I plan on installing Teflon bushings in the strut. I've tried grabbing and pulling it off while holding the stuffing tube. Unfortunately that didn't work, and I do not want to risk damaging the boat.

How is the strut attached to the stuffing tube? What is the easiest and safest method to remove it (and attach it again )?

Also, what is the easiest method to remove the stock brass bushing?

Thank you!