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The only surprise is how hard the socket stays on the ball at the end of the lever (shift lever). If you snap a visegrip on the shaft then you can use the visegrip to pry against to remove the socket. This way there is no force applied to any other parts in the shift mechanism. But I have only done it once. Then the socket goes back on soo much easier than it came off. Worrisome easy. As in, maybe I should do that again just to be sure. Your call.
I also installed this short shifter, One complaint I have, is I bent my shift cable when i try to "pull off" the cable. After some minor moving and pinching i was able to make it useable., I had to remove it once again. This time I used a wood block and a prybar ( A long screw driver will work just the same) using the wood block and a pivot point(along the center tunnel) and just pry at the outer seem of the ball-cup it pops off with little work and little damage to the rest of the equipment.
See you at the dragon!!
counting the days till MOTD 2013
I realize how old this thread is, but I thought I'd give my tip on getting the bottom cover off. I put a nail in a vice and bent it to about a 45 degree angle and then clamped it in some pliers and used that to release the clips.