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I purchased a new intermediate steering for shaft for my 2004 AWD from Amazon for a great deal at $54 CAD which is almost free for you Americans.
For the past while I've had this little bit of play in the steering wheel and after replacing my power steering (leak), tie rods, and ball joints it still persisted.
I decided to bite the bullet and order another one from Rock Auto. Once I got them side by side there were some noticeable differences.
The "Amazon" one has a thinner shaft which is not splined, and yokes are also thinner. It also doesn't have a rubber protector around the bottom joint.
Has anyone else come across this? After installing the Rock Auto one my steering returned to tight and true.
Top one in the pics is the Amazon one.

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There are COUNTLESS fakes/reproductions/clones of an endless number of items on Amazon. My first, best effort is to always target the seller as amazon.com rather than just the shipper. So, without knowing who you ordered from, there's no real recourse. Amazon will issue you a full refund and shutdown the third-party shipper if you contact them, but those sellers are like hydra; 3 more will pop up in its place. That said, Dorman refers to itself as "nimble manufacturing." In short, if they can contract out for a production run of something quicker/cheaper in China or Mexico or Uruguay, they'll do that. Additionally, designs change over time. It's possible that you purchased a genuine first-version part with the design flaws not quite worked out.
 
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