How to Hollow Out Catalytic Converter

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To hollow out a catalytic converter, you need to use a reciprocating saw and an angle grinder. First, use the reciprocating saw to cut open the converter and remove the core.

Then, use the angle grinder to grind away any remaining material inside the shell.

Understanding The Process

Knowing The Legalities

In many regions, hollowing out a catalytic converter is illegal and can lead to hefty fines or even jail time.

Identifying The Risks Involved

Tampering with the catalytic converter can result in harmful emissions, decreased engine performance, and potential damage to the environment.

How to Hollow Out Catalytic Converter


Tools And Materials Needed

Before you can start hollowing out your catalytic converter, you will need a few essential tools and materials. By having these ready, you can ensure a smooth and efficient process. Remember, safety should always be a top priority when working on your vehicle.

List Of Tools

To get started, gather the following tools:

  • Wrench set
  • Socket set
  • Reciprocating saw or hacksaw
  • Die grinder or rotary tool
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • Marker or paint pen
  • Safety goggles
  • Respirator mask
  • Face shield
  • Gloves
  • Protective clothing
  • Fire extinguisher

Required Safety Gear

Ensuring your safety is of utmost importance. Be sure to have the following safety gear:

  • Safety goggles: Protect your eyes from sparks, debris, and harmful fumes.
  • Respirator mask: Keep your lungs protected from toxic fumes and particles.
  • Face shield: Shield your face and neck from potential dangers.
  • Gloves: Prevent injuries and burns while working.
  • Protective clothing: Wear long sleeves and pants to safeguard against cuts and burns.
  • Fire extinguisher: Have one nearby in case of emergencies.

Step-by-step Guide

When it comes to improving the performance of your vehicle, hollowing out the catalytic converter can be a cost-effective solution. This process involves removing the catalytic converter’s restrictive elements, allowing for better exhaust flow and potentially increasing horsepower. If you’re considering this modification, follow our step-by-step guide for a smooth and successful hollowing out process.

Preparing The Vehicle

Before you begin the hollowing out process, it’s crucial to take the necessary precautions and prepare your vehicle properly. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Ensure you have a safe and well-ventilated workspace.
  2. Park the vehicle on a level surface and engage the parking brake.
  3. Allow the vehicle’s engine to cool down completely.
  4. Put on safety gloves and goggles to protect yourself from any potential hazards.

Once you’ve completed these steps, you’re ready to move on to hollowing out the catalytic converter itself.

Hollowing Out The Catalytic Converter

The hollowing out process requires careful attention to detail, as any mistakes can lead to damage or improper functioning of the catalytic converter. Follow these steps to ensure a successful conversion:

  1. Use a socket or wrench to carefully remove the heat shield located around the catalytic converter. Set it aside for reinstallation later.
  2. Inspect the catalytic converter for any cracks or damage. If you notice any, it’s best to replace the converter instead of attempting to hollow it out.
  3. Using a reciprocating saw or a specialized cutting tool, carefully cut open the catalytic converter along its length, ensuring not to damage the honeycomb structure inside.
  4. Once the converter is cut open, use a long pry bar or chisel to remove the honeycomb structure. This can be a time-consuming process, so be patient and work carefully to avoid damaging the remaining walls.
  5. After removing the honeycomb structure, thoroughly clean the interior of the catalytic converter to remove any loose debris.
  6. If desired, you can re-weld the catalytic converter to restore its original appearance. However, keep in mind that this step is not necessary for its functionality.
  7. Reinstall the heat shield you removed in the first step, ensuring it is secure and properly aligned.
  8. Finally, start the vehicle and listen for any abnormal sounds or vibrations. If everything sounds normal, you have successfully hollowed out your catalytic converter.

It’s important to note that hollowing out the catalytic converter may have legal implications in some areas, as it may violate emissions regulations. Before proceeding, it’s vital to check your local laws and regulations to ensure compliance.


Post-hollowing Considerations

Inspecting The Converter

After hollowing out the catalytic converter, visually examine its interior for any remaining debris or blockages.

Check for signs of damage or corrosion to ensure the converter is in proper working condition.

Clear out any leftover material to prevent it from affecting the vehicle’s performance.

Testing The Vehicle

Start the vehicle and listen for any unusual sounds that may indicate problems with the converter.

Monitor the exhaust system for smoke or unusual emissions during operation.

Take the vehicle for a test drive to assess its overall performance and ensure there are no issues.

How to Hollow Out Catalytic Converter


Frequently Asked Questions Of How To Hollow Out Catalytic Converter

Will Hollowing Out Catalytic Converter Throw A Code?

Yes, hollowing out the catalytic converter will likely trigger the check engine light.

Can I Bust Out My Catalytic Converter?

No, it is illegal to remove or tamper with the catalytic converter in your vehicle. Doing so can result in fines and penalties. Additionally, it may negatively impact the environment and harm your vehicle’s performance. Always consult a professional for any modifications to your car’s emissions system.

Does Gutting Cats Add Horsepower?

Gutting cats does not directly add horsepower, but it may improve exhaust flow for a slight performance increase.

What’s The Easiest Way To Unclog A Catalytic Converter?

The easiest way to unclog a catalytic converter is by using a catalytic converter cleaner. This cleaner helps remove carbon deposits and unclog the converter, improving its performance. Simply pour the cleaner into the gas tank and drive your vehicle for a while to allow the cleaner to work its magic.


After following these steps, you can successfully hollow out your catalytic converter. It is crucial to stay informed about local laws and regulations. Remember to always prioritize safety and consult a professional for any doubts. By taking these precautions, you can effectively modify your catalytic converter.

Happy DIYing!

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