1994 (?) Toyota 4 runner

Old 01-16-08, 09:47 AM
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1994 (?) Toyota 4 runner

I may be inheriting this car, truck...whatever you call it. Someone STOLE the catalytic converter. Yep...now in southern CA do people not only steal your car, they will steal parts of your car! Anyway, at a glance it looks like the part is roughly $100 if not less. I don't know what that part is or where it comes out of at, but ...

#1-can I drive it to my house w/out the part safely?
#2-I assume I could buy the part and replace it myself- right? I mean since someone can take it off and steal it easily...I should be able to put it back easily, right?
Old 01-16-08, 11:23 AM
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your first question, can you drive it safely home? that depends on how far home is...without a cat on it the exhaust system exits right under the passenger compartment, so hot exhaust on the floor and deadly combustion gasses are right there where they're not supposed to be. so...if you're driving it a mile, or just in the neighborhood, probably ok. any distance and i'd be very leery of the consequences...not to mention that in CA, emission laws are much stricter and driving a vehicle without a cat might be really costly.

as for question number 2...i'm sure it was sawed off with a cordless reciprocating saw. you won't fix it easily in the driveway unless you get a factory replacement and have a acetylene torch at home. even a bolt on can be a PIA laying on your back. if the exhaust was butchered beyond the cat flanges, it'll be worse. aftermarket cats are tricky interms of dimension when mounting and may not work efficiently enough to pass inspection. alot to think about and btw...they steal em here in VA too!!
Old 01-16-08, 11:34 AM
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Wow...a LOT more than I thought. Guess I'll have to take a look at it to see what they did Now I'm not so sure I'd like to inherit it. IF I were to take it home with me, it'd be about a 5 mile drive or a little more so I'd probably not do that.

Acetylene torch?! Uh...sounds way too dangerous. Any idea roughly (worse case) how much it'd cost to get it fixed and replaced?

I THINK I'm going to reconsider and just sell it or give it to charity. It might not be worth all this hassle and cost. It'd be my weekend car or use it here and there car anyway.
Old 01-16-08, 12:33 PM
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If ever you are afraid of exhaust gases coming in a car, do NOT just roll down your driver's window. That creates low pressure in the car and will suck it in!

Either roll down lots of windows to get cross ventilation, or leave them all up and run the blower to put cabin under positive pressure.
Old 01-16-08, 08:18 PM
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Thumbs up Cat By-Passed

Recently purchase '91 Toyota Pickup and didn't notice this old truck was suppose to have a cat, until we were at state
E-Check station a few days later.
We found out local muffler shops here in NE Ohio will install your cat for about $40-$50 labor only. Muffler shops will sell you a cat w/install for about $125-$150.
We purchase a generic fit model from parts house for $69. We will cut existing straight pipe and with pipe adapters & U-Bolts will install it in garage. Parts house does sell premium fit, which is suppose to just bolt right up to existing flanges, similar to factory part for about $110 -$120.

Just our 2-cents worth,, good luck!
Old 01-17-08, 04:54 AM
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Oh no

I just saw on the news here in Texas that they are stealing the cats also. They sell them to scrap yards because of the metals like platiunum in them.
They also perfer imports. Yep many people lost there cataletic converter here in Dallas as there car sat in a parking lot while they were at the american idol thing. Yes they are required and yes you will need to weld them on. They are removed easy with a electric saw and takes about 1 min as they showed here on TV.
I would get a new one installed since they do get worn out anyway and keep the truck.
They say to etch your vin number into it. It really is sad that it has come to this.
The thiefs are targeting SUVs and trucks because they are high off the ground and easy to get to the part.
Now I am a good target as I have a newer Toyota Highlander exactly what they want.
Old 01-17-08, 05:28 AM
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If you have state vehicle inspections, I'd pay a muffler shop to install the cat. That way if it was to fail inspection you can take it back and they have to make it right.

Catalytic converter thieves were big news around here a year ago. They were mostly targeting car lots, several where hit multiple times. As a result they changed the rules for selling them as scrap. A town near here had replaced most of their man hole covers with ones made out of alluminum. If I remember correctly, about 300 of them. I know they arrested a recyling center employee but I'm not sure if they got the actual thief
Old 01-17-08, 06:00 AM
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Marksr, they may not have gotten the actual thief or thieves, but they got their "lifeline", and that is why they aren't still around. They move from location to location until they find an unscrupulous salvage dealer, hit hard, move on.

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