Originally Posted by saw man
You do not need to buy both sides of the drive shaft, you can just buy the half that is worn.
Try not to slam the mower into drive as hard, try to be a little smoother with it. If you redlined your car and dropped the clutch every time the same would happen.
I tried replacing just the half that was worn, but more than once, I ran into a problem of incompatibility with the new part. It's weird because I'd have the shop look up and order what should be the right part for this specific model of the 216, and everytime it'd come in, there'd be something slightly different with it. This has happened when I've given them the part number, and even when they looked up the mower's model/serial number, and found what "should've been" the right part. The last time I went through this, the shaft was too long, and I ended up having to cut it down to size just to make it work because I didn't have time to dink around with the shop at that point. So far, this modified drive shaft hasn't screwed up. Keeping my fingers crossed.
As for driving it more smoothly, I admit I was a bit rough on it at first, but I've learned to be more gentle with it. Especially gotta be more gentle with it when cutting a lawn that has a bad problem with thatch as I've noticed it has a bit of a hard time accelerating on those thick/nasty lawns.