That is messed up taking pictures like that. I have a 4.0 2000 ranger and had the same issue, but I never took the guards off, I just banged up the knuckes going in and it took for fricken ever to get that one plug out on the passenger side nearest the fire wall. I know, that was a long sentence, make sure to breath when reading!!
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a MFin tooth!!