You are spot on!
I took the top off and found that to be exactly the problem. Luckily I have #2 Cub, '67 Loboy. I pulled his top off and looked it over. It too has been repaired some time ago, but works like a charm even though the lever is designed with a forward bend as opposed to the straight-up configuration of my '49. Nevertheless it feels good.
George, that is an excellent write-up, I have it saved for viewing offline and will head straight in that direction to repair.
Thank-you for taking the time to prepare that.
Gotta go move some snow now!