The exhaust situation has hit a small snag. After I put in the new catalytic converter (pics below), I went to attach the new intermediate pipe behind it. They're made by two different manufacturers, and just barely don't fit together. I can probably get an adapter for that, so it's not a huge deal. Also, the muffler has been hard to find, but I think I've found someone on eBay who has one, so hopefully that's another crisis averted, but the exhaust is at a standstill for the moment.
The new cat, installed. You can see the transfer case sitting on a jack behind it:
Not hard to tell where the old pipe ends and the new begins:
It's just as well, since I'm not ready to start the car again just yet. The last link in that chain is ready to go in place though. I'm referring of course to the transmission cooler lines. Earlier, I had thought I would get new metal lines and connections, and custom bend them to be like the old ones. Thing is, though, then I took the old lines out. All the bends and curves and stuff were so convoluted that it was really hard to pull them out of the narrow space they occupied. Custom bending new lines would be hard enough, but getting them in without damaging them or anything else would be impossible.
The old metal lines:
So I settled on getting high-pressure hoses instead. Turns out this was also easier said than done. Transmission cooling hose, which - fun fact - can handle up to 400 PSI, is readily available, but not in the diameter I would have needed to be able to clamp it onto the existing connectors. I'd have to invent some way to adapt between the two. After a half-hour search of a local parts store, with a very patient parts clerk and a not-so-patient 5 year-old son, I found an arrangement that should work. Behold, the old connector + teflon tape + that new thing on the right.
The teflon tape is necessary because the threads of the old connector are metric size, and the threads on the new one are a roughly (but not exactly) analogous SAE size, so it's not really tight without the tape. The new thing on the right + a new hose connected to the right side of it, replaces this:
Curious about the pre-Oppo stages of the project? Satisfy your curiosity here.