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I bought a "new" Scag Z-Ride 36" in January from a dealer in Denton, Tx. After i got it home i noticed the spindles were covered in rust.
When i added mulch blades i noticed how rusty the bolt was so water obviously got inside the spindle. I haven't tried to remove the bearings.
I contacted the dealer and complained. He said "there's no way water could get into the sealed bearings."
Of course if you add grease, the grease gets in them so how could water not get into them if they're bathing in it?
He sent me some bolts but refused to send me new spindles.

Today after just rolling 10 hours on the machine the drive belt for the blades snapped.
The spindles turn by hand but i don't know how freely they should spin vs now but i'm sure by it's very design it puts a heavy strain on belts.

So i'm wondering if the bearings have just enough rust damage to create resistance the belt can't handle.
Does this seem highly abnormal or not?

One lesson is if you have a choice always buy directly from the warehouse, never what's been sitting on the dealer's lot for however long.
It was under a shed but open to the weather blowing in.

Just to note, otherwise i LOVE this machine and highly recommend it.
 

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That's not a new Scag. I bought a new scag this year and it looks nothing like that old faded rust bucket. The pics look like a 20 year old one with 3,000 hours and stored in a pond. Grease zerk is rusted right over.
 

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I agree mtpockets looks like a ten plus year old machine , my 2016 Deere zero turn deck and spindles don't look like that , up here in New England weather garaged or sheltered equipment don't look like that brand new , I know landscapers who got enclosed car trailers for their stuff and their equipment don't look like that after a year or brand new . I know guys with ten your old equipment and it don't look like that
 

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Plus if had grease from the dealer it be all over the top of the deck from getting hot an oozen out of the seal on top of the spindle
 
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