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Old 08-21-2010, 01:21 PM   #1
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Catalytic converter?

I am installing a new muffler/tailpipe and am wondering if I should replace the catalytic converter while I have it all a part.

My 2001 TJ has 100K miles on it. Is there a need to replace a cat converter at any point? Do they go bad?

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Don

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Old 08-21-2010, 01:23 PM   #2
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They do clog up but then you would have no power at all.

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Old 08-21-2010, 01:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atthehop
They do clog up but then you would have no power at all.
How can one tell if it is nearing being clogged?
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Old 08-21-2010, 01:58 PM   #4
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Your Jeep would run like crap. Trust me you would know if it needed replacement. It would idle like crud, it would stall, hesitate, and the floor pan might even get pretty hot from the cat overheating. Sometimes you will also hear a rattling noise from the honeycomb material inside breaking into pieces.
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Old 08-21-2010, 03:18 PM   #5
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They can not only plug up - restricting the exhaust, they can also stop working as a converter - It won't pass smog tests like that, and can affect the Oxygen sensor and give you codes.

One good way to check it - use an infra-red thermometer to check the input temperature vs the output temperatures. If it's doing like it should, burning excess fuel and not plugged up, the output will be at least 200 degrees hotter than the input. It INCREASES the temp.
Plugged up or not working it will be far less difference, or even cooler. It will indicate it's going bad by the temperature.

Run it at 2000 RPM till it's fully warmed up, let it idle, take your readings.

A very handy tool. Harbor Freight has those infrared thermometers for less than $30. No need to pay for a $300 Snap-on for the same thing.
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Old 08-21-2010, 06:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KBR97
Your Jeep would run like crap. Trust me you would know if it needed replacement. It would idle like crud, it would stall, hesitate, and the floor pan might even get pretty hot from the cat overheating. Sometimes you will also hear a rattling noise from the honeycomb material inside breaking into pieces.
The Jeep is running well and is no where close to that.

Thanks.
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Old 08-21-2010, 06:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrich
Run it at 2000 RPM till it's fully warmed up, let it idle, take your readings.
Thanks. I will give that a try.
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Old 09-24-2011, 04:33 AM   #8
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I tried this tonight on my '02 Wrangler Sport. CEL came on and sometimes flashes. And when that happens sometimes the Jeep starts hesitating from minor to pretty bad, but not always. Seems to do it more at freeway speeds.

Codes show all six cylinders have had multiple misfires. So I took it to a mechanic (before discovering this forum) and he wants to change the coil pack and the plugs "to start" (meaning he has no clue what's wrong with it). I got underneath with my laser thermometer and sure enough the front CAT is running about the same temp out as in. The rear CAT is about 100 degrees hotter out than in. So I'm gonna start by replacing both CATs and all the O2 sensors. (I am also getting O2 sensor error codes although admittedly that could be just from the blocked flow from the CAT I think). My question is, are both the front and rear catalytic converters the same? Can I order the same part number for both or are they different? The reason I ask is the description I read of one I am looking at says "rear fitment" and I haven't found a separate one that says "front fitment".

It may be overkill changing all four O2 sensors and both converters but I just bought this Jeep and don't know anything about it's history. At 110,000 miles I consider these maintenance items that are bound to fail sooner or later. At least now I'll know all of these parts are new and good. And since I can't register it until I can pass emissions I need to figure out what the issue is soon and get it taken care of.
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Old 09-24-2011, 04:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VictoryRider
I tried this tonight on my '02 Wrangler Sport. CEL came on and sometimes flashes. And when that happens sometimes the Jeep starts hesitating from minor to pretty bad, but not always. Seems to do it more at freeway speeds.

Codes show all six cylinders have had multiple misfires. So I took it to a mechanic (before discovering this forum) and he wants to change the coil pack and the plugs "to start" (meaning he has no clue what's wrong with it). I got underneath with my laser thermometer and sure enough the front CAT is running about the same temp out as in. The rear CAT is about 100 degrees hotter out than in. So I'm gonna start by replacing both CATs and all the O2 sensors. (I am also getting O2 sensor error codes although admittedly that could be just from the blocked flow from the CAT I think). My question is, are both the front and rear catalytic converters the same? Can I order the same part number for both or are they different? The reason I ask is the description I read of one I am looking at says "rear fitment" and I haven't found a separate one that says "front fitment".

It may be overkill changing all four O2 sensors and both converters but I just bought this Jeep and don't know anything about it's history. At 110,000 miles I consider these maintenance items that are bound to fail sooner or later. At least now I'll know all of these parts are new and good. And since I can't register it until I can pass emissions I need to figure out what the issue is soon and get it taken care of.
A flashing CEL means a serious misfire and I believe you should park the vehicle.
Also the 02's or cat are not going to cause misfires. Why throw money at it going backwards. Start with the simple inexpensive stuff.
The coil rail/pack caused similar issues your having with my 01.
Replaced per Rich above and all was great.
I do believe the mechanic is right.

Also 110,000 is not all that bad.
How is your gasmileage? I ended up replacing all my 02's at 160,000. I did have an intermittent CEL but also poor gas mileage.
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Old 09-24-2011, 05:04 AM   #10
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Sadly I haven't had the Jeep long enough to tell you what the mileage has been like. This happened only a few hours after I bought it from the guy. Obviously he knew there was a problem and must have got someone to clear the codes and kill the CEL long enough to pass this on to me. Because I did the same thing tonight. Cleared the codes with my code reader and drove it around all night (without getting on the freeway) and the problem hasn't come back yet.

Oh well. Live and learn. If this is all I run into I still got a decent deal I think.

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