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Air Direction Control Broken

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hi there, new here - trying to get some help with my 2005 models heating controls

the air flow direction knob doesn't change the flow of air (the hot/cold knob and fan speed are both ok)

done some research and taken the cables off the contoller on the side of the heater box

the knob doesn't really turn cables, but i think the cables have been strethed as I tried the knob on the side of the heater box and this was really stiff

I removed the white geared section that the cables clip to from the side of the heater box, and found I could manually adjust the black lever behind, but it was still difficult

When I removed the black lever and tried the pins that the lever moves - the top ones were free moving but the bottom one was very stiff

I think this is what is casuing the problem - I presume that it this little lever controls the flaps inside the box - but how to I get to the flaps to loosen / lubricate them ?

any help greatly appreciated !

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