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Old 04-06-2003, 10:00 PM   #1
Scyan
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Question Clogged Cat, how to test it !?

Hey guys, 1994 SL2.. I have a question, how do I test if my Converter is clogged. It's rattling like hell but I cannot remove the bolts myself and I'm kinda strapped for money right now. But power is down a lot. I read somewhere that removing the oxygen sensor for test purposes could help me diagnose it ? Is that true, would it work ? Any other idea ? I'll have to ask someone to cut the bolts behind the cat as they are wayyy too rusty for me to remove.

Thanks in advance !

Scy

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Old 04-06-2003, 10:23 PM   #2
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Unfortunately there really isn't any "easy" way to test a catalythic convertor. An exhaust gas analyser can show if it's working, a back pressure test determine if it's clogged..neither of which can be performed by the typically equiped home mechanic (sorry) Removing it and having a look for loose catalyist material and then seeing if acceleration DRAMATICALLY improves with it off are the only real "home methods" that can be used. You can "kinda" check for a "generally restricted" exhaust using a vacuum gauge. A low steady reading at idle that drops and then SLOWLY rises when the throttle is blipped generally indicates a restricted exhaust.

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Old 04-06-2003, 11:52 PM   #3
SLM crew chief
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A little OT here, but I was thinking of gutting out the cat on my '94 when I get it back. I don't think it has any choice but to be somwhat clogged with all the oil that was being burnt. It doesn't look too hard the seperate from the rear pipe but I don't really remember. I haven't been under the car in a while. It seems to me that it has a flange with three bolts to the rear pipe if memory serves. What is in the front where it connects to the front pipe? Bolts, clamps, etc.?

Anyone here do one of these? I'd like to give the appearance of having it on by just gutting it.

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Old 04-07-2003, 01:10 AM   #4
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Default Re: Clogged Cat, how to test it !?

Quote:
Originally posted by Scyan
I read somewhere that removing the oxygen sensor for test purposes could help me diagnose it ?
http://auto.howstuffworks.com/framed...it.com/cat.htm

Last edited by DualCamCoupe; 04-07-2003 at 01:20 AM..

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Old 04-07-2003, 01:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by SLM crew chief
A little OT here, but I was thinking of gutting out the cat on my '94 when I get it back.
For anyone reading this and considering doing the same, I would recomend against it. An individual can be fined up to $2,500 for removing or diabling a catalytic converter.

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Old 04-07-2003, 01:41 AM   #6
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Yea, I know. I removed the one on my Cavalier. Actually, both of them. I Just ran a straight pipe in its place and no one (exhaust shops, the dealer, etc.) gave me any trouble. I did the research and decided it was a risk I was willing to take and I am willing again.

wbarnum, I do agree that anyone considering doing this needs to asses the situation before you make the decision. If I lived in an area with emmission testing or the like, I would be forced to replace it, I'm sure. Hell, the car was burning a quart of oil in 500 or less miles so I know it wouldn't have passed pre rebuild and I'd damn near bet that there is soooo much residue in it, its STILL gonna smoke!

Oh, yea, what holds that tin can in there?

Last edited by SLM crew chief; 04-07-2003 at 01:47 AM..

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Old 04-07-2003, 02:30 PM   #7
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Chances are if you hear rattling when accelerating or revving the engine, and it's down on power, it needs replaced. Mine had the same problem. Not a big deal. Meineke replaced it for a reasonably good price, and they only took a few hours.

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Old 04-07-2003, 05:40 PM   #8
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I had to replace my stock header casting because it rattled so bad.It was chipping away at itself and coming down the exhaust little by little.I was'nt tough,but the nuts can seize on real good if you're in the rust belt like I am {NY}.
I felt no loss in power,but was'nt going to wait for the thing to totally break up and clog the whole mess.
$271+$25 for gaskets and nuts later,and it's all brand spankin' new.John at SPS hooked me up and saved me a ton over what the dealer wanted+tax.
BTW,I have Cali emissions.They are very strict here and the emissions test requires your car be cast upon a dyno to cook it up real good.I've watched this test done and wonder what happens if the car jumps off!:o:
Here's a scan of my old CA precat header....

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Old 04-07-2003, 08:37 PM   #9
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I HAD to hollow out my cat last spring. Power was so down my 94 Sl2 would hardly move. Now that the rest of the system is going, Im going to replace it all. Probably will go without a cat this time around.
I just cut the pipe right behind the cat dropped it down and shook the crap inside out. Ran like a champ after i clamped it back up. pretty easy and a hell of a lot cheaper than a OEM cat.

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