Slightly Glowing Series II Cat - RX8Club.com



Series II Technical and Trouble shooting Discuss technical details for the Series II RX-8 and any issues or problems you are facing

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Old 02-01-2017, 07:05 PM   #1
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OH Slightly Glowing Series II Cat

Noticed a very faint glow of the cat only from the drivers side and the glow was coming from above the sensor - illuminating the left side very faintly.

I noticed a unique smell on the way home tonight - a mixture of unburnt gas and likely premix (Lucas JASO FD) at 0.4 oz./gal. Air temp was in the mid 30s F. We had just been idling on the highway for about 10 min in heavy stop and go traffic. Once on the interchange on-ramp between two highways I drove it all the way home in the 5-8K rpm range.

Then I checked and noticed that very faint glow of the cat on the top.

2K miles ago (I now have 44K miles on my 2010 GT) I replaced the ignition coils, wires, and plugs all with OEM (coils were C part numbered from MazMart). I also reset the ESS and cleaned it while in replacing the ignition. I've been religious on oil changes (1000-1500K OCI) and N3R1 filter changes. I run 93 RON fuel always from reputable sources.

Should I be worried?

I'm not getting CEL/MILs and notice no performance related issue sother than typical winter MPG loss? (I do warm up the car and it blinks off the first red warm up light just as I take off in the morning - about 2 min idle time).

Thought S2 owners?
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Old 02-01-2017, 08:31 PM   #2
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Yes a glowing cat is a bad cat. Test it (google, use a laser thermometer) or get it tested right away.
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Old 02-02-2017, 09:25 AM   #3
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Yes, my cat glows after a hard drive (2009 sport model). I do not have any performance loss or CEL, but I am still planning to switch to BHR midpipe. How many miles on your cat??

A bad cat COULD destroy your engine if it gets badly clogged.

Also, by premixing you are accelerating the clogging of your cat significantly. I do not premix my S2, though I will start once I have switched to midipe.
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Old 02-02-2017, 12:33 PM   #4
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Get rid of the cat asap. In our experiences the stock cats ALWAYS fail. Its not a matter of if, but when. When the cat clogs it can overheat the motor and ruin it. We usually go with the Magnaflow direct replacement. The are significantly cheaper than the stock cat, flow better, and run cooler. We've installed them on cars and 5 years later+ they are still functioning. We usually try to keep them in stock.

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Old 02-02-2017, 06:19 PM   #5
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Now tonight I recreated the drive and conditions and NO GLOWING CAT whatsoever. I did measure the actual metal surface of the cat from front to back and will post the temperatures of the actual cat skin temps (not the shroud that surrounds it). Net no temperature differential from inlet to outlet.

Again I'm not having an power loss, no starting issues, just replaced all ignition components 2K ago including cleaning the ESS and MAF (with MAF cleaner). No symptoms other than last night I noticed a smell of sweet unburnt gas and organics (no sulfur) and looked at the cat last night (slight glow from on top of cat above the O2 sensor.
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Old 02-02-2017, 07:09 PM   #6
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Old 02-02-2017, 08:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moldyviolinist View Post
Yes, my cat glows after a hard drive (2009 sport model). I do not have any performance loss or CEL, but I am still planning to switch to BHR midpipe. How many miles on your cat??

A bad cat COULD destroy your engine if it gets badly clogged.

Also, by premixing you are accelerating the clogging of your cat significantly. I do not premix my S2, though I will start once I have switched to midipe.
Just over 45000 miles on the original cat on my S2
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Old 02-03-2017, 08:13 AM   #8
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The quick and dirty test is to remove the front 3 bolts and pull the cat down for inspection. The white honeycomb should be clean and clear. To investigate further, you can remove the rear 2 bolts and take the cat out. Shove a bright flashlight up its butt and inspect the front for light. If you see light all around, it is good.

The better test is a flow and sniffer test at the dealership. If it fails and is still under emissions warranty (8 years / 80K miles), they will replace it free.

If you go aftermarket, whatever cat you buy needs to be rated for 1500F mean and 1800F peak temps, or it will fail quickly. Most cats are rated for 1200F mean temps.

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Last edited by Steve Dallas; 02-03-2017 at 08:17 AM.
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Old 02-03-2017, 10:23 AM   #9
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SD - thanks for these tips. I will do the inspection after I rule out fuel/air mismanagement. This "one day it has a faint glow above the O2 sensor" then "next drives it has no glow" seems like fuel/air or compression (input to the cat issues). I will also re-clean the MAF and re-clean and reset the ESS this weekend once I drain the 3-4 gal of premixed fuel in the tank and put 100% hi-test fuel with no premix added.

I only have 45K miles on the S2 and 2K ago recently installed OEM: C-part coils, NGK plugs, and OEM wires. I did check that everything is nice and torqued and snug on the engine and bedded on the coils.
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Old 02-03-2017, 11:41 AM   #10
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Old 02-03-2017, 01:58 PM   #11
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Thanks 9K - I didn't catch this one (from the awesome Eric the Car Guy of Cincinnati)
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Old 02-03-2017, 02:00 PM   #12
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I have learned a few things watching his vids.
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Old 02-03-2017, 02:11 PM   #13
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So have I - He really has taken the time to help even a novice understand and work through a repair. Not many people take this time. He has been very well compensated for his effort and rightly so.
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Old 02-05-2017, 08:47 AM   #14
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This is track data, so it is not wholly applicable, but look at the left side of the graph. My EGT is over 1100F while just sitting in grid. My first lap is taken lazily as I let my oil reach operating temp and put some heat into my brakes and tires. My second lap isn't driven much harder. Even when taking it easy, the temp shoots right past 1700F. The inch or so on the right side of the graph is my cool-down lap and return to paddock. Still much hotter than what Magnaflow specifies as the operating temp of their replacement cats.

The graph represents about 12 laps, including warm-up and cool-down laps.



This has me curious, so next time I drive the car to work, which is about 21 miles of mostly city driving, I will try to remember to run my data logger and post what EGTs are recorded during normal driving.

.

Last edited by Steve Dallas; 02-05-2017 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 02-06-2017, 07:33 AM   #15
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Thanks SD - I can't figure out why my OBD2 reader doesn't list EGT as a monitor. All I have listed is O2 Sensor voltage (which I'm sure I can convert to temperature).
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Old 02-06-2017, 09:13 AM   #16
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Torque has it in the extended PIDs section.

I remember doing the street driving experiment a couple years ago, in which I logged the RX-8 on the drive to and from work one day, then did my Tacoma the next day. The difference was very dramatic--almost double, IIRC. I can't find the data now.
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Old 02-06-2017, 02:21 PM   #17
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Torque has it in the extended PIDs section.

I remember doing the street driving experiment a couple years ago, in which I logged the RX-8 on the drive to and from work one day, then did my Tacoma the next day. The difference was very dramatic--almost double, IIRC. I can't find the data now.
So is that Torque Pro's extended features?
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Old 02-06-2017, 03:43 PM   #18
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I think my limitation is my ELM327 reader https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...90773217bde8a2. It only captures these:

ELM327 Functions:
1.Read diagnostic trouble codes, both generic and manufacturer-specific, and display their meaning (over 3000 generic code definitions in the database).
2.Clear trouble codes and turn off the MIL (“Check Engine” light)
3.Display current sensor data, including:
4.Engine RPM
5.Calculated Load Value
6.Coolant Temperature
7.Fuel System Status
8.Vehicle Speed
9.Short Term Fuel Trim
10.Long Term Fuel Trim
11.Intake Manifold Pressure
12.Timing Advance
13. Intake Air Temperature
14.Air Flow Rate
15.Absolute Throttle Position
16.Oxygen sensor voltages/associated short term fuel trims
17. Fuel System status
18.Fuel Pressure
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Old 02-06-2017, 04:01 PM   #19
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Yep. get Torque with extended PID's and a good adapter, I use the OBlink MX (something like that). It was pricey but worth it.
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Old 02-08-2017, 08:49 AM   #20
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The saga is just starting...car is at the dealer and the cat was being overworked. They are claiming that the (full) tank of Shell V-Nitro power 93 octane gas is really (tested as) E85 and that the fuel management is dumping fuel to maintain engine run state.

What's in the tank is 93 Shell with no premix. I'm working with the Shell station to investigate.
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Old 02-08-2017, 09:25 AM   #21
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If it was straight E85, the car would not run.
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Old 02-08-2017, 09:32 AM   #22
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If it was straight E85, the car would not run.
I know - I think they're pulling my leg or they think something else is causing the cat to work overtime. They've confirmed that the ignition system is very healthy and that there are no other fuel/air issues. Short of a "going but not gone" O2 sensor, I cannot fathom anyhting other than the cat has to be replaced under warranty and they're looking for an out.
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Old 02-08-2017, 10:25 AM   #23
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They now say that the fuel sample taken at the engine is milky (sample taken but I've not seen it). What would cause this?
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Old 02-08-2017, 10:33 AM   #24
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Could be a few things. Bad fuel from a gas station tank is pretty rare these days due to the amount of filters required and the inspections done.

Sounds like dealer bullshit to me.
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Old 02-08-2017, 12:05 PM   #25
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Car fixed accd to dealer - net was that bad gas was causing the cat to run out of parameters (hot). Details:
(1) bad gas sample taken at engine (milky) - will have it analyzed
(2) tank emptied and refilled with dealer confimred "good" gas
(3) cat temp issues went away after driving and idling
(4) rotary tech said running PREMIUM fuel in Winter may be one cause and that I should only run premium in Summer and operate on 87 RON all other times
(5) out $USD 349

I'll have them add all this documentation on the statement I pick up and will post for you to review.

Last edited by wannawankel; 02-08-2017 at 02:24 PM.
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