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My SCAG Tiget cub burst into FLAMES today!!

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  • #31
    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.

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    • #32
      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

      Comment


      • #33
        Fuel line recall on 5000 Husqvarna tractors

        It's not only ZTR that have fuel line problems

        Tractors too

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

        Comment


        • #34
          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

          Comment


          • #35
            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?
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            • #36
              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!

              Comment


              • #37
                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

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                • #38
                  I gotta ask one question tho, kb9nvh what state do you live in?

                  Thanks,
                  Eli

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                  • #39
                    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

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Here's my new mower
                      http://picasaweb.google.com/grimshad...ng_2009_06_20#

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                      • #41
                        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?
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                        • #42
                          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...
                          Last edited by kb9nvh; 06-20-2009, 03:58 PM. Reason: added picture link

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                          • #43
                            http://picasaweb.google.com/grimshad...ng_2009_06_20#

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                            • #44
                              I figured out the cut on the new badboy..more shots of how it cut:
                              http://picasaweb.google.com/grimshad...ng_2009_06_20#

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                              • #45
                                After having more time to test it out, do you have any more thoughts on the new machine? Or compared to the previous one?
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