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Old 03-18-2020, 11:16 AM   #1
bumpdraft
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1998 SW2
Default 1998 SC2, MagnaFlow Exhaust Question

Does anyone know what the differences are between the Heavy Metal Grade Federal vs. the O.E.M. Grade Federal ?

I know the Heavy Metal has more catalytic material, but is there any other difference?
What makes me wonder is the fact that the “better” HM catalytic converter costs less than the “worst” O.E.M. catalytic converter.

Is one more restrictive to exhaust flow than the other?
The images appear to be CADD drawings, so differences might not be apparent.

HEAVY METAL


O.E.M.


This could be a dumb question because I submitted it to MagnaFlow thru their contact question form and have received no reply....
...
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Old 03-18-2020, 06:47 PM   #2
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Default Re: 1998 SC2, MagnaFlow Exhaust Question

The OEM one is likely California/CARB compliant and has more catalyst material for better emissions. Fed spec is more than enough for the other 49 states. Both will be stainless steel, I don't think Magnaflow even makes mild steel components.
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Old 03-18-2020, 09:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1998 SC2, MagnaFlow Exhaust Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macgyver View Post
The OEM one is likely California/CARB compliant and has more catalyst material for better emissions. Fed spec is more than enough for the other 49 states. Both will be stainless steel, I don't think Magnaflow even makes mild steel components.
That sounds plausible, but both the HM and the OEM website images have a disclaimer, “Not for sale in California”.
Maybe the HM is for California-type emissions requirements in states like New York, yet the HM doesn’t meet the current, ever-stricter CARB requirements. That seems to agree with what I could find on the MagnaFlow website...but it would be nice if they would come right out and say it.
Thank you
...
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Old 03-18-2020, 09:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: 1998 SC2, MagnaFlow Exhaust Question

I guess it is possible that the HM has to be connected to the MagnaFlow HM Manifold.
...
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Old 03-19-2020, 10:19 AM   #5
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Default Re: 1998 SC2, MagnaFlow Exhaust Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macgyver View Post
The OEM one is likely California/CARB compliant and has more catalyst material for better emissions. Fed spec is more than enough for the other 49 states. Both will be stainless steel, I don't think Magnaflow even makes mild steel components.
It seems like there is an emissions penalty built into the price.
Meeting only the Fed emissions costs $69 more than meeting California/CARB.
The O.E.M. costs $69 more than the HM.
...
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Old 03-22-2020, 03:41 AM   #6
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Default Re: 1998 SC2, MagnaFlow Exhaust Question

I've spent a few hours looking around the net for my car, which will get a new exhaust.

I detect bullxxxx. My guestimate is that the Saturn OEM cats have rectangular honeycomb matrix in the canister. Walker sells replacement cats with such a matrix, and that was the Saturn OEM in my '97 DOHC.

The Sat OEM 'precat' on the Ex Man of a '99 also has that rect matrix honeycomb.

I THINK the later LEV CARB compliant employ another type element, which
has Slightly higher resistance to flow... which consists of American-made cannisters with an interior material filler that is a COIL of corrugated
metal sheet with ceramic substrate deposited thereon.

I think the Sat OEM is probably imported- it requires precision manufacture.
The corrugated coils are just wrapped up and slid into place … thus not-so-precision.
Where the Sat OEM & Walker rectangular matrix have equidistant square 'holes' for exhaust flow,... the newer stuff - corrugated - is fit in a wrapped
coil; the 'holes' are curved shape like almonds, but compressed-- so the flow will try to stay in the middle of a tapering elliptical aperture.

They probably both work. The HM may just refer to the heavier gage of the sheet metal comprising the tubes/cannisters, which might resist corrosion longer. JUST GUESSING. I got a used ExMan with precat from one wrecking yard, and I want to inspect some parts from a LEV CARB compliant vehicle before I buy my replacement.

iT JUST OCCURRED TO ME THAT THE REASON WHY THE JUNKYARDS DO NOT USUALLY SELL THE CATS <ASIDE FROM LEGALITY>, IS THAT THEFT WAS A PROBLEM, AND THE LEGISLATORS DON'T WANT THE WRECKING YARDS TO BE A GOOD MARKET FOR STOLEN CATS.

ANYBODY ELSE ?

Too bad the customer service has not replied in transparent fashion.
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Old 03-22-2020, 09:16 AM   #7
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Default Re: 1998 SC2, MagnaFlow Exhaust Question

Thanks for the good information.
I wonder if MagnaFlow’s O.E. and HM both have the same corrugated coils and the only difference is the amount of catalyst deposited on the coils. It doesn’t seem likely that there is more than one type of corrugated coil.
Customer service: I looked more closely at the specifications on MagnaFlow’s website, and the over-all length is the same for both the O.E. and the HM. So maybe my “fit” question was not a good one

The Walker sounds good, but it is the pipe forward of the converter that fails first. I am shopping for a stainless steel system from the converter forward to the exhaust manifold. The MagnaFlow system looks good in Magnaflow’s CADD drawings.

My 1998 original converter had AC Sparkplug stamped on the shell. I remember being in the AC Sparkplug model shop and seeing ceramic extrusions for converts sitting on a shelf. I think they were for diesel...
(That place had a 5-axis E.D.M. that could cut to 4 decimal places; Could have been 5 decimal places if the machine’s foundation would have been more substantial. 4 was good enough for their purposes, ...I was told...if I remember correctly...Walking into that place had the feeling of walking into Mission Control at the Kennedy Space Center)
...
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Old 03-28-2020, 10:59 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1998 SC2, MagnaFlow Exhaust Question

> The Walker sounds good, but it is the pipe forward of the converter that fails first.

10-4 on that; I've replaced three

I wonder if the 'OEM' designation means just that: from the car manufacturer.

It's possible that some of the aftermarket items are functionally superior to the OEM... but, lacking the (OEM) designation … they are Illegal.

Maybe allowing aftermarket competition would mean maintaining a testing facility to qualify aftermarket entrants/products.
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Old 03-28-2020, 11:04 PM   #9
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Default Re: 1998 SC2, MagnaFlow Exhaust Question

> seeing ceramic extrusions for converts sitting on a shelf. I think they were for
diesel...

The filler material of the cat for my '95K3500(6.5L hi output diesel) was exactly
same as my '97SW2 (to human eye) square box honeycomb.
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Old 04-30-2021, 09:53 AM   #10
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Default Re: 1998 SC2, MagnaFlow Exhaust Question

UPDATE

On 4-27-2021, possibly because I am tooostupid to comprehend their website and have no business considering a purchase of a performance product , I submitted a question to Magnaflow, trying to figure out why one product costs significantly more than the other.
Question:
“Magnaflow,
The descriptions for 49530 & 24411 are exactly the same. Please, relative to my specific engine, what is the difference between 49530 and 24411? (Saturn 1998 DOHC SC2) Why is there additional cost for the more expensive 49530?
Note that my 1998 SC2 has only one (1) catalytic converter. My 1998 SC2 does not have a converter on the exhaust manifold. Does 24411 attach to 24998? Thank you”

I will update, should there be reciprocal joy received from Magnaflow.
...
Competition Clutch 10Lb. Flywheel. 14 stalls to date (and loving it).
Oil use is 1 ounce per 100 miles with ~230,000 miles on the engine
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Old 04-30-2021, 12:25 PM   #11
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Default Re: 1998 SC2, MagnaFlow Exhaust Question

While I agree the aftermarket not knowing what/how their parts fit the S-Series is stupid...GM/Saturn changed it quite often.

Applies to DOHC's, SOHC's likely have similar changes:
  • Manifolds:
    • 4-2 header '91-'92
    • Fed spec manifold '93-'98
    • Cali spec manifold '96-'98
    • Fed spec manifold '99-'00 (no air pump)
    • Cali spec manifold '99-'02 (air pump)
  • Downpipes
    • 2-1 downpipe '91-'92
    • Fed spec downpipe '93-'95
    • Fed spec downpipe '96-'98
    • Cali spec downpipe '96-'98
    • Fed spec downpipe '99-'00
    • Cali spec downpipe '99-'02

Cat-back:
I believe emissions level has no impact, though the one for the 4-2-1 system has a giant square 4-bolt flange instead of the 2 or 3 bolt flange used on '93+.
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Old 05-01-2021, 12:38 AM   #12
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Default Re: 1998 SC2, MagnaFlow Exhaust Question

Update on my efforts:
1) the 'ceramic' style IS the honeycomb matrix (it looks metallic, but
I now think it is ceramic). The precious metals are then Added to the
ceramic honeycomb.
2) The parts 'look up' on these is very challenging/confusing.
3) The retail sale price for the Walker 15842 generic CatCon for pre-1999
has gone up from about 150 ... to ~$200.oo. {RockAuto prices}
4) I believe Some of the pricing is odd... since some prices have not been
adjusted UP from what they were before the recent escalation in the
cost of platinum, palladium, and rhodium.
5) Last winter I shopped for a Cali-NY Catcon/downpipe for my 2000 SW2;
I expected to buy from Bosal, since that was what Chaos found worked
on his 3-Gen. But Bosal seemed to have removed their product from the
lineup. The only one I found that seemed like it would meet the Cali spec
was from DEC-Diversified Environmental Catalysts... the piping is only
Aluminized steel. Both the input and exhaust flanges feature a flat flared
pipe that is secured by compression of the flange-- the flange is free to
rotate, it is not welded. The cat features a honeycomb matrix, which i
now understand to be ceramic.
...
It cost ~$385 before ship+tax, ~$425 on arrival.
...
If i use it it will be painted with the VHT hi temp paint....
....................
Address:
DEC Catalytic Converters 2841 W. Clarendon Ave.
Phoenix, Arizona 85017 United States
https://deccats.com/contact-us/
.................................................. ...
There are mixed reports about Magnaflow. Bill had to mess with the
rotation/clock of the flange, which was welded.

If they respond to Bumpdraft email, he should ask also about the stainless alloy grade. It is likely 409. They like the #409 because it does not harden or change shape as it undergoes the thermal cycles, which some metals do. It is the OEM material = ~ 10 years.
................................................
................................................

THANKYOU Fetch for the classification of the downpipes, by year and
Fed vs Cali application.
.................................................

I am also considering WRAPPING the downpipe with a ribon/tape designed for header application. The tape will keep the heat in the pipe, and likely
keep salt water OFF the metal.

Last edited by TomM96; 05-01-2021 at 12:40 AM. Reason: fergat un
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Old 05-04-2021, 11:57 AM   #13
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Default Re: 1998 SC2, MagnaFlow Exhaust Question

Okay, the good people at Magnaflow have replied:

Good afternoon,

The only difference between the two converters is the different grade so OEM to HM. OEM grade will be for vehicles registered federally but still came from the factory with California emissions equipment or a California computer where as the HM is for heavy metals and has less amounts of precious metals inside and would throw a check engine light on a California vehicle. Can you provide me with the vin or the entire vehicle specifications just so that I can clarify parts for you and figure which parts would mate to what. If you have any further questions please contact us at 1-800-990-0905 anywhere between 7am-5pm PST.

Thank you.

Technical Support


Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpdraft View Post
UPDATE

On 4-27-2021, possibly because I am tooostupid to comprehend their website and have no business considering a purchase of a performance product , I submitted a question to Magnaflow, trying to figure out why one product costs significantly more than the other.
Question:
“Magnaflow,
The descriptions for 49530 & 24411 are exactly the same. Please, relative to my specific engine, what is the difference between 49530 and 24411? (Saturn 1998 DOHC SC2) Why is there additional cost for the more expensive 49530?
Note that my 1998 SC2 has only one (1) catalytic converter. My 1998 SC2 does not have a converter on the exhaust manifold. Does 24411 attach to 24998? Thank you”

I will update, should there be reciprocal joy received from Magnaflow.
...
Competition Clutch 10Lb. Flywheel. 14 stalls to date (and loving it).
Oil use is 1 ounce per 100 miles with ~230,000 miles on the engine
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Old 05-04-2021, 02:16 PM   #14
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Default Re: 1998 SC2, MagnaFlow Exhaust Question

Just goes to show-- nothing like good communication, which is what
customer service can be. Efforts at interpretation/analysis fail by comparison.

George Shultz wrote an opinion essay during the Trump administration, largely
to state that 'trust' precedes agreements. In foreign policy, accurate intelligence, founded on historical analysis and espionage, is very valuable
..... and mis-interpretations abound.

Among analytic chemists, metals are "base", OR "precious"="noble".

So @ Magnaflow, OEM=OEM -> high precious metal ;

while Heavy Metal indicates 'mostly base metal', or Low precious content.
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