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My heatshield is rattling really bad. Its been doing it for awhile. I admittingly have been really lazy and havent done anything about it.

Is it okay to take it right off, or should I try to replace it with one from a junkyard?

Im pretty sure I could just remove it but I wanted a second opinion first.

thanx

Wes
 

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Honestly I wish I knew why they put "heat shields" on exhaust manifolds. They seem pretty pointless to me. It´s not like they really block any heat anyway. That and the engine itself produces just about as much heat as the exhaust does. And they ar made af metal, so all they are really capable of is radiating heat in a different way than the manifold. I could understand if they were made out of the stuff on the bottom of the space shuttle. Maybe then they would be worth having. I say junk the bastard. Why waist money on a new one, it will only end up rattleing again anyway.
 

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Mine is out long time ago. No real point to keep it there. But if your car is stock with all heat shields all rubber and other stuff on there is a reason to fix it beacuse there will be not enouth air comming to the engine bay. Mine is all stipped.
 

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Heat shields do serve a valuable purpose. Their point is to keep heat in the pipe from radiating out. When in place, they will help keep the heat traveling out the exaust or farther down. That is also one of the reasons the people ceramic coat headers. It will keep you under-hood tempature lower and allow the engine to operate more efficiently. (Similar to the concept of icing your intake manifold before a drag run.)
As far as the sheild in your cat... The ceramic honeycomb in your catalytic converter stores a very large amount of heat, it has to, to do its job. The heat shield helps the heat disipate farther down your exaust so you don´t have a huge amount of heat right their under your car. (Your cat is right below your shifter, which means you will be putting a large amount of heat into the bushings and the ball or the shifter its self.)
Most heat shields can be removed safely, but do serve a good purpose.
 

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You are definitely not the only one to ever have problems with your heat shield. I think this is a pretty common problem with Escorts. I dearly love my little green car but I know exactly how frustrating this problem can be. If your heat shield is just rattling, there isn´t realyl a reason to replace it. BUT....
I had mine looked at by a pro and he said that it could easily be fied by a little spot welding. So if you know how or have access to somebody who does have the know how it can be easily fixed. Jsut thought I´d let you know a littel alternative in case you did not want to remove it.

 
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