If you do not have the cats on then the pcm will throw a code, and the pcm can't adjust proper settings for all the other sensors. So possible lean or rich conditions could cause some damage. Do what you want after the cats. 02 sensors need to be hooked up.
There are cats that are made to be less restrictive and pass the smog regulations. Smart police officers can tell by sound if your car is catless. It will cost more than new cats. California also is setting up smog cameras to nab burners and high pollutants from exhaust emissions via camera sensors. So be ware. The bad readings if you go catless in the computer will either put in less gas cutting power, or more gas, causing loss of power and may turn holes in the pistons. We used to drive Chrysler cars in patrol and the cats would go out constantly. We were constantly burning holes in the pistons and burning valves. They were pigs and until we got new Chives we never got into persists as even VW Bugs could lose us.
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