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#3400824 - 06/18/14 06:22 PM Direct fit catalytic converter install ?
NMBurb02 Offline


Registered: 09/12/12
Posts: 1943
Loc: Crowntown, CA
The catalytic converter on the Grand Prix needs to be replaced. Being a 2006 model year and being in CA, there are limited offerings and Magnaflow is the only option for a direct fit CARB compliant cat con. I figure it will be cheaper to spend $500 on the direct fit part and install it myself than have a shop purchase and install a CARB compliant universal unit (which run $250+ online). Are there any tricks to getting the old converter and exhaust pipe assembly off or the new one on? The vehicle has 150k+ miles on it and spent its early years in the Midwest, so I am hoping stuck bolts and rust at the flange joints are not issues.

Also, with a self install, how do I dispose of the old unit? I have heard that they cannot be recycled at public scrap yards in order to deter theft, but they have value because of the precious metals.


Edited by NMBurb02 (06/18/14 06:23 PM)
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2006 Pontiac Grand Prix GT, M1 0W-40, Fram TG3387A

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#3400826 - 06/18/14 06:26 PM Re: Direct fit catalytic converter install ? [Re: NMBurb02]
901Memphis Offline


Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 10912
Loc: Northern Kentucky
Check out Eastern Catalytic Direct-fit Converters. I hear some of these GM models are picky about cheaper direct fits than Eastern. My Century had a direct fit from a shop put in 40k ago and its bad again. Someone told me i needed a high wash cat, not sure if this is true or applicable to you, but you might want to research your model thoroughly to see if they are having problems with oem replacements or cheaper. Sometimes a specialty aftermarket piece is needed to fix the issue.
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2002 Buick Century 125k - Built 4T65e(Maxlife) - Syn Frankenbrew + XG 3387A
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#3400828 - 06/18/14 06:31 PM Re: Direct fit catalytic converter install ? [Re: 901Memphis]
NMBurb02 Offline


Registered: 09/12/12
Posts: 1943
Loc: Crowntown, CA
Originally Posted By: 901Memphis
Check out Eastern Catalytic Direct-fit Converters. I hear some of these GM models are picky about cheaper direct fits than Eastern. My Century had a direct fit from a shop put in 40k ago and its bad again. Someone told me i needed a high wash cat, not sure if this is true or applicable to you, but you might want to research your model thoroughly to see if they are having problems with oem replacements or cheaper. Sometimes a specialty aftermarket piece is needed to fix the issue.

No dice on Eastern. Magnaflow is my only direct fit option.
_________________________
2002 Chevy Suburban 1500, G-Oil 5W-30, Fram TG3675
2006 Pontiac Grand Prix GT, M1 0W-40, Fram TG3387A

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#3400870 - 06/18/14 07:15 PM Re: Direct fit catalytic converter install ? [Re: NMBurb02]
01rangerxl Offline


Registered: 04/08/06
Posts: 8787
Loc: Birmingham, AL
Well, if that's your only option, I guess you are stuck trying it unless you want to have a shop weld in correctly sized universals.

I had a bad experieince with a Magnaflow direct fit y-pipe on my truck. Turns out they had apparently designed it to fit manual transmission trucks, not automatics. It would not clear the shift cable on my truck at all, and rubbed on the frame, which I imagine would be an issue even on a manual transmission truck. There was simply no way to bolt it up to the truck. Overall construction was beautiful, it was just a poor fit.

I returned it, and got a Walker, which dropped right in perfectly.

I didn't have any issues getting the old y-pipe off, but I did use air tools and the truck has been in the south all of its life. I would liberally soak the nuts/bolts in PB Blaster or similar and let it sit before trying to remove them...might prevent headaches later. I chanced it and reused my old gaskets, but you may want to order new ones to play it safe. New gaskets are not supplied with the cats with any manufacturer I know of. Whether or not they need replacement depends on the design of the flange on your vehicle.

Also, get the car as high off the ground as possible. Replacing bolt up sections of exhaust involves some finagling as the hangers only have so much play in them.

Scrap yards do take cats, but you need to provide proof of ownership. At the yard I took my y-pipe to, that means either a receipt for the new cat, a repair invoice for the cat, or bringing the car with you so they can visually check to see if a new cat has been installed.
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#3400876 - 06/18/14 07:20 PM Re: Direct fit catalytic converter install ? [Re: NMBurb02]
Merkava_4 Offline


Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 14636
Loc: Clovis, CA
Make sure you check the sticker under the hood !

The numbers on the catalytic converter have to match the sticker !

They'll look something like this:

YGMXV03.8044
YGMXR0133910

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#3400943 - 06/18/14 08:39 PM Re: Direct fit catalytic converter install ? [Re: NMBurb02]
Chris142 Offline


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 13996
Loc: apple valley, ca
ya he can only purchase and install a specific cat here in cali. imo id take it to a muffler shop,i hate laying under a car while dirt and metal shavings are falling into my eyes. exhaust work is the one thing that ill gladly pay to have done
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#3400997 - 06/18/14 09:31 PM Re: Direct fit catalytic converter install ? [Re: NMBurb02]
Jarlaxle Offline


Registered: 02/02/12
Posts: 6767
Loc: New England
I might get a cheap universal cat, gut the old one, and put its housing around the cheapie. Then again...bureaucrats telling me how to fix my car tick me off!
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1979 Coupe de Ville, 542 stroker, 15W-40 Super Tech, Delco
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#3401034 - 06/18/14 10:00 PM Re: Direct fit catalytic converter install ? [Re: NMBurb02]
artificialist Offline


Registered: 09/23/07
Posts: 8126
Loc: Florida
Go to a special scrap metal dealer. They know what kind of cat you have, how much valuable metal is in it, the price to extract that metal, and pay you based on those factors. It really amazed me when a guy like that came to a place I worked. He could tell just by looking what car the cats came from, even though the ones we had were plain looking OEM units without markings.
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#3401086 - 06/18/14 11:02 PM Re: Direct fit catalytic converter install ? [Re: NMBurb02]
Merkava_4 Offline


Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 14636
Loc: Clovis, CA
You guys don't realize how strict it is here in California. If the numbers don't match, it's an automatic fail.

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#3401099 - 06/18/14 11:21 PM Re: Direct fit catalytic converter install ? [Re: Merkava_4]
kschachn Offline


Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 5638
Loc: Upper Midwest
Other than purchasing a CARB compliant part, how much more strict is it?

Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
You guys don't realize how strict it is here in California. If the numbers don't match, it's an automatic fail.
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#3401108 - 06/18/14 11:46 PM Re: Direct fit catalytic converter install ? [Re: kschachn]
Merkava_4 Offline


Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 14636
Loc: Clovis, CA
Originally Posted By: kschachn
Other than purchasing a CARB compliant part, how much more strict is it?


It has to be CARB compliant AND numbers matching.

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#3401120 - 06/19/14 12:11 AM Re: Direct fit catalytic converter install ? [Re: NMBurb02]
Skid Offline


Registered: 06/10/11
Posts: 357
Loc: USA - Southern California
You might try cleaning the converter before breaking your wallet. Solution of citric acid and oxalic acid. I've not tried it myself, though.

http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/3391904/Re:_Fixing_Bad_Catalytic_Conve#Post3391904

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#3401122 - 06/19/14 12:14 AM Re: Direct fit catalytic converter install ? [Re: NMBurb02]
Chris142 Offline


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 13996
Loc: apple valley, ca
people in other states dont know what we go through with the smog stuff. we cant just buy a universal cat for $99 and slap it on. the 3 cats on my jeep are $2400 my cost.

part of the smog test is checking to see if the cat is for that car. and hope you dont get on the high emitter or gross poluter list. ca will find a way to force you to get rid of the car.
_________________________
02 Wrangler super-s 10w30
87 F250 delo 15w40
04 Tahoe super-s 5w30
Z400 Lucas 10w30
KLR250 Maxima 10w40
Can am maveric delo 5w40

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#3401135 - 06/19/14 01:00 AM Re: Direct fit catalytic converter install ? [Re: Merkava_4]
NMBurb02 Offline


Registered: 09/12/12
Posts: 1943
Loc: Crowntown, CA
Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
Originally Posted By: kschachn
Other than purchasing a CARB compliant part, how much more strict is it?


It has to be CARB compliant AND numbers matching.

I just checked and numbers match.
_________________________
2002 Chevy Suburban 1500, G-Oil 5W-30, Fram TG3675
2006 Pontiac Grand Prix GT, M1 0W-40, Fram TG3387A

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#3401136 - 06/19/14 01:02 AM Re: Direct fit catalytic converter install ? [Re: NMBurb02]
Cristobal Offline


Registered: 01/02/11
Posts: 2324
Loc: The Region Between
Instead of doing it yourself you might want to call Mike's Muffler in El Monte. He is reputable. His # is 626 443 5139. If you are in Corona he is not that far from you, and he can do stuff on appointments. Describe your issues to him.
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