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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well guys and gals, It's time to replace my catalytic converter. Everyonce in a while the engine light comes on for awhile and goes back off in a week and the power is sluggish even though I have a 2 inch pipe going into a backward glass pack. The dealer coded it and told me it was the cat. So before my plunk down my $800, I would like to know if there are any other options out there that A:won't confuse the computer and B: won't violate air quality restrictions, here in North Carolina.

-It's good to drive NIIICE!
 

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$800 would be a great deal :!: I paid nearly $1200 and have seen others on here post that they paid a lot more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
$800

Still, If there's something better out there, I'd rather get that.
 

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Nothing better than the ‘deal’ you are getting. Shut up, pay the money and smile (fake the smile if you have to). With the miles you have, you’re ahead of the game. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Pay the money....

OK so I take it that's mo to any higher formance versions. Oh well :D
 

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I think the others are just happy that you can get the replacement of the
OEM cats at such an good price. Since you have the glasspack (perhaps
the JackMPG mod), this is a performance question while still considering
the emissions standards. I have been reading these posts for a while now
and have not heard of anyone using non OEM cat(s). You would be the
first to try. [mod edit]

JoeCVT - Just your average CVT owner
 

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Given the very low production numbers of the Insight its unlikely and aftermarket CAT company will offer replacement CATs. However, I believe that some will reman a core you send. Expect several days down time. And from my expereince don't expect such a CAT to last much longer than the warranty provided. :|

Yah, the cost is usually much lower, but that's because not as much of the good stuff is put in there (gold and palladium (another rare earth metal comperable in price to gold) etc). So the _actual_ cost per mile may not yield any savings. You'll have to do the math based on cost and decide for yourself. ;)

A P0420 occurs when the secondary O2 sensor essentially "wakes-up" and begins to give readings similar to the primary sensor. This means that the CAT is no longer "scrubbing" the exhaust and a code is set. Yes, a restricted CAT may also code but as Dan pointed out its NOT the primary complaint. ;) And its an unusual mode of failure in most makes and models.

You should verify that this was the actual failure on removal (visibly clogged) AND determine the cause. Commonly its a misfire condition causing a CAT overheat and a subsequent melt down. Else your replacement CAT _will_ suffer the same fate. $$$$ :shock: ;) But anything causing incomplete combustion will also take its toll e.g. a bad _primary_ O2 sensor.

It's been quite a few years since I've done any quality reading on OBDII, their associated monitors and responses. It may be that when a P0420 is detected OBDII requires a reduction in power to help reduce emissions AND otherwise "protect" super heating CAT (they'll glow bright red) and a possible consequental FIRE :!:

Laws governing what type of replacement is required vary from state to state and possibly locality (EPA non attainment zones). Any local repair shop should know or where to find out before beginning the job.

HTH! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
clogged

It does feel sluggish. Sometimes more than others. The plugs and filter are good. Also, I replaced the IMA modules myself and that helped a lot, but not all of it. The engine light stays off for weeks and may come back on for a day or so before going out again.
 

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Re: clogged

dfiore said:
Also, I replaced the IMA modules myself and that helped a lot, but not all of it.
Given that the IMA modules only govern the electric portion (IMA) of the Insight its still very blurry in my mind how such a failure internal to these controllers could have gained the improvement you describe.

But the bottom line is that it seems to have helped. :)
 

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There are high-flow low-restriction after-market cats for performance cars that need to pass emissions tests. They are just "bare" cats, no pipes and flangs before and after. Welding required. But I'm sure that no one has put one on an Insight before. So if you want to do it, you'll have to do the research and fabing yourself.

IMHO, Great MPG means less gas flow which means less air flow which means small exhaust pipes and cats are not restricting engine performance, especially during cruise. Any advantage will only be seen at full throttle and high rpms. Do you plan on regularly drag racing your Insight?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Given that the IMA modules only govern the electric portion (IMA) of the Insight its still very blurry in my mind how such a failure internal to these controllers could have gained the improvement you describe.
The noticeable part is that I can feel the hybrid kick in now, whereas, before, you would feel anything. Every little bit helps.

dragracing
No but I do like to get it up to speed and then cruise lightly, sometimes.
 

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Thats not exactly how it works. Depending on whether the engine has variable valve timing or not, larger exauhst may hurt low rpm efficiency. If it does have variable valve timing that shouldn't be an issue however, and less restriction to flow should improve mileage, though perhaps only when driving fast.

Many aftermarket exauhst are also lighter, though in the case of the insight it may be impossible to make it much lighter


flunkysama said:
IMHO, Great MPG means less gas flow which means less air flow which means small exhaust pipes and cats are not restricting engine performance, especially during cruise. Any advantage will only be seen at full throttle and high rpms. Do you plan on regularly drag racing your Insight?
 

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Might be worth calling these guys:
http://www.car-sound.com/02product/universal/430info.asp
Magnaflow does not list Insight, but does offer CA legal ODBII replacement cats. They also make a point of saying that Honda is on the hook until 8 years or 80,000mi. They might have a cat that could be made to work in the Insight, 12,000 US Insights isn't a bad market especially as many of the cars are reaching cat replacement age.

-John
 

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ElectricTroy said:
Is it the high NOx content of the insight's lean-burn?
I believe so along with the constant alternating between rich, normal and lean mixtures.

JoeCVT - Just your average CVT owner
 

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NOx will have little or no degradation effect.

Primairly its the sulphur content of the fuel. Sulphur being a metal won't catalyze and when some of it "sticks" to the converters reactive surface it effectively smothers it.

Its been discussed at length in the past. Use the forum search feature if your interested.
 

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Insightful Trekker said:
Primairly its the sulphur content of the fuel. Sulphur being a metal won't catalyze and when some of it "sticks" to the converters reactive surface it effectively smothers it.
(1) I have heard (don't know if it's true) that a catalyst can be "unclogged" if you use clean gasoline. The sulphur gradually "unbinds" from the metal and gets expelled through the exhaust.


(2) I drove my previous car, a 90 Dodge Shadow, 340000 miles on the original catalyst. Even after all that time the car still passed Maryland emissions with flying colors.

Maybe the driving style (all highway) does not clog-up the catalyst as badly as lots of stop'n'go driving?
 

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Sulphur is a Chalcogen

Insightful Trekker said:
Sulphur being a metal...
Sorry Insightful had to pick you up on this...

Sulphur is not a metal, it is in the same periodic table group as oxygen (Chalcogens). Link below... All the metals are in blue...

http://www.webelements.com/

Oxygen 8, Sulphur 16 both in group 16... When these two mix to form SO2. this is a co-valent bond (sharing electrons) verses a metal ionic bond where electrons are swapped...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulfur_dioxide

Hope that helps...
 

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:oops: Your correct. :) I knew I had a lot of college chemistry to review for an accurate answer.

But its all academic. And google is your friend.

IIRC a sulphur poisoned CAT will not recover simply by reducing the sulphur content of the fuel. Interested in the chemical formula for the CAT reduction reactions :?: Did I say google was your friend :?:

Most pre 96 cars (and all pre 95) do not have on board CAT performance monitoring. Of the few states I've read about their emission testing none also did a CAT performance test on the older models.

HTH! :)
 
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