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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My mechanic just told me that if I use headers on my 76 it will never pass smog (I live in LA) and I will have to have them removed in order to pass. Is this B..S.. or not? I got the monza exhaust from NOPI it is like the one in the VBritish catalog and has all the smog fittings

Craog76Z
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
RE: Question for those with headers.

My understanding is that a header will improve the efficiency of your engine thus producing LESS smog. So it doesn't make sense to me that it would fail a smog test based only on the fact that it has a header.

ross
 

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RE: Question for those with headers.

I would ask a friendly person at an inspection site about it. I am no expert, but I assume your car has an EGR valve, thus if you drill the fitting out in the header and re-hook up the EGR, it might pass smog, not visually, but from an emission stand point it should. The more important thing is to retain the catalytic converter if your car had one, which I think CA Zs did, but I'm not sure. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
<b>California Doesn't see it that way....</b>

Craig,

Even tho having a header on the car would benefit the world with less smog.... the California state just doesn't see it that way.... or every car would have a header on it. It would be a state mandate... ever notice that California cars have always had more smog equipent on them since 1974... then in other states? I can speak for the state... but I understand their position.

If you have a header... they don't care. They do care that you have all the smog equipment on the car. EGR and air injection system must be operational. They feel that if you have the header and all the other stuff then you should be producing an even lower amount of smog. I don't know why your wrench guy said he wouldn't pass your car... but I do know that the car must pass 3 types of tests. The first is the visual... Here is a list of things they look at: PCV System, Thermostatic air cleaner, air pump belt, air injection pump, air diverter valve, catalyst, EGR, ingnition spark control (make sure your timing is right) oxygen sensor, wiring of all sensors/switches/computer, vacuum line connections, any and all other emission related components. The second test is a high rpm test where they test how much HC, CO, CO2, O2, at 2500rpm and at idle. Their looking at what your engine is putting out. The third test is functional. Checking the fuel filler pipe, closer look at the EGR valve, and the report of the timing setting.

So there you have it.... if you can pass all of these test with a header... then you pass. If not.... need I say more?

I have a 73, 240Z.... I don't have to be tested anymore. However, I also have a 83 Toy 4x4. So I have to test every 2 years like you. It sure is a pain in the butt.

Good Luck,
Dennis
 

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RE: California Doesn't see it that way....

Actually you mechanic is right, if the car is a CA model with a Catalytic Converter. The law states that unless it is a C.A.R.B. approved header, they are only legal on non-catalyst equipped vehicle. Even then, all other equipment must be hooked up. The reason for this is due to the high temps the cat requires to light off. Headers let the heat escape, thereby allowing the Cat to cool and not work properly.

Also, since you now live in an enhanced area (most of LA, Sac, SD, and other large population areas) you are now required to have a loaded mode test. This tests the car under real world type conditions. First 90 Sec is run at 15mph @ 50% load (car is weighed to determine load), second 60 sec is run at 25mph @ 25% load. Not as tough as it sounds. I have seen a few cars which would fail the old test, and pass the new one.

For reference, I have been a Ca licensed Smog tech for 6+ years. This is the unlimited license which allows testing and repairing in enhanced areas in CA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
<b>On the other hand....</b>

If... the car was a 73 or before. You wouldn't have to see an inspection station again.... unless you went crazy and left the hood off, pissed off the cops and was required to re-enter the smog check program.

Dennis
 

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RE: On the other hand....

...or if you fail a roadside emission test and get re-entered into the program. It happens.
Dat-guy speaks the truth, Dennis keep your eyes open in if you drive thru Riverside, I personally have been roadside dyno-checked, and that CHP standing there doesn't care if you're "exempt" or not. REALLY a pain!
 
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