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Questions about smog laws?

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Questions about smog laws?

Old 06-02-2006, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by five7kid
You can put in an aftermarket engine as long as it was built as a replacement for your application. There have been reports of total jerks getting **** with the inspection and failing a swap because the casting date is before the chassis manufacturing date (year), but I'm sure there's more to the story of those instances.

As for "parts", they have to be service replacement parts (example: EGR valves), or certified replacements (such as headers). You can't expect to put a carb'd crate motor in an '89 chassis with long-tube headers, for instance, even if it can "pass" the sniffer test.
It is amazing that they will fail a car for an unapprooved engine swap but pass a stock smokebomb. Anything pre- 96 only has to pass a visual in nc. Thankfully in my county there never was emissions, just safety. lights, horn, tires, get a sticker.
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Old 06-06-2006, 02:11 PM
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Old 06-08-2006, 02:04 AM
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Not an engine swap question but ....


What's the rules regarding getting a new cat ? I need to pass the smog check this year, and I know my cat won't let me pass, that thing is old and stuck and I mean STUCK. Can I replace it with any aftermarket cat as long as it doesn't have the "legal for off roading only and never to be used on the highway in California" mark ?
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Old 06-08-2006, 11:13 AM
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It needs to be one for you application. The direct-fit replacement ones are usually the easiest, and in the long run, the cheapest to install. You can use a universal-replacement, but it still has to be the right type - in our case, with the A.I.R. tube.
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Old 06-08-2006, 10:25 PM
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...yeah, that's my understanding too. I'm an inspector in Utah, and if you replace your cat, it has to be a NEW one, and it has to be the same type (oxidation cat, 2-way cat, 3-way cat, AIR, non-AIR, whatever), but aside from the AIR, it would be almost completely impossible to tell if it's got the right junk on the inside. I agree that a direct-replacement would probably be the cheapest and easiest, but if you're going for more performance, high-flow cats are available too...

The rule is, it's got to have the same type, and if I inspect a car that requires them,a nd doesn't have them, when it comes back with junkyard cats on it, it still fails......so (I'm not telling you to do this, of course) if your cats are bad, and you get junkyard ones, put them in place before you get it inspected at all
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Old 06-08-2006, 11:23 PM
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About all you'll find in aftermarket replacement cats these days are high-flow. Including direct fit.
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Old 06-11-2006, 01:44 PM
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California is looking to pass a law that when a CAT is replaced a sticker would be put in the engine compartment. The idea behind it, is to keep mechanics from replacing the CAT for a problem they can't find or don't want to go thru the hassle of diagnosing. I doubt all aftermarket CAT's are high flow. The problem with high flow is not creating enough back pressure for EGR operation. We install aftermarket CAT's approved by C.A.R.B. which would make it for off road use only.
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Old 06-19-2006, 01:35 AM
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Now a guy at work, claims this (and I disagree with him):

Any car can have dual exhaust, as long as it's CARB headers, cats, and has an H or X pipe. And he's talking about CA, saying to go online and find out the proper codes of some kind, penal codes something like that.


I told him, if so, all ThirdGen owners would be running duals.

However is there anyway, to run some kind of duals, smog legal ? Like a dual in dual out cat converter ?
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Old 11-13-2006, 04:10 PM
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Also in PA if your car is pre-1977 or any type of R title you are emmisions exempt.
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Old 11-13-2006, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by vorgath View Post
Now a guy at work, claims this (and I disagree with him):

Any car can have dual exhaust, as long as it's CARB headers, cats, and has an H or X pipe. And he's talking about CA, saying to go online and find out the proper codes of some kind, penal codes something like that.


I told him, if so, all ThirdGen owners would be running duals.

However is there anyway, to run some kind of duals, smog legal ? Like a dual in dual out cat converter ?
Anything after the cat(s) is fair game. If you had dual cats, you could run dual exhaust after them. However, the cats have to be in the factory location. And, as stated, everything before them has to be C.A.R.B. certified (in CA)/certified replacement. And, in CA you'd probably get challenged for having dual cats on an application that didn't have dual cats offered as a factory option.

Except for CA, which is allowed to impose stricter requirements, all of these laws are federal. It's enforcement that is (typically) local or state. Even in non-emissions testing or inspection areas, a repair shop can be heavily fined for removing emissions-related equipment.
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Old 04-08-2007, 01:04 PM
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Re: Questions about smog laws?

what about registering your car as a hot rod doesnt that mean that it has a non factory engine option and what ever happened to paying the guy off at the guy at the garage to put another car on the sniffer or just knowing him
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Old 04-08-2007, 07:32 PM
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Depends where you live. "Hot rod" isn't a common designation. Again according to federal law, it doesn't matter - it needs to conform with the original requirements or to a later model.

Being able to find someone willing to have their palms greased is a matter of both of you being willing to risk the fines possible due to such activity.
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Old 04-09-2007, 08:24 PM
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Re: Questions about smog laws?

I read earlier in this thread someone said something about not being allowed to swap larger engines in cars than they originally came with. Would this mean that if my car came with a 5.0, that I wouldn't be able to swap to a 5.7 (LS1) into it? If so, are there any ways around this?
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Old 04-10-2007, 12:26 AM
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Re: Questions about smog laws?

You can legally swap any engine in the same engine family. For instance, a 305 can be replaced with a 350 because they're both small block chevy's, and a 350 was an option in an f-body. If you swap in an LT1 or an LS1 into your thirdgen, then you would need to take it to a smog referee and have it certified, because you swapped in an engine that did not come in that year f-body. Also keep in mind, if you swap in a newer engine, you must swap EVERYTHING that goes with that engine. You cannot swap some of the parts and leave others out. You also cannot swap in an engine from a truck into a car, as trucks are not as strict with smog as cars are. Lastly, you cannot swap an older engine into a newer car. You must swap an engine from the same year or newer than your car.
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Old 04-10-2007, 11:16 AM
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Re: Questions about smog laws?

Thank you Kevin, thats exactly what I wanted to hear! Now that that's cleared up I guess I need to get a job and start saving for a donor car
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Old 04-10-2007, 12:47 PM
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Just to clarify, a 350 would work for you because your car is '87 model year. Which just happens to be the first year 350's were available. '82-'86 3rd gens would have to do the "motor change" referee thing in California, because you would have to put in a complete 350 TPI system in order to be "legal". A 350 crossfire, carb, or TBI wouldn't cut it.
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Old 04-11-2007, 01:17 AM
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Re: Questions about smog laws?

Technically you couldnt use a 350 carb, TBI, or CFI, but since a 305 and a 350 all look the same on the outside.... As long as you dont tell the smog referee, he wont notice.

However, if you have an 82-85 thirdgen you would want to use an engine from those same years (or maybe '81 too?) or newer, as before then, the oil dipstick was on the driver's side. That's a clear giveaway you've swapped the engine. Also, those of you with '87 and newer engines, you most definitely want to spend the money to get a roller engine block and camshaft. Its worth the extra money, trust me.
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Old 04-11-2007, 02:48 PM
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Re: Questions about smog laws?

I don't know if you guys picked up on it, but I forgot to mention I live in Jersey. I was talking about this post which I believe is talking about NJ laws (If they're any different).

Originally Posted by demonchild View Post
a stock ls1 would work but a ram jet 502 with 502 + horspower wouldnt. basically they dont allow for bigger engine because of saftey issues with the frame. you can use the smog equipment and induction that comes witht the ls1
I bolded the part that was worrying me. I just wanted to make sure if me being in NJ changed anything. So, to sum it all up, if I throw in an LS1 along with all of the smog equipment, will I run into any problems getting it certified
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Old 04-11-2007, 03:04 PM
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The intent of the thread was to address emissions laws in general. Specific state laws may get answered if someone from that state can speak knowledgeably.

You can also try posting such questions on your regional forum.

I've never heard of a problem getting a stock LS1 swap (properly executed, of course) through emissions inspection or testing.
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Old 06-14-2007, 09:17 AM
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Re: Questions about smog laws?

ok so i just bought an 85 firebird (2.8) with intentions to put a 350 in it. this is a first time swap for me. i live in st louis mo. do i have to have this swap approved before i do it? what will it take for it to become emissions legal? i plan on finding a donor car and taking all of the components that came from the factory and transplanting those into my car. let me know any precautions
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Old 06-14-2007, 10:57 AM
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Do you know what they do for emissions inspection or testing in your area? That's the bottom line.

As long as your donor car is model year 1985 or later, and you take the whole engine with all of the attachments with it, and any replacements (like headers) are certified replacements, you shouldn't have any problems getting it through. California is the only place I know that makes you go through a "motor change" inspection process.
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Old 06-14-2007, 11:56 AM
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Re: Questions about smog laws?

when you say later, do you mean older or newer?
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Old 09-01-2007, 12:22 AM
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Re: Questions about smog laws?

This is not a 3rd gen, but some of the principles are the same. We live in North Carolina. Some counties do emissions testing and some don't. All counties do a visual inspection. I have 1987 Dodge Ramcharger AW-150 with 318 lean burn. The lean burn messed up and blowed holes in 4 of the pistons. I wanted to eliminate the lean burn, as everyone including the Chrysler rep said they are nothing but trouble. I found a wrecked 1985 D-250 with a 360 engine. Both the 318 and the 360 are small blocks, and look similiar just like Chevy small blocks. There is no difference between the wiring and emissions from a 1985 360 and a 1987 360. I used the 360 engine as a core, and got a rebuild 30 over Helsco engine with a high torque cam from NAPA. Removed the lean burn and wiring harness from my truck, and installed the 360 wiring harness of of the 85, which uses the old style electronic ignition which mounts on the firewall, only I got a new distributor and control box from Mopar Performance. Reassembled everything including the emissions back on the 360 and connected to the 318 exhaust system through the original cat. Used a Edelbrock replacement carburator for the 360 which is actually a q-jet. Now the emissions stuff. The truck passed NC inspections for visual in our county because it looks stock. NC does not do the tail pipe test on anything older than 1996. Just for kicks we had the old girl tail pipe tested just to see what it was doing, and it passed for the application and year model. We also had her dyno test and she is pulling 330 hp and 385 foot lbs torque. Charles
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Old 10-17-2007, 06:10 PM
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Re: Questions about smog laws?

California is a hard place for hot rodders.
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Old 10-18-2007, 12:56 AM
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Re: Questions about smog laws?

Its harder than other states, but we have smog-legal thirdgens here in our SoCal club that beat the pants off cars in other states with "all that smog crap" removed.
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Old 05-02-2008, 04:32 PM
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Re: Questions about smog laws?

On the visual inspection, you can put any motor in you car that is the same year or newer as long as it came in that base model (Speaking from California here) So if you have an 89 camaro with a 305 you can drop in a 350 and still be smog legal because it was an option that year (ALL SMOG EQUIPMENT MUST BE ON THE CAR) If you switch to a newer generation engine (LT1 or LS1 you will have to take the car to the referee ALL SMOG EQUIPMENT MUST BE ON THE CAR) This information was gathered from my own research and verified by my smog tech who runs a test only station (the most stringent) and says he passes cars with same make base model swaps all the time as it is totally legal.

Don't expect to pass if you roll in with a 6-71 blower and two 1000cfm carbs on a 502 with a mount everest cam...
You can get away with allot as long as 1. It passes the sniffer. 2. They cant see inside your engine block and they aren't going to disassemble your motor. 3. it has all the factory smog equipment and visual modifications have carb OE numbers (Headers, intake and so on)
I am not talking out my ***, I have had several swaped vehicles that have passed without a ref inspection and have inquired about the 350 swap.
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Old 10-31-2008, 08:45 AM
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Re: Federal over state

Hey anyone there im buying an 80's T/A and im putting a pontiac 455 in it. Would i pass smog laws? If not how can I???????
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Old 11-02-2008, 12:37 PM
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Re: Federal over state

Technically no, because a Pontiac 455 was not available in the 80's You cant legally put an older engine into a newer vehicle.
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Old 12-21-2008, 11:46 PM
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Re: Questions about smog laws?

Originally Posted by vorgath View Post
However is there anyway, to run some kind of duals, smog legal ? Like a dual in dual out cat converter ?
I'd like some clarification here. I think it's already been awnsered because a dual in/out cat wouldn't qualify as a direct replacement part, but technically speaking could one pass an inspection with a car originally equipped with a single cat having a single dual in/out cat and dual exhaust?
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Old 12-24-2008, 07:37 PM
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Re: Questions about smog laws?

Originally Posted by Roads88 View Post
...As far as im concerned it should just be a sniffer check only. It should be no ones bussiness but yours whats under the hood.
My exact sentiments, but that won't keep them from popping the hood. It all boils down to whichever is the newer vehicle, or engine so you're screwed either way.
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Old 01-10-2009, 07:33 AM
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Re: Questions about smog laws?

Well, I just read up on the emmisions here in Louisiana and basically, from personal experince and by state law, as long as your not a low rider, sky scraper, or look like you just got out of a demo derby, you pass. Oh, and your gas cap must hold pressure!
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:48 AM
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Re: Questions about smog laws?

dose michigan have emision laws and what are they or what site can i find them on
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Old 03-24-2009, 12:10 PM
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That's a question best asked on your Regional forum.
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Old 03-25-2009, 02:52 AM
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Re: Questions about smog laws?

Originally Posted by hpmustangs View Post
does michigan have emission laws and what are they or what site can i find them on
Federal emissions laws apply to street vehicles in all 50 states, so yes that includes Michigan. Federal law says you cannot remove or disable any emissions devices on a street vehicle.

But I have heard that Michigan does not do emissions testing or checks. You can look at the Michigan Motor Vehicle Department's website for more info.
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:39 PM
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Re: Federal over state

Originally Posted by 86BirdSE View Post
It just happened in PA. The federal govt threatened to cut funding if they didn't meet clean air act standards. OK fine, so what are they doing?

Pre-OBD-II cars are getting a visual state wide. Cats, AIR pumps, stuff like that. IN the metro areas, the sniffers are used, wiht less of a variance.

OBD-II cars? They just simply plug into your diagnostic socket and read what's going on in there.

And you are emmissions exempt if you drive the car 5,000 miles or less. Ok, so to do what I want I have a second car and things are fine

I think every state has their own website. PA even has a link to the new emissions standards.

If you find a good inspector who does a lot of street rods and such, our cars are fine. Just look in your yellow pages for speed shops and the like, check them out, ask questions and who knows, maybe you'll find someone that
*** BEST ADVICE - EVER ***
Find a good speed shop guy who can also do smog checks (or knows someone who can), get your parts from him, make sure he knows you need to to pass it.

A little OT, but watch out for safety inspections too. I got a ram air hood and had the whole car repainted. Come safety inspection time, the jerk at the dealer failed it because of the hood scoop. "You have to have the stock hood on", even as all of his mechanics were drooling over my car.

I took it to a mechanic I work with and he passed it right away. Always make sure you have a mechanic who knows you and your car, and you shouldn't have too many problems. Just make sure you listen to him.
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Old 04-11-2009, 03:22 PM
  #136  
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Re: Questions about smog laws?

The latest SEMA newsletter had the following

In Tenn they passed two new smog laws.
1) If remote sensing is implemented and your vehicle passes thru one and passed the test you will not need that years inspection.

2) If 50% of the States adopt Calif smog rules this TN bill will automatically adopt Calif smog rules.

WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT CALIF'S BS SMOG RULES WILL EVENTUALLY INFEST YOUR STATE.
KEEP ALL YOUR SMOG EQUIPMENT - YOU MAY NEED IT.
Smog rules in CA require smog checks for vehicles 1976 and newer.
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Old 04-23-2009, 02:25 PM
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Re: Questions about smog laws?

Originally Posted by Kevin91Z View Post
You can legally swap any engine in the same engine family. For instance, a 305 can be replaced with a 350 because they're both small block chevy's, and a 350 was an option in an f-body. If you swap in an LT1 or an LS1 into your thirdgen, then you would need to take it to a smog referee and have it certified, because you swapped in an engine that did not come in that year f-body. Also keep in mind, if you swap in a newer engine, you must swap EVERYTHING that goes with that engine. You cannot swap some of the parts and leave others out. You also cannot swap in an engine from a truck into a car, as trucks are not as strict with smog as cars are. Lastly, you cannot swap an older engine into a newer car. You must swap an engine from the same year or newer than your car.
As mentioned, the conversion seems to be fairly popular and commonplace. Given the unavailability of crate 305's from GM, it is a reasonable evolution. Nonetheless, the particulars regarding the engine replacement are a bit complex. This whole process can get confusing. The guidance found in this forum is a blessing. Thanks for all the help!

Addendum: after perusing the posts and searching throughout the forum, I found most questions already addressed. Apologies for any redundancy in my post, and I will search before asking in the future. I've also learned a great deal on numerous other 3rd Gen topics. The site is an amazing source of knowledge, and there are some incredibly sharp contributors here. Thanks again.

Last edited by feral1; 05-01-2009 at 03:27 PM. Reason: Addendum
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Old 06-05-2009, 06:05 PM
  #138  
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Re: Questions about smog laws?

i would like some help..., im thinking about doing a 2.8 to a 5.0 / 5.7 swap. but i live in california. i dont know if its even legal to do the swap but .... i found an old 5.0l w/ 145hp out of a 82' maro i was going to refresh it my self .. (well with some help.) .. i am going to put a Weiand 8-71 or 6-71 Street Supercharger on said motor. BUT ... my 87 maro has to go to GOVERNMENT SMOG TEST ONLY places. would that big of a supercharger, pass or epic fail.

p.s. the reason i want a motor out of another maro is for the reason i want it to pass smog.

p.s. p.s. ,i did not read any of the other posts so my question might already be answered.

thanks
-Ben

Last edited by wilsob26; 06-05-2009 at 06:15 PM.
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Old 07-06-2009, 01:19 AM
  #139  
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Re: Questions about smog laws?

I don't know about Cali. But in PA I can just get my car exempt. P.O. dropped a completely rebuilt 350 in it. Thing is no where close to emissions. =/ But, I just have to keep her under 5K miles a year.
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Old 07-07-2009, 05:07 PM
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You will not be able to pass an '82 engine in an '87 chassis in California. The engine and all equipment must be from the same year or newer passenger car than the chassis, so for you that means '87-newer. You'll have to go through a "motor change" referee who will verify the engine you put in, and that all of the equipment that engine should have is installed and functioning on your car.

Of course, if you had read the posts that preceded yours, you would have known that.

Any equipment before the catalytic converter must be C.A.R.B. certified. The Weiand 142 supercharger is available in emissions-legal version through 1986, but not 1987.
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Old 07-25-2009, 08:08 PM
  #141  
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Re: Questions about smog laws?

Originally Posted by Midnight Sun View Post
I have always wondered about this because I have a 305 and want to put in a 350, yet a lot of those engines are "not intended for street use"

What would happen if you hooked up TWO cats on your exhaust for the emissions test, then took them off when you were done?
2 Cats won't help any more than 1. One the other hand, the stock cat is a total POS. Replace it with something like a Random Technology cat and you will have just as much airflow as a straight pipe while still being able to pass smog
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:20 PM
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Re: Questions about smog laws?

Well here in Texas If it came with it from the factory it has to be on it to pass insp. They also do not look to see what size engine is realy in the car. If the under hood sticker says 305 then that is what they enter into the computer even if the sticker is not there they will never take the time to run casting numbers. So go on put a 350 in it, They will never know the difference.
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Old 06-27-2010, 01:28 PM
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Re: Questions about smog laws?

how many states actually have this emissions testing bull s***
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Old 06-27-2010, 02:36 PM
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Re: Questions about smog laws?

Originally Posted by hpmustangs View Post
how many states actually have this emissions testing bull s***
Not all states do smog testing more than half do. Numbers are kinda hard to come by. I tried to search it out on the web but got nowere. But I did find that local cities can pass a smog test law even if the state does not have a law to do them.
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Old 06-27-2010, 02:56 PM
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Re: Questions about smog laws?

i guess im stayin where im at cause i dont think im going to have an epa approved vehicle for a long time
one thing i dont understand about this is one of my friends has a car that gets 50/mpg but doesn't pass emissions testing but a car that gets 20/mpg will pass which dosent make any sense can you please provide some insite
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Old 06-29-2010, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by hpmustangs View Post
one thing i dont understand about this is one of my friends has a car that gets 50/mpg but doesn't pass emissions testing but a car that gets 20/mpg will pass which dosent make any sense can you please provide some insite
It's what the exhaust is made up of, not how much gas is used.
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Old 06-29-2010, 03:59 PM
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Note to members/potential posters: The purpose of this thread is to answer questions regarding complying with emissions laws. It is NOT a forum for debating the politics of the laws.
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Old 07-18-2010, 01:04 AM
  #148  
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Re: Questions about smog laws?

IL does not require emissions on 95' or older vehicles. So you can run whatever, however you want no questions asked.
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Old 09-23-2010, 08:17 PM
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Re: Questions about smog laws?

In Massachusetts it's illegal for a dealer to remove smog equipment but a private citizen can do what they want with their own car. That said...

If your 1995 car or later fails the sniff test, you are rejected. Pay your $29 every three months if you can't pass. You will not be restricted from driving your car unless their is a safety issue.

Cars before 1995 Pay your $29 bucks once a year and don't sweat it. Shops don't have to do a sniff test unless they are persnickety or there is "lots" of smoke coming from your tail pipe. Cats are not required under Mass law, only an exhaust that is free from leaks and is muffled. Muffled is not defined so mount your glass packs and enjoy.
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Old 10-15-2010, 02:14 PM
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Re: Questions about smog laws?

Originally Posted by SuperTrans Man View Post
ok maybe i missed this but what about power adders such as super charger, turbo charger or even Nitrous"?
when it coms to no2 it is illegal if the tank is in the car hooked up while driving on public roads otherwise the setup is just fine whether it will pass a smog test or not idk and turbo/super chargers will make a car fail due to the "higher" carbon out put of the extra burned fuel
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