Chevy Impala SS Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,628 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking to finally replace the factory original Cats on my car and wondered what brand people have went with. I'm running stock manifolds and I want a direct fit Cat. I know Magnaflow's are good quality but DAMN has the price went up since last year. By the way, I'm in california so they MUST be CARB approved.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,481 Posts
The $ for the C.A.R.B. OBD2 certification costs Magniflo big bucks....which is why the CA cats with those stampings cost.

FWIW I have had MagniFlo CATS for several years now. I put on 2 1/2" weld on ones

If you are going bolt on direct replacement they will be the 2 1/4" ones.

Since I have had my CATS put on, Emission laws changed not allowing anything other than stock size CAT...…

Whatever CAT you get, for a 96, you want CARB and OBD2 compliant for CA cars
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
976 Posts
I don't think you have any other options for '96, bolt in and CA legal?
If you had a pre obdii car those are actually reasonable $$
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
207 Posts
I'm looking to finally replace the factory original Cats on my car and wondered what brand people have went with. I'm running stock manifolds and I want a direct fit Cat. I know Magnaflow's are good quality but DAMN has the price went up since last year. By the way, I'm in california so they MUST be CARB approved.
I'm in CA too and I rolled the dice with Catco 9403/9404s. Bolted up with no issues, passed visual and sniffer without a second look. Saved about $400 over magnaflows. YMMV
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,481 Posts
IMHO, there is a very slim chance the smog shop will look at the CAT to see if it has a CARB #. You have the raise the car and get under it to read it...…but if you are forced to go to a referee he will absolutely look

If the CATS "look" to be in original position and the tail pipe passes the sniffer a smog shop should pass the car

Yeah the emission codes are written with strict language about CATS and shops are paranoid to install anything other than stock and charge $700-$900 to install "OBD2 CARB" CATS.....but they just capitalize on the language of the current emission laws. Shops are also scared a car could be a B.A.R. "sting" car where undercover BAR guy brings in a car that is rigged sometimes with kill switches' to disable a particular emission function that should show up as a fail either for visual or plug in test to see if the shop flags/denies test passing. I talked to a guy who runs a smog shop. He said smog shops are scared shiatless of getting hit by a sting car and not catching something on it as the fine is heavy and they can lose their license to operate as a test station

It is all BS as pollutants come from tail pipe...if sniffer shows the car passes those criteria...it should not matter wtf is on/off the motor....but I digress

Back when I bought my MagnaFlo's, at the muffler shop that welded them in, they were $250each installed vs about $100 for Catco...but the shop would not install non CARB compliant CATS

If you are buying the bolt in Catco's and self installing....very unlikely smog shop will ever get under the car to read the stamping. I have not been to a smog shop with a lift, just rollers...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,294 Posts
I'm looking to finally replace the factory original Cats on my car and wondered what brand people have went with. I'm running stock manifolds and I want a direct fit Cat. I know Magnaflow's are good quality but DAMN has the price went up since last year. By the way, I'm in california so they MUST be CARB approved.
https://www.summitracing.com/search/year/1995/make/chevrolet/model/impala/department/exhaust?SortBy=Default&SortOrder=Ascending&N=4294950084+4294951398+4294950042+4294948820+4294900407+400320

Made in U.S.A. and California legal.

KW
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,628 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I took a look at the Catco cats and the 9403 mentioned that it's NOT legal on 1996 California vehicles but no mention about that with the 9404.

The issue I would run into I'd that a company will not sell to a California address if it's not legal in that state. I would hate to "work around" the issue of buying and installing them only to have the smog shop look and fail me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,009 Posts
I took a look at the Catco cats and the 9403 mentioned that it's NOT legal on 1996 California vehicles but no mention about that with the 9404.

The issue I would run into I'd that a company will not sell to a California address if it's not legal in that state. I would hate to "work around" the issue of buying and installing them only to have the smog shop look and fail me.
Lots of cats shipped to Reno, Las Vegas, Yuma.................. well, you get the idea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
976 Posts
Get what you pay for imho...pretty sure catco is offshore and crimp bent pipes?
Magnaflow is spendy, but very well made, with excellent warranty.
CA cats have more material inside they work better and last longer.

In almost 20yrs never once have I had one of my vehicles tested where they didn't look for the CAT(s).
A few years back they made some changes to law and they check very closely past few years around here.

No lift is needed they use mirrors & cameras @ places I've had testing done.

As said they're paranoid about getting stung & fined, potentially loss of license and their livelihood over a $50 test?
They'd be idiots to let anything slide by.

YMMV but I wouldn't buy Catco(s) mainly because quality is likely lacking.
If mine I wouldn't replace them unless car failed or has codes stored.
Have always had good luck with weld in magnaflows.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,294 Posts
I took a look at the Catco cats and the 9403 mentioned that it's NOT legal on 1996 California vehicles but no mention about that with the 9404.

The issue I would run into I'd that a company will not sell to a California address if it's not legal in that state. I would hate to "work around" the issue of buying and installing them only to have the smog shop look and fail me.
They can look all they want. I'll guarantee that the tech won't know/see the difference between the Catcos and the OEMs.

.......YMMV but I wouldn't buy Catco(s) mainly because quality is likely lacking.....
Define this 'lacking quality'.

I had Catcos on my old 9C1 for 8 years before losing the car to a rear-ender from a crown vic.

Passed Georgia emissions with a stroked LT1 with those cats.

Catcos are good-to-go....based on my direct experience. So yes.....MMDV. :rolleyes:

KW
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
976 Posts
Bought one for a taurus we had, poorly made, didn't fit well.
Had to be modified or it would have torn into CV boot.
It was cheap and it showed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
I just recently went through this here in CA. Back in 2006 when my 96 had about 50k miles I replaced the OEM cats with Catco cats mainly just to save the OEM's for a later date. In 2006 the CA laws were not as strict so I was able to order the non CA compliant Catco cats from Summit Racing.

Fast forward to now the Catco's were totally garbage with the catalysts inside falling apart and rattling inside the cases. I was surprised they were junk after only 50k miles of use, but as others have said they are poorly made. Btw, the Catco's look nothing like the OEM cats, so don't assume the smog techs won't notice the difference. Luckily I still had the OEM cats, so I threw them on with 4 new Denso 02's, new Autolite iridium plugs and Summit Racing plug wires. My 96 which now has 102k miles passed with readings that were similar to when it was new.

If I would have needed new cats the best option to save $ would be to buy some universal "weld in" CA approved Magnaflows. Just cut out the bad cats and weld in the new ones. Now you'll have new CA approved cats with the correct CARB stamp on them plus they'll be in the stock location using the factory tubing.

Steve
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,294 Posts
......Btw, the Catco's look nothing like the OEM cats, so don't assume the smog techs won't notice the difference.....
You used the same direct replacement cats I listed above in Post #6?

KW
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
......Btw, the Catco's look nothing like the OEM cats, so don't assume the smog techs won't notice the difference.....
You used the same direct replacement cats I listed above in Post #6?

KW
I think so, here's a pic of the cats I took off recently. The OEM's were shorter, wider, dark titanuim color, didn't have heat shields and didn't have the 02's installed on the cat body.

Steve
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,481 Posts
IIRC, in CA a CAT must be within 3" of its stock location. Weld in is fine as long as it has a CARB# and for 96 (OBD2) the CAT needs that stamped on it and has to be the same diameter pipe as stock (2 1/4")

Back when I bought the MagnaFlo replacements I got the 2 1/2" ones (LT1 Vette cars) which was before the current code change.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
I also live in Cali & I just put in Walker cats on my 96 SS $300 each installed. I did it because cel was on but I don't have 2 smog it untill October.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Replacement Cats

I put Walker cats on my 1996 SS. I do not know if they meet CARB standards, but they bolted on just fine and dandy.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,294 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,628 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Well I finally decided to bite the bullet this morning, I ordered up a set of Magnaflow CAT 448184 and 448185 and also 4 new AC Delco AFS75 02 sensors. I found a place that offered 20% off on the CATS and no sales tax and free shipping.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,628 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
New Cat's arrived today as well as my new 02 sensors. I'm going to my buddy's shop Monday morning to install them. Going to swap out the driver side exhaust manifold also since I know the gasket has failed and I picked up a spare set of manifolds and resurfaced them already so it's just a quick swap. Going to also replace the knock sensor pigtail since I seen the insulation is completely gone from the wire due to heat from the last 23 years.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top