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Option 1, 2, 3, or 4?

  • Pay dealer for aftermarket cat, cat-back exhaust, O2 sensors, instllation $3k+.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Pay exhaust shop to weld in a cheap universal cat and weld in cat-back flange (will they do this?).

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Order ebay cat, new cat-back, OEM O2 sensors, pay shop to install (I don't have a work area).

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Order better Walker or Magnaflo cat, new cat-back, O2 sensors, pay for install.

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • Straight pipes and live dangerously.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted earlier about the dealerships not having OEM cats any longer. My cat-back flange was cut off, and the forward cut was behind the first O2 sensor. I'm having a hard time paying $3k and not getting an OEM cat. I'm considering cheaper solutions but I also don't want a CEL. I live in a non smog test location. But I don't want to replace the cat if I were to move in the future. I can see several options. I will add that I spent months finding a well taken care of 5sp Element that I plan to keep for years. Help me decide?

Chose your own adventure. Do you:

1. Pay dealer for aftermarket cat, cat-back exhaust, O2 sensors, instllation $3k+.

2. Pay exhaust shop to weld in a cheap universal cat and weld in cat-back flange (will they do this?).

3. Order ebay cat, new cat-back, OEM O2 sensors, pay shop to install (I don't have a work area).

4. Order better Walker or Magnaflo cat, new cat-back, O2 sensors, pay for install.

Also is a defauler necessary with the cheap cats?

Thank you.
 

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If you can find a place to do a straight pipe and put a defouler in AND you can stand the smell of the exhaust when your windows are rolled down, I would go with the straight pipe at least for awhile until society or the law sorts things out to the point where these are no longer such a high risk of being stolen. Otherwise you are at risk of having your cat stolen repeatedly.
 

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I never considered this... that's a good point.

I like the idea of waiting until cats are no longer at risk of being stolen. I'd pay the full $3k if I knew I was getting OEM and it wouldn't be stolen again. But I'm not holding my breath.
If the smell isnt something you can live with and I am sure we have all smelled the exhaust of an old muscle car or modded sports car with no cat on it then probably the best short term solution is to have an exhaust shop weld on one of those cheapo $100 aftermarket cats with some new O2 sensors and hope that what some people say about thieves not stealing the cheap cats is true.

Anyone have experience with how long these cheap cats last? I know they will fail an emissions test a year after they are installed but will they throw a check engine light as well?
 

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Anyone have experience with how long these cheap cats last? I know they will fail an emissions test a year after they are installed but will they throw a check engine light as well?
IME, the CEL with a P0420 will occur much earlier than a “sniffer” test will detect pollutants over legal limits.

well, I should say the prior california legal limits. California got rid of the “sniffer” portion of the emissions test a few years ago. It’s now just checking for a OBD2 readiness/CEL and a visual inspection to look for tampering (such as a straight pipe or O2 spacer). I think there is a legislation proposal to make any modified/tuned ECUs a fail also.
 
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