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How to replace stolen catalytic converter? - Kia Rio

XC92

Proven Member
1,472
319
Jul 22, 2020
Queens, New_York
So it finally happened to me, thankfully not on my Talon, but on my other, backup car, a 2010 Kia Rio. But for all I know it can and will happen to my Talon eventually as I have no realistic choice but to park it on the street, so I thought I'd ask here.

The Rio has 2 cats, a front just off the exhaust manifold, which is still there, along with both O2 sensors, and a rear a foot or two behind it, which is the one they stole. They just cut the pipes leading into and coming out of the cat, before the front flange and behind the rear flange of the rear cat.

I'll probably get a universal aftermarket cat, a Walker 84205, which is CARB compliant as this is a CA emissions car and which just has an inlet and outlet pipe, no flanges, so I have to figure out how to iinstall it and replace the missing pipe.

What I'm thinking is have a welder weld new flanges onto the new cat inlet and outlet pipes, weld a flange on the open end of the front exhaust pipe, then weld an appropriate length of new pipe onto the open end of the front exhaust pipe, so it reaches the new cat, and then a flange onto the front end of this new pipe length, then bolt everything together with new gaskets.

Would this work, and is it a decent solution that would minimize leakage and look most "professional"? I hope to sell the car later this year and want it to look as nice as possible, but without spending more than is worth it as it's kind of old and has around 160k miles on it.

Btw any reason they didn't steal my Talon's cat? The entire exhaust pipe was on the ground at the time, under the car, as I was working on its rear end. Are they too old to be worth anything to cat thieves, or was I just lucky?
 

dwb

Proven Member
305
152
Sep 9, 2021
Broomfield, Colorado
Oof, I can't stand thieves! Just complete garbage that people do this sort of stuff and get away with it. I think they typically target vehicles with more ground clearance. I couldn't imagine trying to slither underneath a DSM and hack the exhaust without first jacking it up. I bet they didn't even notice your exhaust on the ground.
I've heard of services that will paint and engrave your CAT to make it less desirable to thieves. Also a cage or some sort of cable lock on it helps scare them away.

We have a box truck at work. A not very smart thief chopped the muffler off!ROFL
 

BLACK'98DSM

Proven Member
3,703
1,335
Feb 9, 2019
Alabama
I sold my cat from my '98 N/T for $145, and I also sold a clogged left side cat from an '02 F-150 4.6 for $170. That's why they do it. If they get 5 in one day they'll stay eating for a while.
They can sell them at pretty much any scrap yard these days, and online services make it easy too.

Whenever customers came in with stolen cats and missing flanges, our cheapest option was to just weld in a new cat & pipe with no flanges. As long as they're quality welds they never came back for leaks. I say this because you're planning to sell the car soon, so a cheaper option would be better. As long as there's no leaks or knocking pipes, the new owner would likely never notice.
 

XC92

Proven Member
1,472
319
Jul 22, 2020
Queens, New_York
I intend to be honest with whoever buys it (unless they're total jerks but then they'll probably offer something ridiculously low), so I'd rather it be and look as close to what it was as is reasonably possible.

Is it hard or expensive to weld flanges onto exhaust pipe? I think they also knocked off one of the hanger connectors so I'd have to have that welded back on too. I can't weld so I'd have to take it to a welder. I can take care of the rest, which is basically measuring and fitting.
 

We're on Boost

15+ Year Contributor
1,601
428
Aug 25, 2007
Seattle area, Washington
Is it hard or expensive to weld flanges onto exhaust pipe?

Well, flanges need to be very flat, and they tend to warp when you weld them onto the end of a pipe. Then they might not seal very well and might even break the gasket and spit parts of it out, if it is not done pretty perfect.
So I would say yes, it's harder than it sounds.
Since you are not looking for any high-end expensive work on this, I would just take it to a muffler shop that has a good reputation and let them look at it and let them tell you how they would do it and how much it would cost. You could ask them about flanges and see what they say. But they'll probably recommend just welding the new stuff in.
Since you were in the Seattle area for a while, I'll mention the shop that did a job like that here on my 1990 Toyota. That was about 15 years ago and that whole welded-in setup is still going perfectly. Didn't cost much either. That shop was "Dan Fast Muffler and Brake" in Bellevue, in 2006. Might not mean much to you since they are only local here in WA, but anyway that's the kind of shop I'm talking about.
 
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luv2rallye

DSM Wiseman
8,401
1,176
Jun 7, 2003
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Yes take it to a muffler shop and ask. I had a muffler shop just weld their pipe right onto the existing flanges (or cut the pipes that still have the original flanges on them) so I could disassemble it if I needed in the future. Since the existing flanges were already held in place by the existing pipes, the alignment was perfect.
 

XC92

Proven Member
1,472
319
Jul 22, 2020
Queens, New_York
One of the reasons I'd like to have flanges is so that until I actually sell the car, I have the ability to remove the new cat so it too doesn't get stolen, and I'd install it when I'm ready to sell. I won't be using this car much until then, mostly just doing some work on it to deal with various issues that make it harder to sell for a decent price right now, and otherwise keeping it parked on the street.

Also, not sure why this thread was moved since it's a situation that's universal to all cars with accessible underbody cats, like DSMs. It just happened to not happen to my Talon this time. But, rules be rules.
 
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ec17pse

Freelancer
5,582
2,876
Nov 1, 2008
London, UK, Europe
does your kia have 2 cats like my kia does for modern emission's? if so remove the middle lower cat and drive with the first one thats by the engine bay as they cannot reach those. this is what i have done, mainly because for me i wanted a bit more umph and noise vs not stealing it
 

XC92

Proven Member
1,472
319
Jul 22, 2020
Queens, New_York
does your kia have 2 cats like my kia does for modern emission's? if so remove the middle lower cat and drive with the first one thats by the engine bay as they cannot reach those. this is what i have done, mainly because for me i wanted a bit more umph and noise vs not stealing it
I'm not sure if it'll pass inspection that way, especially in NY which has pretty stiff rules and uses CARB standards for CA cars, which this one is. And yes, it has a 2-stage cat, and they stole the rear one, which I assume serves a purpose.
 

ec17pse

Freelancer
5,582
2,876
Nov 1, 2008
London, UK, Europe
I'm not sure if it'll pass inspection that way, especially in NY which has pretty stiff rules and uses CARB standards for CA cars, which this one is. And yes, it has a 2-stage cat, and they stole the rear one, which I assume serves a purpose.
not sure on the exact emissions there but it will need to work to a number designated by the state to pass. here we will have a different number but we still have pretty strict system. they base the road tax here on emissions so less emissions less tax, so 2 cats were added to help this.

yours might be similer i dont know but the dual cats is mainly to burn the excess the first cat did not burn and its not as critical either. thats why most now stick the first cat right by the outlet to get them so much hotter then 1 halfway down like the stock DSM has. this makes emissions better overall.

i could check your local regs as you might still pass with one, I do on my kia so i think the first cat is really good at doing its job.
best way to check to have someone test it to see the the outcome is and if you can get away with 1 cat
 

XC92

Proven Member
1,472
319
Jul 22, 2020
Queens, New_York
not sure on the exact emissions there but it will need to work to a number designated by the state to pass. here we will have a different number but we still have pretty strict system. they base the road tax here on emissions so less emissions less tax, so 2 cats were added to help this.

yours might be similer i dont know but the dual cats is mainly to burn the excess the first cat did not burn and its not as critical either. thats why most now stick the first cat right by the outlet to get them so much hotter then 1 halfway down like the stock DSM has. this makes emissions better overall.

i could check your local regs as you might still pass with one, I do on my kia so i think the first cat is really good at doing its job.
best way to check to have someone test it to see the the outcome is and if you can get away with 1 cat
There's also the issue of resale value. Any new owner might prefer 2 cats and having only one might bring down its price or make it harder to sell, and I'm looking to sell it later this year. If it was a more sporty car then the opposite might be true, but the Rio's about as non-sporty as it gets (except when I drive it!).
 

ec17pse

Freelancer
5,582
2,876
Nov 1, 2008
London, UK, Europe
There's also the issue of resale value. Any new owner might prefer 2 cats and having only one might bring down its price or make it harder to sell, and I'm looking to sell it later this year. If it was a more sporty car then the opposite might be true, but the Rio's about as non-sporty as it gets (except when I drive it!).
yeah i guess nowadays people want a non messed with car.

for me buying if someone said it was removed to deter car theft i would accept that and give them the cat incase they wish to use it but most likely they will sell it for cash
 

XC92

Proven Member
1,472
319
Jul 22, 2020
Queens, New_York
yeah i guess nowadays people want a non messed with car.

for me buying if someone said it was removed to deter car theft i would accept that and give them the cat incase they wish to use it but most likely they will sell it for cash
I'm guessing that a typical lower-end used economy car buyer's going to want things to be as close to stock as possible. As it were there are already enough "unscheduled mods" to it, meaning the effects of several accidents that mostly affected the cosmetics and not the safety, reliability or operation of the car, that I don't want to add another. I want to fix and unload it ASAP while used car prices are still relatively high, as my Talon's in great shape and I can use it daily now.
 

ec17pse

Freelancer
5,582
2,876
Nov 1, 2008
London, UK, Europe
I'm guessing that a typical lower-end used economy car buyer's going to want things to be as close to stock as possible. As it were there are already enough "unscheduled mods" to it, meaning the effects of several accidents that mostly affected the cosmetics and not the safety, reliability or operation of the car, that I don't want to add another. I want to fix and unload it ASAP while used car prices are still relatively high, as my Talon's in great shape and I can use it daily now.
I fully understand. stock it is then MR :-(

i read about flanges somewhere so can use those or find a slip on and clamp cat setup for ease. then its easier to replace later on if it fails but then it wont be your issue by then anyway but still seals nicely
 

XC92

Proven Member
1,472
319
Jul 22, 2020
Queens, New_York
I haven't decided what to do yet. Current inspection's good till the end of October and I don't need to drive it so I have time to research this and decide what to do. I just want it to be cheap, pass inspection, as close to stock as possible, and detachable. Sounds like clamps or flanges to me.
 
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