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I'm having an exhaust shop take my front catalytic converter out and welding a new high flow cat in place. I already had them remove my rear cat which was completely plugged. They said the front cat was falling apart too. The car has 275k miles and at one point had a very severe miss so it's probably melted and clogged somewhat.

I'm seeing that to remove the cat there's three studs that go into the exhaust manifold outlet so I'm planning on replacing those and the hardware and gasket. From looking around it also looks like there's a severe amount of rust on the exhaust mainfold hardware where it bolts into the head. I'm wondering if I should have the five head studs replaced now along with the manifold gasket or if I'm best off leaving that alone. The car was in Michigan most of its life and finally moved out of the salt a year ago. I've had to have parts of the exhaust patched.

I'm leaning towards having those studs replaced along with a gasket but I wonder how risky that is on these cars.
 
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