Actually he wont be touching the elbows if he changes the water pump. Make sure you drain the cooling system. Also make sure you remove only the water pump bolts and leave the timing chain cover bolts alone.
Yep, not too hard at all. Took me about an hour and I was taking my sweet time about it. I also have an 01 SSEi and I would suggest taking the few extra minutes to remove the coolant overflow tank. Easy off/on and provides a lot more room to work with it out of the way.