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Catalytic converter sources?

Posted by Dave_G 
February 09, 2009 09:53PM
I've just discovered that an exhaust leak that has recently gotten very loud is coming from the front pipe before the catalytic converter. It was patched by previous owners, and is now to the point that it needs replacement.

As anyone who has shopped for an E30 catalytic converter knows, these things are really pricey. Most of the usual online sources either don't carry them or are out of stock. I have found two places (BAVauto and BMP) that have them in stock, for about $590. I have also looked at Pelican, Elephant Motorsports, AutohausAZ, Turner Motorsports, and bimmerparts.com, all with no luck.

Does anyone have any other suggestions on where to look for one of these? Or maybe some cheaper option that I'm missing?

Just to add insult to injury, I also need a new muffler. I'm not getting out of this cheap. :crying:

__________
Dave
'91 325iX
February 10, 2009 02:52AM
Quote
Dave_G
I've just discovered that an exhaust leak that has recently gotten very loud is coming from the front pipe before the catalytic converter. It was patched by previous owners, and is now to the point that it needs replacement.

As anyone who has shopped for an E30 catalytic converter knows, these things are really pricey. Most of the usual online sources either don't carry them or are out of stock. I have found two places (BAVauto and BMP) that have them in stock, for about $590. I have also looked at Pelican, Elephant Motorsports, AutohausAZ, Turner Motorsports, and bimmerparts.com, all with no luck.

Does anyone have any other suggestions on where to look for one of these? Or maybe some cheaper option that I'm missing?

Just to add insult to injury, I also need a new muffler. I'm not getting out of this cheap. :crying:

it will be significantly cheaper and easier to get a universal replacement cat from a reputable muffler shop. probably around $200 installed (based on experience). and OE mufflers arent that expensive, about $150 (also my experience).

i don't really see much of a reason to get the official OE cat unless there is something i am missing.


February 10, 2009 09:52AM
You might be able to get a whole exhaust from a junk yard or off a parts car. My experience is that if rust has gotten to the converter and muffler, you probably also have cancer in the y pipe and attachment parts too. That can only be fixed or fabricated on sight so unless you are willing to pay big bucks for replacement parts from bav auto, you should just go to a good muffler shop and get it fixed. Where I live our cars do not need to pass an emission test so when I had to address the same situation I asked if they could just eliminate the cat. The guy said he could not because of certain laws, but if I had a friend with a welder I would have cut the thing out and been on my way. I believe that all the euro models did not come with a cat anyway. Hope you are able to get her fixed!
February 10, 2009 10:26AM
Actually, the cat is the one piece that's still good. The Y pipe just downstream of the cat has rotted out, and both pipes upstream of the cat have holes too, and have been welded previously. It just looks bad enough that I think replacement is a better long term solution than more patching.

I have a lead on a used one that I'm following up on. I'm a little leery of used exhaust parts, but if it's in good enough shape I might give it a try.

__________
Dave
'91 325iX
rkj
February 10, 2009 11:28AM
Hey Dave, I just did this on mine (1988 325is) when I put my new driveshaft in there. My last converter came from BAV for my 325es and fit very well, that was a good 10 years ago, the one I just got for the newer car fit awful and had to be bent into shape. The rear section was also a bad fit; especially where they join in the middle, the flare shaped center end were too large for the one sealing ring (steel)and I wound up, after many try's, wrapping the dam steel ring in heavy tin foil (many layers) to make it bigger and it sealed like a charm. After four month's its still holding so we'll just see...

Both systems were OEM style systems.

I'm sure the exhaust I just got was not by the same people who made the earlier one, I'm sure BAV looks constantly for the best pipe jobber to buy from but these last pipes were terrible. I realize I could have just gotten a bad one but boy, what a nightmare!

That said I still wouldn't go with anything but new pipe's, its a lot of work and that job, using old stuff is just foolhardy.
March 01, 2009 01:19AM
Quote
Dave_G
I've just discovered that an exhaust leak that has recently gotten very loud is coming from the front pipe before the catalytic converter. It was patched by previous owners, and is now to the point that it needs replacement.
:crying:

Hi Dave,

This may not help you. Here in CA we have no end of exhaust "situations." At any rate, when my old mechs replaced the CC, they installed a slightly larger than normal version. Apparently, is should last longer. It does protrude a little lower below than the standard version, but I only drive on paved roads.

Best, Kelly
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