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Discussion Starter #1
Hey folks.

About 3 weeks ago I started noticing a slight rasp when my engine was cold and first running in the morning. I couldn't tell what it was and wrote it off as just cold engine noise because it went away by the time I was at the end of my street. It has since gotten worse and now I recognize it as an exhaust leak. I narrowed it down to the forward bank exhaust manifold and can tell that either it has become improperly torqued or has popped it's gasket. The engine only has 11,500 miles on it (it was replaced at 11,800 and the car has 23,300 on it now). Five Star Mazda here in Macon is refusing to warranty it because of my intake, even though I can prove I've only had it on there for little more than a week I've been noticing the problem for well longer than that.

This actually shouldn't surprise me, this same service manager told me that my AXLE-BACK exhaust combined with upper-RPM driving may have been causing my car to burn 4 quarts of oil between changes which ultimately led to my engine replacement, but thankfully I was able to get the regional folks to step in and set him straight. So now he is saying that my intake and exhaust have caused THIS problem, and I really don't feel like fighting him again.

So my primary question is this: Is it possible for someone like me (reasonably mechanically enabled) to replace this gasket if needs-be or how much would it potentially cost? If I can't do it, I'm going to have a trusted shop here do it while they are aligning my car this weekend.

And as a secondary question to toss around, could the CPE have aggravated this and made it worse?
 

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Well...Raffield (the shop I use) is pretty sure it's the donut gasket connecting the precat to either the manifold or the downpipe that's leaking as it sounds like it's coming from inside that heat shield. So that should be a little easier to pull off it I'm doing it myself.

So no one has any ideas? All these views and not one thought? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
 

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I think they can refuse to work on a mod'd car but since it cant void warranty on a non-related part you could probably just put the stoc intake back on and take it in for fix...(or to a different dealer)
 

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I've had all those off a couple times. They're not all that hard, IMO. You may not even need to take that cat off the car... just loosening the nuts up and getting it as slack as possible may give you enough room to get the gasket out...

Hope so, because actually getting the thing off the car required me to take all the pieces between the manifolds and the beginning of the actual "catback" loose to give it enough slack to come out. A good bit of labor just to get one silly gasket out... but it'll save you some $$ though.

If you're reasonably inclined, I wouldn't think you'll have any trouble. It's not "technically" challenging... but it can be a bit frustrating occasionally, since it's exhaust work and I don't figure you have a lift...
 
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