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Going to look at a used Scag zero turn

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Going to look at a used Scag zero turn

Old 09-13-2015, 05:49 AM
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Default Going to look at a used Scag zero turn

I'm was going to look at a Scag 61" zero turn mower I saw on Craigslist. 1200 hours, looks to be in good shape in the pictures, and the seller sounds like a reasonable guy with a legitimate reason for selling. I had him send me the serial number which identifies it as a model year 1999. Everything I've read tells me Scag is good, solid mower, but I have no experience with zero turns.

Should I even go look at a 16 year old mower?

Any specific things I should be sure to check when I'm inspecting the mower?
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Old 09-13-2015, 05:54 AM
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what's the make of the engine? Kohler? Kawasaki?
16 years old depends on the use and maintenance.
Just listen for anything that doesn't sound "normal". You'll be able to tell.

Check for slop in the controls, etc. And if you've never driven one, take it SLOW. Learning curve is fast but you can get yourself in trouble just hopping on and going WOT.

See how it starts and idles, etc.

Check for rust. I don't have any specific experience with scag equipment but in that area they were never held in high regard. Maybe just because of minimal shop support locally.
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Old 09-13-2015, 06:05 AM
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22 hp Kawasaki was the original engine. I'll look to see if it's been replaced at some point.
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Old 09-13-2015, 06:43 AM
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I bought a used Scag Tiger Cub 15 years ago. It has the kawasaki engine and it's still running strong.
Very good mower.
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Old 09-13-2015, 06:54 AM
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Great mower, but do not like really sandy soil, it tears up the shaft bearings under the deck.
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Old 09-13-2015, 07:12 AM
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Kawasaki engines are awesome.
Every mid-size we had used them, and they refused to do anything but purr.
probably a 23-25hp if it's a 60". 3 blade deck too, iirc.
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Old 09-13-2015, 12:11 PM
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So I checked out the mower. Started right up, no smoke. It has the original 22 hp Kawasaki motor. Before we ran it the owner told me one of the spindles was bad, and it was. The mower still cut fine on the test drive but I don't know if the spindle is a big deal or not.

No significant rust. Had a couple of smaller potential issues I just don't know enough about to know it they are signs of big trouble. I told the guy I wouldn't consider buying it without getting it checked out by a mechanic and he agreed. I'll probably take it in Wednesday.

I don't have any experience with mowers so I've still got some work to do to figure out if I'm getting a steal or headache.
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Old 09-13-2015, 12:15 PM
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The question is how much money?

I see much newer used exmarks in the 3-3500 asking price range all the time. I'd say anything over 2k is to much, 1500 about all I would consider paying.
A re-power doing it yourself is close to 2k, then you have the hydraulics to worry about.
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Old 09-13-2015, 12:32 PM
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He's asking $3200, I wasn't going to offer more than $2500 before I even saw it. I'll see what a mechanic says and offer from there if it is mechanically sound, but it won't take much for me to just walk away. I'm not interested in a project. I want to find a good running, high quality mower for a deal, but I don't need a bunch of bells and whistles or for it to look good.
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Old 09-13-2015, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by rcm55 View Post
He's asking $3200, I wasn't going to offer more than $2500 before I even saw it. I'll see what a mechanic says and offer from there if it is mechanically sound, but it won't take much for me to just walk away. I'm not interested in a project. I want to find a good running, high quality mower for a deal, but I don't need a bunch of bells and whistles or for it to look good.
1200 hours isn't a lot of hours for a commercial mower. It will be hard to find one for that kind of money with nothing wrong with it(maybe impossible). If it checks out other than what he told you I'd grab it. I thought about upgrading mine and almost fell over at the prices. I paid $5K back in 02, 1 year old with 50 hours. A new one was $6500, now they're $12-$15K
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Old 09-13-2015, 02:42 PM
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3200 sounds high. 22hp is a small engine on a 61 also. Is your lawn perfectly flat? I got an exmark with similar hours on a 23hp but much newer for 2k. The engine was tired at 1200 hours, and I ran it two years then re-powered with a 27.


I'd keep looking, going into the fall landscapers will start to unload their machines. The good ones cycle their mowers and they have a lot of residential use life left on them.
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Old 09-13-2015, 02:42 PM
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FYI Lawnsite is a good forum for diy information on owning/running the big mowers.
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Old 09-13-2015, 03:30 PM
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3200, for that many hours (mine has over 1900 and still runs good) and that age is a little too high. 22-2500 much more in line, honestly. I have the Kawasaki, original, and love it. Parts are a little pricey, but they mow good and I have mowed some silly terrain with mine(high weeds, sticks, etc). Take it to a commercial scag dealer to let them check it out, well worth $100 or so they would charge.
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Old 09-13-2015, 03:54 PM
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My yard is pretty flat. I'm going to take this one to a Scag dealer and have him check it out. If there's not too much wrong with it I'll offer in the neighorhood of $2000. If he takes it, great. If not, it's fall and I'll look for something better.

TurboJoe -

What did it cost to re-power your mower?
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Old 09-13-2015, 05:34 PM
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Just sold one like that 1300 hrs. only 6 yrs old and the engine was a Kawasaki , 26 hp. water cooled . Mower was always stored inside looked new Sold for 3,000
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Old 09-13-2015, 05:47 PM
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rcm, check out Toro zero turns before moving on the Skag for that price. I bought a new 42" SS4260 with 21.5 hp Kawasaki engine for about $2400 ish' about 7-8 months ago and WOW! Fast, smooth, fun and very very efficient. Reviews were excellent for homeowner use. It turned a 1 1/2 hour mowing job into 30-40 minutes.
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Old 09-13-2015, 06:58 PM
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Zero turns are a blast to run. But they do not do well running sideways on hills, hard to keep them going in a straight line. Most of the scags I've seen have been used commercially or by institutions large enough to have their own ground crews.
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Old 09-13-2015, 07:07 PM
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Most motors with regular oil and air filter maintenance will see around 2000 - 2500 hours. A commercial mower that old I wouldn't pay anywhere near that price, maybe $1200.
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Old 09-13-2015, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by rcm55 View Post
My yard is pretty flat. I'm going to take this one to a Scag dealer and have him check it out. If there's not too much wrong with it I'll offer in the neighorhood of $2000. If he takes it, great. If not, it's fall and I'll look for something better.

TurboJoe -

What did it cost to re-power your mower?
A repower will run between about $2000 - $2600 depending on what motor.
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Old 09-14-2015, 05:45 AM
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way too much money for a 16 year old used piece of commercial equipment.

You could pick up a good used walker for that kind of money and have a damn good piece of equipment.
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