94 cat-back job. Did they screw it up? (1 Viewer)

Lyle Kilson

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I found an exhaust leak where my y-pipe meets my cat in my 94 FZJ80. My resonator had been pretty beat up and I had been wanting a new muffler for awhile. After searching for a shop to make all my dreams come true I went to a very “reputable” local muffler shop and had my cat-back done. They have been in business for a couple decades. They had great google reviews and I got a killer quote. They also installed my new pre-cat o2 sensors while they were under there. I know next to nothing about exhausts or what to expect sowanted to ask everyone’s opinion about this...


CFA73F82-B3B0-455B-8A71-59C087B7CFE0.jpeg


Circled in red is my y-pipe leak post-cat. What’s circled in green is what they welded on to the flange that connects to the end of the y-pipe. My questions are...

#1) Should they have included the y-pipe in the cat-back work? This is why I requested “cat-back” in the first place. When I thought “cat-back” I thought it literally included everything south of the cats.

#2) Is this a crappy weld job? I’m not an expert, but this seems a little sketchy.

41E1E72E-DAF9-4FD2-85C0-A8EE061DB445.png
 
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Usually CAT back means what you said, everything from the flange on the CAT to the end. I'd review your quote and see if it has specifics and then ask them about it. That Y Pipe is tough to replace so it looks like they took the easy way out. Hell they could have at least started at the next downstream flange and replaced the gasket where your leak is.

As for the weld it will probably be fine but it looks like they could have spent a little more time cleaning up the existing pipe to avoid all the contamination that make the weld look like that. This is a good example of why I rarely allow others to work on my stuff.

Did you go up a size in pipe? It's hard to tell but looks like it jumped up a half inch (1/4" all the way around) in the photo. If so it would have been better if they had use a reducer to go up the size vs filling the gap with weld.
 

Lyle Kilson

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Usually CAT back means what you said, everything from the flange on the CAT to the end. I'd review your quote and see if it has specifics and then ask them about it. That Y Pipe is tough to replace so it looks like they took the easy way out. Hell they could have at least started at the next downstream flange and replaced the gasket where your leak is.

As for the weld it will probably be fine but it looks like they could have spent a little more time cleaning up the existing pipe to avoid all the contamination that make the weld look like that. This is a good example of why I rarely allow others to work on my stuff.

Did you go up a size in pipe? It's hard to tell but looks like it jumped up a half inch (1/4" all the way around) in the photo. If so it would have been better if they had use a reducer to go up the size vs filling the gap with weld.
I only paid $320 for the work they did plus taking out the old rusted in o2 sensors and putting in the new ones so I guess you get what you pay for. I should have asked if that price included the y-pipe. It does look pretty rough to fabricate. Lack of communication I think was the problem here. Thanks for your response. I’ll be giving them a call tomorrrow.
 
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Overall no to bad for amount of money paid. A lot of these shops work to get vehicles in out as quick as possible. Much more profitable that way.

I have a 94 and am in a similar situation, but I decided to stick with Toyota as much as possible. So bought a new y-pipe, resonator and down pipes with O2s all genuine Toyota. Probably in about $1,200 just on that. Muffler is a rock auto special and cats are bosal. Just couldn’t see spending that much on those for Toyota.

Anyhow, you really have to do your homework and make sure your crystal clear on expectations when you take it to a local shop. In my experience most usually cut corners, don’t really care about their work, and are just trying to make as much money as they can.
 

Lyle Kilson

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Overall no to bad for amount of money paid. A lot of these shops work to get vehicles in out as quick as possible. Much more profitable that way.

I have a 94 and am in a similar situation, but I decided to stick with Toyota as much as possible. So bought a new y-pipe, resonator and down pipes with O2s all genuine Toyota. Probably in about $1,200 just on that. Muffler is a rock auto special and cats are bosal. Just couldn’t see spending that much on those for Toyota.

Anyhow, you really have to do your homework and make sure your crystal clear on expectations when you take it to a local shop. In my experience most usually cut corners, don’t really care about their work, and are just trying to make as much money as they can.

Yeah I’m beginning to understand the amount of research that needs to take place in order to get anything done on these rigs😅 I’d be interested in down pipes! I haven’t been able to find much as far as the 94 goes. Also did you just use the Bosal universal cats?
 
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I used a magnaflow downpipe and stuck with their CAT. I dropped the two CATS and just have one. Mine's a 1997 though and the CATS are oriented different. No codes and runs great.

For the most part a CAT is a CAT. You can replace the toyota ones with aftermarket as long as you can make them fit. One thing I would recommend though is sticking with the toyota gaskets. I used the magnaflow ones and parts store gaskets when I replaced my exhaust and they blew out after a month. Went to toyota gaskets and they've been fine for several months now.
 

Lyle Kilson

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I used a magnaflow downpipe and stuck with their CAT. I dropped the two CATS and just have one. Mine's a 1997 though and the CATS are oriented different. No codes and runs great.

For the most part a CAT is a CAT. You can replace the toyota ones with aftermarket as long as you can make them fit. One thing I would recommend though is sticking with the toyota gaskets. I used the magnaflow ones and parts store gaskets when I replaced my exhaust and they blew out after a month. Went to toyota gaskets and they've been fine for several months now.
Thanks for the tips! How do you not throw codes? Are your two pre-cat o2 sensors still pre-cat with that 97 inline system?
 
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Yeah I’m beginning to understand the amount of research that needs to take place in order to get anything done on these rigs😅 I’d be interested in down pipes! I haven’t been able to find much as far as the 94 goes. Also did you just use the Bosal universal cats?

I have the Bosal that are supposed to be a direct fit. but they look like garbage. No heat shielding on them so I am going to possibly return. Found some on eBay that look like they do so ordered one and will see what I get. Down pipe with O2 bungles I ordered form an online Toyota parts place.

I will try to get some pics of everything tomorrow.

Lastly thing is to do a fair amount of research on this rig if you want it done right and at high quality. Sadly it’s not like a Ford or Chevy were you can just drop it off at a shade tree mechanic and they get fixed. These rigs can pretty complicated at times.
 

Lyle Kilson

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I have the Bosal that are supposed to be a direct fit. but they look like garbage. No heat shielding on them so I am going to possibly return. Found some on eBay that look like they do so ordered one and will see what I get. Down pipe with O2 bungles I ordered form an online Toyota parts place.

I will try to get some pics of everything tomorrow.

Lastly thing is to do a fair amount of research on this rig if you want it done right and at high quality. Sadly it’s not like a Ford or Chevy were you can just drop it off at a shade tree mechanic and they get fixed. These rigs can pretty complicated at times.
Pictures would be awesome. I would really appreciate that. I feel like 94s are far and few between. It’s nice to talk with someone who owns one.
 
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I also have a 94. A few years ago I went with the original Toyota Down Pipes (tried Magnaflow and kept getting Bosal parts that didn't fit) and then went with a Universal Dual Inlet / One Outlet Catalytic Converter (exhaust shop sourced this) and it's working fine for me, not throwing any codes now for three years. I think they then just fabricated a piece from the outlet of the catalytic converter to the resonator so I didn't need a Y-Pipe. A picture is attached, happy to take more if that would be helpful.

IMG_5774.jpg
 

Lyle Kilson

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I also have a 94. A few years ago I went with the original Toyota Down Pipes (tried Magnaflow and kept getting Bosal parts that didn't fit) and then went with a Universal Dual Inlet / One Outlet Catalytic Converter (exhaust shop sourced this) and it's working fine for me, not throwing any codes now for three years. I think they then just fabricated a piece from the outlet of the catalytic converter to the resonator so I didn't need a Y-Pipe. A picture is attached, happy to take more if that would be helpful.

View attachment 2560059
This looks like the most logical and inexpensive option for the 94. I’m in Southern Utah and not worrying about emissions so this setup would work awesome. I’ll show this to my local muffler shop and see what they can do. Thank you so much!
 
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I've done this job twice now on my 93, first time was with new bullet cats and new fabricated everything from there back (with the same magnaflow you have, that I now despise)..

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Sounded like this, (yes that is the Flowmaster poop grade cat blowing smoke)


Then after those horrible little Flowmaster cats died a fiery death, I went for the dual in single out Magnaflow cat.

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Now I just need a resonator put in because that Magnaflow muffler drones like a MOFO on the highway.
 

Lyle Kilson

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I've done this job twice now on my 93, first time was with new bullet cats and new fabricated everything from there back (with the same magnaflow you have, that I now despise)..

42388365325_c56e486425_h.jpg


43292080691_6afc77dc3c_h.jpg


42388363815_9c128f60c5_h.jpg


28422762357_1971fd0694_h.jpg


29422401568_a14fdfb86a_h.jpg


Sounded like this, (yes that is the Flowmaster poop grade cat blowing smoke)


Then after those horrible little Flowmaster cats died a fiery death, I went for the dual in single out Magnaflow cat.

50805911776_88c5b34a7c_h.jpg


50806027972_64d3a6d27f_h.jpg


50805912881_20a260cf45_h.jpg


50806029537_ac2c4a24af_h.jpg


Now I just need a resonator put in because that Magnaflow muffler drones like a MOFO on the highway.

Man I REALLY appreciate the pictures. This really spells it out. This has been a headache for a long time and you just cured it. Thank you so much🙏🏻
 

Delta VS

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To maybe (?) make you feel better, have seen a similar exhaust job local to us that the customer was charge 900 for. Would not expect that y-pipe to be included for less than 400 by any means.
 
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I also have a 94. A few years ago I went with the original Toyota Down Pipes (tried Magnaflow and kept getting Bosal parts that didn't fit) and then went with a Universal Dual Inlet / One Outlet Catalytic Converter (exhaust shop sourced this) and it's working fine for me, not throwing any codes now for three years. I think they then just fabricated a piece from the outlet of the catalytic converter to the resonator so I didn't need a Y-Pipe. A picture is attached, happy to take more if that would be helpful.

View attachment 2560059


The Magnaflow and Bosal are essentially the same part, other than quality. They don't fit the '93 or '94, just the '95-'97. I use the Magnaflow but have a custom bent connector from the y-pipe and single cat to stock muffler (on a '94).
 
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Thanks for the tips! How do you not throw codes? Are your two pre-cat o2 sensors still pre-cat with that 97 inline system?
On the 97 the pipes come together before they enter the CAT. Factory we still had 2 CATS but they were in-line vs side by side. One upstream and one down stream sensor. Only downside I can see to only running one is that as it ages and becomes less effective I may have to replace it sooner or I'll start getting codes.
 

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