vital49, WOW, what a bummer experience you had there
(-you know, it never ceases to amaze me how something can work so well for one person, but for the next person it is nothing but "the pits."
As soon as I can get my son to help me, I'll post a picture to this thread which shows exactly what I did to remove the stock stove pipe.
(-to put it in words, I used a deep-well socket that just comfortably fit into the inside of the pipe(to keep it from crushing), then clamped the large vise-grips very tightly onto the pipe. Then placed a small flat piece of wood (about 1/4" thick) on the manifold beside the vise grip, and used a "rolling head" pry bar under the edge of the vise grip jaws to pry it straight up and out.)
I don't remember just exactly, but I may have smacked the pipe on the sides first a small hammer to break it'* grip. Heck, I've mechanic'd on all my own stuff (and relatives and friends) for so many years, I really don't think too much about the specific proceedures I use. -I guess it "just comes naturally."
I still do think, though, that the "interferance tolerances" on the Ken-Co parts is way tighter than necessary.
Hey, good luck to others that read this, and use the same kit.