Won't roll freely - is transaxle frozen?
Unfortunately, I've acquired a neglected yard tractor / mower with multiple issues. I've yet not bothered to try to start it because of: a) two ruined tires and b) the rear wheels or differential are frozen or jammed or ...??? On the ground, that makes it impossible to move the tractor without dragging it. That's not fun. Add in the two expired cracked tires and it's REALLY no fun.
With rear wheels off the ground, they spin freely but in opposite direction, as one would expect from a differential (I think).
The F-N-R lever makes no difference, though underneath, I can see that it is indeed moving the rod in and out. However I'm not convinced this "shifter" is doing the job, there's no decisive sense of getting it into forward or into reverse, though I have no experience with running one of these so don't know what to expect it to feel like - I just know that it doesn't feel quite right. Thus I suspect the transaxle is kaputski.
Local mower shop first said to look for the rod coming out the back and pull that to unlock the dif. On this machine, there is no such rod, as far as I can see. Mechanic also suggested the disk brake could be stuck, but I see no brake on the rear axle.
Am I missing something obvious, or is this rust bucket ready for its eternal rest? We do have a metal recycling yard just a couple miles away, but with locked rear wheels and two squashed tires, just getting it into my trailer will be a grueling ordeal.