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Bad Catalytic Converter

Discussion in 'Under the Hood' started by jbwilson3791, August 17, 2015.

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  1. jbwilson3791

    jbwilson3791 Member

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    I drive a 2004 Ford Explorer 4.0 Sohc 6 cylinder 4wd, 64,000 miles. A few weeks ago I noticed a loud rattle when starting the engine and on the Down Rev. I eventually traced the noise to inside the passenger side catalytic converter. The last few weeks I've been trying to figure out why my vehicle was leaking transmission fluid, I finally have that under control, jiffy lube had put over 7 extra quarts in it but now I need to figure out this bad Cat. Just today I noticed the engine won't go over 4,000 RPM and what looks like ground up cardboard with gold colored flakes has been coming out the exhaust(I assume these are the precious metals from within the catalytic converter). I guess my questions to this board are, since this catalytic converter is breaking down, will it eventually unclog itself? Should I spend the 300$ and replace the Y shaped catalytic converter exhaust segment? Or is there a cheap alternative to fixing this? I've heard you can bust out the stuff inside, but since the catalytic converters are one continuous piece of Y shaped metal it appears hard to remove. I'm willing to do about anything as long as it doesn't set the check engine lights off. Does anyone have any experience with this issue before? Thanks in advance for any help!
     
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  3. blulite

    blulite Active Member

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    I recently had a similar issue with my 98, the cat had broken down from the inside and perforated. I considered having the cat replaced but seeing as though I have an lpg conversion, I just had the car de-cat and it was a lot cheaper than purchasing new cats.

    I payed £120 for both sides to be de-cat as opposed to £280 for replacement cats. or if your good with fabrication and a welder, you could do it yourself.

    according to research de-cat can increase performance slightly also. definitely somethig to consider
     
  4. jbwilson3791

    jbwilson3791 Member

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    Thanks for the response. Yeah I don't mind going with no cats. I've heard you can just punch out the stuff inside a bad cat but the way this one is designed I don't think I'd be able to reach it without making some cuts. This just really sucks, I don't think this should go bad at 64,000 miles but maybe I caused it somehow. Who knows.
     
  5. blulite

    blulite Active Member

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    The issue with punching out the internals is these trucks have 2 cats, punching out one and leaving the other is going to unbalance the emissions system and could cause further problems.

    One punched and one not will cause an imbalance of pressure in the exhaust system.

    de-cat will probably cost less than a single replacement converter so over all its probably a better option, less expense, increase in performance and 2 less this to go wrong.
     
  6. jbwilson3791

    jbwilson3791 Member

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    Okay thanks. That's probably what I'll do. Do you know if this would set the check engine light off? I'm surprised it hasn't gone off already with that stuff breaking up inside
     
  7. blulite

    blulite Active Member

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    I've had my 98 de-cat and it's not been a problem, CEL is fine, I do believe that you won't have an issue if your system only has 2 x o2 sensors.

    from my personal research the 4 x o2 sensor systems need a chip that replicates the rear sensor parameters.

    The 2 x o2 sensor systems (as on my 98) are fine and can be decat with no issues due to the O2 sensors only reading emissions before the cat and not after.
     
  8. jbwilson3791

    jbwilson3791 Member

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    Mine has 4. One before and after each catalytic converter on each side.
     
  9. blulite

    blulite Active Member

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  10. jbwilson3791

    jbwilson3791 Member

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    I'm learning lots today! Thank you blulite
     
  11. blulite

    blulite Active Member

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    Not a problem, I'm still learning myself as I've only owned explorers for around 4 month. already done quite a few jobs though to get them to a relitively decent point. still got more work to do yet, but no need to rush as long as I get things done.
     

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