Wheel Horse lawn tractor wheel slipping


I've got an hold Wheel Horse lawn tractor (probably from the 80s) with a 12 hp engine. I got it about 5 years ago, and except for the problem of mice building nests in the engine compartment, it's been pretty reliable.
Sometimes if the grass is a bit wet and I end up on too much of a slope, the left rear wheel might slip and just spin.
That's no big deal, but I seem to recall when this would occasionally happen in the past, it was both rear wheels that would spin. Now it's just the rear left, and the rear right doesn't move - which means that only the rear left is being powered. Maybe I'm misremembering, but I swear this had 2-wheel drive in the past.
Yet, when I look down there at the axel, I don't see any obvious missing bolt or locking pin or anything - like on my snow thrower.
Is it possible that whatever is broken is inside the axel somewhere? I could use some advice on what I should be looking for to fix it. I'm not afraid of taking this thing apart - but it would help to know what I'm looking for. Or is it possible that it really is just one- wheel drive?
Thanks for any advice.
-J
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JJ wrote: ...

It's just the differential letting the lesser traction side rotate.
Pick up the rear end and turn one manually; the other should (I bet will) rotate the opposite direction.
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On 7/16/2010 2:02 PM, JJ wrote:

the rear tires are showing some wear and are slipping on slopes when it's wet. Try switching tires side to side, see if the slipping move with the tire.
LdB
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JJ wrote:

That is normal, if most of the traction is on that tire, the other one will spin. With a different lawn mower I was using, I left chains on the rear wheels year round since I have some steep hills. Worked GREAT!
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Thanks for the tips. I'll check it out. With any luck, the test will show that nothing's busted.
-J
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