Woah buddy, think twice about removing that cat. Let me tell ya a little story.
I just had a 2 1/2" mandrel bent system put on my car. It's got a Dynomax UltraFlow Bullet muffler as a resonator, and an UltraFlow oval muffler at the back. Both of these are straight through, 2 1/2" in/out pieces. I chose these based on researching the SE-R archives. When I actually saw these sewer pipes in person, before the system was built, I thought, 'Oh ****, this is gonna be too loud'.
I had to drive a long way to get the system built, and with 100k miles on my car, I wasn't going to take a chance on having a bad cat, so I bought a Catco 2 1/2" cat also. Well it turned out that my original cat was perfect, so I didn't replace it.
The exhaust sounds PERFECT. It's got a nice deep idle, a slight rasp at a very narrow RPM range, and kicks ass above 4000rpm.
The guy who did my exhaust just happened to have a custom made cat eliminator pipe at his shop, and since I just saved some green by not using the cat, I bought it. Well let me tell you, with that test pipe, the car sounds like a dozen Hondas! As if that wasn't bad enough, the exhaust smells like ass without the cat. When I first caught a whiff, I was hoping it was the car in from of me, but it wasn't. Oh, it may have given me an extra few horsepower, but it makes the car unlivable.
That said, I'm glad I bought it, it was cheap, and I'll put it in for the track time at the convention. If nothing else, at least it'll sound like a race car, and I may get a few points for the intimidation factor.
Fix your cat, or get a new one, they're cheap. You can get a CATCO 2 1/2" at Summitracing.com for around $52.
[This message has been edited by chriscar (edited 05-23-2001).]
Are you sure thats a hole that leaks? I have seen some cats with water drain holes in them between outer and inner linings might want to check with it running to see if it's leaking. You could always buy a Random Tech cat or High Flow replacement. I don't know why people insist on not running a cat at all do you think emissions are a myth? A good cat only loses 1-2hp if that. Be Clean!
My car's catless (bought it that way), and it's not quiet but it's not all that noisy either (I also have 2.25" dent-bend piping with a Dynomax muffler of some kind). I wouldn't ditch the cat based on performance gains, but it's not like I miss it or anything. If you're in a place where you don't need a cat, get a flex pipe or new piping of some kind to ditch it I say. But save money in case you move away and need a cat to pass emissions...