Smog-xperiment

Oy.

280z still didn’t pass. But got some useful data.

From the previous post, I installed a new catalytic converter, popped in new spark plugs, and re-filled an empty tank with 87 octane. Here are the old / new numbers:

CO% Levels   1st Try   2nd Try  
Speed MAX AVE MEAS MEAS
15 MPH 1.36 0.17 2.03 1.73
25 MPH 1.16 0.15 2.66  n/a

1st Try: Catalytic converter was supposedly original, but no numbers when inspected. Bosch Platinum Plus spark plugs had heavy carbon buildup. Ran 91 octane gas.

2nd Try: New Magnaflow catalytic converter, NGK spark plugs and 87 octane gas.

Thankfully Nguyen from Smog Tech did a quick CO% test just to see where we’re at. It ran steadily at 1.73% CO, just 0.37% more than MAX. Okay, time to adjust the 280z’s AFM (Air Flow Meter) to run a bit more lean air/fuel mixture.

3rd times a charm, right?… right?

New cat, ready to pounce (smog)!

Roar! yeah, you know it. Barreled into San Jose Mufflers (i like local) just off 24th street ready to meet Acardio.

I talked to Acardio a few days back looking for a catalytic converter to replace the non-CA legal one I have on now (read the beginning of the smog story). Hopefully with a fresh cat, we can tear up that smog test like cheese-less mouse it is (California, i love your shores, but not your government).

Over the phone, Acardio said he’d have it done in an hour and i could wait. He had that old street cat cut, dumped, and the new Magnaflow lion welded in like 10mins.. no really, more like 8.

He was so fast, I only got two pics shot before he said ‘take it ah waaaay’. Damn.. do you mind, um, could you just stand and pretend while i take some pictures for my blog?

Daily Datsun at San Jose Mufflers

GT40 bodykit on Fiero at San Jose Mufflers - Daily Datsun

nope, a Fiero with GT40 body kit

Daily Datsun at San Jose Mufflers

Took him longer to lift the thing than cut / weld a new cat on.

Daily Datsun at San Jose Mufflers

Daily Datsun at San Jose Mufflers

Daily Datsun at San Jose Mufflers

Wow, never seen the under side so well! It’s clear i need one of these lifts…

Daily Datsun at San Jose Mufflers

Daily Datsun at San Jose Mufflers

Shoot! got a call, and couldn’t get a pic of the welding! Oh well, regardless, i feel like…
Let’s go get that smog test.

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 ClassicZCars.com 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 thing..it’s:

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

Daily-Datsun-cracked-EGR-tube
cracked EGR tube! oy…

i need a beer.