Car - It is high - try loosening the "bowden" cable. Sounds like it is way too tight. As you look at the picture it is the cable that is shown at the very top of the picture, center of right, with the black rubber accordian type of cover on it. Disconnect the "ball" end and adjust the cable till the "ball" is right over where it is supposed to be connected without having to pull on it. Also, take another pic from the top showing all the linkage and I will compare it to mine to make sure everything looks like it should. Good job on getting it back together, sounds like you had quite a struggle.
for helping me out too.