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2002 Forester
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have been contemplating the idea of gutting the catalytic convertor on my 02 that has 130k. Why? Its plugged, gave me the infamous code too many times so after the dealer said yep, needs to be replaced, for $600, I said thanks and headed down the road to the local parts store for a much “cheaper” replacement, but they are not exactly the same shape, heat shields don’t fit. No problem, header wrap is doing the trick for now (didn’t want to melt my CV boot). I still have that OEM convertor and keep wondering, WHAT IF? Will the check engine light come/stay on? Could I eliminate the O2 sensors then? Will I have a speed demon (j/k)? Can it even be done, considering its shape (it’s that angled one unit two cat convertor style). I live where emissions tests are not required, so I could get away with this. Anyway, looking for comments, ideas, existing threads covering this already that I couldn’t find, etc…
 

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2014 2.0XT CVT
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3,069 Posts
Can't answer most of your questions but I will say DO NOT get that stuff in your eye, it will turn bright red and itch for several days (safety glasses FTW). Other than that when I had my 87 Monte Carlo SS Aerocoupe I gutted the cat using a giant flat blade screwdriver and managed to get a tiny bit in my eye, man did that not go well.
 

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8,844 Posts
You could gut it, but it will always throw rear O2 codes. You would have to reflash the ECU somehow to tell it to ignore the p0420. You still need the front O2 sensor as that controls the A/F ratio.
 

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2002 Forester
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I can see (pun?) that being an issue getting this stuff in your eye. Goggles and dust mask for sure. I like that non-fouler device, thanks for telling me about it. If I attempt this I will definitely give that a try, especially for what it costs. I think the hardest part will be getting around the code. Now days finding someone to reflash the ECU would be impossible I’d imagine. Thanks for all of the replies so far. I’m in no hurry so for now I’m going to continue trying to beat this thing into the ground on my twisty mountain commute so I can get a new one (I crave turbo), unfortunately I think that’s going to be awhile, Subi’s just don’t die easily :)
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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38,750 Posts
AFAIK you can't reflash your '02 ECM to remove/prevent the P0420 CEL code. If you gut the CAT, you'll need to space the rear O2 sensor back out of the exhaust flow to prevent it from detecting the O2 passing past the gutted CAT. :wink:

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]
 

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2002 Forester
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Follow up - After dealing with multiple "cheaper" alternatives in the CAT and O2 arena I eventually ended up with all new SUBARU exhaust parts and my problems went away. I could have saved a lot of $ by spending a little more $ in the first place. Lesson learned!
 
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