Here is the book method:
1. Remove the air cleaner outlet duct from the throttle body. Refer to Air Cleaner Outlet Duct Replacement.
2. Remove the intermediate steering shaft. Refer to Intermediate Steering Shaft Replacement - Lower.
3. Disconnect the Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) sensor electrical connector.
4. Disconnect the Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) valve inlet pipe from the exhaust manifold.
5. Remove the radiator inlet hose support bracket and nut.
6. Remove the nuts holding the secondary Air Injection (AIR) pipe to the exhaust manifold, if equipped.
7. Remove the AIR pipe and gasket from the exhaust manifold.
8. Raise the vehicle. Refer to Vehicle Lifting.
9. Disconnect the exhaust pipe from the exhaust manifold. Refer to Catalytic Converter Replacement.
10. Lower the vehicle to the proper height.
11. Remove the front tire to gain access to the rear exhaust manifold bolts. Refer to Tire and Wheel Removal and Installation.
12. Remove the fender wheelhouse extension.
13. Working through the wheel house opening disconnect the spark plug wires from the spark plugs. Refer to Spark Plug Wire Harness Replacement.
14. Remove the exhaust manifold bolts and the stud.
15. Lower the vehicle.
16. From under the hood remove the exhaust manifold and the spark plug wire shields from the engine.
17. Clean all gasket surfaces. Refer to Exhaust Manifold Clean and Inspect.
I have removed them in the past and it definitely helps to get the motor up a bit. The EGR tube may be able to be lifted out with the manifold. The last time I pulled these off, it was on an Astro with the 4.3L. From the front, it was murder, but with the doghouse off, the rear bolts were quite accessible. On that, the EGR supply pipe came off just fine with the manifold. The AIR lines were a pain though.
The shields are held on by the manifold mounting bolts.