you and me both, brother.
when I put my clutch back in I used a claw hammer to pry against that tube to compress the clutch spring enough to get the lower flywheel bolts in. I thought that 'spacer' was part of the engine! Apparently the hammer thought so too because it didn't budge. Wiser heads told me to sand that tube down just enough so that it's hard to get in with my bare hands but not impossible just for the purpose of doing what mymindsok said--change out the neutral switch without pulling the whole gearbox.