98 escort radio panel removal

I purchased a replacement radio with cassette assembly on Ebay. I am having trouble getting the old radio panel assembly out far enough to unplug the connectors so I can install the new unit. It seems that the cable that
connects to the hot/cold adjustment switch does not have enough slack to let me get the assembly out far enough. I can only pull the assembly out about two inches then I can see that the hot/cold cable will not let me go any more. I do not want to mule haul it anymore as I might break the cable or the turning mechanism. I assume that this cable is hooked to a heater hose on/off valve. Does anyone have any suggestions regarding this?
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Not sure if anyone responded...look in the drivers side footwell (ie under the steering wheel) on the left side of where the radio goes. If you look up you'll see what looks like a disc with a cable attached (that's what you have to disconnect). There's a tab in the middle which you push sideways, then pull the disc part off of the heater control shaft.
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