catalytic converter clogged?

Discussion in 'Other Repairs' started by FS Driver, Jan 22, 2006.

  1. FS Driver

    FS Driver New Member

    Messages:
    2,323
    State:
    swansea,illinoi
    my pops car is a 86 chrysler 5th avenue
    78,ooo original miles.
    he was haveing stalling out problems last weekend
    i looked it over and drove it concluded that it felt like a fuel restriction problem, so i changed the fuel filter.
    ran like a top for 2 days and started acting jerky stalling out at stop signs
    hesitant at starting off from stopped etc.
    so yesterday i put plugs in it gapped correctly.
    old plugs were sooty looking black would rub off on your finger.
    so i tested it out on highway and it seemed to be better but still not real smooth.
    today i went over and started it up and with rubber gloves and a plug wire tool i removed one at a time each wire and tried to find a cylinder that stayed the same .
    all would falter a little with plug wire off.
    so i put a new distributer cap and rotor bug on and it started up
    sounded smooth and as i put up my tools to let it warm up a bit
    before the test drive i told my dad to go ahead and get behind the wheel and i would get in passenger side .
    he gets in and starts to put it in reverse and it dies again.

    so i put the second fuel filter on (second time not a different located one)
    started up fine and when we try to back out dies again
    wont start again finally starts up but runs like crap coughing and sputtering i saisd let it run like this a bit and see what happens
    aftwer a bit smokes starts pouring out from under car .
    i open hood and the crossover pipe is bright orange !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    what is this cataletic converter clogged???
    did i clog it breaking it open out on the highway last week or is this just something that was happening and it finnally went south???
     
  2. Mutt

    Mutt Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    19,207
    State:
    Ca
    Name:
    Mutt
    its either a plugged converter or muffler disconect the muffler from the pipe between the converter and muffler if it runs fine then its a muffler it not then its the converter. also for a fast check have someone run the engine put your hand back at the tailpipe and have them rev it up if there is very little exhaust comming out then go from there and do what i said before this
     

  3. Cyclops01

    Cyclops01 New Member

    Messages:
    578
    State:
    Eden, NC.
    DRC,

    I had the same kind of problem once, thinking everything BUT the converter. I made the mistake of keeping the motor running. The converter loaded up and melted a hole the size of a loaf of bread in the floorboard. I was never able to get the smell of burnt carpet out, even with the "new" fresh air ram.

    You might want to have it towed if your going to take it out to be worked on.

    Mike
     
  4. Dreadnaught

    Dreadnaught New Member

    Messages:
    5,444
    State:
    Henderson,Ky
    To get by until you can get it fixed you can beat it with a hammer and break it up. this has worked for me in the past.
     
  5. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Ok, an 86 with 78,000 miles on it, and it's Pop's car?
    Find a desolate road and melt the tires. Dont pay the black smoke rolling out of it no mind.
     
  6. olefin

    olefin New Member

    Messages:
    3,908
    State:
    Texas
    First car I got that had a converter was a 76 Ford. First thing I did was take them off, used a screwdriver to punch out the catalyst till they were clear and then put em back on. It was a few years before I gave in to burning no lead.
     
  7. truck

    truck New Member

    Messages:
    156
    State:
    williamsburg ohio
    Go to your local muffler shop and get a new cat,won't cost that much;)
     
  8. tncatfishing

    tncatfishing New Member

    Messages:
    916
    State:
    clk. tn
    Sounds like a converter to me, is their a strong rotten egg smell? Cross over pipe bright orange, have that car towed to service tech you trust or someone you know that does. Right now I have one of my vehicles in the shop for a nightmare of an electrical problem.
     
  9. JERMSQUIRM

    JERMSQUIRM New Member

    Messages:
    13,145
    State:
    il-waynesv
    i had a dodge daytona a feew years back. it just died on night and never would start. i took it to a now past away town machanic and it was the cat conv,. he knocked a hole through it with a long screwdriver and she started right up.:)
     
  10. jason454ci

    jason454ci Active Member

    Messages:
    1,307
    State:
    Zanesville, Ohi
    DRC, It could either be a plugged converter or a real lean fuel condition. Both will cause the exhaust to glow. As Mutt said hold your hand close to the tailpipe and have someone rev the engine pretty high, dont hold the rpm's up too long. If there is very little exhaust coming out then the converter is probally plugged. If you have plenty of exhaust coming out then I would have to say that it is burning lean (lack of fuel). Which could be caused by a fuel pump going bad or a restriction in the line. Could be a rubber hose that is deteriated. :0a26:
     
  11. Phil Washburn

    Phil Washburn New Member

    Messages:
    7,680
    State:
    Shawnee OK
    drc, the cat is glowing because it is working.....your fuel system is either too rich or too lean, and the excess fuel/oxygen is being burned in the cat and not the cylinders. you didn't say what engine it has. 2.2/2.5 4cyl, 3.0v6, or 3.3v6 were available. it could be a restricted muffler or exhaust. remove the O2 sensor and see if it gets any better - it will be noisy, but it won't hurt anything to run it like that for a few miles.your plugs are black because the fule system is too rich, or they are simply not burning the fuel. pm me with engine size and i'll do my best to help.
     
  12. Nobody Special

    Nobody Special New Member

    Messages:
    614
    State:
    TN
    I had an old '54 Chevy with a 6 cyl. in it and opened the hood one night and the exhaust manifold was glowing white hot. I twisted the distributor a little and it cooled back down. You might check the timing before you start with the jackhammer.
     
  13. FS Driver

    FS Driver New Member

    Messages:
    2,323
    State:
    swansea,illinoi
    well tonite with the car haveing set all nite last nite and today it was nice and cool and started fine. after a little revving to warm it up the missing started
    my bro-in-law said it semed to lack the power of exhaust that it prob. should have.
    so we took it out for a test run and it was missing and sputtering.
    we drove by a reputable shop and seen him inside working stopped in and he came out and his opinion was catalytic converter too.
    he said it definently didnt have what it should comeingf out of exhaust.

    phil its a v8 2brl carb.

    it runs fine cold but starts acting up as it gets hot.
    it has a sympton of a fuel problem and this mech said a clogged catyletic will give that symptom.

    it actually has 3 catyletic converters 1 after each manifold before crossovers
    and one past wye pipe.

    we are going to take it to a shop as the whole system at the large converter is all welded connections and we aren't too anxious to tackle
    20 year old manifold bolts takeing the pipes apart.

    thanks for all you guys responses, thats what makes this place so great is the contributions of you guys. thanks a bunch:)
     
  14. Phil Washburn

    Phil Washburn New Member

    Messages:
    7,680
    State:
    Shawnee OK
    sorry, DRC, i am dyslexic sometimes. i thought i read 1996. your car is rear-wheel drive, not front as i was thinking. i believe your car is a lean-burn system with the module on the air cleaner. it sounds to me like it is simply running lean. when that happens, because it is too lean, the fuel doesn't burn in the cylinders. of course, too rich a condition will also cuse it to get redhot. the catalytic convertors purpose is to burn anything that the engine doesn't. however, when that oxygen/fuel leftovers is excessive, then the cat will get red hot. it is rare that the cat will cause the problem you are describing. it is usually indicative that there is a problem further upstream. check out the fuel and ignition systems.