Well crafted and good fitting part, removing the stock cat/front-pipe was a huge pain due to one of the brackets being hard to remove and being unable to clear the studs with it on (it contacts the water pump before you clear the stud) ultimately I had to remove the stock catalytic converters heat shield to wiggle the bracket out of place so I could get the cat to clear the stud without contacting the water pump, once the old one is off the install is super simple because the cat is at the back of the GS j-pipe so there's a lot more room for tools on the install portion, I would highly recommend doing this job on a lift as it would be a huge pain to try and do it on jack stands, looks and sounds awesome
Grimmspeed Catted Jpipe on 2018 WRX
Install: I opted to do this myself, and initially was planning on just putting it up on jacks and stands, luckily I had access to a lift and just went for it. I could not imagine doing this install without a lift. For the 2018+ wrx I noticed that one of the turbo mount brackets actually needed to be accessed with a long socket wrench from top down into the engine bay of the car, and was inaccessible from the bottom, small issue, but took a second to figure out. The turbo studs are unrealistic to reach without removing the stock jpipe heatshield, which will need to be bent and manipulated off. For the actual install, the only two difficult parts are the upper right turbo stud, which does require a painfully specific long, yet slim socket with swivel joint and plenty of PB blast beforehand, and the second pain being realigning the turbo bracket after mounting the pipe. It's a tight fit, and can take some manipulation as well to avoid cross threading. This being said, this has nothing to do with the quality of the product itself, and is no fault of Grimmspeed, we can blame Subaru for the inconvenient access here.
Product: the pipe itself was hefty and satisfying. Great welds, solid single piece construction, included hardware was free from imperfections and high quality. No fitment issues. Due to nameless having a unique bellmouth midpipe, I ended up squashing a 3 inch donut gasket to the Grimmspeed jpipe and tightened it down with the Grimmspeed hardware. No issues, no leaks.
First drive: After flashing the OTS stage 2 map (go ahead flame me, poor with no protune) and starting it up for the first time, the sound difference was night and day, super aggressive, slightly raspy, and the turbo whistle was finally audible and ever-present. After letting the engine warm up from a cold start it actually went down to a nice quiet idle and was not obnoxious whatsoever (I am running a resonated nameless catback with 4 inch mufflers to give you an idea). The power delivery and response was awesome, the turbo whistle again really changed the way the car sounded. Beautiful 3rd to 4th pops under load, and an awesome subtle series of crackles and pops on a rev match and downshift. Felt like driving a completely different car and made me fall in love with it all over again. I've gotten tons of compliments on the exhaust note since showing it off to friends. Kicking myself for not buying this earlier. Have driven around 1000 miles since install so hard to tell if there are going to be any issues, but none so far after running some logs.
All being said, despite the painful install, was satisfying to work on the car myself, and very satisfied with the sound and slight power gains with the stage 2 map.
Would definitely recommend this to those on the fence, how can you beat high quality American stainless steel? Cheers, and thanks again to Art for taking care of me on the phone to answer my questions before purchase.