-that sounds pretty serious to me
Good grief, I have to wonder if maybe one of the shaft clamping bolts is not tight ??? (-were it me, I think I'd be finding out real soon. "Loose steering" would make me WAY TOO NERVOUS to be driving it at all,,,,)
When I compared the old shaft to the new one, I could not tell even one little speck of difference at all. Neither one of them had any slack at all. -AND, I honestly don't think there is any "internal" (ie hidden) difference either.
My honest feeling is that I should not have "wasted" money on the new part, but would have been just as well off to change over to the extra-heavy high temp disc brake grease on the original part.