If enough room, I tightly wrap a large soaking wet rag around what I want to protect and beyond. I have a spray bottle of water right there, so I am not tempted to do just a bit more as rag dries.The torch idea is tempting. But, I don't want to raise the temps of the stator to anything above 145 degrees F. Doing so risks the slot insulators and the wires. Some of these sets are wound with CCA wire. Not the most durable stuff.
I wrecked a 1/2hp DC motor heating the rusty rotor shaft nut. I ended up wrecking the commutator. The heat went up the rotor shaft from the nut being heated and ruined the glue holding the segments in place. That one failed spectacularly.
I might try carefully using a large punch or rod, and giving the long bolt a couple raps. I don't want to crack the plastic end bell either rapping on the bolt.