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I don't BUT I think the best method is via cutting through the foundation on the outside.
I suggest you hire an excavation contractor, specifically. This is the type of work they do. You live in a part of the country where certain 'cares' need to be taken that don't apply in, say ..., the Northeast. Your concern should be with the wall possibly collapsing or not reinforcing the wall properly for earthquake activity AFTER you've finished excavation. PLUS, how do you know that what you want to do won't end up causing the foundation to collapse inward (either on a good day or on a BAD day, like during an earthquake)? To me, this is TOO much of a risk. Besides, it's possible your Insurance Company won't cover the damage if it wasn't done to code.
You can pay the Pro to do the cutting and reinforcing. You can pay the Pro to address any potential of the foundation collapsing. And you can pay the Pro to 'finish' the job so you're covered. YOU can dig out the dirt (assuming you've covered the 2 important bases of protecting your foundation and your 'header'.) See what I mean. Besides, from here, it's hard to envision ALL that's going on.
That's the best advice I can give you. My best to ya and hope this helps.
Jay J -Moderator