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Explorer, Sport Trac, Mountaineer & Aviator 1991-1994, 1995-2001, 2002-2005, 2006-2010 Ford Explorer

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  #1  
Old 02-22-2011, 11:42 AM
01explorermike 01explorermike is offline
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Catalytic converter Red hot,car sputtering.

Ive done everything possible(so I think) replaced plugs,wires,coil,fuel filter,vac hoses and vac solenoid,but the car still runs horrible,it sputters very bad when you press the gas,check engine is on but will not let me read codes for some reason.Can anyone give me a solution for this ive spent over 2400 so far just had trans replaced as well. thanks for any help.

Mike.
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  #2  
Old 02-22-2011, 11:59 AM
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If your cat is red hot, its plugged..It will not run very well at all in that condition, pull it off and replace with a straight pipe or new converter.
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  #3  
Old 02-22-2011, 12:03 PM
01explorermike 01explorermike is offline
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And that should fix it??if thats the problem?
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 01explorermike View Post
And that should fix it??if thats the problem?
That is the problem. The convertor will not be red hot for any other reason. The reason it sputters is because it can't expell the burnt fuel. I'm surpries it runs at all.

Think of it as your Explorer being constipated.
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  #5  
Old 02-22-2011, 01:48 PM
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A few things to add and a question. A converter will run red hot if there is a bunch of unburned fuel in the exhaust stream (very rich condition), which could also explain the way the engine runs. The job of the converter is to convert, using a catalyst, the unburned fuel to water vapor. That catalytic conversion generates heat. Plus, if the converter is plugged, it's likely plugged because of a problem with the air fuel ratio that caused it to overheat and melt internally. It's unusual for a catalytic converter to fail on a vehicle that has been running the correct aif-fuel ratio all of its life. If the converter is plugged, the cause may have been fixed as part of the $2400 in maintenance that's been performed.

Before buying a new converter or cutting out the old one, try removing the front oxygen sensor before the converter in question and see if that restores power. If not, the problem is not solely a plugged converter.

Based on your username, I'm assuming this is a 2001 Explorer. Which engine does your Explorer have?

-Rod
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:27 PM
01explorermike 01explorermike is offline
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ya 2001 explorer 4.0L(update) I took the catalytic converter out tonight and it has these steel screens on them I cant see threw bc the holes are off set on each side one being oval and the other being round.I tried to take the o2 sensor out but it was impossible,anyone know how i can just clear out all the stuff in the cat or if i just put a straight pype in its place will the o2 sensor still mess up a/f ratio???
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  #7  
Old 02-23-2011, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old93junk View Post
If your cat is red hot, its plugged..It will not run very well at all in that condition, pull it off and replace with a straight pipe or new converter.
Your assessment is incorrect. If the cat is glowing red hot, it means you have a misfire. Misfires allow both fuel an air to enter the vehicles exhaust. When the two combine in the converter, it will overheat the converter, causing it to glow red hot.

To say that the cat is plugged, causing it to glow red if the opposite of the reality. Whatever is causing (emphasis on CAUSING) the converter to glow red hot will cause the cat to plug up. The cat is not designed to operate that hot.

Quote:
A few things to add and a question. A converter will run red hot if there is a bunch of unburned fuel in the exhaust stream (very rich condition), which could also explain the way the engine runs. The job of the converter is to convert, using a catalyst, the unburned fuel to water vapor. That catalytic conversion generates heat. Plus, if the converter is plugged, it's likely plugged because of a problem with the air fuel ratio that caused it to overheat and melt internally. It's unusual for a catalytic converter to fail on a vehicle that has been running the correct aif-fuel ratio all of its life. If the converter is plugged, the cause may have been fixed as part of the $2400 in maintenance that's been performed.
This statement is not entirely true. A rich condition alone will not overheat the cat, in fact it will cool it. The idea of creating a slightly rich condition to cool things down is not a new one, tuners have been doing since the invention of internal combustion. In order to overheat, there must be both excess fuel and oxygen.

Since you say the car is still sputtering, that leads me to believe that your misfire is still there.

Don't take me wrong, you converter is almost definitely bad, and would need to be replaced. But if you put a new converter on, and the sputtering misfire condition is not resolved, how long do you think your new converter will last?

Before you throw any more parts, you need to get this diagnosed. You need someone with a scan tool to find out what is wrong with your vehicle, someone who knows how to look beyond the codes. Looking at what you have done so far, you have not removed every possibility, hence the need for a proper diagnostic.
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KhanTyranitar View Post
Your assessment is incorrect. If the cat is glowing red hot, it means you have a misfire. Misfires allow both fuel an air to enter the vehicles exhaust. When the two combine in the converter, it will overheat the converter, causing it to glow red hot.

To say that the cat is plugged, causing it to glow red if the opposite of the reality. Whatever is causing (emphasis on CAUSING) the converter to glow red hot will cause the cat to plug up. The cat is not designed to operate that hot.



This statement is not entirely true. A rich condition alone will not overheat the cat, in fact it will cool it. The idea of creating a slightly rich condition to cool things down is not a new one, tuners have been doing since the invention of internal combustion. In order to overheat, there must be both excess fuel and oxygen.

Since you say the car is still sputtering, that leads me to believe that your misfire is still there.

Don't take me wrong, you converter is almost definitely bad, and would need to be replaced. But if you put a new converter on, and the sputtering misfire condition is not resolved, how long do you think your new converter will last?

Before you throw any more parts, you need to get this diagnosed. You need someone with a scan tool to find out what is wrong with your vehicle, someone who knows how to look beyond the codes. Looking at what you have done so far, you have not removed every possibility, hence the need for a proper diagnostic.
My assessment was from experience with a friends 98 5.0 awd Explorer. It was a real dog for having a 302, very little power. No codes present, everything checked out, noticed that there was very little exhaust from the tailpipe one morn., drove it hard that evening......sure enough cat was glowing in the dark. Replaced it, vehicle run GREAT and mpg is up around 15 city and 21hwy, so fuel mix is not a problem here........I applied this experience to the OPs situation.
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  #9  
Old 02-23-2011, 12:30 PM
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My first thought was a plugged convertor...........And yes there may be other issues causing it to get plugged in the first place. My first step would to be remove the convertor temporarily and see how it runs.............
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  #10  
Old 02-23-2011, 05:28 PM
01explorermike 01explorermike is offline
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pulled the converter and gutted it,put it back on and still the same problem.
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  #11  
Old 02-23-2011, 05:36 PM
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You say you can't read the codes?........can you elaborate?, did you try another code reader?
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:02 PM
01explorermike 01explorermike is offline
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tried 3 code readers checked all fuses and still nothing and checked wiring as well.
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  #13  
Old 02-24-2011, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old93junk View Post
My assessment was from experience with a friends 98 5.0 awd Explorer. It was a real dog for having a 302, very little power. No codes present, everything checked out, noticed that there was very little exhaust from the tailpipe one morn., drove it hard that evening......sure enough cat was glowing in the dark. Replaced it, vehicle run GREAT and mpg is up around 15 city and 21hwy, so fuel mix is not a problem here........I applied this experience to the OPs situation.
Your assessment was based upon one experience with incomplete information. Glowing in the dark is normal. If you can see it in the day, thats another story. Sputtering is the problem, backpressure alone doesn't cause the sputtering. based upon the results that happen when the OP gutted that cat, that confirmed that my version of what is wrong is correct. You need to identify the cause of the misfire and fix that, then see how it runs.

To the OP as I said in my above post, you don't need a good for nothing code reader, you need a scanner and someone who knows how to look beyond the codes. Your car has a bad misfire and or a fuel management problem, that problem needs to be diagnosed. Otherwise you are going to be stuck throwing random parts at the problem until you go broke.
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:38 PM
01explorermike 01explorermike is offline
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I appreciate all the help guys,Its going to a mechanic on monday.
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  #15  
Old 02-24-2011, 01:55 PM
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IF it turns out to be needing a convertor and you decide to replace...
I put a Magna flow on my Grand Prix this past summer (original was clogged) and was surprised how cheap I ended up getting out of it. I screwed around with MAF and O2 sensors before finally relenting that the convertor needed to be replaced. New one was just over $120 and I got $60 for the old from a buyer that ran a CraigsList ad seeking them. It was an easy swap too...not too often I can say things like this, so let me have my moment and don't tell me I should have gotten at least $100 for my old one or anything that will burst my bubble...



please
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:55 PM
 
 
 
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