Catalytic Converter - Yes or No?

Discussion in 'Cars in General' started by BuddhaRock, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. White & Nerdy

    White & Nerdy

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    Explain this then:

     
  2. Slash

    Slash Premium

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    Quite simply put, that was then and this is now. Aftermarket converters meet federal emission standards now, and most serve as a factory replacement. Like I said it will tell you on the box.

    That law is pretty much what I've been saying. "Correct" converter in this day and age is obsolete. Most, if not all converters are listed as high flow/high performance factory replacements and will tell you where it's legal to use by state. By law every and all converters have to meet federal standards, after that it works on a state by state level which is why it will tell you what state it can be used in as each state has a different set of laws. California is one of the worst. This applies to most aftermarket parts engine related.

    Key words are "have NOT met the criteria of EPA's interim enforcement policy". By 2013, all of them on the market meet the criteria, except for some being used in extreme applications and by that point its track only and there's no real point of having one installed anyways. Notice when the law was passed, 1988. They've had almost 20 years to get it right.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013
  3. White & Nerdy

    White & Nerdy

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    Well, that's good to know. Thanks.
     
  4. Slash

    Slash Premium

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    No problem, most of that's been drilled into my brain while applying for my NYS vehicle safety and emissions inspectors license.
     
  5. playnthru

    playnthru

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    Yeah that's all pretty accurate.:tup: The aftermarket has caught up big time. Even here you can install a "legal" performance exhaust system as long as it's (CARB approved), you're golden.:tup: C.A.R.B= California Air Research Board.

    What Slash meant was California is the best! At robbing horsepower.:lol: The whole 25 year doesn't really apply here either. They made 25 years from when the law first passed, it's not a sliding scale yearly. Only 1975 and older is exempt here, many people are needing new catalytic converters just to pass the required SMOG tests.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013
  6. Slash

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    I think the 25 year thing is state dependant really. Usually when the car reaches classic status it becomes exempt, at least here. The sliding yearly scale is state, even sometimes county dependant. Just got to keep up on your laws, that's all. The only other ways it can be exempt, at least in NY, is if it's 2 years old or newer (because obviously still works :lol:), or the car was manufactured pre 1996 with the OBDI emissions system. That is how we got away without having the ECU cut out, simply because it was an OBDI vehicle. Nowadays, typically everything is emissions legal and if it isn't, it will tell you.
     
  7. R1600Turbo

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    I passed emissions years ago in my Sentra in Arizona as they only checked the ECU for CEL codes and it had none. Little did they know the stock cats were gutted and an O2 spacer was keeping the light off. :p

    Colorado, never had an issue. No emissions. I would be surprised if any of my friends cars had cats either.
     
  8. Slash

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    Most guys that do the testing are lazy and don't actually check when they are supposed to. I witnessed that after interning at a few shops. They just plug in the scan tool and if no codes come up then you are golden. Some places can be really picky though.
     
  9. McLaren

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    Actually, no. That law remains the same to this day.
    They actually aren't & most do not tell what state you can use them because again, it is a federal law. This is why most people end up going on forums asking if they'll pass smog emissions due to the various emissions testings by each state. But, even if the state doesn't check for it, that doesn't mean it's not illegal. It just means the chances of being caught are incredibly low in that particular state. If you move elsewhere, chances could raise or lower.

    Now, does the law say there are 3 reasons you can have an aftermarket converter? Yes. Does that mean any high performance cat can be used? No.

    A lot of aftermarket cats are almost never the same type for obvious reasons.


    They don't meet that criteria in most cases. Again, most feature a "Off-Road Use Only" on them to protect the company from legal issues.

    The law has not changed in regards to catalytic converters. It is a federal law to remove or tamper with them unless there is a reason to do so. And let's be clear, in the eyes of the law, only licensed parties will be seen as whether or not they see reason to, not the general public.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013
  10. Slash

    Slash Premium

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    Interesting, I haven't seen a whole lot that don't, but then again there is just so many and I don't tend to pay much attention anyways.

    I did say before that you can't mess with them unless there is reason.
     
  11. White & Nerdy

    White & Nerdy

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    So we're back to "dual exhaust or less exhaust restriction = illegal".

    Is it possible to find anywhere a less restrictive cat that'll keep the federal meddlers happy?
     
  12. Slash

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    No, as said it depends on the part being used.
     
  13. McLaren

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    As long as your car can still run the converter the EPA deems required for it, it really doesn't matter what you do to the exhaust beyond that. If you can't run a dual-exhaust without having to tamper with it, then yes, it's illegal.
     
  14. Slash

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    I thought you could run dual exhaust as long as it had a cats deemed a factory replacement regardless?
     
  15. McLaren

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    I don't know how the exhaust system on a Sunbird is setup nor do I really care to look, but he's asking if he can gut it to run a dual-exhaust setup and if it's legal. If he has to cut up his converter to do so, then yes, it's illegal. If he can run a dual exhaust will keeping his converter in order, then it shouldn't be a problem.
     
  16. Slash

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    Ah ok, that makes more sense. Thanks for clearing it up.
     
  17. White & Nerdy

    White & Nerdy

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    It was more on the order of requiring dual cats (at least for a true dual setup), but the thing is, the exhaust pipe on the Sunbird runs through a fairly narrow floorpan hump that looks almost like a driveshaft tunnel. A true dual setup would probably be a tight fit, and I'm especially not sure if I'd be able to cram two catastrophic converters into that small space without some kind of other issues.
     
  18. McLaren

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    Hmm. Well, in that case, it's an interesting question since you're trying to still abide by the law by providing a converter.

    But, I think by what the law defines as valid reasons for removing a cat, I have a gut feeling that would still be seen as illegal in their eyes even if it sounds like you're actually placing another converter alongside. You might want to ask a shop that, though.
     
  19. Slash

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    If you have 2 cats when you replace the system, one on each pipe, you should be fine.
     
  20. White & Nerdy

    White & Nerdy

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    I'm trying to stay within the law, not because I care what the Mother Earth Heroes at the EPA think (I don't), but because I can't afford a ridiculous fine. $10,000? $25,000? For installing a performance converter? Talk about disproportionate retribution.
     
  21. R1600Turbo

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    Highly doubt you'll be fined.

    Edit: unless you're in California, then good luck. :lol: