No worries about the lift mechanism then mate? Just unscrew and screw the new one into place???
Wow thats over complicated...
You can get replacement knobs that are a direct replacement - and should tak you no longer than 30 seconds to remove the old one and replace it...it literally just twists off, and you screw the replacement one back on.
Halfords sell a wide variety of knobs (and not just the ones that work there) that will fit your gear stick - just ask for one for a mk1/mk2 Mondeo