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I was changing out my alternator last week, it failed at 171K, and noticed a raw exhaust smell. I crawled underneath a few times during the above process and figured it was the doughnut at the cat. I could hear a little leak as well once I started the van back up so I ordered a new doughnut bolts and springs. I never really looked closely I only saw a small carbon patch. Well I brought it back in today to do that little job and then I looked a little closer. I cannot even tell anymore were the header/manifold ends and the bolts went through on the back side. The bracket appears to be completely rusted away, and I really like the bolt on the right side, or whats left of it. It has been a rough winter here, and the roads well they are not any better then last year for sure. I changed the oil in October and it was not an issue then or at least not apparent. So I wonder how easy the manifold/header comes off at this late stage? :shock:
 

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I just did when I removed the head to get the valves redone.

I unbolted it from the cat and took the head off with the exhaust manifold still attached, heat shield too. Installation was a bit different though. With the head bolted down, you have to install the manifold first to be able to get to the bolts but I couldn't get the heat shield to slide on from above. From below, I could not get it up there past the cat so I had to get it out of the way to install the heat shield then put the cat back.

Here's what the book says but I did not have to remove the VTEC solenoid valve or the intermediate shaft heat shield.



 

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I was actually going to ask you how it went so thanks for the letting me know. I was reading your head replacement with a lot of interest. One question though is it 3 bolts 2 studs on the manifold?

I suspect that you did not have much problems with rust like I do though. I am very afraid of trying to remove the cat, as that is going to start getting expensive if something breaks there I cannot fix. After much looking I am pretty sure I would have to remove the VTEC solenoid and move the cat. If I can get it off I think I can save the manifold and re weld the brace bracket or just make a new one. I do have a entire machine shop in the garage so that makes life a lot easier in that respect. Right now PB blaster is my friend. After this I started taking a look at getting a third vehicle(ridgeline or another element) and moving this one to the reserve for my teenager. The rust is starting to take its toll the alternator was a lesson in how not to snap 6mm bolts on a 2 hour project that took 6.

Best Regards
Chris
 

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Yep, 2 studs up top and 3 bolts on the bottom. I have already replaced my cat once, it was completely clogged and the exhaust was being forced out around the flange. The OEM one was super expensive so I went with an aftermarket one. Downside was I couldn't use the Honda spring loaded bolts at the muffler end of the cat. I just used regular nuts and bolts. I have no rust problems yet.
 

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Looks VERY familiar to me! I just broke the 4 spring bolts (2 on Exh Man / 2 on Cat) and took the whole thing apart. my support bracket rusted right off , so just discarded. I used a small oxy/map torch and grinder to remove the stuck bolts and re inserted new ones from a kit I got at autozone. The gaskets + bolts are cheaper than falling asleep on a long ride!

Peter
 

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That is a thought, I really cannot see how to get a drill in there(maybe a 90), I don't know that the torch method will work as the header and the bolts appear to have become one. I tried to get my air cutoff grinder in there and it just barely fits with a well used wheel. If I can fix this without removing the manifold the happier I am.
 

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I was changing out my alternator last week, it failed at 171K, and noticed a raw exhaust smell. I crawled underneath a few times during the above process and figured it was the doughnut at the cat. I could hear a little leak as well once I started the van back up so I ordered a new doughnut bolts and springs. I never really looked closely I only saw a small carbon patch. Well I brought it back in today to do that little job and then I looked a little closer. I cannot even tell anymore were the header/manifold ends and the bolts went through on the back side. The bracket appears to be completely rusted away, and I really like the bolt on the right side, or whats left of it. It has been a rough winter here, and the roads well they are not any better then last year for sure. I changed the oil in October and it was not an issue then or at least not apparent. So I wonder how easy the manifold/header comes off at this late stage? :shock:

I am curious how this all worked out as I am currently experiancing almost the exact same issue. Your picture is almost identical to mine
 
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