Now, install the Vishnu Up-pipe, re-using the factory metal gaskets or new gaskets if purchased with the kit. Put the top gasket (which may have stuck to your turbo or may still be stuck to your stock up-pipe) on first and wiggle the up-pipe into place. To keep the up-pipe in place and secured to the turbo, screw on the two rear-most nuts (one to the turbo, one to the bracket) slightly less than finger-tight. Then put the rest of the nuts on (two remaining turbo nuts and one bracket), slightly less than finger tight, too. Crawl under the car for the bottom half of the install. Hold the exhaust manifold in place and put the three nuts on that hold the manifold to the block. Just put them on far enough to hold the manifold in place. Then attach the two bolts that hold the manifold to the cross pipe (or the cross pipe to the driver’s side manifold). Make sure to keep the gasket in good condition and do not bend or kink it. Tighten those bolts finger tight, too.
Now for the critical gasket at the bottom of the up-pipe. You need to keep the gasket centered about the pipe hole in the up-pipe. You may consider using a dab of make-a-gasket to hold the metal gasket in place. New or used gasket, it may leak if you do not make sure the holes are lined up. Line up the gasket correctly and attach the manifold to the up-pipe. Tighten those bolts right to their Torque Spec – 26-30 ft-lbs. Yep, that is light. You do not need to crank down hard, and doing so will warp the cast iron flange once it heats up to operating temperature. After tightening the flange on the bottom of the up-pipe, go back to the top and tighten the three nuts that hold the turbo to the up-pipe. Just those three. Then go back under and tighten the manifold to the engine head and then the cross tube bolts. Then go back on top to tighten the last two up-pipe nuts – to the brackets. Now make sure to tighten the three remaining bracket bolts – one on the small bridge-type bracket and two on the triangle-shaped bracket. Dizzy yet? But this technique actually seems to ensure the best possible, leak-proof results.
Once you tighten up all the exhaust bolts from the bottom of the car, it is time to reinstall the O2 sensor (and electrical clip). We honestly believe that you will be much happier installing the O2 sensor into the manifold and then installing the heatshield, but to do that, you’ll need to do as we described above and cut that round hole in the heatshield to make it “U” shaped. Otherwise, you have to slide the O2 sensor into its hole AFTER putting on the heatshield. Good luck tightening it to its spec of about 25 ft-lbs.
Note that you should leave off the heatshields for now. We will put them back on after testing the system for leaks. Next, re-install the downpipe (nuts and bolts to 26~30 ft-lbs), intercooler, intake box, battery, and windshield washer bottle. If you took off the passenger side wheel to access the O2 sensor, put that back on and torque those lugnuts to about 75 ft-lbs.
Time to test for leaks. Either fire up the car in its current position (MAKE SURE IT’S OUT OF GEAR, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE STILL ON JACKSTANDS!!!) or drop the car down onto its wheels and take it for a spin. Have no fear; your car is perfectly safe to run with the current modifications and without the Ecutek reflash. Of course, your car will not have all the power of the Stage Zero, but you are just looking for leaks. The exhaust will smoke if you used Liquid Wrench or WD-40 so don’t worry about that as long as it goes away after 10-15 minutes of running/driving. A leak will make itself known by a high-pitched noise typically heard more often when the exhaust components are cold. Firing up the car and walking around the engine bay will help you localize any strange sounds. Of course, once you drive around, you will hear a whirling sound louder than normal. That is your turbo and you can now hear it better through the up-pipe because it is a much thinner gauge material than the cast iron stock pipe. This noise is not loud; it is just different than before, as you come on the boost.
Once you are satisfied that there are no leaks, reinstall the plastic splashguard and exhaust heatshields. This includes the one on the downpipe at the top. This heatshield warps pretty badly with heat, so it will be less “fun” to reinstall. You will use all but 2 of the bolts to attach this shield, as two of them went into a bracket on the stock up-pipe.