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Old 07-10-14, 04:54 PM   #1
Gc3p0
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Question catalytic converter

i got a crack in my exhaust pipe right after the headers and was thinking of doing a full upgrade on the exhaust but... i live in California and i need to pass emissions. so the question is..

in California would you be able to get away with just putting 1 cat in the exhaust (just the mid-pipe) ?
instead of having one at the down-pipe and one mid? on a pre 97 OBD1 sc300 and still pass emissions?
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Old 07-10-14, 11:49 PM   #2
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MVP Motorsports does make a bolt-in header to do this and leave only the mid pipe catalytic convertor. It requires two screw-in Bosch 02 sensors. Some people have reported a CEL with it and others haven't. It's worth an 8-10hp gain max without any other tuning and it's in the upper rev range. Low end torque suffers a bit. It's debatable as to whether it's worth it in the heavy SC chassis for a $1k header.

Can you do this in California, *legally*? Nope. Not at all. You're required to keep either both factory cats or CARB approved cats that are listed as compatible with the car. And if your car is an original Cali SC300 you will have a 3rd O2 sensor just before the #2 cat.

If you have a crack in the mid-pipe you can get it repaired and have a Catco, Magnaflow or other Cali-specific universal cat welded in but that 3rd sensor would have to be accounted for. I recently replaced my #2 cat with a Catco #6266 "direct fit" for about $330 or so new. Unfortunately you will have to get a shop to re-weld the pipe bend to the #1 cat since Catco didn't do their homework in making it a "direct fit" part but the rest of it is fine IIRC. Also, they will need to cut out the 3rd 02 sensor flange mount from your original cat and weld that into the new cat as close as possible since Catco also (surprise!) didn't realize a sensor location was there on Cali models.

I think there may be one other "direct fit" #2 cat/pipe for Cali models made my one of the big manufacturers but I can't remember where I saw it.

FYI, the #1 OEM cat is a mere $330 or so brand new. Catco sells a #1 "direct fit" for $360 new. The #2 OEM cat/midpipe is about $1,700 new.

Whatever cat you use it has to be compatible with whatever emission standard your SC was manufactured with, so you either have a Cali car or a Federal car.

Sorry but no you can't legally do away with either cat. The performance benefits really aren't there anyway unless the car were turbocharged.

Last edited by KahnBB6; 07-10-14 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 07-11-14, 07:10 AM   #3
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i have a cali cat that works perfect i took out, its a ge, for sale,
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Old 07-11-14, 08:43 AM   #4
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Psshh, whats a cat...
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Old 07-11-14, 02:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KahnBB6 View Post
MVP Motorsports does make a bolt-in header to do this and leave only the mid pipe catalytic convertor. It requires two screw-in Bosch 02 sensors. Some people have reported a CEL with it and others haven't. It's worth an 8-10hp gain max without any other tuning and it's in the upper rev range. Low end torque suffers a bit. It's debatable as to whether it's worth it in the heavy SC chassis for a $1k header.

Can you do this in California, *legally*? Nope. Not at all. You're required to keep either both factory cats or CARB approved cats that are listed as compatible with the car. And if your car is an original Cali SC300 you will have a 3rd O2 sensor just before the #2 cat.

If you have a crack in the mid-pipe you can get it repaired and have a Catco, Magnaflow or other Cali-specific universal cat welded in but that 3rd sensor would have to be accounted for. I recently replaced my #2 cat with a Catco #6266 "direct fit" for about $330 or so new. Unfortunately you will have to get a shop to re-weld the pipe bend to the #1 cat since Catco didn't do their homework in making it a "direct fit" part but the rest of it is fine IIRC. Also, they will need to cut out the 3rd 02 sensor flange mount from your original cat and weld that into the new cat as close as possible since Catco also (surprise!) didn't realize a sensor location was there on Cali models.

I think there may be one other "direct fit" #2 cat/pipe for Cali models made my one of the big manufacturers but I can't remember where I saw it.

FYI, the #1 OEM cat is a mere $330 or so brand new. Catco sells a #1 "direct fit" for $360 new. The #2 OEM cat/midpipe is about $1,700 new.

Whatever cat you use it has to be compatible with whatever emission standard your SC was manufactured with, so you either have a Cali car or a Federal car.

Sorry but no you can't legally do away with either cat. The performance benefits really aren't there anyway unless the car were turbocharged.

thanks for the input and i believe it is a federal car replaced the 2 O2 sensors on it and didnt see a third when i lifted the car and checked it all out.

i think im just going to redo the whole thing and cut out cats.. i was hoping there would be some way to keep it legal and lagit with an upgrade but if not then as kris said
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Psshh, whats a cat...
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lol thanks for the input guys. much apreciated



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Old 07-11-14, 02:13 PM   #6
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i'm dreading my move to cali just because of emissions. and hipsters... in illinois if your car is 15 years or older, no emissions and 25 dollar registration.
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Old 07-11-14, 02:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by oldManTan View Post
i'm dreading my move to cali just because of emissions. and hipsters... in illinois if your car is 15 years or older, no emissions and 25 dollar registration.
yeah weave got lots of both. depending on were you are moving in cali you may learn to love it. the bay area very stressful im moving back to san diego ASAP!! lol
well hope you enjoy cali when you get here.

(and yes emissions and registration are ridiculous here )
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Old 07-11-14, 03:55 PM   #8
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Gc3p0, if you're sure you have a Federal SC300 and not a Cali model then you have even less to worry about. Buy the Catco #6266, take it to a shop to get the one bend re-welded and call it a day. No need to worry about that #3 O2 sensor at all. Your car is legally tested according to the emissions system it was manufactured with. If it's a 49-State SC300 then it's tested as one. You'll have to deal with an emissions test or roadside smog check at some point (yes, they have them in L.A. too. Extremely rare to see in my area but I have seen a couple).

I didn't even get into a catback exhaust. I have an M2 dual system (bolt-in) and it sounds great and looks stealth. There's a tiny smidgen of seat of pants difference from losing the stock mufflers, just nothing really huge. The sound changes dramatically though. And the M2's don't drone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldManTan View Post
i'm dreading my move to cali just because of emissions. and hipsters... in illinois if your car is 15 years or older, no emissions and 25 dollar registration.
oldManTan, don't dread it. Plenty to like here. Emissions testing is a pain if you have a modified engine but it's otherwise one small aspect of life here. Cali doesn't have an emissions exemption for any car unless it's 1976 or older unfortunately. I actually thought it was 1973 or older. Have to check. Everything else has to smog unless it's a diesel which is exempt until the 1998 model year. Your car is an SC400 and as far as I know you haven't modified the 1UZ yet, correct? For now I'd keep it that way. Suspension work, brakes, differential, wheels, exhaust system (just try to avoid extremely flashy and extremely loud and droning), etc... all those are fine and won't affect emissions. A 5-speed swap technically shouldn't affect emissions as long as your 1UZ engine is stock but it might depend on the technician doing the test. There are a couple of threads on the subject. I've read that it's okay and not okay according to the BAR and depending on which BAR technician gave the info. And yet, you do see an occasional stock 1UZ swapped Cressida with a W58 5-speed trans and it's "legal". Far more legal than a 1JZGTE swap because the 1UZ is a USA emission controlled engine. ARB and BAR primarily care that the engine is not modified so as to change the emissions output. What's putting the power to the ground is of a significantly lesser interest to them.

Hipsters abound but plenty of non-hipsters abound too. L.A. is a diverse place and outside of L.A. and SF it's different. I also welcome you here when you're ready to move. There are annoying things but plenty to love as well.

Last edited by KahnBB6; 07-11-14 at 04:04 PM.
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