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Old 04-20-2014, 02:08 PM   #1
Rknow82
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Default Clean out pre-cat

Having cat probs have a new cat going to install. But I am sure it's the pre-cut plugged. Is it OK to remove and just hollow out the pre-cut? Really don't want to spend another $600 on this car. Also if I do that will it throw the o2 sensor off?

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Old 04-20-2014, 03:16 PM   #2
ddeuces22
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Default Re: Clean out pre-cat

Feel free to hog that thing right out. It's common practice on here to do so and I haven't seen any issues yet.

...
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Old 04-20-2014, 05:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: Clean out pre-cat

Be sure to get it all out and take the O2 sensor out so you do not break it.

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Old 04-21-2014, 08:40 AM   #4
Rknow82
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Default Re: Clean out pre-cat

If I hollow out the pre-cat do you know if it will affect the sound of the car alot? I am getting my universal cat to replace the cat under the car this week, I will get that welded in but I am sure my issues are with the pre-cat.

I am not around the car right now but I will have to take the AC compressor to get this out do you know what else will need to be removed. I think that should be it.

Thanks guys!

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Old 04-21-2014, 09:11 AM   #5
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Default Re: Clean out pre-cat

Yes, a/c compressor and mounting bracket need to come off if you are going to remove the exhaust manifold. However, you can probably gut the pre-cat from below without removing it. Wear a good dust mask or respirator.

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Old 04-21-2014, 09:14 AM   #6
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Default Re: Clean out pre-cat

Never thought about doing it from the bottom.

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Old 04-21-2014, 09:21 AM   #7
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Default Re: Clean out pre-cat

You will never know it is gone. You can get it out from below if you work at it and i is the easy way to do it.

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Old 04-21-2014, 09:30 AM   #8
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Default Re: Clean out pre-cat

One last question will I be able to move the down pipe around enough to get up in there to clean it out (from the bottom) or will I have to disconnect exhaust downstream to be able to get enough room. Doing this on ramps not much room for me to crawl around back further.

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Old 04-21-2014, 09:53 AM   #9
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Default Re: Clean out pre-cat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rknow82 View Post
One last question will I be able to move the down pipe around enough to get up in there to clean it out (from the bottom) or will I have to disconnect exhaust downstream to be able to get enough room. Doing this on ramps not much room for me to crawl around back further.
You will be able to get enough room, just unbolt the manifold from the downpipe and slide to the side

...
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:03 AM   #10
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Default Re: Clean out pre-cat

...and disconnect the exhaust hanger under the engine held on by two bolts. At that point, the pipe can be moved away and held with a bungee cord. Put a sandwich bag over the pipe end to keep the crud out while you chip away at the pre-cat.

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Old 04-21-2014, 11:38 AM   #11
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Default Re: Clean out pre-cat

Guys know off the top of your head what size bolts those are?

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Old 04-21-2014, 11:50 AM   #12
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Default Re: Clean out pre-cat

IIRC, the 3 nuts on the pipe flange to exhaust manifold studs are 13mm hex and the two bolts on the hanger are 10mm hex. USE 6 POINT SOCKETS, and give the manifold studs a good PB Blaster soak before trying to remove the nuts.

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Old 04-22-2014, 07:46 AM   #13
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Default Re: Clean out pre-cat

Worked great guys, thanks! Car is running and shifting like new now and no SES light YAY!!!!!!!!!

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Old 04-22-2014, 08:51 AM   #14
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Default Re: Clean out pre-cat

Good to hear that it is now fixed.

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Old 04-22-2014, 11:30 AM   #15
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Default Re: Clean out pre-cat

Nothing like a free fix!

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Old 04-22-2014, 11:52 AM   #16
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Default Re: Clean out pre-cat

No kidding! Have any other tips for improved MPG's?

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Old 04-22-2014, 11:05 PM   #17
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Default Re: Clean out pre-cat

light foot on the gas and keep the RPM below 3500. Keep cold tire pressure about 4psi above the door sticker values.

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Old 09-10-2016, 03:43 PM   #18
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Default Re: Clean out pre-cat

2002 SL1 - Successfully cleared the pre-cat from the bottom.
The 13mm nuts had eroded down to 11mm, I prayed to Jesus, sprayed them with WD40 and lightly, slowly turned them, building pressure and tightening/loosing for about 2 minutes per nut. Amazingly they broke free and I was able to reassemble after clearing the cat.

I covered the mouth of the disconnected lower pipe with aluminum foil then removed the O2 sensor. then started chipping away. At 1st I was going to clear a 2" hole thru the matrix but realized that over time mess will break free and contaminate things down stream. I applied a 20" red handled Pry Bar and drove it up the outer wall of the chamber, it got the ceramic matrix and the cotton like packing. Very happy.

Next I started the car to let the engine exhaust blow it clear, then I used an air gun and blew into the opening against the exhaust stream, more mess came out. now it is free of debris.
This part of the repair was successful, but the flex pipe gave out and I'm on to the next step.

BTW a quick test drive shows it runs well now. Prior symptoms: no power, bucking a bit like a misfire. No fun to drive at all.

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Old 09-10-2016, 04:31 PM   #19
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Default Re: Clean out pre-cat

Yep, preCAT is a disaster and need to go away.

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Old 09-11-2016, 08:36 PM   #20
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Default Re: Clean out pre-cat

Success!
Clearing the pre-cat improved the running condition. Now that the flex pipe has been replaced and the connections welded air tight, it runs quiet. A test drive proved that it is much better.

Like ddeuces22 says above "nothing like a free fix!" But I did throw a set of plug wires at it and checked the plugs and all ignition terminals. I played with the EGR and found that capping the EGR made the rough running condition go away, but read notes in the forum and found that this will destroy the exhaust valves and that capping the EGR makes the engine run hotter which improves performance, but increases wear.
I diagnosed the plugged condition by removing the O2 sensor a couple of times to prove to myself that the cat was indeed compromised, after that, the rest was sweat and prayer.

(2002 SL1, manual trans with 195,000 miles)

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