Originally Posted by Screamin
Doesn't seem like much play to me. I've watched some vids of "no shaft play" and with no oil pressure there is a very slight movement to the shaft.
I could be wrong though, this is my first turbo car. My last 3 were LSx NA and nitrous Camaro's.
If it's actually 1/2 cm side to side that's a lot, and anything "in and out" is pretty bad--AFAIK it shouldn't have that type of movement even without oil pressure.
OP, sounds like your best bet is to pick up a lightly used VF40/VF46 in the classified. They can typically be had for $250-$400 and you won't need a tune. Anything else that is aftermarket will really require a tune to go with it.