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Old 09-16-2011, 08:04 AM   #1
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p0420 (Cats are bad)

It smells like bad cats to me. I keep getting this code about every 50-75miles. It doesnt bother me that much but the fact that bothers me is that my truck is only getting 200 miles on a tank of gas! How can this be!?!?!? I need help guys on troubleshooting this. I was going to have the 1st cat removed and just run cat #2 or run the magnaflow cat but will a CEL still come on? If there is another idea please let me know.
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Old 09-16-2011, 09:48 AM   #2
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A high flow cat like the magnaflow may trip the CEL, and throw the same code due to the increased flow through the cat. But it wont affect mileage or performance.

If I were you I would delete the first cat, put in a high flow unit like the magnaflow in place of the 2nd cat, and if you get the CEL get a URD o2 sim. Or if it doesn't bother you, just ignore the CEL.

I put in a cat co. high flow cat and got the p0420 code. But when I changed my cracked manifold to an LCE unit...it went away and hasn't come back on in 500 miles...I also had to move the cat about 6 inches closer to the motor (and farther away from the O2 sensor) to install the LCE header, so Idk if that had anything to do w/ the code not coming back.

really nice looking truck btw....nice and clean. Love the rims too.
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Old 09-16-2011, 11:08 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TacoMX View Post
A high flow cat like the magnaflow may trip the CEL, and throw the same code due to the increased flow through the cat. But it wont affect mileage or performance.

If I were you I would delete the first cat, put in a high flow unit like the magnaflow in place of the 2nd cat, and if you get the CEL get a URD o2 sim. Or if it doesn't bother you, just ignore the CEL.

I put in a cat co. high flow cat and got the p0420 code. But when I changed my cracked manifold to an LCE unit...it went away and hasn't come back on in 500 miles...I also had to move the cat about 6 inches closer to the motor (and farther away from the O2 sensor) to install the LCE header, so Idk if that had anything to do w/ the code not coming back.

really nice looking truck btw....nice and clean. Love the rims too.
Can you show me pics possibly? the 1st cat has a bend to it so should i just gut it? And it also depends if the 2nd cat is bad or not. Its just shitty im only getting 15mpg. And about the cracked manifold how do I know if mines cracked?

Oh and thank you for the comment Here's a more recent pic of it with the rims painted black.
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Old 09-16-2011, 12:48 PM   #4
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check to see if its cracked. that sucks on shitty mpg. i used to get 19.5mpg with cracked head,bent intake valve cylinder 2, and 53psi in cylinder 2...
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Old 09-16-2011, 01:04 PM   #5
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or

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Old 09-16-2011, 02:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SRQ TACO View Post
Can you show me pics possibly? the 1st cat has a bend to it so should i just gut it? And it also depends if the 2nd cat is bad or not. Its just shitty im only getting 15mpg. And about the cracked manifold how do I know if mines cracked?

Oh and thank you for the comment Here's a more recent pic of it with the rims painted black.
I have a 97, so mine only had one cat to begin with. I dont know what the two cat setup looks like but I can imagine an exhaust shop could do welding and fab to delete it. But gutting the first cat would accomplish the same thing. I have heard of lots of newer 1st gen guys that have deleted the 1st cat. Two cats is really unnecessary....IMO..

And if your manifold is cracked you would hear it. It makes a steady ticking sound increasing under load coming from under the hood. I always though it was a normal tick b/c these little four cyl's are noisy. But one day I was running seafoam though a vacuum line I noticed smoke coming from under the manifold...was cracked in 3 different placed... Needless to say the ticking wasn't normal...lol
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Old 09-16-2011, 11:22 PM   #7
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Is it a 2.4? There are a few things you would check if you were going to go about diagnosing this type of code. First thing, and you may not have the scanner to do this, but you would want to watch the front and rear o2 sensor to see if they are switching properly. If so, you want to make sure there aren't any vacuum leaks or major exhaust leaks. If there aren't, on the 2.4 with 2 converters, I would pull them off and inspect them. Its possible one is clogged or melted inside, probably the front one. Also, before you pull the cat off, is the truck properly tuned up (plugs and ignition good)? If it's misfiring it may not light the cat off and will definately eventually damage the cat. If you've got a 2.4 L engine, 15 mpg is really bad. My 01 gets 22-23 mpg with headers, muffler, intake and underdrive pulley. Something is seriously wrong.
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Old 09-17-2011, 08:39 AM   #9
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another simple way to tell is to start the truck at night an let it get to operating temp, usually if the cat(s) is/are bad it will glow red-hot.
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Old 09-17-2011, 11:11 AM   #10
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Hmm, get under the truck and bang on the converters with a rubber mallet. If its rattling due to a converter come apart internally you'll be able to hear it rattle when you bang on it.
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Old 09-21-2011, 04:49 PM   #11
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So the front cat was completely clogges so I gutted the front cat. The rear one was fine so I left it be. I also installed a Dynomax Super Turbo muffler and it sounds great. And I put in new Denso platinum tip spark plugs. I can definitely feel my power gaining again. My last tank of gas I got 250miles out of instead of 190. I have a new problem though but I am going to address it in a new thread.
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Old 09-21-2011, 06:02 PM   #12
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glad to see you saw an improvement!!

You should take a video/sound clip of the exhaust tone and post it.
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