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Discussion Starter #1
A few months ago, I ran over a rock that knocked my exhaust pipe off my cat-converter. I took it to a muffler shop and the guys there cut the cat out, and welded a new piece of pipe in it's place. They actually brought the stethoscope out and listened up and down the enitre exhaust pipe for leaks - they found none.

I've never driven a car with the cat removed before. I seem to really notice the sound of the exhaust more than before when driving. Not only that, I swear that I can smell it more when the vents are open and fan is on. Is there a chance that the rock I ran over was able to knock loose something that's right on the engine, causing more exhaust to leak and a louder exhaust noise? The guy a the muffler place seemed very capable. Is there anyway I can check this on my own?
 

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The exhaust manifold bolts securing the the two manifolds to the engine seem to break off pretty easy (especially the rear manifold) due to the high torque of the VQ motor and soft engine mounts.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Can I replace these bolts myself (if they are broken off)? How hard are they to get at?
 

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I think I might have had a similar situation but I don't think you hitting the rock did anything to the engine itself or the engine bay (You might want to check this out tho at a reputable auto place or dealer). The Cat is what filters out some/most of the dirt and disipates the smell that you are smelling now (hence it needing to be there to pass emissions). Plus in addition to that it does quiet the exhaust down some. I'm not sure why you didn't make them weld back a universal cat (or high flow one) in it's place. It's cheaper for them to just run a str8 pipe back. Also did they put a resonator back? Usually the stock exhaust has a cat and resonator then the muffler.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I didn't see anything other than the cat they cut off. What does the resonator look like? The guy said it looked to be near death anyway so it was no big deal to cut off. The engine still runs just like how it did before the rock incident.

He did say that I might smell more exhaust and the sound could be different. This place only does exhausts so I always go to them.
 
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