1998 K1500 - Help Replacing Transmission

My 1998 K1500 transmission is headed south (160k miles).
I can get a rebuild from a GM dealer for $1600.
Does anyone have any experience replacing the transmission and have any
comments on the difficulty of the procedure? Is it necessary to remove any of the exhaust system?
Thanks.
Forest
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Yes.
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Do you remember what exhaust components you had to remove when you swapped out your transmission? How difficult was it. I have always had issues working with exhausts because the bolts are usually seized up and I dont have a cutting torch. Thanks.
Forest

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I bought a Dremel for stuff like this. Be sure to get plenty of the cuttoff wheels, they go fast on bolts. Or you can use a hacksaw and wish you had a Dremel.
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Yes, the lead pipes had to be unbolted and dropped down. And yes, one of the studs popped. Not a fun day. Torch is the best bet. Heat the nuts, let them cool, then use a good solvent spray to soak them. But if the stud is already weak, it's gonna go no matter what.

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