After experimenting on an uncommitted motor hook, I decided to proceed with Operation Hookbender.
I used two long nose pliers to more or less straighten out the motor hook, then bend the tip over. This would’ve been a lot easier if I’d had this idea before gluing the tail cone on. I didn’t get it as straight as I’d hoped, nor the bend as sharp, but it’ll work. In fact, even with less than perfect straightening, I ended up with more than enough length to put the bend where I wanted it; I ended up cutting a couple millimeters off the end.Then it was just a matter of gluing in a new thrust ring. The ones I had were pretty snug, and getting one into the tube down inside the tail cone was going to be tricky enough anyway, I thought, so I peeled a layer of paper off the inside. I used epoxy, definitely epoxy — yellow glue seizure would’ve been catastrophic. I used a spent D casing to set it at the right depth: stuck an 18 mm casing inside it to make a shoulder, slipped the thrust ring over that, and pushed it in. Turned out to be easier than I was expecting.
Looks pretty good to me.