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Old 09-28-2012, 10:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Catalytic converter cleaning...would you do it?

Would you clean yer catalytic converter if there was a low cost and easy process available? Kinda like cleaning the MAF sensor versus replacing it because it was dirty.

Had a little time so I built my own catalytic converter washer. I've named it the CatWasher. It's still a work in progress and I should be able to test and document it's cleaning efficiency tomorrow on my own 370,000 mile catalytic converter.


It has enough pressure to shoot a continuous liquid stream over 10' in the air.

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Old 09-28-2012, 11:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've seen rotted out cats but never a dirty one... and since dropping the exhaust is so much fun I'm thinking this would really be one of those things where "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" applies.
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I am not sure but doesn't water kill cat convertor? I bought 2 90's F250 that been sat on gravel for 7 years. Was surprised it didn't rusty badly. When we saw off cat convertor it was full of water mix cermanic fall out.

I think thin metal wire poke though cat convertor sound good idea.
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Old 09-29-2012, 01:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I've never had a nice car (until now) and don't live in a DEQ area, so my cat gets the ramrod treatment when the car throws codes. This results in a louder exhaust note, but well worth the extra couple mpg.
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Old 09-29-2012, 02:06 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Considering the cost of a new catalytic converter, I would not try it. The high heat should keep it clean..I guess.

Another vote for "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".
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Old 09-29-2012, 08:52 AM   #6 (permalink)
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So far...no cleaning. Got it. Still gonna press forward with my project.

Cleaning process should work on O2 sensors as well...but since they are cheap enough (less than $100 each), why bother.

Why wait until the catalytic converter throws codes if yer gitting instant higher MPG and HP? When you git a brand new (or new to you) car, just drop it the converter down (bolts aren't even rusty yet on a new car) and bust that sucker out! Better MPG and HP over the stock numbers!

High heat doesn't keep the converter clean...really. Build up will eventually clog the converter as I believe it doesn't happen in a linear fashion. Same thing goes fer air and oil filters.

I'm not using just water...I'm using a heated weak ~0.1 M citric acid and oxalic acid solution that I'm gonna cycle through the catalytic converter. I haven't see what the grid of a converter looks after 380,000 miles yet... I did find this on the internet...not sure on the mileage or what brand/type of gasoline that was used on it.
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Old 09-29-2012, 09:20 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Last I checked, a universal weld in yourself (or use clamps) was less than $100 too.
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Old 09-29-2012, 09:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Converter media definitely a good coating but only a few squares clogged up...at least it's nothing like that other piccie.

380,000 mile converter...


Closer view of the grid...
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Old 09-29-2012, 09:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daox View Post
Last I checked, a universal weld in yourself (or use clamps) was less than $100 too.
You'll find out the hard way (unless you do some internet searching) that the universal converters don't work as well on Toyota vehicles as the OEM has more precious metals to do the work. Try it and see...

I'm sure a straight pipe is even cheaper than that...
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:55 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daox View Post
Last I checked, a universal weld in yourself (or use clamps) was less than $100 too.
not in over regulated California, unfortunately... take the cost of any quality '49-state' cat , and add about $125 to the price. You won't find an out of state parts house that will ship a 49 state cat to California, or risk a huge federal fine. Same with an instal shop. They can only instal replacement cats with a CARB number on them. I recently looked at all possible angles.

Supposedly, these new and improved California catalytic converters have a higher platinum content, burn that many more leftover unburned hydro carbons and convert that much more NOx (I guess) for cleaner emissions out the tailpipe. BTW, Cali has decreased the allowable emission out the tailpipe over the years for older cars, as a way of getting older cars off the road. A new and improved cat might clean up an older car enough to now pass smog testing. The higher platinum content, the lower production numbers, and the CARB tracking were sited by a manufacture's rep as the price jump justification.

I'm only moaning about it because I just went through this a year ago, felt like I'd lost my virginity and was tossed out into the street after the smog and the muffler shop had their filthy way with me and my wallet

Washing: If it were me, before I invested much time in the concept, I'd research the various failure mechanisms by which catalytic converters stop being effective. The reactive metals in the ceramic might be only a coating for instance. If this is the case, and the failure is that the coating has fallen off, no amount or washing will rejuvenate the finicky little device.

On the other hand, there are a lot of cars with cats in California, big market, money to be made if your idea works.


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