Looks like the adjustment knob is not longer functional, the little slip joint/ball joint should hook onto the other end of the stoker plate with another slip joint/ball joint, but I see you just have a long metal rod with a tab hook to it. Not sure what the wire was for, maybe to hold it together.? Yes, you need a shorter pusher rod with the little slider/ball joint.
The combustion blowers dont have gaskets, my Hyfire didn't them either. I think mine only had 3 screws, the one behind the motor is a PITA to get in, especially if you have to change a blower out from the behind the stove if it fails.
If you update to the Coaltrol, the manual adjustment can be unhooked and it turned all the way in for max feed.