i've done the same.
the lower arms actually pop on and off very easily, with out boiling or anything, and that makes the vest very easy to take off. i have cus the sleeves on a couple, whihc looks ok. but my personal fav. mo on thses guys is to totaly remove the jacket and throw, just about any will work, a solo black vest on them, it looks great and allows for full use of the articulatio, or lack there of, in the arms. hope that helps a bit.