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Author Topic: "How-To" Install Tips On Aftermarket Downpipe(s).....  (Read 8885 times)

Offline bpd1151

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"How-To" Install Tips On Aftermarket Downpipe(s).....
« on: July 05, 2013, 12:36:51 PM »
****Below is the info/install steps used to install aftermarket downpipes on your 3.5L V6 Eco Motor.....

This post originally appeared in another community of which I am also a staff member of.

All thanks goes out to the creator, who's user name there was: jdeprato****


Moving along, here is the info as it originally appeared:



Items Needed/Pre-install checklist:

1 impact driver (not required, but nice to have)
An assortment of 3/8" and 1/2" extensions
15mm 1/2" socket or 3/8' depending on what tools you have available to you
1 angle grinder (only if you have the heat shield on your CV axle next to your rear turbo cat)
1 1/2" breaker bar
1 3/8" breaker bar
1 oxygen sensor removal tool http://www.harborfreight.com/3-8-eighth-inch-offset-oxygen-sensor-wrench-97177.html (you might be able to get away with using a wrench, but this tool works so well i would just buy the tool it's only like 4.99.
4 10Mx1.5mm bolts 40mm in length (I used 45mm, but I ended up cutting them down using the angle grinder because they were actually longer than I needed)
4 10m matching lock washers
4 10Mx1.5mm matching nuts


Install Instructions:

1. Remove plastic undercarriage plate to gain access to exhaust system.

2. Unbolt the mid-pipes from the 3rd cat and both downpipes. The nuts are all 15mm in size. Take note of the metal exhaust gaskets that are removed from the 3rd cat section and flex pipes. These will be re-used when connecting the downpipes to the 3rd cat or Corsa/custom exhaust that you may have setup.

3. Unplug all of the O2 sensors (I had trouble getting to the upstream rear turbo O2 sensor, so I didn't unplug that one, but I would advise trying to unplug all of them). You can find the sensor plugs by following the wires to where they plug into the wiring harness.

4. Use an O2 sensor tool like this: http://www.harborfreight.com/3-8-eighth-inch-offset-oxygen-sensor-wrench-97177.html to remove the O2 sensors. It's a 3/8" socket tool, so you will want to get a matching breaker bar. I used my ratchet, but that's not really the right way to do it, so do so at your own risk. If you do use your ratchet to remove, you will need some type of bar to go over the ratchet. I used my floor jack handle for that purpose to give me extra leverage. Also you can use a box end wrench as well to help you push for more leverage.

5. Once all of the O2 sensors are removed, then you can start to remove all of the nuts that attach the cats to the turbo flanges. It would be a good idea to put some pb blaster on the studs before attempting to remove the nuts so that things come off more freely. There are 3 15mm nuts that connect the turbo exhaust housing flange to the cat flange. Be careful when removing the nuts as it is possible to pull the stud out of the turbo exhaust housing flange, however, this should be minimized by using the pb blaster beforehand. Also if you have an impact gun or battery powered impact driver I would highly recommend it for this part. Home Depot sells a Ryobi lithium version that works just fine for this job. You might find that you need to break loose a couple of the nuts by using a breaker bar, but in my case with a fully charged battery it seemed to be just fine.

6. After removing the cats from the turbo exhaust housing flange studs, take note of the metal turbo exhaust flange gaskets. These will be re-used for the new downpipes.

7. The next step was what hung me up until I called LMS. If you have the version of CV axle that I have (attached is a photo) you will need to remove a small heat shield and it will reveal what is in the attached picture. Once removed, you will need to grind down the nub where the heat shield bolt attaches or in my case completely off. In case you are worried about doing this, according to LMS this heat shield doesn't even exist on the 2013s, so it must not be important?

8. Once you gring down the heat shield bolt hole (in case you have one to grind off) then you can install the rear turbo downpipe. Make sure you don't forget to attached the metal gasket in case you removed it durning the removal of the factory cats. You are okay to fully tighten this pipe as it should not need any adjustments.

9. Connect the rear of the pipe to the 3rd cat or custom/Corsa exhaust flange using the bolts purchased from the pre-install checklist (4 10Mx1.5mm 40mm long bolts and matching hardware). Be sure to use the gaskets you saved from step 2.

10. Once the rear turbo down pipe is installed you can then re-install the O2 sensors that you removed from step 3.

11. Once the rear pipe is installed and O2 sensors are installed, then you can start by connecting the front turbo downpipe. Do not tighten it all the way as you will need some play in the pipe.

12. Slide your band clamp over the front turbo pipe. Now attach the slip fit pipe over the front turbo pipe. Adjust the slip fit pipe until the rear flange lines up properly with the third cat.

13. This is the tricky part for me during this part of the installation. I slid the slip pipe all the way into the front turbo pipe and then clamped it down. Then I bolted the rear flange to the 3rd cat with the purchased hardware in the pre-install checklist. I then noticed that the pipe was hitting the dog bone transmission mount. So I then slightly loosened the pipe, wedged a bar between the pipe and the car to put leverage in order to get the pipe from hitting the mount. Once it was not hitting a friend helped by immediately tightening the rear flange that I just loosened and that cleared the mount.

14. Now start up the car and check for any leaks. If all seems good, take it for a test drive and see the results. If you are getting any wierd vibrations make sure the pipes are not touching anything. Especially that transmission mount, because for me it was really close.

All in all this installtion was pretty straightfoward after working through the couple of issues that I had. If anyone has any questions, please let me know. If you have any suggestions or would like to add to my experience installing the downpipes, please let me know and I'll update this thread. Good luck guys!
« Last Edit: August 31, 2015, 11:31:14 AM by SHOdded »


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Offline EcoBrick Bob

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Re: "How-To" Install Tips On Aftermarket Downpipe(s).....
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2013, 07:18:06 PM »
I would try this... if I had easy access to a lift... I have a hard enough time jacking up one side of my Flex and sliding under and switching out my NESHO mid-pipe!

Great write up though!
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Offline peppelepugh

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Re: "How-To" Install Tips On Aftermarket Downpipe(s).....
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2015, 09:13:51 AM »
bringing a thread back from the dead....

i got 4 of the 6 bolts off the turbo, but i had 2 studs come all the way out, any recommendations?
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