Aftermarket exhaust systems help gearheads eliminate the extra power that’s stuck in their engine. The robust aluminized or stainless steel design paired with the large pipe diameters allow the engine to breathe freely, generating more torque and horsepower.
However, what most truck owners overlook in aftermarket exhausts is the benefits of high flow catalytic converters. Although not every exhaust comes with one, you should look for exhaust systems that have a cat or purchase one separately.
In this post, I’ll tell you what a catalytic converter is, why you need one, what it does, and more. If you have any questions, feel free to text our team at 281-761-6097.
- What is a catalytic converter?
- Benefits of high flow catalytic converters
- Top-selling MagnaFlow catalytic converters
- How does a high-flow catalytic converter work?
- Frequently asked questions
What is a catalytic converter?
A catalytic converter is a part of your truck’s emissions control system that helps regulate the exhaust. The cat is tied into a computerized engine system with oxygen sensors that monitor the fuel mix of your car to protect the air you breathe.
New computerized fuel systems have replaced older traditional fuel systems where a carburetor provided an air and fuel mix. Truck owners checked the fuel mix through hands-on mechanical observation or by examining the spark plugs.
What does a catalytic converter do?
The cat changes the chemical nature of exhaust gases to minimize the volume of harmful emissions from the exhaust manifold. Within the cat housing, there’s a ceramic-based honeycomb structure lined with precious metals. Each metal has a specific task in emission reduction.
Note that car engines produce three main emissions; water vapor, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen gas. However, the catalytic converter tackles the smaller, more harmful emissions (nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, and monoxide) that are produced because of the natural imperfect IC engine combustion process.
Nowadays, most cats are known as three-way catalytic converters because of the three types of emissions they tackle. A catalyst is a substance that speeds up chemical reactions and within a cat, there are two types of catalysts:
- Reduction catalyst – It uses rhodium and platinum to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions within the honeycomb. The catalyst metals come into contact with nitrogen gasses which rip the harmful gasses out of the molecules. In turn, this releases cleaner oxygen to move down the exhaust system.
- Oxidization catalyst – It uses palladium and platinum to execute the task. These catalysts burn or oxidize the hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide present within the incoming gas to minimize the amonut of smog generated by evaporated, unburnt fuel.
The last stage of emission control involves the sensor relaying back to the ECU the amount of oxygen within the exhaust gasses. The onboard computer then adjusts the fuel/air ratio, allowing the engine to run close to the Stoichiometric point. At this point, all the fuel entering the combustion chamber uses all the available oxygen to complete the combustion process.
This final stage allows the engine to supply the cat with enough oxygen to complete the oxidization process effectively with the second catalyst. It also helps the engine’s overall efficiency.
Benefits of high flow catalytic converters
If you’re planning to use a high-flow catalytic converter, you might be wondering what are the benefits of outfitting your exhaust system with this kind of technology. Below are the benefits of high-flow cats:
1. Prevents improper fuel mix
An aftermarket high-flow converter can help prevent some of the commonly experienced issues with newer fuel systems. In most cars, the cat becomes clogged over time, especially when other fuel system parts aren’t working properly.
An improper fuel mix can damage the converter and cause a flag in the engine’s computer. Unfortunately, clogged catalytic converters require costly replacement. A high-flow cat is a great alternative as it has a better chance of lasting on the road for a long time.
2. Complies with state requirements
Another benefit of high-flow cats is that manufacturers are designing these exhaust systems while paying attention to the tighter emission requirements, especially in states like California. You can even find a new high-flow converter that helps you comply with state regulations for carbon emissions depending on the state in which your car is registered.
Many states have mandatory carbon emissions inspections. So having a complaint exhaust and fuel system can help you boost your fuel economy. In the long run, you’ll save money due to paying lower gas bills.
3. Does not restrict airflow
Regular catalytic converters do not allow the gasses to pass through efficiently because they aren’t built with performance in mind. However, high-flow catalytic converters eliminate the restrictions that hinder performance by allowing an efficient gas flow.
This is important for truck owners who have done upgrades to their engines, as well as for people with poorly designed or old catalytic converters. A high-flow cat improves performance by allowing more unrestricted airflow through your entire exhaust system.
4. Helps you understand better your exhaust and fuel systems
Drivers who understand more about their exhaust and fuel systems know how adding a high-flow cat can make sense for their specific car. This kind of knowledge is important when your car is experiencing fuel system-related problems. For example, check engine light indicates various issues such as slight emissions problems and engine integrity failure.
Sometimes it takes extensive diagnostic work to discover what’s happening with your exhaust or fuel system. Understanding how the different parts work together can help you take the right actions that can help you get satisfactory repair and diagnostics.
5. Provides adequate processing for the exhaust
High-flow catalytic converters are useful for large vehicles such as heavy-duty trucks. When a car has a big engine, a high-flow cat can provide adequate processing for the exhaust gasses coming out. This is very crucial because incompatible fuel system parts and mixes of exhaust can prevent your vehicle from performing optimally.
Top-selling MagnaFlow catalytic converters
MagnaFlow catalytic converters reduce and control car emissions by converting dangerous emissions in exhaust gas to less harmful emissions through a catalyst. The following table shows these converters are designed with robust stainless steel to keep your exhaust system and engine in perfect condition for a long time.
CARB compliant cat for OBD 2 vehicles
- The closely welded seam that creates a strong bond between the wall and the catalyst to ensure the catalyst stays intact
- Keeps your engine and exhaust system in good condition
- The monolithic honecomb catalyst design that increases catalytic surface area
- The ribbed heat shield that provides a tough wall for heat protection
The universal fit
- Converts poisonous exhaust fumes to less dangerous emissions
- The ribbed heat shielding that creates a rigid structure to contain hot exhaust fumes
- Designed with premium-grade stainless steel that stays strong for years
- MagnaFlow’s 5-year/50,000 mile limited warranty
Perfect for cars with second-generation OBDII systems
- The closely welded seam that holds the catalyst firmly to prevent it from becoming loose and shifting in the converter
- Has maximum internal surface area for efficient exhaust flow and catalytic reactions
- Built to fit your car’s OEM exhaust system no matter its make or model
- Made with authentic material and superior technology
The 16-gauge stainless steel construction
- The ribbed heat shield that offers structural stability to ensure the converter stays in shape during extreme temperatures
- Expands internal surface area for maximum exhaust flow and catalytic reactions
- Fits a variety of truck applications with minimum modification
- Designed well to endure extreme heat and tough road conditions
Made for pre-OBDII cars
- The monolithic honeycomb design that increases the surface area of the exhaust flow for maximum conversion
- The oxidation-free and rust-resistant stainless steel construction
- The closely welded seam that prevents the catalyst from loosening and shifting inside the converter
- Fits most car OEM exhaust systems perfectly
Universal California OBDII Catalytic Converter
- Reduces poisonous emissions while improving the performance of your engine and exhaust system
- Built with rust-resistant strength for maximum durability
- The ribbed heat shield that offers a strong wall for heat protection
- Complies with CARB requirements
The direct fit design
- Keeps your exhaust system and engine in optimal condition for maximum performance
- Has a closely welded seam that forms a strong bond between the wall and the catalyst
- Made with funneled outlets and inlets to help fit on your truck model perfectly
- Designed with solid stainless steel that won’t corrode, oxidize or rust
The easy bolt-on installation
- The increased internal surface for maximum exhaust flow and catalytic reactions
- Constructed with tough stainless steel for added durability and resilience
- High-performance catalytic converter for your truck’s application
- No contortion in high temperatures
Pre-OBDII catalytic converters
- Effectively minimizes the emission of poisonous gases to keep the air cleaner
- The ribbed body that prevents contortion of the converter during high temperatures
- Made with 16-gauge stainless steel for superior strength and durability
- Easy to install without any cuting or welding
Complies with federal emissions requirements
- The closely welded seam that prevents the catalyst from loosening and moving around in the converter
- Made with heavy metal to ensure it stays strong for a long period
- Easy installation without cutting, welding or drilling
- Designed to fit your car’s exhaust system perfectly
Ceramic honeycombed catalyst
- The ribbed body that reduces distortion and expansion when the catalytic reaches its high operating temperature
- Heavy metal converter that transforms exhaust to harmless gas to boost airflow
- Provides better exhaust flow and improves the sound plus performance of your application
- Oxidation and rust-resistant as it is made from heat shield and 100% stainless steel body
Perfect replacement in both gas and diesel vehicles
- The ribbed heat shield that creates a firm structure to contain the hottest fumes without losing shape
- Makes your exhaust emission less toxic and cleaner while keeping your exhaust system and engine in optimal condition
- The increased internal surface for maximum exhaust flow and catalytic reactions
- Designed to fit a wide range of vehicle applications
How does a high-flow catalytic converter work?
A high-flow catalytic converter works similarly to a standard catalytic converter. However, it catalyzes the exhaust flow quickly. Like a standard cat, a high-flow catalytic converter features a honeycomb design that filters the exhaust gasses.
Keep in mind that the flow capability of a cat can be higher if it does its job more quickly. The flow rate can be boosted either by increasing the cross-section of the honeycomb to allow the converter to have more passages where the reactions can occur or widening the passages to allow exhaust gasses to flow freely.
Designs with larger cross-sections should be built to fit within the allocated space on specific cars while designs with larger passages should contain more catalyst metal to fasten the catalytic reaction. However, high-flow converters should not sacrifice effectiveness for greater efficiency.
If you are considering adding a high-flow catalytic converter to your vehicle, buy from a reputable source. Also, check the laws regarding emissions in your state to ensure you’re in compliance
Frequently asked questions