Are you sure this is a '96-00 with a 3.3 engine we are talking about. I know the newer models have more room, but mine was pretty tight, unless you take the intake out too.Removing the wiper tub is actually pretty easy. It's just a bunch on nuts and bolts. First time took me 45 mins. AFter that I can do it in about 10. Once the wiper tub is off, replacing the rear plugs is a breeze. You have plenty of room to work. No busted knuckles. No bleeding. No cursing.