russell i know about the vent and its clean like new.You may have a plugged vent on the transmission making it over flow the shift lever.
On my L185 (similar US model to yours) the vent is on the side of the transmission under the seat area and looks like a question mark (?) on its side. Bugs love to build nests in it.
the leak from the shifter is more like a small tear drop after a lot o working with the pto lever, but for me its not good, the parts was cheap and the fix easy, that's why i decide to change them.