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Ford Thunderbird Catalytic Converter

How to Care for the Ford Thunderbird Catalytic Converter

The catalytic converter of your Ford Thunderbird is more hands-free compared to other parts of your ride. In most cases, the only time you will lay hands on it is when it is serviced or replaced. However, there are some things that you can do to help maintain this key exhaust component in good condition. The following are just some of ways you can do to keep the Ford Thunderbird catalytic converter in top form:

  • Keep the engine cool.

The health of the catalytic converter is directly linked to the health of the engine, so when the engine overheats, the catalytic converter also takes a hit. In a worst case scenario, the extra-hot exhaust gas from the engine will melt the catalyst substrate and matting, rendering the cat inoperable and blocking the flow of exhaust to the muffler. So make sure to have the engine serviced on a regular schedule and keep the radiator coolant at recommended levels.

  • Change the engine oil regularly.

Aside from engine temperature, changing the motor oil on a regular basis also contributes to a healthy catalytic converter. Engine oil tends to lose its effectiveness over time, and if left unchanged for too long, it may actually speed up the wear of the engine valves and piston rings. And when this happens, the oil will seep through and mix with fuel, resulting in tainted exhaust gas that can damage the catalytic converter and its oxygen sensor.

  • Skip the fuel additives.

In a similar manner, adding additives to the fuel will also change the composition of the exhaust gas, resulting in incorrect readings from the oxygen sensor and contaminating the catalyst inside the converter. What's more, the Ford Thunderbird is already optimized to run at full efficiency straight out of the assembly line, so it's not really necessary to put additives in your gas.

  • Keep an eye out for corrosion.

The location of the catalytic converter makes it highly exposed to mud and water, so it's not surprising if it develops rust spots after some time. To remove these spots, scrub the area with the very light gauge steel wool that's dipped in vinegar or cola. But if the corrosion is extensive, have the converter inspected to see if it needs to be replaced.

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  • Ford Thunderbird Catalytic Converter Replacement: Installation Tips for Beginners

    The catalytic converter is responsible for monitoring and treating the exhaust of your Ford Thunderbird. So when it fails, it could lead to a host of problems including reduced fuel efficiency and dirtier emissions. And in most cases, the solution to a malfunctioning catalytic converter is almost always replacing it with a new one.

    Replacing a faulty catalytic converter is a must to ensure that your Ford Thunderbird complies with state emission regulations. And if you are thinking of installing a new Ford Thunderbird catalytic converter, here are some tips that you might find helpful:

    Tip #1: Lift the entire vehicle off the ground.

    The catalytic converter is connected to the exhaust pipes that snake across the underside of the car, so lifting the entire vehicle off the ground will make it easier for you to access these components. Ideally, you should use a hydraulic car lift for this, although using a scissor or hydraulic jack and two pairs of jack stands are also fine if the former is not available. Make sure to raise the car at an even and stable surface to avoid serious injury.

    Tip #2: Don't force the bolts loose.

    The bolts and nuts securing the catalytic converter and exhaust pipes are notoriously hard to loosen, but resorting to brute force will only damage both the bolts and the pipes. Instead, grease the bolts first with a bit of non-silicone based oil, let it sit for several minutes to allow the oil to seep try, and try again with the wrench. If the bolts are covered with rust buildup, clear it up by scrubbing it with a wire brush.

    Tip #3: Remove the bolts at the back first.

    Loosen all of the bolts first then remove the ones at the closest to the muffler followed by the ones at the front. Once all the bolts have been put to one side, detach the converter from its mounting.

    Tip #4: Make sure to cut along the weld lines.

    Use a sawzall and trace through the factory weld lines; doing so will make it easier to weld the new converter into place. If the old converter does not budge even after cutting, use a rubber mallet to gently knock the unit out of its place.