Yeah, the worst part about it is pulling the tin off again.
If it were me and I was that far into it I would go ahead and pull the hydraulic block out of it and go through it. Take it apart and clean the rust and crud out of it. I like to wash fine parts like that in lacquer thinner then lightly grease and reassemble. Replace the lower seal while you are in there and both of the Orings - part #s 14 and 33 in the photo below.
Make sure you clearly mark the lines to the cylinders at they can be a pia to sort out if you don't. I use tape and mark them top and bottom.
Be careful not to drop the little springs and plungers in the hyd block as you pull it off the column. They will want to fall out the bottom.
I&T FO-31 manual has a pretty good description of adjusting the spring washer and swedging the nut.
If you get into trouble reinstalling the plungers, etc in the right holes just holler.
We can help.