Catalytic Converter Removal

catalytic converter in engine

A catalytic converter is a common component that has been used in vehicles since the 1970s. As it’s name hints toward, it contains a chemical catalyst that acts upon the gases that travel through a car’s muffler and exhaust and converts those gases into states that are less harmful to environment. Many people believe catalytic converters handicap a car and stop it from reaching its full horsepower, while others worry that they create too much back pressure on the vehicle exhaust. As such, some drivers opt to take the catalytic converter out of their cars and replace it with a more simplified version or a more energy efficient model.

The biggest problem that anyone faces with catalytic converter removal is that total removal without putting in any kind of replacement, is breaking the law. Your immediate goal once you know how to get rid of your current catalytic converter should always be replacement or repair.

WARNING: Catalytic converters play a role in reducing environmental harm from car emissions. Laws and regulations regarding vehicle emissions and air quality vary considerably depending on what area you’re in. Look into the emissions regulation for your area to ensure you’re not breaking any rules with your project. Failing your emissions rating can result in your car being deemed unroadworthy or even scrapped

Buying an X-Pipe

An X-Pipe is a specially configured tubing that fits between the muffler and the catalytic converter. It gets its name from the fact that two pipes briefly merge into one chamber in its center, giving it the appearance of the letter “X.”

Some auction websites used for finding aftermarket exhaust pipes suggest that installing the specialized X-Pipe in place of your old pipe will allow you to ditch the converter all together and still reduce your emissions. The efficacy of such claims is questionable, but X-pipes can also be fitted to a pre-existing converter assembly if you simply want to keep your catalytic converter and experiment with the tubing attachments.

NOTE: An X-pipe on its own will need to have O2 sensors installed so that you can monitor your vehicle emissions. Even then, you may find that you produce too much exhaust to pass in highly regulated states, such as New York or California.

Step 1 - Removing the Sensor

If you are still determined to remove the Catalytic converter, then you will have to take off the O2 sensor. This can only be done with a specific kind of tool known as an O2 wrench, but you can purchase one from parts dealers for between $30 and $40.

Step 2 - Removing the Converter

catalytic converter

Once you separate the sensor, you will next need to unbolt the catalytic converter and slide it down the exhaust pipe. If the converter is actually welded to the underside of your car, you’ll need to actually saw this off using a rotary saw. It is best to have your car raised in the air of the sawing becomes necessary.

Step 3 - Disposing of the Converter

Once the converter is removed, you can take it to a scrap merchant or you can remove the center from the converter yourself and sell that for cash. The core inside of a catalytic converter is made from a precious material, so you might actually be able to get more money for just the core alone than you would from just scrapping the converter pieces.