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1996 Range Rover P38A 4.6 V8, 2006 L322 4.4AJV8 Vogue
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need a new catalytic converter but here in the UK we have type approved and non type approved. I don't need a type approved cat as they only became a legal requirement from 2001 onwards. A non type approved is one third the price of the type approved but.........several articles i have read have stated that the none type approved cats are basically rubbish, the're restrictive and can interfere with the correct function of the engine and are best avoided.

I phoned BM catalysts who boast as being the largest European aftermarket catalyst manufacturer but there reply was a bit vague. It should be ok and shouldn't restrict the exhaust flow regardless of type approval or not. The tech i spoke to was less than convincing.

When i asked why the type approved variant was available in the UK when it's not legally required i was told the position in mainland Europe was different, the replacement cat must be type approved, and they also sell into that market. Which i fully understood.

Are the type approved cats a better product? Enough to justify £320 as apposed to £108?

Many thanks.
Andy
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover Classic
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1,414 Posts
you're lucky to be offered cats at such price, here in the states we pay well over $1000.00 for oem rover cats. approved and non approved relates to the noble metals it uses in order to comply with emissions. I would check with locals emissions test facilities, more than likely you will be suggested to go with "approved".
 

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I recently replaced my complete system with this https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/range-ro...system-complete-front-rear-94-99/272214722398 which included the cats (and the same company will also sell just the front Y section). The cats aren't type approved and are smaller than the originals but do the job as expected. The lack of type approval simply means the manufacturer hasn't had them independently tested so they aren't E marked but they still work. I went in for MoT a couple of days after fitting the system and sailed through emissions no problem. Checking with an emission test facility here means an MoT test station where the criteria for a pass is that the emissions are within limits and a car that was fitted with cats when manufactured has them in place for the test, what brand, type, size, etc is irrelevant. If you are running LPG, then they aren't needed, I ran for that last 4 years with gutted boxes and still passed emissions.
 

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1996 Range Rover P38A 4.6 V8, 2006 L322 4.4AJV8 Vogue
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153 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The manufacture I spoke to make both variants, both type approved and non type approved. I've since learned their technical man is on holiday and I just got lumbered with a stand in who clearly had no idea.

I am indeed running LPG but I had a run in with my regular MOT guy regards the LPG. He refused to test on LPG unless the petrol was obviously disabled, i.e. the full tank was missing.

I'll ring another MOT station, there's enough of them.
 

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You've definitely got an MoT man who hadsn't read his manual. A car is tested on whatever fuel it is running on when taken in for test, so if you drive in on LPG, he tests on LPG, if you drive in running on petrol, he tests on that. Out of interest I asked my guy to test on both after it had passed on LPG and it passed on petrol too so those cheap cats do the job they are intended to do.
 

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1996 Range Rover P38A 4.6 V8, 2006 L322 4.4AJV8 Vogue
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153 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Richard.

I spoke to another MOT guy about the cats, he's fitted many non approved cats and he reckons they can be a bit hit and mis. He's had a few that didn't pass on the second year. In that instance he's always managed to argue the case for a free replacement but you still have the labour charges.
I do my own work so i think i'll base my decision on how awkward the cat is to change, at first sight it doesn't look easy, but i'll give it a go.

He also stated the LPG was as you stated, he also suggested that the other fella probably couldn't be bothered to wait for the LPG change over from a cold start, which sounds about right!!
 

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The hardest part with changing the cats is getting the existing bits off. The day before give the lambda sensors a squirt of Plus Gas and leave that to soak. A pair of Stilsons are best to get them slackened off with no danger of rounding them off but leave them in the downpipes and swap them once it's off. I found that the nuts holding the crossmember in place are flanged nuts and the flange had rusted to the plates so a nice long breaker bar was needed to crack them undone. Getting the old downpipes off is far more difficult than fitting the new one!

As for the warm up to switch to LPG, the engine should be up to temperature when tested anyway. With my place I book a time for the test, get there about 10 minutes before so the engine is hot anyway and is up to full temperature by the time it has been driven into the test bay anyway. As long as you always take it in running on LPG, even if the cats are shot in a couple of years it doesn't matter as the limits are a lot less strict than on petrol. The testers manual can be downloaded from https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mot-inspection-manual-for-class-3-4-5-and-7-vehicles so you can have a read up before taking it in and know what they are looking for.
 

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1996 Range Rover P38A 4.6 V8, 2006 L322 4.4AJV8 Vogue
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153 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The hardest part with changing the cats is getting the existing bits off. The day before give the lambda sensors a squirt of Plus Gas and leave that to soak. !
The Lambda sensors both came off without issue, unlike the ABS sensors which i had to drill out.

The exhaust system was just part of a much bigger project. It started with a valley gasket change which turned into an engine out and full strip job. Similarly, the axle ball joint change became a full front end referb as the angle grinder was used to remove stuff more so than a set of spanners. There was so much rust that it was difficult to tell where the brake hose finished and where the caliper started, everything needed attention.
 

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LEGACY VENDOR
1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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I'm fighting the rust thing on my 1998 that I'm restoring, but getting there slowly!!

I replaced my cats for my MOT this year, as they were a bit funny about it - they tested it as a petrol vehicle (cat test) even though it was running on LPG....

I decided to replace the cats anyway (found out after that my old ones were already gutted so there wasn't anything in there anyway!), and also took in my previous years test sheets to show it had been tested differently. The then retested as a non-cat vehicle, (on LPG) and with the new cats the emissions were actually nil, to the point where he said he had to look under the vehicle to make sure I'd actually hooked up the tailpipe!

The biggest part I've found is as Richard says - removing/refitting the crossmember.... luckily I'd done my engine last year and put new exhaust studs in, and had the autobox reconditioned this year, so the crossmember had been out recently and didn't give any hassle.
If you've had engine out, then the exhaust studs should be ok.

I support the transmission with a jack whilst the crossmember is out so it's not all hanging on the propshafts, but other than that, it's a fairly easy job to change the front section.

Cheers,
Marty
 
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