In most states, hollowing out a catalytic converter is not only difficult, but also illegal. There is no good reason why you should need to hollow it out, and doing so can land you in a lot of legal trouble. The best solution is to keep the catalytic converter as it is and try and seek another solution to your problem. However, if you are determined to hollow out your catalytic converter, then there is a way that you can do so.
Accept ahead of time that you may break your car, or cause running problems, and may find that a garage is unwilling to help you fix the problem if your catalytic converter is not working properly. This is a process you will have to do yourself, as no professional will take on the work.
Step 1 - Remove the Catalytic Converter
Remove the catalytic converter from under the car. It will be located by the exhaust, and is often attached to it, so you may be able to reach around and touch the cat, but you will not be able to remove it without lifting up the car. Get two floor jacks, and position them under your car so that the wheels are fully supported. Lift up the car, secure with jackstands and go underneath. Then, using your wrench, loosen the bolts which hold the cat in place, and gently draw it off of the exhaust as you remove the bolts.
Step 2 - Hollow it Out
You should now be able to hollow out your catalytic converter. Take the part to a workbench, and insert it into your vice, facing upwards so that you can see a honeycombed core. Wear respiratory protection. Take the crowbar and put it into the top of the converter. Using your hammer, gently tap the bar, and you will see the core begin to crumble. You should be able to reduce the honeycomb to a fine powder with a few strokes. Empty the catalytic converter, turn up the other way, and remove the core from the other side in the same manner. Continue until the core is completely gone.
Step 3 - Reinstall the Catalytic Converter
To reinstall, slide it back onto the exhaust, and push it into place. Take your bolts and screw them into place by hand; then, tighten them up using the wrench. Once the cat is in place, get out from under the car, and remove the floor jacks. You will be left with a large amount of powder, which contains platinum, and can be recycled or sold for cash if you need to. Your catalytic converter will now run without the core, but will not do the job it was designed for..
Catalytic Converter FAQ
What are the benefits of hollowing out a catalytic converter?
You will enjoy a much fuller, throatier engine noise when you hollow out the catalytic converter. You can also increase your car's horsepower by doing this.
Engine heat is also reduced and gas milage is increased when you hollow out the catalytic converter. However, because of the increased emissions this process generates, hollowing out your catalytic converter is illegal in some U.S. states.
What is the best way to clear out a catalytic converter?
If you want to clean your catalytic converter to remove clogs, the best method is to remove it from the vehicle and soak it in water with several drops of liquid dish soap overnight.
Reconnect the catalytic converter to the exhaust system after you have rinsed it and checked the honeycomb for any debris that needs to be removed.
Will hollowing out catalytic converter make exhaust louder?
Hollowing out the catalytic converter does make it sound much louder. There will be a noticeable difference.
Can you unclog a catalytic converter without replacing it?
Flushing out the catalytic converter with a power washer or soaking it are the best methods for unclogging it. However, you need to remove the catalytic converter to perform either of these tasks.
You can clean and unclog a catalytic converter to get more life out of it and avoid replacing it.
How do you tell if the catalytic converter is clogged?
When your catalytic converter is clogged, your car may not accelerate as well or you may notice a rotten egg smell. You may also see a lot of smoke coming out of the exhaust, which is not usual.