Another thing to check especially with the China aftermarket variators is the inner race and nylon washers that assemble with them.
When the races and nylon washers are assembled into the and sitting firm in their little notched pockets the ends of the races should be sitting proud or a little outside the flat of the washer like here.
If the edge of the race is sitting below the flat of the washer the crank nut will stack out on the flat of the washer and compress it into the hub of the variator causing resistance. Same with the other race on the other side, it stacks out on the steel beveled washer.
If your assembled race in hub of the variator looks like this on either end the crank nut and steel beveled washer could be compressing the nylon washers and causeing you to lose free play.