Frequently asked questions about FIAT Tipo 16V

My car does not have an i.e. badge so can I remove the catalytic converter?

Not necessarily, as it depends on the age of the car. Read this other faq for more details.

Can I remove the catalytic converter on my Tipo?

Please note that in the UK from 1st January 1996 the MOT has included an emissions test for vehicles equipped with three way catalytic converters. Cars registered after 1st August 1992 (i.e. K prefixes onwards) are required by law to have catalytic converters fitted and will fail the test without them.

Cars registered before 1st August 1992 (i.e. J prefixes and earlier) do not require catalytic converters to pass the test. Some manufacturers fitted catalytic converters to cars built before 1st August 1992, only these can be legally removed. The MOT station will then apply the non catalytic converter test to the car.

To summarize, cars registered after 1st August 1992 require catalytic converters, and those registered before do not. Although removing a catalytic converter from a car registered after 1st August 1992 is illegal, it would only be detected during an MOT. Obviously I can't endorse illegal activity therefore you will just have to read between the lines. Please check the legality of removing the catalytic converter in your county.

This is what I believed to be true. However having spoken to Tanc Barrett they say it's not as clear cut as this. As the law stands in the UK it is the engine and not the car that does or does not require a catalytic converter to be fitted/tested. For example, if you fit a 1991 engine in a car built in 1999 and have some kind of proof of the engine type (an old log book say) then the tester would be obliged to carry out a pre catalytic converter test.

Okay, so there are potential legal problems but what do I actually achieve by replaceing the catalytic converter with a straight through pipe? The exhaust will sound considerably louder with quite a fruity rumbly sound compared to with the rather whiney sound with the catalytic converter fitted. You should find that the power delivery will be much more linear and stronger below 4000 rpm.

Nareman Virk removed his catalytic converter. The replacement pipe was specially made up by a company that custom builds exhausts. It was originally made as a simple straight through pipe, but was extremely 'boomy' and so he later had a silencer fitted. Nareman gave them the original cat upon which they based the replacement pipe, but he says that it was well worth the effort as it gave a dramatic improvement in mid-range performance. Narman had his made of stainless steel, so that it won't corrode, but it does mean you get a rather tinny resonating sound coming from the pipe at high rpm. He is going to have another made up in mild steel to overcome this problem. The pipe for a 5 door version has aflange on one end and a sleeve on the other where as a 3 door version is flanged at both ends.

Calvin Jones had a replacement made in UK by BTB exhausts (01327-261797). They will fabricate one which is essentially a straight through pipe with no baffles and will lighten your wallet to the tune of £111.63. It fits very easily and is very well made. Like Nareman, Calvin found the boom unbearable on long journeys.

Rogerio Ferrari removed his catalytic converter and says it's a little bit loud but the result in low end power is worth it.

Ben Sleeman has replaced his catalytic converter with a 2 inch stainless steel straight through pipe which was custom built. The improvement is very clear, the thing just moves like shit of a shovel in the low rev range.

I understand that pre 1993 catalytic converter replacments are no longer made by Supersprint.


Is it possible for the exhaust manifold to split?

Pete Mirams (ex Tipo 16V owner) says that his exhaust manifold split. This caused excess noise from the engine. Pete came across a guy with the same problem at a recent Fiat Motor Club meeting. Apparently splits in the manifold are not rare and require stainless steel welding or a new manifold costing about £400.

Which aftermarket exhausts fit the Tipo 16V?

Jim Coyle paid £140 for a new exhaust including fitting from "B&M Systems" in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. About 10 minutes from junction 28 on the M1. Telephone number 01623 641534. This was a single peice unit from the catalytic converter back. The company makes thier own systems, flexi-pipes and catalytic converters. The estimated price for a complete system is less than £200 fitted. They also make the flexihose section for only £70 including fitting.

Calvin Jones has the Bosal system fitted to his car from the catalytic converter back. The two piece system only costs £119.85 and seems quite good quality with a nice chrome tailpiece.

Karim Kassir has a Remus exhaust system. The complete exhaust (which consists of two parts fitted just behind the catalytic converter) costs approximately 450 Euros. Karim knows someone who works at the Remus factory so he got the exhaust cheaper than the normal retail price. Remus is an Austrian company situated in Bärnbach. The owner of Remus used to work for Sebring, and now he's in a position to make Sebring a subsidiary of Remus! Anyway the exhaust looks and sounds great and fits perfectly , no bending, welding or swearing necessary! The tailpipe measures 92mm × 78mm. The original part numbers are as follows:
Middle section: 110
Rear section: 90

Nareman Virk also has a full Remus exhaust system. It cost £370 for the full system which comes all in one piece. Fitting was fairly easy, but he got a friend to do it for him. He jacked the back of the car up and changed it himself on his drive, all in under an hour.

Alex Wakefield also has a full Remus exhaust system. He swears the car just flies now. No hesitation, no flatspots, the way the car goes up to and beyond 100mph is like nothing I ever experienced before in his car. The most amazing thing is that you don't need to rev the nuts off the car to do this, it's like someone put another engine in the back!

Markus Hasse has an exhaust made by "CSC" in Italy. It's cheaper than the Supersprint system and is the only system he found that gave him a bit more power. The exhaust does not have a middle silencer only a rear. It's a bit louder, but you can feel the difference.

Andrew Edwards fitted a new 'powerflow' stainless steel exhaust system costing £235. The difference is very noticable, although fuel consumption has suffered slightly. The exhaust is custom made on the car and removes the catalytic converter. The sound is deep and rumbly but not too boy racer!


Does fitting a catalytic converter replacement pipe unset the Lamda Sensor?

Mike Jukes asks whether fitting a straight through replacement catalytic converter pipe will upset the Lamda sensor and whether it will confuse the timing business.

I say removing the catalytic converter does not effect the readings from the Lamda sensor at all. It's fitted upstream of the catalytic converter and so the oxygen content of the exhaust that it picks up is the same.


What's causing the Rear Exhaust Box to keep blowing?

Martin Hodges asks if anyone has required more than one back box? He is on his second one and wonders if any of his modifications have reduced the life of the rear box. He has removed the catalytic converter, fitted a K&N airfilter and a StarChip.

Nareman Virk says that he thinks that removing the catalytic converter does shorten the life of the standard exhaust. While he had his Remus exhaust removed from his car, he had to buy a new standard Fiat exhaust that only lasted 6 months before the middle section started blowing. Of course, this may just be a one off poor quality exhaust, but removing the catalytic converter does put more pressure on the middle and back section of the exhaust. He doesn't think the K+N would affect it, and doesn't know about the chip.


If I remove the catalytic converter what happens to the Lamda sensor?

If I fit a straight through pipe in place of a catalytic converter what happens to the Lamda sensor. The straight through pipe should have a hole in the side in a similar place to the catalytic converter. This is where the lamda sensor should be screwed in. It is vital that the lamda sensor is refitted as the car will not fuel correctly at tick over otherwise.

Brasso What can I clean the exhaust with?

Although car body shampoo will get rid of most of the dirt and grime off your exhaust tailpipe I found the best way of cleaning either stainless steel or chrome is with a product called Brasso. This will clean the most stubborn of dirt and carbon deposits off the exhaust leaving it once again lovely and shiny.

Oil seems to be burning on the exhaust but I can't see from where?

Jenny Baird reported that she could smell oil burning and found oil drips on the exhaust but could not see from where they were coming. After a while Jenny had to call the AA out to fix a problem with her clutch. The clutch pedal had stuck down. On checking the clutch/brake fluid level it was found to be low and it was therefore highly likely that it this was the fluid leaking onto the exhaust pipe.

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