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Discussion Starter #1
Before you even think of modifying your car you had better read the small print.

I just returned from my dealer after doing battle for an hour over weather or not I gutted my catalytic converter. I assured them that I never had.

The cat was completely empty and there was no trace of the catalyst to be found.
The service manager contacted a Ford engineer who informed him that it was possible for the cat to disintegrate and literally blow out the exhaust system as mine has.

The Ford engineer that we spoke with attributed the failure of the catalytic converter to the Focus Sport Header, which he indicated resulted in higher temps than the stock cat was designed for. He also indicated that it could result in the car running rich which would foul the cat leading to its eventual failure. So much for wanting to do the right thing and keep the car emissions legal!

If I had known that this was a possibility it would have shaped my modification choices such that I would have gone with another set up.

I will be contacting Focus Sport tomorrow to discuss the issue with them and see what they have to say in response.

[ 02-07-2003, 12:27 PM: Message edited by: bluebyutoo ]
 

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dude....relax man, FS did NOT blow your cat up, TRUST ME

FORD will tell you this, but what burned your cat up is FORD, they had TONS of issues with them, i blew 2 out...

there were a TONS of focuses out there with ****Y cats, 1/2 of them didnt even have the headers, all stock, so before you go talkin about how youre gonna give FS a word or 2, do a bit of research right here on the jet, and you will find out that its quiet normal for our ****TY cats to blow up...

so i just got rid of it


**** ford when they want $700 for it
 

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*cough* bosal or random tech *cough*
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Let me firts say that I appreciate your respons and have followed the mods you have done to your car for some time.

I know you know what your talking about, for the most part


I actually did some research

I asked how many have had their cats fail in conjunction with a street header

What I am saying is that the perception is "just bolt that puppy on for a gain of 5HP nothing to worry about and that is not the case.

If I had known I would have gone with a race header or a random tech cat to begin with.

I have to keep a cat in place for SCCA comp and becuse I am a bit "green" I want it to be emmisions legal.

Any advice you have on how to go about replacing the failed cat would be appreciated


[ 02-06-2003, 06:05 PM: Message edited by: bluebyutoo ]
 

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Now comes ANOTHER can of worms...
(Well Maybe not, since you're not Racing Nationally...)
STS does not allow the use of a High-Flow Cat...
(Unless there's been a Rule-Change for '03...)
I don't know if there's a stipulation allowing for NECESSARY cat replacement....
What a "Catch 22"!!!!

Time for some "Rules-Research".
I'm betting your local club would make an allowance, but I'd still like to know the "official" ruling for future reference.
ESPECIALLY since we are ALLOWED to run "Shorty" Headers....

Keep me posted, Man.
 

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it is not a very widely known fact, but the close coupled cat design of many cars (including ours) on the road today are highly prone to failure. the problem is that the catalyst simply cannot endure the amount of heat being forced into it and leads to premature failure. a shorty header will only make this problem a little more possible, but it's not going to make a huge difference. there have been many many focus catalytic converters which have failed with fully stock exhaust systems before, at least before the cat.

your best bet is to upgrade to a higher performance cat like the random tech or upcoming bosal high flow cats.

sorry you weren't informed of this sooner, but i doubt it would have saved you much trouble. if your cat failed it was probably going to fail eventually with the stock header too. close coupled cats suck for reliability and performance, but they allow for the catalyst to warm up faster and therefore begin working faster and more efficiently.

Nate
 

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I know of cats failing without any modifications on the car, that just happens. Now, could the better flow of the header speed up the destruction, sure.

This is not Focus Sport's fault at all. It's just one of those things that happens.

Also, a header will not make a modern fuel injected car run rich, that irks me a little.
 

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With the close-coupled design, this has happened in numerous cases, shorty header or stock, I am at a total loss of what you think FocusSport's responsibilty would be in the matter?

As an aside, I would really be curious as to a technical explanation of exactly how much higher the resultant temps would be, and especially, how the shorty header would lead to a richer mixture? that line gets a big


My current cams and headwork allow a healthy pull to 7200rpm+, if I throw a rod and a Ford engineer knowingly and correctly points out the OEM rev limit, do I go crying to FocusSport that their package destroyed my engine?.......uh no, and this would have a much clearer relationship in my opinion than the cat problem.

[ 02-06-2003, 10:03 PM: Message edited by: ZXmurph ]
 

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Well since your cat is gutted, did you every notice the exhuast note getting louder?? I have A FS street header, and am looking to go with a race header, but now I worry if my cat is ok or not.. Keep us informed with your progress.
 

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by cat blew out when i was driving from cali to here. my cel came on about 11 hours into the seconf day of driving. back then bone stock cept for a cone filter over the maf.

ford replaced it and ever since then i been getting 18-20mpg...go figure
 

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put the stock headers back on and take it back to a different dealer... they'll replace the cat under warranty.

They know the cats are prone to failure... they're just looking for an excuse.
 

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The only big difference between the stock manifold and the header is tube diameter. They both look alike. Your cat was probably going to go out anyways. The header probably just made it happen sooner.

One thing to think of is if you are putting performace stuff on your car you are going to have problems sometime. Just think, why are you putting performance things on your car. To race right, and when you race something you are running the car harder then it was designed for. Well not to many cars were designed to race. If they were then you wont need to buy any performance stuff.

Don't get me wrong I love to race my car, but I expect something to go wrong sometime. I am not saying your car will break right away, but it just wont last as long as if it was stock and you drove it like a grandma. So dont stress about just go on and get teh race header. I think you will be happier anyways.
 

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i had a custom exhaust setup on my car for a while, then got the vibrant. i noticed it really wasnt all that loud. had that setup for a good 8 months, recently i bought an off road pipe, when i took the cat off i noticed the catalyst material was sunk in about half way. i wonder if that would cause my exhaust to quiet? it being melted and clogged?
also, i read someone stating that a car running rich will add to the possibility of the cat "going bad" and with the focus' cams not being set to TDC at the factory, some cars would be running richer/leaner than others
 

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that just goes to show there are too many toys out there. dont mod. a car and then cry about **** like a warenty....commen sence bro. use your head.
 

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you should probably talk to focussportVP, he seems cool and prbably would talk to you, remember if a dealer can get out of work they will
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Originally posted by SE SPORTNY:
Well since your cat is gutted, did you every notice the exhuast note getting louder?? I have A FS street header, and am looking to go with a race header, but now I worry if my cat is ok or not.. Keep us informed with your progress.
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">there was a period of time when the car became louder but it went away. It very loud now!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Originally posted by fokuzsport:
</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by fokuzsport:
how do you know if your cat fails?
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">
</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">the car started to run poorly. gas mileage decreased poor exceleration cel came on chech the thread included in my second post in this thread
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Originally posted by D-Fi:
that just goes to show there are too many toys out there. dont mod. a car and then cry about **** like a warenty....commen sence bro. use your head.
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">There was no info that street headers would lead to the failure of the cat at the time I purchased mine that I am aware of. I unlike some on the jet, do not think that its ok to drive without a cat. I am not pointing fingers at FS as I don't want to make out like they are to blame. I am interested in hearing what they have to say.
 
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