Why would the tunnel cover be cut, to get to trans?
Is it the wheel bearing or spindle bearings? Are they bushings?
I will check the engine more Tuesday.
Yes, that is why it would be cut, really no other reason. After years of use the button on the bottom of the shift lever gets worn, and causes the tranny to jam. You can find more information on it HERE. It is a very easy repair, and I did a write up on it HERE. Also, if you get a chance to drive it, try all gears and listen for noises from the tranny, the bearing tend to wear out on them.
While you are at it, you should check the entire front end in the tractor. Check the bushings in the spindles, thrust bearing between the spindles and axle, and where the axle pivots on the frame. Where it pivots on the frame it will probably have a bearing inside the hub of the axle, some had bushings. Also check the backside of the pivot, sometimes where the nut is welded to the frame it will break. Another thing to check is the small wheel hub axles where they go into the spindle, that is supposed to be tightened so it does not move by the nut on the back. All of these things usually show wear by now, but what is likely causing the wheels to be at the angle are bad bearings in the wheel hubs.
Here is a diagram of the front end; I put red dots on the things I mentioned to check.