Replacing Engine Air Filter in 2002 Monte Carlo 3400. Is there an easier way ???

Just replaced the engine air filter and had a BEAR of a time.....
Instructions just said to unclip the clips, slip fingers out of the holes, push air filter box panel forward and remove filter. ( easy function right !!)
I practically had to remove everything from the Air Intake Plenum to the Intake Manifold. j to push the air filter box front panel forward to get enough clearance to replace the filter
This is the first time replacing it on this model car....
Is it possible that the Air Intake Plenum was mispositioned upon vehicle Assembly
Or is it just that the design doesn't leave any space to work within.
Are there field tech Tips or modifications that allow easier replacement of the filter. I'd hate to keep having to screw with the MAF assembly as it's just a matter of time before something happens to it.
Thanks in advance for your assistance !!!
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