Absolutely nothing has happened since the last update because it keeps snowing. Fortunately this is New England, so the next couple days are in the sixties and its time to take the downpipe off. The crux of the matter is that it needs to move an inch forward, but is stopped by the turbo. Removing the rear section of the exhaust is an option but I’d rather not crack into those bolts just yet. I’m thinking that some kind of wedge could be really useful here. Maybe some kind of ultra sophisticated combination of a hammer and a screwdriver?
As you can see, there’s already a healthy gap on one side just thanks to “loosening” the nuts/bolts which were so roached that they had to be ground off. Perhaps hammering the stubs of these bolts could work? That said I’m not even sure if they are bolts, I don’t understand why there is no nut on the end. I didn’t take one off of either side. The new downpipe and its hardware came with standard exhaust hardware FWIW.
I think I’m going to end up taking off a piece of the Y pipe, I want to be as gentle as possible with the turbo side AKA just end up gently pulling it backwards. But hey maybe there’s more wiggle room than I think and using a screwdriver to open up that gap might work.
edit: the current idea is to widen the Y pipe side gap with something and sneak a cutting wheel in there. Now I just have to stop procrastinating and go outside...