I have a check engine light on a 1996 Ford Ranger 4 cyl 2.3l with 104,000
Today I heard what I thought was a small exhaust leak and had a muffler
shop check for leaks and the Catalytic Converter has a small split which
explains the Oxygen sensor DTC.
I know very little about catalytic converters but after looking on the
internet there are many different options.
I am thinking a direct replacement may be the way to go but would like
opinions on the so-called universal replacements which require welding to
The local muffler shop gave me a price of 198.00 dollars plus tax. I didn't
ask for details as I wasn't sure what to ask. He said it came with what
appears to be the standard 5 year 50k mile warranty.
Should I replace the Oxygen sensor or sensors.
All opinions appreciated.
I have only anecdotal information to work with.. but I will forge ahead,
The aftermarket offers many replacement catalytic convertors... While these
may pass a visual inspection, they may not pass a tailpipe inspection...
While an OEM convertor may be spendy, I can't be sure that it is a bad
I'm not saying don't buy an aftermarket piece.... What I'm saying is you
shouldn't be surprised if things don't go as planned....
I have used a couple of aftermarket generic cats from the
muffler shops over the years. Seems the longest one lasted
was only a couple of years before they would again fail
inspection. I have used the Walker and Arvin brands direct
replacements with results as good as OEM. They are
available in the aftermarket. Both brands are suppliers to
the manufacturers. There are a couple of other suppliers.
As expected they are not cheap but, less than the units
supplied by the manufacturer. As I recall, their warranty
is pretty decent but, I have never needed it.
Glad to hear about Walker as I ordered a Walker direct replacement today.
It's going to cost about 85 dollars more than a generic which will have
to be custom fitted. Lowest price on certain parts may not be very
economical. The problem is knowing which parts to not look for the best
price on. Thanks for the reply.
On Tue, 18 Mar 2008 12:52:01 -0700 (PDT), email@example.com wrote:
A) The catalytic case is probably some exotic stainless alloy to take
the high heat - it would have to be TIG welded with the right patch
metal, shielding gas and filler wire. Doable, but not for a DIYer.
B) With thin sheet-metal that has been eroded even thinner, it's
difficult to weld up one hole without creating three or four new ones.
Been there, Done that...
C) And it would be a real pistol to weld that crack closed with the
cat upside down and attached to the car. You would have to remove the
converter, prop it flat on the welding table, do the repairs, cobble
up a test fixture to pressure test it for leaks, fix the leaks, then
mount it on the car again....
If you're going through all that trouble on a repair that may or may
not work, and for an unknown duration of life left in the converter...
It makes much more sense to just cut out the old converter, weld in a
new one, and be done with it.
--<< Bruce >>--
I've used nothing but after market cats (execpt when the car is under
warranty,1, 2 , 3, 4 year old Crown Vics, guess that doesn't say much for
OEM Fords) and have never had a problem. The ones on my s10 would last 4
years but that thing idled rich all time time so it probably ruined it over
that amount of time. You might try a different shop cause 198 sounds a
little high unless its hard to get to or something. I found out that Meineke
is almost double the price of most places. Depending on the car I expect to
pay about $140 installed for a high flow, a little less for a normal one.
As for the O2, if its a code for the *rear* sensor the new cat will most
likely fix it.
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