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Discussion Starter #1
I replaced the passenger side catalytic converter at 202k after it broke down completely inside and was blocking airflow. The cylinders on that side weren't firing because of it so it had to be replaced. It has failed 6 times through it's life, one while I owned it. The first time was in 09 at 85K miles. They were the stock cats(or OE toyota's, no records of replacement on it) I put a CARB approved replacement from Magnaflow on it because in theory better materials might last longer or last at all?
It took a while to get to that point where I replaced the passenger side and by 212k after all the driving with a CEL and extra fuel being put in from the p0421 code the driver side catalytic converter went bad. I replaced it with a Magnaflow converter, but not a carb rated one because I could not spend the extra money.

To fix the issues that I believe caused them to go bad I replaced the spark plugs and coils, cam sensor and pcv valve and put new exhaust manifolds on, they were leaking.
The issues also originated from it being a emergency vehicle for a big part of its life, I can only assume it spent a lot of time idling, it also probably got driven hard and not treated the best.

I am now at 233k miles and the driver side(non carb) has gone bad again. No luck on the warranty because of some technical "this paper wasn't submitted" even though nowhere did it say it needed to be, seems to be a very common theme. It's a p0420 code, there's no exhaust leak, I switched the o2 sensors around, no luck. I replaced them, no luck. My bluedriver shows the voltage is not consistent like it should be on the downstream sensor which confirms bad cat.

I have checked for exhaust leaks and there are none. The only thing I can think on my car would be dirty fuel injectors but I can't imagine that causing a bad cat that quickly.
What else is causing this? Just a bad engine with weird emissions problems to plague it forever?

Does anyone have experience with other brand cats? aftermarket cats are a gamble and not really a good option is what I usually see from people. I haven't ever had a mechanic recommend a brand to me because of it. OE's aren't a good option unless someone on here is selling them, junkyards don't really have sequoias and I only have 1 small junkyard that isn't 3+ hours away. OEM were 2k a piece when I first started looking to replace them, a definite no on that.

I'm not opposed to universal fit cats, I can weld them in pretty easily if someone has good experience with those over direct fit. I do have emissions and safety inspections in Missouri so the o2 spacers won't work and I'd rather fix the problem, not just bandage it.
 

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Call Keith at Bam mufflers. He's a member on this site. Search for one of his threads, he has his number on it so give him a call, tell him whats been going on and see if he can help you out.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Out of curiosity, were you able to resolve this issue?
I called a few shops locally and got a quote for $280 installed if I remember, I know it wasn't higher then that. He said they use Catco and have had great success with them. So far I've had no issues. I wasn't able to find a source for the cats myself, from what I found Catco is wholesale only and I couldn't find a listing that wasn't overpriced or sketchy looking. I was telling him the whole story and after telling him I had put magnaflows on it he said "well there's your problem" and explained he hasn't ever had a good experience with them.

I called 6 or 7 other shops and was quoted between $350 and $700, some of the more expensive said they didn't know how long they would last whereas the guy I went to said they shouldn't ever had a problem again and that's he's not had any issues with them. He reassured me saying if they do go bad to bring it back and he would be willing to work it out either through warranty if still an option or other means.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The guy installed a universal as it was cheaper for him to cut the old one and weld in vs buying the direct fit. Although this probably depends on the shop.

If you have a shop weld your exhaust, do yourself a favor and double check it in the parking lot, I have had 3 different shops do exhaust work on my car. The first one was to make a pipe a little bit longer and they had a 1" section where they welded the old pipe but not to the new pipe, he just wasn't far enough over towards the joining piece and it was leaking. I didn't check that time and went to get an inspection and failed. I took it right back and they fixed it.
2nd time my resonator needed to be replaced, it was rusting and failed inspection. Their was a pinhole where they missed the weld, glad I caught it in the parking lot when I did as I didn't take it to get inspected for another week or two.
3rd was the cat, he did it right the first time.

Catco does have direct fit option cats though. If you want to replace them yourself Catco(wholesaled through APC) has a "where to buy" on the APC website and you may be able to get them locally at a decent price. I don't have a local spot to buy them and for $280 I was just happy with the price and him willing to work with me should it go bad. I didn't even bother asking if he would sell me the cat alone.
 
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