Symmons 301 Nu-Arm shower head replacement with Symmons Dia retrofit shower column

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Anyone have the odds or advice on replacing a 1990s Symmons 301 Nu-Arm connected to 1950s threaded brass with a Symmons Dia retrofit shower column without having to tear open the wall to deal with crumpled brass or a snapped off elbow? Best case scenario I think I will be able to unscrew the Nu-Arm with a spud wrench wrench to put a new brass nipple into presumably the original brass elbow in the wall to provide the 1/2" of 1/2" threaded pipe necessary to install the shower column. I don't think the original brass was replaced with soldered copper in the 1990s when the bathroom was last renovated, so it should still all threaded connections. I can't turn the head off by hand, so I'm worried the force necessary to rotate it on a 70 year old brass assembly may be more trouble than I'm prepared to deal with if things go sideways.
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