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(Some Guy)   Steal catalytic converters for quick cash, especially ones from Toyota trucks that are easy to reach. Well, thanks for that tip   (columbian.com) divider line 98
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12945 clicks; posted to Main » on 25 Jan 2008 at 12:16 PM (6 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2008-01-25 12:48:14 PM  
BobtheFascist: A friend of mine just bought a Nissan pick up. Last week someone stole the tailgate. I guess it's the new thing. They steal the tailgate & sell it to a body shop for $400.

That's not a 'new' thing at all. Many trucks have had lockable tailgates for years for this very reason.
 
2008-01-25 12:48:28 PM  
If you pay anything over $300 for one of these things you are out of your mind. for $2,000 you could buy a whole new engine to go with your shiny new cat(dealerships sell mild steel cats that are not shiny and subject to rust.)

You are crazy! On most new cars especially foreign cars Cats. start at close to $300. I've senn some that are built into the manifold that are over a $1000. Hell, you can sell the average used Cat. for at least $80. If you use one of those cheap replacement ones you will just be throwing money away b/c they just don't work for most emissions regulated states and counties!
 
2008-01-25 12:50:46 PM  
"If you don't have a warrenty any more you don't even need one anyway, replace it with a $.50 piece of tube"

-->ah, the ol' straight pipe. I did this to a '78 Plymouth Volare V6 Station Wagon...with all dat reduced back pressure, the thang did 110mph!

/Still not a chik magnet
//It was hi-sckool
///slashies.
 
2008-01-25 12:54:12 PM  
I've gutted my Toyota truck converter and enlarged the filler neck on mine so that it runs good on regular gas so I am getting a kick out of these replies.

/live in a state with no emission tests
//besides, the truck is way too old to even be considered for OBD II now
///over 7,000 gallons of leaded already burned through the engine.
////quarter million miles later - it still runs great.
 
2008-01-25 12:57:39 PM  
3 months ago I brought the wagon to the dealer to have the check engine light checked out. They told me the catalytic converter went, the car would drive fine but I would not pass emissions testing unless I had it changed. Seriously bummed out, here in CT you have to spend at least $660 towards fixing the emmisions system before they'll give you a waiver. I don't have that kind of money right now. So I went on Wednesday to get the fail, it passed. Go figure!

www.mkiv.com
Problem Solved!!
 
2008-01-25 12:58:44 PM  
www.rtec.ch
 
2008-01-25 01:01:57 PM  
If they stole them off of my old car they would've been really disappointed. Hollow cats FTW!
 
2008-01-25 01:02:07 PM  
Frizbone: I've gutted my Toyota truck converter and enlarged the filler neck on mine so that it runs good on regular gas so I am getting a kick out of these replies.

/live in a state with no emission tests
//besides, the truck is way too old to even be considered for OBD II now
///over 7,000 gallons of leaded already burned through the engine.
////quarter million miles later - it still runs great.


They still sell leaded gas?
 
2008-01-25 01:03:32 PM  
I write auto damage appraisals, so I really getting a kick....

No seriously, we had 40 converter claims in one day from a Toyota dealership, they were probably stolen by meth heads. Most used auto parts places will give the meth heads $200 each for these.. easy money. Kind of weird how Toyota seems to be the target manufacturer, in this case it was all Camry's. Guess the meth heads are so skinny they can just slide right under the car with a cordless sawza.
 
2008-01-25 01:08:25 PM  
kimwim:
The law here says you have to spend that much, and that the work has to be done by a certified emissions specialist


Ugh! I am so glad we don't have emissions testing here in WI. What a BS law.
 
2008-01-25 01:10:52 PM  
Subaru had to replace my cat on Warranty at about 60,000 miles due to an ECU problem that allowed it to get too hot, so I'm getting a kick out of these replies.


/other car? '68 bug , with no cat or functional muffler, it sets off car alarms regularly
 
2008-01-25 01:11:43 PM  
Frizbone: I've gutted my Toyota truck converter and enlarged the filler neck on mine so that it runs good on regular gas so I am getting a kick out of these replies.

/live in a state with no emission tests
//besides, the truck is way too old to even be considered for OBD II now
///over 7,000 gallons of leaded already burned through the engine.
////quarter million miles later - it still runs great.

They still sell leaded gas?


Avgas 100LL and CAM2 can still be had - however, from June of 1984 until July of 1991, I burned over 7,000 gallons of gas containing tetraethyl lead through this high-mileage 22R engine.
 
2008-01-25 01:11:58 PM  
Had this happen to me not so long ago. Bastards also took ripped the mirrors, headlights, and taillights out of my car. Now there is some kind of kink in the electrical system that shorts major systems in the car if I honk the horn. I kind of wish they had just stolen the whole thing and saved me all this trouble.
 
2008-01-25 01:18:46 PM  
Frizbone

I need one of those for my "cat" thats in my car. I use quotes because there is nothing inside of it. Oops!

As for what that spacer does, the 1st (pre cat) and 2nd (post cat) oxygen sensors in a car basically monitors the AFR so the computer can compare the reading between the 1st and 2nd oxygen sensor. If the 2nd sensor reads the same as the 1st sensor, the cat isn't doing its job and your car will throw a check engine light.
 
2008-01-25 01:19:40 PM  
Frizbone: Flasher?



Anyhoo, www.catclamp.com

No idea on price, I wrote to them, ordering one, cause my 88 toyota has lifted springs, makes it easier to get in there. Little extra safety never hurts :D
 
2008-01-25 01:23:28 PM  
How American society creates its own criminals.

Also reported by Ric Romero
 
2008-01-25 01:27:26 PM  
Frizbone

I need one of those for my "cat" thats in my car. I use quotes because there is nothing inside of it. Oops!

As for what that spacer does, the 1st (pre cat) and 2nd (post cat) oxygen sensors in a car basically monitors the AFR so the computer can compare the reading between the 1st and 2nd oxygen sensor. If the 2nd sensor reads the same as the 1st sensor, the cat isn't doing its job and your car will throw a check engine light.


If one builds a simulator out of very common and very available and very cheap components from Radio Shack (using the infamous LM555 timer), it can replace the second o2 to "lie" to the computer that "all is well". Toggling from 0.2 to 0.8 volts every 3.3 seconds does the job.

I like the anti-fouler trick though...drilling one out with a 1/2 inch drill keeps that sensor from "seeing" the dirty exhaust, but thinking it is clean.
 
2008-01-25 01:27:29 PM  
"They still sell leaded gas?"
-->Nah...i thas to do with all that lead getting into the topsiol and water table. They only added it as a gimmick to stop engine knocke back in the day.

Stuff was worse than chinese Xmas toys fer the env.
 
2008-01-25 01:39:31 PM  
Last time I went hiking in NH someone stole my Toyota truck and left the cat converter
 
2008-01-25 01:46:16 PM  
Aufdie: That way nobody can unbolt it and the gas tank will discourage people from taking a torch and cutting it off.


Problem is, crackheads are using these to take them off...

www.customtoolsupply.com
 
2008-01-25 01:48:41 PM  
Aufdie: If you pay anything over $300 for one of these things you are out of your mind. for $2,000 you could buy a whole new engine to go with your shiny new cat(dealerships sell mild steel cats that are not shiny and subject to rust.)


No dice. My Toyota's got some non-standard cat converter on it that two different mechanics called parts suppliers in multiple states looking for a replacement, and the cheapest one was $1400.

/died at 85,000 miles
//glad I don't have to pass emissions tests
 
2008-01-25 01:49:18 PM  
...buys catalytic converters by the truckload - but from reputable scrap yards

I call BS. There are no reputable scrap yards
 
2008-01-25 01:49:50 PM  
Perfect Converter Antitheft device:
www.bluepanic.jp
 
2008-01-25 01:53:21 PM  
EnderWiggnz:
if you have a performance car, you will need to pay through the nose to get it fixed right. like mine, a $650 monstrosity that only goes on my particular make/model/trim of car.

of course, the engine *does* have a supercharger on it, so it kindof needs the more efficient cat.

Humor me, what vehicle?
 
2008-01-25 01:54:30 PM  
See the hammer in the photo? I got one of them, and it costs about 60$ from Snap-On!
 
2008-01-25 01:55:30 PM  
AudieIf you don't have a warrenty any more you don't even need one anyway, replace it with a $.50 piece of tube if you don't care about the environment or a $50 piece of tube (replacement cat) if you do.

Tubing's great until your next re-registration smog inspection.
 
2008-01-25 01:55:42 PM  
Shoudl be easy to find the thieves - Look for someone who rented a space in a storage facility. Or, er, who WILL ret a space in a storage facility. Or who rented one a few weeks ago and.

What the hell DID the end of that movie mean, anyway?
 
2008-01-25 01:58:37 PM  
This has happened a couple times at the hospital my wife works at. all the cars were 4 runners, she has a jeep so I was kind of worried someone could get to hers but it hasent happened yet. and a tip for people who have shiatty exhaust systems and need to get emissions test done, if you buy a can of Dry Gas at any auto parts store and put it in your tank your car will pass emissions. I have done this 3 or 4 times and it has always worked. it wont mess up your engine and it cost about $4. emisssions test are a scam anyway, ive had newer cars fail and old falling apart cars pass. I think it all depends on how much money the state needs at any given time.
 
2008-01-25 02:38:38 PM  
Frizbone
Perfect Converter Anti-theft device:

FTFY
 
2008-01-25 02:45:56 PM  
I've gutted my Toyota truck converter and enlarged the filler neck on mine so that it runs good on regular gas so I am getting a kick out of these replies.

/over 7,000 gallons of leaded already burned through the engine.


Where are you getting leaded gas? It was banned under federal law in 1996, and was getting pretty rare before that. Or are you confusing "regular" with "leaded?" All legally sold gas has been unleaded since 1996, and most was for a decade or more before that. What's sold as "regular" at the pump is now commonly 87 octane unleaded, not the leaded regular of the 1970s.
 
2008-01-25 02:47:07 PM  
I have a Toyota Tacoma. Mine was ripped off on Tuesday night. Jerks!
 
2008-01-25 02:57:26 PM  
Hack Patooey: unchellmatt: Hack Patooey: "No no no, stealing cat converters. Do try and keep up..."

Cat Converter? It started out as LOL, then wanted a bucket?


I haz one of them. I hadz 5.

/Performance gains > all
 
2008-01-25 02:58:42 PM  
Frizbone

My GOD the camber is farked up on that vehicle

/hollow cats
//supercharged
///Supercoupe
 
2008-01-25 02:59:17 PM  
I point and laugh at you truck and SUV owners.

www.p0stwh0res.com


Get a car!
 
2008-01-25 03:02:25 PM  
My car doesn't even have a cat, the exhaust goes straight to the muffler and that's it.

//diesel FTW
 
2008-01-25 03:15:24 PM  
LaZBoy82-

You're just not real big on the whole 'leave the campsite cleaner than you found it' idea, are you?

I really wonder about so many of the 'just add this and it'll pass emissions' crowd. Do you even know that it won't pass, or is this some preemptive measure you've just settled on? What would it take to actually just fix it? How far off the standard was the car? Do you not get the idea that possibly better gas mileage and cleaner burning might be better for the car and the wallet?

I ran a shop and built drag engines for years, and so many people just don't get it.

 
2008-01-25 03:24:37 PM  
zzyzzx: I point and laugh at you truck and SUV owners.


Get a car!


Dang it, I hate being mocked and laughed at especially when Nelson graphics are involved. I will sell my Jeep and get me a Sentra as soon as possible. Thank you for putting me in my place internet stranger.
 
2008-01-25 03:30:44 PM  
Uhg, I've had bad luck with cats in my cars, but I tend to drive older cars. I'd just replaced the one in my last car before it got killed by someone turning left in front of me. As it turned out, though, the car I replaced it with had both the same engine and a bad cat. So I swapped them. Worked nicely and saved me some money.

That said, I'd love to see someone try to steal either of the cats on my current car. They're so well-entangled that they're hard to get out even when you want them out. If they had a sawzall, though, I suppose that wouldn't matter much...
 
2008-01-25 03:51:56 PM  
About a dozen or so years ago, my dad had the driveshaft stolen out from underneath his car while he was in a restaurant. He didn't realize what had happened until he had the car towed home and took a look underneath and... hey, something big was missing. It was at that moment that he remembered seeing a group of sketchy-looking folks hanging around the same model car a couple of doors down from the restaurant... guess they were just waiting for the right opportunity to pull into the parking lot.
 
2008-01-25 08:09:22 PM  
The used car lot where I work lost 20(20!) cats over the course of two nights, mostly Volvo XC90s and Grand Cherokees, but there were a couple Suburbans and MDXs that got hit too. Yeah, try selling a car without a cat, the customer REALLY likes the sound.

/Of course they never caught anyone
 
2008-01-25 10:45:09 PM  
Last Saturday about 20 cats were stolen from our scrap metal pile. They were still attached to the exhaust pipes, and "los thievos" just piled them into a pickup truck and drove off when they were spotted and nearly ran over a mechanic on their way out of our lot.


/works at a car dealership.
 
2008-01-25 11:10:14 PM  
Aufdie: Catalytic converters aren't very complicated it's just a catylist with some holes in it for your exhaust to pass through. car dealerhips will charge the prices quoted in the article but a good muffler shop wouldn't charge half that including install.

If you pay anything over $300 for one of these things you are out of your mind. for $2,000 you could buy a whole new engine to go with your shiny new cat(dealerships sell mild steel cats that are not shiny and subject to rust.)

Still these things do get stolen and anyone you bring it to is probably gonna have a laugh at your expense while they weld your new one on.

If you don't have a warrenty any more you don't even need one anyway, replace it with a $.50 piece of tube if you don't care about the environment or a $50 piece of tube (replacement cat) if you do.

If you really want to go all out and do this thing right get a stainless high performance one, and then have somebody talented tig weld it on right next to your gas tank. That way nobody can unbolt it and the gas tank will discourage people from taking a torch and cutting it off.

/catylitic converters get hot look for qualified people to install yours.
//if you ask somebody to tig weld your exhaust and they give you a confused look take your car someplace else


Haven't bought a replacement cat recently, have you? Platinum prices have spiked big time. The cheap- ass universal cats have also gone up in price- they're at $70 or more now, and going up again soon. Also, universal and most aftermarket cats have about 1/4 the catalyst of the factory models- this is why it's illegal to replace a cat with an aftermarket one unless there's actually something wrong with it. And Califonia doesn't allow typical aftermarket cats at all- the replacement unit must be as effective as the original... meaning it has to have as much catalyst. Also, if your car was manufactured after 1996, meaning it's subject to OBD-II diagnostics, many aftermarket cats will be flagged by the car's computer as ineffective after only a couple years of use. You DO get what you pay for. The dealership converters are so much more expensive because they are actually designed for the vehicle. Aftermarket cats are also notorious for increasing exhaust backpressure far more than the factory cat does- part of how they work with limited catalyst is they slow the exhaust flow down so the gases remain in contact with the catalyst longer

Most telling is this: the company I deal with on my spent/ damaged cats (I'm a mechanic, not a thief!) which is also one who buys only from reputable salvage yards and repair shops, will pay about $50 to $150 for factory cats... and $7 for an aftermarket cat. A factory cat can have upwards of $200 worth of platinum in it, an aftermarket cat has about $20 worth. There's a BIG difference.
 
2008-01-25 11:18:28 PM  
Oh, yeah... almost forgot. Your argument about "not needing them anyway because they're ONLY an emission control device: Hope you enjoy spending $2,000 on a valve job.

Why? Modern cars are designed with the idea that a cat is going to be there. In the 70s, cats really reduced power because they were bulky and inefficient, and the car's intake and fuel systems weren't designed for them. Nowadays, that's changed. And the EGR valve on many cars actually requires the backpressure to help them open- they're vacuum- assist, but it's the exhaust backpressure that really opens them. And the EGR valve serves 2 purposes- it reduces NOx emissions by lowering combustion chamber temperatures by as much as 2,000 degrees. And, it helps prevent the engine's exhaust valves from getting burned... by lowering combustion chamber temperatures. So... if you replace a cat with a "test pipe," not only are you subject to a $25,000 fine if the cops happen to notice that it's missing, not only are you doing serious harm to the air... you're also asking for fate to come anbd smack you in the face with a new engine. I once told a guy this, too... he came to me needing a valve job. I noticed that there was no converter. I told him that I'd need to replace it, and he said "No, I had it cut off 3 months ago because I wanted the performance increase." I asked him if there was much of one, to which he said "no, not really... but every little bit helps!" I then informed him of the REASON he needed a valve job, and that unless he had me install a cat, I would offer no warranty whatsoever on the valve job. He accepted that the itty bitty performance gain was NOT worth it.
 
2008-01-25 11:26:05 PM  
SnarfVader: Aufdie:
If you really want to go all out and do this thing right get a stainless high performance one, and then have somebody talented tig weld it on right next to your gas tank. That way nobody can unbolt it and the gas tank will discourage people from taking a torch and cutting it off.


Wow... you rally don't know much about cats, do you?

If you install it by your gas tank, it won't work. Catalytic converters need to get hot in order to do their jobs. And exhaust temperatures that are over 1,000 degrees up near the engine are only about 300 degrees by the gas tank. The cat will never get hot enough. This is why more and more carmakers are making them integral with the exhaust manifold- they get hotter faster, and therefore, work better. Also, during operation, the cat itself gets even hotter- it basically works by burning off unburned hydrocarbons. Catalytic converters can get as hot as 2,000 degrees. This is why they say you shouldn't park on tall grass. And I don't know about you, but I don't want an object whose job is to burn off hydrocarbons, and is at a temperature of 2,000 degrees anywhere NEAR my gas tank!
 
2008-01-25 11:42:19 PM  
relaxitsjustme: ...buys catalytic converters by the truckload - but from reputable scrap yards

I call BS. There are no reputable scrap yards


Sure there are- automotive salvage yards who buy almost strictly from insurance companies like the one I do technical advising for. The owner of this yard has been known to call police on anyone who tries to sell scrap (they don't buy scrap anyway) and doesn't seem legit. Like the guy in the rusted- out '86 chevy truck who had a set of brand- new appliances and looked like a meth head. Said that "he and his wife had just remodeled the kitchen and needed o gety rid of the "old" appliances. Turns out that he'd stolen them from a construction site.
 
2008-01-25 11:52:16 PM  
The cops here are not even permitted to enforce federal immigration laws against all of the illegal aliens roaming the streets here. How the hell will they enforce the fact that I removed my converter - especially when I tell them I in fact did it before November 15, 1990 (I did it on June 5,1984 - the day after taking delivery of the truck) and caused the introduction of gasoline containing lead or phosphorous into my vehicle. They will not do a roadside plombtestimo! It was not illegal for ME to remove it before that date (when it was still legal for vehicle owners to work on their own cars) and enforcing laws EX POST FACTO is illegal and UNCONSTITUTIONAL!! So I aint worried about it!!

BTW I have a very shiny, new, mint condition 1984 Toyota truck converter sitting "somewhere" in my garage...no rust AT ALL on it.
 
2008-01-26 02:02:54 AM  
And THIS is why Toyota having a stranglehold on their parts supply chain bites you, the driver, in the ass.

You know why no one is stealing them from the far more common Ford trucks and Jeeps? Because the converters on Fords and Jeeps are way cheaper to replace. Same goes for stealing my Volvo to break for parts. Volvo doesn't make half the car anyway (Bosch electrics, Aisin transmission, Dana axle, etc.), so parts are cheap if you know where to look. They'll just steal my neighbor's Honda instead, since it's a bit easier to steal and the parts are worth a hell of a lot more.

Henry Ford supposedly said that he'd give away cars for free if he could have a monopoly on spare parts. Some of the Japanese brands have the best of both worlds--you pay for the car and, other than maintenance or rebuildable replacement items (light bulbs, oil filters, alternators, etc.) they're the only source for *new* parts, and with no competition for new parts, used parts are worth more as well. You own the supplier, you control the price. Nice system.

/Volvo, Jeep and a 2-wheeled BMW
//Good thing no one steals BMW bikes' cats (yet?)
 
2008-01-26 05:54:27 PM  
I'd hardly say it's Toyota's fault that nobody makes OEM replacement parts. If you think finding parts for a jap car is tough try owning a VW or any other German brand.
 
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