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Need advice on a 61" Scag


Truck, Trailer, and Outdoor Power Equipment Discussion, Repairs.

Questions on your truck, trailer, commercial lawn mowers, lawn mower, mower parts, lawn tractors, engines, edgers, trimmers, pole saws, aerators, hydro seeders, snow plows, chain saws, stump grinders??
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:58 PM
ratchetmaster2 ratchetmaster2 is offline
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Default Need advice on a 61" Scag

Hey there guys,

I just read Rockymtnnut's thread, "tell the truth or tell you what you want to here", and I'm going to take it to heart. Take the cold, hard advice from the big guys rather than what I want to hear.

Since you guys keep telling the small guys to stop being stupid and just buy commercial mowers, I decided to look for some.

I found a Scag hydro walk-behind for sale on craigslist. The seller had it listed as a 52" for $450. He mis-spoke and said it was a 48", so that's what I remembered.

I go measure the bed of my truck, and a 48" would fit perfectly.

The ad says it needs carb work, but otherwise perfect.

I go to see the mower, and find out a few things.
First thing I think is "man, that looks kinda big to be 48".
But it looks pretty good for being a used mower. All the linkages and levers worked. He had the carb off, but showed me that it cranks, and it fires for a second on starter fluid. Brand new battery, and fuel pump he says. I pulled the one lever in Neutral, but I couldn't easily push the mower. I pushed a little harder, and the one wheel moved a little bit, but I stopped. The seller says it moved great when it was on. I was worried about the hydros, but he promised me they worked (of course I will test it for myself, but let's assume everything works)

I pull out a tape measure to start measuring stuff, and then I go to measure the deck. It turns out to be ~62" across. Then I look at the belt cover (he had it off to the side) and it says "61 Advantage". So it's a 61" mower.

It's too big for me to use, but I figure I could fix it and sell it, or even better, trade it for a nice 48" Scag. He said he would deliver it for me if I gave him $325 for it.

Do you think this is a realistic plan? I am very mechanically inclined, but things can still go wrong. Do you think this sounds too good to be true? I'm thinking, worst-case scenario: it needs an entire new carburetor. That's like $350? Don't these mowers sell for a couple grand?
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  #2  
Old 03-21-2013, 10:07 PM
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Sounds like it's stolen, why in the heck would he not know the size of his own deck. I wouldn't of given him a dime. Maybe it will work out for you but don't count on it. The whole deal just doesn't make since.
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:24 PM
SECTLANDSCAPING SECTLANDSCAPING is offline
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you can get walk behinds cheap but its fishy. Not even the whole stolen part but just the hydros and not starting. A shot of either doesnt mean its a carb problem. I had engines with scored cylinders do that.

I picked up my 44" for $300 and it ran fine. Just keep looking if your skeptical. The best deal comes when you dont need it.
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:58 AM
ratchetmaster2 ratchetmaster2 is offline
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I doubt it's stolen. The guy seemed really straight forward. I could relate to him a lot.
His backstory is this: He planned to start up a landscaping business, and bought the mower for $450 planning to fix it. He spent like $1500 on mail-out flyers and got zero business from it. I can believe it after what I've read here. He admitted his plans of landscaping were more of a hobby than a job. The guy is the director of a paper recycling plant, so he makes good money...and that's where the mower is.
Personally, if I made good money like that, the last place I would put a stolen mower is in a shed at my job, where everyone knows it's mine.

The reason it won't start is because the carb is off of the mower. But it is true that if I were trying to cover up a blown engine, I would remove the carb so nobody could test it. I'll do a compression test though.

The way I see it, $325 for this type of equipment isn't a huge gamble. I'm sure I could re-sell it for more than $325, even as is. People around here sell old, old Scags with totally blown motors for $500+
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Old 03-22-2013, 01:41 AM
SNethercutt SNethercutt is offline
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I missed a hell of a deal down here.

Guy had a Gravely 32" hydro walk behind with 55 hours for sale. Ad said 2050 OBO. He sold it for 1500. I was pissed!!!!!!!
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SNethercutt View Post
I missed a hell of a deal down here.

Guy had a Gravely 32" hydro walk behind with 55 hours for sale. Ad said 2050 OBO. He sold it for 1500. I was pissed!!!!!!!
Tell me about it. I saw an ad yesterday Toro grandstand 250 hours, 52" for $5,000 obo. If I had the space I'd go get it.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:02 AM
wandfsmall wandfsmall is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratchetmaster2 View Post
I doubt it's stolen. The guy seemed really straight forward. I could relate to him a lot.
His backstory is this: He planned to start up a landscaping business, and bought the mower for $450 planning to fix it. He spent like $1500 on mail-out flyers and got zero business from it. I can believe it after what I've read here. He admitted his plans of landscaping were more of a hobby than a job. The guy is the director of a paper recycling plant, so he makes good money...and that's where the mower is.
Personally, if I made good money like that, the last place I would put a stolen mower is in a shed at my job, where everyone knows it's mine.

The reason it won't start is because the carb is off of the mower. But it is true that if I were trying to cover up a blown engine, I would remove the carb so nobody could test it. I'll do a compression test though.

The way I see it, $325 for this type of equipment isn't a huge gamble. I'm sure I could re-sell it for more than $325, even as is. People around here sell old, old Scags with totally blown motors for $500+
A compression test will not tell you that an engine is blown you would have to do a proper leakdown as well to tell the whole story.

I would guess that it is a blown engine. However when I opened my second location a few years ago I traded a running 61 front mount grasshopper with no problems for $600. I was caught with no capital to put into the mower as it was just after opening the shop, and the guy took it so it can happen.
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Old 03-22-2013, 01:33 PM
ratchetmaster2 ratchetmaster2 is offline
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Originally Posted by wandfsmall View Post
A compression test will not tell you that an engine is blown you would have to do a proper leakdown as well to tell the whole story.
A leakdown test is for the valves. I'm much less worried about valves than I am the health of the cylinder walls. You can fix valves, kinda hard to fix the cylinder walls. You have to bore it, then hone, then find a bigger piston. Bunch of work. Valves are easy in comparison.
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Old 03-22-2013, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratchetmaster2 View Post
A leakdown test is for the valves. I'm much less worried about valves than I am the health of the cylinder walls. You can fix valves, kinda hard to fix the cylinder walls. You have to bore it, then hone, then find a bigger piston. Bunch of work. Valves are easy in comparison.
What engine is in it? You can see if you can find a used one locally before making the purchase. At least this way you know what your getting into. Another thing is buy a carb and go install it. $60 loss is better then $325.

WandF is right though. I had a backpack blow up on me the compression was 120. When I finally tore it down the wall and piston were shot. It had enough compression to run for 5 seconds then it died.

Last edited by SECTLANDSCAPING; 03-22-2013 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratchetmaster2 View Post
A leakdown test is for the valves. I'm much less worried about valves than I am the health of the cylinder walls. You can fix valves, kinda hard to fix the cylinder walls. You have to bore it, then hone, then find a bigger piston. Bunch of work. Valves are easy in comparison.
A leakdown test will tell you a lot more then that if you know how to do the test properly. I use a compression test will tell you that you have a problem, a leakdown will tell you where the problem is if done correctly.
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