I have (had) a basic Suntour spring fork on my hybrid and when I took it into the bike shop a couple months ago I was told the fork was excessively worn and needed to be replaced. Long story short I went cheap and put a solid fork on it which it turns out massively changed the geometry to the point were I'm putting pedals into the dirt on bench cut trails, even without roots.
I still have the old fork and it's something near 2 inches taller than the new rigid fork. I believed the shop at the time when they said it was worn but now I'm wondering. Holding the upper and lower portions of the fork I can feel it shift slightly when I try to bend it but it doesn't move visibly that I can tell.
Is it still reasonably safe as-is, should I get new bushings from Suntour for it and see if that helps, or should I accept it as dead and spend the money on a new suspension fork that is the right height?