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Rudder Seal Replacement

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Hi there - I have a 2005 Malibu Response LX and noticed I have a little bit of play in the rudder.  My dad has a new / used 2006 Response LXI.  He's is snug with no play.  After doing some research I thought the rudder might need to be repacked to eliminate play and vibration when I make a hard right turn at idle speed to get the rope to a skier.  I contacted skidim and they said my model does not have packing but only a seal.  The seal kit is about $50. 

I have a few questions:

Would replacing the seal eliminate some play you think? 

Has anyone done this on their boat similar to mine? 

Ski dim said they didn't think I'd need to pull the gas tank to do this.  Any input?  I'm hoping I could reach it by removing the back seat and floor panel.  

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