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The catalytic converter conspiracy

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posted on May, 16 2010 @ 04:07 PM
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My car is an Opel made in Germany. It is a Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle ULEV EU-2 standard, and it has no catalytic converter. It takes 40.00 dollars to fuel it every two weeks. I am getting about 52 miles per gallon true mileage.

Seems the Germans are on to something.




posted on May, 16 2010 @ 04:19 PM
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My dad and a relative disabled the CAT on one of my mom's cars. It was done for other purposes. than fuel economy though. It was a new late 80's model and the catalytic converter emitted fumes that smelled like rotten eggs. My parents were going to return the car because of the smell.

My uncle whom was a mechanic for Buick (where they bought the car) disabled the sensors to it and eventually my dad just removed it. It did have the side effect of much higher mpg even though that was not the intended reason to remove since gas was so much cheaper then.

I also remember Ford was putting ads out about their upcoming pyrex and coated engines in the 80's that captured nearly all the heat released and converted that to a much more efficient vehicle but, that as the 90's rolled around I never heard anything else about it.

for the OP.



posted on May, 16 2010 @ 04:33 PM
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I have an old Peterson magazine article from the early '70's where they transplanted a Japanese diesel into a Ford pinto and were getting 75mpg. That's the title of the article, "75mpg Pinto!" This was almost 40 years ago! We should be doubling that mpg with today's efficient, computer controlled engines!



posted on May, 16 2010 @ 04:54 PM
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How many times a day do you think US mechanics replace O2 sensors? Big $ in that alone.
They go out and annoying check engine lite comes on, and car gets a case of the flu.
I had a Cougar with a triton V8 with dual exhaust, and 4 at least O2 sensors. Had it in more than once to get a replacement.
Another annoying thing the Cougar had was a govorner. She hit a wall at 110mph or so; it wasn't based on rpm. There was plenty left in her to accelerate. (I shouldn't know that it had a govorner at that speed, but why have a fast car if you never push it a little?).



posted on May, 16 2010 @ 04:58 PM
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I'm a auto tech been working on cars since i was 13 went to the automotive tech school UTI when i got out of high school, then went through the VW training program i then was a VW dealer tech for 6 years.

I can tell you right now there's no conspiracy here sorry to burst you bubble
combustion engine it not 100%efficient so there will always be unburnt hydrocarbons new cars are commanded to run 14.7- 14.8 to 1 fuel ratio to get the best efficiency any leaner that that you damage your engine


"In fact on 2003, and newer CAN protocol cars the downstream O2 sensors have command priority to increase fuel trim by up to 30% to satisfy the cat temp. sensor regardless of how rich the upstream sensor reads. So if you get a clogged, or bad downstream cat sensor your car could guzzle gas like there's no tomorrow"

this is untrue OBD1 1982 -1994 cars did this they dumped more fuel on cold start up to warm up the o2sensor and cat this is call "open loop" then once the cat and o2 warmed up (this took 20-30mins) the computer would switch to closed loop and command 14.7:1 fuel ratio. Then in 1995 OBD2 came out along with the heated o2sensor which heated up and got the engine in closed loop faster but it wasn't fast enough around 2000 automakers moved the front o2 and cats closer to the engine even on some cars they designed the cat into the exhaust manifold.

So today's cars no longer need to dump excessive amounts of fuel to warm up the o2 and cats what once took up to 30mins to warm now takes only 3-5 mins, and cats will allways be needed until make an engine that burns 100%of the fuel



posted on May, 16 2010 @ 04:59 PM
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reply to post by Binder
 


You are spot on, Binder, I admire your automotive knowledge. Former Automotive Engineer here, and I will add to this, it is a conspiracy of the worst kind. Up until about 197 automobiles has high energy ignition systems, 30-50,000 Volts. And the octane level output was a great deal higher.

I can remember when my car would burn the tailpipe out snow white, and my engine valves would be clean after 50,000 miles run time. I had several cars in those days, pre 70s cars, that easily got 40 mpg highway all the time.

Enter the 1980s, everything changed. first was a lower voltage ignition system was installed on all American cars, max output: 17,000 volts. That is enough voltage to burn off 70% of the fuel in the combustion chamber. Enter lower octane ratings, and now you are burning about 1/2 of the fuel. the rest is captured in the CAT. Also in 1980, a built in flaw was placed into every car manufactured in America. I am General Motors trained, so I only know about their obsolesce flaw. Here is it:

If you look at a wiring schematic for a post 1980s car, you will see that the power wires and all orange, or orange with a black stripe. If you trace them out, they go to everything on the car that need 12 V power, and if you trace further, you will see that all the orange wires come together at a common point. So, when something happens...like the little switch that turns the dome lights on and off shorts because it got wet, or the cigarette lighter shorts out, or anything else, tail light, headlight, any short at all, the system power drops dramatically. The car will stall, refuse to start, light will not work, or grow really dim, I am sure you GM drivers have seen this effect before, right?

I know how to fix this in any GM car, but you will have to fix it yourself, Garages will not do this.

You have to remove the dashboard to do this. Don't freak out, it's a lot easier than it sounds. when that is done, take the wire bundle in your hands and begin to unwrap the wires, looking for the orange ones. You will find a place, under where the dash was, where they all come together. Unwrap that good, and get yourself a 50 Watt breaker from the local auto parts store, about $10, and a roll of electrical tape. Cut the wires off, one at a time, and bare the wires, and apply a ring connector. Place all the rings on one side of the harness on one pole of the breaker, and the rest on the other pole. Tape the harness up good, and reinstall the dash, making sure all connectors are plugged in and cables attached right. Start the car, and drive trouble free for many miles. Power increases, start ups are faster, lights get brighter, everything electrical works better. Takes about 4 hours for an experienced mechanic.

My son and I have repaired over 20 GM cars this way in our garage days. One Chevy dealer paid me $500 to do this for them, they said it would void the warranty, but told me to fix it anyway, and the money was mine. This fix works great.

Installing a new high energy ignition system will double your mileage too, MSD makes excellent replacement parts for most all cars. I have a 6A digital ignition system with a 45,000 Volt coil, and Bosch double platinum plugs and Accel racing primary wires on my 1990 Chevy G-20 van with a 350 V-8 engine. We get 42 highway, and 30-35 city, with no CAT, and stock throttle body fuel system. Next step is to install one of these babies:
HHO Hydrogen Generator



posted on May, 16 2010 @ 05:17 PM
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This thread and all of it's keyboard mechanincs are full of such disinformation and misunderstanding of how a cat works. The article from the NY times that states it makes N2O is rediculous at best. N2O, Nitrous, NOS, Laughing gas, whippets, or what ever you want to call it can NO LONGER maintain it's bond as N2O and becomes separate parts of Nitrogen and Oxygen at 570 F. Cats operate at about 600 F. Whoever wrote that article or did the research was an idiot. If there was a way to make nitrous from the exhaust why would we artificially add it to the intake?

Now as for the effectiveness of catalytic converters. Are they needed? Meh, somewhat. Their true purpse is to break down the sulfur based molecules that come from the combustion process. They do not burn unburnt fuel. If you would like to test this theory just take a plug wire off of one of your spark plugs and you will smell the difference in your exhaust as the unburnt fuel passes right by the cats and out the tailpipe. They do reduce power by causing back pressure, not a smog pump. If power loss is a problem to you the get some high flow race cats. there is only about a 2hp loss having cats on a stock motor with no aftermarket power adders such as forced induction, nitrous, or camming the motor. Smog pumps are a thing of the past. There is no fuel added to the cats to "warm" them you are an idiot if you think that. Exhaust systems on modern cars are very efficient. Cars these days are self tuning as said before, but this has nothing to do with the cats. ALL engine self adjusting comes BEFORE the cats.

I race high horse power drag cars for a hobby and have done alot of research on this subject including personal experimentation.

This site is about denying ignorance not creating it based on your possesion of it to make others look like it.



posted on May, 16 2010 @ 05:32 PM
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reply to post by autowrench
 


OMG you are not portraying octane right. Octane is used as a spark knock reducing additive. If your timing is advance far enough you must use a higher octane fuel. What octane does is SLOW the rate at which fuel is burned. LOW OCTANE fuel is more flamable and burns faster. Your car will self adjust to what ever fuel you add. When the engine knock sensor detects knock it will pull timing. It will also advance timing until it finds knock then pull the timing back a little so as to run with out getting pre detonations that can cause you to eventually throw a rod, crash a piston into a valve, blow a ring and so on and so on. The reason why you need high octane fuel in a sports car is because it has more timing and tries to get more timing than a regular car. The reason you use low octane fuel in a pickup truck is because the PCM is not ever going to ask for enough timing to require octane to reduce the spark knock.



posted on May, 16 2010 @ 05:36 PM
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The end result is they have to feed enough unburned gas into the cat to make it work. Now they have solved that problem and the cost factor.

content.usatoday.com...

New catalytic converter material could make for cleaner, cheaper cars
Imagine a fuel-efficient, clean-burning diesel engine that costs $1,000 to $5,000 less than those built today. That's the possibility raised by research published this week in the journal Science, from chemical engineers at GM who've found a way to substitute a cheap mineral for wedding-ring-quality metals in catalytic converters.
The GM chemists found a way to use a mineral called perovskite, doped with strontium, in place of the expensive precious metals. It's something of a holy grail in the industry, which many groups have been working on for the past 15 years. While the GM scientists were focusing on diesel engines, their technology should also work in gasoline engines.
"It's an order of magnitude cheaper," says Chang Hwan Kim, a chemical engineer at GM's technology center in Warren, Mich. and the senior author on the paper.
"It's a really significant step forward," says Charles Peden, a chemist and director of the Institute for Interfacial Catalysis at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash. "The high cost of platinum is really causing problems for these new emissions control technologies."
Getting cars today to be both fuel efficient and low-emission is a difficult trade-off.
To make a car fuel efficient, you want to get a mix of air and fuel that burns as much of the fuel as possible. But to put out few pollutants, the current catalyst technology requires that not all the fuel is burned. "The catalytic converter doesn't work if it doesn't have enough unburnt fuel," says Peden.
The catalytic converter changes the smog-creating chemicals nitrogen oxide and nitrogen dioxide put out by the engine into harmless nitrogen.
To cut down on smog car companies began adding catalytic converters to their products in the 1970s. Those catalytic converters used precious metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium as catalysts, to speed up the conversion of the nitrogen oxide and nitrogen dioxide into plain nitrogen. It's this technology that's decreased air pollution from cars tremendously over the past 15 years. But it's also raised their price.
Newer catalytic converters require less unburnt fuel to work, but in order to do so they require a lot more platinum or other precious metals. And with prices going up, that's been a huge headache for auto manufacturers.
"There are still a few things we have to work on to develop this as a commercial product, but we were very excited," says Kim.



posted on May, 16 2010 @ 05:37 PM
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I have read the OP and replies however there is much to be learned by everyone on here before you go drawing conclusions about catalytic converters. For reference,modern 3-way catalytic converters consist of Rhodium, Palladium and Platinum and are very valuable after their life on a car has expired. Being a diagnostic technician I know way more about all of this stuff than I actually care to. Part of my job is to perform Emission Inspections on vehicles. 1968-1995 get the full on inspection with 4 gas analyzer. 1996 and newer only have to have O2 sensors and Cat installed and the computer does the rest, it can't have any codes and the monitors have to be set. Now based on personal experience I can say that catalytic converters are effective, and operate as they are designed. Yes modern computerized engines run slightly richer than stoichiometry which is a 14.7 Air to Fuel ratio. Those 2 things are not the conspiracy. First, it is impossible for any computer controlled internal combustion engine to run perfect. Especially if the computer was programmed by a human. We are by no means perfect therefore can not create perfection. Engines run richer to increase reliability and life of the engine. Running too lean will cause detonation, burned valves, holes burned in pistons. Just the other day I had a 1997 Toyota pick up that had 2 burned valves from an exhaust leak caused by a cracked exhaust manifold manifold. The engine was sucking air in through the cracks which was increasing the combustion chamber temperature high enough to burn the steel valves in it. Just for reference, engines suck vacuum in through the exhaust during the overlap period.Second, enrichment is not necessary to keep the cat hot. The catalytic converter is strategically placed to be in the same position as the hottest part of the exhaust pulse in the exhaust system. This is called tuning the exhausst. If you want to know more research it or go to school like I did. Anyway to the point. I think the auto industry conspiracy is not about catalytic converters or making it run richer to keep the Cat hot. It is about them simply not building engines to run efficiently as they possibly can. Spark plugs to me should have been obsolete a decade ago. We sould be using laser by now. And gasoline is a poor fuel for efficiency although I belive a gasoline powered internal combustion engine is capable of 100mpg or more. Hydrogen/ Electric hybrid is the way to go. Where i live the emissions testing program was voted out a week ago all we need is a signature from the EPA now. If the Emissions Inspection program is dropped, the company i work for is going to start R&D on some very efficient hydrogen modules and fuel cells, we have also considered doing electric conversions. Right now with our suppliers it cost $15000 to convert just about any car to electric with a 100 mile range and top speed of 70mph. Did you know that Ford has had an electric Escape that has a range of 60 miles and can charge from 0-100% in 8 hours. Its been around since 2003. The DOE in CA has a couple, I had the honor of riding in one. Up here in AK the DOE has CNG cars.



posted on May, 16 2010 @ 05:38 PM
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Originally posted by primus2012
How many times a day do you think US mechanics replace O2 sensors? Big $ in that alone.
They go out and annoying check engine lite comes on, and car gets a case of the flu.
I had a Cougar with a triton V8 with dual exhaust, and 4 at least O2 sensors. Had it in more than once to get a replacement.
Another annoying thing the Cougar had was a govorner. She hit a wall at 110mph or so; it wasn't based on rpm. There was plenty left in her to accelerate. (I shouldn't know that it had a govorner at that speed, but why have a fast car if you never push it a little?).


They get replace because they are bad. There are 2 "sets" of O2 sensors that perform very different functions. Cat back O2 sensors affect NO ENGINE PARAMETERS, they do however throw a code if the become defective, or the cats do. Now the cat forward O2 sensors, the ones on the exhaust manifold down pipe, are a crucial part in the fueling of the vehicle. Based on the amount of O2 left after the combustion process these sensors will adjust the pulse width of the fuel injectors. They go bad sometimes and throw usually a "lean" code and need to be replaced.

Sorry no conspiracy here either.



posted on May, 16 2010 @ 05:48 PM
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reply to post by Binder
 


If there was a way to make a hotrod get that kind of MPG I promise you me and the hundreds of thousand of self tuning self modifying car guys would have done it. IT IS NOT ILLEGAL to modify your PCM or retune it. There are hundreds of places accross each state even OMG Califoria that do this very legally. Stop spewing nonsense.



posted on May, 16 2010 @ 05:54 PM
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reply to post by autowrench
 


Yes there is impovements to be made on the ignition systms but it WILL NOT double the MPG. What it will do is allow for more consitent spark which in return at HIGH RPM's will give you more efficient fuel burn. At low RPM's you will see little to no difference. We have dyno tested these ignition systems to see the gains and there are only gains at HIGH RPM's which most drivers never do. If you were driving at those RPM's your las concern is MPG. FYI Platnium plugs suck. If you want a good plug get iridiums for a naturally aspirated engine. Taylor wires are much better than most their resistance per foot is the lowest we tested.

[edit on 16-5-2010 by LeaderOfProgress]



posted on May, 16 2010 @ 05:55 PM
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Excellent post. I had a 1989 Corvette that I did work on after purchasing it new. It got about 24 miles on the highway from the factory. After some minor modifications and removal of the converter it got about 28 and continued to pass inspection until I sold it to a friend in 2005.



posted on May, 16 2010 @ 05:58 PM
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reply to post by Binder
 


Well, just about 2 weeks, I cut the cat off my '00 Dodge 1500. It has the 5.9L 360 V8. My exhaust now comes straight off the motor into a Flowmaster 40 series. I used a set of spark plug non-foulers to pull the downstream O2 sensor back from the exhaust to make it think the cat is still there, only part of the flow gets to the sensor.

Besides the sound. Besides the most wonderful smell of unburned fuel shooting out my tailpipe (lol). I have noticed that my gas gauge does not go left as much as it did before, even with the gas pedal planted firmly on the floor.

I don't know a lot about them, but as far as performance, it's overall better without the cat on my truck.



posted on May, 16 2010 @ 06:00 PM
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Originally posted by sr_robert1
reply to post by Binder
 


Well, just about 2 weeks, I cut the cat off my '00 Dodge 1500. It has the 5.9L 360 V8. My exhaust now comes straight off the motor into a Flowmaster 40 series. I used a set of spark plug non-foulers to pull the downstream O2 sensor back from the exhaust to make it think the cat is still there, only part of the flow gets to the sensor.

Besides the sound. Besides the most wonderful smell of unburned fuel shooting out my tailpipe (lol). I have noticed that my gas gauge does not go left as much as it did before, even with the gas pedal planted firmly on the floor.

I don't know a lot about them, but as far as performance, it's overall better without the cat on my truck.


If there is unburnt fuel coming out of your tailpipe in a new EFI vehicle you have problems. Put your car on a dyno and it will solve that, the smell you are smelling is unprocessed combustion byproducts, not unburnt fuel.



posted on May, 16 2010 @ 06:26 PM
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Bravo my friend! Well done. You are absolutely right. My current emissions are far far cleaner with 2 removed catalytic converters and one very powerful computer upgrade. Not to mention the fact that the hydrocarbons from exhaust chemically change over time to the exact same thing whether they are converted or not!



[edit on 16-5-2010 by Ex Plures-Unus]



posted on May, 16 2010 @ 06:37 PM
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Well that explains why my little pre cat econobox gets better mileage than a hybrid



posted on May, 16 2010 @ 06:43 PM
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It's nice to see that people here have engine dynamometers and 4 gas analyzers so ther can see exactly what comes out of thier engines. I'll be more than happy to show someone their numbers if they want to know. Installing your post cat O2 sensor without a Catalytic converter installed will make your Malfunction Indicator Lamp come on. Your computer needs to see you post Cat O2 sensors pretty much flat lined, unlike your upstreams that will switch consantlty adapting from rich to lean, rich to lean. If the ECM, PCM, ECU whatever have you, see the post cat O2's switch at the same rate as the upstreams it will think your Catalyst efficiency has gone below the threshold and will light up the MIL with a p0420 Bank 1 cat or P0430 Bank 2 cat below threshold codes.



posted on May, 16 2010 @ 06:56 PM
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As an California "smog" licensed technician who deals with emission testing, diagnostic and vehicle certification.. among other drive ability concerns I find this post and the misinformation funny. Cats do more than just reduce the HC's even on newer cars. A cat on the way out, not even a good one, will reduce HC (hydrocarbons or unburned gas), CO (carbon monoxide) and NOX (oxides of nitrogen) by 50%! And that is a bad cat, if I was seeing those numbers I would recommend a new cat to the customer. A good cat can reduce around 70-80% depending on the engine etc.

I've seen new cars take out the cat ( usually Honda kiddies who think their car is fast without a cat and a super big muffler
) and think I would pass them on the smog machine. You can tell the difference in emissions. They sometimes fail the emission test before I even look underneath and see there is not cat, you can tell there not passing cause it goes full clock on the countdown where a normal Honda will go to the next phase of the test pretty fast. And those are just lil 4 cylinder cars even... yes some of them will pass without a cat, this is true. That's only because the pass/fail #'s are so high to give people with worn engines, cats on the way out, other worn emission related components like the egr etc a chance to pass. Most new cars with cats installed put out barely any emissions at all but the fail limit is around 75 parts per million, which does not sound like a lot, but it is a big difference compared to a good running car with 0-4ppm.

All the cat does is reduce and convert the emissions from the engine trying to get only H20 and Co2 out of the exhaust pipe. Now they move the cat's a lot closer to the engine exhaust manifold (especially on 4 cyls.) to lite the cat off quicker. The cat needs to be at a really hot temperature (like 1400 degrees) to start reducing and converting and the fuel mixture has to be close to stochiometric for the cat to do its job most efficiently. If its not the emissions would suffer and if to far off you could damage the cat and cost yourself some big money. Nox goes up and up the leaner you go until your at a lean misfire that is why they rather it run rich or retard. But when you floor the car the car goes into open loop anyway so your not loosing out on performance due to this. The computers are pretty smart now and knowing what your trying to do and the best way to control the engine and emissions it puts out. A lot of things have made improvements like the variable displacement engines that shut off half the cylinders when not needed, Wide band o2 sensors or afr sensors, direct injection, I can go on and on... we've came a long way sense carburetors.

Example of removing a cat, this is from memory I don't remember the exact #'s..... we had a 98 ford mustang gt with no cats: HC were around 3000 - 4000ppm at cruse and when decelerating it shot up to 9000ppm the NoX were really high too. I had to hold my breath when I went behind the thing to strap it down and put the probe in and it burned my eyes from the fumes! When we put the new cats on the HC was 150ppm and Nox were low as was the CO. That was the only change we did to that car and it made a huge difference.

With the new Direct injected, AFR sensor cars running on CAN networks the engine can make good on its own for sure, but its not perfect and it still is nice to have a cat to clean up what it missed. I can go on and on about this as its something I have went to school for and do for a living. I like doing the drive ability stuff a lot more but my work has me doing all the smog stuff too as I'm one of the only ones in the shop with my smog license.



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