Catalytic converter cage installers? Seattle

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by dex3703, Sep 26, 2021.

  1. dex3703

    dex3703 Member

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    Given the catalytic converter shields and related items available do nothing to deter thefts, I'm looking for recommendations for a metal forming or other metal working shop to weld rebar or similar around my catalytic converter to prevent it from being stolen again. I've heard of others doing this and it seeming to work.

    Does anyone have any suggestions or experiences with Seattle-area shops that do this? Muffler shops, metalwork shops, etc.

    Thanks in advance.
     
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  2. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Underfoot

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    Did you have a shield?
     
  3. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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    A video I saw, recommended putting many tightly spaced u-bolts around the exhaust pipes fore and aft of the catalytic converter so saw blades and chain pipe cutters don't have access to cut through the pipe. Looked kind of like a porcupine of studs and nuts surrounding the pipes.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Underfoot

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    Reminded me of this:

    upload_2021-9-27_9-25-28.png

    Excellent movie btw.
     
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  5. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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  6. dex3703

    dex3703 Member

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    I didn't have a shield. These aren't an impediment. I know of multiple instances of people with them that the thieves just sawed through. They're so thin and highly priced I consider them another scam.

    The U bolts is a good idea but a hacksaw would just go through them too, wouldn't they?

    Still looking for a metal shop to weld on rebar/plate steel that would make a difference.
     
  7. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    The only way to guarantee that your original catalytic converter will not be stolen is to take it out yourself and to replace it with a cheap aftermarket one.



    Get a cheap one like this;

     
  8. dex3703

    dex3703 Member

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    I'm really surprised how bad this advice is.
     
  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Underfoot

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    Comprehensive insurance?
     
  10. Another

    Another Senior Member

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    Which is the best advice
    Most insurers replace with OEM and you get 10 years to life
     
  11. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    Which advice?
    The U-bolts or selling your OEM cat and installing a $200 replacement?
    If you've already solved your own problem than just find the nearest muffler shop and have then tack weld some scrap square stock onto your exhaust pipe and be done with it.

    Rebar is cheap and widely available - and it will provide some deterrent, but you can saw through it just as easily as a U-bolt.

    The advantage of U-bolts are that they can be self-installed.

    A big honkin metal plate might not be very wise because cats get kinda hot - ;)

    Good Luck!
     
  12. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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    If the u-bolts are arrayed properly (tight against each other, and in multiple directions), it would be very difficult to align a saw blade to effectively cut through the pipe they're shielding.

    I put a cat shield fortified with stainless mesh on our car, and I'm done worrying about it.

    I mentioned the u-bolts because it is a novel idea that might be a suitable deterrent. Nothing is foolproof, because given enough time, any system can be defeated.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  13. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

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    They can just get a tow truck and take the whole car.

    I put a Cat Shield on mine. It’s pretty thick stainless. I suppose a Sawzall can cut through it, but I doubt it would be especially fast or quiet, and we live on a pretty quiet street. It it takes 60 seconds of sawing, I’ll easily be outside with a very different kind of theft deterrent.
     
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  14. Flowbee

    Flowbee Junior Member

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    Walker exhaust U clamps $1.50 at my local store. Wonder how many I'd need???

    I'm also looking into mounting a battery powered vibration bike alarm where I could quick attach/detach by reaching under the car. If it doesn't go off every time a civic with a fart can drives by than it might be worthwhile
     
  15. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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    Also, heavy trucks, the diesel powered kind, that rumbles by and vibrates everything.


    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  16. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Underfoot

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    I was speculating two per zone, if you made them a little oversized and clamped a layer or two of expanded metal mesh? Not sure how effective the latter would be, but kinda hoping it would both discourage and confound.
     
  17. Flowbee

    Flowbee Junior Member

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    Could show me a picture of the "zones" you mention? I don't have a jack to look at my car in great detail atm..
     
  18. BlastFromThePast

    BlastFromThePast New Member

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    You can get one of those power failure sirens that professional security companies use to secure buildings from burglars who shut off the power to the building before breaking in. Then modify it so it sounds and latches on when a sensor wire goes open circuit. Connect one wire to the back of the exhaust pipe, which is hanging and insulated by rubber exhaust hangers, and connect the other end to the chassis. When they cut off one end of the cat, it will trigger the siren. Thieves hate noise. It should also let you know when your exhaust flex joint fails completely.

    This actually helps get the thieves caught instead of just encouraging the thief to go to the next vehicle. A thief that isn't caught will always keep coming back to steal something else. That's what those burglar alarm signs do, they just make the burglar keep going until there's a house that doesn't advertise that it has an alarm and overall crime isn't reduced at all.

    You could also get a medium carbon steel like 1045 steel or high carbon or stainless or other heat treatable round or square bar. Have it fitted to the front and back pipes around the cat so it can be welded in multiple places to the cat and clamped in at least one spot to the pipes in front or in back. Then have it heat treated to harden it. Heat treating can even be done with just a blowtorch and a water tank to quench it. Then put it on. Those saws that thieves use will not be able to cut through hardened steel.

    Come to think of it, you can get chain that is hardened. Grade 70 or higher chain should be hard enough break the teeth off a saw blade. You can weld and clamp that to the exhaust pipe and cat. If the clamps aren't made from hardened steel they could cut the clamps off but that's probably too much work at this point.

    Just make sure the exhaust place uses stainless steel welding filler metal. The exhaust pipes are something like 400 series stainless, but it can be contaminated with non stainless steel, which will remove the rust protection and then you could end up with a hole in the pipe where it was welded. Welding stainless is toxic and a proper respirator should be worn.
     
  19. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

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    I think this is getting out of hand.

    You know what I read all the time? “My catalytic converter was stolen.”

    You know what I don’t read? “I put a cat shield on my car, and the catalytic converter was still stolen.”

    It takes a long time to cut through stainless steel with a Sawzall. The thief will just go onto the next car. He’ll see the shield and just leave, because this isn’t the business of figuring out where the screws are and making a racket for twenty minutes.

    At the end of the day, our cars have glass windows and they can be put on dollies and towed. But a basic cat shield will go a very long way to safeguarding the car. No need to think harder than that.
     
    #19 Rebound, Dec 26, 2021
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2021
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  20. BlastFromThePast

    BlastFromThePast New Member

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    The difference in difficulty between between stealing a catalytic converter from a pickup truck or SUV that doesn't need to be jacked up versus a car should be similar defeating a simple cat shield versus not having one. When a Prius gets its catalytic converter stolen, it must be that there were no SUV type vehicles nearby, and the thief went to the trouble of having to jack up the car to get under it. Or are the raw materials or whatever else gives it value in the catalytic converter in a hybrid vehicle worth so much more that it's worth the extra effort? The stolen cats around here are usually off taller trucks or SUVs.
     
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