Pipe went on extremely well, even with the "rust belt" variable it only requierd about 1.5hrs. Quality of the pipe is A+, couldn't ask for a better fit. Thank goodness all new gaskets are included because the old ones came off in particulate form.
*Sorry no pictures, I performed the removal/ install late afterwork last night and was not really planning on a writeup, but once I was finished I wanted to provide my fellow MDX'ers a little input on it and provide feedback to a great product.*
Hopefully I described this process well enough to help reduce the need for visual aids. If there is something I forgot/ left out I'll edit in later as I remember.
Used about a half can of PD Blaster (was VERY helpful breaking loose the hardware while NOT breaking them), 14mm on the Crossmember bolts and Converter and Manifold nuts (manifold nuts will more than likely require a 1/2" ratchet for added "breaking" torque and also a 6" extension to reach up to them), and a 10mm on the heat shield and splash guard attached to the crossmember. 15mm box wrench and socket used for new hardware on the downstream flange and of course, a 3/8" twist handle torque wrench.
I loosened (broke free) the Manifold nuts first, then the converter nuts. Dropped the crossmember and splash guard, then fully removed the converter nuts.
From there I removed all but (1) of each manifold flange nuts while leaving the remaining a couple turns on. Once (4) of the (6) nuts were off, I popped off the hanger (rubber componant) using a long prybar (long screwdriver or breaker bar will work).*NOTE* PB Blaster helps here also for removal / re-installation
Next, I removed the remaining nut on each flange to ease/ steady removal.
I centered myself under the J-pipe placed the gaskets on the manifold flanges with a manifold nut in my right hand and carefully raised the pipe in place (A secondary jack can also be used but I like doing this way for more control over the pipe). If you are careful, concentrate, and go slow, you can manipulate the pipe in place with the gaskets on and over the studs in the flanges, then thread on (1) nut to help hold in place. After you have the 1 nut threaded on, Install the other nuts and going back and forth between the 2 flanges. This way the flanges and pipe seat flush and correct without binding. *Do not torque yet just tighten/ secure in place*
Next, install the rubber hanger in reverse of the removal (may take a little persuasion) especially with the longer hanger on the new J-pipe. Install the rubber componant on the pipe first then twist into place on the car's hanger. You may also need to remove the little heat shield for the hanger ((2) 10mm bolts), or I was able to just lightly bend out of the way to aid in installation.
From here install the downstream flange gasket (where the 3rd converter once was) by light manipulating the exhaust and j-pipe to "slide" it in between the 2 flanges.
*This step can be done differently depending on the rest of the install, this method works for me best especially when doing this with no additional hands.*
Once the gasket is in place, install the (3) bolts followed by the nuts. I installed them with the nut on the back toward the rear of the car and the bolt head on the forward end (Bolt head will be covered by heat shield once installed later). Tighten them down by a little bit on each one by alternating between them tightening a little bit at a time, this way the torque is equally applied across the flange/ gasket. I then torqued each nut to 40 ft-lbs.
Once the (3) nuts/ bolts are torqued on the downstream flange, Go to the manifold flanges once at a time and torque all (3) nuts on each flange, alternating between the 3 on each. Again, this way torque is equally applied to the flange/ gasket to prevent warpage and/ or binding. ONce all the manifold flange nuts are "tight" I then torqued each nut to 40 ft-lbs.
From here you can re-install the crossmember and then the splash guard (TOrqued (4) 14mm <- size of socket used, not actual size of bolts to 40 ft-lbs, the 10mm ones are about 10-15 ft-lbs).
Finally, if you prefer the old converter heat shield be re-installed install it now (last) or you will have a difficult time installing the (3) downstream flange nuts/ bolts. These bolts for the heat shield are also a 10mm socket and can be torqued to 10-15 ft-lbs.
From here double check all your bolts have been installed/ tightened and if you prefer wipe any noticeable residue (it will burn off but will help reduce the odor). Next start the car and let it warm up and verify no leaks, if so locate the leak and verify hardware is properly torqued (and gasket is properly seated <- you would see protruding out it if was not).
Clean up and test drive. You WILL smell some odor from all the chemicals burning off, this will stop after +/- 20 miles of regular driving. You may or may not notcie a different off the bat, but once the PCM re-learns the enhancements it will gradually.
*All following are my results, please note my present modifications in my sig as some may not notice what I have*
At an Idle, perfect little rumble and not much if any louder as before. Regular driving, Same as idle mild improvement in a rumble but not much volume change noticeable. I do notice a rattle from the heatshield (could be car or converter) at 1500RPM. At WOT the car just plain SCREAMs. Much more improved over before, very throaty while NOT AT ALL raspy and volume has increrased moderately.
: Bear in mind this is "felt" power and not measured..but much improved when Vtec is engaged especially across the midrange and top end. Under "regular" driving the engine definitely feels like it is not working as hard, or better described "breathing easier". MPG thus far seems better, but I only have 50miles on so far and again the PCM is still learning so we will see in about a week.
All in all, I am very pleased with the product, well designed and very well manufactured. I had to contact Marcus last week about something minor and he very easy to contact and work with. Additionally (for him being 4hrs behind me time wise) he returned my call very promptly, was courteous and professional. Overall experience is A+/ 5 stars depending on the rating scale you prefer
Now if we can only get a Hondata Flashpro for the MDX platform ...