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  #1  
Old 10-17-2003, 12:35 PM
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Removal of Cat. Convert.?

Dear everyone.

I am sure some has gone through this given all the many experienced people responding to questions on this board.

I have an 88 190e 2.3l. I live in a country where the emissions is not controlled and the quality of the gasoline is very poor. I used to live in the US with the car and brought the car with me to this third world nation.

I was wondering what are the advantages and disadvantages of removing the Cat. Converter on this vehicle?

Thanks, Ig
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  #2  
Old 10-17-2003, 12:43 PM
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I don't want to refer to this as " advantage" or " disadvantage " but, by removing the cat you will obviously spew out more emissions,
On the other hand, you can use regular ( leaded ) gasoline without poisoning the converter.
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  #3  
Old 10-17-2003, 12:45 PM
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As long as you can buy unleaded fuel there is no point removing it. If you use leaded fuel the catalyst will be chemically poisoned, but that will only be an issue if you ever return to a jurisdiction that requires emission testing.

Duke
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  #4  
Old 10-17-2003, 02:52 PM
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I'd take it off. The pollution your car causes ain't gonna destroy the world. You may even gain a horsepower or two as well as improved mileage. There are some rare metals inside the cat. You might be able to sell it.
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  #5  
Old 10-17-2003, 03:17 PM
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Thanks all for your replys. I do not wish to hurt the environment but I ahve seen that the quality of the gasoline here is most likely damageing the cat.

Any suggestions what needs to be done with the sensor there and what needs to be (if there is, I do not recall) vacuum hose?

thanks
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  #6  
Old 10-17-2003, 04:19 PM
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Your o2 sensor will be fine because it's upstream from the cat. It won't know the cat is missing. If there is an air pump on the engine for the cat, it will have to be disabled. There will not be a vaccum attached to the cat.
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  #7  
Old 10-17-2003, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by euronatura
but I ahve seen that the quality of the gasoline here is most likely damageing the cat.

How is the "quality of the gasoline" damaging the catalyst. Is unleaded fuel unavailable?

Consider that the cat system is stainless steel and if your engine has the pre-cats just below the manifold you will have to cut both the precats and primary catalyst off and replace them with stainless steel pipe sections of a compatible alloy and have them MIG welded in to place.

So where are you going to find the correct materials and skilled labor to have this work done in a third world country?

The catalysts cost very little in power, but they are part of the muffler system, so no cats will make the car louder and could create some unpleasant resonances.

Ever heard the term: "If it works, don't FIX it."

Duke
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  #8  
Old 10-17-2003, 05:06 PM
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Duke:

Unleaded gas here (Guatemala) is available but not that great. For Example Shell V Power has had various recalls in the past months due to poor production and making all vehicles stall/not start when filled their gas.

As for this current question/possible problem, the reason being I had left the wife drive the car for the past year and recently just got in it and noticed various things wrong with the car. (A/C not right and I feal it is a tad slugish) The sluggish could be due to the tires since they are 205 -60 R15. Way too big for the car but when tires purchased - where the only ones that I could find on the local market in R15 that had very good wet traction. *when it rains it purs here) But these are to be changed by month's end since ordered tires should be arriving and dry season, no rain, starts.

Few of the problems with the vehicle has been due to the fact that the shop where my wife took it, would jerry-rig everything instead of fixing the problem at the source.

Therefore, I am taking the time and trouble to get the car upto tip top shape. (first step, took the car away from the wife and gave her mine) And since that I am now going to drive it on daily basis, I want it to last at least another 100k miles. It currently has 150K on the engine. (I bought it used 10 years ago with 50K on the engine when I lived in the states - and the paint and interior are in excellent shape and the car has never had a dent on it)

As for finding the qualified personnel and materials, funny that is not that hard here for this particular job. Given, as I mentioned, that they like jerry-rigging or resolving problems instead of fixing them. And something like removing Cat. Converters is an everyday thing here given the quantity of used cars from the states that are brought here and given the level of income it is much cheaper to remove the old cats. instead of replaceing them. I just wanted to make certain that it would not cause any secondary problems.

Thanks for your input.
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  #9  
Old 10-17-2003, 08:10 PM
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Based on the additional information I don't think removing the converters will gain you anything. Whatever fuel quality issues exist are not likely to harm the converters as long as the fuel does not have significant TEL content. If there is a problem with dirt or particle contamination, you might consider replacing the fuel filter more frequently than recommended. The KE system has a lot of precision machined hydraulic components, and they don't take kindly to dirt. Stalling or hard starting could be a vapor pressure problem or water contamination. If water is a problem consider installing some kind of water trap. Most diesels have them.

Sounds like your biggest problem is going to be finding a commercial shop that can do proper repairs when needed.

There are still a bunch of fifties vintage American cars running around in Cuba. Lords knows how they keep them running, but necessity is the mother of invention.

Duke
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  #10  
Old 10-17-2003, 08:45 PM
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I think if you e-mail Mercedes, they may tell you how to handle the cat. I had some friends that went to school in America and took there U.S. spec cars back to North Africa where leaded fuel was widely available, they had there cats cut off and tube welded in. You could even contact www.Brabus.com for info on how to handle the cat.
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  #11  
Old 10-18-2003, 01:14 PM
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Duke2.6,

How will replacing the fuel filters more often prevent more dirt from getting into the FO system?

As a filter gets dirty, it keeps smaller and smaller particles from passing thru it until the passages are smaller than the fuel molecules and then it will no longer permit the fuel molecules to pass thru it at which time it must be replaced.

So actually a dirty filter filters better than a new one up to the point where no fuel flows thru it.


P E H
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  #12  
Old 10-18-2003, 02:24 PM
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I'm not sure if the KE system fuel supply is set up this way, but some systems are set up with a bypass valve that will allow fuel to flow if the filter becomes clogged - much as the oil filter system has a bypass valve to allow oil flow to the engine if the pressure drop across the filter exceeds a certain level. This ensures that the engine will receive oil, however, that oil is unfiltered.

If the fuel supply system does not have a bypass valve, one could not change the filter until the engine stumbles at WOT and high revs, which is an indication of insufficient fuel supply due to a clogged filter, but I don't consider this to be good maintenance practice.

More frequent changes of the fuel filter is insurance if you suspect that the fuel is contaminated.

Duke
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  #13  
Old 10-19-2003, 03:24 AM
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which country are you in, anyway?
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  #14  
Old 10-19-2003, 06:16 PM
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"Guatemala"

I've been thinking about removing the cat on my 91 1.8 190e to try and get a bit more torque out of the engine and also because I thought it was rattling.
I've not done anything in the end but the conclusions I came to were:

The cat acts as a silencer.

Cat bypass pipes can be easily made.

The power output will probably change very slightly perhaps 1%, the engine could be tuned leaner without a cat to get a bit more power.

No changes would be needed to the sensors.

I think the best course of action would be to get a silencer made up that will fit where the cat goes. Then you would have the advantages of better flow without increasing the noise too much.

Perhaps having something custom made would be easier than searching for a replacement part as even where you are people should have access to steel tube and sheet etc.
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  #15  
Old 10-21-2003, 02:10 PM
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Thanks once again to all for their replys and suggestions. I will have a replacement silencer made. Cheap to have that done here. I will tackle this one at the beginning of November.

Thanks, again.

Ig
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