Sunday, December 6, 2015
Ahhhhhh...Success!!! After Much Trial And Tribulation I've Finally Managed To Fit The SR-S 3" Stainless Steel Catback Exhaust System. After Aceepting The Inevitable, It Was A Much Easier Task Than I Thought It Would Be.
I still haven't tightened everything up or started the car with the new exhaust yet, but just getting everything in place and test fit was such a win that I just had to share. I was even able to salvage the downstream O2 sensor!
As you may have read in a previous post, I have been thwarted in the installation of this exhaust by the size of the flange on the muffler section and the size of the space it has to fit through to be installed on the car. I got lots of advice from the DSMtuner community when I explained my situation. Basically there are two methods to alleviate the issue; you can jack the back of the car up REALLY high to give yourself room to slip the flange through the space provided (seemed really dangerous when I gave that a shot) or you can just make more space. After messing around with the idea of jack up the back of the car and not really liking that idea I decided to try the latter. Unfortunately, I lacked the necessary tool: a deep 17mm socket. So off to Sears to purchase a nice new set of them. Hurdle jumped.
Once I had the proper tools I was able to easily remove the two nuts that hold the rear suspension cross member up. This allowed the cross member to move enough to make enough room to easily slip the muffler section over and maneuver it into place. This is SO the way to go when installing a 3" exhaust on a 2g GST. You GSX guys have it so much easier with your exhaust going Under the cross member!
Once the muffler section was in place, the rest of the installation was a piece of cake. Unfortunately, when I pulled the old stock system out, a bunch of the hanger screws broke off...so I knew I would have to replace them. But I did have enough to just get the new system up and in place for a test fit. I have read enough about eBay systems to feel like there may be a chance that there would be fitment issues, so a test fit / mock up made me feel much better. No issues were found and everything lined up nicely.
After getting the muffler section in I bolted the mid section up to it. Getting the flanges to line up was a pain until I pulled my jack over to use as a third hand to hold it up while putting the nuts and bolts together. When I pulled the old system off, one of the studs on the catalytic converter came out while the other stayed put. I didn't think much of this until I had already bolted the front section of new 3" on. Once the entire system was put together I couldn't get the front flange over the stud left on the cat. so I had to pull it back apart, attach the front section to the cat. and then reattach the front section to the mid section. Hurdles.
So the next set of hurdles; that pesky O2 sensor and the broken hanger screws. I figured that the O2 sensor was going to be a pain since I had already tried to remove it with the "proper" tool and failed. It wouldn't budge and just bent the O2 sensor removal tool, so when I went to buy some new hanger screws I went ahead a bought a pipe wrench too. I used the pipe wrench in conjunction with a piece of pipe for added leverage to easily twist the old O2 sensor off the old exhaust. Win. The new hanger hardware was only about $6 and is money well spent, though I feel like these pieces should have been included with the new exhaust.
So there it is! It fits and looks good. I ran out of time to get it all tightened up and finished because we had plans for the evening so I don't yet know what it sounds like, so yes, there will be at least one more exhaust post coming soon. Not too shabby though, right? Oh, don't forget to put those 17mm bolts back in that hold up your cross member!