98 Grand Marquis Catalytic converter problem

A month ago I got a check engine light and the engine code indicated insufficient catalyst. I was putting off reparing it because I just got thru paying $1500 on a new intake manifold, and several other
problems.
Now there is an exhaust leak and the noise sounds like its coming from the catalytic converter. I guess it's time to pay up again. It appears that there are two catalytic converters. Do they both need to be replaced?
No more Fords for me!
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$1500 for an intake manifold??? Someone saw YOU coming!

Insufficient information. What engine? What symtoms, other than a "code?" How many miles?

What, you think parts don't wear out? >>>$1500<<< for an intake manifold?? What the hell happened there??
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It was much more than intake manifold. It was an entire set of COP Coils @ $60 each + labor, = aprox $500 8 Spark Plug, Ball Joints and Tie Rods. All added up to about $1500. This car is areal toilet. Never again will I buy a Ford
On Fri, 20 Oct 2006 19:45:14 -0700, IacoccaWasFord

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Getting off topic here but those COPs cost about $50 aftermarket but the tech probably only spent an hour changing them, definately no more than two hours. So $500 is not too bad. What I want to know is how did the service writer convince you that all your COPs went bad at the same time? Was your engine light blinking? I've only seen them go one at at time on any of my Ford vehicles. It's not Ford's fault their dealers sometimes gouge customers, all car dealers do regardless of the brand.
All cars (most) have problems eventually. I think your problem is the dealership taking advantage of you not the vehicle.
Regarding your insufficient catalyst, just taking a guess here, some catalytic converters (maybe all I don't know) use oxygen as the "catalyst" to break down the pollutants in the exhaust gases. The oxygen is delivered to the catalytic converter in the form of fresh air obtained from the air box (where the air filter is located). When one of these hoses breaks, little or no "catalyst" is delivered to the converter. Now it sounds like you have an exhaust leak, I'll say because one of the rubber hoses is probably broken and the noise got your attention. Could also be a metal tube that rotted and broke. I'm no expert but I've fixed catalyst plumbing before.
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You are probably right abut the O2 sensor, but I found the exhaust leak this morning. There is a leak at the joint just aft of the right catalytic converter Looks like a tough job to get the bolts off and replace the gasket. It's also a hassle to get a mechanic to replace the gasket only. They will want to burn off the bolts and replace the pipe. I'd rather not do that because replacement pipes are junk.
As far as COP coils, there were several bad ones and so I had them all replaced They eventually fail. The car runs lousy when they fail.
On 20 Oct 2006 21:05:03 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

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Sorry I didnt see all of your response.
The car has 138,000 miles. I am wondering where the exhaust leak is. I cant crawl under the car to see the leak. Doe the cat have a gasket that could be blown? Again, the 1500 wasnt for the intake alone. The car had problems all at once and its happening again. It may be time to dump the car because its costing alot to repair
On Fri, 20 Oct 2006 19:45:14 -0700, IacoccaWasFord

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There's NO rule of thumb that says that you must replace them as a pair. BUT since the y-pipe has to be disconnected to replace one converter, good sense would dictate that you might as well do them both.
(what happened to your intake manifold? - I also have a '98)

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The intake manifold started to leak antifreeze. The mechanic thought it was cracked. When he removed it he found that the gasket was cracked. He relaced it with a metal reinforced intake. The metal reinforcement is near the alternator mounting location. If yours strat to leak, make sure it's really cracked before you go to the expense of replacing it. They do have a history of catastrophic failure at the alternator mount.
wrote:

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