I put the broken punch unit back in place, a tedious and careful process due in large part to the wonky pushrods that will fall out if they are even looked at too sternly, clearing several pushrods and lots of other gears, belts and protuberances. With that done, I could hook it up and adjust the magnet assembly so that the punches are held from pushing down through any card in the punch station.
The punch unit serves its secondary role of holding and releasing cards on their way between the read station and the stackers, but is unable to punch holes and advance cards due to the missing row 9 punch and the damaged drive wheel. My goal at this time is to get the card reader working properly, ignoring the punch functionality entirely until some later time when I choose to take on a restoration.
I raised the plastic cover on the cornering station and now cards will reliably eject, but I have to tweak the two pushing arms that give the card its initial shove. They don't retract far enough to let the card drop in front of them always, so that the card sometimes sits on top of them. This might be due to the raising of the cover, so I will have to play with several adjustments in order that the cards begin to corner every time.
The results are good enough right now to consider the next step - attempting to read a card. I will set up tomorrow to try this, using both the Program Load (boot) mode and the card reader functional test program. Reading properly without a check will show that I have enough of the hardened old lubricant out of the clutches and bearings to eliminate the drag that these caused for reading. Too much drag, the card moves too slowly and the error checking circuits spot it and raise the alarm.