I just did this job on my '98 and I was kinda dreading doing it based on the difficulties I had read from other first gen owners over the years. It turned out to be a piece of cake after my early attempts to separate the half shaft from the intermediate shaft bearing support assembly were unsuccessful. The biggest obstacle to separating them is it's difficult to strike the rear of the half shaft's inner joint on a straight line and also hitting it close to it's centerline so the full impact of the blows from 4 pound mini sledgehammer weren't being realized.
I went into my garage and scoured it to see if I could find anything which would get the job done. I looked over at some of my 3-ton ratcheting jack stands and the solution was staring me right in the face....one glance and I knew it would work. I used the removable post from one of the jack stands(the one which looks like a Y on one end) and it easily separated them on the second firm blow. I just positioned one of the arms of the Y against the centerline on the back of the inner joint which served two purposes...it allows you to hit it at a more direct straight line which doesn't deflect any of the force from your blows.
There is a hold down bracket behind alternator. It keeps middle shaft straight and aligned with driver side axle. You should hit the coupler(big one under alternator) to separate them. Dont forget to remove the driver side cv joint from wheel hub first.