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Jeep Wrangler TJ Catalytic Converter

How to Maintain the Jeep Wrangler (TJ) Catalytic Converter

Catalytic converters are often advertised as being maintenance-free, but that is often not the case with the ones in your Jeep Wrangler (TJ). While they do require less maintenance compared to other parts of your vehicle, the Jeep Wrangler (TJ) catalytic converters do need maintenance every now and then. Dirt, fluctuating temperatures and harsh weather, and driving conditions can lead to wear of the cats, but with proper care and usage, they can keep running in excellent condition for many years or even decades to come.

In this guide, we list down some simple ways on how to maintain the Jeep Wrangler (TJ) catalytic converter:

  • Wipe dirty catalytic converters with a clean cloth soaked in soapy water.

Catalytic converters can build up dirt pretty quickly, especially if the truck is driven frequently through dusty or muddy terrain. Luckily, most surface dirt, mud, and other debris can easily be removed by wiping the cat with a damp cloth that's soaked in soapy water. Make sure to cover all of the corners and recesses where dirt can accumulate, and rinse thoroughly with water and wipe dry.

  • For really tough dirt and stains, soak the catalytic converter in a mix of degreaser and hot water in a bucket.

Allow the catalytic converter to soak for a few hours, and spray it clean. This should allow the degreaser to seep through most of the dirt and make it easier to remove. If the stains are particularly stubborn, you can follow use a power washer to blast off any remaining dirt and grime on the surface.

  • Take care of the engine as well.

The cat is highly sensitive to changes in the content and temperature of the exhaust gases, so if there is a problem in the engine or any of its individual components, it would also affect the performance of the catalytic converter. So if you are having engine problems with your truck, make sure to have the catalytic converter checked as well.

  • Avoid parking the truck in dry grass and dry leaves.

The catalytic converter can get really hot real fast, and keeping it away from inflammable objects is the best way to avoid accidental fires.

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  • Installation Tips for the Jeep Wrangler (TJ) Catalytic Converter

    Replacing the catalytic converter in your Jeep Wrangler (TJ) is best done by a professional, but if you have the know-how and the tools needed for the task, you can save a lot of money by installing the converter yourself. Although it looks daunting, installing the Jeep Wrangler (TJ) catalytic converter is a fairly straightforward process, especially compared to the more complex components found in the truck’s engine bay.

    If you’ve decided on installing the catalytic converter on your Jeep Wrangler (TJ) on your own, make sure to follow the instructions carefully to ensure that the converter is mounted correctly. We’ve also listed down some tips you can follow to avoid any problems during the installation process:

    Tip #1: Make sure that the truck is lifted safely in place.

    Replacing the catalytic converter involves raising the entire truck off the ground, so make sure that the vehicle is parked in a level surface and supported on all four corners with jack stands.

    Tip #2: Allow the exhaust to cool down first to prevent burns.

    To test the heat of the exhaust system, put on a pair of heavy gloves and brush the exhaust tube with the back of your hand. If you still feel any heat, the tube is still too unsafe to touch.

    Tip #3: Check the heat shield.

    The stock catalytic converter of the Jeep Wrangler (TJ) has a heat shield that protects vehicles components from the intense heat being radiated from the catalytic converter and the exhaust pipe. While it is entirely possible to reuse the heat shield, it should be discarded and replaced if it is severely corroded or worn out.

    Tip #4: Apply penetrating oil onto the bolts.

    The mounting bolts used in the Jeep Wrangler (TJ) exhaust can be pretty difficult to remove, but letting them soak in penetrating oil for several minutes will make loosening them much easier.

    Tip #5: Remove the bolts from the rear end of the converter first, followed by the front end.

    This will prevent the muffler from falling off and putting strain on the popes.

    Tip #6: If you decided to cut out the converter with a reciprocating saw, be careful not to damage the surrounding components.

    Cutting out the catalytic converter is generally not recommended unless the existing converter has been welded in place or the pipe and mounting bolts have been severely corroded.