2006 OR 4X4, 126K miles - throwing P0420 every few hundred miles, and it threw P0430 a couple thousand miles ago. I think the "pre-cats" are originals, but can't be sure. As I'm sure most of you know, this beast has 4 cats, but only the first two upstream, "pre-cats" are the ones that the O2 sensors take a reading from. I'm on here looking for some opinions, and/or personal experiences. I've been all over this site, and others, and have read countless opinions, but I'd like to get some fresh input on my exact situation.
I already picked up some check engine light eliminators, and plan to put them on the second set of O2 sensors whether I gut the cats or not. https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Basically, I'd rather gut the cats and play the game to make the CEL go away than replace the cats. OEMs are too expensive, and the best warranty you can get with an aftermarket seems to be Eastern, which is only 50K miles. I don't want to dump money into them now, only to have to do it again in 50K miles. Also, as temping as long-headers are, I don't feel like dishing out that kind of money either ($400). I'm just looking for a cheap fix that's going to last, and from what I can tell gutting the pre-cats, (and maybe the second set just for fun) is the easiest route with the longest lasting results. BTW, I don't have to worry about emissions testing at all.
I would like to hear from people who have actually gutted their cats, and/or have some input as to the pros/cons. I'm thinking about doing the second set as well, just for fun, and because I don't want to have to get down there again in the future if they start getting plugged as well. Seems like preventative maintenance to just gut them now, right? Appreciate your guys' input. Please cast your vote!
UPDATE 28 Jan 17:
I hollowed out the early Jan, and lost some power at lower RPMs, was not pleased with the exhaust fumes, and somewhat displeased with the sound.
Replaced the front two cats today with one Dalvico and one Eastern. So far so good. Much more power, and running very smooth. After my experience I would go with the popular vote and just replace the front two cats, instead of hollowing. Read full write-up of hollowing on page 4, and write-up of replacement on page 5.