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Catalytic Convertor Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Catalytic Convertor Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$1100

Talent:

**

Tools:

15mm, 13mm, 10mm, 8mm socket, 22mm Crawfoot

Applicable Models:

R53 (2002-06)

Parts Required:

Catalytic convertor, exhaust gaskets

Hot Tip:

Do not drop the Cat

Performance Gain:

Pass a SMOG test

Complementary Modification:

New spark plugs

The Catalytic convertors on the Mini are one piece with the exhaust manifold and even if only one Cat is bad you need to replace the whole manifold Cats and pipe. If you are not passing a SMOG test because your cats have gone bad, this article will show you how to remove the system to replace them. If your O-2 sensors are still good you can transfer them to the new Cat as these are not cheap. Remember you will also need to replace the exhaust manifold and down pipe gaskets so order those when ordering the Cats

Remember that your car may have been serviced before and had parts replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

When replacing the Catalytic and exhaust manifold make sure you have a new manifold to head and down pipe gasket. You are going to be working both above and below the vehicle so please see our article on jacking up and supporting your car.

The exhaust manifold including the catalytic convertors is located on the rear of the engine.
Figure 1

The exhaust manifold including the catalytic convertors is located on the rear of the engine. You will need to be able to reach down behind the motor to remove it (red arrow).

If you have an after-market strut brace that interferes with access to the work area you will need to remove it.
Figure 2

If you have an after-market strut brace that interferes with access to the work area you will need to remove it. Most after-market braces attach to two of the three shock tower bolts; if you only remove two you should not upset the alignment of the vehicle.

Remove the strut hardware and then remove the strut to free up room.
Figure 3

Remove the strut hardware and then remove the strut to free up room. If your strut is tied into the complete shock tower mounting bolts you will need to have your alignment checked after re-installing it.

Looking in behind the engine you can see the heat shield above the exhaust manifold (red arrow).
Figure 4

Looking in behind the engine you can see the heat shield above the exhaust manifold (red arrow). Depending on the type of coils you have it may be easier to move the plugs and wiring harness out of the way (yellow arrow).

Remove the two 13mm bolts (red arrows) and remove the heat shield.
Figure 5

Remove the two 13mm bolts (red arrows) and remove the heat shield.

With the heat shield removed you can access the exhaust manifold (red arrow).
Figure 6

With the heat shield removed you can access the exhaust manifold (red arrow). It is a tight fit but remove the eight 10mm bolts holding the manifold to the head.

The bolts can get corroded on and there is a change that you may need to use a small breaker bar to loosen them.
Figure 7

The bolts can get corroded on and there is a change that you may need to use a small breaker bar to loosen them. The bolts sit very deep into the head and if you feel you are going to break the bolt stop and hit it with some more penetrating oil. If you can heat cycle the bolts a few times with the penetrating oil it will help

He is a picture of the bolt, check them for condition and replace as needed.
Figure 8

He is a picture of the bolt, check them for condition and replace as needed.

Disconnect the upper O-2 sensor on the left side of the engine (red arrow) and lower the wiring down to free it up.
Figure 9

Disconnect the upper O-2 sensor on the left side of the engine (red arrow) and lower the wiring down to free it up.

Working under the vehicle disconnect the rear O-2 sensor (yellow arrow) from the wiring connection (red arrow).
Figure 10

Working under the vehicle disconnect the rear O-2 sensor (yellow arrow) from the wiring connection (red arrow). You will need to use 10mm socket to remove the nut (blue arrow) and move the heat shielding out of the way to free up the wiring for the sensor.

Use a 15mm socket and remove the two nuts on the pipe connector (red arrows).
Figure 11

Use a 15mm socket and remove the two nuts on the pipe connector (red arrows). It is also a good idea to hit these with some penetrating oil before you start to help loosen them up.

Use both a 10mm and 8mm socket to remove the piece of heat shield on the forward left side (red arrow); this will give you enough space to get the manifold through.
Figure 12

Use both a 10mm and 8mm socket to remove the piece of heat shield on the forward left side (red arrow); this will give you enough space to get the manifold through.

Lower the pipe through the opening.
Figure 13

Lower the pipe through the opening.

Whether you are transferring the old O-2 sensors to the new pipe or installing new ones make sure to use the proper tool; which is a 22mm Crawfoot wrench.
Figure 14

Whether you are transferring the old O-2 sensors to the new pipe or installing new ones make sure to use the proper tool; which is a 22mm Crawfoot wrench.

Transfer over the two O-2 sensors or install new ones.
Figure 15

Transfer over the two O-2 sensors or install new ones. New sensors will have a small amount of anti-seize on the threads, make sure that you do not get any on the sensor area. Installation is the reverse of removal.

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