Sears Front wheel Drive Lawn Mower- Wheels Froze Up

I have a Sears front wheel drive lawn mower, 21 inch 6.75HP, model # 917376551, that is about 6 years old. Today while mowing, when I engaged the front wheels by squeezing the lever on the handle, I heard something “POP” and then the wheels froze up. The drive wheels had been making a “slipping- as if a gear inside wheels was slipping and then re-engaging” noise periodically for the past few months. I took the plastic cover off the drive assembly area and the cable from the handle lever is not broke, it stills seems to move the lever that is attached to what appears to be a gear box. Both wheels are frozen and will not turn by hand. I read some of the previous posts in the forum, but still getting educated on mower repair. Any ideas on further troubleshooting to see 1) what problem might be 2) is it something I could repair(reasonably handy) 3) not cost effective to repair 4) or any other things I failed to think of ? thanks in advance for your help.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
replying to Paul, Iggy wrote: Only a couple of things I know of. 1st, is something you probably would've noticed with the drive cover off, the drive belt came off the transmission pulley and got jammed under the pulley and then possibly also jammed in the belt retainer above the blade (not the lock-up cause from there though).

And 2nd, is that you need a new transmission. I've actually never had a transmission go bad, but I also stopped buying Sears or Craftsman mowers because they turned to crap design. The lock-up wouldn't have anything to do with the Traction Cable, Drive Belt itself nor any springs.

It may be very tedious, but you can tackle it. Some Craftsman mowers have a whole Drive Tray (of stupidity) that has to be completely removed and fully disassembled to get the old out and new in, for probably the same extremely poor lifespan.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.