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Old 09-29-2008, 09:09 AM   #1
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Question How to protect catalytic converter from theft?

Hi,
Usually I am just a lurker but I need some advice so I'm asking for help.

I just got my '97 4Runner back from the shop after having the catalytic conveter replaced. Someone stole it while my vehicle was parked in the driveway next to my house.

Any advice on how to prevent it from happening again?

Can a plate be bolted or welded under it so even if the pipes are cut it cannot be removed?

Is it possible somehow hook it up to the vehicle's alarm system? I'd really like to use the battery to give the thief a shock when the exhaust system is touched!

Some friends at work are willing to do the work but I don't know what should be done.

All imput welcome, thanks!
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Old 09-29-2008, 09:20 AM   #2
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I doubt they will steal an aftermarket cat. Oem ones are worth money not the replacements for some reason.
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Old 09-29-2008, 09:26 AM   #3
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I wouldn't count on someone throughly inspecting it to see if it is aftermarket or not. I'd still take measures. Also look at increasing security where it is parked. Motion lights etc. I have my shock sensor set enought to wear it will go off if someone starts sawing on it. Also Academy has a good sale on some .40cal right now.
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Old 09-29-2008, 09:35 AM   #4
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I doubt they will steal an aftermarket cat. Oem ones are worth money not the replacements for some reason.
I have full coverage insurance so it was replaced with Toyota parts. Dealer did the work. Damage was done to remaining exhaust so more than just converter was replaced.

Maybe I should have just bypassed it; then I wouldn't have to worry about someone stealing it again!

Thanks for responding.
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Old 09-29-2008, 09:39 AM   #5
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I have my shock sensor set enought to wear it will go off if someone starts sawing on it.
Can you explain how to adjust the alarm to make it more sensitive?

Thanks! Janis
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Old 09-29-2008, 09:46 AM   #6
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mine is an aftermarket remote start
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Old 09-29-2008, 10:06 AM   #7
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I think I saw this suggestion somewhere else on here.

Weld 2 - 18in pieces of 1/4in rebar down the length of the pipes on either side of the cat.

Remember nothing is theft proof. You can only slow it down (except for the .40 cal suggestion. I do like my Sig Sauer, S&W, and Mossberg security systems too!)
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Old 09-29-2008, 11:19 AM   #8
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Is it possible somehow hook it up to the vehicle's alarm system? I'd really like to use the battery to give the thief a shock when the exhaust system is touched!
You'd never get the juice from a dc battery to shock someone....well maybe with a shocker circuit (similar to a joy buzzer but bigger). Also rigging anything electrical up wouldn't work because of the heat associated with exhaust components. SO you could up the sensitivity of your alarm....or add an aftermarket proximity sensor if you alarm is capable. Or use the metal trick and weld some rebar or some plates in critical places near the unit so it can't be removed without a helluva lot more cutting
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Old 09-29-2008, 12:17 PM   #9
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There is basically no way to make it theft proof.

If you surround it with steel, a thief will just cut it higher up. Best bet is to replace it with an aftermarket cat to prevent theft.
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Hmmm, dunno. Ask the oem Nazi DC.
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Old 09-29-2008, 12:42 PM   #10
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I guess these cat. converters are worth some serious dough everywhere. Since I live in CA, stolen cat. converters have become a huge problem. I got mine stolen two months ago and since I have full converage, the insurance paid for it but I still had to pay the $500 deductible.
Anyway, check out these guys.......
www.catclamp.com

They are expensive but compared to my deductible of $500, it may be worth it. However, like DeathCougar said, if the thief wants to get it, he or she will get it. Supposedly, the catclamp has braided steel wires run along the exhaust piping. It may be worth it to give them a call. I am thinking about getting a set soon.
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Old 09-29-2008, 12:59 PM   #11
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those cat clamps would be a great investment. Looks like they have updated the design too. very nice.

Its just too bad we live in a society where these sorts of things are necessary. I wish we could just cut off a thiefs hands every time they get caught. That would be a pretty good deterant methinks.
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Old 09-29-2008, 01:00 PM   #12
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just replace your cat with a straight pipe and put the cat back in when it comes time for inspection. they can't steal whats not there!
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Old 09-29-2008, 01:09 PM   #13
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I looked into this and if you have a car that is a California model you need the OEM one otherwise an aftermarket one will cause it to throw codes.

I live in WA but my 4runner is a CA model. It says that on a sticker under your hood. So some of us are SOL and have to either protect or get OEM replacements when stolen.
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Old 09-29-2008, 01:26 PM   #14
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attach a thin wire from the cat to an alarm of some sort so when the cat is removed the wire pulls tight and triggers the alarm...I have no idea what kind of alarm could be triggered by wire...but I'm sure theres something out there...

the thieves might cut the wire...but if its thin enough and dark..they may not see it.....
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Old 09-29-2008, 02:42 PM   #15
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I'll have to check under my truck, but I'm pretty sure the BudBuilt skid plate with the belly pan covers the cat. It looks like it's $450 for the combo, which is the same as an insurance deductible and you get the skid plate protection to boot. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 09-29-2008, 03:30 PM   #16
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-Wrap the cat in razor wire and tack it
-Brush heat resistant epoxy over the cat and pack broken glass on
-Stencil “Hecho en Mexico” on it

The Bud skids will only slow the guys down. If they have a sawzall they can just cut through the skids or worse: cross members. After hacking the pipes they will still be able to move the cat around a bit for exit.

If this happens to me; I’d be so lucky to walk up on them under my truck.

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Old 09-29-2008, 06:09 PM   #17
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I kinda wish the thief used a sawzall so at least I could have still used the stock piping and just replace the cat, but nooooo they used a clamp of some sort and kept clamping it down till the piping was mashed together before and after the cat. converter. Then they proceeded to yank it back and forth till the thing fell off.
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Old 09-29-2008, 07:36 PM   #18
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Some guy on Tundra Soultions added steel wire cable to the cat and attached it to the cross memeber...pretty gay looking.

Ive always beleaved no matter how much security you have on something a theif will try to steal something else...like drilling a hole in a gas tank. Ive heard stories of guys adding full steel skids under and along the sides of their gas tanks and a theif was still able to steel their gas...off topic but let it be and if something happens worry about it then.
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Old 09-30-2008, 05:23 AM   #19
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It's a little more expensive, but you could always consider moving to somewhere that people don't steal catalytic converters...

Just kidding (well... not really). Anyways, short of a really sensitive alarm system or parking the truck in the garage all the time (if you have one), there's not much that can be done to prevent thieves from taking what they want. I would think that bright lights being on around where your truck is parked would also deter all but the most stupid or determined thieves. We have a security light that is on all the time "dim" and it gets really bright when it detects motion. Anybody walking anywhere near where I park my cars will set it off.

The ideas mentioned by others are certainly deterents, and a thief in a hurry might think twice about stealing your cat if it's going to be a lot of work or if there is a higher chance of getting caught, but a thief that's got nothing but time on their hands will do what it takes to get it off your truck.
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Old 09-30-2008, 05:36 AM   #20
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Luckily I don't have that issue where I live only up in Saint Albans where they have more drug addicts.
Crack heads and black tar users... They are pretty clever....
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