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  #1  
Old 05-30-2000, 06:53 PM
Brian16V
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Found out this morning I've gotta replace my catalytic converter if I want to eliminate an annoying rattling sound coming from within. Need some help with suggestions.

Car: 1986 2.3-16V (84k miles), California Emissions required (i.e. - I've got pre-cats as well as the main converter).

Option 1: Live with the rattling (uh, don't think so).

Option 2: Replace with MBZ factory part @ $1,600.00 (part only).

Option 3: Replace with aftermarket catalytic converter (my shop is currently getting a quote).

Option 4: Replace with a Timevalve stainless steel unit @ $555.00; includes the pre-cats (special order).

Option 5: Replace with a Timevalve stainless steel unit @ $375.00; no pre-cats (49-state legal; in-stock).

I'd like to go with Option 5, but does anyone know if I'll pass California emissions without the pre-cats? How much "emission-control" do these pre-cats really provide?

Also, can anyone suggest other alternatives?

Thanks!

Brian
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  #2  
Old 05-30-2000, 08:31 PM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Tucker, Ga USA
Posts: 12,153
Here in GA we have emissions regulations (dyno testing) very simular to CA. & many cars fail due to CATS. This is somewhat a subjective subject as most newer cars in "good" tune could pass w/o cats. Older cars with CIS fuel systems like yours are the hardest to make pass when there is a problem. Have seen a few companies that will open up your exhaust system & install a new "BRICK". But I would go for option 5 & have the old pre-cats saved from old system & installed if needed.

------------------
MERCEDES BENZ MASTER GUILD TECHNICIAN
ASE MASTER TECHNICIAN
27 YEARS DEALER M.B. Shopforeman
190E 2.3 ITS RACECAR
1986 190E 16V

[This message has been edited by M.B.DOC (edited 05-30-2000).]
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  #3  
Old 05-30-2000, 08:32 PM
MikeTangas's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: So. Cal
Posts: 4,430
As far as passing CA emmissions, I would think it would fail during the inspection portion of the test, that is IF the Smog Check station is any good. If the pre-cats are required to meet CA emmisions I would bet that the computer has it listed on the checklist, as far as actually seeing them during inspection, well that could be a different story, depending on how tight the engine compartment is.

For $180.00 more than the 49 State set-up, you have a set-up that will pass the Smog Check. If you opt for option 5, and fail, then you'll have to shell out another $555.00 on top of your initial investment of $375.00.

Or option 6 - let the car sit until 2011, then you won't hafta go through Smog Check .

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Mike Tangas
73 280 SEL 4.5
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  #4  
Old 05-31-2000, 01:39 PM
Brian16V
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Thanks Guys:

Got a call back from my mechanic. Having the catalytic replaced -- $450.00 out-the-door.

Brian
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  #5  
Old 05-31-2000, 06:56 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: New Bedford, MA USA
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Boy I hope it wasn't a loose heat shield somewhere..

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Jeff L
1987 300e
1989 300e
1987 BMW 325
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  #6  
Old 05-31-2000, 09:05 PM
Brian16V
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Nah, no loose heat shield. I brought the car into my shop on the way home from work one day and had the tech take a listen. Right away he suggested it was the heat shield and that they are known to come loose. I mentioned the previous owner had the shield tightened on about 3 occasions. A couple days later I took a baseball bat (the only thing with weight and handy at the time ) and rapped gently on the catalytic. The resulting sound seemed to come from within as opposed to the shield. Right then I had an inkling it was the converter. As soon as my tech got it up on the lift, he knew it WASN'T the heat shield. Anyways, I'm off to pick up the car right now. BTW, what is the expected life of a catalytic anyhow? I've got 84K miles on my ride.

Brian
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  #7  
Old 05-31-2000, 09:23 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: New Bedford, MA USA
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Should last for a ton of miles, unless physically damaged or contaminated with oil, coolant, etc. Keep track of the emissions, especially HC level. MBZ makes a real sturdy cat.

------------------
Jeff L
1987 300e
1989 300e
1987 BMW 325
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