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1987 325i catalytic converter replacement nightmare

 
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ghandi5



Joined: 31 Aug 2004
Posts: 25
Location: California

PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:32 pm    Post subject: 1987 325i catalytic converter replacement nightmare Reply with quote

Looking for any tips and hints to resolve current aftermarket catalytic converter issue:
symptom #1: catalytic converter (aftermarket - name unknown) hits bottom of car when passing over bumps in road
root cause #1: aftermarket cat larger than OEM and OEM brackets/hangers not in position to be used with aftermarket cat
Fix #1: spot welded metal tab from cat to transmission as a spacer to eliminate cat flex and resulting "banging"
symptom #2: I feel every bump in the road through the transmission and seats as if I am riding a Harley
root cause #2: due to metal tab which connects exhaust to transmission
fix #2: I've had it....went to buy an OEM catalytic converter at ~$2k to get back to my nice smooth ride....OEM cat (part # 11-76-1-716-743) no longer available. Found another aftermarket cat made by DEC. Has anyone else installed a DEC catalytic converter on their E30 and had issues or did it work as well as a OEM????
Appreciate all your help as usual.
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Ghandi

1987 325ic (Little Red)
1997 540i (Steed)
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85-325e



Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 4711
Location: Southampton, NY

PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's the Pelican Parts page for that cat. It's rated as "Good" and has a 5 year, 50K mile warranty:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/cgi-bin/smart/more_info.cgi?pn=11-76-1-716-743-M198&catalog_description=&Catalytic%2520Converter%252C%2520Manual%2520Transmission%252C%2520%2533%2532%2535%252Fe%2520%2528from%2520%2530%2539%252F%2538%2537%2529%252C%2520%2533%2532%2535i%252Fis%252FiC%2520%2528%2531%2539%2538%2537%252D%2539%2531%2529%2520

Only one review... Says it's OK, but needs bracket mods...

I would call Pelican and talk to them... They've been the most consistent parts site I've used... pelicanparts.com
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Cosmo - 1985 BMW 325e, Single Owner, 235,000+ ORIGINAL miles and still going strong!

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ghandi5



Joined: 31 Aug 2004
Posts: 25
Location: California

PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Cosmo....will probably end up going this route and post the results after install is complete
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Ghandi

1987 325ic (Little Red)
1997 540i (Steed)
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85-325e



Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 4711
Location: Southampton, NY

PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Make SURE you get the CORRECT cat... they're different for automatics than manual... maybe that's why he had bracket problems...
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Cosmo - 1985 BMW 325e, Single Owner, 235,000+ ORIGINAL miles and still going strong!

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robert1700



Joined: 04 Jul 2004
Posts: 1398
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never mind you are in California. Get a used factory cat, I usually have one.
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1987 325i Convertible
51,000+ miles
Sold to a friend car is now destroyed, such a same.
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dt325ic



Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 307
Location: Atlanta, GA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I noticed rockauto.com sells Bosal catalytic converters in the $300 range, cheaper than the brand from PP.

I would be tempted to find a good used one from a junkyard first.
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robert1700



Joined: 04 Jul 2004
Posts: 1398
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You will never find a junkyard that will sell you a cat, its illegal. The EPA prohibits cats from being sold. The only place on ebay that you will find one for sale is in the scrap metal section.

Problem is factory E30 cats are now worth almost $300 in just scrap. The aftermarket ones are cheaper because they dont use precious metals like the BMW ones. And they only last a few years. Try to find a used on on craigslist. I can send one down if you would like.
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1987 325i Convertible
51,000+ miles
Sold to a friend car is now destroyed, such a same.
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ghandi5



Joined: 31 Aug 2004
Posts: 25
Location: California

PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update:
1. Removed the drive shaft and found middle bearing in pieces...likely causing some rotational vibration. Replaced the bearing.
2. Removed hard bracket from transmission to cat. Most of road vibration gone...still some minor bumps, but not bad.
3. Ordering new hangers and will modify hangers to conform to old oversized cat....trying everything I can before spending the extra bucks on cat.
(Used cats are illegal in CA - so trying to avoid this issue)
Thanks to all for their helpful notes and hints.
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Ghandi

1987 325ic (Little Red)
1997 540i (Steed)
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