maybe try this
Hey Matt, Glad you found that to work.
I too have strugged with the same thing, but with a w123 turbo diesel, so I ruined my jacket pretty much.
Your shifter Idea is good, I like that. For that one I made a tool for that.
For the one forward, instead of losening the tranny support mounts, just get a ten mm wrench and socket on some extentions and take off the shifter arm and take the whole arm and rod out and then replace the bushing like that using a screwdriver or pliers.
(this takes me about ten minutes, just be careful not to hurt the neutral safety swtich)
Next time I will try taking the shifter out and let you know how that goes.
Thanks for the post,
Hope this one helps too,