"I am wondering if the actuating rod can be pulled out of the booster without damage? it slides forward, but seems to have a stop up against the booster diaphragm. I am not sure that I really need to remove it"
the actuating rod can be taken out. It looks like a "Valve". You might want to take it out in order to make length adjustments per the top crew in oder to optimize the gap between the main cylinder piston. The gap should be minimal, as it translates to the pedal play.
Only question I have ..how do you bleed the bath tube brake fluide reservoir ? I prefer the original model with the plastic container on top of the cylinder on which there are srew in adapters for a "automatic" bleeder container.
My main is by the way from a BMW 2002 got it from Mr Jäckel.