The dreaded SMOG TEST!

Discussion in 'Fuel Economy & Emissions' started by tbirdsps, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. tbirdsps

    tbirdsps New Member Charter Member

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    I think I may finally take the plunge and get the ole' Cooga tested....again!

    Some of you already know about the bad carb saga that I went through for three months. I cannot recommend the purchase of a rebuilt Holley carb from Holley.

    So, I talked with my mechanic yesterday. I was concerned that now that my carb is right and the valve job is done that I would still fail due to a horribly mistreated catalytic converter. He assured me it was still very functional. He assured me that even though on the last test the HC was still high that the CO was low and that confirms the functionality of the cat. I'm very cheap. Frugal is my mantra. I still have the first penny I earned in 1968. :D

    So, week after next I'll spend the $60 for the emissions check. Wish me good fumes when they sniff my pipe.:biglaugh::biglaugh:

    I'm on a mission to get my Cooga parked with the "classic" Cougars at the Fabulous Fords Forever show in Buena Park, Ca. on the 19th of April.

    In a follow up to this in Hemmings Classic Car magazine the mechanical wonders article this month is about emissions controls and what they do. The interesting part to know is that at idle there are no controls functioning except for the catalytic converter as it's in the exhaust stream. The A.I.R pump is bypassing at idle. The EGR is closed. There's nothing except the cat in play at idle on a carberated car without a engine management computer. This is the hardest part of the test if the car is not in fine tune with a good properly adjusted carb.

    My mechanic has given me a couple of hints to assist in passing.
    1. Set the idle a bit high. In California up to 1,100 rpm is acceptable. Mine is now set at 750 vice 650.
    2. There's a +or - 3* allowance for the timing over what's correct for the car. He says set in no advance over what the manufacturer setting is. NONE. Advance creates more HC and CO. Mine is at 12* advance and I'll back that off to 8-9* advance. My car is supposed to be at 10*. I actually saw this on my wifes car. Her's was also supposed to be at 10*. Her's was at 14* advance. At 14 her HC was 80 at idle. When the timing was set back to the proper 10* the HC went to 8. A huge difference for just 4* off from the factory setting.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2009
  2. Stormin' Norman

    Stormin' Norman Well-Known Member

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    Good tips, Steve. We haven't got a clue who's drafting up our 'California II' emissions standards, and they claim they'll beef them up, here. I doubt they'll go back to my 1979, but they'll try to look like they're getting 'Tough on Grime!"

    I'll still get the Advance Curve Kit from Mr. Gasket to chop my fuel consumption. We don't have airpumps on the 1979 Fairmonts. Andy's North Dakota wagon does though.

    Thanks.

    Good luck with the Cooga. All you need now is an A-Oo-ga horn! :yahoo:
     
  3. tbirdsps

    tbirdsps New Member Charter Member

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    I never really closed out this.

    It passed. :thumbs2: The carb was not enough. However, the valve job did the trick. One exhaust valve was burnt pretty bad and 4 others were leaking i.e not sealing on the seats.

    Total parts and labor=$140. Not bad. Of course I removed and installed the head myself.

    Now on the 19th I'll be at the Fabulous Fords Forever show in Buena Park California.

    Whew... that took a while.
     
  4. HandyAndy

    HandyAndy Well-Known Member

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    :party4:Congrats! You've been futzing about with this for a while!
     
  5. Stormin' Norman

    Stormin' Norman Well-Known Member

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    That's got to give her some oomph back! Take pics at the show, huh? Have a great time!;)
     
  6. tbirdsps

    tbirdsps New Member Charter Member

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    I've been taking my sweet **s time. It was ready to go on Feb. 26th. I was overthinking everything. I finally got it passed on March 24th.

    Now it's first road trip of 162 miles since I bought it back in 03.:D The A/C will be functional again before the trip. I have to change out the compressor clutch then I'll be back in buisness. You folks in "Winterpeg" don't need a/c.:banghead3:
     
  7. wagonmaster

    wagonmaster Administrator Staff Member Moderator

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    Great! How often do you have to go for the test?
     
  8. tbirdsps

    tbirdsps New Member Charter Member

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    Every other year.

    I consider myself an intermidiate level mechanic. I can do most things myself and generally enjoy it. I wouldn't have taken this long if there was an inexpensive exhaust gas analyser available to purchase or to rent. Every time I needed to know if I was going in the right direction I had to go to my mechanic to test the exhaust.

    I got dependant on a very good professional mechanic to help solve this but even he was scratching his head. There was no indication of a valve problem. The engine ran smooth, the compression check was pretty darn good. All the plugs were unfouled and tan in color. All systems checked good. He swore that the catalytic converter was good and the $10 carb I finally ended up with was good. Yet it still was over the limit by 3X. The valve job did the trick to bring down the emissions. I still think it could be cleaner running but it passed well within the standards set by the state.

    The standard is 120 ppm HC at idle and mine tested at 91. The state also tests for CO and NOX both of these were always good and were never above the standards. Since CO and NOX were good the only answer was leakage in the exhaust valves and that turned out to be true.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2009
  9. Stormin' Norman

    Stormin' Norman Well-Known Member

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    I was pretty good in my Chem and Physics classes in highschool, but that's like 40 plus years ago. But I do recall that we used various chemicals mixed up to test for NOX, CO, SO2 and HC on something like Litmus paper. There's a product there, TBIRD! Maybe chat it up with your teenagers to see if they recall. You'd have to set the formulae to detect the range within the State guidelines and by requirement for each model, plus a generic set for where the vehicle is at before the tests to guide the user as to what to do to correct them.

    The new Veggomatic! ;)
     
  10. Taranau

    Taranau Well-Known Member

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    Here in California,it used to be,once your car went past 25 years of age,you didn't have to get it smogged.Now it's 30:mad:...The claim some were making was;90% of Southern California smog was coming from cars older than 25 years of age.:scratchchin: The people making this claim could not site the scientific study that came to this conclusion;)so they didn't get all that they wanted;which was all cars made from 1975 on,just always have to get smog tested,and once they are old enough to achieve Gross Polluter Status(at 8 or 10 years,I'm not sure)get smog tested every year---while new cars should only have to get smog tested once they turn 5.And Priuses should never have to get smog tested.That way more people will buy them and the planet will be saved!:hmmm: Instead of only having to pass ONE more smog test,our Colony Park has to pass three!:49:
     
  11. Stormin' Norman

    Stormin' Norman Well-Known Member

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    Well, it'll take this agricultural province apart if they start that here. No doubt they'll get there eventually, but meanwhile people can do something to collect parts and get them up to standard before they actually get the rules finalized.
     
  12. tbirdsps

    tbirdsps New Member Charter Member

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    Not so fast. People procrastinate. Here in Kalifornia the state mandated vapor recovery systems be installed at gas stations and gave them 9 years to comply.

    Now there's over 2,000 stations not in compliance. The date for compliance was last week.

    9 years and you should hear the whining....
     
  13. wagonmaster

    wagonmaster Administrator Staff Member Moderator

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    OMG!!! And I thought I was a procrastinator !
     
  14. Stormin' Norman

    Stormin' Norman Well-Known Member

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    What is a Vapor Recovery System? Sounds like a pooper-scooper.
     
  15. tbirdsps

    tbirdsps New Member Charter Member

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    Same thing as on modern automobiles but this is for the gas station. A vapor recovery system that captures the evaporating fuel vapors. In the cars case the fumes are sucked up and burns but I suspect they get cooled or something to return the vapor into liquid then back to the storage tank.

    Supposed to keep the fumes from polluting the air.
     

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