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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need to sell my 2000 Dodge Neon, but it needs a new pre-cat and regular catalytic converter. So because I probably won't get more than $2500-3000 for the car I can't be spending tons of money on it.

I've called around to some muffler shops, but the lowest price I got quoted was $400 just for the main cat, the pre-cat would be about the same. I also called Autozone and the guy said he had a Universal Catalytic Converter for about $80, but he didn't seem to know anything about the pre-cat.

So I'd really like to do the work myself, but I can't do it if it needs welded on. Does anybody know if I would need to do welding or if this is just bolt on? Also, where the hell do I buy the pre-cat other than the dealership? Both Kragen and Autozone didn't seem to even know what a pre-cat is, let alone would they know where I could buy one.

I really just want to get this stupid car running so I can sell it, I don't care about performance or anything I just want it to be cheap and good to sell. Any ideas?

BTW, the guy at the parts store did recomend a muffler shop that might be able to do it for cheap, (like $100), but I've already called a few small shops and they all pretty much give me a price over $400, so I'm expecting a similar quote. One guy said if it was OB1 it would only be about $100, but because it's OB2 it would be about $400, I have no clue what the difference is, and the guy at the parts store didn't seem to think there was a big difference, but then again his job is selling the parts, not installing them...who knows?
 

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Ok well I can find a whole new down pipe off modern performance that is kinda easy to do your self. (Cut my hands up nicely doing mine.) but that is only 230 with shipping. all you would need is the tools and money. you can get them off eBay but since your trying to sell it i wouldn’t recommend it. you never will know if it will pass or not. you do need to find one with the O2 bung on it for your O2 CENSOR. that’s what’s costing you so much i think. Im not sure but think one of the differences on OBI and OBII is that OBII has an O2 censor in or after the cat. (your in the cat.) it will be easier to hind a performance cat than a stock setup. well that’s my $0.02 gl
 

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I got your email.

I have oem direct replacement cats. Ill get back to you on the price.

Do you need both or only one of them? As long as you did not cut off anything in your setup then this should bolt in with no problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I need both, when I took it to the Dodge shop they said both the pre-cat and main cat were plugged. Hopefully I can get something that will bolt on for a low price, I'm almost at the point of just junking the car for some quick cash, but obviously that is a last resort option!
 

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You need the headers and cat (down pipe). That is going to be a pain to find it cheep and chances are you won’t find them together. I can’t see why your header would be blocked. Does the car run at all? This is all strange. With how close the upper and lower O2 censers are I would say it’s a real good chance it’s only your cat. Would replace only the cat first then go to the headers. Or even take the header off shine a light into each outlet and see if the light can make it out. If that doesn’t work try water. (Make sure its dry b4 putting it back.) If no water comes out you know it’s plugged too. Hell you might only have to replace O2 censers. It’s all your call on what you do first. But that’s all I can help you with from what I know about your car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Why would I need new headers? I'm just going off what I was told when I took the car into the Dodge shop, and they always seem to do good work so I'm assuming I can trust their word.

The car does run, but veeeeery slow and loud. If I take out the O2 censor in the main cat it runs a lot better, and from what I've learned that is a good suggestion that the problem is the cat and not the O2 censor.

To give some history on the problem, I was driving to work on the freeway, when suddenly I lost a lot of power, and quickly had to get on the shoulder and going downhill I couldn't get the car faster than about 40mph. Once I got on side streets it got slower, and I basically crawled the car into the shop where they immediately said it sounded like I had "cooked the cat".

For a couple of weeks before this incident I could hear water bubbling after shutting off the car, but I just thought I was low on coolant and it was just flowing back into the reserve, but the shop guys said that was it boiling over from being so hot, however the thermostat never showed the car was running hot, which is why I assumed it was just coolant flowing back into the reservoir.

And a couple days before the car lost most of its power, it did seem like I had a lot less power getting onto the freeway, but it wasn't significant and I just thought I was imagining it.

There's some more background info on the car if it helps, it would be nice if only the main cat needed to be replaced, but I'm guessing for how long I drove with a clogged air filter and hearing that boiling noise that both are gone.
 

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Ok well try the cat. It sounds like what happened is the car got so hot it melted everything inside your cat. Witch is blocking air flow. Getting a new one should get you going again. The only thing in front of the cat is the headers, that’s where I got the idea you might be getting a block in there. It sounds like it should be isolated in the cat alone though. Buy after you replace the cat you will still be having the problem, why did your exhaust get so hot it melted your cat? And that’s where Im at a loss. Was it summer and hot out? A mix of low coolant, hot weather, and low air intake, might be all that caused it. Witch would all be real easy fixes. But then again if your car is hot enough to melt a cat then you should be real close to over heating, if not overheating. And why didn’t the thermostat read it? Have you replaced your thermostat? Also check your plugs. What color are they? Grey, silver, white, black ECT. Do they look like they are bad? Big gaps, corrosion, pitting, bent, or look burnt? Well that’s all I can think of so far. Ill get back to you if I can think of anything else. Oh try talking to a dealer to see what they charge for the stock cat. Some things are cheaper or easier to just buy from a dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My story had already started at the Dodge dealership, that is where I initially took it in when I had this problem and they are the ones that told me it needs a new cat and pre-cat. It was during the summer, which might be one of the contributing factors, but I'm pretty sure the main reason is the air filter I had was way past due for a change.

The parts guy I referred to works at the Dodge dealership, and he said it would be about $300 for the pre-cat, and another $300 for the main cat. He said the pre-cat is pretty small and comes off the manifold, but $600 just for parts is a lot more than I was planning to spend, originally I had hoped I could get it done for $200, but I'll have to see. I'm pretty sure if I replace the cats, and get a new air filter it should be fine, well, at least it better or I'm screwed lol

If I can't get these parts for a good price, or find a place that can do it for cheap, I think I'm just going to junk the car. One place said they would give me around $700-1000, but that was over the phone and I'm hoping he'll give me a little more considering it's not a bad car, I just don't have the time or money to spend a lot on repairs. It would be a hell of a lot easier to do, but even if I get $1000 that's nothing compared to what its worth if I had this cat thing fixed.
 

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Ok? I have no clue what the pre cat would be unless it was a flange connecting the pipe from the cat to the headers. In this picture you have the obx head and down pipe. The heads are almost identical to stock. The down pipe is just missing the cat and has the flex piping on it. The cat would normally go dead center of the pipe. Im at a loss as of what would go there that had to be replaced. it just doesn’t make since. But I do know if you get this cat for 230. its cheaper than what you have been quoted and the only thing in front of it is the header so you don’t have to worry about any thing.

http://modernperformance.com/dcx/pl2k_cat.shtml

good luck man if that doesnt work sell it as is. not worth 600 for a headach your getten rid of. well if you get alot more for the work being done i would do it as long as my time was worth it. but its all your call.
 

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pre cat huh...I'd say the dealership is pulling your chain. Sounds like you'd be paying double and getting a cat replaced.
 

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Precat???
Or were they trying to say something about before the cat?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
alaskaneon said:
pre cat huh...I'd say the dealership is pulling your chain. Sounds like you'd be paying double and getting a cat replaced.
That would be a pretty big one if they were just pulling my chain, something that any news outlet here would just LOVE to cover with an undercover investigation so I highly doubt Dodge would ever allow a shop to do something like blatantly lying, and making up parts that don't really exist.

Besides, I also asked a guy in the parts department, why would he give a sh*t about where I buy the part from? He even told me of a muffler shop that might be able to do it cheaper than them.

I think the most likely reason for the confusion is due to California's extreme emissions laws, as Exhaust Depot pointed out in an e-mail. So maybe Neon's sold in California are the only ones with a pre-cat, but even if I did buy a part that excluded it I would have to legally notify anybody that bought it, because it would essentially be telling them that whenever they need to get it smogged, it won't pass. So if I fix it, I want to fix it right so I don't have to worry about some guy suing me in a year when it needs smogged, but thanks anyway for the advice.

Still no clue what I'm going to do, but I don't see what would be so bad about getting a for sale sign and parking the car near a busy street over the weekend and try selling it as it is. Worst case scenario nobody calls or offers a decent price, best case scenario I lose the headache lol
 

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If you are living in Califorina, with so much concern for smog, I can see what you are saying. Just for kicks and grins I would love to see what they are talking about. What is a "pre cat." So if by chance you come across a picture or diagram of what they are talking about it would be educational to see. Best of luck man. :)
 

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Just sell it then. but first i think you need to crawl up under the car and get us a picture of this cat and pre cat they spoke of. Im really at a loss. All neon’s are sold with a 50 state emissions they didn’t make it 49 states and make a different one for Cali.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
yea your right, it wouldn't make sense to have a modified version solely for California. The parts guy said it wasn't a very big piece, and said it comes right off the manifold so I should be able to grab a picture of it from above the engine.

I do think my best bet might just be selling it as it is, because the more I stress about it the less I care about how much I get for it, and even if I do get it fixed it still doesn't have AC so it's not like it'll be easy to sell at a good price without AC in Southern California...but now while it's slightly cool would be the best time haha.

I'll try to get a picture by Sunday.
 

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well ill be looking for the pic today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Here are some pics I took, and I didn't really notice the 2nd O2 Censor the last time I looked, but as you can see there is one up by the manifold, and then of course there is one down on the main cat that I have disconnected.

I really didn't have time today, but I would like to also disconnect the first O2 censor to see if it runs better, if not then I would assume the pre-cat is fine, because when I unplugged the O2 Censor on the main cat it runs a lot better...but still really crappy and it sounds like a VW bug. But I'm not really suspecting the dealership lied when they told me the pre-cat needed to be replaced, but it would be an interesting test to do.

So I'm pretty sure that round thing connected between the main cat and the manifold is the pre-cat, maybe you guys can check out your cars to see if you have one, it's pretty easy to see just looking down from over your engine.

I'll have to check out my friends neon, I think his is an 02, and see if he has this also

Click the thumbnails for a larger view:

 

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so is it clogged or what? Does the car run?
If it is clogged why dont you just take the manifold off and hollow it out.
It seems to look like the pre cat is part of the manifold.
Dont see one on mine its just a manifold, no pre cat. mine is a 2005. non calif.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
My Buddy's 01 Neon doesn't have it either, although his has dual exhaust, but still the cat just connects straight to the manifold and he only has one O2 Censor where mine has 2.

I know it's clogged because with the O2 Censor plugged in, the car barely gets over 10mph, with it out it runs much better, but certainly not legal because you can hear the air whistling out of the O2 Censor hole.

Simply hollowing it out is a) something I can't do with the limited tools I have, and b) illegal So that's not an option since this is a car I plan to sell, and hollowing out the cat could bring legal problems in a year when the next owner goes to smog the car, so I'm not about to do anything like that
 
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