Cat Converter Install - Fuelly Forums
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Old 04-04-2008, 03:36 PM   #1
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Cat Converter Install

need a cat converter for the 2000 prizm...

do i buy the direct fit and install it myself or buy the universal and take it to a shop to weld it?

magnaflow direct fit is ~$190, the universal is ~$63. not sure about the labor charge of the universal option.

one other thing...how difficult is the bolt on direct fit to install? should i pay to have it installed?

my mechanic skills are prolly middle of the road. i've done oil/filter changes, disc(only) brakes, alternators, motor mounts, carb installs, etc. i don't feel comfortable doing drum brakes, engine swaps, valve adjustments, etc.
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Old 04-04-2008, 04:18 PM   #2
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bowtieguy,
From what you can do already a cat change is well within your capabilities.
It is essentially a bolt in affair and should take about half a day at the most.

Let the car sit overnight to make sure the old one is completely cold and away you go.

Before you get started have a look around and see if you can find any flow specs on the one you intend to fit.
They can vary a huge amount and you may as well fit one which flows as well as you can get.
Don't be put off by the prices either. Some of the more expensive ones don't work any better than the cheaper versions.

Cheers , Pete.
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Old 04-04-2008, 07:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete View Post
Let the car sit overnight to make sure the old one is completely cold and away you go.
Well, I would say that depends on the style of cat. If it's a close-coupled cat (bolted directly to the exhaust manifold, generally putting it on the side of the engine), the heat will make it a lot easier to break the nuts and bolts loose. In that case, I would get the engine warmed up, then carefully break loose the nuts and bolts that you can safely reach (socket extensions are your friend). Once things are freed up, let the engine and exhaust system cool down and get to work.
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Old 04-04-2008, 09:57 PM   #4
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yup, or if you have a blow torch you can heat em up enough to get em to move, but usually thier so rusty you end up breakin em off...

do you even have emissions testing? if not put a straight pipe in its place,

does it have a after cat O2 sensor?

how did you discover the cat went bad?

also DO NOT just throw it away(old cat) take it to a scrap yard to get some cash back for em, they have rare heavy metals in em (hence the prices) that are recycleable.
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:45 PM   #5
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thanks for the replies.

VetteOwner,
no emissions testing as of right now, but our new governor is trying to push us towards california-like legislation.
do not think it has an after cat O2.
found out when scanned for codes(check engine light).
also, the O2 sensors have been replaced, but the check engine light keeps coming back and my mechanic scanned it as well to confirm the cat.
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Old 04-05-2008, 04:19 AM   #6
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If you can afford it I say go with the bolt on part, it will reduce cursing when the next part of your exhaust has to be replaced, if you start welding odd bits in, you can doom your self to a Frankenstein type exhaust system that stock parts stop working with, your cat should be held in by 4-5 bolts, some liquid wrench on them the day before will help, an impact wrench will make a 3 hour job become a 45 minute job, if you don't have one then make a friend who has one.
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Old 04-05-2008, 05:17 AM   #7
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Direct fit cats usually come with the exhaust donut and spring clamps for that connection. Those donuts usually blow/burn out by the time the cat is done, and if it's good at the moment, by the time you've finished yanking and banging on the system to mount a universal, it won't be. Buying those pieces seperate can mount up $$$, like $15 a piece (yeah they shouldn't cost more than a buck fo' sho' but you get screwed on them at most parts stores) so you can be in for another $60 or $70 in clamps and fittings and "fudging it" stuff if you get unlucky. The pipes for the fitted cat aren't going to last forever either, so getting a universal welded into them could be a false economy if they're gonna rot out in another year or two. Also it's not wise to have too many joints in the exhaust system, since they are points of weakness and freedom, and you can end up with a system that hangs under the car like a piece of old rope, is subject to removing itself on any convenient speed bump, and of course makes a lot of undercar drag....

So I'd only bother with universals if you want a custom system made up, and use a direct fit. Shop around a bit though, some parts places in a different supply chain might have better prices.

regards,

Road Warrior

Edit: oh, muffler to cat joint can be a bizatch, required tools, BFH and some chunks of 2x4... "ping" around the joint with the BFH, until you see cracks around where the end is, then put chunk of 2x4 over end of muffler/resonator whatever bit goes in the middle there, and BFH it, usually you'll knock it off in a few tries. Reassemble with muffler cement, it seals minor leaks and stops the pipes rusting together.
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Old 04-05-2008, 05:31 AM   #8
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Oh, if you're getting codes for cat failure, it pretty much has to have an after cat sensor it's the only way it can tell. However, if you're getting codes from the front sensor as well as the post-cat sensor... then it ain't the cat per-se, but whatevers doing it might have messed up the cat too. If it does seem like there could be an issue upstream address that, then get a pint/500ml bottle of isopropyl alcohol from the drug/grocery store 70% purity or better and run that through with a full tank of gas after an ECU reset, and see if the codes come back after.
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I remember The RoadWarrior..To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time..the world was powered by the black fuel & the desert sprouted great cities..Gone now, swept away..two mighty warrior tribes went to war & touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing..thundering machines sputtered & stopped..Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice
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Old 04-05-2008, 06:58 AM   #9
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ok well sometimes depending how the cat decides to die, it can break up inside (looks like honeycomb) and send those shards down the pipe and clog the muffler.
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Old 04-05-2008, 08:01 AM   #10
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yeah kick it, if it rattles it's toast.
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I remember The RoadWarrior..To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time..the world was powered by the black fuel & the desert sprouted great cities..Gone now, swept away..two mighty warrior tribes went to war & touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing..thundering machines sputtered & stopped..Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice
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