in the wake of the transmission disappearance, i am choosing to stay the course on the chassis stripdown and rebuild. no progress has been made lately, but tonight i am going to take the engine off the stand and prepare it for the removal of the flywheel bolts. after that, i will finish disassembling the entire front suspension, steering knuckles, axles, antiroll bars, etc. i am hoping to accomplish both of those things by this weekend. with any luck, my friend morning_bell will give me a hand with the flywheel bolts, at which point the engine will be ready for external teardown and all-over cleaning. then i have to finish removing and cataloging all the hoses, wires, brake booster, charcoal canister, fuse boxes, etc. so that everything from the firewall forward will be off the car.
at that point i can rent or buy a sandblaster, and the true restoration work can begin.
looking around for transmissions is going to be completely obnoxious. the Si transmission is the same as the DX transmission, only with a different final drive; it may or may not be cheaper to buy a DX trans and swap in an Si final drive. however, at that point, we are talking about cracking open a transmission--and that is definitely a scary proposition. someone else could be paid to do the work, but there was no money for the transmission in the budget anyway, so paying someone else to work on it would be far too expensive. it looks like i'll just have to be dedicated in scoring the internet and junkyards.
updates tomorrow with how much progress is made tonight . . .