trust me the transmission can take a beating!
you need a pry bar, what we did was use flat head screwdrivers to get some room in there... pry it all the way around, repeat with thicker screwdriver. Then once you get enough room to get the pry bar in do the same process... we had it separated like 1"-2" and it still wouldn't crack off!
i could see in and look at the whole pressure plate! just gotta wiggle it off little by little....
your lucky if you got a trans jack, i had my back on the tar! lol
wait til you get in and you need a damn T-50 torx "plus" for the flywheel no one stocks it! hope you have one, the fw aint coming off with out it!