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Catalytic Converter woes

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by spfrancis, May 20, 2003.

  1. spfrancis

    spfrancis

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    I just took my fj-80 cruiser to VA inspection today, and it failed on "leaks of the Catalytic converter" This was a bummer, but what are you going to do. Assuming that the converter is rusted out, which I'll have to check. I know that a converter is probably pretty expensive, so are there any ways to minimize the cost?
    Thanks for any help.

    Sony,
     
  2. landtoy80

    landtoy80

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    You don't want OEM cats as they are $$$$+. Check to see if it can be welded where the leaks are. Also ask the smog cops if you can use an aftermarket cat for replacement.
    kurt
     
  3. PHAEDRUS

    PHAEDRUS

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    yeah you are looking at close to 2k for oem style cats, find the oldest school garage mechanic you can and see if he will weld the hole for you before you go and replace it. a stealer or a mr goodwench are just going to tell you it cant be done, beleive me it can. had to do it to a heep so he could make it back to georgia after a moab trip.
    if htat fails check with the smog cops and see if there is an approved listing or what specs you need to hit for emissions. then take those to a muffler shop and tehy should be able to help you.
    Dave :beer:
     
  4. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    Sony,
    There was recent post by someone that found a company in Kansas (IIRC) that refurbishes factory cats. They are more expensive than new aftermarket but they are SS and come with a warranty. I believe the aftermarket cats are around $300 and these are around $500. &nbsp:Do a web search for aftermarket cats.
    -B-
     
  5. landtoy80

    landtoy80

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    Kansas City Converters on the web and for 400 and change they sent me OEM rebuilt converters that were exactly like mine, painted real nice and a large box with prepaid shipping to send my old ones back to them.

    This is the info I have. I have not used them my self.
    kurt
     
  6. spfrancis

    spfrancis

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    Wow, I can't believe that they can cost 2K for an OEM cat. I should be in the business of making these. So now I have a game plan. I will try to find a welder that can maybe fix my cat. If that is just not going to happen, then I will call this KC converter's to order a refurbed cat. Now one question I have, do you really need to find a auto-mechanic type welder, of I found some welder shop; would that be good enough. I 'm not sure if a general welder understand's what the SMOG police will be looking for letting me pass the test.

    Sorry for the delayed reply. I was out later yesterday, trying to talk to some muffler shops. No real luck.

    Thanks for all the info everyone provided.
    -S
     
  7. PHAEDRUS

    PHAEDRUS

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    no need for an auto shop welder.
    just a thought on where to find someone who will work on it for you. most welders at fab shops are pretty finnicky when it comes to what they weld you just need to plug a hole.
    Good luck
    Dave :beer:
     
  8. spfrancis

    spfrancis

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    It sounds like KC converters actually wants me to ship my old unit, and then they will rebuild, and ship back. It wil run like $190 per side plus shipping. Since I guess there are two sides for a 91 cruiser, based on their website. That seems pretty reasonable, and they will turn it around and get it back to me in about 6-7 days. I guess if I'm not able to get it patched, this may be my only other option. But I will need to pull it out myself, since I doubt I will find a place that will pull it out, and then wait 1.5 weeks to have it rebuilt, and then put back in. It's a good think I have a dependable Saturn that I can drive around, while I get this problem fixed. Once again, thanks for all the help.
    Sony
     
  9. PHAEDRUS

    PHAEDRUS

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    sonny,
    yeah you have two catalytic converters that mount on to a y pipe wich feeds the muffler.
    good luck and report back on how hte service was.
    Dave :beer:
     
  10. spfrancis

    spfrancis

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    Yeah, I think I'm better off taking this to a shop to have the work done. I tried pulling off a few retaining screws for the heat shield, and they just break off. Another screw just stripped on me. I don't have a good feeling about trying to discover more about this myself. I was just trying to get the heat shield off to see around the Oxygen sensor, which is where I think is the root of the problem. I guess the way to go is to torch everything off. After reading a few other posts on the LCOOL site, it looks like if I have to replace the CAT without getting a OEM CAT, I should be okay(price wise). I wish I could do more with this, but I guess part of being a DIY type person is to know when your better off taking it to a pro.
    Thanks for all your help on this topic.
    Later.
    Sony,
     
  11. PHAEDRUS

    PHAEDRUS

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    sp,
    yeah I had the same problem when I removed my exhaust sheilds looking for the phantom rattle. broke 5 of hte 6 when getting it off. I cheated and wellded tehm back into place I figure when I need to remove the shelds I can drill them out. the right way would be to pass a bolt through the top side and them ;tack weld the end of it. Lucily I don't believe in the right way of doing things.
    Dave :beer:
     
  12. spfrancis

    spfrancis

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    Well I was relieved to find out that it wasn't the CAT. The guy just replaced the flange gasket, and he pulled the heat shield completely off. He said that my heat shield wasn't in the best shape, and he said that I don't need it for inspection, so he pulled it off. It only cost me $165, which was a bargain for me. After reading some threads, of how much exhaust stuff can cost, I was looking into home equity loans.... ;) So, I guess I'm safe for another year.
    Thanks everyone.
    -S
     
  13. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    Sonny,

    Glad to hear your billfold is somewhat intact.

    Please do monitor the temperature of your floor pan above where the shield was. You may need to fab something up to protect the floor and carpet.

    Dan
     
  14. spfrancis

    spfrancis

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    CruiserDan,
    Thanks for the insight. I didn't event think about that. I did notice that when I drove home for work yesterday, my rug did get a little warm. I may need to look into having someone weld something up there between the CAT, and the bottom of the floor board.

    Good stuff.
    Sony,
     
  15. FT4WD80S

    FT4WD80S

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    First Hats off to all who contributes to this site. Your inputs are very valueable info specially to newbys like me. thanks also to CDan for his help with my radiator replacement on a 96 FZJ80 he gave me the best price and the fastest delivery.
    On a recent trip to Mt. Frazier on I-5 elevation above 4000FT, rpm way up, engine seems like it has no guts and speed was stuck at 70mph and continously decelerating then boom a loud hiss as if I just activated by Blow-off valve(which I dont have since its all stock) I stopped to find out what happend and discovered a leak between the front and rear Catalytic converters. When I got home I tried to replace the gasket and discoverd that the flanges will not seal so I took it apart to see why, here's what I found out; the flanges are warped and the catalytic converter seems to be clogged, I can't see the light through it(don't know if thats a good way to inspect if cats are clogged or not) @150,000 freeway mile I thought maybe its time to replace it. On my research here in the forum it looked like there's cheaper way to replace my OBD II cats ie; kansas city converter, magnaflow, random tech and the list of sources goes on, I guess I was wrong. Talked to some afermarket HIPO Cats MFR too but wont sell to me once he found out the vehicle is in CA. Bummer! Does this mean I am stuck with the $$$2000 dealear only Cats, Any suggestions Thanks in advance.

    "Forum Newby"
     
  16. tiorio

    tiorio

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    Kansas City converters is totally legal in CA. Call them up and you should be fine.

    Looking through the CAT isn't a great way to see ifin they're clogged. Depending on the design you shouldn't be able to see through them. You may not need CATs after all, but you may want to start a new topic describing your issues for mosre specific help!

    :cheers:
     
  17. ultimauk

    ultimauk

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    Not to be a noob, but I just priced (2 in series) cats (am I correct here, right before the muffler) for a 96 and they are $364 each in Ca.
     
  18. reffug

    reffug

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    Francis,

    Where in VA are you?

    I'm lucky enough not to have to deal w/ emissions and there are ways around them if you know what I mean.
     
  19. tiorio

    tiorio

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    Eh? From where?

    Oh wait...I'm forgetting all my smog laws. There's a OBD2 cutoff date or something...

    http://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=32986

    Lot's of good CA emissions test info. in there.

    What kind of CATs did you price and from where?

    :cheers:
     
  20. concretejungle

    concretejungle SILVER Star

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    Cats can be very expensive. I remember when i had a 1997 isuzu trooper and i was getting something fixed and was chatting with the mechanics while it was on the lift; they pointed to the cats and told me if i ever needed to replace one i might as well sell the truck because they would cost as much as the truck was worth!!!!