Manifold/catalytic converter on 2003 2.3 PZEV needs to be replaced - Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum, Ford Focus RS Forum
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:12 AM   #1
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Manifold/catalytic converter on 2003 2.3 PZEV needs to be replaced

So this is a bit of bad news. My mechanic says the manifold and one of the catalytic converters are apparently one unit, it's broken, and the part will cost something like $2300 from Ford.

Yikes.

Maybe this is a stupid question, but would it be possible to find this part or parts used? If so, what, exactly, would I want to ask for, and who would be a good source? I'm in the SF Bay Area and there are various salvage yards around here, or I could go mail order.

Or do I need to just bite the bullet and fork over the roughly $2400 to $2500 price they quoted me for parts plus labor?

Thanks!


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Old 06-15-2012, 03:15 AM   #2
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Go to a junk yard, that mechanic sure seems like he's inflating the price quite a bit to me. There must be some really rare things in that cat for it to be that much. Call a dealer and ask for the parts department. Then tell them what your looking for. I bet ya it's way cheaper than what that mechanic is telling you. Your best bet would probably go to a junk yard it would be much cheaper. Heck maybe even ebay has a used one for a lot less.

Now that's out of the way, what did the mechanic actually say is wrong with it?
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:24 AM   #3
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This particular mechanic has always been really honest and conscientious, and over the years, they've often done little things for us for free, so I really don't think they're trying to rip us off.

I don't recall exactly what he said was wrong with the part(s), but what caused me to bring the car to him was that it was running really weird: The engine speed would keep changing whenever the car was idling or moving at parking lot speeds, and it felt like the engine was straining against the transmission or trying to die.

And some passengers noticed an exhaust/gasoline smell in the car, so the combination of those two things made me think maybe there was a hole in the exhaust.
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:39 AM   #4
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I would do things for you for free too cause I know I would recoup my cost on other things I would charge you. Call the dealership and find out the price of the mani/cat (it is all one unit). I know you can get them much much cheaper than that. Though you do have the first model year of the 2.3 so that's what they are looking at. I know there are others on here more knowledgeable about the 2.3 than I am. They would be better able to tell you what year cats will fit on it. But like I said shop around on your own. Don't leave it to your mechanic who will charge you more than what he buys it for then mark it up and make money off of it. Honesty and mechanics are a rare combination. If you know nothing about cars how are you supposed to know your not getting ripped off? I just hate to see people get taken advantage of.


If there was a hole in the exhaust then you would hear it. If the cat was bad then it should throw a code saying it's bad. A bad cat does give some symptoms, sluggish acceleration, bad gas mileage, and other things, yes smell being one of them but there should be other symptoms to go with it.
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:18 PM   #5
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I would definitely shop around for a used piece, saw exactly what you want on Craigslist just this week.

Depending on what's "broken" welding up a cracked exhaust manifold is very commonplace.
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Old 06-16-2012, 12:10 AM   #6
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You can't buy them from junk yards anymore, it's illegal for them to sell them, at least in Ca. Find one on craigslist, ebay or here.
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Old 06-16-2012, 12:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lappracing View Post
You can't buy them from junk yards anymore, it's illegal for them to sell them, at least in Ca. Find one on craigslist, ebay or here.
So what exactly do I want to call this part (or parts) so that I'm asking for/looking for the right thing?
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Old 06-16-2012, 12:51 AM   #8
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Oh, and thanks to you and to everybody who's replied.
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Old 06-16-2012, 08:13 AM   #9
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I would contact Steve at Tousley Ford Monday. Look up their phone number through Google, the dealership is in WI. Call the parts dept and ask for Steve, mention Focus Fanatics, and he'll give you some special pricing. Be sure to have your VIN handy to insure you get the right part.

I just checked Rock Auto, and all the manifolds for sale on there say "Not for Legal Sale or Use in CA". I don't understand that because in the pic it has AIR piping.

There might be a reason why your mechanic told you it would cost you $2300. RA pricing was $827, so if a CA legal manifold is 2x that cost, then that's it + labor. Labor is higher in CA, so that would be about right. Be sure to tell Steve that you need a manifold with a CARB sticker. I think that might be the difference.
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Old 06-16-2012, 08:25 AM   #10
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Thank you so much, I'll look into this!

I'm still a bit confused about the manifold and catalytic converter apparently being one part, though. Isn't that kind of odd?
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