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Thread: Catalyst failures, 4200s.....how many? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
04-19-2013 09:03 PM
FormulaDynamics A customer of ours reported that he had a failure of the factory cats and the dealer told him that they were not covered by warranty because there was a mark on the piping where he had scraped and that the impact caused the damage. (As we all know ground clearance can be an issue on the Maserati in this area)

He then went to his insurance company who paid the claim as an accident to replace the parts. After a bit of research, the customer wanted to replace the factory parts with the Larini parts to improve performance and also help to remove the likelyhood of this problem surfacing again. However, his dealer insisted that they use factory parts, even though his insurance was footing the bill and the customer specifically wanted Larini. The check had already been issued to the dealer for the repair and the customer stopped short of forcing the dealers hand and insisting that his insurance check be spent as he desired, so factory parts were used.

Unfortunately the customer ended up having another failure within about 6 months with the factory parts (he did live in an urban area with terrible roads, NJ). At that point, the customer insisted to use the Larini parts on the second repair and has been trouble free since. We do hear about these cat failures and there have been many ideas as to why it happens. It certainly doesn't affect all the cars but it is something to be aware of if you own a 4200 series Maserati.

The Larini DeCats offers full flow in the squished area under the steering rack while maintaining the best ground clearance of any solution we've seen. The design fits up tight and works very well, it's clear that there is a good bit of time into the design and as a result it's a bit more expensive than other options that don't also resolve ground clearance issues.

If you run into this problem, we recommend that you give us a call and we can help you get a great result.

Best Regards,
04-19-2013 12:57 AM
j01270
Mine failed!

I had the cats fail also and when they were scoped at the dealer they were found to be completely empty. The remains were in the rear cats causing the O2 sensors to throw a fault. After a a lot of discussion with service manager we both agreed that the exhaust that bends under the car had too little clearance. At that bend the exhaust had also been "pinched" restricting flow. I had the entire system replaced with Formula Dynamics' which actually has two "in pinched dual pipes as it bends under the car.

My opinion is that this was a design flaw. I was also told that it was almost impossible to get Maserati to play for replacements. I have heard that same story with many automakers.
The problem with Maserati replacement is that the same thing could occur again if somehow you ran over something that really jarred the exhaust system at that bend. Made sense to me.
04-11-2013 12:15 AM
FormulaDynamics The spacers don't work from our experience and I wouldn't play with the resistors. We would advise to always run at least one set of functioning cats on the car to meet emissions and to keep the car sale-able in more areas.

If you're truly not concerned about emissions or any other of the issues you can face then you can turn off the light (with or without an ECU tune) or just leave it on and ignore it. I just wouldn't recommend it, at least for most owners. jlobo had a pretty good idea of what he wanted and how it would turn out before he even started.

Honestly, a single set of high flow cats still cleans the air well and gives great power, even compared to no cats at all. When we tested we saw more torque with a set of high flow cats than running without any. I personally didn't like the sound of the catless car, it may not be as bad if you're still running factory mufflers but there's a very hollow, resonating sound to it.

Everyone has their own definition of success with something like this. Also where you live and how emissions laws play into this will likely affect your decisions.

Glad to hear you got the results you were after though, cat problems can be a real pain...
04-09-2013 12:33 PM
TravisJ
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlobo941 View Post
I'm positive that backpressure is not an issue with my setup, my car ran great before the re-tune (just with a CEL). As far as any "true" straight pipe setup goes, there's still plenty of back pressure for the engine to run right IF the ECU is tuned for it. At that point, the only trade-off is the ATROCIOUS noise, and that while it does provide room for more peak HP, it does rob some torque (which is what you feel) so it may feel slower to you when in fact it is actually faster (had a lot of experience with this with my S2000)
Makes sense. More peak hp and less torque. Car will be faster but not as quick. Good for track days, not as good for street driving.



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04-09-2013 03:25 AM
adam01 Interesting post on the UK SM forum - relevant to certain locations

"Also I found out the main reason the ceramic cats break up (apart from damage and fatigue).

If you use the car for short journeys during winter time, the front ones especially become full of condensation from the short run, then hold the water for ages as they are just porous soft plaster, then -3 degrees comes along and freezes them, and blow apart they do. This is what happened to me as the last time i used it was shops and back round the corner, then we had a -5 overnight, and next time i started it, both front cats were totalled.

Just a heads up really. " Fossy
04-09-2013 01:41 AM
Lorenz-06MT Yea sounds like its not an issue and u got this thing wrapped up,,good. Keep us informed, thanks
04-09-2013 01:26 AM
jlobo941
Quote:
Originally Posted by LORENZ-GS06 View Post
Thats great news. Im glad its working out. Keep reporting back please. Another question i have on back pressure. With no primary or secondary cats how much back pressure is lost. Do the mufflers give enough back pressure for the engine to run rite. So far i guess it does but id like to hear any opinions,,thanks
I'm positive that backpressure is not an issue with my setup, my car ran great before the re-tune (just with a CEL). As far as any "true" straight pipe setup goes, there's still plenty of back pressure for the engine to run right IF the ECU is tuned for it. At that point, the only trade-off is the ATROCIOUS noise, and that while it does provide room for more peak HP, it does rob some torque (which is what you feel) so it may feel slower to you when in fact it is actually faster (had a lot of experience with this with my S2000)
04-09-2013 12:38 AM
Lorenz-06MT
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlobo941 View Post
150 miles on the new tune, no CEL and car runs like a bat outta hell
Thats great news. Im glad its working out. Keep reporting back please. Another question i have on back pressure. With no primary or secondary cats how much back pressure is lost. Do the mufflers give enough back pressure for the engine to run rite. So far i guess it does but id like to hear any opinions,,thanks
04-09-2013 12:24 AM
jlobo941 150 miles on the new tune, no CEL and car runs like a bat outta hell
04-05-2013 07:24 PM
TravisJ Sounds like you landed on the best solution on a number of fronts! I'm certain everyone would appreciate update reports on how it all worked out and contact info for the tuner (if you haven't already).



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04-05-2013 06:55 PM
jlobo941 I experimented with spacers of different sizes and lengths, like clockwork every 55 miles I'd get a MIL. Ultimately I decided to reprogram my ecu. I figured $1600 for the same benefit as the FD DBW, FD ECM, and having the cats completely deleted from the program was well worth every penny... just my 2 cents (no pun). That being said, I have had great success mitigating downstream O2 MIL with spacers on many other vehicles, but none of them had thermocouples. I assume that the MIL was being tripped by the Pyrometer.

That being said, I'd NEVER relocate an O2 sensor, and would only entertain the idea of a resistor if there were no ECU flashing capailities available.
04-05-2013 03:00 PM
TravisJ
Quote:
Originally Posted by LORENZ-GS06 View Post
So if your gutting the primary cats, this is an option,,IF it works....Does FD sell a resistor that would show the lower voltage?.....Im asking this stuff just for myself and others knowledge..
If I were going through this hassle for a second time, I would try the spacers first as they are the least risky (no cutting wires). Resistor would be my second choice and messing with the ECU would be a distant third choice. I don't know if FD sells resistors but that sort of thing isn't specialized so they are easily sourced locally.

At least one member here had his ECU fried by an independent shop when they were putting the resistors in line. IIRC, they crossed a wire.

As a side note, many people that use independents judge the expertise of a shop by the other cars that get serviced there. The shop that fried the ECU (and screwed up a few things on my car) had an in-house Ferrari Enzo and regularly serviced a Maserati MC12 along with virtually every modern Ferrari and Lamborghini. Somehow, they were able to screw up a couple of Maseratis. Anyway, guess I am just saying to pick your shop wisely and not get seduced by impressive cars in the showroom/shop/parking lot. /digression



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04-05-2013 02:41 PM
Lorenz-06MT So if your gutting the primary cats, this is an option,,IF it works....Does FD sell a resistor that would show the lower voltage?.....Im asking this stuff just for myself and others knowledge..
04-05-2013 02:17 PM
TravisJ
Quote:
Originally Posted by LORENZ-GS06 View Post
Travis, what do u mean by ( using spacers)
Some people choose to use O2 sensor spacers to move the rear O2 sensors out of the exhaust stream a bit. This "tricks" the sensor into reading less oxygen as if the catalytic converter is in place. The Ferrari 360 guys use this method with some success. I don't know for a fact that any Maserati owner has used the same method. IIRC, FD suggests a resistor mod to show lower voltage at the sensor.



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04-05-2013 12:51 PM
Lorenz-06MT Travis, what do u mean by ( using spacers)
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