Naw, I didn't.
It would have made it easier cuz when I had the long breaker bar on there I was only getting a click or two on the socket wrench at a time, but after it got about halfway out I was able to ditch the bar. I had the seats out once already this week (replaced them) That said I think time wise it was about a break even leaving them in and talking them out dealing with the short throw.
Im not sure of the condition of your bolts, but I wish I had soaked my earlier ones with PB blaster or this other rust buster I use.
The last one was really stubborn and stripped, once I cut the old belt and recoiler out (sawzall on the metal backing of the assembly, not the bolt), I was able to get the bolt only after soaking it with rust buster for a half hour then vice grips.
The first bolts always go easy, making sure you get sucked in to the point of no return only to reach that last one that just won't give up