Thanks Pat at Permagreen. I called yesterday about stiff shifting on first lawn (needed both hands). Pat called me back in five minutes and explained that there is a steel shifter shaft that enters the transmission case on top. The shaft often rusts causing it to bind. He explained that you have to remove the hose clamp and slide the rubber protective boot up. And then spray with WD-40. Then work it back and forth. I used a pipe wrench. Then pack it with grease. It made a huge difference--works perfect now--shifts easily. Anybody want to see the photos?