Up-Pipe and oil leak investigation, etc
First of all, it's been way, way too long since I posted here. This summer has gone by in a flash it seems, but spring felt like it was never going to end.
NF performance did the 100k service (or what was left to be done) in June: Timing belt, and water pump, mainly. I had done the plugs (what a pain!) and had covered just about everything else previously.
This weekend was a Prep-for-Ojibwe-Forests-rally work weekend, and I had a lot on the docket. The last time I changed the oil, I found there was some oil on the skip plate and I could see some oil on the back of the block, mainly right below the turbo's oil return line. I cleaned it up a bit for time being. In the mean time, knowing what I would have to take apart for the oil line, I purchased a used Grimmspeed up-pipe. For that part, I pretty much followed GS's video how-to, and was able to extract the stock catted up-pipe without too much drama (The O2 sensor didn't even give me any grief!) except for the un-ending heat shields. Every time I thought I had the up-pipe free, I found another spot where it was attached to some other heat shield.
By now the intercooler was out and the only things holding the turbo in place were the inlet hose and the oil supply line. I crossed my fingers and cracked open the oil supply line connectors and nothing broke! By removing the bolt holding the inlet to the intake manifold, I was able to lift the turbo up and flip it over to get at the (rock hard!) oil return line. It took a couple of tries to get a conventional hose clamp in there in the right orientation to not interfere with the bracketry. I did a little more oil cleanup while I was in there.
One of my long term, low priority projects is a larger intercooler, and to that I end I have, on the shelf, a brand-new never installed '04 STi intercooler. I did a test fit, but at this point, I just can't see how to get it in there and not damage the AC lines. So I'll have to come back to that later.
The only issue I ran into on this part of the weekend was a vacuum line from the inlet to the BCS had gone all brittle. A quick walk across the street to the part store and that was solved, though. Otherwise the up-pipe bolted up nicely, and I had no trouble getting the down pipe back in place.
As always, re-installing the (stock) intercooler is a royal PITA. Getting the input and the output lined up simultaneously and hoses over pipes is next to impossible without a bit of jostling and swearing. As I usually do, I'm slowing down as I keep going back over the reassembly sequence and keep making sure I haven't forgotten to tighten something.
Everything is functionally back together, so it's time to move on to the sway bar links. I replaced these last summer, but there's been a nagging clunk in the front suspension recently. Sure enough, the right side link has slop in it. The KartBoy links bolt up, again, with out much drama.
After test starting the car, and finding no exhaust leaks (how many times did I check the torque on those nuts?) I call it a day.
On Sunday morning, I start with the exhaust manifold heat shields, cutting the slot needed to install/remove it without fiddling with the O2 sensor. That bit of reassembly is unremarkable. Next is the rear swaybar links, these OEM links are solid, but the boots are trashed. I realize the swaybar itself is about an inch off-center to the right (passenger) side. Kartboy links installed.
Since things are going I decide to go ahead with the Kartboy shifter bushings. The front bushing is a snap to install, the trick I found is to use a utility knife to cut the flange off of the inside of the stock bushing. It makes pushing the pushing the old bushing through very easy. The rear bushing a was trickier just because it is harder to get at... Oh, and which way is up? The bolt holes on the bushing are just a tad narrow, but after some struggle I was able to get it bolted up by starting the passenger side bolt first. I bolted up the front bushing and gave it a test. What an improvement! Very nice feel, and combined with the KB shift lever I installed last week, the shifting is much crisper without a whole lot of extra NVH.
A test drive last night proves the shifting much improved, the clunk in the suspension gone, and by the seat of my pants, it feels like there's a little more pep from the freer flowing up-pipe.
That's it for now!