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Catalytic Converter Theft Protection

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WillLloyd

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Catalytic Converter Theft Protection
« on: July 17, 2022, 03:38:38 am »
There have been posts here and elsewhere about Cat theft.  Our local Ford shop had six RVís in for Cat replacement, apparently they are on backorder from Ford from all the thefts.  The State Police told them of stories of people leaving their RV in a Walmart parking lot and having the Cat taken while they were inside shopping.

We are getting ready to leave for a long trip and didnít want to chance the trip being ruined over a theft so I contacted a friend who does custom metal fabrication.  The first thing he told me was that 22 trucks were hit in his industrial park area, then we started to look at a solution for our E450.

We came up with a custom ventilated ďskid plateĒ that will make it very time consuming for anyone to get at ours.  Given enough time they can get through it, but the idea is they will move onto easier/faster targets.  The pictures were taken with the front end as high off the ground as it will go with the jacks, that is the only way you can get the skid installed/out of the way.  All exposed bolts have Red Locktite on them.  When sitting on the tires there is hardly any room to work at it with a saw or grinder.

If interested I can share his name/number.  He is in northern Virgina.

See before and after pics.

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Free2RV

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Re: Catalytic Converter Theft Protection
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2022, 04:57:28 am »
Just curious, what did he attach the cover to?  Looks like an interesting idea, just can't figure out the attachment method.

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WillLloyd

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Re: Catalytic Converter Theft Protection
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2022, 05:20:47 am »
We drilled one new hole. Otherwise we used all existing holes in the frame rail and the pillow block mounting bracket.t

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JJCruiser

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Re: Catalytic Converter Theft Protection
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2022, 06:33:14 am »
Very impressive!  For an additional layer of deterrent, I have heard some recommend painting the catalytic converter a bright color with very high temperature paint.  The thought is that the paint would make the catalytic converter stand out and harder for a thief to resale. 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000CPIMV2/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=Tyche-6022-20&th=1

The only deterrent I have done so far is store my RV in a garage with a security system.  But with reports that they are stealing off RVs in Walmart parking lots, I will need to do more. 

Thanks for the post,

JJ

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WillLloyd

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Re: Catalytic Converter Theft Protection
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2022, 07:36:31 am »
The people that will buy them donít care what color they areÖ lol. I know in Virginia, the laws are changing due to all the thefts. Not sure about other states.

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JJCruiser

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Re: Catalytic Converter Theft Protection
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2022, 08:22:37 am »
The people that will buy them donít care what color they areÖ lol. I know in Virginia, the laws are changing due to all the thefts. Not sure about other states.

You are probably right, but a lot of people are giving it try.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wGrB4_i0_4

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Joseph

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Re: Catalytic Converter Theft Protection
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2022, 08:57:36 pm »
Thatís one of the best ideas of seen. Iím assuming the steel is thick enough that they canít slice right through it? They slice right they the cat strap cable set ups with ease. Iím guessing the only down side is if itís thick enough to slow down a cutting wheel Iím guessing itís a pricey upgrade?
Even then it might be well worth the expense.

I hadnít heard of people being hit in Walmart parking lots in daylight. I have to question the theft when someone went in to Walmart shopping.  They were either gone a long time or itís BS.  Those things get so darn hot I canít imagine anyone cutting it out when itís hot.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2022, 12:56:01 pm by Joseph »

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Catalytic Converter Theft Protection
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2022, 11:06:34 pm »
Will,

That is the best deterrent I seen for the E350/E450.  If your friend decides to take orders, please put me on his list quickly.

Oh, I see you are offering to share his name and phone number.  Please PM it to me.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2022, 11:09:27 pm by Ron Dittmer »
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WillLloyd

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Re: Catalytic Converter Theft Protection
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2022, 06:18:01 am »
He does very nice work. Everything he fabricates looks like a factory piece. I suspect the cost would be under $500 but thatís something you have to work out with him (ours was the first and I paid him handsomely since he stayed with me until 2 oíclock in the morning several times to get it installed before our trip).  Even if itís more you have to balance that against the hassles of having one taken and any trip interruptions.  The original plan was to use 3/16ď steel. He built a mock up using 16 gauge, after that we settled on 1/8Ē.  They can still cut through it, but Iíll bet it will take better than 20 minutes to get the thing out of the way.  As noted above we used all factory holes except one. I would be curious if factory hole locations are the same from year to year and even chassis to chassis. That something you might want to talk to him about if youíre not going to actually go to his shop. His name is Eric Shearer. His phone is (703) 568-9546.

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Joseph

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Re: Catalytic Converter Theft Protection
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2022, 09:12:25 am »
I wouldnít consider $500 out of line.  Of course then thereís shipping you need to add on. You right though I wonder about mounting holes, if anythingís changed.

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Catalytic Converter Theft Protection
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2022, 09:25:04 am »
Thanks for the fellow's name and number.  I will call him.

My PC is built on a 2007 Ford E350 chassis.  I should be able to deal with any such differences with mounting hole locations.  If there are differences, and Eric wants to sell these abroad, that would be useful information for marketing purposes.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2022, 09:28:07 am by Ron Dittmer »
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CalCruiser

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Re: Catalytic Converter Theft Protection
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2022, 12:59:44 pm »
Thanks for the fellow's name and number.  I will call him.

My PC is built on a 2007 Ford E350 chassis.  I should be able to deal with any such differences with mounting hole locations.  If there are differences, and Eric wants to sell these abroad, that would be useful information for marketing purposes.

Also interested in the E350 frame fitment. Please post an update if you decide to do it.
Goin' where the wind goes...

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Catalytic Converter Theft Protection
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2022, 08:06:03 am »
Just following up here.

I am in contact with Eric Shearer of Freaky Tree Fabrication in Virginia.  He says they are located near Washington D.C. so if in the area with our PC, it would be worth swinging by for fitment.

BUT for now.........

Our PC is built on a 2007 E350 DRW 11,500 GVWR chassis with an unmodified (not stretched) 158" wheel base.  This means the driveshaft is stock, a good thing.  A consideration for those of you with a long stretched chassis will have tie points for your segmented drive shaft.  Those tie points need to be considered for fitment.

I will be taking pictures of my catalytic converter area with a yard stick in-place for measurements, then pass those pics on to Eric.

His shop is thinking this could be a business opportunity, offering theft deterrent cat shields.  He now knows from WillLloyd how it fits with a recent model year stretched E450, so my 2007 E350 will provide a good idea concerning fitment for older model years.  Hopefully any potential differences will be easily accommodated through adding holes for bolt-up point variations.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2022, 08:10:34 am by Ron Dittmer »
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Joseph

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Re: Catalytic Converter Theft Protection
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2022, 08:46:48 am »
Ron , Iím hoping those bolt on points are difficult to get at. If not cutting the heads off those bolt heads will only add a minute to the theft. Maybe after install tack weld in a few places?

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WillLloyd

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Re: Catalytic Converter Theft Protection
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2022, 08:51:50 am »
If it helps, ours is a 2022 E450 with a standard/unstretched chassis.

Regarding the bolts, they are accessible from below. However, The way the skid plate fits into place you have to jack the RV up in order to get it out of the way even when itís unbolted.  The idea is to add so much time to their effort that they go someplace else.