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What I did was use a strap wrench but also first wrapped the shifter ball with one of those rubber sheets that you use to help you open stuck jar covers (i.e. a jar of jelly). That rubber sheet gives the strap some extra grip so it doesn't slip and scratch the OEM shifter ball. The stock ball is on pretty tight with Locktite so you need a good amount of torque to get it to start turning.
The gorilla that installed mine must have used extra LocTite. It was REALLY on there. I heated it for 3 or 4 minutes with a hair dryer, then had to go at it for 10-15 attempts with the strap wrench before it started coming loose.
Mine would not come off even with a strap wrench....at some point the insert stripped inside the knob. A pipe wrench and vice grips were needed to separate the knob from the metal trim/insert. The knob came off...but was a wreck. Tousley Ford had a replacement for $54. Recommendation...if you're having trouble it might be worth getting a backup.
I am going to try to get mine loose today and just leave it hand tight as soon I will be needing to remove it for the MGW shifter install... I tried by hand the other day, but no way was that thing coming off... so going to heat it up and get a strap wrench and try it again... Not sure why they put these things on so tight...