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Single Rear Catalytic Converter for a 1998 3.0L - where to buy?


SteveH

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Hi,

My '98 XLT 3.0l appears to have three catalytic converters - 1 in each downpipe, and one immediately behind where the two downpipes join. Under the hood it says this is California emissions.

The flange at the rear of the rear cat has disintegrated, and I doubt it will last through the winter, so I want to replace it.

I've been trying to find a direct-fit cat to replace it, but only seem to be able to find dual rear cats (see Magnaflow Model 23541.)

Does anyone know:

a) Where I can get a 'direct to fit' single cat that looks just like this (except the rear cat would be missing, just leaving the front one)

b) If I fit this dual cat (in place of my current single, but with the other two still up front), whether I will have any problems? (especially with emissions)

Thanks in advance - though I don't often post here I'm always 'lurking' and have found a lot of great advice here - keep up the good work!

-Steve
 
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Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: F9A1A579ACFAD1: October 1st, 2021

adsm08

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The answer to most of your questions is, the dealership.

The only way I can see you having any problems emissions-wise with the Magnaflow style unit is if you live in California. Cali law states that you can't have an aftermarket replacement converter, only OEM units. Beyond that, more after-treatment can't hurt emissions quality. At the very worst it leaves it the same as it was before.
 

SteveH

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The answer to most of your questions is, the dealership.

The only way I can see you having any problems emissions-wise with the Magnaflow style unit is if you live in California. Cali law states that you can't have an aftermarket replacement converter, only OEM units. Beyond that, more after-treatment can't hurt emissions quality. At the very worst it leaves it the same as it was before.
Thanks - no, I'm not in CA (I'm in CT).

However, I was concerned whether the rear O2 sensor might not be happy (causing drivability and/or check engine light problems) with the extra cat. And, I was hoping that if I can find a single cat it might be less expensive than the two inline (that would give me 4 of the things!).

Not been to the dealer (ever!) with the truck. I suspect that would be $$$$....


-Steve
 

shane96ranger

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Autozone has a pretty good selection, but they have to order it in. It's in a book behind the counter. The brand of the stuff I got for my Explorer was Maremont.
 

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Thanks - no, I'm not in CA (I'm in CT).

However, I was concerned whether the rear O2 sensor might not be happy (causing drivability and/or check engine light problems) with the extra cat. And, I was hoping that if I can find a single cat it might be less expensive than the two inline (that would give me 4 of the things!).

Not been to the dealer (ever!) with the truck. I suspect that would be $$$$....


-Steve
The only thing the rear oxygen sensor does is monitor catalyst efficiency. It looks for oxygen in the exhaust gas, and as long as it doesn't see a lot of it, or see it switching up and down like the front ones do, it's happy.

As for your aversion to the dealership, if you want parts that are exactly like the OEM ones, well, gotta go get the OEM ones.

Check rock auto, they carry a lot of Motorcraft parts for lower prices.
 

yellowtruck

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I work in a business that deals with catalytic converters

adsm08 - Actually, you can now buy aftermarket units if you live in CA. They just have to be approved by CARB (California Air Resources Board), or called "california legal"

SteveH - OE cats are top of the line, and you pay top of the line money to get them. Going back a few years, aftermarket cats were sometimes pretty crappy. It was hit or miss whether or not you'd end up with future problems. Not so much the case today, as many manufacturers have put out lines of converters with vehicles that were problematic that have high loading. (more precious metals that make the cats function)

In many cases, there are now 3 lines: regular aftermarket, premium aftermarket (higher loadings), and California legal. California legal is often the same as the high loadings, but it includes a stamp on the shell that basically proves that it is California legal and has been certified to do what it's supposed too.

Many cars (more and more each year) outside California are sold as "California emissions", which adds to the confusion. To replace one of these cats, you have 2 choices with aftermarket: find a unit that is listed specifically as "California emissions", or find one that is California legal (or "50 state legal", which is the same). You don't need one that is Cali legal, and that may cost a few dollars more than just "California emissions", but it will guarantee you a good unit.

Here's a good site and catalog, http://www.californialegalconverters.com/store/index.php?route=information/catscatalog
And there are plenty of others. Buying cats on the web is a little tricky, so just be sure of what you need. Autozone, Advance Auto, or Napa aren't bad to go to....at the least they may help you get the part # you need so you can buy it yourself.

Hope this was helpful. Good luck
 

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one question not asked yet is why are you wanting to replace them? are they melted down? In my experience tuning and running MANY engines on dynos, and being one of the main service guys in my company (we build marine and industrial engines) cat's aren't all that easy to melt down. The only ones we've burnt down in the dyno's have been propane where fuel was pumped in the engine without spark like hitting a rev limit on a motoring dyno, and in service mostly failures are from engines with fairly severe exhaust leaks before the first oxygen sensor so the engine adds more fuel and the operator ignores the check engine light and kills a $800 cat (the industrial ones are fancy and are a catalyst muffler design usually).
 

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I just got an aftermarket universal fit for my daughter's '97 Heep, cost about $125 at the auto parts store, it works fine.
 


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