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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1996 impala w/ 104,xxx miles...msd opti spark and flow masters only mods i have done. New spark plugs and wires and recently (this year) changed one o2 sensor.

Check engine light is on and i passed/failed my emmisons test earlier this month. I passed failed because i fixed everything that was wrong the first time i failed and right before i took it back my cel came on (they said it was my cats). They passed me because i spent well over the required amount to get a waiver, but i want to get the cel off, it is a huge eye sore and i cant stand it...lol

The mechanic jus checked it and said that my driver side is 200 degress hotter than my passenger side and qouted me a price of $900 (baltimore county, md) cash out the door for two cats and install. Is this a good price?

Also if i wanted to buy some cats and get some one too install them what brand do you suggest? I came a cross a website (racepages.com) and they had alot of diff brands...Eastern, Walker, Bosal, catco, Magna flow and benchmark. All seemed to be priced in the same general area and i didnt know what the diff..

I really jus want my cel light off and the car to be running right, i appreciate all comments and suggestions. (I searched the forum and didnt get any real concrete answers, or didnt understand what was being said.)
 

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$900 for installing cats? WTF. that is too much. you can get a whole exhaust system for less than that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
$900 for installing cats? WTF. that is too much. you can get a whole exhaust system for less than that.

Thats what i was thinking as i was doing my research online....he said 450 installed per cat, and i know there is no point in getting one done and not the other.....i already told my wife that i am prolly gonna spend 600-1000$$, so she wouldnt be surprised, plus the cats on her old car (Toyota corolla- California exhaust) ran bout a grand, so she had that number in her head...

if i was to get a whole new exhaust would u recommend a certain brand or series?

and bout how much do mechanics charge to install a new exhaust around your way?


thanks for responding..
 

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They are headers and catalytic converters.

They allow your engine to get rid of exhaust gasses faster then it does now.

It solves your issue and gives you some performance gain.

Win/Win. $1139.
 

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Thats what i was thinking as i was doing my research online....he said 450 installed per cat, and i know there is no point in getting one done and not the other.....i already told my wife that i am prolly gonna spend 600-1000$$, so she wouldnt be surprised, plus the cats on her old car (Toyota corolla- California exhaust) ran bout a grand, so she had that number in her head...

if i was to get a whole new exhaust would u recommend a certain brand or series?

and bout how much do mechanics charge to install a new exhaust around your way?


thanks for responding..
exhaust brand for the money is dynomax, frankenstein system (pieced together), or the pypes systems. right now with the sale going on you can get a dynomax system for around 400 bucks shipped (streetsideauto.com sells it for 529 and offers 35 off and free shipping and then dynomax if offering 75 rebate). if you trying to stay close to 1000 thats gonna be hard to do if you plan on going with the tri y headers. you will waste your money with anything else like shorties and such because they offer absolutely NO performance gain whatsoever. if you go with the dynomax system and gen I tri y you should be around 13-1400 bucks...but it will be WELL worth the money. as far as mechanic charge, buy yourself some beer and get to work. if you can change oil, you can install headers and exhaust system. if you take it to a shop i imagine it would probably run about 500 installed...thats a guess. i really dont know because i do all my own work. YOU CAN DO THE EXHAUST SYSTEM.
 

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maybe find someone selling some low mileage factory cats and you can install youself very easy they bolt in, lots of ppl dont have emissions i shipped mine to someone in cali for 150 they had 67k
just an option and then get a cat back exhaust well under 1000 dollars
 

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If you decide to stay stock, you can pick up both direct fit converters for less than 400 from www.rockauto.com

There should be a discount code in the Misc section for an extra 5% off, a shop should not charge more than an hour labor to install both converters ($75-100)


Stay away from magnaflow direct fit converters, they dont have the extra O2 bungs for the 1996 cars. That was the case 3 years ago, not sure if they corrected that.
 

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or you can buy two universal cats for 90 bucks a piece from summit, jegs, autozobe, etc and go to a honest exhaust shop and get then put on for 150 bucks, I just installed cats and some minor exhaust work for 190 total including cats.
 

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Also if i wanted to buy some cats and get some one too install them what brand do you suggest?

I really jus want my cel light off and the car to be running right, i appreciate all comments and suggestions. (I searched the forum and didnt get any real concrete answers, or didnt understand what was being said.)
You can buy any universal fit CAT the size you need and have a muffler shop weld them in. I had to get OBD2 CARB certified ones for smog in Calif so they were $200 per (MagnaFlo) and $20 per side to get them welded in (YMMV) at a local muffler shop. I have headers so stock bolt on CAT replacements won't work. I went with 2 1/2" in/out CATS

You can also buy a bolt in CAT replacement if you still have stock exhaust manifolds and do it yourself

The $900 is WAY high so shop elsewhere.

Dan's headers and exhaust noted on this thread are solid product's.

pic of my welded in CAT on PS
 

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replacing stock cats is as simple as unbolting 5 bolts, 45 minutes.
 

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the best exhaust system out there would be the Borla exhaust system but it is also the most expensive at $850. its completly stainless steel but does not include cats. add about another $200 for the cats and you are set. it comes out to alittle over $1k all together but if you were willing to spend $900 on just two cats then you can spend alittle more for the most bad ass exhaust system on the market. and it will be the last exhaust sytem you will ever buy because it will never rust and it comes with a million mile warranty.
 

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everyone is trying to sway this guy into spending big money.
 

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everyone is trying to sway this guy into spending big money.
no im just saying what he could buy with the $900 instead of just 2 cats. and he asked what exhaust systems there were out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You can buy any universal fit CAT the size you need and have a muffler shop weld them in. I had to get OBD2 CARB certified ones for smog in Calif so they were $200 per (MagnaFlo) and $20 per side to get them welded in (YMMV) at a local muffler shop. I have headers so stock bolt on CAT replacements won't work. I went with 2 1/2" in/out CATS

You can also buy a bolt in CAT replacement if you still have stock exhaust manifolds and do it yourself

The $900 is WAY high so shop elsewhere.

Dan's headers and exhaust noted on this thread are solid product's.

pic of my welded in CAT on PS
So the universal cats would work and would not keep my cel on?

the best exhaust system out there would be the Borla exhaust system but it is also the most expensive at $850. its completly stainless steel but does not include cats. add about another $200 for the cats and you are set. it comes out to alittle over $1k all together but if you were willing to spend $900 on just two cats then you can spend alittle more for the most bad ass exhaust system on the market. and it will be the last exhaust sytem you will ever buy because it will never rust and it comes with a million mile warranty.
Would i be able to buy the Borla system with the cats already inplace or do i have to buy them from somewhere else, and is it a bolt on system? sorry if thats a dumb question but im jus now learning about the exhaust system and would like to do it one time the right way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You can buy any universal fit CAT the size you need and have a muffler shop weld them in. I had to get OBD2 CARB certified ones for smog in Calif so they were $200 per (MagnaFlo) and $20 per side to get them welded in (YMMV) at a local muffler shop. I have headers so stock bolt on CAT replacements won't work. I went with 2 1/2" in/out CATS

You can also buy a bolt in CAT replacement if you still have stock exhaust manifolds and do it yourself

The $900 is WAY high so shop elsewhere.

Dan's headers and exhaust noted on this thread are solid product's.

pic of my welded in CAT on PS
Thanks for the info, i am still researching to figure out which route i should go, and yeah i still have stock manifolds.
 

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I see, but the problem is i have no lift and i def would not use my jack to put on the cats.
Do you have Jackstands? I use them all the time for my car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
They are headers and catalytic converters.

They allow your engine to get rid of exhaust gasses faster then it does now.

It solves your issue and gives you some performance gain.

Win/Win. $1139.

So what is the difference in this system and the Borla system? Once again sorry if this is a dumb question.
 
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