I am past the point of no return now. Finally got to stepping and started stripping the front end of the car. Next day I get to work with it, the WX will be on the ground.
Got to the point where I have drained the power steering system, removed the bomb, drained coolant, removed rad assembly and aux rad, disconnected coolant hoses and vacuum lines from the motor, removed the CIS and airbox on the passenger side, as well as the mess of Vacuum and coolant lines at the back of the engine bay. Removed the air temp sensor, oil pressure sensor, warm up regulator, tach cable, throttle cable, and a few other misc plugs. I think the engine is effectively unencumbered from up top. Disconnected the exhaust at the test pipe down below, and at that point ran out of daylight and had to call it an evening.
Feels really good to dig in! Made an unholy mess (could the bomb contain any more fluid than it does? That was an unbelievable amount of ATF). Its nice to know the majority of this stuff isn't going back on the car, after 250,000 miles alot of it is worse for the wear.
Also finally got to find out just how bad the rust monster under my passenger fender was; not too bad, but definitely rotting. I love Colorado's climate though, the nastiness was there when I bought the car a bit less than 5 years ago, and this is as far as it has advanced in that amount of time. I am trying to decide if it is worth tracking down a piece of CGT or 4kq inner fender to get welded in, or just have the body shop weld on flat plate.