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Author Topic: California Gross Polluter Saga to Pass Smog  (Read 456 times)
psychohamster
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« on: April 13, 2018, 02:08:54 AM »

Alright, so this is a continuation from another post I made "Engine Smokes out of the Tailpipe.........Sometimes".
In that post I laid out how my last engine failed smog and it ended up being the turbo blowing oil which must have been the source of it being a gross polluter. I applied for and got a Bureau or Automotive Repair voucher for $500 that's good for parts and labor only and not testing or diagnosis work, but before they just kick down one of these vouchers they try to get you to take $1000 and have your vehicle crushed. Hell No.
Once I failed my first test my son told me to swap in his engine, it was a new (everything new, not rebuilt) 22 rte out of his 1986 2wd (exactly what I have) that was T- Boned and totaled with just 1500 miles on the engine. He was going to put it into his '73 Celica but that is now getting a Yamaha Beams engine with a 6 speed tranny.
Anyhow I did the swap. I swapped everything, The AFM, exhaust, ECU and even the radiator (it is the bigger 6 cylinder model with a turbo water fitting in the radiator hose setup). He had deleted his EGR valve and had installed block off plates so that was pretty much the only part I reused off my engine.
So everything is all in and it's running nice but it was getting fairly bad fuel mileage.
So I'm all confident I'm legal and I have already paid my registration renewal fees and all I need is to pass the smog test and wait for my tags to arrive via the United States Postal Service.
My first engine failed on February 7th and now it's February 20th (give or take a day or two) and I figure everything is pretty much new and it should pass no problem. It comes off the machine and it fails. Not just a little bit but now it's a gross polluter. The numbers weren't even close to the maximum limits, like one test was a 750 or so limit and I got a 2300. WTF?
Now before I get ballistic and want to rage I figure hey I have this voucher let someone else deal with fixing it. I'll just go get a registration extension and be set. Yea, right.
So I go to DMV the next day and stood in line for 4 hours to be told I need to pay for it and why don't I just take $1000 and have it crushed. I had done my homework and it was suppose to be free. So the next day I come back and this time I have all the vehicle codes and crap that states my case and I ended up being in line for 5 hours. I show them the vehicle codes and stuff and they pull out some 10 year old letter that is signed by Governor Schwartznegger and say I have to pay and I should take the $1000 and have it crushed. I am beyond pissed and I'm not going to pay for something because I know I'm right and "F" them. Next day I'm on the phone with DMV Headquarters and get some Special Vehicle Operations manager and explain my situation to her. After 20 minutes on hold she comes back and says I was right and I demanded she call my local DMV and advise them of their negligence. I said so now I only need to go stand in line for another 4 -5 hours and hopefully get a temporary registration window certificate. She said just go straight up to the counter and mention her name. Sounds Great, until you walk past 80 - 100 pissed off people waiting to get called up to the clerk you just strolled on up to. I guess the lady that told me to go straight up to the counter had some authority because as soon as I mentioned her name they all started to apologize and kiss my ass. It helped take off some of the sting of being denied and gave me a sense of superiority over the system because I had to tell them how to do their job, yet they still mentioned that I should just take the $1000 and have it crushed and now I'm pissed again.
OK, so I have my extension for 60 days. That should be plenty of time to find a state certified Gold Smog Repair Facility and use my $500 state voucher to get this thing to run clean and pass for a couple of years.
So I end up taking it to a place my son had taken it to when he had it smogged before it got totaled. It was a bitch to smog then and took the guy like 12 hours of tinkering to get it to pass, So I told the guy It was the same as he did before and he said OK $250 and I'll do it, but he didn't want anything to do with the state voucher. OK just do it. The guy calls me four hours later and says come get it and I head on over. Once I get there he says no way and he doesn't want to deal with it. He tells me to go to some random shop that he says can fix it. What can I do? I head over to that shop, walk in the door and tell 4 of these guys standing behind the counter I have a $500 state repair voucher and they look at me like I'm trying to give a bunch of kids at your door on Halloween some Brussel Sprouts dipped in dog poop. They wanted nothing to do with me or my voucher and said look it's going to cost $300 just to open the hood and could cost thousands. I have an out of body experience like I'm in a low budget movie and about to either murder everyone or cry like a little girl being chased by her brother trying to wipe a booger on her. I turn and leave. I go out to my truck and just sit there for a few minutes. A couple of employees are walking around my truck at a distance probably thinking I could be loading some high capacity clips so I just leave. I ended up finding a shady place (not like out of the sun shady) that said they'd pass it for $400 with no questions asked. I had an uneasy feeling about that like drop it off and come back and say hey where's my truck and they would say no questions asked remember, that'll be $400.
Alright, OK, shit what do I do now? Junk it? Wait till I get pulled over and impounded? I figure I'll see if I can fix it. I know which way to turn a wrench. So I do some research. A little Google then some YouTube. Let me say you need to be careful of what you believe on YouTube because there are some wacked out MoFos on their doing some random shit on stuff that isn't even what they are trying to explain it on. Anyhow I get a clue as to what to look for and how to do it. So I borrow some quality testing tools from a good friend. I mean really good friend because he only has up to date Snap-On and Mac type stuff.
Since the engine was new I could eliminate virtually all the internal stuff like rings, valves and related components. I had a new cat, O2,injectors and stuff so I figured I'd check those later.
I watch a few videos on checking the EGR system and for a system that clogs the engine bay up with a bunch of hoses it was actually not that complicated. I hook up the vacuum pump to the EGR valve and it didn't do squat. Bad EGR. So I planned to pull it out and test it. I yank it out and connect the pump to it and the piston/plunger doesn't move but it isn't gunked up and looks very clean. So I'm looking at it and finally figure out the the round mushroom head \alien spacecraft looking diaphragm thing isn't sitting flat and even. SONNOVABITCH I must have bent it when I was putting the engine/tranny in by myself. Sure enough I bend it back with a few strategic screwdriver pries and test it with the vacuum pump. Seems to work OK, so just to make sure a swab some high temp antisieze on the plunger piston plug thingy and put it back in.
I fire the thing up let it get warm. I put on the vacuum pump, squeezed the handle and the engine died immediately.
"WOOOHOOOO I am a friggin genius" and I announced it to the world and told the guy walking his dog by me that he should bow in the presence of a demigod. His wife flipped me off.
I connected the two wires (T and E1?) I have a permanent wire with two spade connectors that I just twist onto a brake line so I can check for codes and time the thing. My timing was set at 0 so I put it on the recommended 5 like the book says, pulled the connector and set the idle at 800 like the book says.
It ran a lot better, the vacuum went up to 19 (even though A new Mac gauge read 22 in hg off the intake) and I noticed it ran a bit cooler when it warmed up.
I figured that was it and the following day I went down to the shop that I originally had the two failed attempts.
I got to the shop and had that kinda nervous feeling like waiting for the pregnancy tester to say + or -.
I asked the guy to do a pretest and he says "I don't do pretests lets just run it" with a smile. I'm thinking yea great for you if it doesn't pass you still get paid then I don't have the $400 to pay Mr Shady and I'm SOL.
I went for broke and agreed. The numbers were extremely low and could have passed if they were doubled.
On my way home I see a cop cruising next to me and I have an urge to yell "Hey pull me over now" because hell I'm finally legal.
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ReelDeal
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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2018, 06:00:33 AM »

Great story! Did the engine throw any codes? I've had my egr block off for a few years now. Did it run better for you with the eve working?
T
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psychohamster
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« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2018, 04:23:59 AM »

This second engine has never thrown a code and now it runs better then I've ever seen a 22r series run. The idle and vacuum are rock steady, the power is smooth and now I am waiting to see if the gas mileage improves. There is almost a total of 2000 miles on this engine and on my next oi change I am going to start running full synthetic oil.
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ReelDeal
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« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2018, 12:24:57 AM »

Great! Good call on the egr.
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psychohamster
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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2018, 03:56:13 PM »

California DMV still hasn't sent me my registration sticker. I've called them twice and they say "it's still being processed".
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ReelDeal
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« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2018, 06:35:06 PM »

Still running great? Did your gas mileage improve like you thought?

T
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psychohamster
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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2018, 09:11:45 PM »

It still runs great. I'm getting about 20 MPG and I do almost all city driving. Oil consumption has decreased dramatically so I switched over to full synthetic.
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ReelDeal
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« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2018, 05:34:34 PM »

I think that is as good as gets!
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