two issues or one ????

Hi, I need some advice about my Ford Probe (Mazda engine) that has my mechanic stumped. Do you think I've got two unrelated problems or only one?
First, for a long time upon startup in the morning my car has been
blowing a huge poisonous cloud of noxious blue smoke. But, unlike most cars that blow blue smoke, it's only upon startup, and only upon the first startup of the day. After a minute or so the exhaust is normal, and it always passes inspection.
Second, my car has been gradually losing power, until it has come to the point where it goes 45 MPH on a flat surface and 15 MPH uphill (including the peak of bridges and coming out of the bottom of tunnels). My mechanci tested the fuel pump, fuel filter, and catalytic converter, and finally concluded that he has no idea what's causing the lack of power.
Two people have suggested to me that a clogged exhaust could be the cause of the power loss. And that got me thinking whether the first problem, of the cloud of noxious smoke upon startup, might be another symptom of a clogged exhaust.
What do you folks think? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!!!!!!!!!!
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The cloud of blue smoke in the morning is likely worn valve guides.
The loss of power COULD BE a clogged exhaut. How did your mechanic check the catalystic convertor? A proper test for a clogged convertor / exhaust system would involve the measurement of the backpressure in front of the convertor.
Ed

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On Wed, 6 Jun 2012 09:20:06 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

which drain oil past into the exhaust when shut down hot. Smoke like a fiend on cold restart. As soon as the catalytic converter warmed up, it handled the smoke - so you never saw it under normal running - and it passed emissions hot. HOWEVER - that oil plugged the converter with carbon - and now you have a plugged exhaust. I had exactly the same problem with 3.0 liter Mitsubishi engine in a Chrysler New Yorker - and I've seen several other cases the same.
Drop your exhaust from the manifold, start it up, and it will smoke something awfull - and your power will be back.
The probe has 3 converter- right? One on each manifold and one on the "Y" pipe? Likely worth more than the probe, unless it is in REAL NICE shape.

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You guys are the BEST!
I don't know anything about cars. Would the part I need to replace be part of this package, that I can acquire at a reasonable price? Please let me know, and if so I'll order it.
"Cat Back System Includes
1x 608344-1 1st Extension pipe 1x 608344-2 2nd Extension pipe 1x 28479 Axle Pipe 1x 70015 Muffler 1x 31532 gasket 1x 31534 gasket 3x MC200HD Clamp 1x 41940 Connector
This is a brand new EAGLE BRAND OEM style replacement exhaust system for a
1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 , FORD PROBE 2.0L,"
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On Thu, 7 Jun 2012 09:56:12 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

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No? What is it that I want? I thought the catalytic converter was functioning. If all this is "behind the cat", what's in front of the cat? I need to know exactly what to ask the mechanic to do, and right now I'm not clear.
On Jun 7, 4:30pm, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

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Okay, I've examined a chart of an exhaust system, and the only thing between the catalytic converter and the engine is called "FR for cat" in the parts list. Is that the part that is clogged up and must be replaced? If so, can I replace it without replacing the catalytic converter, which seems okay? What does "FR for cat" mean and how do I describe it to a mechanic or parts supplier?
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Okay, it looks like the part the British call "FR for cat" = U.S. "Engine Y flex pipe". Is this the part that's clogged on my car?
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On Thu, 7 Jun 2012 15:32:36 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

stress off the joint between engine and pipe when the engine "rocks" from acceleration/decelleration.
The converter needs to be removed to check for smoke and to prove the exhaust is restricted.
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On Thu, 7 Jun 2012 14:44:37 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

99+% the converter is plugged if a restricted exhaust is the problem.
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On Thu, 7 Jun 2012 13:46:12 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

replacement. Particularly when there is oil smoke involved.
Ask your mechanic to check the converter for blockage, and the engine for smoking without the cat. Since it is a 4 cyl, not a 6, it is relatively simple to "drop" the cat and run the engine to check for smoke. If the cat is plugged you MUST fix the smoke problem before replacing the cat, or you will just kill another (expensive) converter.
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On Thu, 7 Jun 2012 09:56:12 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

V6!!!!
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