Mark VIII TC install finished!
I finally finished (with the help of my dad) the install on Saturday. Thanks everyone for your help and advice. It took longer than expected (4 days total) due to getting stuck and taking breaks in between. Anyway, the car no longer shudders and it does feel more responsive, although I haven't really driven it hard yet (is there a break in period for remanufactured TC's?).
Here's my experience with the install. This was my first time dropping the tranny, so it's doable for newbie's, but I did need an extra hand and there were periods when I wasn't sure I would finish. Here's what I found to be the most difficult parts. The two bellhousing bolts on top were the hardest to remove. I found a ratching wrench invaluable for those. Also, it is very easy to not have the TC set all the way in the bellhousing. The first time, I thought it was set only to find out it wasn't when the crank would not turn after bolting up the bellhousing. An easy way to check is to place the lower torque converter cover over the lower bellhousing (prior to bolting up the bellhousing) and seeing if the TC still turns. If the nuts do not clear the cover, than the TC is not set. Also, if you have the stock exhaust, I found it easier to reinstall the exhaust with the crossmember unbolted (but still attached to the tranny) supported by a jack and the tranny lowered to allow the hanger to slide in more easily.
Anyway, thanks again for everyone who helped and the articles written about the install. Take care.