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This is just not a fun task at all, Been there and cursed through it. I was able to remove the manifolds while the engine was not lifted or any major parts removed. Ford also states it can be accessed for removal. If you just cant get the torque on the rathchet do to access through all possible options using wrenchs and socket swivels and extensions then yes your correct a ening lifted about 2 inches will help. Watch the fan shroud so you dont jam the fan into it and damage the radiator.