DIY: Uppipe install! Keeping your manifold and turbo in touch!

So many different choices for uppipes. Solid pipes, Grimmspeed flex jointed pipe and the factory catless. I prefer the Grimmspeed and then oem.

So many different choices for uppipes. Solid pipes, Grimmspeed flex jointed pipe and the factory catless. I prefer the Grimmspeed and then oem.

When you are trying to maximize your stock or upgraded stock size turbo the uppipe is another place to free/smooth your airflow through the exhaust. If you are replacing either your exhaust manifold or turbo you should definitely look into an uppipe, given these are two of the methods to replacing the uppipe.

If you follow the Subaru method for replacing an uppipe you will be removing the turbo and pulling it up through engine bay and out. I have never tried this method and have stuck to the tried and true exhaust manifold removal, followed by the uppipe coming out through the bottom.

Determined by your tools, mods and current exhaust setup this installation will greatly vary your install time. With the exhaust manifold method and my tools and skill level, I will spend around an hour on this mod. If this is your first time, be sure to give yourself extra time.

Parts

Parts needed. Grimmspeed Uppipe, Grimmspeed uppipe to turbo gasket, Grimmspeed uppipe to manifold gasket, Grimmspeed manifold to head gaskets

Parts! Without these, what are we doing? Not too much but taking off parts for ittle to no reason.

Parts! Without these, what are we doing? Not too much but taking off parts for ittle to no reason.

A few of the tools that will help you along the way and the tools I use day in and out.

A few of the tools that will help you along the way and the tools I use day in and out.

Tools

A few of the tools hat will help you, with links to the tools. Gearwrench ratcheting wrenches metric Milwaukee 3/8th impact Milwaukee 3/8th electric ratchet O2 sensor socket Gearwrench 3/8th extra long ratchet, 3/8th extensions 3/8th torque wrench Grey Pneumatic 3/8th socket set


Install

We will start with top mount intercooler removal. Here is a link a complete DIY here and the quick version starts now. You can remove the downpipe without removing the intercooler, but if you need to remove the dogbone… You will need the Tmic removed. Locate the bolts/nuts that hold the bpv and intercooler down and remove those. Next will be the breather hoses removal and releasing the clamps from the turbo and throttle body.

I could probably remove this thing in my sleep.. But if you haven’t done it 200+ times head over to my  Tmic removal  to help you sort it out!

I could probably remove this thing in my sleep.. But if you haven’t done it 200+ times head over to my Tmic removal to help you sort it out!


Next you will need to remove the donwpipe. Full Diy linked here. Quick version starts now! You will need to remove the five bolts that attach it to the turbo and the two bolts that connect it to the midpipe. Lastly removing the transmission support bolt and taking the downpipe out.

Another task I have pretty well memorized but if you need photos and more assistance, head over to the  downpipe removal diy .

Another task I have pretty well memorized but if you need photos and more assistance, head over to the downpipe removal diy.

With the downpipe out of the way you may now start loosening the uppipe to turbo nuts. Three connect to the turbo and two connect to the brackets that support both the turbo and uppipe to the engine. While you are up here you should disconnect the O2 sensor connection and bracket off the passenger side valve cover if you intend to leave it attached to the manifold.

Downpipe is out of here. Now we have the room to reach the nuts underneath it.

Downpipe is out of here. Now we have the room to reach the nuts underneath it.

The 5 nuts that hold the uppipe to the turbo and brakcets can be seen here. One is just barely peeking out and located near the turbo center section.

The 5 nuts that hold the uppipe to the turbo and brakcets can be seen here. One is just barely peeking out and located near the turbo center section.

Now if you are disconnecting the O2 from the manifold you will use your O2 socket to break it free or 22mm wrench. I find the large protective shield makes this difficult and use my O2 sensor socket. Set the O2 sensor somewhere safe to protect it. Oils from your hands or any damage to the sensor can cause an erratic reading and need to be replaced.

O2 sensor out in the open. snag your O2 socket and help it out.

O2 sensor out in the open. snag your O2 socket and help it out.

Having dealt with the O2 sensor you can now located the two bolts that connect the uppipe to the manifold and proceed with removal. Locating the six nuts that bolt the manifold to the heads is next on the list, I like to loosen them all and use a box to support it while it comes down. The large size and awkwardness of the manifold can make getting it down quite difficult.

Unless you have a 3 bolt system this is what you will see. One bolt on the bottom and one behind the O2 sensor. Remove these bolts.

Unless you have a 3 bolt system this is what you will see. One bolt on the bottom and one behind the O2 sensor. Remove these bolts.

If you have a factory manifold you will need to remove the heat shields. With my Maperformance Elh this is no problem. The bolts are somewhat hidden but can be located quickly.

If you have a factory manifold you will need to remove the heat shields. With my Maperformance Elh this is no problem. The bolts are somewhat hidden but can be located quickly.

Passenger side nut hiding in between the two runners.

Passenger side nut hiding in between the two runners.

The driver side exhaust manifold nuts are easier to spot. Less wild bends in the exhaust paths.

The driver side exhaust manifold nuts are easier to spot. Less wild bends in the exhaust paths.

With the manifold removed the uppipe will now just attached to the turbo and brackets on the upper side of the engine bay. If you are replacing an aftermarket uppipe you can leave the engine in place. If you are replacing the factory unit the heatshields are going to cause issues and either need to be trimmed/bent before removal, which can be difficult given its location in the engine bay. The second method being to remove the dogbone mount and loosen the engine mounts. Having all three loose/removed you can now use your jack and a piece of wood to move the engine up slightly. This gives you the much needed room to remove the factory uppipe. You may need to turn and contort your uppipe but it will come out after a bit of trial and error.

Hiding behind the sway bar and up in the crossmember your will find the motor mount nuts. Remove these to allow the engine to move up.

Hiding behind the sway bar and up in the crossmember your will find the motor mount nuts. Remove these to allow the engine to move up.

The dogbone mount that resides under the intercooler needs to be freed to allow the motor to shift out of the way for the uppipe. If you don’t disconnect it it will shift the engine and make it nigh impossible to get the motor mounts back in place.

The dogbone mount that resides under the intercooler needs to be freed to allow the motor to shift out of the way for the uppipe. If you don’t disconnect it it will shift the engine and make it nigh impossible to get the motor mounts back in place.

Here is what you will be looking at after pulling the manifold out. Next the uppipe needs to go to make room for the new contender.

Here is what you will be looking at after pulling the manifold out. Next the uppipe needs to go to make room for the new contender.

Having the old uppipe out you are now ready to install your new unit. Most aftermarket uppipes like the Grimmspeed unit shown here will easily slide in and out without moving the engine. This makes any removal later down the road much easier. Now you will place your new turbo gasket on and place the nuts on the studs to the uppipe to hold it in place.

Sliding in the new Grimmspeed uppipe.

Sliding in the new Grimmspeed uppipe.

Hand thread the nuts on to the uppipe to hold it in place. Now turn your attention back down to the manifold.

Hand thread the nuts on to the uppipe to hold it in place. Now turn your attention back down to the manifold.

Now we will slide the manifold back up into place with the new gaskets and once again with your hand attach all the nuts but do not tighten it down. You can now slide the bolts through the manifold and and uppipe once again just placing the nuts and uppipe together with your hand. There are many different ways to finish this install and you can use your favorite but this is my preferred method.

Slide the manifold back up and start to hand thread these nuts.

Slide the manifold back up and start to hand thread these nuts.

New gaskets in place and the nuts just threaded on enough to keep the manifold from falling abck on top of you.

New gaskets in place and the nuts just threaded on enough to keep the manifold from falling abck on top of you.

With all the nuts loosely holding all the exhaust parts in place we will move to the passenger side manifold to head to tighten them up.

With all the nuts loosely holding all the exhaust parts in place we will move to the passenger side manifold to head to tighten them up.

Start by running the nuts on the passenger side of the manifold up but not to your final torque value. Move to the driver’s side head and on to the manifold to uppipe. Lastly we will move back up to the top of the engine bay to snug up the turbo to uppipe bolts. This should help level everything out and you can now return in that order to torque all your nuts and bolts to their proper torque spec. Overtightening can warp flanges and cause leaks, be wary of this!

From passenger side to driver. Start with the furthest nut that is tucked right up against the uppipe. Moving over to the driver’s side head. Then on to the uppipe to manifold two bolt connection.

From passenger side to driver. Start with the furthest nut that is tucked right up against the uppipe. Moving over to the driver’s side head. Then on to the uppipe to manifold two bolt connection.

Run these bolts down and once you torqued everything below you will now do the three that connect the turbo and downpipe. The brackets will be the last.

Run these bolts down and once you torqued everything below you will now do the three that connect the turbo and downpipe. The brackets will be the last.

With all those bolts torqued you can torque the two left over bracket studs on the uppipe. And with everything lined up you should have a leak free preturbo exhaust system. You can now lower your engine back into place, torquing them down. Then on to the dog bone

Not easy to photograph given all the spaghetti. But the rusty far right is the bracket and there is one more on the backside of the turbo that hold the turbo and uppipe to the head.

Not easy to photograph given all the spaghetti. But the rusty far right is the bracket and there is one more on the backside of the turbo that hold the turbo and uppipe to the head.

After tightening down the motor mounts and then the dogbone.

After tightening down the motor mounts and then the dogbone.

I will state that some pieces will fit better than others and I have experienced problem parts that won’t seal with this method. It seems some uppipes and certain manifolds may just not work with one another given their angles/lengths, flatness of gasket area, etc. It can really be discouraging and I have had my own problem parts too. Another helper for these problems can be copper gasket sealer.

he old cat scan. This is how you double check the quality of the gaskets.

he old cat scan. This is how you double check the quality of the gaskets.

You can now lower your engine back into place, torquing them down. Then on to the dog bone back in place. On to the rest of the assembly with the O2 sensor going back home and on to the downpipe. Then back to the intercooler to finish everything up. Install walk-through for both the downpipe and intercooler for installation.

Now you can start your vehicle up and double check for any exhaust leaks. If all appears well you can lower the car down and take a short drive to double check that everything is working well. Many forum posts will tell you to recheck the torque after a week or two of driving as the expansion and contraction can loosen up the connections.

Leave it up on your jack stands to double check your connections for leaks. Making sure you are not in closed off room, you need plenty of fresh air to breath when running a car in semi enclosed area. Use fans and all the open doors and windows you can.

Leave it up on your jack stands to double check your connections for leaks. Making sure you are not in closed off room, you need plenty of fresh air to breath when running a car in semi enclosed area. Use fans and all the open doors and windows you can.

Dan Engstrom