1 2
mad_machine (Forum Supporter)
mad_machine (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/6/20 9:31 a.m.

Rockauto offers a decent tip to keep you from having to replace them:

 

https://www.rockauto.com/Newsletter/

gearheadE30
gearheadE30 Dork
11/6/20 9:53 a.m.

I had no idea that an exhaust pipe cutter was a thing. I guess that might explain how thieves get away with such an otherwise noisy, attention-grabbing heist for those stories of people having their cats stolen in broad daylight.

wspohn
wspohn Dork
11/6/20 10:14 a.m.

Sounds like it is time to add a window sign "No CAT On Board" to the old "No Radio on Board"

I have seen people gutting their CATs or welding the outer shell over a piece of straight pipe so they appear to be in compliance with local laws - guess spending time under a car in bad weather and coming up with one of those would be annoying for the thief - maybe enough that he would kick your windows out or destroy your paint job in retaliation.

There are a lot of cars with two CATS - not sure whether the downstream secondaries have as much platinum in them.

This will be hard on Californians. Their idiotic laws require the factory CAT and nothing else, so installing a better CAT at half the price that results in lower emissions than the stock CAT does is not allowed. 

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
11/6/20 10:23 a.m.

Now I want to invent a dye pack for catalytic converters. Cut it off, and five minutes later it starts spraying everything blood red while playing a very loud alarm.

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
11/6/20 10:25 a.m.

That’s a good tip! 

My neighbor has had her cat stolen twice off he same car, both times parked at a train station in broad daylight in the Bay Area, CA.

Thanks for the info.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
11/6/20 10:31 a.m.
wspohn said:

This will be hard on Californians. Their idiotic laws require the factory CAT and nothing else, so installing a better CAT at half the price that results in lower emissions than the stock CAT does is not allowed. 

Aftermarket cats (which is short for catalytic converter, so it's not all caps) do not have the same metals in them and are not as effective. That's why they're cheaper and why they're not allowed in some areas. It is possible to make an aftermarket cat meet the same emissions standards, but you'll end up with one that costs much the same as OE. You are not installing a better cat at half the price with lower emissions, don't kid yourself. 

This also means that aftermarket cats are not as valuable to recyclers and thus are less likely to get stolen. Or should be less likely.

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/6/20 10:54 a.m.

We have had 15 stolen this year so far in Columbus. It's a super fustrating process. 

93gsxturbo
93gsxturbo SuperDork
11/6/20 12:10 p.m.

If you wanna make something bulletproof, get a few 1/2 or 3/4" diameter bars of 11-14% Manganese steel and weld them to your exhaust running the long way in the cat region.  Sawzall won't touch the stuff, pipe cutters will just dull up.  Welds on with stainless wire.  

Nothing short of a plasma, waterjet, or laser will cut it.  

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia SuperDork
11/6/20 12:44 p.m.

my neighbor had the Cat cut out from under her Honda , 

$3500 to replace and install at the Honda dealer.....

insurance paid for it ......

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
11/6/20 12:51 p.m.

I wish they would steal the rattling pos's off mine....

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
11/6/20 1:03 p.m.
wspohn said:

This will be hard on Californians. Their idiotic laws require the factory CAT and nothing else, so installing a better CAT at half the price that results in lower emissions than the stock CAT does is not allowed. 

I don't know what a CAT is, but there are no aftermarket catalytic converters that are better than OE. That is why they are so cheap and OE is so expensive.  It is also why the very smart Californian law exists, because a lot of aftermarket cats are junk that would fail a sniffer test even when brand new.

John Welsh (Moderate Supporter)
John Welsh (Moderate Supporter) Mod Squad
11/6/20 1:05 p.m.

The clamp and rod idea in the Rock Auto newsletter is a good idea. I have 4 Prius so this has been on my mind (and on my news feed). Unlike the welded rod, the clamped on rod seems easy to reverse or change the cat if needed. 

My only concern is I would not want something that rattles. 

From what I read, the Prius cats are highly desirable due to their metal make up. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
11/6/20 1:07 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

This also means that aftermarket cats are not as valuable to recyclers and thus are less likely to get stolen. Or should be less likely.

It also means that a stolen converter may effectively total a vehicle, if it cannot be registered because some lowlife stole the converter and the OE no longer carries converters for cars that old. 

Some older GMs for instance NEEDED the factory converter, or they would fail NOx even if everything else were perfect.  I'm not saying I retarded the timing on a 4.9 Caddy by 20 degrees to squeak it past a roller test, because that would not be meeting the spirit of the law.

Remember, it's also illegal to install a used converter.

John Welsh (Moderate Supporter)
John Welsh (Moderate Supporter) Mod Squad
11/6/20 1:09 p.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

In the stories that come to me about California Prius cat thefts, vehicle total is a very popular result. 

A $160 Prius protector shield

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
11/6/20 1:14 p.m.

Is the law about I used cats justified somehow?  Fewer cat thefts?  Lower emissions?  Bribery from oe cat builders?

If the cat works, and you pass the sniffer,  what difference does it make if it's used?

DjGreggieP
DjGreggieP Reader
11/6/20 1:53 p.m.

So, if a thief is trying to get money for stolen catalytic converters, does the metal recycler not take names of the guy bringing them in on a semi regular basis? I would assume the guy stealing them isn't going to show up with a truckload at one time, but if I saw the same guy bringing 1-3 in per week, that would probably make a guy take notice, wouldn't it?

I guess unless the guy is breaking them down and separating all the different metals and taking in as 'prepared' (as my local scrap metal place calls it) to get the maximum return and doing so on a month to month basis...

alfadriver (Forum Supporter)
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/6/20 1:57 p.m.
Streetwiseguy said:

Is the law about I used cats justified somehow?  Fewer cat thefts?  Lower emissions?  Bribery from oe cat builders?

If the cat works, and you pass the sniffer,  what difference does it make if it's used?

It's not about passing "the sniffer", it's about passing the entire set of tests that are required.  All of them, with margin to prove that you can pass at 80-150k miles (depending on the MY and standard).

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
11/6/20 2:09 p.m.

Or, we could stop treating the symptom and treat the problem.

Stop paying an amount for them that makes it worth it for the E36 M3rats to steal them.

 

Slippery (Forum Supporter)
Slippery (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/6/20 3:07 p.m.

I saw thia guy the other day and wondered how he got them:



No Time
No Time Dork
11/6/20 3:32 p.m.

I saw this on one of the Saturday shows in Motortrend TV a couple years ago and thought it was strange thing to need, but seems like there's a market for it. 

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
11/6/20 3:43 p.m.
ShawnG said:

Or, we could stop treating the symptom and treat the problem.

Stop paying an amount for them that makes it worth it for the E36 M3rats to steal them.

 

They're valuable because they have valuable stuff inside them. They're recycled. The alternative would be to simply slag them and bury the bodies in the desert. Nobody wins there.

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
11/6/20 3:53 p.m.

In reply to DjGreggieP :

They middle man it to someone who will truck it to the actual scrapper....

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) UberDork
11/6/20 4:01 p.m.

In reply to Slippery (Forum Supporter) :

Large cats can also be rebuilt. I know someone in that business and he's doing quite well.

Another thing to consider about aftermarket cats is longevity. The gov doesn't want units that pass the test now, but don't in 3 months.

And I find that cats like being scratched under the chin and behind the ears. 

 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
11/6/20 4:03 p.m.
ShawnG said:

Or, we could stop treating the symptom and treat the problem.

Stop paying an amount for them that makes it worth it for the E36 M3rats to steal them.

 

Something like 70% of the world's known supply of certain precious metals is tied up in automotive converters.

They're extremely valuable.  EXTREMELY.  New cars could not exist without recycling old converters.

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
11/6/20 6:06 p.m.

Ok then, maybe we start actually punishing thieves.

1 2
Our Preferred Partners
q0WoniLKmns2fb8vaijw4OZaqKcJtcRPaVDC781aJOjlWlWi52UHgSxBvGNdny97