First thing you need to check is the axle spindles,jack up the front and see if it is still hard to turn,if so take the spindles out and clean them and new grease,I have had to use a large hammer on some because of the rust and old grease crud,hammer on the top with something that won't damage the top of the spindle .
I have not done the list - sorry. I just picked it up from the shop where I had a leak in the transmission. They replaced a seal, couple of bearings and an o-ring and added some transmission fluid. It turned fine when I took it in but now it is hard to turn both directions. Do I need to bleed the line? Could there be air in it?
There was a leak around the seal that is right above the filter. They replaced the seal, bearings and o-ring. They added two quarts of fluid and the fluid level where it is supposed to be. The lifting of the deck and the turning was fine -- just needed to stop the leak and it was making a mess on the deck where it leaked.
Letting it just sit and run isn't going to help purge the system.
You can purge with it jacked up, or by driving it around (which is the procedure listed in the service manual). Basically a series of quick starts and stops, hard lock to lock turns, and exercising the hydraulic control levers.