|(This page takes a bit to load; lots of pictures for you).
The deed is done. What is normally about a 4 hour procedure (when doing so without dropping the tranny), took about 7 hours. The main culprit was a frozen/stripped bolt on the passenger's side precat. It took an acetylene torch to melt it off. More than a bit scary, as you actually had to jam it down - with the flame on - down near the turbos deep in the engine bay! Eventually, after about a dozen or so tries, it was melted off. The melted bolt fell off on a piece of oil and ignited. We put out quickly with absolutely no damage, but talk about freaking you out! Fire extinguishers at the ready!
Look up to the driver's side pre-cat with the test pipes removed. Notice the white mesh-like material. This is the catalytic "brick" and mesh mix.
Below is the passenger's side pre-cat looking down on it from the engine bay.
Passenger's side stock turbo. Note that the pre-cat bolts right up onto the turbo.
It takes two to make it go a bit better. Extension locking down on the O2 sensor for removal. It takes some skill to match it up.
On the vise. Note the railroad spike-like object in the precat. This is used to gut out the insides. Or so I understand....
Crap. AKA Gutted precat insides (ceramic brick and wire mesh interlace).
Reinstalling the exhaust system.
Well, everything was a go. Unfortunately, the one simple bolt on the passenger's side on the precat would not come loose. No amount of force or WD-40 would save the day. We'll be working on this one soon; perhaps in the next week or so. I'll update with pictures.
It is strongly suggested that at this time you replace the O2 sensors with fresh ones. The cost is around $50 a piece. Note that they are not identical; you must order one for the drivers and passengers side separately. Here are a few pictures for you:
Both still in manufacturer's bags:
One out of bag: