The length of the rod was perfect, but the offset was incorrect. Basically the linkage offset was about 1.5 inches less than it should have been. You can see in this image that I had to initially use a long post on the trans lever to reach the linkage. Also in the image you see a coat hanger that I bent to the proper linkage dimensions. I would have had to bend and thread a new rod.
As for the washer, yes I added that from the beginning because there is no reinforcement there of any sort. The pegs are actually quite strong now, the thick washer significantly improved the load path. The images with the washers are not the final installation, because I drilled a new hole further back and a bit higher, allowing me to use a full washer back there. You can see that in the last couple photos.
I had read your thread, but I was just very surprised that you did not have the offset problem I had. Maybe they sent me the wrong linkage in the first place.