Another catalytic converter Q:

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by hisenthlay, May 17, 2006.

  1. hisenthlay

    hisenthlay a.k.a. hyzenthlay

    Messages:
    2,024
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Location:
    Southwestern PA
    This one's easier, I hope. Is there anything wrong with me buying a universal fit converter off the internet, and having a local mechanic install it? It would save me $100-$175, but the mechanics sound hesitant to use anything but a direct fit, and they won't give me a warranty if they don't supply the part.

    I have a 98 GMC Sierra 1500 SL, 4x4, 5.0L V8, auto, gas, reg cab, reg bed.

    I was looking at getting this Eastern brand converter, for $93.76 on this site: http://replacement.car-stuff.com/pa...verter&returnurl=null&dp=true&showdc=true#top

    (it's about halfway down the page)

    Any comments/advice?

    Thanks!
     
  2. cfabe

    cfabe Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,526
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Location:
    Mid-Michigan
    Nothing wrong with that, but have an exhaust shop install it, not a regular mechanic. And probably it'll be easier to just buy the cat from them as well.
     

  3. hisenthlay

    hisenthlay a.k.a. hyzenthlay

    Messages:
    2,024
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Location:
    Southwestern PA
    Thanks, cfabe. I've actually been working with Midas people about this--I think they should know what they're doing, or at least I hope so. But maybe an independent exhaust shop would be cheaper.

    The reason I wanted to buy one myself was that it would be cheaper--The guy at Midas wanted to charge me almost $200 for a universal cat, and it looks like I can get them online for as low as $64. Do you know of any reason that I shouldn't get it myself?

    Thanks!
     
  4. cfabe

    cfabe Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,526
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Location:
    Mid-Michigan
    If you choose to get it yourself, make sure you are getting the right part. It will be listed with a pipe diameter and length, run this by the shop. I think your truck may need two cats as well, so check on that. You can also get them at a local parts store, that will probably be cheaper than getting the part from Midas, but be easier to work with in case you end up getting the wrong part; you'll just be able to go over there and exchange it rather than have to ship it back.
     
  5. hisenthlay

    hisenthlay a.k.a. hyzenthlay

    Messages:
    2,024
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Location:
    Southwestern PA
    Thanks. 2 cats?! I'd better get under there and check. If that's true, then Midas' price they quoted me wouldn't be toooo bad--not as good as buying it on my own, but maybe worth the price difference to get their warranty on the job. I'll check local, too. I wonder if my local Autozone or Pep Boys would have something like that. Thanks for the tip on checking the sizes with the shop, too--I'll do that.
     
  6. cfabe

    cfabe Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,526
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Location:
    Mid-Michigan
    I have some more information for you. On a newer vehicle like 96+, you have to make sure you are getting the right type of catalytic converter. Newer vehicles use what's called a 3-way cat, which has a different chemical inside of it to take care of the NOX emissions as well as HC and CO. Older vehicles use a 2-way and only clean CO and HC. So you'll fail emissions check or trip the service engine light if you use the wrong type.

    I actually am having to replace the cat on a 2000 s-10 and the only universal 3-way cat I have been able to find is made my magnaflow. www.magnaflow.com. I've ordered one for my 2000 s-10 (installing myself) from summit racing for about $60. They make all the common sizes. Magnaflow on their website has a application finder, for your truck the part number they list is a 94009. At summit this would be MPE-94009. It's $63 but is not in stock.
     
  7. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

    Messages:
    1,947
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    Location:
    Alabama
    The Maremount Universal fromAuto ZOne part number 38765 cost 81 bucks will work fine and it is a 3 way cat converter. Anyone that can turn a wrench can install a cat converter it doesnt require some kind of special knowledge at all.
     
  8. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

    Messages:
    1,947
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    Location:
    Alabama
    btw if it is cali emission and not federal then the Maremount 653005 for close to the same price as the universal 113 buck is a direct fit Of course both of these are Lifetime Warranty
     
  9. hisenthlay

    hisenthlay a.k.a. hyzenthlay

    Messages:
    2,024
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Location:
    Southwestern PA
    Thanks for keeping me updated, guys. I'll check out those links. :) Here's another bit of info. I took it into the local Midas to get it looked at this weekend, and I asked the guy show it to me while it was up on the rack. From the sound of it when you knock on it, the whole ceramic honeycomb is knocked loose in there, but there aren't little pieces rattling around. That makes me feel better that it's not a real emergency to get it done.

    The other thing is that the converter is welded on, not bolted, so they'd actually have to cut it out and weld in the new one, and the guy said he might have to dismantle things a bit down there in order to get his welding equipment into the spots that it needs to be. Of course, all of that = more labor costs. He said that also meant that he'd also have to install 2 exhaust gaskets, at $20 each. I can't understand why he'd need gaskets if he was going to weld the new one on--am I missing something? And if he has to cut the old one out, is there any reason he can't bolt the new one on (instead of welding it) so that it will be easier to replace next time (if necessary)?

    Thanks!
     
  10. Red Devil TN

    Red Devil TN Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    266
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    TN
    That's why I posted the direct fit ones in your other thread. These two threads really aught to be merged. The direct fit ones from what I saw came with the pipe ends. Universal cats are typically cut and welded in.
     
  11. hisenthlay

    hisenthlay a.k.a. hyzenthlay

    Messages:
    2,024
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Location:
    Southwestern PA
    Thanks for the distinction, Red Devil. Maybe that's what he was talking about. I'd be happy to have the threads merged--I think a moderator has to do that, though. :)
     
  12. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

    Messages:
    1,947
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    Location:
    Alabama
    wxhaust flange gaskets are 1 dollar each now if he is talking exhaust manifold gaskets both sides together are less than 10 bucks. that being the FelPro line and the best out there.
     
  13. Red Devil TN

    Red Devil TN Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    266
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    TN
    Depends on the flange. If it's a fiber donut one the cheapest I've seen them go for is about $3 for a 2.5" one.

    And felpro is not exactly the -best- out there for exhaust manifold/header gaskets. For the price maybe. Some of the higher end felpro stuff exceeds that $10 easily as well. Some of the deadsoft copper stuff is awfully hard to beat -but pricey. ;)
     
  14. danb98577

    danb98577 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    169
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    If you have a place called Muffler Man in your area you might want to stop by and check. They are franchise pretty much across country. Needed a converter for a 91 Seville and even with the installation they were WAY under the price of just buying the converter
     
  15. hisenthlay

    hisenthlay a.k.a. hyzenthlay

    Messages:
    2,024
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Location:
    Southwestern PA
    Thanks, DanB, I'll look into that. Sounds good to me!