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What causes the need for steps 4-6? What makes the valves partially close again, and when does that partial closure occur?
From what I can tell, the exhaust valves positions is determined by engine RPM and/or throttle position. Example, when idling, mostly shut so you don’t disturb your neighbors.
When throttle is wide open, exhaust valves are wide open, hence the great sound when accelerating hard.
If you don’t do steps 4-6, the exhaust valves will operate like they always have.
By doing steps 1-3 & steps 4-6, the exhaust valves will be in the open position all the time since there is no power to them to make them change.
 

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are the burbles back with this like they were in the pre-facelift?
YUP. Big time. I think it’s louder and more fun than my 2020 - assuming the Pre-facelift had a little bit of logic to close the valves a tad in loud mode too sometimes.
 
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