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Forced Induction Forum Sponsored by Active Autowerke
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:02 PM   #1
Jim Murphy
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Cats don't survive FI

For those contemplating FI, I wish that I had known this BEFORE I invested in a FI on my car.

As you have seen in my other two threads (overheated O2 wires and found headers with cats) you have seen that I have gone thru two sets of aftermarket cats (Magnaflow and universal) in a relatviely short time frame.
For those of you with FI or contemplating FI on your E46 (or any cat-equipped car) FI definitely shortens the life of catalytic converters especially if you are making regular high speed runs and/or tracking the car. Tracking the car can shorten it to down to just a few months or even less. Buckhead Import Performance (who does a large number of FI cars of all kinds) tells me that their FI cars have two sets of pipes - straight (or muffler) and cat(s). Most of the year the FI cars run without the cats and then when emission testing is required they get the cat(s) installed, reprogrammed for emissions, pass the test and re-install the straight pipe(s) for the next 12 months. I am now part of this program but I got out cheaper as I had already installed a 3" single cat back exhaust (all Magnaflow). I only need ONE 3" CAT after the Y pipe and most of the year a muffler sits in its place to keep the sound down. And an additional benefit of its more rearward location - the cat can stay cool better further away from the motor. And that is where the O2 sensors are as well. And I would have installed a header along with the FI. I learned the hard, expensive way.

HTH,
Jim

Last edited by Jim Murphy; 09-24-2012 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:04 PM   #2
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Have you considered that that higher quality cats may not have gone out so quickly?
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Old 09-22-2012, 11:41 PM   #3
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You can get metallic racing cats but those are so expensive.

I had the magnaflow spun cats and I'd spit out pieces of the core every do often.
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Old 09-22-2012, 11:57 PM   #4
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LoL that's funny[QUOTE=Jim Murphy;14754270]I wish that I had known this BEFORE I invested in installing a FI on my car.
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:17 AM   #5
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I guess your car is running fine now? no lean issues?
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:17 AM   #6
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Metallic 100cell and no leaded fuel/pig rich tunes.
Cats should atleast live as long as the sparkplugs.
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:52 AM   #7
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when i opened this thread i thought i was going to see a picture of a feline plastered to an intercooler hah... i dumb.
been a while since i've had to deal with catalytic converters i guess.
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:51 AM   #8
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when i opened this thread i thought i was going to see a picture of a feline plastered to an intercooler hah... i dumb.
been a while since i've had to deal with catalytic converters i guess.
I was expecting the same thing. I am disappoint.

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Op,if you don't mind me asking.. why are you concerned about cats. Is it an emissions thing? Even with cat's I'd imagine you wouldn't pass due to odbii readiness?
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Old 09-23-2012, 06:13 PM   #9
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I guess your car is running fine now? no lean issues?
So far so good for the first time in many months - I have to put some more miles on it for all the adaptations to settle in. IF I had known this beforehand I would have immediately installed headers and the straight/muffler pipe with no cats AND SAVED a TON of money and aggravation. Atlanta is tight about emissions testing. And there are many cars (many are street/track cars) serviced by Buckhead with this same arrangement. This post is for all who are contemplating FI.

Jim

Last edited by Jim Murphy; 10-09-2012 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:31 AM   #10
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For Forced Induction you do not want ceramic substrate cats.
Like all others said, metallic substrate spun cats:

Here are a few...

Eastern Cat 3" Spun metallic substrate, 200 cell

Mil.Spec Cat 3" Spun metallic substrate, 100 cell

Mil.Spec Cat 3" Spun metallic substrate, 200 cell

Those I recommend based on our own testing.

The following are borrowed images from Google

Metallic 100 cell:


High flow 400 cell ceramic:


other notables:
Thunderbolt 3" 300 cell metallic substrate


MBS 3" 100 cell
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Old 09-26-2012, 11:34 AM   #11
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I love car forums. Someone who wants to run cats even though he doesn't have to is "some weirdo"
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Old 09-27-2012, 07:32 AM   #12
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I love car forums. Someone who wants to run cats even though he doesn't have to is "some weirdo"
+1. Don't run them or do what some guys do and just weld an outer shell of a cat around a pipe so it looks like your doing the right thing
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Old 09-30-2012, 02:38 PM   #13
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+1. Don't run them or do what some guys do and just weld an outer shell of a cat around a pipe so it looks like your doing the right thing
Please reread my posts - I now have two choices. Most of the year I run the straight muffler and then when it is time for emissions testing we install the cat in place of the muffler and reprogram to pass emissions; then after passing, re-install the muffler.

Jim

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Old 09-30-2012, 02:43 PM   #14
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Please reread my posts - I now have two choices. Most of the year I run the straight muffler and then when it is time for emissions testing we install the cat in place of the muffler and reprogram to pass emissions; then after passing, re-install the muffler. I keep the cat in my basement.

Jim
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:53 AM   #15
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After making a long distance trip to Roebling Road (Savannah) to crew at the SARRC Invitational Cahallenge, I am very pleased with the performance of the car. It is now running like I originally envisioned it - very quick and pulls hard.
Now I can just enjoy the car every day.

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Back to autoxing the E Mod "Jeep" and renting Formula 600 road race cars.
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:09 AM   #16
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Buckhead Import Performance (who does a large number of FI cars of all kinds) tells me that their FI cars have two sets of pipes - straight (or muffler) and cat(s). Most of the year the FI cars run without the cats and then when emission testing is required they get the cat(s) installed, reprogrammed for emissions, pass the test and re-install the straight pipe(s) for the next 12 months.
You think Buckhead would appreciate you posting this on a public forum?
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:19 AM   #17
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You think Buckhead would appreciate you posting this on a public forum?
I dont see whats so hard about getting your car to pass the emission tests. This was the first year ive had to do the test here in tx, i use to have wa plates while military. So i went in and they said i have no cats so its pointless to do even try to do a smog and my tint is to dark. So i said......how about a 24 pack? They sounds....sounds good. Here is your inspection decal lol you all must be as.sholes that cant make friends.....

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Old 10-14-2012, 06:12 AM   #18
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i dont see whats so hard about getting your car to pass the emission tests. This was the first year ive had to do the test here in tx, i use to have wa plates while military. So i went in and they said i have no cats so its pointless to do even try to do a smog and my tint is to dark. So i said......how about a 24 pack? They sounds....sounds good. Here is your inspection decal lol you all must be as.sholes that cant make friends.....
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wtf?!?

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Old 10-30-2012, 02:56 PM   #19
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I don't usually post, but passing emissions (or rather, failure to do so) is the reason I have chosen to postpone FI on my M. I live inside the city of Atlanta and emissions here is a real pain. I have met shop owners, mechanics and friends-of-friends who have offered to rebuild-and-reprogram to help with this problem, but honestly its an annual ritual I'd like to avoid. I'm a noob and need to research the previously mentioned metallic cats, but my understanding is that many FI EMS' throw a check engine light, so obdii would fail anyway.

Can anyone confirm this? Are there EMS' that avoid CEL? Thanks.
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:00 PM   #20
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My car w/the VFE 570 kit has never had a problem passing PA emissions. It has passed with the stock cats and later when I switched to aftermarket headers/cats.
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