i managed to get the cable out. i disconnected teh gold clip. like before the cable would only move about 20mm. but, if i pulled on it, it would move just a little more out each time i cycled the button. i got the cable out and took apart my gearbox. the small roller gear is busted. so, my understanding is that i have to buy an entire new motor--great.
thanks for everyone's help.
86' 190e 2.3L 16v