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Q: Starts then slowly dies, about 30 seconds on 2001 Nissan Xterra

Here is the problem. Had exhaust leak, around left header and catalytic converter. Driving to muffler shop for repair, started running very rough, missing and hard to keep running. brought it back home, cut the first exhaust before the catalytic converter thinking it was a clogged converter. Did the same, removed the O sensor from right side thinking it may have clogged both catalytic Converters. Did not fix. Ask the question on repair pal, was told it sounded like the distributor assembly. Put in a new assembly this morning, same thing. Starts up beautifully for 10 seconds. Left side shuts down, can tell because I still have the cut in the exhaust. There is no sound from the left side. Continues to get worse and then is sounds like it is running on 1 cylinder before it finally quits.
Don't know what to try next. Any suggestions. Thanks.
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