I put a N64 stick back together and now it doesn't move left/right properly?

Chrbkr

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Go to the bottom for the TL;DR version.

Title says it all, but for more details what I mean is it "pauses/sticks (pun intended)" for lack of a better word before going all the way left/right which can be VERY irritating when playing games like Mario Kart, Smash Bros, or Super Mario 64 as much as I try to shrug it off and pretend otherwise because I just CANNOT fix the problem, I'm pretty sure it has something to do with the bottom (top?) part of the assembly where you put the stick, short gear, spring and the ring that goes on top of it but I just can't figure it out.

Putting the spring either way seems to be the same, no difference in any way (which side goes up anyway) one thing I did notice is I can just tip/tilt the whole thing forward and back for some reason, which I guess is normal, I feel like I'm probably pushing the spring down either too much or too little, only one person on Reddit to be any help after uploading the same question TWICE (no surprise there?) I refuse to believe nobody else has ever had the same problem as this over-confident beginner, it's probably something simple but I'm certainly not figuring it out by just watching Youtube videos, because it seems like I'm doing everything right honestly.

My guess is there's some "collision" happening but not too the point where the stick stops completely, maybe I should push the spring down with my fingers to some extent first? because the gear only goes so far down the stick and therefore can only put so much pressure on the spring by itself, and if you don't push the gear down enough the stick moves with it and you'll never get anywhere, also I noticed when a stick is first opened it seems to be pushed WAY down under the piece of plastic that goes in the whole and combines the two sides, but I think that's just worn out loose ones for whatever reason, I didn't notice that with my own stick because it's ok and it popped open too hard and parts flew everywhere.

I've had vague help from the reddit guy through messages, he'd say things like "sometimes the gear binds and the flat spot on the spring is angled when you put it back together, limiting the range of motion" or "make sure the half-circle part of the gears are completely flat" (which I'm pretty sure I've done).

TL;DR: The stick gets stuck before going all the way left/right and it's pissing me off, it's making dashing in Smash Bros harder, drifting in Mario Kart harder etc. to an extent, I'm having to use more force, it also looks like the stick maybe tries to leave out of the hole it goes through when I force it to go the rest of the way? as in it's a little too far separated from both sides where the little plastic "nubs" are (you know what I mean right? if not I'll show pictures), that's maybe a hint I never noticed before.
 

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