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Old 04-05-2016, 03:28 PM   #1
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Clogged CAT: GS 3" DP V1

Hey guys,

I am going to be pulling the Viggen out of winter storage soon and wanted to get some insight into a problem that arose as I was putting it away last fall.

Its a 2002 Viggen convertible with a stage 3 tune, GS intake, GS 3" DP V.1 and 2.5" cat-back exhaust. It was running smooth and fast and was incredibly responsive for years until last fall when it started studding on hard acceleration occasionally. I drove it more carefully after that, but the problem got worse and worse and now the engine bucks hard under anything over 8-10psi boost. Check engine light is on and my indie told me it was a clogged catalytic converter. I provided the background story in case someone has experienced these symptoms and the problem turned out to be something different.

My question has 3 parts:

1) Is there a way to clean the CAT and get a few more years out of it?

2) If not, should I cut out and replace just the cat portion out of the 3" GS down pipe?

3) With an OBD2 car like the Viggen, do I need the cat to pass NYS emissions inspection?

I ask #3 because my OBD1 9000 Aero just passed inspection with no cat... I've been taking cats off my cars for years and never had any problem because I "had a guy" who, when I brought my cars in for inspections, would scan the codes or plug into whatever Lexus was sitting nearby rather than shuffle cars around to do a legitimate inspection...at least thats what I observed. He must've gotten busted because he no longer does inspections.

Any help is most appreciated!
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Old 04-05-2016, 05:10 PM   #2
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I believe NY adopted basically CA's smog regulations, so if you go to a 'legit' shop, you'll need the cat for both visual inspection, as well as to have NOx readings low enough to pass the tailpipe test.

Usually I've seen cats go bad and get clogged up from running rich for a long period of time, or if they've been severely overheated. A quick test you can do to verify it would be to loosen the 3 bolt flange holding the downpipe to the turbine housing to intentionally let some exhaust leak out upstream of the cat - the backpressure is what causes the misfires, so if you vent the pressure out before it can build up you can rip up and down the street to see if your boost comes back and gets rid of the misfires.

Nick uses Magnaflow cats for his downpipes I believe, you could ask them for a P/N to get an exact replacement you'd just have to get welded in without having to get a whole new downpipe.

I've also diagnosed clogged cats before by unscrewing the O2 sensors. The adaptations will go out of wonk of course, but it'll tell you if that's your problem or not.
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Old 04-06-2016, 03:47 AM   #3
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There is no tailpipe test in NYS, but if they see that you don't have a cat in place you will fail inspection.

As far as being able to clean out the catalytic converter, I would try to run some seafoam through the engine. The easiest way to do it is to run a vacuum line to the very bottom port on the throttle body and suck it right out of the can. You'll have to keep the throttle up enough to keep the engine running though. It might not work, but for ~$10 I'd say it's worth a shot before welding in a new cat.
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:58 AM   #4
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Seafoam can actually lead to a clogged cat.
(all the crap from the engine can fill/clog the cat)
Wasn't there a guy on here that everyone ragged on for soaking his catcon in a bucket of acid (citrus, maybe?)

It'd certainly clean the cells off, as long as you don't choose too strong of an acid.

having a new cat welded in is not a terrible idea. cats are ~$100, and the labor might be another $100
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Old 04-06-2016, 11:45 AM   #5
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Seafoam can actually lead to a clogged cat.
(all the crap from the engine can fill/clog the cat)
I've heard and considered it, but I figured if it's already clogged, what harm could it do?

I've personally never clogged a cat by running seafoam through it. I would probably suggest getting the car up to normal operating temperature before running the seafoam through it though.
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Old 04-06-2016, 03:55 PM   #6
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Old 04-07-2016, 07:28 AM   #7
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Interesting. I also have a similar thing happening with my GS DP. In for updates.
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Old 04-07-2016, 09:37 AM   #8
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Excellent feedback guys! Thanks very much!

I will try Drew's method and then perhaps give Seafoam a shot using TurboJohnny's method. Plan C will definitely be to replace the cat portion of the DP. I will keep everyone posted.
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