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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2003 xterra XE 4x4 3.3L. The check engine light came on and it was taken to garage. Mechanic stated that he checked exhaust back pressure and determined that the catalytic converters had "melted" and was blocking exhaust. Recommended replacing catalytic converters and O2 sensors. You guys know that is over 1500.00 in parts alone. The car runs but just barely. The engine acts like it is being choked out. It sputters and jerks and acts like its going to die any minute. I have no problem having car fixed but if I dont HAVE TO replace all four cat. converters and all 4 O2 sensors then I surely dont want to. Anybody with simular experiences or advice. I know I am going to have to take to garage again and have testing done that the mechanic that charged 85.00 and tested exhaust back pressure should have done. I feel like I am getting ripped off by these guys . Unless you are a mechanic yourself how are you to know. It just seems REALLY STRANGE that all 4 cats and all 4 O2 sensors are bad at the same time
 

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cut the cats out and straight pipe it........no but really, if your handy, i'm sure you can get the cats cheaper and install them yourself. i would assume they are bolt on but then again i haven't tried replacing them on an x.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Whats up b, I thought about DIY but I,m not sure I could get to the front cat. converters that attach to the exhaust manifold. They are right on the side of the engine and the curve of the wheel well. Tight squeeze
 

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You dont need all 4 of either. He is just suggesting it because it's a while your there kind of thing. That plus installing new o2 into new cats is 10x easier, plus he gets more labor.

I would find out which of the cats are bad and replace just them myself. I'm a mechanic though so lol.

I'm sure you can do it though. spray all the bolts with pb blaster then in a few hours get the engine running for a time until the exhaust is hot and hit all the bolts with pb blaster again. Then start tearing it apart. Use extensions for the 2 side cats. Or just remove them with the manifolds, much easier esp if the cat bolts are rusted (I'm sure they are).

If your not up for it you self then just tell the mechanic you ONLY want the bad cat/s replaced and you know damn well its not all of them. If its not throwing a o2 code then don't touch them. I'd also make sure I got the bad ones because they are worth over 100 bucks each in scrap, that offsets the cost a good deal.
 

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2000 Xterra XE 4x4 3.3L AT
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Whats up b, I thought about DIY but I,m not sure I could get to the front cat. converters that attach to the exhaust manifold. They are right on the side of the engine and the curve of the wheel well. Tight squeeze
Perfect excuse to do a 2" body lift! :pfeilimkopf-big: With the body lift there is all kinds of clearance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Racer..haha if i wasnt having to spend all this money just to get it running...its on my list though.7224OZ what makes a used catalytic converter worth anything and to who? Good looking out guys.
 

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They are made using exotic metals like platinum, rhodium and/or palladium. Some new ones are even mixing gold in because it's cheaper then others.

Knowledge is power man, saves you money lol.
 

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72240z you're a good man. Good looking out.

That Smell, I'm no mechanic either, but over the past couple years I've learned that with some research, the right tools (I can't emphasize that enough) and the help of the guys on this forum, there's very little a guy can't fix on his own. I'd say it's time to get your hands dirty.
:)
 

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I have a 2003 xterra XE 4x4 3.3L. The check engine light came on and it was taken to garage. Mechanic stated that he checked exhaust back pressure and determined that the catalytic converters had "melted" and was blocking exhaust. Recommended replacing catalytic converters and O2 sensors. You guys know that is over 1500.00 in parts alone. The car runs but just barely. The engine acts like it is being choked out. It sputters and jerks and acts like its going to die any minute. I have no problem having car fixed but if I dont HAVE TO replace all four cat. converters and all 4 O2 sensors then I surely dont want to. Anybody with simular experiences or advice. I know I am going to have to take to garage again and have testing done that the mechanic that charged 85.00 and tested exhaust back pressure should have done. I feel like I am getting ripped off by these guys . Unless you are a mechanic yourself how are you to know. It just seems REALLY STRANGE that all 4 cats and all 4 O2 sensors are bad at the same time
thats called covering your ass and if it really only needs two look at the extra cash he is going to steal from you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well the car is at the garage and the guy called me back up to his shop to show me the rear drivers converter and to look up into the front drivers converter while the pipe was detached. There is nothing in the front one. It has crumbled and been forced by exhaust pressure into the rear cat. Rear is totally blocked. Already fitted aftermarket to rear exhaust and is overnighting the front one, so it should be done by tomorrow. Mechanic did state that the knock sensor is throwing a code and needs to be fixed. Not sure of price yet but he is only replacing the drivers side front and back so it should be half as much as I was fearing.Anyway....its always great to get your car back.
 

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Right off the bat you should know most of the top end of the engine has to come apart so that 1 bolt sensor cant be accessed. If I were going to do the job I would charge 400+ labor alone. (Which I have many times)



Second it's not adversely effecting engine performance by not working.

It's a safety device that will alert the ecu of a knock so it can retard the timing to help correct it. The vg could run forever with a moderate knock, its a low comp naturally aspired engine. You'd be hard pressed to get it to knock in the 1st place, maybe old bad gas on a hot day etc..... I have a ton of vg experience, 2 z32's a z31, d21, xterra say nothing for all the engine work I have done on custi and friends vg's. a knock is the last thing I would worry about on a vg33.

Third it doesn't throw a light. You can even get inspected with it throwing that code. I just did but a few weeks ago.

Three strong reasons imho. If you ever have to do intake mani gaskets or head gaskets or anything like that then you do it. OR you just unplug the one thats broken, bolt a new one somewhere else on the block and plug into that one. Thats the 100 dollar peace of mind option lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
A little back history on this xterra. In the last year it has ran (not well) 2 months out of 12. The rest of the time has been spent at garages and at home waiting to save 1000s to fix it and its always going to finally be fixed...this will fix it or that will...the whole time with hand out.The guy fixing the cat converters said he placed new cat and the car ran no better . Now it needs to go back to engine mechanic because something else is going on. He hooked up computer and showed me the codes-a few for knock sensor, a couple for the transmission but no others. Now the car was at a garage before moving to get cats fixed. If that mechanic didnt easily find engine problem then the rest(mechanics)will have no better luck.I,m done ,I,m going to cut my losses and let bank have car.Ive spent over 4000.00 in repair this year(its only May) and the car still wont run well enough to drive.Thanks for your input guys. Ive had nissans since 1993. They are GREAT vehicles.. I just got a lemon on this one
 

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SIGH! Take that SUV home and love on it some... Before id mess my credit up.. I would stay on this board (its free ya know) There are 4 or 5 top mechanics on here.. that deal with this stuff every day! Listen to them... If you have any tools at all most of these things could be done at home... Work on one issue at a time.. Ask questions on here...
You can go to any Autozone or Advance to have codes pulled.. like 72240z said dont mess with the K/S..wast of time...
Good luck man
 

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I have a 2003 xterra XE 4x4 3.3L. The check engine light came on and it was taken to garage. Mechanic stated that he checked exhaust back pressure and determined that the catalytic converters had "melted" and was blocking exhaust. Recommended replacing catalytic converters and O2 sensors. You guys know that is over 1500.00 in parts alone. The car runs but just barely. The engine acts like it is being choked out. It sputters and jerks and acts like its going to die any minute. I have no problem having car fixed but if I dont HAVE TO replace all four cat. converters and all 4 O2 sensors then I surely dont want to. Anybody with simular experiences or advice. I know I am going to have to take to garage again and have testing done that the mechanic that charged 85.00 and tested exhaust back pressure should have done. I feel like I am getting ripped off by these guys . Unless you are a mechanic yourself how are you to know. It just seems REALLY STRANGE that all 4 cats and all 4 O2 sensors are bad at the same time
Old post,
did you end up replacing all 4?
I have just gotten a steal on an 03, that will need to pass a smog to be able to be legal in Nevada. Possibly doing it myself if I find the right tutorials.
 

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Old post,
did you end up replacing all 4?
I have just gotten a steal on an 03, that will need to pass a smog to be able to be legal in Nevada. Possibly doing it myself if I find the right tutorials.
I would be surprised if you get a reply from a 2010 posting. Good luck anyhow.
 

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I have a 2003 xterra XE 4x4 3.3L. The check engine light came on and it was taken to garage. Mechanic stated that he checked exhaust back pressure and determined that the catalytic converters had "melted" and was blocking exhaust. Recommended replacing catalytic converters and O2 sensors. You guys know that is over 1500.00 in parts alone. The car runs but just barely. The engine acts like it is being choked out. It sputters and jerks and acts like its going to die any minute. I have no problem having car fixed but if I dont HAVE TO replace all four cat. converters and all 4 O2 sensors then I surely dont want to. Anybody with simular experiences or advice. I know I am going to have to take to garage again and have testing done that the mechanic that charged 85.00 and tested exhaust back pressure should have done. I feel like I am getting ripped off by these guys . Unless you are a mechanic yourself how are you to know. It just seems REALLY STRANGE that all 4 cats and all 4 O2 sensors are bad at the same time
Do you really need four cats? My son-in-law who's an ASE certified mech.informs me your X only has two cats and the ones downstream are more cat-lash-resignators and replacing the top cats are only necessary! Maybe intall tube headers with cats????
 

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All four are catalytic converters. Only the front two are monitored for efficiency on federal emissions vehicles. Many California emissions models monitor all converters for efficiency. Removing any of them may or may not affect your emissions test depending on your state/local requirements
 
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