Dakota catalytic converter

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  #1  
Old 09-22-04, 05:23 AM
nickfinity
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Dakota catalytic converter

Hello,

I've got a 98 Dodge Dakota, 2.5L, 5 speed, with about 108,000 miles. I had to have the catalytic converter replaced at around 40,000 miles. I thought it was kind of weird since I thought they were supposed to last forever, but it was fixed and much better. Well, now it needs replaced again. It rattles like crazy. This time it's not under warranty though.

I've talked to a couple of shops and they've all said that they will have to get the part from a dealer. The part alone is around $500. I only drive the truck once or twice a week (for a total of between 25 and 50 miles). Do I have any other options? I'm really hoping I don't have to spend $6-700 on a truck that's not used much.

Thanks for any help, I really appreciate it.
 
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  #2  
Old 09-22-04, 04:35 PM
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Location: pittsburgh
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Cool

If you've got some wrench talent, i'm sure you can get a "generic" convertor at a local auto parts store for under $100. OR you could take out the old convertor and knock a hole straight through to dig out the clogged material. OR you could eliminate the convertor and replace it with a straight piece of exhaust pipe. OF COURSE, anything other than replacing it with another one would effect your emissions---depending on where you call home, that may or may not be a problem. Good Luck!
 
  #3  
Old 09-22-04, 06:36 PM
nickfinity
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Thanks for your help. I'm in Virginia. We don't have an emissions test (like Ohio, for example). I wouldn't say what I've got is talent, but I figure if I work at something and with a little help I can do just about anything. I looked at it once, but do you know if there is any welding involved? Or is it all bolts, etc?

Thanks again.
 
  #4  
Old 09-23-04, 02:35 AM
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Not familiar with your PARTICULAR vehicle, but I have removed/replaced a catalytic convertor before. There was no welding involved. You have to remove the convertor with muscles and a lot of penetrating fluid to dissolve the rust. A hammer would also be useful. You have to free it up on both ends, it is usually a foot or so long. Once freed, jiggle the exhaust system enough to remove it from between the other two pipes. Now you can replace it with a new one, or try to clean out this one. To clean it out, take a long piece of metal, like a crowbar or 1/2" black pipe and jam it into one end. You'll have to force it, but try to pound it all the way THROUGH to the other end. You have to break up the solidified pieces inside and have them fall out to open up the channel. If you can get it open enough, you can put it back on and you've saved yourself some cash. Good Luck!
 
  #5  
Old 09-23-04, 04:34 AM
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that's illegal...

...and downright irresponsible. eliminating the cat is a violation of the clean air act and you as a car owner you can be punished even for doing it yourself. see this for details...http://www.epa.gov/air/caa/title2.html

further...the state of virginia increasingly fails to meet air quality standards for ground level ozone more and more often...in part due to upper level winds that carry pollutants from the northeast and the ohio valley AS WELL AS from mobile sources. IM programs are in place in several areas and are in the works for more...I don't know where you live in VA...but in many areas, there are programs ready to be placed into action and when that happens, your tampered with exhaust system will have to be corrected properly and the cost may rise over time. bite the bullet and do it right...right now

these are legal issues dealing with vehicle emissions and your responsibility to maintain your vehicle properly...you also have a moral obligation to due YOUR part to keep the air we breathe as clean as possible. if everyone thought like the poster who is telling you to trash your cat, we'd be living in smog and dying young due to respiratory and pulmonary diseases at an even more alarming rate than we do today.

southern california still has smog...but nothing like it was during the 70's...why? because of strict air quality standards and mandatory inspection and maintenance programs.

please repair your vehicle properly...i'm really sorry that you've had 2 issues with your catalytic converter and that they are expensive to fix but the first one didn't cost you a dime so spending a few hundred bucks over 108k miles ain't really that much. have you tried contacting an exhaust specialist and see if they can repair what you have...sometimes a replacement cat can be installed on the original pipe rather than replace the entire assembly.
 
  #6  
Old 09-23-04, 05:08 AM
nickfinity
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carguyinva, as far as I know the price they gave me was for just the cat, but I wouldn't be surprised if the whole thing needed replaced because of the way Dodge engineered it. I've had other repairs that should have only cost $20-30 that cost $200-300 due to having to buy the part at the dealer and having to buy an entire assembly rather than just the broken part.

I talked to a guy at a local Midas. He told me the part would need to come from the dealer. I guess I'll try a couple of other shops and see if I get the same thing.

BTW, I'm outside of Richmond.
 
  #7  
Old 09-23-04, 05:42 AM
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cats...

i know they are expensive but seeing as you live in a metro area, i'm convinced that with a little perseverance, you can find a place that does quality work at a reasonable price. midas is notoriously high...i'd be looking at independents in the yellow pages.

btw...i'm in the shenandoah valley west of you...i can recommend a place here... ...and no...i don't work there, but i do refer them for the above stated reasons
 
  #8  
Old 09-23-04, 03:10 PM
joecamel75
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crap cats

I have been a tech at a Dodge dealer for about 5 yrs now and let me tell ya one thing about chryslers cats! THEY SUCK! However they do know they suck and the cat that they are selling you is a new updated one and should last a lot longer! That is a benefit from buying from the dealer is that you get the newest and best part even though the price does suck! I would buy the part and see if you can do it yourself or call around to have a muffler shop install it for you!
 
  #9  
Old 09-24-04, 05:02 AM
nickfinity
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Thanks Joe. I called a dealer that I saw online and they quoted me about $100 less than the dealer near me. Maybe I'll call the dealer here again and let them know. Do you know how hard it would be to do myself? Do I need any special tools? Thanks again for the info.
 
  #10  
Old 09-25-04, 09:44 AM
joecamel75
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lots of fire!

All of them I hace done (mostly v-8s and v-6s) I have needed two people underneath the car, both of us with pry bars prying opposite ways of eachother, and I have needed to really get the pipe almost melting hot with a torch to get it to slide out! The way Chrysler mounts their cats really sucks! Esprcially since they usuaaly suck!
Good luck and post if you need anymore help with your Dakota!
 
  #11  
Old 09-27-04, 04:16 AM
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jeez...

...so many things suck where you work, why in the world do you stay there?
 
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