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2002 Toyota Corolla

How to replace the Catalytic Converter Assembly

Also applies from 1993 through 2002

After changing out the O2 sensors on the wife's corolla, we were still throwing computer codes. The only culprit left was the catalytic converter. Based on what work I'd done before I determined it was time to change out the catalytic converter. Luckily, you can pick up an entire assembly at your local Autozone (note for my friends in California, they may or may not carry a California specific assembly. You can that your state government for having different emissions rules than everyone else).

Items Needed Tools Needed
New Catalytic converter assembly
Magnaflow 23881 Direct Fit Catalytic Converter (Non CARB compliant)
12mm Socket or spanner
22mm Combination Wrench
3 Ton Jack Stands
2 Ton Floor Jack

Here you can see the middle section of the Catalytic converter assembly. Of primary interest in this photo is the Oxygen sensor to the right. Early Corollas may not have this second Oxygen sensor.


In the center of the photos is the front connector clamp that holds the catalytics converter assembly and the exhaust manifold together.


Here's a close up of the Oxygen sensor connection.


This clamp connects the catalytic converter assembly and the muffler.


First, disconnect the Oxygen sensor. It requires a 22mm wrench.


Loosen and pull apart the fron clamp. It's held down by a single 12mm bolt.


Remove the rear two bolts. These are also 12mm. One of mine was pretty frozen, so it required some WD-40 to help break it loose.


There are two rubber exhaust hangers that are attached on either side of the resonator. You'll need to wiggle the mounts loose. I find that a quick spray of Simple Green as well as pushing through a small screw driver helps the process immensely. Please be aware that these are all that is holding the converter assembly in place, so as they are disonnected the assembly will drop out from under the car.


Here you can see the original and the replacement assemblies side by side. You'll want to try and remove as much of the labels and such on the new parts as possible. If not, you'll smell them burning off for a day or so after installation.


This final picture is specificaly of the catalytic converter part of the assembly.

Reinstallation is similar to removal. I find it helps best to get one of the rubber mounts hooked in. After that, put one bolt in where the assembly connects to the muffler. That will give you enough stability to easily fit the second rubber mount and connect up to the exhaust manifold. you finish by putting the last bolt in the muffler connection, double checking that everything is tight, and you're done!

Or almost, I should say. Don't forget to disconnect/reconnect the negative battery terminal to reset the check engine light.

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Contents copyright 2008, 2009 - Jody F. Kerr

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