Did you try to adjust the worm assembly to the worm gear via trial and error to eliminate the play? Your sure you put everything back like spacers and all in the correct order when you did the tear down? I would also re-check that all grub screws, and ring nut are tightened properly as well. Did you try adjusting ant-backlash in the hand control as well?
Yes I basically tried everything;
1- I tried to adjust the worm spacing, I even tightened it to the point where the motor was binding and I still had the slop.
2- All bearings and spacers are back where they were. I took lots of pictures and to be honest taking it apart and reassembling it wasn't that hard or complicated. The only challenging part was getting the worm to ring spacing in the sweet spot which I believe I have yet to do that I guess.
3- I double and triple checked all screws, I was very keen on tightening them properly the last time I did this (I've done that plenty of times by now). I also tried loosening and tightening the ring nut that holds the worm shaft with no apparent improvement.
4- I don't use anti-backlash in the HC since I'm using PHD for guiding and my current issue is currently mechanical. There is actual free play in the ra axis.
Update: According to ED from DSP, the slop is normal after hypertuning especially after all the stickiness and grease is cleaned up. My only issue is how much free play is recommended and if that's what's affecting my guiding. I guess the only way to know is to keep adjusting and testing which is really hard to do especially with the current weather.