How to Install Catalytic Converters in An Oldsmobile

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A bad catalytic converter on your Oldsmobile model will lead to poor fuel economy and lack of engine power. Although it is not possible to service the catalytic converter, you can replace it with a new unit following these simple steps and restore engine performance. The procedure is general in nature and applies to most Oldsmobile models.

Things You'll Need

  • Floor jack and 2 jack stands T-handle Breaker bar Penetrating oil Rubber mallet New catalytic mounting hardware New rubber mounts
  • Park your car in a safe place with a level surface and enough room for you to work around the vehicle.

  • Raise one side of your Oldsmobile using a floor jack and place a jack stand near the front tire and another one near the rear tire. This way you will be able to reach both ends of the catalytic unit for removal.

  • Remove the four mounting bolts connecting the catalytic converter's front flange to the exhaust manifold using a T-handle or breaker bar. If you find the bolts rusted and hard to remove, apply penetrating oil to the bolt threads according to the product manufacturer instructions.

  • Remove the three mounting bolts connecting the converter unit's rear flange to the exhaust pipe. Follow the same procedure from Step 3. You may use a rubber mallet to break the converter loose after removing all mounting bolts if necessary; then discard the two converter gaskets. On some models, the head exhaust pipe is part of the catalytic converter. In this case, it is a good idea to replace both as a single unit instead of cutting the converter off the pipe to install an after market, short converter unit.

  • Install the new catalytic converter using new gaskets along with the heat shield or shields if the original catalytic converter in your vehicle is equipped with them. Use new mounting hardware to install the converter. Also, use new rubber mounts if your vehicle model is equipped with them.

  • Lower the vehicle. Start the engine and check for exhaust leaks.

Tips & Warnings

  • The exhaust system in your Oldsmobile may reach operating temperature within a couple of minutes after starting the engine. It is not unusual for the catalytic converter to heat up to 1500F (816C). Allow the exhaust system to cool down before attempting to remove the converter to avoid serious skin burns and other bodily injuries.

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  • Photo Credit Photo courtesy of Ahanix1989 at Wikipedia.org.
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