rattle - catalytic convertor?


Old 04-05-05, 08:53 AM
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rattle - catalytic convertor?

I have a 1988 Ford Ranger w/2.9-V6 it only has 181,000 miles and EVERYTHING is original (except a new muffler & tires). Within the last month I've noticed a rattle from around the catalytic convertor area (also very close to the transmission area). It sounds like someone is taking a 9/16" open end wrench and tapping it against my catalytic convertor. It happens just about any time but not all the time: at idle, start of acceleration, running down the road; but it's sporadic. Is this the convertor or is my throw-out bearing beginning to go bad? The clutch and drivetrain have not changed in performance since I've had the vehicle, it all runs good--I just don't know where the rattle has developed from. Can anyone help?
Thank you.

Last edited by dad-man1; 04-06-05 at 05:25 AM.
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Old 04-05-05, 09:20 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 199
It certainly could be the cat. I'm no mechanic, but I had one go bad on each of my cars last year (cheap gas?). One of them sounded like marbles rattling around in a can. I didn't really notice any performance issues with the car, it just sounded bad. The other one melted down and became plugged. I heard no noise but seriously lost all acceleration of the car. I could not go more than about 40 mph.

One way to tell if it's a bad cat is to rap it gently with a rubber mallet. You may be able to hear the guts rattling around. Good luck.
Old 04-05-05, 11:21 AM
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at 181k i'd bet it is,,, look and see that it's not just the shield though
Old 04-05-05, 12:33 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Cape Cod
Posts: 4,320
'88 Ranger?
I'd put money on a loose/rusted heat shield
Easy enough to check if you crawl under it
With that kinda miles could be the cats...
Old 04-05-05, 09:03 PM
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Location: canada
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I've got to agree with Slickshift. Chech the heat shields on the exhaust & dont forget about the one on the side of the transmission
Old 04-06-05, 01:53 PM
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problem solved

It was a rusted heat shield that was causing the rattle. Thanks to everyone!

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