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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
How difficult is it for a home mechanic, using jack-stands/ramps, to remove the factory original catalytic converter assembly? I've got a new Flowmaster direct-fit converter assembly (with all 4 new NTK oxygen sensors) to install, along with a Borla S-Type Stinger exhaust, and I'm wanting to try installing these parts myself.

I'm not worried about the exhaust system, itself - that seems relatively easy to install, and I bought a Milwaukee cordless Hackzall to cut the old system into sections, making it easier to get over the axle, etc. It's the converter itself that I'm worried about.

Is it necessary to remove the starter, in order to remove the converter assembly? I hope not! I just installed that starter a few months ago (a Ford high-torque mini-starter), and it was a real ***** to get mounted. I used all three bolts (I know a lot of times, people leave the one bolt off, because it's too hard to access), but I had the passenger-side motor mount removed at the time, because I was installing new mounts, so that made it a bit easier.

I have all new attaching hardware, which I got from the Ford dealer, for both where the converter assembly attaches to the exhaust manifold, and for where the rest of the exhaust attaches to the converter, so I'm not worried about the old bolts/studs breaking. Unless, of course, the studs where the converter attaches to the manifolds break, requiring them to be drilled out or something. That would be a NIGHTMARE for me, LOL!

Speaking of the converter-to-manifold attaching hardware, does anyone know exactly how that's set up? By that, I mean, I have these studs, which are made with a nut like three-quarters of the way up. Do those screw into the manifolds, or are there nuts that attach to them on the engine-side of the manifold flanges? I have the nuts that go onto the converter-side, but the parts diagram the parts guy at the Ford dealer printed for me doesn't show nuts on the engine-side of the manifold flanges. Are the holes in those flanges threaded?

Is the converter replacement going to be too difficult for me to attempt at home? Should I just find a muffler/exhaust shop willing to do it?

One other thing - why does the Ford dealer only show a gasket for one of the exhaust manifolds (the right one, I think)? I also think that the Flowmaster converter assembly only came with one gasket. Does only one manifold use a gasket between it's flange & the converter flange?

FYI - my car, as it spent most of it's life in CA & AZ, has virtually no rust anywhere. I've had it in Cleveland, OH, for a little over two years, now, but I've never driven it in snow, here. Thanks for any advice.
 

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The stock manifolds are flat on the right and a ball/socket on the left. So only 1 gasket. The studs are screw into the threaded manifolds and often are boogered up. Right side there isn't enough room to use 3/8 deepwells and the stud is too long for 3/8 standard so you need to use a 1/2" drive standard socket with a universal.

Converters... why not just buy a mid pipe with the converters already on it? Even for Cali emissions Magnaflow and Flowmaster etc... make full pipes. If not then it would be simpler to just take the stocker to a shop and have all the cats cut off and then new ones welded on but... I'd really suggest getting a whole new pipe or if you can get away with the normal 2 cat pipes go that route instead. Get a UPR/VRS X pipe and roll if that's the case. Just noticed you are in Ohio, I really can't imagine a simple 2 converter X pipe wouldn't pass emissions... all your ODB2 checks will be normal. I passed in NJ for years with your normal run of the mill aftermarket catted pipe on mine.

It really sounds like you are making this more complicated than it has to be. If you need to just replace the converters it really is the best idea to yank the stock H pipe out and replace it with a new catalytic H or X. The catback unbolts so it doesn't have to come out at all unless you are changing it. And if you are changing it you just have to cut the pipes off at the mufflers, you can get them out with the suspension unloaded without cutting anything else.
 

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I had to look into the VRS X. Never heard of this brand. They have good prices. They don’t really have any info on their x-pipes nor pictures. How’s the clearance? I scrape a lot with the stocker. I’m thinking of pulling the trigger. Would it make my current setup obnoxiously loud? I had UPR O/R with my SLP. It sounded so bad ass at first. But that got annoying really fast. So, i sold my UPR. I do however want to get rid of the SLP. I’m looking for a much deeper tone now. I know that Borla has a special going on. I may pick up some S-Type.
 

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VRS is the supplier for UPR. Same pipe. Any OR setup with SLP is going to be loud as ****. It wasn't the mid pipe, it was the resonators that SLP uses in place of mufflers. The UPR/VRS OR pipe will sound great with the right catback. You won't get much better sounding than a Steeda/Borla "Quiet" exhaust. Its not really quiet but its not obnoxiously loud like other brands.

Also if you scrape with the stocker you're going to scrape with pretty much anything. Raise the car up a little. You need some suspension travel to handle properly. Super omfgwtfbbq low might look good to YOU but its **** for handling/roadworthiness.
 

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I gave them a jingle early this morning. Asked about there catted x pipe. They weren’t sure if it fitted an automatic. The owner is supposed to give me a call back sometime today or tomorrow to let me know. If not, they can make me one. I went ahead and ordered the S-Type. Ready for a change. Would you happen to know if a Bassani catted x pipe for a 03/04 Cobra would fit an auto? I found a great deal from a local buyer. I’ve been searching the inter-web to see fitment , no luck. Thought i tried my luck on here.
 

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Anything for shorties will fit. Its longtubes you have to sometimes worry about. All the 96-04 standard length mid pipes will fit all 96-04 V8s. Well Except the 00R...
 

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Cool deal brother. I ended up ordering the VRS (thanks for the info) Still haven’t received it yet. Decided to go with something brand new. S-types are in back order. Won’t get those bad boys till June 5th.
 

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Yeah the VRS one is real nice, they use Magnaflow cats too.
 
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