I'm obviously not as smart as I think I am.

I can't even take a car apart.

Since we're temporarily down to one car, we're having trouble scheduling everything. A single hatchback to carry three kids with busy schedules and two parents who work and volunteer is not a recipe for easy transportation.

This is one reason I haven't been working out at the Y lately.

So I decided to use today's downtime to get that motor out! The three major problems right now are brushes backwards, transmission too tough to turn, and battery capacity (I couldn't keep the alliteration up, sorry). The only one that really needs fixing is the backwards brushes; if I can fix that, I can at least limp along with a working vehicle.

Removing the motor is not a simple operation in this EV. Lots of stuff is attached to it, and it takes up most of the engine compartment. The basic idea is to remove all the attached stuff, take off the driver's side wheel assembly, tilt the motor down until it clears the wheel well, and pull it out.

Naturally I had problems with every step. The bolts wouldn't come out, I couldn't find tools that fit, etc. At least Melissa got to help out. She really enjoyed jacking up the car.

The big problem is the half-shaft coming from the transmission to the driver's side wheel axle. It's mounted in place on a custom mount, which is attached by a U-bolt around the motor. If I try to tilt the motor while the half-shaft is still connected, I'll either bend it or break the transmission. The half-shaft needs to slide out of the transmission socket first.

And it's loooooong. I can't move the U-bolt far enough to get the half-shaft to pull out of the transmission. If I could get it another 6 inches or so, I could rotate the whole U-bolt around, and get to work dropping the motor. But it's stuck bumping against the main motor mount, which is welded to the car.

None of the tools I have fit. The bolt holding the half-shaft to the custom mount is recessed, so any wrench is pushed off the head by the surrounding steel as soon as I start turning it. The nut on the other side (not to be confused with the nut weilding the wrench) can't be turned because the U-bolt shaft is in the way!

And the U-bolt can't be removed because the A/C compressor is in the way. Naturally, it's attached to a custom mount, which is held on by... two U-bolts. That means four nuts, only one of which is accessible.

Eventually I found four OTHER bolts holding the compressor on the mount. These have hidden nuts. I actually had to feel around with a wrench -- a 12mm wrench -- to grab the nuts and hold them still while I ducked under the car to unscrew the bolts. (Putting these back in is going to be FUN.) With the compressor out, I'll be able to reach the U-bolt nuts.

I spent about four hours today working on the car. It was at that point that I discovered the bigger problem: the motor can't possibly tilt downwards far enough to clear the wheel well. It's bumping the well's walls already. How can I possibly tilt it far enough to pull it off the clutch shaft?

I'm going to have to disconnect the transmission and tilt the entire assembly instead. Then, when I pull the motor, the half-shaft will come right with it.

At least it wasn't a wasted day. Most of the stuff I did needed to be done in either case. But wow, did it ever take me forever to take apart the car. And I didn't even finish!