When an average guy tries to buy catalytic converters for his Ford Mustang in CA
Now, I know this is an old argument "the Hot-rodder vs. pollution." but there is a specific point I'd like to make. Why is it that you can't buy a used set of catalytic converters? I mean if they work, why not? Why is it that 49 states say you can buy aftermarket catalytic converters but CA says no? Yes, there are some aftermarket catalytic converters that you can get IF they have an "E&O" number on them which is an "Executive Order number." What is an "Executive Order Number?" I'm glad you asked! It is the number the state of California stamps on a "smog part" if it isn't an OEM part. You will see it on your aftermarket air cleaner, cold air intake and things like that. Some of which have nothing to do with what comes out of your tail pipe. To me it is nothing more than a "legal extortion number" The cost of getting this E&O is outrageous and most companies won't spend the money to get it unless they know they will get their money back in part sales. The problem with this is that it leaves the average guy with very few options.
I have a 2006 Roush Mustang with a supercharger and my catalytic converters are no longer any good. I cant complain they lasted almost 120,000 miles and I haven't been very easy on this little pony. However, I need to replace them and after hours of talking to tech guys at exhaust companies to no avail, calling the CA Air Resource Board and the Bureau of Automotive Repair, I am left with one option. Buy the Catalytic Converters from Ford for around $2000.00.
Now this is what makes me so angry. I can't buy a used set (illegal), I can't buy aftermarket catalytic converters for my Ford Mustang, which are around $400.00 (illegal) and I can't afford $2000.00. Not to mention that one of the tech's at a major exhaust company told me their catalytic converters would easily pass a "sniffer" but not a "visual" because they won't pay the Thousands of dollars to pay off the state of CA for an E&O number, when they are approved in the other 49 states.
My actual choices
1. Spend $2000.00
2. Go out of state, get aftermarket catalytic converters and hope the "smog tech" turns a blind eye to the missing Extortion number. (illegal)
3. Try to sneak a used set of catalytic converters out the back door of a wrecking yard. (also illegal) Not to mention the junk yard dog close behind!
4. Get an illegal smog. (Yes, you guessed it, illegal)
5. Sell the car. Actually this is not an option. Like most 'hot-rodders" I'm not even going to consider it.
On the bright side the guy at the B.A.R. said I was lucky. I said how's that? He said "at least its not a late model Mercedes Benz or a BMW its over $6000.00 to replace the catalytic converters on one of those and they are OEM replacement only....