Repeat after me: “Do NOT buy cheap tools”. The 48″ brake I bought is worthless. The aluminum brake bends long before the material does. It may be salvageable with some reinforcement, but probably not.
I found a local shop that had a brake that bent the new cowl firewall for me, so now I can try that again. This week has been very busy with kids activities, so I haven’t gotten much accomplished on the car. I got the floor of the cowl firewall fitted, it is much better than the previous version. So at least the mistake is getting fixed better than it was.