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Turbocharged Engine Catalytic Converter Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Turbocharged Engine Catalytic Converter Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$1200

Talent:

*****

Tools:

Set of sockets 8mm, 10mm, 12mm, 13mm. Oxygen sensor socket, floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses, torque wrench

Applicable Models:

R56 MINI Cooper Hatchback (2007-11)
R56 MINI Cooper S Hatchback (2007-11)

Parts Required:

Catalytic converter, gaskets, exhaust clamp

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool exhaust

Performance Gain:

Replace faulty catalytic converter

Complementary Modification:

Replace muffler

The catalytic converter's job is to clean up the exhaust gases leaving the engine to meet emission standards. In a catalyst (cat for short) exhaust gases are forced to pass through a fine-meshed ceramic matrix impregnated with platinum-iridium alloy. These metals bring unburned CO and hydrocarbon molecules together with excess oxygen in the exhaust and accelerate oxidation. This chemical reaction creates heat, and the heat further improves oxidation efficiency; therefore cats need to run at a high temperature for maximum efficiency. Over time the high heat as well as contaminants in the exhaust melt or otherwise damage the ceramic matrix in the cat so that it requires replacement.

MINI R56 models with a turbocharged engine utilize one near-engine catalytic converter, mounted to the outlet of the turbocharger.

A damaged catalytic converter can rarely be diagnosed visually. Catalyst failure usually sets fault codes in the ECM. Before you remove the exhaust system, use a MINI scan tool or equivalent to download fault codes and determine if there is any reason to suspect the failure of these major emissions control components or of the oxygen sensors. The oxygen sensors, particularly those downstream of the catalysts, may be easier to remove once the exhaust system is off the car.

The most common fault codes that show your catalytic converters are faulty include: P0420 Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1).

When removing the exhaust system, have new fasteners, gaskets and rubber insulators on hand to help complete the repair.

When removing the exhaust system and particularly if you are going to store it while other repairs are taking place, be sure to protect the oxygen sensors and their electrical leads. Do not drag the exhaust system on the ground carelessly.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been 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. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Vehicle models change and evolve, as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. 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.

Raise and support the front of the vehicle on jack stands. See our tech article on jacking your vehicle. Wear those safety glasses whenever you work under your automobile.

Place the radiator support in service mode. See our tech article on radiator support service mode. Remove the engine-cooling fan. See our tech article on engine cooling fan replacing.

MINI R56 models with a turbocharged engine utilize one near-engine catalytic converter, mounted to the outlet of the turbocharger (red arrow).
Figure 1

MINI R56 models with a turbocharged engine utilize one near-engine catalytic converter, mounted to the outlet of the turbocharger (red arrow).

Remove the oxygen sensor (red arrow).
Figure 2

Remove the oxygen sensor (red arrow). See out tech article on oxygen sensor replacing.

Working in the wiper cowl, disconnect the battery negative cable and cover the battery terminal so that the cable does not accidentally come in contact with the disconnected cable.
Figure 3

Working in the wiper cowl, disconnect the battery negative cable and cover the battery terminal so that the cable does not accidentally come in contact with the disconnected cable. See our tech article on battery replacing notes on disconnecting and reconnecting the battery.

Working at the oxygen sensor electrical connector mount (green arrow), remove the 10mm fas,tener (red arrow).
Figure 4

Working at the oxygen sensor electrical connector mount (green arrow), remove the 10mm fas,tener (red arrow). Then remove the mounting bracket from the engine.

Working at the turbocharger heat shield, remove the six 10mm fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 5

Working at the turbocharger heat shield, remove the six 10mm fasteners (red arrows).

Remove the turbocharger heat shield (red arrow).
Figure 6

Remove the turbocharger heat shield (red arrow). Be careful not to bend it when removing.

Next, you will have to remove the catalytic converter heat shield.
Figure 7

Next, you will have to remove the catalytic converter heat shield. Start on the right side (viewed from below) working next to the a/c compressor (yellow arrow); remove the two 10mm fasteners (red arrows).

Working at the left side of the heat shield near the oil cooler (yellow arrow), remove the two 10mm heat shield fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 8

Working at the left side of the heat shield near the oil cooler (yellow arrow), remove the two 10mm heat shield fasteners (red arrows).

Remove the heat shield from below (red arrow).
Figure 9

Remove the heat shield from below (red arrow). Be careful not to bend it when removing it.

Working at the front of the exhaust system, remove the clamp (red arrow).
Figure 10

Working at the front of the exhaust system, remove the clamp (red arrow). Use a deep 16mm socket to remove the nut. Then open and remove the clamp. You can also slide the clamp off the pipe connection, instead of removing it.

Pull the front pipe out of the cat.
Figure 11

Pull the front pipe out of the cat. You may have to wiggle the exhaust out of the front pipe clamp. If stuck, raise the exhaust slightly.

Working at the bottom of the cat, remove the two 13mm nuts (red arrows).
Figure 12

Working at the bottom of the cat, remove the two 13mm nuts (red arrows). When installing, you will have to loosen the upper nuts (yellow arrows) to align the cat with the mounting brackets.

Working at the turbocharger, remove the three 13mm nuts (red arrows).
Figure 13

Working at the turbocharger, remove the three 13mm nuts (red arrows).

Remove the cat from the turbocharger outlet and lift it to remove it from the engine.
Figure 14

Remove the cat from the turbocharger outlet and lift it to remove it from the engine. When installing, first replace the gasket at the turbocharger outlet. Then install the cat to the turbocharger flange and install new nuts and tighten them. Then adjust and tighten the lower mounting brackets. Reverse the remaining steps to reassemble. Clear the fault codes and check the exhaust system for leaks.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Kent J Comments: What type of 13mm nuts are required to fasten the cat to the turbocharger 3x? What's the part number? Are they the same as the two 13mm nuts below, which hold the flange to the mounting bracket on the block? If not, what is the part number for the bottom ones?
October 22, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I’m not the best with part numbers.


Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:54:06 AM