If you can wrench and weld it is just your time and a few pieces of tubing and hose. A shop manual is not required, but it sure helps to see where the parts are and the order required to remove them.
Removal will take some time depending how far you want to go. If you go for the full monty all of the accessories on the top of the engine will come off, turbo, oil filter and fuel filter housing, wiring. At the rear of the engine there will be some bolts on the intake that will be difficult to get to as well as the turbo pipes from the manifolds to the turbo.
For full removal of the EGR Cooler you have to remove the intake manifold and weld the hole closed where the EGR cooler mated with the intake (tig weld aluminum). The EGR valve can be left in place since it does nothing after the bottom is sealed or you can remove it and weld the top closed as well. You could save the EGR cooler flange and just weld a steel plug into the end and rebolt it back in place. The next item is the cooling fluid routing. The steel plug with O-ring can be used if you weld a tube to it and then route a longer hose back to the oil cooler. you will need to weld this to the steel flange to hold it in place under pressure. However, the cleanest way to do it is to weld an aluminum tube to the coolant exit (1" tubing) then reduce it to 3/4" tubing running it back far enough to use a formed/molded 180 silicon hose to connect the tube to the oil cooler. The raduis is 1.25" so a molded tube is required. I went a different route and fabricated an aluminum elbow so I could reuse the original slip-on hose connection. I looks great having it all aluminum. The last step is to cut out the scoop in the RH turbo pipe and weld the turbo pipe closed (not really required). There has been a lot of talk about completely replacing the up-pipe, but the pipes are slip designed so I see no reason to replace it with a solid piece; although I still might support it at a later date.
If you reinsert the EGR cooler and only blocked it off, ensure you weld plugs in both ends to block exhaust air and protect the intake in case your air to liquid exchanger fails. That way you will not get anti-freeze in your intake. This is the easiest method since it only requires no fabrication, except for the welded frost plugs. Total cost is a couple of dollars. If you took it to a local welding shop I doubt the bill would be more than $40-80 (the minimum charge). Actual set up and welding for 2 plugs would be about 5 minutes.
There are a number of write ups on this topic. Performance is not the determining factor for doing this modification; it is primarily for puking problems and cooler failure. The cooler in the newer units is quite robust internally. I was surprised how well made it was when I cut it apart. Mine had no issues. I did the removal as a precautionary procedure since I had the motor out of the truck for other modifications.
Last edited by twoicebergs; 04-11-2009 at 12:03 PM.