Your dealer was right. Best thing to do is to go out and buy yourself the correct size socket for the rod, and practice putting it back in. After a few times, it gets easier. The trick is to visualize the end of the rod (that you can't see) being level going all the way in, and holding as such while you thread it in. Then it goes back in easier. You'll get it. Also, some teflon tape on the threads of the rod help it seal and make it easier to get in and out. Good luck!
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