Get your parts. You need the RTDP, GM gaskets, anti-seize, wrenches
(open end and socket), socket extention, a breaker bar or somthing
similar to increase leverage, possibly new stainless exhaust bolts,
and rusty nut penetrant (I recommend PB Blaster), some heavy gloves,
and safety goggles.
Get the car up on ramps or stands (I prefer ramps). Allow it to
cool completely. Disconnect your battery. Crawl under, and using
the penetrant (PB Blaster), soak the living shit out of the O2
sensor (keep it near the threads), and all exhaust bolts.
Let the car sit for a couple of hours. If you suspect the bolts
are really rusted on, hit them again with penetrant and let it
Crawl under and disconnect the O2 sensor. There is a connector
housed in the heat shield. Pop the little plastic thingy out of
the metal shield, this will give you more play (but not much).
There is a small white plastic pin holding the sensor connector
on. You need to remove that, then the connector will come right
Remove the O2 sensor. Carefully set it aside, safely away from
your work area. Place something under the exhaust to support it.
I found that a small jackstand worked very well.
Remove the exhaust bolts after the CAT. PB Blaster made short
work of mine. They came off with practically NO effort. Inspect
the exhaust bolts. Replace if necessary.
Remove the nuts at the exhaust flange on the engine. Note: my
studs came off entirely, with the bolts still on tight. I'm told
that's ok. Also inspect these and replace if necessary.
Drop the factory dp/cat out and move it away from the car.
Remove all residual gasket material. This is important for a clean
seal. I may have to redo this step.
Test fit the RTDP. Put it in place and start the bolts, but do
not put the gaskets in. Tighten the bolts, not all the way, but
close. You want the RTDP to bend/flex and conform to your car.
Don't panic like I did.
Pay particular attention to where the O2 sensor goes. Observe
the proximity to the floorpan. It was a tight fit on mine. I decided
to increase clearance for the 02 by pounding in the floorboard
with a hammer and a block of wood. I probably gave it another
1/4" of clearance this way. It worked, mine does not rattle
Remove the bolts and the RTDP.
Install the O2 sensor into the RTDP. Use anti-sieze, being careful
not to get any on the sensor itself. Tighten securely.
You're now ready to install the RTDP. Get your gaskets ready.
This is the fun part. The one by the engine is tricky if you're
a klutz like me. Only took a few minutes of finagling though.
Be very careful. This gasket is RAZOR SHARP. It'll cut you if
you're not paying attention. Thanks Jeff McDonald for this warning.
Also, I dunno if the gaskets are supposed to face a special way.
I do know once they are used (crushed) they shouldn't be re-used.
Get the bolts on, tightening a little on each side, until they
are tight enough. Torque specs? I have no idea.
Connect the O2 sensor at the wiring harness (it is already connected
to the RTDP). This is also a bit tricky with the RTDP installed,
as clearance is tight. I found that by putting the plastic connector
holder thingy into the hole in the heat shield, I was able to
easily connect it. However there is no way in hell I can get that
little white safety connector thing back on. Oh well. It looks
like it's not going anywhere anyway. Pay attention here to the
routing of the O2 wire. You want it out of the way of the exhaust
and also not hanging down low, to be snagged by anything you may
happen to run over.
Pray that you have tightened everything up right and have not
screwed up your O2 sensor.
Reconnect your battery and start the car. Check for leaks. I couldn't
hear any until I drove it. I am going to try and fix my leak today.
Go for a test drive and check for more leaks. Assuming it's fine,
park it and disconnect the battery overnight. You want to make
sure the PCM is completely reset.
Reconnect your battery and you're done
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