Ford recall on cat converter

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DougJ

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Hi folks--and I'm hoping Gary B will spot this post :)

I have a 1990 Winnebago Elandan on a Ford chassis with a 460 engine.  I've had a Banks PowerPack installed in Jan 2004.

Since I bought the rig in March 2003, some of the times it has been serviced at a Ford dealership.  At this time it is being serviced at a new-to-me Ford dealership; on initiating a workorder, they discovered that there are three Ford recalls outstanding.  One of these is a recall on the catalytic converter.

Since buying the rig I have had a new, non-Ford converter installed.  To execute the recall, FORD has told the dealership the converter I have on, which is working just fine, must come off and the Ford converter installed as part of satisfying the recall.

The dealership is now fussing with the fact that the Ford converter doesn't plug in nicely to the 3-inch Banks exhaust piping; the dealer is now waiting for further instructions from FORD.

Do I need to keep my head up on any aspect of this recall for service?

Comments and advice will be appreciated.

Ciao,

Doug


PS: some of you may recall my woes with dragging front brakes.  Guess what, one of the three recalls has to do with shielding the brake lines. :eek:

 

John From Detroit

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I have met dealers who were pricks about doing service. But in fact recall work is elective, Highly suggested in MOST cases, but elective in all.  Just "elect" to NOT replace the banks converter... Since your rig does not have the deffective converter on it (The one that is recalled) the recall really does not apply and there should be no question... The dealer should not have even told you of the recall

What they should do is refund you the cost of replacing the deffective converter (since you paid to do it already) but of course that is NOT likely to happen
 

DougJ

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Thanks John and Gary.

Seems that some sort of "calibration" is part of this recall--but have no idea what that's all about.

I'll talk to them again on Monday and see what the options are from their perspective.

Incidentally, John, they asked for my original receipts for the converter I had installed.  I provided them with that; they have refunded the full cost and I've already deposited the cheque.

This is one of two good-to-my-way-of-thinking Ford dealerships (for working on motorhomes); the other is in Hemet, CA.

Ciao,

Doug
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Calibration?  At a guess, they are talking about the management parameters for the engine computer.  For pre-1995 vehicles, US Federal law required the manufacturer to provide a a primary emission control system (which includes the converter) good for 5 years/50,000 miles. If the vehicles were failing to meet Clean Air standards before that time, Ford is responsible for replacing/modifing the emissions system to do so. An engine that runs rich some of the time will pollute the converter, so I'm guessing that Ford wants to recalibrate for a leaner burn under a wider variety of conditions.  They may do an emmissions test (a "sniffer" up the tailpipe) to verify the vehicle is now in compliance.

This could get sticky, because Ford is required by law to build vehicles that conform to the Clean Air Act and the recall may well be required to bring the vehicle into compliance.  And YOU are required to keep your vehicle in compliance. In that case, the repair is not really elective, though you certainly do not have to allow Ford to do the work.

The Clean Air Act also requires full compliance from aftermarket cat converters, so your Banks-installed converter should be perfectly legal. I can think of no VALID reason why Ford could object to "calibrating" with an aftermarket converter installed, but it likely will be a bit sticky for them.  :-\

And since you are Canadian and the vehicle is registered in Canada, I don't know how all this applies. I believe Canada also has "clean air" requirements, but how similar they are to the US law is something you will have to discover.
 

quapaw

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I may be confused but to my understanding, the manufacturer is not liable for non-complying or replacements other than original equipment.  The owner of the vehicle is responsible for maintaining the equipment to comply with standards at the time of manufacture. If the equipment is faulty the companies are generally required to repair or replace with the same or upgraded part.  I think you have been very fortunate for the dealer (Ford Motors) to reimburse you for non original equipment or modified systems.  This is not to say that the Banks system is bad or but it is not original equipment nor offered as an option.  In general once you modify something or use it for non traditional use, ie: racing etc,  warranty is voided.  RV manufacturers and vehicle manufacturers ofter try and place the blame on the other party. 
 

DougJ

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Hi quapaw,

I think you have been very fortunate for the dealer (Ford Motors) to reimburse you for non original equipment or modified systems.

I've no idea if I'm fortunate or if what the Ford dealer did is standard practice.  As the service advisor discussed the matter with FORD, I could only hear her half of the conversation.  I was asked why I had not had the converter replaced by a Ford dealer.  Where I live there is only one Ford dealer and that dealer does no work on any motorhomes, not even those on a Ford chassis.  The next nearest Ford dealer is more than 100km from where I live (and I've no idea if they work on motorhomes) and that piece of information seemed to satisfy the FORD person at the other end of the telephone line.

To be clear, I didn't ask this Ford dealer for a refund of what I had spent over a year ago on a new converter (not a Banks product)--they volunteered to refund if I would produce the original invoice for that work.  I produced the original invoice showing "paid" and they gave me the cheque.

Ciao,

Doug
 

DougJ

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Hi Gary,

The Clean Air Act also requires full compliance from aftermarket cat converters, so your Banks-installed converter should be perfectly legal. I can think of no VALID reason why Ford could object to "calibrating" with an aftermarket converter installed, but it likely will be a bit sticky for them.

The converter is not a Banks product, but a "Walker Catalytic Converter."  It was installed several months after the Banks PowerPack was installed.


As for clean air matters, I don't know what is required of manufacturers in Canada.  I do know that if you live in the city of Vancouver you have to have your vehicle tested for emissions (that used to be the case and I think it remains so) and have it brought up to standard if it failed the test.

However, for folks like me, living outside of Vancouver (actually I suspect the definition is the Lower Mainland) with my vehicle registered outside of the Lower Mainland, the requirement for vehicle testing does not apply to me.  I'm guessing, based on what you say, that the need "to calibrate" may reflect the Ford dealer's practice given that the dealership is in the Lower Mainland.

I'll be calling them on Monday to see what the story is. 

Thanks for those further comments, and

Ciao,

Doug





 

Gary RV_Wizard

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The converter is not a Banks product, but a "Walker Catalytic Converter."  It was installed several months after the Banks PowerPack was installed.

Was there some sort of problem leading to this replacement?  If there are any indications that your engine is polluting the converter, you need to worry about this "calibration". If not, I'd just go RVing and smile when my refund check came from Ford.

In my opinion Ford and the dealer have gone the proverbial "extra mile" to provide you with quality service.
 

DougJ

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Was there some sort of problem leading to this replacement?  If there are any indications that your engine is polluting the converter, you need to worry about this "calibration".

No, Gary, there was no problem with the converter or engine that took me to the dealership.

It was the issue of dragging brakes (which I've been chasing for a little over a year--recall my other posts sometine ago on this) that took me there.  When they pulled up my file with the VIN number, up popped three service recalls that are outstanding on my rig.

One is the cat converter; and guess what: another is about heat shielding for the brake lines by the headers!

Ciao,

Doug
 

quapaw

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The heat shielding of the brake lines is what is so interesting.  Installation of the Banks system probably included exhaust manifolds (headers etc) and one would think their engineers would be aware of the need to shield everything that would be affected by the heat from their headers and piping.  It seems very odd to me that Ford would reimburse for after market adaptations but as the old saying goes, "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth!"  It is certanly a far cry from my experience with the FoMoCo people. Exhaust calibration to control emmisions is probably required of those who install or replace any system affecting emmisions.  Most large metopolitan areas require emmision testing but I know of cases where a sticker is applied for the fee without any testing.  Enforcement is spotty.  How long do you think it will take you to recoup the cost of the Banks system or is is a "Tim the toolman" thing?  More power!  Grunt grunt! ;D
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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No, Gary, there was no problem with the converter or engine that took me to the dealership.

It was the issue of dragging brakes (which I've been chasing for a little over a year--recall my other posts sometine ago on this) that took me there.  When they pulled up my file with the VIN number, up popped three service recalls that are outstanding on my rig.

Doug,
I was asking why you replaced the cat converter some months ago.  If not part of the Banks change, why?
 

DougJ

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549
Gary,

Sorry to be confusing on this matter:

I was asking why you replaced the cat converter some months ago.  If not part of the Banks change, why?

The Banks was installed at their plant in Azusa, CA, in January 2004 and the converter probably failed sometime between then and May 2004 when I had the new converter installed.

I can't be more preciser on the date of failure because from about mid-Feb 2004 I was chasing a vibration / rattle that would begin after about 40km of highway driving and would be RPM dependent, and would disappear after a stop of as short as 20 minutes, but of course reappear after another 40km of highway driving.  I had various places try to figure this out, but since no one wanted to drive on the highway with me, they couldn't find it.

When I got back to Vancouver, that specific problem was on the "to do" list as well as a host of routine service matters.  It was the service shop in Sechelt that found the rattle: the innards of the converter were loose--you could make it rattle by holding it in your hands and shaking it.  With the new converter installed, no more rattle. :)


Now for the rest of the story . . . .

On the Ford service recall for the cat converter, they opted not to replace the Walker Cat Converter that is on there now (the one I had installed in May 2005) but did replace the PCM.

Ciao,

Doug

 

quapaw

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I had the inards of a cat come loose in a Dodge Caravan.  I was told it was not unusual.  I let it go for a few thousand miles  ( I only put 2000 miles a year on the vehicle) before having it replaced.  An after market cat and all seems to work.  Been a couple of years now.
 

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