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Would wrapping the exhaust manifold help with the heat problem?
Wrapping can lead to other problems. I’ve seen several of the more knowledgeable members on here discuss how it can cause the manifold to crack over time, and that it is better to insulate the important things nearby than to wrap the manifold. But I have no real technical information of my own to go off of.
 

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does it matter if mine are missing? I have been without them for about a year and have had no issues but would replace them if they are really needed?
It’s possible that the heat will cook your paint or the wires that run up there over time. But I don’t think anyone really knows for sure. Sunlight is probably the biggest culprit for frying the paint.
 
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