Putting my rental to good use:
My friend and i opened up the tailshaft housing to flush it all out (it'd been sitting outside for a while, sadly had some leaves in it). Everything now spins perfectly, we managed to shift it into a few gears even w/o the shifter. hopefully ill get the ram up and running in a week or so.
EDIT: my friend has a manual block adapter that i can "borrow" until i find one to give to him. I bought a cheap eBay shifter, and may have a good deal on a used stock clutch (should handle 6-700tq so itll be plenty for now). The swap will hopefully only take a few days once all the parts are here.