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Removing a catalytic converter


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Here's a technical one!!! Just brought (in the UK), a 1996 Ford Maverick 4x4 van (second one built and a rare beasty). Obviously, now I have in at home, I will need to set about gettting it French registered.

Problem 1. Headlights are no longer available, but as it's really a Nissan Terrano, I might be able to use LHD lights off one of those, though I know I can get a CT with deflectors if it's the only. Though one light is losing it's silvering!!

The bigger problem is, I had a new exhaust middle and tail section fitted before we left the UK, but the fitter forgot the middle mounts, and it sressed the weld on the catalytic converter joining flange. It appears these too may be no longer available, for either the Maverick or the Terrano. I can get a "catalytic converter repair section", which is the same diameter pipe, and has a larger diameter flexy section, which I have to assume has some form of cat' in it, but  would that be accepted in a CT? How do you prove it is the ONLY alternative? Can I just replace the cat' with a piece of exhaust (I'd guess not). How do you stand if the manufacturer has actually stopped making the parts for a car? Oh the joys!!!!

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I haven't the actual regs by there were two different years (dates) I believe for two different EU standards on complying cats, early ones may escape like my old Volvo did but you'll have to check those even more anal french regs.

What about aftermarket exhaust manufacturers?  Eurocar parts etc or Bosal exhausts Mind you I suppose its a slim chance it may actually fit properly. Can you just get it welded back?

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Before involving yourself in the minutae of exhaust détails for the CT I would first check that your vehicle actually has a type mines in France, if not then they will not let you register it without a réception type isole for which the paperwork alone for items like the headlights , seat belts etc will probably defeat you before you even get into the emission contrôle système.
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DEFINITELY check that first, especially as its a van variant.

I have a Freelander van variant, which is a proper Land Rover conversion done at the factory when new and it was a massive pain in the balls to re-register it in France. I paid through the nose to LR and got a letter saying it was exactly the same as Type Mines XXYYZZ as far as mechanicals parts, safety etc were concerned, only difference being it is a 2 seater rather than the standard cars 5.

Would the prefecture just change the number of places? no, they wouldnt. So I jumped on the DRIRE merry go round and after a few months, trips to a weighbridge, some maths and some specs from LR I finally got an appointment for inspection. I had assumed he would just count the number of seats but he went into a bit of detail checking lights and glass were all E-marked, checking seatbelt mountings hadnt been altered and finally almost failed it because the oddometer doesnt specify if it counts in miles or kilometers. I got the pass with the absolute promise that I must affix a wee sticker to the dash stating it counts in miles!

Another 100 euros or so lighter and a few more weeks I finally got the papers to register it.

And then a few weeks later met a guy with one the same who bought it in France without hassle and registered as a 2 seater with no problems since new.

As usual the left hand doesnt know what the right is doing......

Once you have that checked, I doubt it will pass emissions testing without a cat. There are plenty of aftermarket cats available on Ebay UK, although they are generally much, much less effective than an original due to having much less of the expensive metals inside. A "clean" car should be fine but if emissions are marginal anyway it might not be enough.

If your OE cat is still available, any garage worth their name "should" be capable of sleeving and welding it back into the exhaust pipe. Go for a small place rather than a big chain as they will want to just try to sell you a new one.
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Well to answer the points brought up.

The cat is beyond welding, hence the problem. I looked at the cat' repair pipes, and just from the diameter, it looked like they might not be up to snuff, but may be the only option!!!

My Maverick is actually one of the first two built, as prototypes, so a converted Aspen model, and as it was available in France as both the Maverick and a Terrano, and all that is changed on mine is no rear side glass, no rear seats and a fitted load liner, I don't think it will be hard to CT. As I said, my biggest problem is parts that are no longer available, e.g. the headlights (the original square type) and the catalytic converter.

 As I say, if you put in the chassis number/reg number, it comes up as a Aspen, not  a commercial, and I have aall the paperwork regarding the conversion. The Nissan version was available in France (built in Spain)

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"no rear side glass, no rear seats and a fitted load liner...."

Thats all my Freelander is too, but it couldnt be registered as the car variant.

Unless youre exact model, and I do mean EXACT, was previously sold here, it will not have a Type Mines which is unique to each vehicle model variant. No Type Mines = no registration without DRIRE involvement.

Also, no, it wont be easy to CT it as no Type Mines = no CT test. The tester requires the Type Mines to enter into the computer system which spits out the vehicle spec for him to check....tyre size, emissions standards, brake test procedures etc. so you need a Certificate of Conformite or attestation from DRIRE before you get a CT.

Beam deflectors wont pass a French CT either. It works the other way, you can pass a UK MOT with deflectors on a LHD car, but here it has to be the original headlights.

I dunno where you are but a big breakers yard I know of had 3 or 4 mav/terranos in for parts so headlights should be fine and maybe the cat.
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Also, put up a photo of the cat...;you say its beyond welding, but nothing cant be repaired with a little patience. I recently repaired the completely screwed silencer of a Mazda pickup truck, which had a fist-sized hole in it and the pipe snapped off where it entered the box. An hour later and it was fine.

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I could offer advice on the headlight beam pattern and the silvering and also the exhaust but I wont waste the keystrokes, in fact as the OP was determined that his problem would be the CT I was not even going to reply any further, if I had it would have been to say what Dave has re-iterated.


The number one priority has to be to get a type mines number for the exact vehicle, without it you will not get a CT inspection, if you give the number for the 5 seat windowed vehicle they wont test it, if you get the number then you will have to get a cert de con for registration, otherwise a partial one and then in the hands of Dreal or without one impossible endless hoop jumping and paperasse for a RTI.


I would start with Drire (Dreal) to see if they can tell you if there is a type mines number, in the past they would then sell you a barré rouge copie of the cert de con for €67 but no more since commercial interests decided that it was money for old rope and they should have the Monopoly.


If you get past that hurdle then congratulations and I can advise you on the headlights, off forum because I inevitably get attacked by people that are probably still smarting from paying many hundreds of Euros for headlights.

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I took the Maverick to my local CT man, and once he had seen it was a Maverick Aspen, and I howed him that the mounting holes for the rear seats are still there, and that the glass panels for the rear hav been replaced with metal ones, he laughed and said, " ah, converti, pas du probleme". So to repeat the original question, what if there are parts you need for the CT, that according to the manufacturer are NLA?

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You fit second hand or pattern parts, there might be a Monopoly of supply in France of so called safety critical parts like wing mirrors and rear light lenses (I am being ironic) but there is no law against you fitting said parts and the CT examiner wont give a monkeys.


Contact me if you want to convert and/or repair the headlights.

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I am aware of pattern parts (I did a five year apprenticeship with Caffyns Ltd, who were Rolls-Royce, Austin-Rover and Leland Commercial, waas garage manager at Harris Bros, and worked na multi dealership garage before becoming a motor museum curator),  so OE, pattern and secondhand parts are not a mystery to me, but my question as to if a OE part is unavailable is still valid, some parts are vehicle unique!

I'm looking into lhd lights, but the  reflector problem seems to be a commonn ailment, and I am wondering that as the Terrano was imported into France, if it's possible to convert from square headlights to lhd round ones.

Ultimately, looks like a bigger project than I thought!

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Your question is no clearer after having read through all your postings once again.


How do you stand if the manufacturer has actually stopped making the parts for a car? Oh the joys!!!!


my biggest problem is parts that are no longer available, e.g. the headlights (the original square type) and the catalytic converter.


Unless I have completely misunderstood your question has been answered and you say you already knew the answer, what have I missed?


And I still think you are wasting your headspace until you have a certificate of conformity or a type mines number.

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Talk about labouring the point, here.

Anyway, literally 30 seconds with google showed the LHD headlight part numbers from Hella to be.....

1ED962060-121 for the right

1ED962060-111 for the left.

Literally another 8 seconds led me to them being on sale on oscaro.com for 141ish each.....




Literally another 7 seconds showed them to come up every now and then on ebay.de at around 120 each plus a tenners postage.


If thats too spendy, then 30 seconds on leboncoin turned up this breaker - the left one still looks ok


here is a brand new right hand side one;;;


here is someone selling a pair of brand new ones....


and here is another breaker with both intact...


frankly I got bored looking through them all after that.

Or you could take Chancer up on his offer to tell you how to do without buying replacements. I assume he knows what I know about H4 bulb relocation, but frankly I really cant be bothered typing it out as you have shown remarkable reluctance this far to listen to what you are being told.

As for the cat, you havent put up a pic so i can tell if yours is repairable or not. As I said previously, any decent small garage will be capable of repairing your old one unless there is literally nothing left.

I cant spend 30 seconds or so googling for a new replacement for you as you havent given us the full vehicle details.

I would have thought an ex Rolls apprentice, garage manager, dealership experienced, museam curator, nuclear sub tehnician, NASA engineer blah blah blah like yourself would have known things like that.

So......how you getting on with that Type Mines? the one thing that is absolutely crucial to the whole endevour and without it renders all the above pointless?

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Yeah, we do the same thing with the H4 bulbs, it took a huge amount of words  and re-editting to explain the procedure to someone that did not have the skills/experience to just work out how to do it from your 3 words "H4 bulb relocation" and I have since lost the document.


The resilvering of the reflectors is only for real Chancers, back in the 80's a pal paid to have his Audi Quattro headlights resilvered by an immigrant chappie a supposed specialist, all he did was to glue bacofoil over the rusted bits, we all laughed and took the pi55 out of my pal as he had paid a lot of money but he had the last laugh as the MOT tester could not actually fail them.


In 2004 in New Zealand I was given a Nissan Prairie that had been converted to a camping car, I had to get it going and do the repairs for the Warrant of Fitness one of the items was rusted through headlamp reflectors, I only needed the vehicle for 3 months travelling, it was free, came with all the other spares needed and I wanted to remain within my zero budget, I sliced the glasses off, pugged up the holes in the reflector, glued the aluminium foil in place and Sikaflexed the glasses back in place, if passed the WOF but the guy said I was really pushing my luck which indeed I was.

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Sorry to "labour the point" Dave, but we can't all be as clever as you, oh wait , we can, those headlights are for the later Maverick or Mazda Legend, but you must have known that without the registration, chassis/vin number or even the just the year of manufacture?

If the  scrappy had them, I'd have brought them, and the cat', but at present they don't. If there was a pattern part for both headlights, and in LHD, and a cat', I'd have brought them. ONE of your links does show a Teranno/Maverick with the correct style headlights, but the wrong front panel, which wont fit. If it were "simple", I would have just got on with it, but the parts for mine are specific to that year and model, of which just under 80 (that's EIGHTY) were built by  Roper in Norfolk for Ford, before the project was handded over to Nissan, for them to be built in Spain, but aagain, you surely knew that?, The are NLA, hence my general question, "what if you need parts that are NLA, but if I am labouring the point, just don't read the thread.

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I have asked you to explain what seems to be a rhetorical question:


How do you stand if the manufacturer has actually stopped making the parts for a car?


Other than using pattern parts, finding second hand ones, modifying/repairing your own or adapting other headlights what other answer can you be waiting for?


Focus your energy on the one and only important issue, the code mines which wont exist for a limited run of prototypes never homologated in France so you will have to find a code mines for the closest vehicle that was and engage in some creative paperwork.

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You said its a 1996 Maverick in the first post; all those lights are for a 1996 Maverick or Terrano II. There is no earlier style of Maverick and the Terrano I is a completely different vehicle.

terrano I...


TerranoII / Maverick phase 1....


terranoII phase2....


Maverick phase2...


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You edited your last post while I was typing that. Post a photo of the front if its so rare. I realy doubt they will have changed headlight type for units unique to a tiny production run.

Besides, 80 examples? you are f ucked. Full stop. Nothing to do with headlights, there will not be a Type Mines. It will simply not be possible to register it without either single vehicle approval through the DRIRE or a false Certificate of Conformite.

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When I originally posted I expected the basic answer "your [email protected]~k$d" but was vainly hoping someone might have a solution, like one off type approval etc, but the original question was actually, "can I remove the catalytic converter". I also posted that my local CT man has said, "it's an Aspen, so we do it as that, as it could be converted back", as the Aspen has the relavent  Type Mines. The headlights and front panel on mine? I shall endeavour to return it to standard and go from there. The cat' I shall remove what is left of the original and see if I can weld the flanges to a later one, and replace.

I can, as an ex motor trade worker, identify many of the parts used to build my Maverick, which incidently was used in the original sales brochure, and not once shown from the front , as they continuously modified it before the project was shipped to Spain (as I have been told by the garage that built the thing), like the flred plastic wheel arches, that once lived on a Rav 4, so I am not a total idiot. Ultimately I will try and find a Nissan Teranno Commercial, and see how much I might be able to use. These were sold in France, Spain and the UK, but  in very limited numbers. Where mine scores is that the ONLY mod's from standard (except the front panel and lights, due to a once fitted bull bar) is the removal of the rear seats (fittings still there, along with belt mounts) and the rear side glasses replaced with metal/plastic panels, so it's an Aspen, which my CT guy says is "lightly modified", which means it (as he put it) "travels on the same COC". Failing that, I get the COC from a French market Nissan Teranno Commercial, as I can prove it is the "same" vehicle.

The lights shown in the links sent show a curved upper/inner corner, which are late Maverick/Legend, though then could be just using that picture for illustrative purposes.

So in summary, yes, I sort of knew the answer, but hoped there may be a solution, just didn't expect such negativity.

Push comes to shove, I keep it UK reg, take it back once a year, and just drive it down forthe winter, if that's ok?

(I'm not annoyed, honest)

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A CoC is linked to the car VIN. You have to request (buy) it from the manufacturer, so Ford will ask for the VIN and a few other details and then issue it accordingly - if it exists. You cant use one from a different vehicle or from Nissan.

Try Ford and see, but be prepared for the worst.

Whats likely to happen is they write back saying that a CoC cant be issued because your model wasnt homologated for France, regardless of what vehicle it is based on or how light or reversible the modifications are.

Believe me, my Landrover was exactly this situation.

Single vehicle approval is possible, but a lengthy pain in the ass. Your local DRIRE will need a dossier filled out and if they are anything like the Tarn branch, there will be one guy who deals with these requests and he only takes calls on a Thursday morning and appointments on a Thursday afternoon, everything takes weeks and nobody really knows what they are doing....the usual government agency ineptitudes...

Your CT man doesnt get to choose what it gets tested as. He has to have either a Carte Gris, or a CoC and he enters the Type Mines listed on the paperwork. This is required so the CT computer can call up the relevant info for your model, namely tyre sizes, emissions levels and brake test procedures.

Physically removing the cat will not fail CT on its own as long as the replacement pipe doesnt leak, but the effect on emissions is what counts. Without the Type Mines there is no way to know what emissions standards it is required to meet.

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I think I can "make" a cat converter, as the bolt flanges are pretty solid, it's just the body has gone, and a Teranno  one must be pretty close, as the engine is the same. The ECU being sealed probably precludesany tinkering.

It must be a major arse restoring a classic car here. As a motor museum curator in the past, I know  howw much stuff we had to remake, make, or convert, but I sort of knew the French rules might be a bit much!!

The fog lights I can adapt, and until I see how the round headlight version difffers, I think I may be able to go that route, until then, I have rust to conquer!!

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heh, thats an entirely different moan....

Gaping rust holes you can fit your fist through in the chassis and bodyshell? No problem, sir - thats just an advisory on the CT test.

4 perfectly good quality, new, matching tyres that are 10mm wider than the standard ones due to a better choice in that size, but fit perfectly with no protrusion or rubbing? FAIL. DANGEROUS. NOT LEGAL. CHANGE THEM IMMEDIATELY.

Not exactly a "classic" but I recently bought an old MG Metro for some '80s nostalgia motoring. It must wear its original metric sized wheels and tyres for the CT test as they are the only homologated size.

So I have to remove my brand new Goodyears in traditional size on 12" rims that are directly equivalent to the metrics and refit the metric wheels with their decades old, cracked and worn tyres for the test because thats "safer".

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Metric tyres that are probably no longer manufactured by anybody.


Which sort of brings things back to the OP's question, on loads of things you can bodge on whatever you like to keep the vehicle on the road but if its something that falls into their joyous love of paperasse like homologated Wheel and tyre sizes the you are foutu.


And that is why so few cars ever get through a R.T.I. unless you are the brother in law of the guy at DRIRE as the real obstacle is the creation of the dossier not whether your kit car is diabolically dangerous, they have no way of doing proper safety testing like an SVA, just one guy with a microphone and a clipboard at Montlhery who probably works the same hours as the guy at Tarn, in the UK there are fully equipped test centres with a full complement of testers all over the place, I have 3 within a 90 minute drive. No in France its the dossier that is designed to kill every application stone dead, even if you were able to find the original (not copies) homologation certificates for pretty much everything on the vehicle they will just find another obcure part like the ashtray and send you off to get a certificate for that as well.


I did meet one guy, it was actually at Montlhéry during a race meeting, he had successfully registered a Caterham 7 his-self, I asked him who he was related to and whose palm he had greased and he told me he did it his-self and it took him 3 years and that his job was a homologation engineer for Renault [:D], where he was unable to jump through the required hoop he was able to create a document that could not be disproved, the Kent engine had a downdraught weber DCD he said that it had been homologated in France on ceratin Escorts whereas twin 40 DCOE's had never been, he was now stuck with that set up and could never change it.

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