Last season I hit a gravel bar with my jet foot while drifting backwards. Turns out that the rear thru bolt that holds the jet to the driveshaft housing was gone and it tweaked the jet on the two front bolts and cracked the aluminum mount on the center section housing. When I fired the motor up, it ran "wobbly" (impeller slightly contacting sleeve) but it ran smooth enough to get me home. I'm replacing the center section, but I noticed that the drive shaft will move in and out (axially) thru the bearing housing about 1/8 to 3/16" of an inch. I am assuming that this means the bearing is shot, but I dont remember how sloppy these things are normally. I dont want to put it back together if the bearing is toast, but I dont hear any grittiness or grinding when I spin the shaft.
Is this a no brainer to just replace the bearing? What about checking for a bent driveshaft?