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Reged: 08/18/06
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Catalytic Converter Help for my 95' 2.5 m/t
#1302866 - 08/18/06 04:25 AM

I'm hoping someone can give me some advice for my bad catalytic converter(s). My 1995 contour with 110,000 miles has a 2.5L and manual trans so I understand there are 3 catalytic converters, right? Is it common for the two on or near the manifold to go bad or get clogged. I was pricing them and found they are around $1000 a piece which is probably more than the car is worth. What are the chances of replacing just the main one fixing my problem of a clogged exhaust? Why are those two by the manifold so expensive? Thanks in advance...

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Re: Catalytic Converter Help for my 95' 2.5 m/t new
#1302996 (Re: tedinindy) 08/18/06 01:38 PM

Welcome . Yes, 2 Precatalytic Converters which are part of the exhaust manifolds (hence the high price) and one main catalytic ocnverter. At 11 years and 110K miles, there is a good chance that all 3 are broken. Do the el cheapo plugged exhaust test to determine which is plugged. If you do not have to deal with smog inspections, you may want to consider gutting the plugged converter and leaving the other two alone.

El Cheapo 1995 Duratec Plugged Exhaust Test.

For the Duratec, a good cheap way is to remove the O2 sensors, in this order (and see if the performance improves). Uninstall Bank 2 upper (radiator side) to determine if Bank 2 precat is plugged, reinstall Bank 2 upper and then uninstall Bank 1 upper (closest to firewall) to determine if bank 1 precat is plugged. Battery needs to be disconnected before uninstalling and installing O2 sensors. Make sure that where the O2 sensor openings are do not have tubes or wires which can melt easily as the exhaust is very hot. If there are, need to cover them or have something to divert the exhaust gases away from them. And do not drive for more than a few minutes.

Bank 1 Upper O2 sensor replacement in
Duratec Maintenance FAQ

Bank 2 (radiator side) Upper O2 sensor; Need a O2 sensor removal tool, 7/8 inch or 22 mm crescent wrench.
On this 2-Dimensional picture, ignore the red box and arrow, the Bank 2 Upper is the sensor on the left of the pre-cat (closest to the oil filter). The arrow is pointing to the Bank 2 pre-cat. Also ignore the Bank 2 Lower (the O2 sensor on the right of this picture) as the 1995 models do not have lower o2 sensors.
Originally posted by chongo:

"Always do the cheap and easy ones first."

1996 V6 ATX 96K miles

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Veteran CEG'er

Reged: 08/17/02
Posts: 853
Re: Catalytic Converter Help for my 95' 2.5 m/t new
#1303064 (Re: tedinindy) 08/18/06 03:11 PM

You could get headers mil eliminators and a new main cat for less than $1000. As long as you can do the install, it’s not hard just very frustrating to work in such a small area. Also as Tony said you can gut the pre cats and just replace your main cat. I would recommend you keep the main cat no matter what.

Edit: MSDS Headers Sale
Here you will find a set of uncoated headers for $200. You can make your own mil eliminators for $3

98.5 Black SVT with 34k miles Build #5683 Born on 4\15\1998
WR Headers GMK CAI
Blaupunkt system fiberglass tweeter pods
L.E.D. tail lights in the works

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Reged: 10/09/02
Posts: 27
Re: Catalytic Converter Help for my 95' 2.5 m/t new
#1303495 (Re: BlackE1) 08/20/06 07:57 AM

I am working on this exact problem today; replacing all three cats on my 95, Duratec, MTX. I ordered an entire replacement kit from Bill Jenkins to the tune of less than $800, delivered. It included the three cats, front and rear gaskets, Y-pipe, ceramic gasket, both O2 sensors, replacement studs w/nuts for the manifold pre-cats (although those were the wrong size (too big)), EGR tube w/both rubber hoses. The kit also included sequence instructions from Ford for doing the replacement.

The instructions recommend a sequence for moving the alternator to fully access the right bank pre-cat. That was not necessary in my case as I was able to extract all of the studs from the manifold; giving more manuever room. However, I did need to remove the splash guard and support mount to the engine for the drive-train. If only the nuts come off the right bank studs, you may be able to extract the studs with a 5mm socket; but be very careful as 11 years may have made it hard to remove.

So far, I've spent seven hours on this project mostly due being careful when removing the studs, not having the right tools close, and banging my hands and arms around in such small/confined spaces. If you follow the sequence instructions you should be okay. Hope this helps a bit, resolves your (our) problems, and good luck.

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