After a month and a half of waiting, the downpipe and cat I ordered from RnR Racing finally arrived. The downpipe was a very nice 3" stainless steel unit, which replaced both the oxygen sensor housing and the downpipe. After a bit of street and highway driving, there's an obvious improvement in low-end pull, and acceleration is much more consistant. Mating the cat up to my existing HKS catback required a bit of fabrication (the HKS unit necks down to 2.5" at the second O2 sensor), and I'll likely want to open up everything to 3" when I'm producing a bit more power. The clutch slippage is almost unbearable at this point; wide-open throttle runs cause the RPMs to skyrocket, requiring a more subtle feathering of the throttle at first before "mashing the gas". I'm hoping that the low-end improvements give me a boost at the autocross event this weekend.
During/after the installation, I noticed that my radio was displaying the word "code" instead of the time, and that my power windows weren't working. The ABS light was on solid while I was driving, and flashed consistantly when I was stopped at a light. The car was operating "correctly"; I didn't notice any problems at all. When I got it home, I learned a few things after a little quick searching: the shop that installed the downpipe followed good procedure and disconnected the battery before work which meant that the radio needed it's security code reentered (which I didn't have), and somewhere along the line (probably when they reconnected the battery) my alternator fuse blew, which I didn't track down until the low-battery light started to flicker, which is what prevented the power windows from working and the ABS light weirdness. A trip to Pep Boys and $4 later, and the car was back in working order. The next day, I removed the faceplate around the radio, and copied down the serial number off of the top of radio. I then dropped by the local Mitsubishi dealership, gave them the serial number, and received the security code for my radio. Note to anyone this happens to: if you enter the code incorrectly three times, the unit refuses to let you enter any more codes; to try again, you have to turn the car to the ON position, and leave it alone for an hour, at which point the radio will reset and let you try again. Also, I could have just called in the serial number, but I was driving past there anyway.