The rod does not want to fit [Solved]

Hello all,

I'm wondering why this problem doesn't want to converge. I'm trying to find out the force necessary to be applied to lock the barbell. (Please, see the picture).

I'm performing a nonlinear study, but the material remain isotropic, elastic and lineal, and is the same for both workpieces.

For simplicity, I'm running a 2D simplification. The contact pairs are defined as showed in picture.

If instead of applying a force, I solve the problem by applying advanced restrictions and impose the displacement necessary to bring the rod to end position, then the problem converges without mayor problems. The problem in this case is, that I don't trust the results, thus I want to solve this another way.

Looking the problem closely, if I try to solve this as a linear problem, then in the 2D aproximation I obtain a very curious "solution": There is a moment in which the sheet opens too much and loses contact with the bar....

I found a correspondence between both situations: the solution in the non-linear problem stops always when the same deflection point is achieved. So, there is a point where the rod and the sheet lose the contact, which  causes the non convergence of the solution... ?? For me that make no sense, but seems that it is what is happening.

I tried all: restarting the solution varying all posible factors, I redo the contact pair...

Any idea?

Thanks for watching.