Catalytic converters aftermarket

Messages
3,459
Location
NC
Need to replace the catalytic converter on my 92 Toyota pickup. Still has the original converter with 300,000 miles on it plus at least one head gasket leak with coolant going through it. Current engine has about 185,000 miles, and it's not an oil burner. Going to buy a direct fit, so I can install it myself. It just has four bolts and nuts holding it on to the exhaust flanges, but they are in really bad shape. They will be a PITA to get off, so I will probably end up cutting them off. So many choices from various brands like Magnaflow, Walker, Eastern Catalytic, Davico, Bosal, and etc. I have looked at all those that I listed that direct fit my pickup, and the Magnaflow and Eastern Catalytic stick out to me as the best choices. Magnaflow looks to be made very good. It's nice and shiny. It also uses crush washers instead of gaskets like all the others. The flange ends have been milled, so that a crush washer can be used, and I do think it would probably seal better. It costs round about $20 to $30 more than all the others I looked at. Warranty on catalyst performance is 25,000 miles. The Eastern Catalytic is the only one I saw that had a 50,000 mile warranty on the catalyst performance while all the others had the federally mandated 25,000 miles warranty on catalyst performance. All have the 50,000 mile warranty on the shell and end pipes. What counts is on the inside of the converters to how well and long the catalyst will perform. Which one would you choose? Never have sold a catalyst converter, but I did read that I could get some decent money from scrapping my factory original as long as the honey comb is still intact. Read that it is better to sell it by the numbers on the converter instead of category. Has anybody sold a similar converter like the one I have on my pickup? Did not know there was a break in procedure for new converters. Read about it via RockAuto from Eastern Catalytic. http://www.rockauto.com/info/EasternCat/Converter%20Break%20In%20flyer.pdf
 
Messages
11,724
Location
USA
Walker makes good converters, and Eastern is a good brand, too. Those are the two brands I would use. Bosal is garbage, and they often don't fit properly. The federally-required warranty is 25k on catalytic performance, 50k on structural integrity. California requires a 50k warranty on catalytic performance.
 
Messages
718
Location
New York
I actually just bought and installed an Eastern Catalytic on a Nissan three weeks ago. I also did the break-in procedure, I knew about it from the description on RockAuto but they also put it on a big red sticker at the box opening flap. The direct fit was perfect, everything fit and I had no trouble getting it all done. The one thing I didn't like was that the welds were kind of bad but I don't know if that's normal. Because every time I buy exhaust parts the welds are awful. I guess "awful" is kind of a bad term, I don't think they're structurally bad, they just look hella ugly! Aside from the welds, the insides looked good and the outsides look good too, nice and shiny. The hardest and most time consuming part was being under a car on a street, torching the exhaust hardware off. What a pain in the [censored]! Keep in mind if the original setup was a nut and bolt and no thread or spring bolt, if the head on the bolt or the nut has rotted away, you can probably give it good hammer blows to force what's remaining out the other side. I took the cat off with the pipe attached as one piece because I only needed to torch one side off. Once it was out of the car I found out that hitting it with a hammer in its current state popped the remaining bolts right out. At that point they looked like studs more than bolts given they were totally headless.
 

Kestas

Staff member
Messages
13,981
Location
The Motor City
Check to see which stainless steel alloy they use for the shell. 409 is the minimum acceptable, 302, 304, and 321 are superior.
 
Messages
8,151
Location
The Midwest
I took off the catted downpipe on a WRX I once owned and replaced it with a 3" performance catted downpipe. The OEM downpipe had two separate converters. Being that I'm in Ohio with a big heroin epidemic, a lot of converters are stolen. The salvage yard would only buy one of them per day at $40 a piece. They fingerprinted me and I had to go back the next day to sell the other one. They cut the two apart. OEM cats have more precious metal content. You wont get squat for taking an aftermarket converter in.
 
Messages
507
Location
Tennessee
When the CC went out on my Miata, I took it to a small independent muffler shop. He welded on a 1/2" larger diameter CC for $100 total including the CC. 5 years later no problems and no CELs. You have a 25 year old pickup with 300,000 miles. Don't over think this.
 
Messages
140
Location
York, Pa
I have had really good results with a Walker CAT. It was a truly direct bolt-on replacement. When I did this I also put on new oxygen sensors (both of them) because it was easy and everything would be new at the same time. After 50,000 miles my 01 Subie ran great before going to the rust graveyard. If I ever have to do another CAT a Walker will be my first choice. I wish you the best trying to get those flange bolts out I had to take the exhaust manifold off with the cat then cut the nuts & bolts off to get the old CAT free, don't forget the anti-seize, gaskets, spring bolts, and plan for the worst.
 
Messages
731
Location
Nebraska
About 4 years ago our 2002 CRV needed a new CC, and a direct fit CC was in the $300 to $650 range, small independent shop I go to installed a universal fit magna flow CC which was about $160 and the labor for CC install was about $200, but since they were doing that much I had them go ahead and replace whole exhaust and new muffler which was another 250. I never sought out an estimate from our big Honda dealer, but am pretty sure it would have been pushing the needle past the $1000.00 mark. Not sure what the warranty is or if there was one but I have put well over 25K on since it was replaced and it is still in good shape despite the 3 to 4 months of salt baths that it is exposed to every winter here in Lincoln NE. I decided to go with the cheapest CC and seems to be OK so far. I figure if a Maga Flow CC can survive the road salt of a winter then it must be a pretty good CC and easily able to go well past 25K.
 

BigD1

Thread starter
Messages
3,459
Location
NC
Originally Posted By: C4Dave
When the CC went out on my Miata, I took it to a small independent muffler shop. He welded on a 1/2" larger diameter CC for $100 total including the CC. 5 years later no problems and no CELs. You have a 25 year old pickup with 300,000 miles. Don't over think this.
I can buy a universal fit for about $45 sure, and then have it welded on, or I can buy a direct fit for $100, and do it myself, and keep the original exhaust flanges intact. The exhaust flanges are still in good shape. Just the bolts and nut will have to be replaced, but those will cheap at my local hardware. In the end, the price will be about the same except my exhaust will be butchered if I go the universal route. I do plan on replacing the exhaust from cat back with a bolt on kit, so I want to keep the flanges intact, at least the one flange from drop down pipe to front of cat.
 
Messages
5,091
Location
USA
I know Walker cats are a no no with Subarus.6 months later you will get the dreaded "converter inefficiency" check engine light and the fun begins.Subarus seem to have a hair trigger when it comes to converters and aftermarket ones aren't up to par.Maybe their PZEV classification has something to do with it (that's laughable now,with all the Subarus that are burning engine oil by the quart...).
 

BigD1

Thread starter
Messages
3,459
Location
NC
Originally Posted By: NoNameJoe
I actually just bought and installed an Eastern Catalytic on a Nissan three weeks ago. I also did the break-in procedure, I knew about it from the description on RockAuto but they also put it on a big red sticker at the box opening flap. The direct fit was perfect, everything fit and I had no trouble getting it all done. The one thing I didn't like was that the welds were kind of bad but I don't know if that's normal. Because every time I buy exhaust parts the welds are awful. I guess "awful" is kind of a bad term, I don't think they're structurally bad, they just look hella ugly! Aside from the welds, the insides looked good and the outsides look good too, nice and shiny. The hardest and most time consuming part was being under a car on a street, torching the exhaust hardware off. What a pain in the [censored]! Keep in mind if the original setup was a nut and bolt and no thread or spring bolt, if the head on the bolt or the nut has rotted away, you can probably give it good hammer blows to force what's remaining out the other side. I took the cat off with the pipe attached as one piece because I only needed to torch one side off. Once it was out of the car I found out that hitting it with a hammer in its current state popped the remaining bolts right out. At that point they looked like studs more than bolts given they were totally headless.
From looking at the two bolts and nuts that are holding the exhaust and converter flanges together on my pickup, I don't think the exhaust flanges are threaded, but I could be wrong. If they are threaded, then it's going to be a different ball game getting them out.
 
Messages
57
Location
Iowa
I have an issue with my Magnaflow converter that was replaced on my v6 Mariner. I bought it at a good price but after spending $700 to have it put on the rear bank of the vehicle, it has a small leak that you can smell through the ventilation ducts when idling. I would stay away from them. I have had good luck with Walker on a G35 Infiniti. No problems after 60k miles.
 
Messages
140
Location
York, Pa
My 2001 Subaru Forester never had a problem with it's Walker cat, no lights, the cat looked good after 4 nasty winters and 50K miles. It was not an oil burner. I think replacing the O2 sensors along with the cat kept the light off plus I used a manifold with the heat shields. My friend has a 05 Baja where he cut off all the heat shields because they were rattling, two days later converter inefficiency (P0420 ?) code. Nothing else was changed and no light before, so he put on a nice OEM used manifold a month later with his old cat the light never came back on. Maybe the newer Subies (PZEV type) have problems with Walkers but I am happy I didn't.
Originally Posted By: NHGUY
I know Walker cats are a no no with Subarus.6 months later you will get the dreaded "converter inefficiency" check engine light and the fun begins.Subarus seem to have a hair trigger when it comes to converters and aftermarket ones aren't up to par.Maybe their PZEV classification has something to do with it (that's laughable now, with all the Subarus that are burning engine oil by the quart...).
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Messages
46,264
Location
New Jersey
Find one that is CARB approved. Many of the aftermarket converters barely equal end of life performance when new.
 

blupupher

Site Donor 2021
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6,991
Location
Katy, Republic of Texas
Originally Posted By: slacktide_bitog
Walker makes good converters, and Eastern is a good brand, too. Those are the two brands I would use. Bosal is garbage, and they often don't fit properly. The federally-required warranty is 25k on catalytic performance, 50k on structural integrity. California requires a 50k warranty on catalytic performance.
I used Bosal on both sides of an '04 F150 5.4. The passenger side would not seal on the manifold outlet. Got a replacement from Rock Auto and it worked find (drivers side fit fine).
 
Messages
10,916
Location
MA
Originally Posted By: NHGUY
I know Walker cats are a no no with Subarus.6 months later you will get the dreaded "converter inefficiency" check engine light and the fun begins.Subarus seem to have a hair trigger when it comes to converters and aftermarket ones aren't up to par.Maybe their PZEV classification has something to do with it (that's laughable now,with all the Subarus that are burning engine oil by the quart...).
You do know that Pzev cars have a 15/150k warranty on emissions right? And that would cover the converters. But that' only in a Pzev state...
 
Messages
3,714
Location
Clermont, Florida
I bought the Eastern dual pre-cat and y-pipe assembly for my Dodge Dakota a few years ago. I got it for a very reasonable price, shipped to my office from Rock Auto. I had planned on doing the work myself but ended up paying a good local indie shop to do it, I just am not set up at home to be doing exhaust work flat on my back. The Eastern parts worked great, fit perfectly and even the tech doing the work said the parts were very good quality and very well made. I had no trouble at all with the Eastern parts, they were still doing fine when I sold my truck last year.
 

BigD1

Thread starter
Messages
3,459
Location
NC
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Find one that is CARB approved. Many of the aftermarket converters barely equal end of life performance when new.
That crossed my mind, but they are twice the cost too. On the other hand, Eastern Catalytic guarantees catalyst performance on the non-CARB converters for 50,000 miles. Their CARB and non-CARB have the same warranty.
 
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