Jeremy, just to be straight what we're dealing with, the crank thrust bearing has failed completely. The crank has shifted forward way beyond where it's supposed to be.
It is still running that way, what it will hurt? Don't know, but it can't be good. It's up to you if you want to go in and repair it, time and money, or keep running it this way and possibly do more damage.
If you decide to just remove the shims and push the cam gear back, be aware the goal here is not to just line up the gears. That's not critical, what is critical is to maintain "some" end thrust clearance on the crankshaft. If you take out the entire shim, when you bolt the pulley back on and push the gear back, it could remove all the clearance and lock up the crank, not good! It will probably need some shim, as in having to make one the proper thickness.
Also, after you get the clearance set, check the length of the end of the crankshaft. From the front gear to the end of the crank must be less than the length of the inside of the front pulley plus the slinger. If it's too long the pulley won't tighten down against the crank gear.