I am still in the process of building my car — bought it 3 years ago last month– getting very close to being finished.
You should be able to get the rod out but with the body mounted you will need to remove the engine and transaxle and then pull the rod back so that the front end is at the access hole between the seats. Pull the shifter end of the rod up through the access hole and forward to remove. Install a new nylon bushing and reverse the procedure to be back on the road.
Maybe someone else has a easier method.
keep us informed of your progress/success.