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First of all - I’m new here and I apologize if there are numerous collet questions.
I’ve searched around and can’t quite find what I’m looking for thus I’m posting looking for help.

I have a Skil fixed base router - model RT1323-00. I bought it last year some time at a good price and just now opened it up and tried using the collet adapter that comes with it to simply insert a 1/4” bit for a project. I was having trouble inserting the collet adapter, which the manual says should be accepted by the 1/2” collet that it comes with (I’ve loosened the nut of course).

After some reading my guess is that the nut was tightened around the collet without a bit in it, crimping / crushing the 1/2” collet. I think it was actually a returned product at the store that I received since I bought it and just now got to looking at it. Anyway, I confirmed the 1/2” collet is crimped / too narrow by trying to insert another 1/2” bit, which rules out the 1/4” collet adapter being too large.

I can’t return it at this point because of how long ago I bought it. Has anyone used this model of router and successfully removed the collet assembly? There are three screws that hold it on, but I can’t figure out how to remove the hex bolt / collet assembly to replace it with a new part or attempt to flare out the bad collet so it will accept an adapter.

An exploded diagram is located here and parts 9 and 10 are what I’m describing - I can’t figure out how to remove the actual collet assembly.

Thanks in advance and sorry if these questions are frequent or annoying.
Spray in some WD40 and soak collet overnight
Then try to grip collet with say a vise-grip pliers (if possible)
Gently knock the plier with a small mallet while the plier is hanging and let gravity get out the collet.
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