Catalytic converter - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-17-2019, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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Catalytic converter

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.

1996 DGGM Impala SS
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-17-2019, 11:18 PM
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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

\'96 BBB 383/T-56
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 01:48 AM
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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 $$
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by 4x4high View Post
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

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 12:47 PM
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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...

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by 4x4high View Post
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/...00407%2B400320

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

KW

1996 BBB SS, 398ci Solid Roller LT4, TorqHead 24x Conversion


1995 DCM SS, LS3, V-max 90mm TB, Lingenfelter GT1-1 cam, Headman 1 7/8 LT Headers, 2 1/2" cat-back, 3200 Circle-D TC, 3.73 gears -- 493HP/434TQ @ the wheels (Daily Driver)


2014 Chevy SS; Low Lash Solid Roller 429ci LS3 -- 548HP/464TQ @ the wheels....

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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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.

1996 DGGM Impala SS
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 02:15 PM
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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.

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 03:09 PM
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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.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
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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.

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Originally Posted by babywag View Post
.......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.

KW
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1996 BBB SS, 398ci Solid Roller LT4, TorqHead 24x Conversion


1995 DCM SS, LS3, V-max 90mm TB, Lingenfelter GT1-1 cam, Headman 1 7/8 LT Headers, 2 1/2" cat-back, 3200 Circle-D TC, 3.73 gears -- 493HP/434TQ @ the wheels (Daily Driver)


2014 Chevy SS; Low Lash Solid Roller 429ci LS3 -- 548HP/464TQ @ the wheels....


Last edited by KW Baraka; 03-18-2019 at 08:26 PM.
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