Founding Member
Mar 2, 2004
Halifax NS. Canada
Gutting the catalytic convertor

For anyone with power loss and hasn't gutted their catalytic convertors...

Ok. so for the past few weeks with a guttless car, no power on the highways or hills for that matter and the feeling that I was towing a trailer behind. I finally found out the problem. I thought it was a tranny for the longest. But this weekend I gutted both catalytic convertors. For my car (1990 2.3L LX N/A) there is 2 catalytics). The one that was plugged 90% was the closest one to the engine. Probally due to the fact that its the first to get hit with all the crap coming out of my engine. I scanned a sample of the honey type cone stuff that makes a catalytic convertor. Heres how a convertor inside should look like.


and heres what 90% of mine looked like inside


I'm not too sure what cause such plugging but I did have a tranny fluid leak into the vacuum lines which leads to the intake, so I suspect it was some of the problem.

For any of thoses who care how I did it then read on. I did get some hints and tips from some here at the forum so I thank you. NOTE: make sure to have good ventalation and wear a mask!

1) I un bolted the flang from the mainfold and the flang from the pipe to the muffler

2) I took off the pipe that has both cats attached to it

3) To save time I only cut the pipe in 2 areas to access the inside of the cats. In the center of both looked sorta like ( | = the cuts I made)


4) I marked the pipe with a file in one spot where I was cutting the pip so when I weld the cat back to the pipe, I could use the line as a guide to make sure I line the pipe and cat backup as acurate as possible.

5) After I made the 2 cuts (cutted close to the opening of the cat) I locked down the catalytic convertor in my vice (the cutted end up), took a long large flat head screw driver (a long punch would work too) and started chiseling the honey like cone inside.

6) Took a bit of time but the stuff shatters pretty good and fell out farely easy. For the smaller cat (closest to the manifold) theres 2 rubber bands you have to take out (I use long needle nose plyers), and the larger cat (closest to the muffler) theres one rubber band and a wire mesh you have to remove.

7) After the both catalytic convertors were gutted, I lined them up to the guide lines I marked off earlier, and welded each cat to pipe. (if you don't have a welder you can use a piece of pipe thats a little bigger and use muffler clamps)

8) I then bolted the pipe back to the manifold and muffler pipe ( I had to get a new universal flange for the manifold). Finished!

It took me one hour with my brothers help to finish this job.

I got all my horse power back (as much as you can get for a 2.3 heehee), The cars a bit louder but more like a muscle car sound :D , But it was my problem all along for the power loss. My car did stall a couple times starting up after the job, but its like it had to adjust to the free flowing exhaust. Since that job I've restarted my car with no stalls at all. To be honest you probally only need to gut the smaller one up front to the manifold as thats the one that gets hit the hardest. I just did the other one cause everything was down to do anyways and I wanted a bit more power :p .

Anyways my Dad is the one who suggested this as I thought it was a tranny problem. He told me the problem is like if you covered your mouth, and one nostril and tried running your house 5 times only breathing threw 1 nostril, thats how my car felt. :p Anyways thanks for all your input. it really helped :nice: .
  • Sponsors (?)


Aug 13, 2003
Sunnyvale, CA
Common Questions, Answered

"What is the A/R ratio and trim of a turbo?"
In my search to understand exactly what is going on in my engine, I found this amazingly informational article on the mechanics of a turbo:

Turbo Charger Basics

This covers the basic operation of a turbo charger, as well as the meaning of the "A/R ratio" and how it is measured. Also a brief description of the wheel "trims".

A MUST READ for anyone upgrading their turbo.

"Does an intercooler really make a differance?"
This article explains how an intercooler works, and shows a temperature test before and after the intercooler was installed.

Intercoolers: What are they , and why woud you want one ?

"What guages do I put in my turbo car?"
Here's one for those adding turbos to their cars. It explains why you need the A/F ratio guage and boost guage. short.

Guage Upgrades



New Member
Apr 2, 2005
Need help? I have an 86 2.3 automatic notch. It stumbles under load, like going up a grade at high way speed,as soon as i stomp on it all the way it cuts out until i put it in neutral.The car starts and idles fine.This problem developes after the car is drivin a few miles.The fuel filtera nd fuel pump have been replaced.The gas tank was checked for water and tht catalytic coverter was changed,vacume lines were checked.I need advice fellers.Thank you


New Member
Oct 8, 2004
Way up in Maine
The DIY caster-camber gauge By Bhuff30 here Brians origanal poast


The gauge is made by drilling 2 holes in a standard 18" long level. The holes should be placed such that they line up with the lip of the wheel at both the top and bottom. Obviously, for different sized wheels, you will have to have different hole placement. Through the holes, you insert a 1/4" bolt with washers and nuts on each side of the level. The camber/caster gauge is now complete.
The car must be parked on a level surface. To use the guage, you simply adjust the nuts and bolts until the gauge indicates level. Then, you measure the length of the bolts from the surface of the level to the wheel lip. If the top of the wheel sticks out further than the bottom, you have positive camber (bad, looks like this \ / ). If the bottom of the wheel sticks out further than the top, you have negative camber (good, looks like this / \ ). Most of the time, a good rule of thumb is 1/4" = 1* camber. This isn't exact, but those that are anal can calculate it out precisly for their wheel size using trig. Everyone else can just trust me that it is close enough.
To set toe, I use the trusty tape measure. You have to be careful when doing this though. You want to measure the distance from a particular tread block to a similar block on the other side. Be careful to measure from similar points on the treadblocks, because the sometimes the blocks tapper in or out. Measure the front and back and the difference between them is the toe. Toe in looks like \ / and toe out looks like / \.
Measuring caster can be done in a similar way, except you measure the angle of the strut from the front to back. I found it to be difficult and pointless to measure the caster. It isn't adjustable on the stock mustang plates, and if you have CC plates, you simply want as much caster as you can get.
When setting your alignment, first set the caster (if it applies). Then, set the camber. Lastly, set the toe. The toe is changed when you change caster or camber, so it should always be set last.
You must decide for yourself what alignment you want to run. Stock for a 5.0 mustang (basically the same for 4cyl) is as follows:
Caster- nominal=1.27* min=.50* max=2*
Camber- nominal=.14* min=-.60* max=.9*
toe (toe in is positive) nominal=.188" min=.063" max=.313"
You normally want to run as much positive caster as you can. +3 is normally posible with CC plates, but it is not adjustable from the factory. At the extreme, +8 would be even better, but puts excessive stress on certain front end components and increase steering effort a great deal.
Camber dependent on your driving style. -1 is fine for aggressive street, but -3 would be desired for any kind of autoX or road racing. Again, -3 pretty much maxes out standard CC plates, but it is possible to get more. At most autoX events, I just max out the negative camber on the CC plates and reset it for the street when I am done.
For toe, 1/8" toe in is a good number to shoot for on the street. toe out gives a squirly car that will tend to climb any ridges in the road and leave you wandering all over on the highway. However, toe out also helps turn in for the mustang. If you are at an auto-X, you may want as much as 1/4" toe out. If you are lazy like me, you will notice that when you increase the negative camber, you get more toe out. This works out very well if you go to an autoX. When you max out the negative camber, a pleasent side effect is toe out.
Remember, if you **** up your car, it wasn't my fault. This is accurate to the best of my knowledge and you are ultimatly responsible for what you do to your car.

Big thanks to BHuff30 For origanly Poasting Such an awesome tool!


10 Year Member
Nov 12, 2003
Santa Rosa, CA.
Got bored at work and thought I'd post these up.

How to port an E6....................

How to rebuild your power window motor.....................

Here's a cheap hi-po fan alternative. Stock fan from a Thunderbird Super Coupe. It's a monster! I/C is an NPR and the radiator is from an '89 Volvo (approx 19" across). Fan fits like a glove and cost a whopping $12.50 at Pick-n-Pull's half price day! Fabbed some mounts and dropped it into my '89 Stang.:D

View attachment 427176


Jun 19, 2008


If you have the premium sound, these plugs can be found on the passenger side of the center console by the sterio, kinda tucked under the dash. The premium system was piggybacked onto the base one, so just unplug the female side and use the male ones, completely bypasses the factory amp with hardly any effort!!!:nice:
Oil Pan Removal (with engine still in car)


To remove the oil pan "in-chassis", follow these steps:

1. Raise the car and place it on jack stands.

2. Drain the oil (seems obvious, but I've seen people forget and they're soooo embarrassed when they get soaked).

3. Remove the motor-mount nuts and raise the motor as high as you can - support it under the crank pulley with a stand and a block of wood (might wanna take the trigger wire off the solenoid so you don't accidentally bump the starter and drop the motor).

4. Disconnect the strg. shaft from the rack and pinion at the "rag" joint and tap it upward and out of the way (it's telescopic to prevent you from being impaled).

5. Take all 8 bolts out that attach the front crossmember to the "frame" (it won't fall - trust me). The bolts have a torx head, but you can use a standard 6-point socket.

6. Remove the four bolts holding the anti-sway bar brkts to the frame and let the bar hang.

7. Drive a wooden wedge between the rear of the crossmember and one side of the frame (this will not only lower it, as it compresses the susp springs which is what's holding it up, but it will usually slide forward as well.

8. Remove the starter.

9. Drop the pan down low enough to disconnect the oil pump from the block, allowing it to drop in the pan (you'll need an 8mm 12-pt socket for the pump body and a 14mm for the pickup support.

10. Slide the pan out the back (assuming it didn't already fall on yer head, lol).

reinstall is sayiying something about distributorcap in the manual i have i dont understand this.. is it easy enough to do with out messing up?
Questions are always asked about what size tire will fit on what rim and how big a certain tire is...these links should explain it.


There are always questions about what the #'s on a tire mean...this should end the confusion.

The following is a super quick way to determine a tires width and sidewall height.

1st # set= width
2nd # set= sidewall height
3rd # set= diameter

(Example #1) 215-60-15

1st # set ÷ 25.4= width
(215 ÷ 25.4)= 8.46"

2nd # set × width= sidewall height
(.60 × 8.46)= 5.08"

3rd # set= diameter
(15)= 15"

Width= 8.46"
Sidewall Height= 5.08"
Diameter= 15"

(Example #2) 245-50-16

245 ÷ 25.4 = 9.65
.50 × 9.65 = 4.83

Width= 9.65"
Sidewall Height= 4.83"
Diameter= 16"
Last edited: