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Old 01-13-2015, 10:50 AM   #1
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Magnaflow CARB catalytic converter for 02 2.7L Boxster

Hi,

Heading over to buy a '02 Boxster. Really clean and single owner with 111k miles.

One issue - exhaust rattle that the pre-purchase inspection shop said is failing CC. Said OEM part is ~$1800 + labor. I called another shop and they told me the same thing. Both said there are no after market CC for this vehicle.

Alright, I jump on Google and find Magnaflow. Specifically, SKU #M66444204. On the site it said it is CARB compliant/certified but needs welding instead of bolt-on. I called Magnaflow and they confirmed that (1) it is CARB certified (2) Needs welding

But two questions linger:
1. Surely, the Porsche shops I called must've known about the Magnaflow parts. No? And, they don't make much on the parts and in fact, they would probably make more in labor for welding the Magnaflow. So do they not know or might be another reason to not talk about Magnaflow.

2. Googling around, I could not find anyone else in the same situation. Sure, I am not the first Boxster buyer/owner to be in this situation. So, what gives? Anyone else have this Magnaflow part installed?

Any help/insights would be appreciated. Thanks. Look forward to being part of this community and own this fun little car

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Old 01-13-2015, 01:10 PM   #2
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You can buy a replacement used converter assembly from individuals for $200 & have it installed for $100. Try the classified section of this forum or Parts Heaven salvage yard in Bay area. Magnaflow is a "1 size fits some" universal part. Just because a cat rattles dosen't mean it won't pass smog test. FYI CA state law says owner selling a vehicle must give buyer smog certificate upon transfer.
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Old 01-13-2015, 01:50 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info, ByProDriver. Helps a lot.

The car passed smog alright. But I just don't like the rattle and determined to have it fixed.

Anyhow, I am buying it
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Old 01-13-2015, 04:44 PM   #4
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There are four catalytic converters on your Boxster, two of them are a three-way bolted to the heads of the motor, the other two are further down-line closer to the muffler. Which converter is making the noise?

What might be causing the rattle noise are small pieces of gravel stuck in the heat shield of the converters that are closest to the muffler. I removed the heat shields on mine and my rattle noise went away.

As for the three-way converters there are no CARB approved aftermarket choices that I am aware of... I had to buy factory.

http://986forum.com/forums/general-discussions/47002-calling-986-forum-master-mechanics.html
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Old 01-15-2015, 03:37 PM   #5
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I asked around a bit more and plenty of conflicting information. First, what everyone seems to agree on, if it does need a new CC:
- Not legal for salvage yards in CA to sell you a catalytic converter
- Not legal for anyone to sell you a used catalytic converter

The shop where I had pre-inspection done told me, look around, a Porsche shop might have one lying around if someone had their exhaust replaced (as people often do).

Magnaflow told me their CC is CA compliant and fits the vehicle but will need to be welded in.

Another shop said they can weld the magnaflow in but will have to match the CARB ID number on the spare and car.

Yet another shop swore that nothing but OEM would pass muster. Said if the smog shop rep went under the car and saw a magnaflow, they might fail it for smog if some part numbers don't match. Ruled out any use of used parts from anywhere - said they are all illegal in CA.

So, for now, I am going to just sit on it and get all fluids flushed and some routine maintenance. And, getting the rear plastic window replaced.

Thanks all for your input, helped me make a decision
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Old 01-15-2015, 05:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjbox View Post
I asked around a bit more and plenty of conflicting information. First, what everyone seems to agree on, if it does need a new CC:
- Not legal for salvage yards in CA to sell you a catalytic converter
- Not legal for anyone to sell you a used catalytic converter

The shop where I had pre-inspection done told me, look around, a Porsche shop might have one lying around if someone had their exhaust replaced (as people often do).

Magnaflow told me their CC is CA compliant and fits the vehicle but will need to be welded in.

Another shop said they can weld the magnaflow in but will have to match the CARB ID number on the spare and car.

Yet another shop swore that nothing but OEM would pass muster. Said if the smog shop rep went under the car and saw a magnaflow, they might fail it for smog if some part numbers don't match. Ruled out any use of used parts from anywhere - said they are all illegal in CA.

So, for now, I am going to just sit on it and get all fluids flushed and some routine maintenance. And, getting the rear plastic window replaced.

Thanks all for your input, helped me make a decision
Call Sunset Porsche, best prices I found on a new catalytic converter.
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Old 01-16-2015, 08:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjbox View Post
I asked around a bit more and plenty of conflicting information. First, what everyone seems to agree on, if it does need a new CC:
- Not legal for salvage yards in CA to sell you a catalytic converter
- Not legal for anyone to sell you a used catalytic converter

The shop where I had pre-inspection done told me, look around, a Porsche shop might have one lying around if someone had their exhaust replaced (as people often do).

Magnaflow told me their CC is CA compliant and fits the vehicle but will need to be welded in.

Another shop said they can weld the magnaflow in but will have to match the CARB ID number on the spare and car.

Yet another shop swore that nothing but OEM would pass muster. Said if the smog shop rep went under the car and saw a magnaflow, they might fail it for smog if some part numbers don't match. Ruled out any use of used parts from anywhere - said they are all illegal in CA.

So, for now, I am going to just sit on it and get all fluids flushed and some routine maintenance. And, getting the rear plastic window replaced.

Thanks all for your input, helped me make a decision

Never heard this but I wouldn't be surprised if it was true. Just watch the classified thread on this & other forums & E-bay.
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Old 01-16-2015, 11:53 AM   #8
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I've been in your shoes before. What I did with my 02 2.7L was... I bought a set of Top Speed Pro 1 Cat bypass pipes for $200 and did the work myself. It really isn't that hard. Jack up the car, Loosen the clip that connects the muffler to the secondary cats, unbolt the 3 nut/bolt (The top nut is welded into the primary cat so just unscrew the bolt from the back instead) to disconnect the secondary from the primary CC and reverse to put on the delete pipes. Your car will sound more aggressive and will not turn the CEL on because the o2 sensors are only monitoring the primary cats. Some of these bolts are a b*tch to get off but all you need is patience.
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Old 01-16-2015, 11:58 AM   #9
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Oh hey, I see you live in SF. If you decide to install the Cat delete pipes and are worried that you won't pass smog then you should go to Sunset 76 on Noriega. They passed me with the delete pipes on.
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Old 01-16-2015, 04:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by myn8m3is8ndy View Post
Oh hey, I see you live in SF. If you decide to install the Cat delete pipes and are worried that you won't pass smog then you should go to Sunset 76 on Noriega. They passed me with the delete pipes on.
Thanks for the pointers, very useful. For now, I am going to wait until the clatter gets really bad or the check engine light comes on
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Old 02-11-2015, 07:19 PM   #11
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Finally, yesterday, the CheckEngine light came on and the dreaded P0430 code showed up. I've had this happen on a Montero I had and you start with "must be the O2 sensors" but eventually resign to the fact that the CAT is bad.

Did some more research. Looks like Magnaflow Universal CAT, part #444204 is perfectly legal for a bunch of Porsche models/years in California.

Basically, CARB issues "Executive Orders" (sounds like someone in CARB has the Great leader syndrome) to exempt certain aftermarket Catalytic converters from it's blanket ban on aftermarket CATs. Thankfully, CARB makes the exemption list available via an easily searchable page:
https://ssl.arb.ca.gov/PartsSearchTool/CatalystSearchTool.aspx

And, EO D-193-96 is the one that allows use of the Magnaflow Universal CAT.
https://ssl.arb.ca.gov/PartsSearchTool/ExecutiveOrderPDF.aspx?AEON=D-193-96

You have to be aware though that certain EOs are rescinded (sigh):
http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/aftermktcat/catrescind.pdf

Thankfully, the shop that maintains my cars also has a smog unit so I can make sure I will pass smog before I buy the Magnaflow unit (just to be doubly sure).

My question is while I can getting parts of the exhaust system sawed off and welded back, is there an inexpensive exhaust upgrade I can look at? Nothing too loud to scare off the neighbourhood cats but just a teeny-weeny bit guttural roar?

Last edited by sjbox; 02-11-2015 at 07:38 PM. Reason: Fix CARB EO number
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Old 02-21-2015, 12:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jager View Post
There are four catalytic converters on your Boxster, two of them are a three-way bolted to the heads of the motor, the other two are further down-line closer to the muffler. Which converter is making the noise?

What might be causing the rattle noise are small pieces of gravel stuck in the heat shield of the converters that are closest to the muffler. I removed the heat shields on mine and my rattle noise went away.

As for the three-way converters there are no CARB approved aftermarket choices that I am aware of... I had to buy factory.

http://986forum.com/forums/general-discussions/47002-calling-986-forum-master-mechanics.html
Sigh, yep, and that's what happened. I got the magnaflow converters, took them to the shop, the guy raised the car up, looked underneath and shook his head. Said no way the Magnaflows can replace the front CATs because the way header comes to side of the stock CAT and very little room to do anything there.

I guess I am back to either looking for used CATs (don't know if the shop will install them, I think they aren't allowed to handle anything but new) or, buy new at $1800 a pop. And, save up another $1800 because the second one might go bad too!
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Old 03-14-2015, 11:04 PM   #13
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If anyone's curious, how this ended was that I bought used CATs for $50 each Actually ended up buying two pairs, you know, just in case one used pair turns out to be bad.

All good now
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Old 03-14-2015, 11:08 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by myn8m3is8ndy View Post
Oh hey, I see you live in SF. If you decide to install the Cat delete pipes and are worried that you won't pass smog then you should go to Sunset 76 on Noriega. They passed me with the delete pipes on.
Thanks for that tip. I got TS-Pro1 muffler installed and have the typical drone problem so looking at cat delete pipes now.

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