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I've wanted to take mine off too. I think that if you took it off it would allow more air to hit it and cool it off a bit more. What do ya think?
 
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The heat shield is more for protecting the cat converter/pipe from dents or puncture and also all the water that will rust the bolts together. But that will happen eventually, so its not really a big deal if you remove them. I took'em off my RX-7 and I'm glad I did cause they rattled and scraped speed bumps and those rotaries make TONS more heat, but I never had problems removing them. In fact METAL is the last material I'd use for shielding HEAT... think about it.
 

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Doesn't matter, on or off. Use a hose clamp, or several, to clamp them down. That should take care of the rattle, if you're worried about removing them.
 
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