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Discussion Starter #1
hi,
the cats on my 1997 e420 are going bad. theyve been rattling on and off for the past year and a half AT LEAST and now they sound like theyre completely shattered inside, like theres just sand inside haha. when i took my car to an exhaust shop they told me that my entire left side is pretty much busted and the right back cat is also bad. i mentioned to the guy shop that im looking to put in some aftermarket weld-on cats, like the ones magnaflow makes but he told me they wouldnt fit my car and i would have to go with the direct fit (bolted on) ones and it will cost more... i have a feeling hes lying.. what do you guys think? bdw has anyone welded in any magnaflow cats or any other manufacturers into their benz? are the ones in the front different from the ones in the back? can anyone help me find some cheap ones that are approved for california?

thanks guys!!
matt
 

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well, you are in CA, which means its illegal to install aftermarket cats, to the best of my knowledge. but to answer your other question, I have installed Dynatech metal cats to one of my cars a long time ago, '95 C280, and I was very pleased with the added power and a bit deeper sound.
 

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2001 E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash: 107,000+
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I seem to remember reading that Magnaflow was working on CA compliant cats. I'd call them to see if those are now available. Also check the sticys here (top of page) because there is a lot of info on cats in there. Look in the one that mentions exhaust, 4th one down.
 

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He's not lying in the sense that it does not meet CARB guidelines and it's unlawful for him to install them and for you to have them on the car. There are some less-reputable shops that will install them, but you'd have to work to find them. It's not like they'll tell you that on the phone.

That said, are you sure it's the rear ones that are bad? The front ones can also fail, and if you have to replace all four, it's cheaper to just buy the direct-fit ones anyway due to the additional labor.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
well i found something like this on ebay: Magnaflow Cat Catalytic Converter CARB 36004 BMW 740I - eBay (item 280472166563 end time Nov-26-10 03:11:29 PST) and it says it can fit and its also legal to use this one in california because its CARB approved. i have a welding machine so i can do this myself. what im trying to find out is:
- are all 4 cats the same or are the front ones different from the back ones.
- i know i have to cut the old ones out with a grinder and weld these in but will they fit? the guy at the shop told me that those universal (sorry about the last post, i said aftermarket instead of universal :p) ones are a different shape or something and since the back ones are right next to each other there isnt enough room... i find this hard to believe thats why im asking here.
- does anyone know of any other manufacturers that make california-legal weld-in cats?

i know the left back cat is completely shattered and the right one used to rattle but doesnt anymore. i guess its just a matter of time until it starts again. the o2 sensors didnt go off yet so the front ones are still functional but rattle a little bit too. since i have to replace one for sure i might as well replace all of them because they will probably go out completely soon.

about direct fitted ones: too expensive for me. id rather pay $600 for 4 weld-ins instead of $1000 for some bottom shelf direct fit cats.

thanks for the input guys!! i will go read those stickies now!!
matt
 

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I'm in the process of doing my exhaust on my 55...I know the rules are different here but some things are the same..as long as you get cats that are the right size they will fit!...At the moment I'm torn between a few different ones..I'll post some links.....if you can find cats that fit and are legal where you are then buy them and weld them in.....Get metal substrate stainless steel ones.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm in the process of doing my exhaust on my 55...I know the rules are different here but some things are the same..as long as you get cats that are the right size they will fit!...At the moment I'm torn between a few different ones..I'll post some links.....if you can find cats that fit and are legal where you are then buy them and weld them in.....Get metal substrate stainless steel ones.
alright so my understanding is that the only thing that has to be the right size is the diameter of the inlet/outlet of the cat. the body of the cat wont matter as long as the manufacturer says it will fit my car right?

thanks
matt
 

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alright so my understanding is that the only thing that has to be the right size is the diameter of the inlet/outlet of the cat. the body of the cat wont matter as long as the manufacturer says it will fit my car right?

thanks
matt
Yes,check e-bay under "metallic cats" and you will see all shapes and sizes.Measure the body of your cats....I'm going for a 4" round.
 

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2001 SLK 320(217K Miles), 2002 E320 Special Edition(183K Miles)
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He's not lying in the sense that it does not meet CARB guidelines and it's unlawful for him to install them and for you to have them on the car. There are some less-reputable shops that will install them, but you'd have to work to find them. It's not like they'll tell you that on the phone.
The internet dealers will not even ship non-CARB cats to California. They all explicitly state it on their web pages.

So the poster will have to find someone willing to ship, or drive out of state to buy it.
 

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the magnaflow cats will fit...i got mine welded on for very cheap and they been holding up for almost 8 months i wanna say....and it only cost me like 70$ with shipping i believe to get it..(only needed one)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
the magnaflow cats will fit...i got mine welded on for very cheap and they been holding up for almost 8 months i wanna say....and it only cost me like 70$ with shipping i believe to get it..(only needed one)
thanks thats what i wanted to hear. i live in california so i cant have the $70 ones because they arent "CARB" approved. the only magnaflow cats that i can get are $150+ but i just found some cheap cats at pep boys made by "walker." i think all 4 will cost me $400-ish :). i might post some pics when i weld them in.

thanks for help everyone!
matt
 

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Discussion Starter #14
hey guys i know this thread is getting pretty old but my Walker cats just came in mail and im gonna weld them in in the next couple of weeks. man it was really tough gettin those... thats why it took me so long. i just have 1 question: does it matter which way i weld them in (is there front and back or anything)? on the outside of each one there is a double arrow pointing in both directions. i will upload some pics of them within a couple of days to show you guys. i will also try to take some pics of them welded in with the car lifted up.

matt
 
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