Hi cthomas45. Welcome to the forum. Those clips are just insurance so the real latches don't come apart. There is a spring that must be collapsed inside the connector. A special tool is needed for that. The most common style is a hinged two-piece that folds around the tube, then you press it into the connector to release the spring, and pull the tubes apart. The other version looks like two sticks connected in their centers with a rivet. On each end of each stick is half of the tool. You choose the correct size for your tube then swivel each half over the connection and pull it into the spring to release it. The other end of the sticks has the tool for a different size connector, and if you look at the other side, there are two more different sizes; four in all.
Just to double-check, you do have the refrigerant sucked out, right? It sounds like you know what you're doing, but it doesn't hurt to ask. Escaping refrigerant will freeze eyeballs and cause frostbite. If you don't wear safety glasses, or better yet, a face shield, no's the time to start.
Here's a link to the Mac Tools page with the first tool I mentioned:
It's the second from the bottom of the page and shows a kit for four different size hoses. I didn't see the less expensive second tool I mentioned.
Saturday, June 26th, 2010 AT 1:46 PM