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I'm not very familiar with the newer Kawi's, but all of the older ones had a seal that was around the driveshaft that prevented water from entering... They may have changed that on the newer ones. The old style seal is similar to whats used on inboard boats, it involves 2 or more rubber tension seals that have a small amount of grease for both lubrication and a water tight seal. You said you're mechanically inclined; the seals are nearly identical to the main seals on a car engine.

Yes something out of alignment can cause things to leak at the shaft. The engine could be out of alignment from when they removed it.
 
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