Install Magnaflow Universal Catalytic Converter


My truck was exhibiting symptoms of a bad catalytic converter. It was sluggish and losing power on hills and based on its age, it was a safe bet that replacing the cat may fix these problems, replacing the cat with a new Magnaflow converter is a very cheap repair on the old truck. After I replaced the cat, I noticed significant improvement in power. The truck in this video is a 1991 Chevy C1500 Scottsdale, the universal fit catalytic converter will work on most vehicles that have the downstream catalytic converter. This type of universal catalytic converter is not a great solution for small cars that have the catalytic converter up close to the exhaust manifold.

Tools needed are a Sawzall or angle grinder with a metal blade and some wrenches for the clamps.

Some universal catalytic converter install notes.

1. The Magnaflow catalytic converter in the video can be installed with airflow going in either direction.
2. The heat shield on the Magnaflow universal cat faces up.
3. The exhaust pipe size on this 1991 c1500 truck is 2.5 inch outside diameter.
4. Welding the pipes together is the ideal install, but the exhaust clamps are more than adequate.

What I would do differently on the next catalytic converter Install

  1. In the video I used the U-Bolt type clamps, they are adequate, if you want a better install, use the wide exhaust clamps like this:
  2. Kyle K on YouTube pointed out correctly that the ideal placement of the catalytic converter would be as close to the y-pipe and the engine as possible. Since the heat from the engine activates the catalysts to burn the emissions, it would be advantageous to place it as close to the engine as possible. Next time i would install the converter, then the extension towards the back of the truck.

*Please forgive the video and sound quality, this catalytic converter replacement was one of my first tutorials.

Universal Catalytic Converter vs. Direct Fit Converter

The main difference between a direct fit catalytic converter and a universal fit is that the direct fit will usually require no cutting or modifications to the exhaust pipes. (unless your vehicle does not have clamped joints). A universal fit catalytic converter will usually require cutting and adapter pipes to make it fit on your vehicle.

Some vehicles are not suited for universal fit converters and direct fit catalytic converters are your only options. For example, most modern small passenger cars have a catalytic converter that is part of the exhaust manifold, a direct fit converter will bne your only option for replacement.

A direct fit catalytic converter may be tailored internally for your specific vehicle’s engine depending on the manufacturer. The catalyst performance requirements differ between engines, for example an large v8 engine will need more catalyst and flow than a small inline 4 cylinder engine. These differences will impact the performance of the catalyst in removing pollutants and effect service life of the catalytic converter.

The main benefit of a universal fit catalytic converter is usually availability and price. The ability to modify the installation placement is also a benefit in cases where engine exhaust customization is required or desired.