I got it home fine, but it may have been a mistake to buy it.
The good: the engine does run well and the mower deck seems to work fine. The hydraulic transmission also seems to work, but ...
Here's the bad. It did pull out of the driveway fine, but when I went to drive it home at full speed, the hydraulic drive kept on wanting to suddenly slow down back to a stop. I'd have to pull the lever back down to neutral and push it forward again to get it going again. It did it many times. Sometimes it would fly along as it should, then it would suddenly slow right down to a stop, so I'd once again have to put the lever in neutral and restart it. All my stuff that I collect is far more primitive than this, so I know nothing about hydraulics and what not. Is this a sign that the hydraulic pump is tired, or might it be something different, such as something simple like needing to change the fluid and filter? It was a cold evening too when I drove it home, but I don't know if that's significant or not (I don't think it should be). I'm worried it might be the pump and therefore, undoubtedly, expensive. It also did not want to stay in neutral very much when I wanted it to sit still. It either wanted to creep forward or backward. Also, and finally, it wouldn't just stay at a slower speed moving forward - it would always creep up to going full speed. Maybe it's an adjustment issue? Any thoughts? This is all new to me. I really don't want to fix it up to sell as I already have a few projects lined up. I was just hoping to resell it cheap, for just a little more than I paid for it, thereby passing it along to someone who would appreciate it more than I, and putting a little coffee money in my pocket. Everyone wins! However, that might be a bit of a pipe dream though, if it has major issues.
The other thing that I noticed was that there was a lot of play in the steering. I'll have to take a look to see where the play is, but that's likely less of a concern than the drive system.