Discuss Detroit DISCUSS DETROIT! Catalytic converter... Previous Next
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Pcm
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Username: Pcm

Post Number: 21
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 6:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

...is missing.

Since I'm sure that some of you have experienced an exhaust component go MIA, what are some solutions (short of spending $500 to get a new one)?
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Bigb23
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Username: Bigb23

Post Number: 4124
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 6:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There's a guy who lives down by Canfield, who has a whole van full of them. I'll see if I can get a number.
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Angry_dad
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Username: Angry_dad

Post Number: 326
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 6:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What kind of car and how old?

If it's older than 1997, just get a piece of exhaust pipe welded in. The car will work fine. If they messed up the O2 sensor (s) that's when it gets expensive.

I don't know why people still steal these things. The value of the scrap isn't that much.
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Johnnny5
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Username: Johnnny5

Post Number: 718
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 6:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If you don't have to have the vehicle right away check on Ebay. Aftermarket converters can be had there for much less than buying from the dealers. Installing a converter is fairly easy as on most vehicles you can do so with a hacksaw and some muffler clamps.
Also there's always the option of replacing the converter with a section of pipe. It's illegal, but could be of use in a jam. Most cars will run fine without them, but some newer cars will not due to the difference in back pressure or incorrect readings coming from the o2 sensor/s.
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Pcm
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Username: Pcm

Post Number: 23
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 7:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's a 98 Chevy Lumina. My concern is buying a new one on ebay, having it installed, then having it stolen. Again.

I found one on eBay for $100. I suppose it would be worth it to try to put it on myself.
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Thecarl
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Username: Thecarl

Post Number: 905
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 7:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

angry, i thought the platinum inside - the converters made them reasonably valuable?
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Johnnny5
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Username: Johnnny5

Post Number: 719
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 7:54 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Most thieves will ignore aftermarket catalytic converters, they use fewer precious metals than OEM ones and fetch far less as scrap.
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Angry_dad
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Username: Angry_dad

Post Number: 327
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 7:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There's some platinum. But the ability to get it, let's put it this way, the guy that steals the converter isn't going to get the platinum out.

Since it is a Lumina, likely a 3.1 or 3.4 V6, when you buy that pipe, it should bolt in. By 98, and don't quote me on this, chances are the vehicle is OBD2 compliant which uses two O2 sensors. One close to the engine exhaust, one behind the converter that monitors the "ability" of the converter. Hope they didn't damage the second sensor or the wiring to it. Sometimes the hardest part of these repairs is getting the wiring connections right.
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Angry_dad
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Username: Angry_dad

Post Number: 328
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 8:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

By the way, check out prices on Rock Auto.
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Pcm
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Username: Pcm

Post Number: 24
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 8:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

oooh. The converter on Rock Auto is cheaper than eBay!
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Angry_dad
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Username: Angry_dad

Post Number: 329
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 8:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

WALKER Part # 15052 {Universal (Adapters may be needed) - Inlet/Outlet I.D. 2 1/4" - O.A.L.11 1/2"}

The whole "key" is did they only cut 11 1/2" out of your exhaust
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Luckycar
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Username: Luckycar

Post Number: 154
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 9:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"They",hit our lot last year and only went after GM converters.This is when platinum was around $1000.00 an oz.The two O2 sensors are a problem.Ask to have a "test pipe" installed.They go by other names.This will work with one O2 sensor only.Otherwise the dreaded check engine light will always be on.Many 8-10 year old cars out there will run better without the converter.At this age they can start to clog up.It will make your car sometimes feel like the trans. is slipping
Most of the converter thieves go after ones that are the easier to steal.Pick-ups,SUVs and vans all sit high enough off the ground to make it a quick go with the cordless saws-all.
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Bragaboutme
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Username: Bragaboutme

Post Number: 620
Registered: 02-2008
Posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 9:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Is this problem with just older cars, or newer cars too? Specifically Jeep Commanders.
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Ggores
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Username: Ggores

Post Number: 553
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 9:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Is it feasible to simply cut the wires of the O2 Sensors? A "straight pipe" is highly discouraged (and illegal), but you can get all the cat replacement parts at any local Murrays, look in the Exhaust and Mufflers aisle. Otherwise, plan on spending a solid 400 bucks to install a new cat. I don;t know why these effers steal them, they are very hard to gouge - the honeycomb design is a real mother! A thief is better off stealing an ATM, and we all know how THAT usually works out.
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Johnnny5
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Username: Johnnny5

Post Number: 720
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 9:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Before the metal market tumbled there was a lot of money to be made stealing cats. I sold many (legally obtained) converters on Ebay and many went for $200 or more! Platinum is the primary precious metal being recovered from converters and at it's peak (last summer)was over $2200 per ounce. It's down to just over $1000 now, but has not taken the same tumble as steel, copper and other metals. When you consider that they're valuable, easy to steal, untraceable and easily sold it's really not a surprise that converter theft is such a huge problem.

Also cutting the O2 sensor wires will cause your engine to run poorly (Poor MPG and a rough idle). It will also trigger the check engine light. On most cars you can simply replace the cat with a straight pipe and install the downstream O2 sensor in the same location, it's still illegal, but the check engine light will not come on and the car will in most cases run normally.
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Ggores
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Username: Ggores

Post Number: 554
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 10:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Correct, thanks for reminding me, the downstream sensor is what drives the check engine light and also affects the fuel:air injection.
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 4215
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 10:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yep, before the huge economic downturn, people were stealing catalytic converters like crazy. Here in Lansing, they were were stealing them in the middle of the daytime in supermarket parking lots, and hit up a few location in one day.
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Otter
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Username: Otter

Post Number: 652
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 11:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mine got ripped last summer, just as I was finishing up moving, when I went to taste fest (whatever it's called these days) for the evening.

Car was a blah-looking '93 Sentra SE-R with the winter snows/steelies still on it and 220k on the clock. Lord knows why they ripepd mine and ignored the new F150 in front of me with enough ground clearance to slide under the car yourself.

What pissed me off the most is that, because they did it in a few seconds with a chop saw, I have to replace everything from the head to the rear axle, including the aftermarket header which had been on the car for years and years and is NLA. I liked my header, dammit. When I fix it I'll just put an aftermarket cat in. Car doesn't have to pass emissions but it has to pass my conscience.

O.
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Grumpyoldlady
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Username: Grumpyoldlady

Post Number: 367
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Thursday, March 05, 2009 - 1:35 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Some converters 25-200 bux at scrap dealers, and I'm sure they sell them for much more.
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Supersport
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Username: Supersport

Post Number: 2605
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, March 05, 2009 - 1:57 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

For what its worth, as of a few weeks ago, its now a 5 year felony for stealing a cat(s) off a vehicle.
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Pcm
Member
Username: Pcm

Post Number: 25
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Thursday, March 05, 2009 - 10:10 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

In case anyone's curious...

The car is going to Ren Cen Mechanical on Jos Campau and Gouin today. They're going to look at it for free.

They're so nice!
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Detroitpetanque
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Username: Detroitpetanque

Post Number: 220
Registered: 09-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 05, 2009 - 1:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You know those cars that are modified to bounce up and down?

What if you did that to your car with a reed-switch attached to the catalytic converter.

Anyone messing around with the underbody of your car and WHAMMO! Pancaked!
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Grumpyoldlady
Member
Username: Grumpyoldlady

Post Number: 369
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Thursday, March 05, 2009 - 4:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I thought reed switches had to be magnetically activated? What am I not understanding? Thanks!
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Angry_dad
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Username: Angry_dad

Post Number: 330
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 05, 2009 - 4:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Can't just cut the wires to the O2 sensor. Depending upon the "vintage" of the sensor, one or two of the wires supply voltage to a heater that is built into the sensor. The other one or two are signal and return wire(s). You short these out, you could knock out the powertrain control module or PCM, aka, ECM, aka, engine computer. The biggest problem isn't replacing the pipe or converter it's making certain the wires go in the correct sequence, have the proper termination and the proper connector. It's only a few wires but where they are located is exposed to a lot of road crap. They need to be sealed.
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Reddog289
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Username: Reddog289

Post Number: 966
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Friday, March 06, 2009 - 2:40 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Last year when the screw machine shop my Uncles worked at they had a problem with break ins with their steel being stolen. My Uncle told me"I would rather replace that steel, then all of those cats that were ripped off from the cable company". Those crimes happened in Livonia.I gotta save some of this info when I get the Jeep running. I do have a code scanner and it shows the O2 sensor as being a problem.

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