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Old 12-23-2012, 11:01 PM   #1
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a California Spec. vs a Federal Spec. Catalytic converter

Hello everyone, I just bought my first 4th gen Maxima (well she's my first car), and the previous owner told me that there was an exhaust leak. Well I found the hole in the exhaust and it's in the Catalytic converter. My car is a California spec.

My question is can I just purchase a non-CARB catalytic converter, such as this one (http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/more...846&cc=1211386)


or...

Would I have to find one that would work with the California spec?
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:48 PM   #2
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I'm not big on the differences between Cali and fed spec, but I highly recommend getting a warpspeed, cattman, or what have you, y-pipe and get rid of those power robbing cats.
AFAIK, you'll still be able to pass emissions too. I have one and no CEL.
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Old 12-24-2012, 12:41 AM   #3
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I'm not so concerned if the catalytic converters rob some power, it's going to be my college commuter car, I'm just looking to fix the problem, and I didn't want to order parts without asking for some advice on here.

I think it's the original converter so I feel like I should just replace the whole catalytic converter , I just don't know if a federal spec maxima has a different catalytic converter setup versus a california spec set up
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Old 12-24-2012, 12:55 AM   #4
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I'm pretty sure you have to replace the whole y pipe and can't just do one cat, so it's probably around the same price to get some extra fun. And from what I've read, Cali exhaust is different than fed. Not sure how is all.
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Old 12-24-2012, 04:41 AM   #5
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y-pipe is cheaper plus has benefits of 2 mpg and 18 HP. Should be fine, i believe you would have trouble with 99 cali-spec but i dunno hopefully someone else will chime in.
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:04 AM   #6
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You need the specific cat and b pipe for a Cali spec. The rear o2's are located differently and the flanges and pipe lengths are also different. The cat itself may be interchangeable in an aftermarket unit. But the b pipe will absolutely be different.
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Old 12-24-2012, 11:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njmaxseltd View Post
You need the specific cat and b pipe for a Cali spec. The rear o2's are located differently and the flanges and pipe lengths are also different. The cat itself may be interchangeable in an aftermarket unit. But the b pipe will absolutely be different.
Do you mean y pipe? The b pipe is in the rear....?
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Old 12-24-2012, 12:07 PM   #8
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California emissions uses 4 O2 sensors, federal and Canadian use 3 O2 sensors.

California cars:
Click the image to open in full size.

federal and Canadian:
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 12-24-2012, 12:13 PM   #9
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I think there's some confusion here. Is the OP doesn't talking about the pre-cats? Pre-cats are what is pictured with the Y-pipe link on ebay.

The exhaust system contains many parts. First there's the exhaust manifold directly connected to the engine block. Then there's the Y-pipe like the one shown in the ebay link. The Y pipe has 2 pre-cats, or pre-catalytic converters, one for each side of the V6 engine. After the Y-pipe is the actual catalytic converter. It's the big bulge after the Y pipe, pretty much located directly below the gear shifter when you're sitting inside the car. After the main cat there's the B pipe and finally the muffler.

So, which cat are we talking about here?
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Old 12-24-2012, 12:49 PM   #10
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California catalytic converter will not have an O2 bung on the converter itself. Cars that are Cali with 3 O2 sensors total will have the bung after the cat and at the beginning of B-pipe. Cali. cars with 4 O2's will have them all on the y-pipe as laid out in the photo.

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Old 12-24-2012, 12:49 PM   #11
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either way, njmaxseltd is right (you can see in the diagram)- the o2 locations are specific for both the y-pipe portion or from the main cat on.
OP needs to verify which cat he's talking about. the pic he posted is front portion/ypipe, but the post never said pre-cats specifically.
if you're referring to the MAIN cat: if you cant find a good condition oem one to bolt in, second easiest (and maybe cheaper) option is to just get a universal one and have it welded on by someone good.
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:14 PM   #12
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I'd like to thank you guys for being so helpful, and now I can more accurately describe my problem with my car.

The hole is in my pre-cat that is coming from the front of the engine. So this would pretty much mean I need a new y-pipe right?
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:16 PM   #13
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Does that picture apply for the 1995 Maxima? I just realized I forgot to post my model year of my car
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fp3 View Post
Does that picture apply for the 1995 Maxima? I just realized I forgot to post my model year of my car
Listen up, and listen good:


Since you have a 95, you don't give a rat's butthole about cali spec or not. ALL y pipes from 95 to 98 are the EXACT SAME. You have a total of 3 o2 sensors...2 in the Y before the precats, and one after the main cat.

In other words, you're a fed spec maxima. The "cali spec" maxima came out in 99. So you're ok.

If the hole you've got is in the y pipe, it's ok to get a new Y that removes the precats...unless your state does a visual inspection. I can't see your stste in your profile (mobile) so I can't advise to that. BUT if you. Can, get a warpspeed or cattman Y pipe and enjoy some gains as well
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fp3 View Post
I'd like to thank you guys for being so helpful, and now I can more accurately describe my problem with my car.

The hole is in my pre-cat that is coming from the front of the engine. So this would pretty much mean I need a new y-pipe right?
Yes. That is the Y pipe. You can likely get used oem Y pipe, but if you're going to do that you don't know how clogged it is and all that shiit, so the better way is to go aftermarket (which have the precats deleted) like I mentioned above.
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:47 PM   #16
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So it doesn't really matter if the sticker under the hood says it's california certified?

I'm in New York, but the place i plan on getting it inspected probably won't even look at any of the catalytic converters
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Old 12-24-2012, 03:08 PM   #17
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Old 12-24-2012, 03:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amerikaner83 View Post

Yes. That is the Y pipe. You can likely get used oem Y pipe, but if you're going to do that you don't know how clogged it is and all that shiit, so the better way is to go aftermarket (which have the precats deleted) like I mentioned above.
I thought I said that..? Lol
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:59 PM   #19
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you did..I'm just confirming and giving more reasons for it, calm yourself
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Old 12-25-2012, 02:35 AM   #20
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you did..I'm just confirming and giving more reasons for it, calm yourself
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Old 12-25-2012, 02:35 AM
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