I've always supported mine with a jack and it just came off with a little wiggling. You might have to get downright mean with a hammer though?? Not sure..
As for getting a torch in there, if you're worried about getting a flame/heat on anything, old license plates, and thin sheetmetal of any kind comes in really handy for quick homemade heat shields. Bend em to fit. Just watch that torch anywhere close to a fuel tank or fuel lines, etc..