I have a 1050 and the shaft has about 3/4 inch "free play" in it. I also have a 1256 and that one doesn't. The exposed ends of the shaft on both are the same. I've taken it out and I can't find anything wrong. Snap rings seem ok.. the oil seal doesn't seem to have a groove to hold it in place and slides on the shaft. Are the belts supposed to keep it where it belongs? Want to make sure everything is ok before I put the belts on and hook up my tiller. Just bought these as a package deal and very new and green to these little tractors. The 1050 was in working condition and the 1256 a restoration project. Oh, and they had wire wrapped around the shaft to take care of the free play I'm guessing. That's why I took it apart.