For the last 6 months or more My old 48 cub has been making a very faint occasional squawking noise around the left rear wheel. I'd gone over all the wheel bolts, center and rim, as well as the wheel weight bolts, and even checked for play in the brake drum in case the set screw had come loose or broken. I had come to the conclusion it was a bearing starting to go bad, but with my health I had decided it was going to have to wait , and was keeping use to a minimum hoping to do as little damage as possible. I was using the disk yesterday to go over some ground I'd plowed 2 years ago but had been unable to disk up, and when I backed up to unhitch I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye. I started watching closely and could see a very tiny back and forth movement of the left fender as I went from forward to reverse in the soft ground. When I got it back to the shed and checked, every bolt holding the final drive was just finger tight. Apparently when I replaced the left brake drum about 4 or 5 years ago I failed to tighten the bolts.
I tightened all the bolts, and it is in the plans to someday, when I feel like it and have some help available, to pull the final and replace the dowel pins which I assume had become worn due to the loose bolts, and was allowing the movement. The only thing I can claim as an excuse is that when I was replacing the drum I was working under a lean-to shed that was only a foot wider than the tractor and I was standing in snow doing the reassembly. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.