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Old 28 Nov 2009, 02:01 am
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Default I think I need a new Catalytic Converter

Hey everybody,

I've got an '89 Accord DX that's been acting a bit funny lately. It'll start up and run smoothly, but after a few minutes the car will just die and you can't get it to start for at least another 10 minutes. It actually died on me while heading down a hill and wouldn't even restart then. It's got good compression, new(ish) plugs and plug wires, air filter, it doesn't smoke, and it doesn't leak oil. When it dies, there's a fairly strong fuel odor when you open the air cleaner, and the exhaust has a distinct smell of sulphur. It sounds fine when it's running, it just won't run for more than five or six minutes. I'm the second owner and it has 196k miles with what I assume is the original catalytic converter. I'm thinking that the cat is needs to be replaced, but getting an OEM replacement is kind of tricky ($300+ from what I've seen) being on unemployment. I've read on other forums to avoid aftermarket catalytic converters at all costs. But I have to ask, if you HAD to get an aftermarket catalytic converter which ones are good (and hopefully cheap, relatively)?

Bosal, Magnaflow, DEC, Eastern, Quali-cat, Maremont, Walker, Pacesetter. Which brands are a good choice?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 21 Dec 2009, 06:57 pm
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Default Re: I think I need a new Catalytic Converter

Okay, I replaced the catalytic converter and O2 sensor and now the car seems to run for longer before stalling, but otherwise the same symptoms.

I'll start it up when cold, it will idle fast until warm then drop down to about 1500 rpm and idle like that for about ten to fifteen minutes before abruptly shutting off. The dash lights all come on when it dies so I'm pretty sure it's not the ignition switch. The car has new front and rear fuel filters, PCV, plugs, and plug wires. The ignition coil, igniter, and distributer cap and rotor are less than a year old (~7k miles). I cleaned out the EGR valve yesterday to no effect, though the ports in the intake manifold could still be gunked up.

Once it's stalled it doesn't seem to want to start for about a half hour or so. If it does start before then, the tach will bounce down when you rev it before stalling again. So if you rev it to 3k, the tach will drop to ~2700 then pop back to 3k a few times without a corresponding change in sound from the engine then drop to zero.

I'm at my wits end about what's wrong here, between the honda shop manual and the haynes book I can't seem to think of what might be going on. I checked the main relay and the solder points look fine. The car just started doing this a couple weeks ago and now the problem is pretty consistent. I've been trying to read the code from the ECU under the drivers seat, but there's no light in the window on the back and I can't get the cover off without a really short screwdriver.

The car is an 1989 Accord DX 2dr 2.0L 5MT Carburated.

Anybody have any ideas?

Thanks,
Jesse
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