Last weekend we had the family get-together, so Nathan and I couldn't work on the car. He came over on his other day off, Monday, to get some work done.
He discovered that the passenger-side axle AutoZone sold us was the wrong one. Unfortunately, he didn't figure it out until after it was in the car. And by that time, the lower ball joint nut was stuck. Of course that's a pain, because there's nothing to grab hold of: the axle just spins instead of holding still so the nut will come off.
It wasn't all bad news, though: he also got the motor mounted, retapped the transmission mount hole, mounted the transmission, made a little bracket to hold the accessory tray in place, and finally, cut and mounted the tray, too.
This week we actually got together while Eri and the kids went to Daytona to celebrate Memorial Day with her parents and the rest of the seniors. I figure building an EV is a fitting memorial: the more of us who do it, the less oil will be a "strategic resource" that needs to be defended with soldier's lives.
We tried to put the old axle back in, but it wouldn't go. We even disassembled the entire passenger-side suspension, removing the strut and forks for to get a straight shot. The Honda Civic Wagon Forum had warned us not to hit it with a hammer, but it wouldn't go in any other way.
It went in, but it wouldn't bend into position afterwards. We removed it to see what was going on and discovered that one of the bearings had shattered. While we examined them, we dropped one of the other bearings and shattered it, too. That's a sign that we need a new axle.
The guys at AutoZone felt bad enough about it to give me the correct axle at the same price as the wrong one (about $50 discount!). Nathan still considers it crappy customer service, because it's cost us two weeks now. The new axle won't be in until Wednesday.
They didn't have some other parts we needed today, so we zipped over to Advance to get them. The Advance computer knew what a Honda Civic Wagon was, and would've gotten me the correct axle the first time. And it would've cost about $40 less.
We did get the fill tube fixed, the driver's side axle and suspension reassembled, the contactors reconnected, the motor pebble guard attached, the transfer case reattached to the transmission, three out of four batteries in place, and the air conditioning compressor attached to its bracket and mounted. Lots of progress! If I get some time next week, I might actually get the car rewired so I can do a recharge!