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I have an old 84 Ranger with a 2.8L V6 and I'm trying to squeeze out as much power out of the engine as possible. The cat had been removed by the last owner, so the pump was essentially just pushing air to nowhere, and the old tube was just hanging and dragging along. I'm thinking I could just remove the entire system without a huge hassle.

I just removed the air pump and fitted a new belt onto the alternator (it was previously driving both the alternator & smog pump on the same belt). Now I'm not sure what to do with the tubes coming from the exhaust manifold, check (it looks like) valves, and all the extra vacuum (?) lines going into the carb.

I think I'm just going to plug the holes on exhaust manifold, but how do I tackle the vacuum lines?

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    The easier way to add power is to build better parts into/on it. I'd be surprised if you manage to free up single-digit horses. You will need to plug any tubes or vacuum lines. See if you can find a cap to fit thread over the port for the check valve. – David Winslow Aug 7 '15 at 18:09
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Should I just remove the pipes going into the manifold and just tap a bolt into the manifold?

That is an option, though you really don't want a bolt sticking into the path of the hot exhaust gases if you're after maximizing performance.

I'd prefer brazing or welding the manifold shut.

Does it matter what I plug the holes with?

No, as long as it avoids exhaust leaks and can withstand the high exhaust temperatures.

Or should I leave the tubes there and plug the end of that?

That is entirely up to you. Have a look at this question for a related query.

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