I am determined to install my own damn exhaust because it can’t be THAT hard. I’ve got a jack, 4 jackstands, and some free time on the weekends. And my local shop just raised their rate to $114/hour. I’m going to start taking my Miata to the Subaru/Evo shop a few towns over that charges $115/hour because they treated me nicely when I had my WRX.

But I digress. I asked all of you a while ago the best way to unstuck some seriously stuck bolts between my header and cat. Liquid wrench, Kroil, and WD-40 were some top suggestions, and Liquid wrench happened to be the one I had in my basement.

So after jacking my Miata up once a day for three days and applying Liquid wrench to the bolts, I got after them. The rusty bolt nearly disintegrated inside the socket, but I managed to muscle loose the bolts without rocking the little car off its jackstands and crushing myself.

The worse was over! But wait, I had to tackle the O2 sensor. (OBDII Miatas have a post-cat O2 sensor) Shit. This thing was stuck pretty good, and I couldn’t get a good angle. I decided to spray some liquid wrench on it and just take the exhaust off the hangers. That way I’d have some room to work on the O2 sensor, hoping the wires were long enough for be to sit the exhaust on the ground and remove the sensor.

That’s when my nemesis reared its ugly head... At the end of the exhaust, the muffler was a slip-on and was secured by a collar with two rusty ass bolts. I futilely sprayed some liquid wrench on the bolts, but they have seen so much salt I think they have chemically bonded with the surrounding metal.

Did I hang my head in shame and give up? no! Well, I did give up, but I still gotta drive! I had a gasket from the new cat that I bought and replaced it because the old gasket between my header and existing cat was totally trashed. And I replaced the bolts! So I kinda sorta did some maintenance! Good for me! and it is all coming apart next weekend anyway.

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I’m going to do some research on the O2 sensor, and if it’s easy enough to unplug and it’s cheap enough to get a spare then I’m just going to buy a damn new one. My patience has run out.

Now the final part of my plan of attack: I went to harbor freight and bought a cutting wheel tool (mini angle grinder basically) with LOTS of spare wheels. Next weekend this exhaust is coming out. and I don’t plan on using any liquid wrench..

***Now, none of this is to say anything bad about Enthuza, the maker of this exhaust. I loved this exhaust until I did a sweet tony hawk boardslide on a curb in the snow and the exhaust too the brunt of the force and got bent. Now Jason’s beautiful work is dented, has bent hangers, and is pretty much trashed. I don’t have the means to send it back and I picked up a replacement on the cheap. It was a fantastic exhaust while it lasted and Jason from Enthuza will be building my turbo exhaust for sure***