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Old 04-02-2005, 09:24 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 84366
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Converter advice?

Yet another new user with a problem!

I have a 98 Forester with 215K mi. Things had been moving along well until a few months ago when the thing started missing when at or near full throttle pulling hills.

I replaced the plugs and wires – no change. Fuel filter – no change. Things got progressively worse over the next several K miles until know the situation is this:

When cold, it starts and runs perfectly for the first 10 minutes or so – no misses – smooth idle – pretty much perfect. After 10 – 15 minutes it starts some missing, will not accept anywhere near full throttle without violent missing and sometimes it will quit while idling – but don’t forget it still runs just great for the first 10 mins.

OBD II codes are miss and cat converter. It was showing EGR errors a few weeks ago but I cleaned the plugged pipe running to the EGR solenoid valve and am no longer getting EGR errors from the OBD II.

I took this to Annapolis Subaru – they said they thought it was the cat – but didn’t know for sure and wanted to charge me $200 to diagnose it – and even then would not guarantee that the 5X overpriced dealer converter replacement would fix the problem!?!?!

I didn’t even realize there were two converters on there until doing some reading on the web today. I have seen the big one – sort of under the back of the front seats with a foot or two of pipe running forward but some of the ads for aftermarket converters I have seen on the web today make it look like there might be another pipeless liver-shaped converter further forward. I will not be back to the car until some time late next week and was hoping to come up with a plan and order some parts before I get home.

I am on a trip away from the car at the moment.

So the questions are:

1. Do the symptoms seem like converter problems – don’t forget the great operation the first 10 mins.

2. Since there are two converters is there any good way to guess which one might be bad – causing this problem? Judging from the shape the exhaust bolts and gaskets were in when a gasket went bad a few months ago I will have to be ready to replace anything I loosen up under there. It is probably not possible to loosen it ahead of the converter without replacing the bolts.

3. Since there are no emission inspections in this state would I be better off getting a track pipe and forgetting about trying to figure out which one is bad?

4. If I go with a track pipe is there any way other than paying $20 for the little kit to eliminate the CEL problem that will result from having no converters? I imagine it is just a couple of 5 cent resistors.

5. If I do go with a track pipe and leave the rest of the exhaust system as-is – how much louder will it be? Since this is just a traveling tool I would be happier if it just stayed quiet.

Thanks in advance for any help with this. Like I said I am away from the car and have not really looked for converters under there before.

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