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How To Install a Catalytic Converter

Magnaflow F-150 Direct-Fit OEM Grade Catalytic Converter

Find out how to install a catalytic converter in 3 simple steps.

Installing a Catalytic Converter

If you do, you’ve basically got two options: bolt on or weld-on.

Either option will complement your Magnaflow mufflers and help boost your overall exhaust system performance. But for installation purposes, if you don’t know how to handle a welding torch, bolt on is the better bet. Take your ride to a shop and they’ll ask for a few hundred bucks for install. Some may even tell you they can’t swap out your cat due to state regulations. If that’s the case, you shouldn’t either. Always check the laws of the land before making any modifications to your rig. For example, many aftermarket catalytic converters aren’t California legal.

Okay, so let’s say you’re within legal parameters and you’ve got your bolt on kit. How do you install it?

Luckily, Magnaflow catalytic converter installation is fairly easy. As long you have patience and the right tools, you should be able to swap out your old cat in just a few hours.

The Install Process

  1. Jack up your rig so you have ample space to work underneath.
  2. Spray lube on your cat’s connecting hardware and loosen it up with a wrench.
  3. Remove the old catalytic converter. If you have to, break it off with a hammer. But be careful not to rattle the rest of your exhaust.
  4. Align your new cat with the factory bolts and tighten. It might help to have someone hold it in place so you have both hands free.

Testing Your Catalytic Converter

Once you’ve got your new cat installed, it’s time to test it out. While your vehicle is running, look for any leaks from the exhaust. Leaks are usually caused by loose bolts, so if you see them, turn off your engine and let it cool. Then climb back underneath and re-tighten. As always, be sure to follow your installation instructions exactly. The above is a basic outline, but your specific make and model may differ in some way. A catalytic converter for an F250 may differ slightly in install from a F150 high flow catalytic converter. And, a Toyota Tacoma catalytic converter install, since it’s on a foreign make, might not be the same.

Tip From the Mechanic!

The only trouble you might run into when installing a new cat con is a busted bolt or washer. Wrenching can put a lot of stress on old, rusty parts, so it’s wise to keep some spare 2-inch bolts and lock washers handy. If you do bust something, you won’t have to abandon ship for the long trek to the auto parts store.


Installing a new catalytic converter can improve your vehicle's performance and help it meet emissions standards. Whether you choose a bolt-on or weld-on option, make sure to follow the installation instructions carefully and check local regulations to ensure compliance. With the right tools and some patience, you can complete this upgrade in just a few hours and enjoy a smoother-running vehicle.