The taper pin can be tricky, to be sure. I use a brass drift also, and have found that a nice sharp tap with a smaller hammer works far better that a small tap with a big hammer. I seem to remember that neutral worked for me. Once the pin is out, pull the stick back to second to push the rod forward, then smack the shift know forward with the palm of your hand to separate the linkage. Make sure the linkage is really free before starting to lift the engine out, or yoiu might bend the linkage rod.
posted by 64.168.14...
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