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86-95 Trucks & 4Runners 2nd/3rd gen pickups, and 1st/2nd gen 4Runners with IFS

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Old 01-30-2010, 11:21 AM   #1
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Bad Catalytic Converter? Pictures! How do I tell?

Ok guys, recently on the way home from a trail my ghetto exhaust "slinky" fell off and I could easily rev my engine to 4500-5000 rpms (in neutral). I've since reconnected the exhaust and its back to its same old can't rev pass 4000 without sounding like it's going to grenade the engine. This led me to start investigating the terrible exhaust the PO installed and checking out the catalytic converter. My truck has 220,000 miles on the drivetrain and I doubt the cat has ever been changed. Take a look at these pictures and tell me if you think this cat is bad please. I unsure if I should see clear daylight through a cat or if the baffles should block out most of the light.

I've read that Catco and Magnaflow have good replacements for this truck. I have access to a welder so a universal doesn't scare me but I just want to make an educated decision when the time comes.. Anyone have any more to add on these?

Stupid "Slinky"
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Hack Job Exhaust
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Cat clogged? Yes that is the sun on the other side.
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Thanks for looking everyone. I understand there are many threads relating to catalytic converters but I am curious about my specific cat.
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Old 01-30-2010, 11:26 AM   #2
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one way to tell if your cat is clogged is that it will glow red after driving for a good bit and it will smell like rotten eggs.
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Old 01-30-2010, 11:42 AM   #3
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I just replaced mine. I was told via smog test mine was bad. OK fine its been 10 years or so for a replacement. So i put in a new one, and will check the EGR and timing. ppfftt fail me will ya , take that.

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1988 Toy pu 4x, 22re, 5:29 gears font and rear, BFG 33/10.50/15 AT'S, American racing 15/8's rims, Downey Header, Borla Exhaust, Centerforce dual friction clutch, Magnaflow Cat, Schneider Cam, Spectre open cone air filter, 3" TG SAS, 3" NWOR Rear leafs and 6" shackles/added leafs. 12 / 10 " Bilsteins, SR5 Bucket Seats, Transfer case E brake. Lce head installed 5/09, Rotella t6 5/40 Syn / Toyota filter - 90915-YZZG3. / USMC /
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:14 PM   #4
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Teuf - is that a 50 state CARB legal CAT? Where did you get it and what did you pay? Did it come with the gaskets and bolts too? Mine is starting to look like the first one in this post and barely passed smog this past year - it may be time.

Did you know it's against Cal. law for the smog tech to "recommend" changes if you fail (such as putting in a new cat)? I found that out the hard way with my Datsun this summer - guys were jerks about it and I had to come back 2 more times before I passed...no thanks to them.
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:29 PM   #5
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Well thats what they said could Be the culprit, i had it anyway, got it a while back. I got it when i was in NH so it must be ok. I think it was around $ 135. from LCE . The bolts n gaskets I had also. My guess is when they fail they clog up, mine looked OK, but then there could be other issues with a cat i am not aware of.
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1988 Toy pu 4x, 22re, 5:29 gears font and rear, BFG 33/10.50/15 AT'S, American racing 15/8's rims, Downey Header, Borla Exhaust, Centerforce dual friction clutch, Magnaflow Cat, Schneider Cam, Spectre open cone air filter, 3" TG SAS, 3" NWOR Rear leafs and 6" shackles/added leafs. 12 / 10 " Bilsteins, SR5 Bucket Seats, Transfer case E brake. Lce head installed 5/09, Rotella t6 5/40 Syn / Toyota filter - 90915-YZZG3. / USMC /
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:15 PM   #6
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If you bought it from LCE I'd bet it's 49 state legal (not CA CARB legal).
And....if you paid less than $250 for it, same story I'm afraid.

But hell, if you pass CA smog with this thing, that's great
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Old 01-31-2010, 02:06 PM   #7
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i had a clogged cat a few years ago.. car just slowed down and just stopped running the way it should...
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Old 01-31-2010, 06:04 PM   #8
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Its not ca legal.They will check the numbers.The reason that they are not allowed to recommenend repair items is because when you tell a guy "it MIGHT be the converter" ,said jerhkoff goes home and replaces the converter,then screams at you when it doesnt pass.Inspectors arent there to fix your car,just to inspect it.Cat converters lose their effiecency from degradation of the catalyst.Clogging just makes them restricted.If a cat is glowing red,you have a really bad rich condition that is fueling the cat.It will melt shortly and then decompose.There is no 50 state carb legal converter.There is California,and then there is the United States.Torqued that front flange down a little tight eh?
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Old 01-31-2010, 06:12 PM   #9
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The Magnaflow Cali legal replacement cat is $219.. And yes it is the Cali legal one.. www.autoanything.com
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Old 01-31-2010, 06:21 PM   #10
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Mine was what i had when i was in NH so i guess its a 49 stater, and i recall it was less than 150.
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1988 Toy pu 4x, 22re, 5:29 gears font and rear, BFG 33/10.50/15 AT'S, American racing 15/8's rims, Downey Header, Borla Exhaust, Centerforce dual friction clutch, Magnaflow Cat, Schneider Cam, Spectre open cone air filter, 3" TG SAS, 3" NWOR Rear leafs and 6" shackles/added leafs. 12 / 10 " Bilsteins, SR5 Bucket Seats, Transfer case E brake. Lce head installed 5/09, Rotella t6 5/40 Syn / Toyota filter - 90915-YZZG3. / USMC /
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Old 02-01-2010, 02:02 PM   #11
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Summit carries the 49 state magnaflow,think it was $90 plus shipping($10, I think).

Last edited by tim a.; 02-01-2010 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 02-01-2010, 02:02 PM
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