How to Remove a Catalytic Converter from Vehicles

by Contributing WriterUpdated June 12, 2017

If you own a Vehicles it is a good idea to check your catalytic converter Vehicles least once a year. While the catalytic converter is often created to be durable, it can become corroded or even be punctured and stop working. The most obvious sign of a bad catalytic converter is a rotten egg smell. If you somehow miss that symptom, you may also notice a big jump in how much fuel your car uses or a backfire when you accelerate. Fortunately, you can remove the catalytic converter with a few small steps.

Under The Hood:

 How to Remove a Catalytic Converter from a Chevy Truck

Raise and support the entire truck on jack stands. Disconnect the negative cable on the battery as a precaution.

Disengage the electrical connectors to the oxygen sensors. There are two oxygen sensors attached to each catalytic converter---a pre-converter sensor located near the front end of the converter and a post-converter sensor near the end.

Use a small ratchet wrench to remove the flange bolts connecting the catalytic converter to the exhaust pipe. Separate the pipe from the converter, and support the pipe. You can use the truck's floor jack, but place a board on top of the jack to keep it from damaging the pipe.

Remove the bolts that attach the converter's header pipe to the exhaust manifold. The studs and nuts here often are rusty, so apply penetrating oil to them for easier removal.

Take off the catalytic converter and its pipe assembly. Repeat for the other converter if needed.

Clean away any carbon deposits built up on the mounting flanges with brake cleaner or the penetrating oil. Discard the gaskets; use new gaskets on the flanges when the new catalytic converter is installed.

Items you will need

  • Jack stands

  • Ratchet wrench

  • Floor jack

  • Wooden board

  • Penetrating oil

  • New gasket

 How to Remove the Catalytic Converter in a Blazer

Purchase a replacement straight pipe that will bolt into the area the catalytic converter was under your Chevy Blazer. Tell them your Chevy Blazer year and they can get you the proper length and bolt pattern of straight pipe to put under your Chevy Blazer.

Lay on your back. Crawl under your Chevy Blazer and find the catalytic converter. It is a device that looks like a smaller muffler and it is bolted to the exhaust pipe exiting the engine.

Unscrew the four bolts holding the front and back of your catalytic converter to the exhaust pipes under your Chevy Blazer.

Place the straight pipe in the area the catalytic converter was. Screw it into place. The pipe will carry exhaust to your muffler and reduce noise on your vehicle.

Items you will need

  • Wrench set

  • Straight pipe

 How to Remove the Catalytic Converter in an E46

Put on your eye protection. You will be looking up at the catalytic converter as you are working on it so the likelihood of road crud falling into your eyes is very high.

Disconnect the battery by loosening the battery cables with your socket wrench and pulling them completely off the battery. While it is very unlikely that you will receive an electric shock while working on your catalytic converter, it's a good idea to eliminate the possibility.

Jack your BMW E46 up with your jack. Be sure to place the jack under the metal part of the car's frame. You will damage the body of the car if you try to jack it up by placing the jack under the body.

Follow the exhaust pipe from the rear of your E46 to about three-and-a-half feet towards the engine. This is where your catalytic converter is located.

Examine the catalytic converter and note that there are four bolts. Two on the front end of the catalytic converter and two on the rear end.

Loosen all four bolts by turning your socket wrench in a counterclockwise motion.

Remove the catalytic converter by grasping it on both sides and pulling it straight down and towards you.

Tap the catalytic converter gently with your hammer in multiple spots if it seems like it is stuck. Sometimes corrosion and road debris can cause the catalytic converter to adhere to the exhaust pipe. Tapping it with the hammer can loosen it up.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • Hammer

  • Eye protection

  • Jack

 How to Remove a Catalytic Converter from a Dodge 2500

Park your vehicle in a level place the night before you intent to remove the catalytic converter. Raise the truck or van using a jack. Make sure to safely support the front on jack stands.

Soak the clamped joints that hold the head pipe to the exhaust manifold, head pipe to catalytic converter and catalytic converter to intermediate pipe with a rust dissolving solution. The solvent will loosen rusted bolts and will make your job much easier the next day.

Double check your vehicle again the next day. Make sure it is firmly supported on the jack stands right before you begin the job. You might have to force apart rusted components using heavy hammer blows.

Put on your goggles. Remove the clamp joint holding the head pipe to the exhaust manifold using a ratchet, socket or wrench. If the bolts or nuts are hard to loosen, insert a steel pipe on the ratchet handle or wrench to use as a leverage. You also may loosen the nuts or bolts with a wrench and heavy hammer blows.

Remove the clamp joint holding the head pipe to the catalytic converter. Use the methods described in Step 3.

Twist the head pipe at the joints to release it from rust and scale. If the pipe twists freely--yet won't come apart--use a pry bar or a chisel and a hammer to release it. The joint might had been crushed by the clamp. Later, you can restore crushed joints with a pipe expander if you intent to reuse the same components.

Remove the clamp joint holding the catalytic converter to the intermediate pipe. Again, use the methods described in Step 3. Twist the catalytic converter free as you did with the head pipe in Step 5. Remove it from the vehicle. On Dodge Ram 2500 light trucks, the catalytic converter may be bolted in place to a mounting bracket. Just remove the bolts to release the catalyst.

Items you will need

  • Jack and 2 jack stands Rust dissolving solution Goggles Ratchet and socket set Wrench set Chisel and hammer

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