I originnaly thought my exhaust leak in my 93' miata was from the exhaust manifold headers as there was some soot on the heat shield but after removing it and looking at the down pipe I see this piece of metal between the manifold and the down pipe:

enter image description here

Different angle

I am not sure if this is normal or it is supposed to be the gasket? could this be the source of my leak?

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    If the gasket is blown out or the hardware is rotted/loose it could be. Though I would expect to see soot around the flange. – Ben Jan 15 '17 at 22:22
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    Agree with @Ben - soot is usually a visual key to an exhaust leak, especially where you're looking at. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jan 15 '17 at 23:18
  • @Ben does it not look like there is some soot on the downpipe in the first picture? – method Jan 16 '17 at 0:59
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    pictures kind of fuzzy it looks more like rust to me. jam your hand up in there on a cold start it'll be pretty obvious if it's leaking or not. – Ben Jan 16 '17 at 1:04

That appears to be the gasket. Take a look at the rockauto parts selector, it has a tab like that. 93 miata collector gasket

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