying that tractor type mowers are prone to falling out of the back of trucks. Which, by the way, I have seen before. Or to say the Tractor type mowers are more prone to flat tires. After all, I have seen far more flat tires on tractor type mowers than on ZTR mowers. I see your point, but don't think I would make a all inclusive statement to that affect.

kb9nvh
06-17-2009, 05:55 AM
I would agree except, it seems to me, the configuration lends itself more to fire than the tractor type. The fuel tanks are usually gravity fed and any type leak works its way to the rear where the hot muffler is usually low where the gas drips too. I've just never seen it on other configurations like I have and experienced on the ZTR's. The scag recall had like 20 fires involved in that issue. I'm sure the ones we don't know about outnumber the ones we do and maybe there's more "tractor" type fires that I've not heard of also..?

I don't think I would lump them all in together. I think that would be like saying that tractor type mowers are prone to falling out of the back of trucks. Which, by the way, I have seen before. Or to say the Tractor type mowers are more prone to flat tires. After all, I have seen far more flat tires on tractor type mowers than on ZTR mowers. I see your point, but don't think I would make a all inclusive statement to that affect.

musician/lawnman
06-17-2009, 06:32 AM
To play devil's advocate here:
Tractor mowers ussually only run for a couple years & then either the engine lets go, belts, pullies brake & I see them sitting in the yard on flats next to the house just rusting until they are thrown out. A commercial ZTR is much longer lasting. With that said, After a year & a half the fuel lines on my Z were dry rotten as hell & I had to change them to avoid having a leak & thus a fire. Yours was an 06 right? Had you changed the fuel lines? Filter?

I say this because if you watch the news clip of the story about the woman who was burned fataly on her scagg here in Florida, the news guy is standing next to what I believe is her other machine. Another scagg. He says " she was on a mower just like this one & we believe there was a fuel leak in this area..." as you look at it, that machine doesn't really appear to be very well maintained either. It's pretty beat up looking to be honest. There is always the possibility these cases are due to lack of maintenence &/or operator error.

kb9nvh
06-17-2009, 05:10 PM
Wow, you seriously had cracked lines after only two years??? ...Gosh, I have a 21 year old wheelhorse with the same fuel lines on it when new. I would never had thought that after only after 2 years you would get cracked lines. Must be the ethanol or something.

Anyway, no one argues that maintenance needs to be done and no one blames the manf for wear items or age related wear when the result of that wear is an inoperable mower or even a broken down mower. The distinction here, (and other may disagree), is that the manf has a responsibility to design their equipment to be safe under normal foreseeable circumstances. Even if the operator fails to do maintenance and the mower fails, it should fail in a safe way. This is where I believe that SCAG fell short. The CPSC makes this type of determination and lots of things get recalled when they are found to be unsafe including the tiger cub in 1999-2004 for a faulty carburetor that leaked and caused a gas fire.

To answer your question, I had never changed the fuel lines or the filter although they were in plain sight for the most part, I never gave them a second thought. I do feel that when fuel lines begin to fail they begin to leak but not catastrophically and the failure becomes apparent before its a real issue. You had fuel lines crack and leak in two years so I and everyone reading this should take note of that and if they aren't inspecting their late model mowers fuel lines prior to each mow then maybe its time to start.

Also, I agree, the girl who died on here SCAG fire, the mower they showed looked to be in pretty bad shape. Even so, if I was a mower company I would strive to engineer a mower that, even if the fuel line ruptured, it would fail in a way that gas would not ignite on the hot motor but drain safely to the ground.


To play devil's advocate here:
Tractor mowers ussually only run for a couple years & then either the engine lets go, belts, pullies brake & I see them sitting in the yard on flats next to the house just rusting until they are thrown out. A commercial ZTR is much longer lasting. With that said, After a year & a half the fuel lines on my Z were dry rotten as hell & I had to change them to avoid having a leak & thus a fire. Yours was an 06 right? Had you changed the fuel lines? Filter?

I say this because if you watch the news clip of the story about the woman who was burned fataly on her scagg here in Florida, the news guy is standing next to what I believe is her other machine. Another scagg. He says " she was on a mower just like this one & we believe there was a fuel leak in this area..." as you look at it, that machine doesn't really appear to be very well maintained either. It's pretty beat up looking to be honest. There is always the possibility these cases are due to lack of maintenence &/or operator error.

musician/lawnman
06-18-2009, 06:35 AM
Yeah those fuel lines I had were shot to hell.

I don't know how you could engineer fuel lines to "fail safely". If the leak near a hot engine you could have ignition, that's a real possibility. If there was a fool proof way to prevent catastrophic failure of any mechanical part then NASA wouldn't have had a multi-billion dollar shuttle blow up on them.

So if they haven't perfected the technology for shuttles.... what are the realistic chances that the mower manufacturers are investing that kind of money to perfect it for a $6000-10,000 lawn mower? Not good I bet.

kb9nvh
06-18-2009, 08:11 AM
I'll try and give a few examples of a "safe" fuel delivery system.
1) You can put a vacuum operated pet**** at each tank so that if the engine stops running the fuel is stopped at the source (like on my 1981 honda silverwing)
2) When possible, put your failure points above the fuel level so that if the line is pulled loose gravity wont empty the tank.
3) Where fuel lines are at risk add protection or use steel braided line to lower the chance of catostrophic failure.
4) Use threaded joints rather than the cheaper push in type
5) Use alchohal rated lines so that they dont degrade in two years (dont you find it alarming and unusual that your lines were so bad in only a two year timeframe?)
6) Protect igntion points (hot muffler) from fuel flow in case fuel does begin to leak around the engine.

Safe engineering is done all the time and the trade off is cost vs safetly. I can give many examples in automobiles, chainsaws, propane tanks and even your electric guitar amp. Again, I dont know what caused my fire, I really dont think 32 months should degrade a mower enough to cause such a fuel leak. Most mower dont have fuel leaks after 2 seasons (including SCAG) so I consider this a rare occurance and I would buy a SCAG again if my only consideration was safety...but I feel SCAG should have done more for me in this situation (other dont and everyone is free to make their own decision on if SCAG did right by me or not). I've presented the facts in an honest way and for the most part everyone has discussed the issue civilally which I appreciate.

Yeah those fuel lines I had were shot to hell.

I don't know how you could engineer fuel lines to "fail safely". If the leak near a hot engine you could have ignition, that's a real possibility. If there was a fool proof way to prevent catastrophic failure of any mechanical part then NASA wouldn't have had a multi-billion dollar shuttle blow up on them.

So if they haven't perfected the technology for shuttles.... what are the realistic chances that the mower manufacturers are investing that kind of money to perfect it for a $6000-10,000 lawn mower? Not good I bet.

musician/lawnman
06-18-2009, 06:36 PM
Bud,
I am not trying to be a jerk by any means. Yeah I too think Scagg should do more. Then again.... a 2 year warranty is a 2 year warranty.
If my ford burst into flames at 40,000 miles I am SOL. They aren't obligated to do anything & probably wouldn't, beacuse if they did then what happens when another truck happens to burn up at 45,000 miles? Then another at50,000 miles?
Manufacturers have to draw a line in the sand somewhere & they do, with a warranty limited by time (for a mower) by time & mileage for a vehicle. For that warranty period they are willing to gaurantee that the vehicle/equipment will operate properly & be free from defects &/or workmanship issues. After that they require maintenence & upkeep to remain in good working condition. Those factors are beyond the manufacturers control so.... no more warranty.
Yes, I was suprised to find my fuel lines on that mower as dry rotten as they were after less than 2 years! But, I run the machines hard for 8-10 minutes at a time, then they go in an enclosed trailer for a 3 minute drive, then back out for 8-10 minutes etc. It's not unusual for us to have 100+ degree days here, then the hear of the engines in an enclosed trailer. Plus they are about as close to the engine (as you would expect) as can be, exposing those fuel lines to temeratures in the hundreds on a regular basis. Air cooled mower engines can hit bettween 350-400 degrees man! That's alot of heat! So yeah, I wish the fuel lines lasted longer, but I check over my machines LOOKING for any & all issues a few times a week. MAINTENENCE IS KEY.
It is unfortunate that you lost a machine this way, I am sorry it happend & glad you are ok. You said you smelled fuel just before the fire which means you had a leak. With a machine gaining on 3 years of dependable service working well.... this wasn't likely a defect. It was a maintenence issue from what I can gather. The flashpoint of fuel is supposed to be around 535 degrees. So the mower was either very hot, or you had bad spark plug wires to on top of your fuel leak issues that arked & provided an ignition source that way.
I could very well be wrong here? I of course never saw the mower before it was burned up & have no idea what maintenence was/wasn't done. Maybe it was a freak accident or a defect? But from what you've said, the above is what I would suspect. I am not an argumentative person (you can ask the others here on the forum) I am not one to stir up crap. I am just calling it like I see it which is how I am all the time with everyone I encounter.

justin_time
06-18-2009, 06:41 PM
I'm thinking of buying a fire extinguisher after I saw these pictures

kb9nvh
06-18-2009, 07:11 PM
Funny about the warranty is that there really is no "explode in flames" warranty so there really was never a point that SCAG would cover this I guess. SCAG lists particular things that they cover and fuel lines never enter in. Fuel lines are not in their maintenance list either (but I guess really should be) judging from your experience.

There are two aspects to this, one being safety and one being just warranty coverage. If many ford trucks started bursting into flames in 4 or 5 years you can bet there would be a recall, and if SCAGS started doing what mine did on a regular basis there would be a recall as well force by the cpsc. Hopefully for SCAG this wont be the case.

I wont deny that I didn't do a lot of close looking at my fuel lines and I will say right here that I would never have expected fuel lines to go bad in 2 or 3 seasons of mowing. Most of the lines were out in plain sight so i would like to think that I would have seen cracks before they became a problem.

I will go out on a limb here and say that there was no leak until 30minutes into my mowing when it occurred all of the sudden. I looked (had a guy go look actually) at the yard leading up the mower spot where the mower burned and there no dead grass trail. Also, I do believe I would have smelled even a small gas leak if it had occurred while I was loading/unloading the mower or even while I was mowing. The fact that the mower died suddenly within seconds of me smelling RAW fuel indicates to me that the fuel leak was sudden and not a gradual thing that came on over time.

Now, that said, from the evidence and my own personal observation, the leak HAD to be between the engine and the seat since there were flames there and the mower was slightly uphill so gas would roll backward. Also, if you have looked at the pictures you will see that all the clamps and hoses were still attached to all their nipples.
So, it seems the leak had to be, as improbable as this sounds to me, from a split in the fuel line coming from the right tank, in front of the motor and attaching to the fuel valve/switch.

I will concede that, if the fuel line that runs between the seat and engine did indeed turn to crap in 3 years as you say is your experience it would explain what happened. Before talking to you, I would have never suspected fuel lines to go bad that quickly and I have never seen this myself and even others who blamed this on my lack of maintenance still never admitted to having cracked fuel lines that soon.

And if that is the case then I will chalk it up to experience that fuel lines can go horribly bad in that short of time.

Now, one guy with a cub said that his 2 year old cub was having his fuel lines cut into by the zip ties that SCAG used to bind the lines. It could be that the zip ties did indeed cut into my 3 yr old degraded fuel line.

Now, agreeing with you that you scenario is probably the most likely one, I still don't think it should happen and with the proper design it could be eliminated. Also, if this is such a high probability of fuel leaks after 3 years then the fuel lines should be explicitly called out for replacement or inspection every few years. Fuel lines are given no special attention in the maintenance schedule.

also, the mower was in as good a shape as a 60 hour mower would be in with moderate cleaning and full "owners manual" maintenance compliance. Meaning I changed oil, checked hydraulic oil, changed blades, greased fittings as much or more than called for. The mower was kept in a pole barn so never got rained on or snowed on.


Bud,
I am not trying to be a jerk by any means. Yeah I too think Scagg should do more. Then again.... a 2 year warranty is a 2 year warranty.
If my ford burst into flames at 40,000 miles I am SOL. They aren't obligated to do anything & probably wouldn't, beacuse if they did then what happens when another truck happens to burn up at 45,000 miles? Then another at50,000 miles?
Manufacturers have to draw a line in the sand somewhere & they do, with a warranty limited by time (for a mower) by time & mileage for a vehicle. For that warranty period they are willing to gaurantee that the vehicle/equipment will operate properly & be free from defects &/or workmanship issues. After that they require maintenence & upkeep to remain in good working condition. Those factors are beyond the manufacturers control so.... no more warranty.
Yes, I was suprised to find my fuel lines on that mower as dry rotten as they were after less than 2 years! But, I run the machines hard for 8-10 minutes at a time, then they go in an enclosed trailer for a 3 minute drive, then back out for 8-10 minutes etc. It's not unusual for us to have 100+ degree days here, then the hear of the engines in an enclosed trailer. Plus they are about as close to the engine (as you would expect) as can be, exposing those fuel lines to temeratures in the hundreds on a regular basis. Air cooled mower engines can hit bettween 350-400 degrees man! That's alot of heat! So yeah, I wish the fuel lines lasted longer, but I check over my machines LOOKING for any & all issues a few times a week. MAINTENENCE IS KEY.
It is unfortunate that you lost a machine this way, I am sorry it happend & glad you are ok. You said you smelled fuel just before the fire which means you had a leak. With a machine gaining on 3 years of dependable service working well.... this wasn't likely a defect. It was a maintenence issue from what I can gather. The flashpoint of fuel is supposed to be around 535 degrees. So the mower was either very hot, or you had bad spark plug wires to on top of your fuel leak issues that arked & provided an ignition source that way.
I could very well be wrong here? I of course never saw the mower before it was burned up & have no idea what maintenence was/wasn't done. Maybe it was a freak accident or a defect? But from what you've said, the above is what I would suspect. I am not an argumentative person (you can ask the others here on the forum) I am not one to stir up crap. I am just calling it like I see it which is how I am all the time with everyone I encounter.

kb9nvh
06-18-2009, 07:18 PM
I believe an extinguisher would have saved my mower and everyone would be wise to have one at the ready...

I'm thinking of buying a fire extinguisher after I saw these pictures

justin_time
06-18-2009, 07:51 PM
It's not only ZTR that have fuel line problems

Tractors too

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/recalls04/husqvarna.html

kb9nvh
06-18-2009, 08:41 PM
Interesting about these types of mowers is that the tanks are usually back behind/under the seat. Any gas leak just goes to the ground. My opinion is that if a gas leak occurs, its imperative that gas not reach the hot muffler. I don't think that any other part of the engine is really hot enough to cause ignition.

All the ztr's i've seen seem to have the carb right over the muffler (crazy) and even if gas leaks anywhere around the engine it flows back and off the rear deck right onto the muffler again. I think most ZTR's are of a fire prone design and could use some rethinking.

It's not only ZTR that have fuel line problems

Tractors too

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/recalls04/husqvarna.html

Steve
06-18-2009, 09:15 PM
This does get me wondering how effective an extinguisher would be at stopping a fire when you have a continuous leak of gas onto a hot muffler. I am sure it would put a fire out but would it have any effect on cooling the muffler?

I was looking at your pics. Is there anyway you could kinda give us a walk through on some of the pics telling us or pointing out different issues?

musician/lawnman
06-18-2009, 09:46 PM
Steve, Yes. A fire extinguisher could very well cool a muffler down, However impractical ... if memory serves, mythbusters found a fire extiguisher to be one of the fastest ways to get a beer cold!

SuperiorPower
06-20-2009, 08:15 AM
Ok guys, I see there has been a more discussion on this but at the moment I don't have the time to sit, read, and digest the contents of it. I will try to either post a comment or post a link to an article/comment sometime in the next weeks time. I suspect some of the info that you will see may be shocking to some of you guys. So, let the suspense begin (yea right!)....

Eli

SuperiorPower
06-20-2009, 08:16 AM
I gotta ask one question tho, kb9nvh what state do you live in?

Thanks,
Eli

kb9nvh
06-20-2009, 08:39 AM
Close to Bloomington, Indiana

Picked up my new Bad Boy mower yesterday...Its a real HOSS!! I need to mount my fire extinguisher today and evaluate the fuel lines (so that I dont get accused of poor maintenance again like on the other forum I posted this to).



I gotta ask one question tho, kb9nvh what state do you live in?

Thanks,
Eli

kb9nvh
06-20-2009, 01:57 PM
Here's my new mower
http://picasaweb.google.com/grimshady/BADBOYMowing_2009_06_20#

Steve
06-20-2009, 03:39 PM
Oh it looks very nice. What do you think of the two mowers now that you are trying it out more? Do certain things stand out you like in one over the other?

kb9nvh
06-20-2009, 03:56 PM
http://picasaweb.google.com/grimshad...ng_2009_06_20#

After mowing with the BB all morning I can say I'm not dissatisfied with the purchase, however, its not the SCAG cub and the two mowers both have their strong points and weak.

The cub was a good size for my yard (but not big enough for the rentals). Now I've got a mower that will be great for the rentals but cumbersome for my yard....so its a trade off that maybe I hadn't considered as much as I should have (after buying the SCAG I had often lamented the fact that I didn't get the 60" cut though).

getting used to the new mower:
What I loved:
Nice smooth ride even in the bumpy stuff I can mow all day on the BB and the front shocks work as advertised I could see them moving in the rough.

Crazy fast and plenty of power to mow any normal depth of grass.

Quality build..look at the gas line shot in my photos...the tank has a threaded nipple just like I had suggested as a safety measure for SCAG.

Muffler is "back" and above the motor deck meaning no gas will flow off the deck directly onto the hot muffler

Everything being larger it seems to mow quieter with a lower deeper pitch. I don't think I'll need earplugs like I did on the scag and my wheelhorse (but I'll probably where them anyway).

the plain and simple design (deck and mower frame) makes it easy to clean grass off and out of.

Now some Bad:
This morning the grass was very wet....the clover was laid flat by the BB tires and after cutting I left rows. Hope this doesn't happen when dry.

the cut leaves me underwhelmed. Although the velocity deck on the scag didn't win any prizes on my grass, it seemed better than the BB deck (but maybe some of that is that its 12" bigger and the cut height is maybe not consistent between mowers. The cutting heights are not consistent across my mowers so I need to measure the blade height and figure out just where I need to cut so I can do a fair comparison. I had the BB set to 2.5" and I think its cutting higher that the SCAG did at 2.5". Also, my wheelhorse is even a closer cut so, for me to compare cut I need to at least get the height consistent.

The BB has huge power but the waist high brush (see photo) did bog me down (height set to max) and I had to slow up and still the cut was very incomplete. The BB still will bush hog all day but not at top speed.

Take a look at the shots and if anyone has any questions feel free to ask.

I mowed my yard, my local rental and the neighbor girl who hadn't mowed her yard for a month...felt bad for her kid who had not place to play...

kb9nvh
06-20-2009, 05:56 PM
http://picasaweb.google.com/grimshady/BADBOYMowing_2009_06_20#

kb9nvh
06-21-2009, 05:36 PM
I figured out the cut on the new badboy..more shots of how it cut:
http://picasaweb.google.com/grimshady/BadBoy_RecutatLowerSetting_2009_06_20#

Steve
06-21-2009, 06:08 PM
After having more time to test it out, do you have any more thoughts on the new machine? Or compared to the previous one?

kb9nvh
06-21-2009, 06:18 PM
Yep, I was initially dissapointed with the cut but it turns out you cant trust the inch needle. I was cutting wet grass at 3.5". The clover blooms were lower than that. Today I recut with the needle set to 1.5" and it was cutting at 2". Beautiful cut and even the rough field junk I pushed through went down pretty easily.

All I can say about the mower is it cuts great, cuts FAST and has a suspension to keep your fillings in their teeth (unlike my scag tiger cub).

I couldn't be happier with it!!!

Minor dissatisfactions are: seat hight could be lower, manual lift pedal should lock up, advanced chute system should have intermediat settings instead of just open or closed.

After having more time to test it out, do you have any more thoughts on the new machine? Or compared to the previous one?

Steve
06-22-2009, 03:01 PM
Well I am glad you are happy with it! Would you ever buy another Scag?

kb9nvh
06-22-2009, 05:28 PM
I wont say never but probably never a new one again.
There a lot of good to say about SCAG but their customer responsibility is lacking. I wont buy a SCAG on principle.

also, I have heard of more fires with SCAG than any other brand so maybe their is something to their design that is lacking in safety compared to other brands.


Well I am glad you are happy with it! Would you ever buy another Scag?

SuperiorPower
06-23-2009, 07:57 PM
Hey kb9nvh, what state do you live in? I doing some research on something that may be interesting and helpful to you and the rest of the gopherites and gopherettes.

Thanks,
Eli

kb9nvh
06-23-2009, 08:02 PM
Worthington, Indiana

Hey kb9nvh, what state do you live in? I doing some research on something that may be interesting and helpful to you and the rest of the gopherites and gopherettes.

Thanks,
Eli

kb9nvh
06-24-2009, 05:57 PM
Well, I have to say that the SCAG had a little more controllable feel to its hydraulics, not that the BB is bad or hard to use. The BB is WAY faster and larger overall (60" deck vs 48") so its more cumbersom but thats understandable. I need to check out my blade height and pitch and tire pressure and once I get that all lined out I'll be in a better position to talk about the BB cut. With the BB at 2" it was a one pass manacured cut even on the clover blooms. I need to up that about 1/2 inch and then see but I need to ensure pitch is correct.


Oh it looks very nice. What do you think of the two mowers now that you are trying it out more? Do certain things stand out you like in one over the other?

Tdog123
11-05-2013, 06:41 PM
I came by this thread while doing a search about Scag Tiger Cubs. Just bought a new to me 2004 from original homeowner (250 hours) Thought I would do some preventive maintenance including fuel lines and filter. That's what brought me here. Anyway I bought Gates barricade 1/4" fuel line and a good fuel filter and replaced all, double checking for leaks. Thought I would change the section from the fuel pump on the 19hp Kawasaki to the carb and made the change. When doing so I noticed that the replacement fuel line on the nipple to the carburetor wasn't real tight even with the clamp on. While it looked like it would work I ordered the 2 factory Kawasaki fuel "tubes" to replace those coming from the fuel pump. They had a noticeably tighter fit, I believe they are metric. Don't know if this is the reason for some fires but if replacing fuel pump lines I would use only factory Kawasaki. They are only a couple bucks apiece. Hope this saves someone from having issues.

LawnBoy0311
11-06-2013, 09:35 AM
In my area they would just slap some paint on it and try to sell it for $3000. :eek:

mowinman
11-06-2013, 08:26 PM
That really sucks dude,sorry.Sounds like a fuel line problem.I inspect my mowers once a week for any loose wires,loose fuel lines,anything to do with hoses I check in case one comes loose or cut.Even around the carb areas,anywhere fuel or oil can escape.

Steve
11-06-2013, 11:50 PM
They had a noticeably tighter fit, I believe they are metric.

WOW the factory fuel lines inner diameter was different than a standard fuel line?

Tdog123
11-08-2013, 03:31 AM
All the fittings on the mower were tight with the standard 1/4" tubing using same clamps. The lines on the fuel pump itself seem like they need the formed Kawasaki tubes. The line from the fuel pump to the carb seemed loose on the nipple at the carb. Even with the clamp on, the standard 1/4" tubing would slide off the nipple at the carb. While it might work, I didn't want to risk it. Just bought the fuel tubes at the dealer, only a couple bucks each.

Steve
11-11-2013, 10:46 AM
If you ever get a chance, it would be interesting to see a picture of the cross section Kawasaki tube next to 1/4" fuel line.

LawnCareMan280
11-20-2013, 07:09 PM
SCAG had a recall but seems to have ended in 2004. Mines a 2006 with like 50 hours on it. On another forum most think the insurance wont cover something like this..I needed to get specific insurance for it. I hope SCAG comes through with something or its back to kmart mowers for me....

My aunts new push mower i bought her for Christmas from a store like that and after the first day she used it BROKEN! it was a Mtd 21" push mower and the engine went to crap right when she made the first two rows on the lawn and when i brought it back to the store to see what was wrong. "sorry sir we can't fix it" and the costs for a new engine was a lot! so it was the worst present ever! my advice do not buy mtd's!

ExtremeLawncareServices
12-04-2013, 07:49 AM
What a mess.

ExtremeLawncareServices
12-04-2013, 08:24 AM
I Would buy one burnt like that in a second. With about $2700 in parts over a season and fixed over the winter = no bank payments on a good mower.

I am always looking for junked name brand mowers.