Will running my truck without the Catalytic converter and muffler damage my engine or the onboard computer?
Details: 1993 Dodge 4X4, 5.2 Litre 318, stock exhaust.
Catalytic converter started blowing chunks yesterday after truck would not start and someone decided that pouring fuel down the throttle body was helping. When the problem turned out to be a bad coil which was replaced the truck started but would not run without accelerator assistance. It began to smoke and backfired a couple of times before sounding like it was blowing nuts and bolts through the exhaust. Shut it down and found that the nuts and bolts noise was actually pebble sized chunks of the stuff that is inside the Cat. One chunk was almost an inch in diameter and was about 40 feet away. So I know that I will be replacing the Cat and probably the muffler but because I shut the thing down I'm not sure why it was running so sluggish and smoking before it blew chunks. So I am wondering if I can start it while I have the exhaust unhooked from the crossover pipe back to determine if there is a bigger problem that needs to be addressed.