Difficulty level of downpipe install? (2012 WRX Sedan)
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This is a discussion on Difficulty level of downpipe install? (2012 WRX Sedan) within the Engine Modifications forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I've only ever done simple maintenance work on my car (oil change, air filter change, etc...) and have swapped out ...

  1. #1
    Registered User Hung_Wei_Lo's Avatar
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    Difficulty level of downpipe install? (2012 WRX Sedan)

    I've only ever done simple maintenance work on my car (oil change, air filter change, etc...) and have swapped out a stock intake for an aftermarket - that's probably the most difficult thing I've done on a car.

    Would you recommend that I attempt to switch to an aftermarket downpipe myself? I've been looking at tutorials and vids but they're mostly for older WRXs. On youtube there's a vid called "2011 downpipe install" but it's a short video of the guy just showing it installed on the car already.... really helpful...

    I plan on getting (not sure if I will buy from RSD but just wanted to show exactly which items):

    Downpipe: Invidia Downpipe Catted Divorced Wastegate Subaru Models (inc. 2008-2012 WRX / STI) at RallySportDirect.com
    3in to stock catback gasket: http://www.rallysportdirect.com/Grim...u-Turbo-Models
    Donut gasket: Subaru OEM Donut Gasket Subaru Turbo Models at RallySportDirect.com
    Downpipe to catback gasket: GrimmSpeed Downpipe to Catback Gasket 2 Bolt 3 Inch at RallySportDirect.com (DO I NEED THIS?)

    Do I need torque wrenches? Will just raising the front of the car up (using ramps) be enough to accomplish this job? Thanks for any info.
    Last edited by Hung_Wei_Lo; 08-27-2012 at 07:19 AM.

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    Registered User maus's Avatar
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    Using ramps will be fine. It is an easy install. I've done a bunch on the newer models. I'd get the grimmspeed turbo to downpipe gasket. Just take your time. You'll need an O2 socket for the rear O2 sensor, I never torqued any of the bolts to spec and it hasn't been an issue. If you ever plan on getting a wideband I'd get it tapped for it before putting it on the car.
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    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    Ramps are fine. Personally, I prefer ramps to jack stands, when feasible.

    It's not really a difficult install. It will likely take you about two hours, if you're doing it by yourself, since it's a new install.

    You shouldn't need a new donut gasket.
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    Registered User Hung_Wei_Lo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maus View Post
    Using ramps will be fine. It is an easy install. I've done a bunch on the newer models. I'd get the grimmspeed turbo to downpipe gasket. Just take your time. You'll need an O2 socket for the rear O2 sensor, I never torqued any of the bolts to spec and it hasn't been an issue. If you ever plan on getting a wideband I'd get it tapped for it before putting it on the car.
    Oh, right - thanks, I forgot about this part: Subaru OEM Turbo to Downpipe Gasket Subaru Turbo Models at RallySportDirect.com

    And do you mean like a thermal wrap before putting on?

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    Registered User Hung_Wei_Lo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJ257 View Post
    Ramps are fine. Personally, I prefer ramps to jack stands, when feasible.

    It's not really a difficult install. It will likely take you about two hours, if you're doing it by yourself, since it's a new install.

    You shouldn't need a new donut gasket.
    Ok, thanks - so, I should just re-use the donut gasket.

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    Registered User maus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hung_Wei_Lo View Post
    Oh, right - thanks, I forgot about this part: Subaru OEM Turbo to Downpipe Gasket Subaru Turbo Models at RallySportDirect.com

    And do you mean like a thermal wrap before putting on?
    No I mean if you want to use a wideband AFR gauge you are better off tapping it now than later. Also you're going to need a new heatshield or you will have to modify yours.
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    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hung_Wei_Lo
    And do you mean like a thermal wrap before putting on?
    That's an option. You don't want to bother wrapping the whole thing, however; just wrap to where it bends back under the car (you wrap the DP to reduce radiant heat hitting the TMIC, not for EGTs).

    What he's referring to is installing an additional O2 sensor in your downpipe, which allows you to monitor your fueling (the stock sensor isn't ideal for WOT fueling checkups). If your downpipe doesn't already contain a WBO2 bung (and you plan to run one), you would want to get one welded onto the piece before installing it, so you don't have to do the install twice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hung_Wei_Lo
    Ok, thanks - so, I should just re-use the donut gasket.
    Your OE one shouldn't be in bad shape; it's more of an issue with older cars where it can start to disintegrate.
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    The Fruit mangostick's Avatar
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    Actually, a 22mm wrench is much better than a socket if you plan on re-using the O2 sensor. Reason is the socket can pinch and break the end of the wire where it does into the sensor. Since they're a bit on the expensive side its not a chance I'd take. The long wrench also makes easy to spin that guy out since its in there with some force and a few hundred heat cycles. The 22mm wrench can be found at any autozone.

    That's a very comprehensive list of parts you have there.. I applaud your prior research! There's been very little of that going on here lately. You will need all those gaskets though. The dp-cbe gasket will seal the dp side of the adapter and the donut will seal to your cbe. Check and make sure the dp comes with a dp-turbo gasket as well. If it doesn't then get one. If it does, then you're good. I cant remember if my invidia did or not.

    Use PB blaster the night before on all the bolts/nuts. Seriously.. sounds trivial but you'll thank me when it all comes apart like butter. Also, make sure you at least have a long handled ratchet on hand. Again leverage is king and without it everything is tougher. That coupled with PB and you should be good to go.
    You are going to have to remove the intercooler to get at the dp and have enough room to swing a wrench/ratchet. Be careful of the IC-TB hose (intercooler to throttle body) that sucker is a pita going back on and doesn't like to seal right. Take your time and make sure its aligned correctly. Easiest way is to undo the clamp at the intercooler and leave the hose attached to the TB. When putting the ic back on.. be careful to lube the bolts that clamp it to the turbo flange and make sure they're not cross threaded. If you cant spin them in a few full turns with thumb/forefinger.. re-align and try again. Too many guys are having trouble in that spot and its completely avoidable with some common sense and a little grease on bolt threads.

    I have the same dp you're buying.. and its a good piece that fits very well. Install will be pretty quick and relatively easy as long as everything factory installed comes apart ok. You wont need a torque wrench but do make sure all the bolts/nuts are evenly tightened. Snug em up tight and give em one last short push. That should be plenty. Check again after a few days of driving/heat cycles to verify they're still tight.

    I also suggest if you haven't already, get a heat shield vs hacking up the factory one. Firstly because it helps to reduce heat soak and also just in case you ever want to return it to factory spec in the future.. the heatshield isn't all cut up. Not cheapest but has the best outcome.
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    Moderator rage-wrx's Avatar
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    A torque wrench is a necessity in the garage. You can get one & use it for various applications like torquing lug nuts.

    You will need PB blaster & a breaker bar.

    The toughest part is taking the stock heatshield off. It is held in place by 9 small bolts,some of which are accessible only from under the car. Have you decided what you are going to do for the heatshield ? You will have to get an aftermarket one or cut the stock shield to fit.
    Last edited by rage-wrx; 08-27-2012 at 07:50 AM.
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    The Fruit mangostick's Avatar
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    posting from Cell phone Tony? lol.. what's a "hartsfield" ? lmao

    edit: I agree on the torque wrench in the garage 100% but for this job its not a necessity.
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    Moderator rage-wrx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mangostick View Post
    posting from Cell phone Tony? lol.. what's a "hartsfield" ? lmao

    edit: I agree on the torque wrench in the garage 100% but for this job its not a necessity.
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    Registered User maus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mangostick View Post
    Actually, a 22mm wrench is much better than a socket if you plan on re-using the O2 sensor. Reason is the socket can pinch and break the end of the wire where it does into the sensor. Since they're a bit on the expensive side its not a chance I'd take. The long wrench also makes easy to spin that guy out since its in there with some force and a few hundred heat cycles. The 22mm wrench can be found at any autozone.

    That's a very comprehensive list of parts you have there.. I applaud your prior research! There's been very little of that going on here lately. You will need all those gaskets though. The dp-cbe gasket will seal the dp side of the adapter and the donut will seal to your cbe. Check and make sure the dp comes with a dp-turbo gasket as well. If it doesn't then get one. If it does, then you're good. I cant remember if my invidia did or not.

    Use PB blaster the night before on all the bolts/nuts. Seriously.. sounds trivial but you'll thank me when it all comes apart like butter. Also, make sure you at least have a long handled ratchet on hand. Again leverage is king and without it everything is tougher. That coupled with PB and you should be good to go.
    You are going to have to remove the intercooler to get at the dp and have enough room to swing a wrench/ratchet. Be careful of the IC-TB hose (intercooler to throttle body) that sucker is a pita going back on and doesn't like to seal right. Take your time and make sure its aligned correctly. Easiest way is to undo the clamp at the intercooler and leave the hose attached to the TB. When putting the ic back on.. be careful to lube the bolts that clamp it to the turbo flange and make sure they're not cross threaded. If you cant spin them in a few full turns with thumb/forefinger.. re-align and try again. Too many guys are having trouble in that spot and its completely avoidable with some common sense and a little grease on bolt threads.

    I have the same dp you're buying.. and its a good piece that fits very well. Install will be pretty quick and relatively easy as long as everything factory installed comes apart ok. You wont need a torque wrench but do make sure all the bolts/nuts are evenly tightened. Snug em up tight and give em one last short push. That should be plenty. Check again after a few days of driving/heat cycles to verify they're still tight.

    I also suggest if you haven't already, get a heat shield vs hacking up the factory one. Firstly because it helps to reduce heat soak and also just in case you ever want to return it to factory spec in the future.. the heatshield isn't all cut up. Not cheapest but has the best outcome.
    My O2 socket is opened ended and has an opening in the side....no way for it to pinch the wire. Was like $8 at autozone.
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    The Fruit mangostick's Avatar
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    I have the same one.. and its eaten a couple. The wrench is pretty much idiot proof. Ask me how I know lol
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  15. #14
    FMS
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    I am sure you have probably seen this but it may help you out:
    DIY Stage 2+ (Downpipe, Uppipe, TMIC, EBCS, Ram Intake, Wastegate Blockoff, EWG)

    I find the downpipe to be so simple. An hour of time and you should be solid.
    OPEN 7 Days a week|We match and beat advertised prices and sales|855.447.8288

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    Registered User Hung_Wei_Lo's Avatar
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    That's some really good info thanks a lot, guys. I'll be adding to my shopping list:

    GrimmSpeed Turbo Heat Shield Subaru Turbo Models at RallySportDirect.com (This is a good one, right?)
    22mm wrench
    PB blaster
    Breaker bar
    Torque wrench

    Some more background info if you're interested: I was originally going to buy a CAI, CBE and go stage 1. After more and more reading I realized a CAI and CBE are a waste of money unless I just wanted some extra noise. So, I thought the money would be more well spent going directly to stage 2 with an aftermarket downpipe. And I like the idea of having more power without anybody knowing I do just by looking at the car (stock CBE).

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