I went with an aftermarket Flowmaster cat.
A little worried it may not be as efficient since it’s quite a bit smaller than the original. Also installed a new Bosch post cat o2 sensor since they cut the wires.
Did a 2 part deterrent system. 3 lengths of 1/4” steel cable through welded on nuts and a skid plate I guess you could call it. Bolted it to brackets on the frame with anti theft bolts (wheel lock bolt) recessed in some round tube to avoid pliers or whatever being able to remove them.
I love the skid plate mod. Are you concerned about heat getting trapped in there? I have envisioned this with big holes throughout, say 1" or bigger, to let heat out but also to let mud, gravel and water out.
Thanks guys. Hopefully it is enough to deter anyone in the future. I also think that the aftermarket cats are not as desirable, so maybe that will help as well.
Doublevan, the bolts are standard m12 x 1.5 locking wheel lug bolts. Not sure on the brand. They came from my local auto parts store. The hardware store supplied some matching nuts for the back side.
86Scotty, I did consider the heat. I'm not sure if it will be an issue or not. There is a large heat shield above the cat with quite a bit of room above that to the van body.
What do you guys think?
I did not consider the mud and water. It would be good for all of that to have a way out and prolong the panel from rusting out.
Boywonder, I agree. This was on my mind for quite some time as I continued to hear more and more about the thefts and then hearing first hand it was happening in my region. I was worried about it and just procrastinated too long.
I would encourage people to be quicker on this project than I was!