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Old 06-28-2018, 06:34 PM   #1
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About cat options in a triton v8 in CA

So the time has come and I was told by the stealership after they did a complete replacement of the intake manifold (and charge me an absurd amount of money) that my Ford e-350 v8 5.4L might needs a new cat.

The problem started after some off road driving, the manifold started leaking coolant into the the coils/sparks area causing miss fires. Since I drove the van out to the mechanic, they think all that not burned material might have get the cat dirty. Since I was planning to replace the cat anyway, I started to shop for one BUT the market is overwhelming, there are so many options out there that I'm totally lost.

At this point I don't know if is better to go DIY way with a direct fit system or take it to a shop, but it seems like all of the aftermarket cats are not compliant with the CA law....

Any Advice? what cat are you guys running? any extra power?
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Old 06-28-2018, 10:37 PM   #2
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You have to get a direct-fit to be compliant with CARB. NAPA sells them, and of course charge 100% more for the same cat sold in CA vs OR.
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Old 06-29-2018, 08:12 AM   #3
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You'll want to check with your local muffler shops to see if they'll even weld one on for you. I've heard that some wont.
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Old 06-29-2018, 12:39 PM   #4
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Ugh, just move to Tennessee. Then people will give you a cat and probably a couple dogs too for a housewarming gift.

Oh, you meant catalytic converters? Oh, we donít bother with those. They get stolen pretty quickly and then we just run open pipes. Roll some coal! Woohoo!


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Old 06-29-2018, 02:01 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by carringb View Post
You have to get a direct-fit to be compliant with CARB. NAPA sells them, and of course charge 100% more for the same cat sold in CA vs OR.

If I understood your words, that means that I can just go to Oregon buy a direct fit that is CA compliant for way less money and DIY ?

How lucky, I was going to start driving north today!
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Old 06-29-2018, 02:30 PM   #6
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That makes good sense which means California probably wonít let you.


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Old 06-29-2018, 02:35 PM   #7
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First I'd actually make sure that the existing CAT really won't pass as is. Step one, hook up a scan tool that'll graph O2 sensor output and make sure the post CAT sensor switches slowly. Then clear all codes and see if you can get the CAT self test to pass (engine warm, 5 different speeds _under_ 50 mph in 15(?) minutes). If all those look good, go to a test station and pay them to do an off the books sniffer test. If that's good, don't replace anything.

If you do need to replace, CARB actually lists a couple of valid replacements for the vans. Yes, they are more $ than ones without that certification, and likely identical. Thankfully these are high volume vehicles, so even the right ones are only a couple hundred. Magnaflow has some options in the $350 range.

Finding a shop that'll do it for you is going to be the bigger trick, so I'd start by calling and asking. Someone will, especially if you're clear that you want to make sure the correct CARB compliant part is used. I don't think I'd skip welding the pipes on a van I bang around off-road.
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Old 06-29-2018, 02:40 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by lashidalgo View Post
If I understood your words, that means that I can just go to Oregon buy a direct fit that is CA compliant for way less money and DIY ?

How lucky, I was going to start driving north today!
No, you need the right part number, which will only be stamped on the one with the CARB compliant price. It's not killer though, for the v10, magnaflow has:

55300 non-CARB 49 state compliant: $290
445300 CARB compliant: $350

Considering that both of these will require welding, I really hope that the $60 difference isn't going to break anyones bank.
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Old 06-29-2018, 02:57 PM   #9
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Not sure from your post, but the dealership suggested you replace the Cat? Did they run a test or are they theorizing? Is the van running poorly after the dealership replaced the manifold?

If the van runs good but you are just trying to follow their advise, you may be okay to wait until closer to your regularly scheduled smog to worry about it. If your vans performance is being affected, you should run the test mentioned in an earlier post to determine if a new Cat is required.
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Old 07-02-2018, 11:33 AM   #10
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Not sure from your post, but the dealership suggested you replace the Cat? Did they run a test or are they theorizing? Is the van running poorly after the dealership replaced the manifold?

If the van runs good but you are just trying to follow their advise, you may be okay to wait until closer to your regularly scheduled smog to worry about it. If your vans performance is being affected, you should run the test mentioned in an earlier post to determine if a new Cat is required.
The dealership suggested me to run a cat test to verify their hypothesis, at that point, after been charged a lot of money and having a really bad experience there, I didn't want to keep been ripped off so I took the van out.

The van runs, and I get about 350-400 miles per tank (stock one). It also has a fiberglass high top which makes it less aerodynamic I guess.

I do think that the performance should be better, I take a while to accelerate.
Again, the van engine is running smooth, It's not burning extra gas or oil, it just feels underpowered. I've driven it over 2k miles after the fix without any issue/lights.

So I would be looking to bring it somewhere for a cat test, based on that Ill probably go with the Magnaflow direct fit CARB compliant one.
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