I'm replacing the wear ring and impeller on my 2001 240 Merc. There was a bad vibration at low RPM, bad cavitation and poor performance overall. The wear ring was pitted, impeller nicked and dull, fishing line wrapped around the shaft and some stator vanes chipped and bent. I also noticed the impeller was making contact with the wear ring. Once the stator is removed (which holds the aft end of the shaft) is it normal for there to be a lot of play in the shaft? I can easily hit the side of the wear ring with the impeller. I wish I tried to see if I could move it that much before I took the stator off. I suppose the shaft bearing could be worn too, right? It's easy to replace the bushings in the stator but replacing the shaft bearing requires removing the power head then dropping the jet drive unit.
Regarding the roughed up stator, can I just file off the bent edges and smooth out the chips?

Thanks for any advise.