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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m paying a local MR2 (mainly SW20 though) shop to remove and gut my pre cats. I have purchased all new Toyota OEM gaskets, studs, nuts etc.

I trust the shop but not sure how many (if any) of these he has done. What should I tell him to look out for/be careful of?
 

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You're paying the shop to do the work. Let them worry about it.

I would definitely wear a mask when hammering the internal guts out. It's just as simple as that. Hammer and chisel/long screw driver. Try to hammer it from both ends to speed up the breaking of the honey combs. It's an easy job I would think one would pay someone to do it.
 

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If I were having a shop do it I would simply buy an already gutted manifold from the classifieds and have the shop install it.

This way, you have an intact manifold should you ever need it (I did, once, for SMOG) and you also don’t have to worry about them doing a poor job at cleaning the material out.
I was highly paranoid about removing all of the debris so I used a pressure washer as well as an air compressor. I certainly don’t trust a shop to be so diligent.

Also, modifying emissions equipment - not sure on the legality of that in your area but they might try to charge you big monies for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You're paying the shop to do the work. Let them worry about it.

I would definitely wear a mask when hammering the internal guts out. It's just as simple as that. Hammer and chisel/long screw driver. Try to hammer it from both ends to speed up the breaking of the honey combs. It's an easy job I would think one would pay someone to do it.
It looks easy. But I’m paying the shop in case something goes wrong like a stud breaks off or somethjng. I don’t have the tools to handle those types of unknowns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If I were having a shop do it I would simply buy an already gutted manifold from the classifieds and have the shop install it.

This way, you have an intact manifold should you ever need it (I did, once, for SMOG) and you also don’t have to worry about them doing a poor job at cleaning the material out.
I was highly paranoid about removing all of the debris so I used a pressure washer as well as an air compressor. I certainly don’t trust a shop to be so diligent.

Also, modifying emissions equipment - not sure on the legality of that in your area but they might try to charge you big monies for it.
Good points. It’s not cheap what they are charging. And I plan on watching them so the work and will insist on pressure washing and air compressing and will want to see the finished process before it goes back
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If I were having a shop do it I would simply buy an already gutted manifold from the classifieds and have the shop install it.

This way, you have an intact manifold should you ever need it (I did, once, for SMOG) and you also don’t have to worry about them doing a poor job at cleaning the material out.
I was highly paranoid about removing all of the debris so I used a pressure washer as well as an air compressor. I certainly don’t trust a shop to be so diligent.

Also, modifying emissions equipment - not sure on the legality of that in your area but they might try to charge you big monies for it.
Gonna see if I can find an already gutted one. Good call
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Can you tell me if this pre gutted one looks okay? I see some rust.

 

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Spray the "3 Amigos" with PB blaster a day or two before you take it into the shop.
 

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Can you tell me if this pre gutted one looks okay? I see some rust.

This listing has sold. But in the event you bought it, this one looks completely fine. All OEM manifolds will have that surface rust. Non issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This listing has sold. But in the event you bought it, this one looks completely fine. All OEM manifolds will have that surface rust. Non issue.
I bought it :). Hope it looks okay. Seller seems knowledgeable
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
This listing has sold. But in the event you bought it, this one looks completely fine. All OEM manifolds will have that surface rust. Non issue.
This was the side with rust that concerned me. Is it okay?

Bicycle part Rim Wheel Auto part Jewellery
 

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I purchased an aftermarket header to replace the precat header. I gained a bit of power also. I just don't care for the idea of the gutting process. Aftermarket headers come in all sorts of quality levels.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I purchased an aftermarket header to replace the precat header. I gained a bit of power also. I just don't care for the idea of the gutting process. Aftermarket headers come in all sorts of quality levels.
I thought about that however I’ve read questionable reviews of welds breaking on aftermarket headers - but yes quality ones are okay. So I figured per the advice above would be a good idea to keep mine intact should I ever need it and purchase a pre gutted OEM to swap given that the OEM cast iron SHOULD be durable and cheap (225$)
 

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Even the cheap eBay headers hold up OK if all of the OEM braces are installed. We have been running an eBay header for over 40,000 miles with no issues.

Some people have left off the lower braces as the bolts may not quite fit well, but the cheap headers will vibrate and crack without them. Make sure the lower braces are the 2003 and newer cast ones as they are much stiffer. Almost all of the cheapo headers can use the stock O2 sensors and stock heat shields. The heat shield bolt mounts are often off a bit, so the heat shields should be test fitted before install and maybe the bolt holes opened a bit to fit.

Don't use the gasket at the engine that comes with the cheap headers. Get an OEM gasket
 

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Even the cheap eBay headers hold up OK if all of the OEM braces are installed. We have been running an eBay header for over 40,000 miles with no issues.

Some people have left off the lower braces as the bolts may not quite fit well, but the cheap headers will vibrate and crack without them. Make sure the lower braces are the 2003 and newer cast ones as they are much stiffer. Almost all of the cheapo headers can use the stock O2 sensors and stock heat shields. The heat shield bolt mounts are often off a bit, so the heat shields should be test fitted before install and maybe the bolt holes opened a bit to fit.

Don't use the gasket at the engine that comes with the cheap headers. Get an OEM gasket
+1 on cheap headers as long as they are 304 stainless-steel. Also, they weigh less than gutted headers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I’m gonna stick with the OEM gutted one I bought and use a wire brush to lightly clean off the mating surfaces. Good info on the aftermarket headers though. Thank you!
 
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