Gotcha well i guess ill try and manually select the gear tomorrow with the linkage removed but i have a pretty good feeling ill be displeased with the results. I think its time for another transmission :/I don't think this is your issue... but remove the 5th gear guide. It also acts as the reverse lockout blocker. That will eliminate the reverse lockout as a potential issue.
FYI - I think you have the selector operation reversed. That's easy to do since it's all done in opposites. The shifter rod is attached to the shifter lever below the pivot point (the ball). So everything is in reverse.
When you move the shifter to the right to get to reverse, the rod would turn clockwise. Then when you pull back into reverse (the rod being attached below the pivot point at the shifter) the bottom of the shift shaft rod moves forward into the tranny. When you move the shifter forward to 5th, the bottom point moves backwards, pulling the rod out of the transmission.
Someone else should confirm that for us.