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I sounds very much li9ke you need a new fine adjustment rod.
This lives down below the rack near the fire wall.  It connects
the shift linkage to the tranny case and provides a fulcrum for
all rotational movement.  The bushing go out and it gets sloppy.
Especially if you mess with them, (yours was!)  A new one is about
$40 form carlsens, more at regular prices.  They pop on and off with
a little proding.  I recommend a long screwdriver to pry them off,
and a long dowl or 2"x 2" to help pop them back on.  It can be a
5 minute fix, really!  The new parts have captured bushings which
are a nice upgrade to the old style unit.  You wont be sorry.

Oh yeah, there is some chance it is acting in combination with the
other bushing on the bottom of the car nearer the rear of the linkage.
Try to replace that one at the same time.

paul timmerman

82 UrQ
84 4KQ
84 CGT
86 4kQ
88 323 GTX Pro rally car