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  • Failed CA SMOG - Help please.

    Hello, new here so please forgive me if this is not the correct place for this.
    Just did a bit of work on my 1982 BMW 633csi, but I still failed smog anyway. Work recently done on the car are: new O2, exhaust gaskets, oil, oil filter, air filter, spark plug wires, valve adjustment.
    Failure points:
    15mph - HC: 179 NO(PPM): 1705
    25mph - NO: 1080
    Not sure what the emission standards of 1982 where but that's what the smog place said I failed on. :[ They said I likely need a cat, all the ones I've looked up online say they are not for sale in CA and prices for CA Carb complaint cats is like double. I've done a bit of calling around and have found a few places that will do it for about 225 installed. I have an acquaintance in out of state that might be willing to ship me one of the "non CA" cats, but I would still need to have it installed so with shipping it may be a moot point. I've had my share of poor luck lately so I'm attempting to get the B.A.R. to help with the repair cost that will be another week at least before I hear back. Anyhow any help pointing me in the right direction would be much appreciated.
    I do know of places that will get it to pass but I would rather do it right so I don't have to deal with this again in 2 years I think ill save money in the long run this way.
    Thanks in advance for any help. also feel free to share your CA smog stories here if you like. This alone is why I need a pre75 car in my life.


    PS: Included a pic of the car for reference and for show. Not the most recent but not to off and the first one I found.
    1982 BMW 633csi - Enkei 62 wheels
    Deaf Bob likes this.
    <3 RAF

  • #2

    Re: Failed CA SMOG - Help please.

    Most likely needs a new catalytic converter. What are the CO and O2 numbers? Does it have an EGR and is it functional? EGR's lower NOx numbers.

    Just go to Autozone/NAPA/Pep Boys/etc and pick up a universal catalytic converter of the right exhaust pipe diameter and have it installed. The new ones work ten times better than the OE one could have ever hoped to and have it installed.

    If someone is asking $225 installed, that sounds like a good deal to me. The one listed at Autozone is $216 and appears to have a funky 2 into 1 setup. It looks like you can get 20% off ordering it online.
    http://www.autozone.com/autozone/par.../N-il0khZ9izyd


    Either things have changed quite a bit since I worked there (9 years ago...) or their website doesn't reflect what they have in the store, but they used to sell CA legal universal catalytic converters, just pick the inlet/outlet pipe diameter. They were an on the back shelf item. The one for my Skylark that is a 2.25 inlet/outlet is $200, so a universal one is probably about $200 as well, you may as well pony up the extra $25 and get the correct two into one cat. 5year warranty at Autozone will get you through the next two smog checks (assuming every two years). I didn't shop around to see what the other parts stores offered for price and warranty.

    Last edited by TheSilverBuick; June 28th, 2014, 07:09 AM.
    Escaped on a technicality.

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    • #3

      Re: Failed CA SMOG - Help please.

      CA is notorious for the smog Nazis - and I'm retired from the USEPA! I'd concur that the cat is the most likely suspect. I can't imagine what makes a cat "CA" or "49 States". The bricks are loaded with whatever precious metals are appropriate for that model and year so either they work or they don't. Still, California is California and they live in their own little fantasy world.

      Anyhow - $225 installed is not a bad price assuming that you can't do the installation yourself. Remember that if you have a shop do it THEY are responsible so that takes you off the hook. I'd bite the bullet and get it done.

      Dan

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      • #4

        Re: Failed CA SMOG - Help please.

        CARB has been dropping the maximum allowable emissions on older cars every two years for more than a decade. It is their backdoor way of getting these cars off the road by making it impossible for them to pass. I know this because a friend kept all of his smog reports for 12 years. Each one has lower maximums.

        I had one neighbor who in order to get her '83 RX7 to pass, it would not run at all when cold. She starts the car and has to rev it to the moon to keep it running until it's up to temperature. My friend owns an all original 1980 Corvette, even with new carb and new cat, would not pass. By the time they got it to pass on the rollers, it was undriveable. It would stall trying to give it gas. So, they had to fuss with the carb and timing settings to get it to be drivable again.

        This is also the reason why you hear many people getting it done illegally.

        Maybe getting a few gallons of E85 in the tank would help lower the numbers.
        BS'er formally known as Rebeldryver

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        • #5

          Re: Failed CA SMOG - Help please.

          Or.... pack up your stuff and move to Nebraska. Great folks, plenty of sunshine in the summer, an occasional tornado and up to two feet of snow....
          Deaf Bob likes this.
          It's really no different than trying to glue them back on after she has her way.

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          • #6

            Re: Failed CA SMOG - Help please.


            CARB has been dropping the maximum allowable emissions on older cars every two years for more than a decade. It is their backdoor way of getting these cars off the road by making it impossible for them to pass. I know this because a friend kept all of his smog reports for 12 years. Each one has lower maximums.

            I had one neighbor who in order to get her '83 RX7 to pass, it would not run at all when cold. She starts the car and has to rev it to the moon to keep it running until it's up to temperature. My friend owns an all original 1980 Corvette, even with new carb and new cat, would not pass. By the time they got it to pass on the rollers, it was undriveable. It would stall trying to give it gas. So, they had to fuss with the carb and timing settings to get it to be drivable again.

            This is also the reason why you hear many people getting it done illegally.

            Maybe getting a few gallons of E85 in the tank would help lower the numbers.
            that's illegal... it only has to pass the emmissions standards for the year it was built AND what those standards where that year.. THEY can't make up their own standards other than what ever the standard was for a cali car in 1982.... they can't, legally change them after the fact.. what ever the standard cali had in 82, is what it has to pass now... the problem is most don't know what that was so they get tricked... you walk into any ref station for emmisions for a 1982 cali cert car... from 1982.. and your emissions are lower than that, they have to by federal law. pass you.. no ands if or buts.. you just have to know this, and know what the emission's allowed in 82 was..

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            • #7

              Re: Failed CA SMOG - Help please.

              CARB are a bunch of outlaws that like to do what they want. It's the reason they get sued by the EPA monthly.

              I have seen these emissions reports. My friend who left me his '73 Monte Carlo, his previous car was an '82 Cutlass that was becoming impossible to get to pass. We took a look at his past five emissions reports. Consistantly lower maximums. The 1980 Corvette belonged to another friend who got it from his father in law, who was the original owner. The guy had every receipt going back to new.

              The people they are hurting are not rich or powerful. They are the ones who drive 20 year old cars because that is all they can afford. They don't have the access go after CARB legally. These people would have to get organized, find a law firm that would take the case, most likely pro-bono, and try to get the tree hugging press involved.

              They went after Pep Boys and fined them for selling parts without being sure they were emissions legal for the car being installed in. As if it's Pep Boys' responsibility to what the customer is doing with what they sell. They are currently targeting Summit Racing. Summit won't sell a crate engine to anyone in Cali.
              Last edited by Scott Liggett; June 29th, 2014, 06:59 AM.
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              • #8

                Re: Failed CA SMOG - Help please.


                that's illegal... it only has to pass the emmissions standards for the year it was built AND what those standards where that year.. THEY can't make up their own standards other than what ever the standard was for a cali car in 1982.... they can't, legally change them after the fact.. what ever the standard cali had in 82, is what it has to pass now... the problem is most don't know what that was so they get tricked... you walk into any ref station for emmisions for a 1982 cali cert car... from 1982.. and your emissions are lower than that, they have to by federal law. pass you.. no ands if or buts.. you just have to know this, and know what the emission's allowed in 82 was..

                near where I live, if you get a ticket and you appeal - they send you a form that you can complete and have the judge read (in short, arguing by brief). Attached to that form is a note that says "if you write, rather than appear, to a judge you cannot appeal the verdict." Ummm, lol, no. The higher Courts all have original jurisdiction to hear any case where there is a deprivation of property (fundamental Constitution law). But they said it, and I wonder how many people just blindly said "oh well?" But that's just it, it's not illegal until a Court rules it illegal - and if no one is challenging it, then it's legal. Or, put another way, it's not illegal if there isn't a law against it - it could easily be immoral - but it's not illegal
                Last edited by SuperBuickGuy; June 29th, 2014, 07:21 AM.
                Doing it all wrong since 1966

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                • #9

                  Re: Failed CA SMOG - Help please.

                  Bye sheer luck I found one of my friends smog reports before they got it to pass. Maybe someone can find out if the maximums are the same as they were when new.

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                  • #10

                    Re: Failed CA SMOG - Help please.

                    Neat car. What a bunch of bull. Go make friends with the illegal smog guy.
                    Deaf Bob likes this.

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                    • #11

                      Re: Failed CA SMOG - Help please.

                      CARB are a bunch of outlaws that like to do what they want. It's the reason they get sued by the EPA monthly.

                      I have seen these emissions reports. My friend who left me his '73 Monte Carlo, his previous car was an '82 Cutlass that was becoming impossible to get to pass. We took a look at his past five emissions reports. Consistantly lower maximums. The 1980 Corvette belonged to another friend who got it from his father in law, who was the original owner. The guy had every receipt going back to new.

                      The people they are hurting are not rich or powerful. They are the ones who drive 20 year old cars because that is all they can afford. They don't have the access go after CARB legally. These people would have to get organized, find a law firm that would take the case, most likely pro-bono, and try to get the tree hugging press involved.

                      They went after Pep Boys and fined them for selling parts without being sure they were emissions legal for the car being installed in. As if it's Pep Boys' responsibility to what the customer is doing with what they sell. They are currently targeting Summit Racing. Summit won't sell a crate engine to anyone in Cali.
                      God bless you great Americans for sharing this post and keeping me from doing something stupid like moving there. My company is based in southern Cali, but I work at a remote location in Nevada. I have to travel to San Diego occasionally and I always look around and say "gosh, what a nice place to live, maybe I'll ask for a transfer." Then patriots like you bring me back to reality with posts like this. Or I turn on the radio and hear Gov Brown. Or listen to the guys in my company complain about the taxes. I also heard a guy saying they have roving test stations that pull up road blocks and start testing guys on the spot. What a sh*t hole California has become.

                      I own 7 cars (4 vintage), and I daily drive an 07 Supercharged Mustang with 12.5 lbs of boost. CARB would surely fail it.

                      Good luck with your BMW - hope you find a way to get it around "the MAN".
                      Deaf Bob likes this.

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                      • #12

                        Re: Failed CA SMOG - Help please.

                        Four gallons of E85. It will clean it up quite a bit.

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                        • #13

                          Re: Failed CA SMOG - Help please.


                          God bless you great Americans for sharing this post and keeping me from doing something stupid like moving there. My company is based in southern Cali, but I work at a remote location in Nevada. I have to travel to San Diego occasionally and I always look around and say "gosh, what a nice place to live, maybe I'll ask for a transfer." Then patriots like you bring me back to reality with posts like this. Or I turn on the radio and hear Gov Brown. Or listen to the guys in my company complain about the taxes. I also heard a guy saying they have roving test stations that pull up road blocks and start testing guys on the spot. What a sh*t hole California has become.

                          I own 7 cars (4 vintage), and I daily drive an 07 Supercharged Mustang with 12.5 lbs of boost. CARB would surely fail it.

                          Good luck with your BMW - hope you find a way to get it around "the MAN".

                          Cali is beautiful and has the best weather in the country. Used to have just a high cost of housing, but you used to get the best schools, great job market, reasonable taxes, and cheap state colleges. But, now all you have is the weather. Between taxes, fees, and crazy environmental laws; it has become a very unfriendly business climate.
                          BS'er formally known as Rebeldryver

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                          • #14

                            Re: Failed CA SMOG - Help please.

                            CARB has been dropping the maximum allowable emissions on older cars every two years for more than a decade. It is their backdoor way of getting these cars off the road by making it impossible for them to pass. I know this because a friend kept all of his smog reports for 12 years. Each one has lower maximums.

                            I had one neighbor who in order to get her '83 RX7 to pass, it would not run at all when cold. She starts the car and has to rev it to the moon to keep it running until it's up to temperature. My friend owns an all original 1980 Corvette, even with new carb and new cat, would not pass. By the time they got it to pass on the rollers, it was undriveable. It would stall trying to give it gas. So, they had to fuss with the carb and timing settings to get it to be drivable again.

                            This is also the reason why you hear many people getting it done illegally.

                            Maybe getting a few gallons of E85 in the tank would help lower the numbers.
                            long warmup on the new cats. My subaru was a stubborn one, 1781cc.
                            the big bimmer should be alright.

                            I went through this in maine, only realizing later I did not need the fancy cat. I went with the 49 other state version.
                            there is no cats like 1982 oem, you will be glad to rid of it. Today even a gas engine is more like a 3 way diesel function.

                            another flunker is improper positive crankcase valve... prevents a clean burn.

                            odd speeds to be flunking, before any big load..reminds me of pcv function.

                            hope you get the bimmer law abiding, that is a nice model number.
                            Previously boxer3main
                            the death rate and fairy tales cannot kill the nature left behind.

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                            • #15

                              Re: Failed CA SMOG - Help please.

                              As a life long Southern California resident who loves looking at the mountains behind my dads house in Pasadena in the summer, I say your EGR system is inoperative or clogged significantly. Locate your EGR valve, remove the vacuum hose attached to it from the EGR solenoid that it attaches to, and start the car. Connect the tube to a handy vacuum source. The motor should almost die. If it remains idling and doesn't get extremely rough or die, your EGR system is not working properly. Most likely culprits are clogged jets in the intake manifold or a faulty valve or solenoid. A new cat wont dump the Nox enough to pass from my experience. The HCs are a CAT issue most likely...
                              www.FBthrottlebodies.com
                              Bruce K Bridges

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