I just bought an LS-32 after using Sanwa for years. I play with an octo gate, always have, it just feels comfortable. The LS-32 came with a Kowal octogate. When trying to install the new gate, I can’t seem to get the light-blue original square restrictor gate off the LS-32. I removed the screws from it but it just seems stuck to the metal. There’s absolutely no give on it.
Being very careful with this: Get a thin sharp knife under that plastic and slowly and carefully work that knife around that plastic till you are able to get a small blade screw driver to work that plastic up.
You might have to completely dissemble that area of the joystick.