Advice on stolen catalytic converter

Discussion in 'Generation 1 Prius Discussion' started by Tashfeen Ekram, Feb 11, 2021.

  1. Tashfeen Ekram

    Tashfeen Ekram Junior Member

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    I have a 2001 Prius with 221K miles on it. I replaced the hybrid battery about 50K miles ago. I am CA with all of the strict regulations. Like many these days, I do not actually use the car a lot but need a car. I reached out to the CA Buy Back program but this car is considered modified because of the stolen catalytic converter so it does not qualify. :( Car otherwise runs well. Inside condition is decent and the car does have some rust. My registration expires in 4 months. Fair price based on Kelley Blue Book is between $939 and $2536.

    Here are my options:

    1. Fix with dealer parts for $1800 including labor. I found a guy who has cheap labor costs. I would then just keep the car and perhaps sell it in one year or two.

    2. Use the same guy to do a fix that does not pass CA law and then try to sell the car in another state. The fix will cost $500.

    3. Try selling it as is on Craigslist as is. Not sure how much I could get.

    4. Dump it at a junk yard now. They will give me $273

    5. Sell it for parts. Not really sure how to do that.

    Would love to hear what others did who were at this fork.

    Thanks!
     
  2. ronlewis

    ronlewis Member

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    I would keep my eye on the auctions and buy a wrecked one to salvage the cat from, then sell the rest to the scrap yard and probably get most of your money back. Copart.com has three right now, but they're not in CA. However, IAAI.com has a bunch in California. The wrecked ones will go for a few hundred dollars. Only problem with IAAI is they charge to open an account or you have to pay a broker's fee to bid for you. And some/many will require a broker's license anyway. But you can filter the search results to find those that don't require the license - those are usually cars with salvage titles - which are the ones you want anyway. Copart doesn't charge a fee and allows bids up to $1000 without a deposit. They usually have some CA Pruii, so you might just wait to see if one pops up. You can set an alert to be notified whenever one comes in.

    Syk, the labor to replace the cat with factory parts is almost nothing - there's maybe 4-6 bolts to remove then entire exhaust from the engine back. Don't bother trying to remove the cat from the exhaust.
     
  3. Tashfeen Ekram

    Tashfeen Ekram Junior Member

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    This is golden advice. I am going to keep a lookout for salvaged cars and see what I find. I will keep you posted.

    Are you also saying that I could replace the cat with factory parts myself? There is not soldering involved?

    Below is a picutre from Toyota. So I would want to take everything from part 17430 all to part 17410?

    [​IMG]
     
  4. ronlewis

    ronlewis Member

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    You could, or just start at 17451. If you still got the hangers from your car, you can just take a sawzall and cut through the rubber hangers on your salvage car rather than messing with trying to unbolt them. Disclaimer: I haven't actually done this; I just watched the guys who bought my cats - they were in and out in less than 20 mins. Putting it in your new car probably takes a little more time. No soldering, just nuts and bolts. probably need a ratchet extension, maybe with a swivel, to get the front (17410) flange nuts off easily.
     
  5. ronlewis

    ronlewis Member

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    Added bonus - you'll probably get a few other parts off the salvage car, or at least take some off for spares. As you've found out, parts for these cars can be scarce. I'd be grabbing injectors, coils, the coolant pump, fan belt, water pump, maybe a radiator. Oh yeah, and the gas tank - the fuel pump is inside the tank on these cars and are an expensive repair. You might even get lucky and find one with a good HV battery - any of these cars left on the road has a replacement HV at this point, if not the second, and some are still good.
     
  6. ronlewis

    ronlewis Member

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    soldering is involved when installing an aftermarket cat, and is typically how stolen cats are repaired - an cheapo cat is a few hundred dollars and since the thieves cut them out, rather than undo the bolts, the shop can just weld right to the stubs of the exhaust pipes on both ends. But, as I understand it, that doesn't work in CA.
     
  7. ronlewis

    ronlewis Member

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    I'm not positive the auctions will take back a car without the cat, but I think they will. They definitely have car carcasses for auction that have almost nothing left. However, the dismantlers (not the metal recyclers, the parts recyclers) and pick-u-part places don't want to buy cars without cats - salvaging the cats is their big money maker - it's what allows them to immediately break even on every junker they buy so that parts they actually sell are the profit.
     
  8. nimblemotors

    nimblemotors Re Member

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    This stealing of cats in a Prius is a real serious problem. sorry it happened to you, I've had 2 stolen, and we ran-off attempt number 3.
    What I did was buy another car and use the factory cat to pass smog check, and the remove it so it doesn't get stolen.
    I have a no-cat exhaust on my prisu1 car, and I have a non-california cat on prius2.
    Both don't have the vacuum operated valve, so I have check engine lights on, a bit annoying, but not a real problem.

    I've thought of renting the cat to pass smog, might be some takers, because at $1200 the cars are just not worth it these days.
     
  9. dabard051

    dabard051 Tinkerer-in-Charge

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    Tashfeen, how did your 2001 catless Prius situation get resolved?
     
  10. dabard051

    dabard051 Tinkerer-in-Charge

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    Following up: if you do find a replacement cat assy (#17410 in the drawing) I would recommend replacing the gaskets on either end as well. FelPro #61357 near the engine and FelPro #61358 on the muffler end. About $9 each from RockAuto.

    If you want fresh hardware for the connection to engine and to the muffler, then Dorman 675221 or Walker 36454 (2 kits needed, one for each end) about $6 per kit at RockAuto.
     
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