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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, before anyone freaks out about the legal ramifications of the whole catalytic converter issue, let me just say, I know, I understand, don't care, thanks, move along.

Here's my issue. My mechanic is quite certain my current driveability issues are being caused by my catalytic converters being plugged, so he took the y pipe off and says yes, they are plugged, need to be replaced. I have no problem with that except wanting to be sure that is really the issue before I drop a bunch of money. So what I'd like to try is hollowing out the cats, or replacing them with a straight pipe, and using an MIL eliminator on the rear sensors. If I drive it like that for a little while and my problem is solved, then I'll buy the new Y pipe and have it installed and be all good again. Does anyone have experience with this? I'd like to know the easiest way to remove the cats, or bust out the insides or whatever, and if anyone knows a good MIL known to work for our cars. Thanks
 

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The best way would be to hallow them out or replace with a straight pipe as indicated.

You don't need to bother with the MIL, just gut them and if it runs better you will be fine. you will just have a check engine light.

Your mecahnics should be able to get a scope and see the problem.

Most places have stopped selling MIL eliminators due to legal issues.
 

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I've never done this on a Taurus, but I have done it on an '04 Ranger with a Vulcan V6. Hollowing out the cats was a real PITA because it's almost impossible to get anything through the pipe to beat out the catalyst material. We spent hours with a really long screw driver and a hammer pounding all of it out. It can be done though, and from the looks of the Taurus Y pipe the cats may be a little easier to get at. As for MIL eliminators, any ones for a 96+ Mustang will work. You can actually make your own with a resistor, though I don't recall the value off the top of my head.

I wouldn't do it though and my reasoning has nothing to do with legality. After we got the cats hollowed on my buddy's Ranger the truck ran like $h!t. Below 3500 RPMs the thing had no power, and above that point it was no better than stock until the last 500 RPM before the limiter. The gas mileage also went to hell. By removing the catalyst material, the volume of the exhaust system becomes way to large for the engine. The size of the exhaust system was designed with the resistance of the cats accounted for and without them it is way to large.

Figuratively you could have an exhaust shop replace your cats with narrow sections of straight pipe 1.5" to 1.75" or so in diameter. I don't know how the shops are in Michigan, but here in Texas most shops won't take the cats off of a registered vehicle unless they're replacing them. If they get caught the fine from the EPA for doing it is stout. You're best best is probably just to replace the Y-Pipe. A junkyard could be a good low cost option if you could find a low mileage car to get the pipe from.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hmm, sound like it might not be worth it if the car isn't going to run right. I'll take it to somewhere that specializes in exhaust and see if they can tell me for certain the cats are plugged. The guy telling me right now is the trans guy that just rebuilt the trans a month ago with the exact same symptoms I have now. Anyone wanna buy a 3500 dollar car for the 6 grand i have in it? lol
 

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BackPressure

Ok, before anyone freaks out about the legal ramifications of the whole catalytic converter issue, let me just say, I know, I understand, don't care, thanks, move along.

Here's my issue. My mechanic is quite certain my current driveability issues are being caused by my catalytic converters being plugged, so he took the y pipe off and says yes, they are plugged, need to be replaced. I have no problem with that except wanting to be sure that is really the issue before I drop a bunch of money. So what I'd like to try is hollowing out the cats, or replacing them with a straight pipe, and using an MIL eliminator on the rear sensors. If I drive it like that for a little while and my problem is solved, then I'll buy the new Y pipe and have it installed and be all good again. Does anyone have experience with this? I'd like to know the easiest way to remove the cats, or bust out the insides or whatever, and if anyone knows a good MIL known to work for our cars. Thanks
If I suspected plugging, I would pull the DPFE and put a hose on the "high side" and check the pressure while gunning the engine. You would need a low pressure gauge and fitting to get it on the hose.

And I do not know what is a good pressure, but like no more than 1 pound per In2.

-chart-
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
the symptoms are basically the car runs more or less good in the morning on my way to work. but I usually take it fairly leisurely on the way to work on back dirt roads where you really can't go over about 45. I have noticed that if you punch it from a stop, it will stay in 1st way too long, but otherwise fairly normal. The problems arise on the way home. I take a little faster route, and its much hotter outside. Car is fine for the first 10 minutes. Then I hit a small town and have to slow down, but when I try to accelerate out the other side of town, the engine has a hard time revving, and if i give it any gas at all, it loses power and feels like it slipped into neutral. I have to feather the gas slowly around till it fins a gear and slowly accelerates. Once up to speed it feels almost like it is being towed and the rope keeps pulling tight. Pulls hard, then slips, then catches then slips. Last time i drove it to work, after doing this for a few miles, it sounded like it was going to stall as I pulled up to a stop sign, RPM dropped to about 300, and the windshield wipers turned on in super slow-mo. Not sure about anyone else's Taurus, but super slow-mo wipers is sorta my car's death rattle. Its what it does right before it dies. I pulled into a parking lot and let it idle, and it seemed to recover a bit.

The car has had all of the following done in the past 3 months. New battery, new alternator, Rebuilt trans w/ new VSS. Also, right before alot of these problems started popping up, I had to hop a burm left by a road grader on a dirt road and dented the front cat and ripped the shield off it. The guy at muffler man says its the trans again, but he also only test drove it for about 30 seconds. The trans guy says it runs great when he disconnects the y pipe at the manifolds, so he thinks its the cats. I am dropping it off tomorrow morning to Muffler Man again, cause the owner is back in town, and he does fantastic work. Called him today and he didn't agree at all with the way his guy checked it, and wants to look it over much closer and check the cats. This guy has never failed me before, so I'm hoping he finds the problem. I'll update as soon as i hear from him tomorrow
 

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Use laquer thinner or wash it out with laundry detergent

There's an almost unbelievable video on Youtube showing 2 ways to clean out a clogged catalytic converter.

The first method is pour a gallon of laquer thinner in a tank with only a few gallons of gas in the tank and drive it at 50-60 MPH to flush out the crud.

More invasive is taking the cat off and soaking it in laundry detergent and water for a day, letting it dry out then replacing it.

Never tried either method but would certainly be cheaper than replacing the cat.
 

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Has anyone tried to do this on a gen 4 vulcan w/o a lift? i know it seems crazy, i dont have the money to do the y pipe now mainly because it will probably be $500. ive gutted cats before but i just dont know if you can get at the ones of the vulcan y pipe from the ground.
 

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You say the car runs good in the morning, then starts to lack power later on. These symptoms are not consistent with a clogged or faulty converter. You mechanic is obviously guess, and its not even an educated guess. A clogged cat would give you hard starting, and low power from the get go. Clogged cats are unaffected by operating temperature, and will not cause the symptoms you are describing.

A far more likely scenario is that you fuel pump is faulty or failing. Fuel pumps can become heat sensitive and will decrease their output when they heat up. A plugged fuel filter can aggravate this. I would look at fuel delivery as the source of your problem. Leave the cats alone, there is nothing wrong with them.
 

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Hot PUlmp

You say the car runs good in the morning, then starts to lack power later on. These symptoms are not consistent with a clogged or faulty converter. You mechanic is obviously guess, and its not even an educated guess. A clogged cat would give you hard starting, and low power from the get go. Clogged cats are unaffected by operating temperature, and will not cause the symptoms you are describing.

A far more likely scenario is that you fuel pump is faulty or failing. Fuel pumps can become heat sensitive and will decrease their output when they heat up. A plugged fuel filter can aggravate this. I would look at fuel delivery as the source of your problem. Leave the cats alone, there is nothing wrong with them.
Good call:
Agree with your post.

I had a '95 Sable that ran fine cold. But when really hot, like hot weather and warm engine, it would start and die. I hot wired it at the inertia switch and while hot, the pump growled and sounded like it was running slow. When cold, the same hot wire, the pump sounded normal.

Guess old age and hot weather do not get along.:lol2:

-chart-
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Well, the guy at Muffler Man says the cats are fine, so basically I have an exhaust guy and a trans guy each saying take it to the other. I dropped it off at a different trans shop in a different town that I've heard great things about. If I can get a few people to agree on a problem, maybe I'll get it fixed someday. Incredibly aggravating. Mike Holmes from Holmes on Homes needs to start working on cars.

A far more likely scenario is that you fuel pump is faulty or failing.
Fuel pump was replaced late this past winter, however I wouldn't be overly shocked if I got a bad fuel pump. Happened on my last car too. Is there a way to test this while driving it? It would be great to be able to see fuel pressure or something drop while this is happening
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
What year/model/mileage on this car?

Have your O2 sensors ever been replaced?
99, with the Duratec and AX4N. 67,000 miles. New Fuel Pump, Fuel Filter, and Battery early this year, new VSS, Rebuilt Trans, New Alternator about 6 weeks ago. At that same time, bank 2 sensor 2 had the CEL on, and was replaced
 

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Well, the guy at Muffler Man says the cats are fine, so basically I have an exhaust guy and a trans guy each saying take it to the other. I dropped it off at a different trans shop in a different town that I've heard great things about. If I can get a few people to agree on a problem, maybe I'll get it fixed someday. Incredibly aggravating. Mike Holmes from Holmes on Homes needs to start working on cars.


Fuel pump was replaced late this past winter, however I wouldn't be overly shocked if I got a bad fuel pump. Happened on my last car too. Is there a way to test this while driving it? It would be great to be able to see fuel pressure or something drop while this is happening
Get a OBD2 scanner with live data. Put it in live scan mode and watch the
fuel trims. If its starving for fuel due to weak fuel pump, there should
be a big shift in the trim levels if its trying to compensate for running to
lean. Also, check that its doing it on both banks. Could be some kine
of vacuum leak affecting one bank only.

Harbor freight has a cheaper live scanner for around $139. wait for the 25% off coupon before buying it.

Keep in mind the fuel pump has wiring, grounds and connectors. If there
are issues with the electrical feed the pump may not be getting all the juice it needs.

i assume you changed the fuel filter. and checked the fuel pressure regulators vacuum hose for issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The guy I dropped off the car to just called me back, he said without a doubt its the fuel pump. He said he drove it till it started acting like I described, and put a fuel pressure gauge on it. He said it does ok idling, around 35psi, but as soon as he hits the gas it drops to 15psi. Also, while on a longer drive with the gauge on it, he said he can watch it drift down as the car gets warmer. He also said he pulled the filter just to be sure it wasn't that, and he said the fuel coming from the tank looks like river water, really dirty. This car sat for a long time before I bought it, so perhaps there is some sediment in the tank. He is pulling the tank, and cleaning it out completely, and I will be picking up a new pump tonight and dropping it off to him. The one installed in January had a 1 year warranty, so I'll return that tomorrow. Hopefully this is the issue, although it does make sense. I just hadn't been thinking fuel since that was just replaced.
 

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Bingo, faulty fuel pump. I have seen multiple aftermarket pumps do the same thing on my own vehicles. They act fine for a while, then start acting up as your drive it a while. Even though it costs more, I recommend putting on a genuine Motorcraft pump. You should be able to get those from Rockauto. Good call with cleaning out the tank.
 

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^^^^^ +1

Lots of pumps from the discount parts stores are junk. Yes, they have a warranty, but what good is that when the cheapo pump leaves you stranded with a big tow bill and big $$ to have it replaced (or a wasted afternoon replacing it yourself).

Get the Motorcraft pump if you dont want to be changing it every 6 months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Quick update. When the mechanic got the tank down to clean it all out, he found the source of the problem. Inside of the tank is completely rusted, baffles are rusted out, pretty much unable to be saved. Its getting a brand new tank tomorrow with the new pump. Should be squeaky clean then.

This car sat for a long time before i bought it. Yet another item on the list along with brake lines, calipers, battery and tires that screams no more old man cars just cause they are low mileage
 
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