Smog saga…

Sigh – “if it ain’t one thing, it’s another…”

Heard that before? We’ll let’s take this journey of the Smog Saga story together.

Last post was about having to get the Datsun 280z smogged because it’s a 1977 (and in CA, cars 1975 and prior are smog exempt!). Lo and behold the San Jose’s Smog Tech Test Only station was finally open. I was hoping Zac, the last technician who helped me out, would’ve been there, but I guess he’s gone. So, Nguyen (first name) help me out and put the Z on the machine.

Vvrrroom… vrroom.. [small chat].. i’m nervously looking at the digital gauge nearly falling out of the green passing zone. He pokes / prods.. gets under the car.

“You don’t have a legal cat”, he says.

Doh. Seriously. So i guess i know what a bagel and oj got me last time.

He mentions that CA gov passed a law recently about catalytic converters needing a special number. I quickly clamor, “But but mine’s a ’77 and they probably didn’t have numbers back then. I swear it’s all original!”. Nope, no go. Not only that, I failed out of CO spec on the actual smog test. Not by much, but still beyond the max % allowed:

CO% levels
15mph – MAX: 1.36; AVE: 0.17; MEAS: 2.03
25mph – MAX: 1.16; AVE: 0.15; MEAS: 2.66

*AVE = Average Emissions for Passing Vehicles

So as you can see, I’m just out of the range of passing 😦 Some google searching shows this is related to a few things, but probably due to running too rich (too much fuel in the mix). After a post on forums, rcb280z pm’d me and we had a good chat about bringing those CO% levels down. His suggestion was to also check out the spark plugs for excess carbon (ah!). He swears by NGK, and lo-and-behold, most Z drivers do!

Time to get that 280z catalytic converter changed, new spark plugs, 87 gas, and head over to Smog Tech!

oh yeah.. if it ain’t one’s:

a broken alternator bracket (that’s why my car’s been squeaking!) and…

cracked EGR tube! oy…

i need a beer.

3 Replies to “Smog saga…”

  1. Sorry about the smog bro! I hate taking my 280zx for it cause they always try to run the evap test even though theyre not supposed to. Our cars totally fail if they do the evap test because they’re not set up for it. About the catalytic that’s sooooo ridiculous man! When did that law pass and what is it called? My zx has always passed smog and I still have the original cat. NGR plugs are the way to go on a Z!

    Btw were ya at rompacoglioni cruise for a cause in willow glen this year? I was there but didn’t see your Z.

    1. Hey Jon! Aw I missed Willow Glen! Haha I really have to get on planning for upcoming events. Thanks for the heads up on the evap test, ill have to watch out for that. About the cat reauirement, I guess the CA air res. board made the change in 2007, and it went into effect in 2009. Which means since it’s just a visual inspection, the guy just passed me the first time around (that’s what breakfast gets you!).

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