Peerless 801 transaxle case/cover separation

Would appreciate any advice on proper (i.e. safe and effective) methods(s) for separating the cover and case (top and bottom halves) of a Peerless 801-038 5-spd transaxle (from our John Deere LX173 lawn tractor).
I have released the sealant between the 2 halves by gently tapping a very thin wall-scraper blade through the sealant, and have used a slide hammer (again reasonably gently) attached to a cap screw threaded into the ball-detent hole, but the case and cover are still tight together. The input shaft and the shift rod are free and the unit is in neutral. I can't see the plate with the ball-detent sockets; could the cover be jammed somehow on the shift mechanism?
Any help will be much appreciated -- we employees of the State are desperate to avoid large repair bills from "outside": -- budgets, much pinching of pennies, all that sort of thing.
Thanks you,
Steve Freeman Maintenance Travelers Rest State Historic Site, Toccoa, GA
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Sounds like you missed one of the bolts holding it together examine it very carefully both top and bottom It should come apart very easily. Be careful once inside there are some very sharp edges like where the key slides in the shaft so don't cut your finger. Good luck.

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