Spent the whole day doing a variety of tasks, and yet it felt like I made no progress!! In retrospect, I guess it wasn't all bad. I worked on getting the gas tank out. I mentioned earlier that I'm going to be cutting it to pieces rather than taking apart the entire back half of the car. It's plastic after all. Crazy, perhaps, but so far so good. Oh and yes the tank is completely empty with no smell of gas what-so-ever. Even so, I have two extinguishers at the ready.
I spent a couple hours cleaning and degreasing the engine bay. 134K miles of road grime! Now I can work in the space without looking like an oil rigger from the 1800's.
I carefully measured off and marked the area that I'm going to be cutting from the floor of the trunk. Once I get a box built for the space I will be able to suspend 4 batteries below the floor of the trunk. I can put the carpet back over it and still have space to haul lumber and what-not.
Last, I drained the power steering system. I need to remove the old power steering pump, but there's a problem. It's not attached to anything anymore and the nut that holds the high pressure hydrolic line on the pump was tightened by an angry gorilla. The bottom line is that I can't hold the pump still AND put enough torque on that bolt to break it free. I'm going to need to start pumping some serious iron, or try channeling the spirit of Archimedes.