Someone please help!!

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wrote:


Well, I'm a mechanic. If the EGR is working right, the HC and CO are in range, and the engine is not running hot, with no CEL lit, the only thing left is the cat. And they DO wear out over time. It IS possible, with a gas analyzer, to check the NOX pre-cat and post-cat and see what the cat is doing, if anything. Looking at the numbers, I'd say there is a good chance the oxidation catalyst is getting a bit weak too - I'm suspicious the vehicle has been badly neglected, and the WinStar was no gem right from new - but a new converter will, in all likelihood, get the vehicle to pass NOW, and if nothing else happens, likely still produce a pass in 2 years. She says it has a "new" engine in it. We don't know if it was "new", "rebuilt", "reconditioned", or just "different" We don't know if it is a 3.0 or a 3.8. 3.8 engines dropped like flies - 3.0 engines were pretty decent.

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When I said new engine, I meant brand new out of the box, its a 3.8L as per my original post.
I dont know what you mean about badly neglected...is there something Im supposed to do other than the regular oil changes?
The engine was replaced when I bought the vehicle, they were trying to sell it with a blown head gasket, since I wasnt about to buy it that way, they put in a brand new engine. The transmission they put in was used.
The first time I took it to aircare I passed just fine. Its been two years and now I am failing. Unfortunately I cant just buy a new vehicle...or I would have, a long time ago.
For the person who posted about me giving bogus prices...Ford charges about $1400 for the part AND the labour to install it. The part itself is a little over $500. I called them already, they were like, my first call when I found out. My local parts distributor (lordco) was my second.
Someone asked what "tricks" I used. Fuel injector cleaner, premium fuel and driving for a while first before going in. The next set of suggestions got outrageous, like, put ice in the air box...I didnt even bother.
The mechanic cleaned out the ports or w/e they are called...the lines that can get carbon build up and cause high readings...he drove it and it still failed (although I think he just used his gas analyzer instead of taking it through aircare).
The numbers are posted in a previous post...
"clare at snyder dot ontar" wrote: > On Mon, 19 May 2008 21:34:50 -0400, "Mike hunt"
> wrote: > > >I suspect it is NOT competent or they would be looking to > determine WHY it > >is not doing its job rather than simply suggesting it be > replaced... I > >would take it to a shop that made that determination first, > but that's just > >me > > > > Well, I'm a mechanic. > If the EGR is working right, the HC and CO are in range, and > the > engine is not running hot, with no CEL lit, the only thing > left is the > cat. And they DO wear out over time. > It IS possible, with a gas analyzer, to check the NOX pre-cat > and > post-cat and see what the cat is doing, if anything. Looking > at the > numbers, I'd say there is a good chance the oxidation catalyst > is > getting a bit weak too - I'm suspicious the vehicle has been > badly > neglected, and the WinStar was no gem right from new - but a > new > converter will, in all likelihood, get the vehicle to pass > NOW, and if > nothing else happens, likely still produce a pass in 2 years. > She says > it has a "new" engine in it. > We don't know if it was "new", "rebuilt", "reconditioned", or > just > "different" > We don't know if it is a 3.0 or a 3.8. > 3.8 engines dropped like flies - 3.0 engines were pretty > decent. > ><clare at snyder dot ontario dot canada> wrote in message > > > >>>> My 1996 Ford Windstar has failed aircare due to high NOx > emissions. I > >>>> have already tried the stupid tricks that BTW, DONT > WORK. Anyway, > >>>> the mechanic told me its the cat converter. He also > told me it will > >>>> be $900 for me to fix it. > >>>> > >>>> His explanation was that FORD has put two cat converters > into the > >>>> windstar and that the Universal cat converter cannot be > installed. He > >>>> said there was actually room for a third cat converter > that he could > >>>> install and that would be $200 plus labour...seems a > little fishy to > >>>> me to install a third to clean up what the two arent > doing, but w/e. > >>>> > >>>> Apparently he has cleaned up the valves (something to do > with the > >>>> EGR), that the EGR itself was fine and my Ox sensors were > also working > >>>> fine. It has to be the cat converter he says. > >>>> > >>>> So now, I am a mother with 4 children 6 and under and NO > VEHICLE > >>>> because I cant pass aircare and I have a mechanic who > wants to mark > >>>> up the parts my van needs. Can someone please tell me if > the > >>>> universal cat converter can actually be installed (if it > cant then > >>>> why would they make it?!?!?!). Its a 3.8L, automatic > transmission, > >>>> a/c 1996 Ford Windstar. > >>> > >> > >>
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Put in the new catalitic converter and you should be good to go then. And watch the coolant like a hawk, because coolant leaks are a common problem on 3.8s, and they are usually "fatal" Head gaskets, intake manifolds and front covers have a tendancy to leak on them.

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Even "IF" the cat were the problem, adding a third to supplement the two worn out cats isn't a good idea. An old cat can be rotten and crusting up inside. The small bits and pieces can plug up the new one if it is mounted downstream. Also, depending on the smog check tech that you get, you might be gigged for having three instead of two. He is supposed to look under there and check for things like that.
As Jim said,"BEFORE the cat is replaced, it is crucial that the EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) system be thoroughly tested to ensure that it is functioning as required." The EGR replaces air to the intake of the engine by substituting exhaust gas that is low in oxygen. This keeps the combustion temperature down, which lessens the creation of NOx. Better to pay to have it checked out at a place that deals only with smog issues. You might get lucky and have two cats that are purring fine and only have a small problem with the EGR system.
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Check out the prices for your cats here. The whole double assembly is way under $400 with tax and shipping included, and the universal is one hell of a lot less than the $200 that he wants for it. I have ordered from these people a couple of times and have never had a problem. You can also google around for a discount code. The last time I did that, I got an extra 5% off. Good luck
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Oooops ... forgot to paste in the addy. http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/raframecatalog.php?carcode 41636&parttypeX08&a=FRc1141636k388823
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It very well could be the front O2 sensor(s). Even if it looks ok on the scanner. If he can garrantee it will pass with a third CAT that seems to be a cheap fix. I have never heard of doing that. You might ask the smog place about that one....Oh, and a universal type CAT around here is about $130 installed. $200 plus labor sounds way high. You might ask him about the CAT getting hot enough to work when its install a little farther back than normal too. Like I said, thats a new one to me.......Can you post the readings? like HC, CO, NOx, O2........we might be able to tell whats up....p.s. what tricks did you try? Just curious..:)
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...................................................................... If it will help...here are the numbers. I did two tests...
Day 1:
HC (g/km), max allowed 0.5000, vehicle reading 0.3193, avg pass 0.0873
CO (g/km), max allowed 8.0800, vehicle reading 2.8459, avg pass 1.9758
NOx (g/km) Max allowed 1.1200, vehicle reading 1.4698, avg pass 0.6229
I was advised to put fuel injecrot cleaner into my tank and premium fuel, then drive to heat up the cat...drove for over an hour
Day 2:
HC (g/km), Max allowed 0.5000, vehicle reading 0.2357, avg pass 0.0873
CO (g/km), Max allowed 8.0800, vehicle reading 2.3989, avg pass 1.9758
NOx (g/km), Max allowed 1.1200, vehicle reading 1.6969, avg pass 0.6229
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What about that 3rd CAT trick? ANYONE ever heard of doing that and is it legal? I'm curious as hell bout that one...
p.s. for the record I would through an O2 at it in a heartbeat first.

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that never had one.
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<clare at snyder dot ontario dot canada> wrote in message

How can you say it's legal when you don't even know where the OP lives? Or did I miss that? Where does she live? Please excuse me if I missed that.
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On Fri, 23 May 2008 22:43:32 -0700, "Forrest"

emmission tests. It is illegal to remove any emmission device. It is technically illegal to modify an emission device. There is nothing on the books saying you cannot ADD an emmission control device.You can use aftermarket (universal fit) cats here too - although my luck with them has not been terribly good. Anything that makes it pass is fair game - but I'd be replacing the original if at all possible.
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