First of, an adapter pipe was welded to the Hitech headers to accomodate the mounting of a flex pipe.
Then I had to drill the hole for the O2 sensor because for some reason that wasnt done before and re-cut the threads in the sensor bung.
I then coated the headers with matte black high temperature lacquer.
Since the paint is very delicate after application I let it out in the sun for a day before applying the heat gun for 1.5h.
After that, the paint had hardened enough to install the headers. The flex pipe had been welded to the Magnaflow cat. Luckily, the measurements I had taken were spot on so everything bolted right up.
Before thad, I had already installed a new OEM B6EW alternator that I had found on ebay that just needed a bit of modification with a different connector terminal and a bit of drilling:
This cured the bad disturbances the old alternator caused in my audio system as well as a loud operating noise.
For the cooling system, I had bought a new OEM water pipe connecting the water pump with the heater core. I got some silicone plugs to block off the heater for the throttle body and connected the BG GT oil/water heat exchanger with some silicone hoses and 90 degree brass connectors.
The heat exchanger now is spliced into the cooling system before the heater core.
On a side note, I used two threaded rivets in the front frame rail left over by the webasto heater I removed for a more stealthy installation of the alarm siren bracket:
After reassembling everything with a new radiator and getting the car back to the ground, I flushed the cooling system with water before adding fresh coolant.
Apart from a more challenging bleeding procedure due to a massive air bubble apparently forming in the oil/water heat exchanger everything was spot on and worked perfectly.
The paint on the headers was then burning in and happily smoking like a camp fire:
To celebrate the occasion, I swapped my old strut brace for a genuine Mazdaspeed part I acquired in spring:
As seen in the last picture, I also managed to buy a new set of my broken Italian signal horns that I really like.
To celebrate the occasion I washed the car and took it for a drive :)
The engine still needs a lot of attention. but at least I can drive the car again.
Also still on the list: suspension bushes, brakes, cam shafts, seats...