View Full Version : Need help urgently to pass CA smog requirements.

06-24-2006, 04:41 AM
Hi, I just got my SC as some of you may know and I think there's something wrong with my EGR system.

I believe my NoX emissions were wayyy up there and my car was marked as a gross polluter.
How do I get it to pass?

I believe the first step is to run seafoam, which intend to do tomorrow. Where on the intake should I run the vacuum line to the can of seafoam to?
I also think I have a very minor vacuum leak somewhere, as I idle around 1000rpm, 1500 when cold (doesn't seem to be unusual as my girlfriend's 00 mustang 3.8 does the exact same thing)

I believe my EGR system is not working correctly. I think the EGR valve may be bad. How do I check this?

I need a set of catalytic converters, I think.
How do I tell if my cats are bad?

Lastly, what other tricks can I use to get it to pass smog?


06-24-2006, 11:21 AM
to check for a vacuum leak, spray brake cleaner over the vacuum line connections and around the intercooler tubes. if the engine accelerates u have a vacuum leak

Run sea-foam, on the line into the return plenum, there is a small vacuum line behind the Air Charge temperature sensor on the return plenum, a little bit to left of the bypass valve, you cant miss it.

to adjust your idle, do it from the idle set screw on top of the throttle body, if you screw it in it should bring your idle down, if it doesnt, then adjust the throttle body screw as your throttle body stop screw, might be a little open, idle on a AOD should be 500RPM, 5-speed 750RPM.

also, pull both your octane plugs, one by the EEC test connection on the passenger side fender, and the other should be by the AC COMPRESSOR, just pull them both and should retard your timing 3 degrees, enough to cut emissions by half.

06-24-2006, 11:53 AM
Don't pull your octane plug it won't help. Make sure the vacuum line is on the EGR valve. Someone told me if you pull the actual egr valve and shake it, if you hear something like a spraypaint can the valve works if nothing, broken. Take it for what its worth.

06-24-2006, 01:36 PM
most people know that warming your cats up, so they can do the job right can be essential to passing. meaning, fill her up with seafoam and drive it till near empty to get the crap the seafoam is cleaning out, and not to screw with the e test.

fill up again, if not the same day, try and do some highway/freeway driving to get that system hot and burning efficently. the cats warm up, and act as a filter, if not warm....no filtering action, or less than.

i dont have an egr, harder to pass maybe, but i passed her none the less.

cats are usually good for a very long time, so if they went bad find out why, dont replace em then replace em again in 2 months.

06-24-2006, 02:26 PM
what the hell do you mean dont pull the octane plugs? how the hell do you think i passed mine, with the octane plugs everything was extrememly high, beyond high, twice the limit, with the octane plugs, both of them pulled out, i passed with flying colors...

06-24-2006, 03:41 PM
Just read the link man no need to get mad at me, I pulled my plug for the first test and failed, second test put them back in and it was much better.

06-24-2006, 08:37 PM
What are octane plugs?

The easiest thing would be just to bribe somebody.

06-24-2006, 11:46 PM
Ive heard running a little Isopropyl Alcohol in the gas tank will make your car pass smog. :cool:

- Dan

06-25-2006, 01:52 AM
How much isopropyl with what grade gas?

06-25-2006, 02:52 AM
Where in PA are you from? I know a mechanic who specialized in getting cars to pass emissions :D

I also heard that some gasoline antifreeze or something like that can help you on emissions, im not sure.

I also think that NoX is from your combustion temps being too high. I THINK that ethanol in the gas makes it burn hotter, maybe you can find gas w/o ethanol? Id do some more research, as im not really sure.


06-25-2006, 02:56 AM
nevermind, i see its CA, and not PA.

Its late and i've been drinking.


06-25-2006, 03:59 AM
You should only be using 91 octane on your car. Im not sure on the exact mixture, but no more than 10% of your gas tank. It will boost your octane up to about 93 or so, supposed to burn hotter and cleaner. Needs to be pure isopropyl alcohol as there are many kinds available.

If your cats are bad, replacing them would help you pass smog and your car run better also. Could be a lack of back pressure causing your EGR not to open - I had that problem on my LX and after I replaced the cats, it passed and actually ran better also.

- Dan

06-25-2006, 04:19 AM
Where would I get that type? Home depot as like a paint remover or something?

Would buying a 5-gal of bluefuel (aviation grade) help?

P.S. Right now I'm trying to find a mechanic to pass smog near Long Beach.
if you know somebody pm me.


06-25-2006, 11:30 AM
you can get it across the border in mexico :D

06-25-2006, 12:30 PM
half the gas stations have em up here.
id say use the alchohol like 2oz.
truthfully my ar couldnt pass hot, when i brought it cold, it passed?go figure, all that stuff about cats is true for most cars, but eh. and wouldnt you rather fix the problem, instead of having a mechanic pass it for a nominal charge of $250? thats what the going rate here is anyway, so says my bro and his catless saleen.

06-25-2006, 02:54 PM
I can't fix it if i don't know what it is. :(

BT Motorsports
06-26-2006, 02:34 PM
Nick, where will you be around 4:15-5pm tonight? I have to drop some stuff off in Signal Hill around 4:00, I may be able to check the car out while I am in the area.


Coast to Coast SC
06-26-2006, 02:50 PM
Can you post the VIR? All of the numbers are important and can be used to help figure out what is going on. High NO can be from a failure of the EGR, overheated combustion temps, overheated engine, retarded timing, lean mixture or carbon in the chamber. If operating temps are normal that narrows the field and if the HC are at all elevated we can rule out lean mixture. If the HC count is non existant it may be lean and may just need O2's. Try to post the VIR and we can take a look.

06-26-2006, 04:08 PM
Yes, I will be in the area after 3:00pm.
I will be tinkering with the car at Hopkinson Elementary School parking lot.
Since School's out for the summer it's an empty lot.
12582 Kensington Rd, Los Alamitos, 90720

it's a white S/C. hard to miss since the lot'll be pretty much empty.

Now, the dudes who smogged me said that it appeared that the EGR system has failed. I am going to pick up an EGR valve at work since I have to do some other crap to the car anyways and maybe with the new EGR valve and a run of seafoam maybe I can pass emissions whilst running on clean-burning aviation fuel.

The numbers were normal outside of NoX which was like 3500. They said the EGR system isn't working.


06-27-2006, 12:06 AM
If it's just your nox, then indeed your combustion temp is too high. The most likely culprit is the egr valve. If you can get your hands on a mighty vac or similar vacum tester it is very easy to test the egr valve. With the car idling pull the vacum hose off the egr valve and install the tester to it. pump up the vacum tester and it should activate the egr valve and kill the engine or at least make it run really bad.

If nothing happens the valve is bad or the egr tube is plugged with carbon (common on newer Fords). Pull egr and repeat vacum test, look to see if pintle inside moves, if so its ok and the problem is in your tube.

Good luck.

06-27-2006, 12:47 AM
I have a fat lot of vacuum leaks, one from the PCV to the underside of the intake, and another right near the throttlebody. Additionally, the cats are not stock. They are a smaller set as Paul noted when he came by earlier.

I could really use a stock intake tube and a set of stock cats. With those it may just pass.
However, right now I need something that will pass smog and work reliably. I'm not beating the hell out of my SC like some people do. I bought it to take me to and from work comfortably and I'm afraid I'm gonna have to pour tons of fundage into it.
The guy who sold it to me did not sell it to me with a waiver, meaning it was illegal for him to do so. HOWEVER, the bastard isn't answering my calls. He answered once, talked to me for like 30 seconds, then hung up. He hasn't answered his cell since.
I want to try to get my $1350 back, I've already put $350 or so into it in registration and other crap.
The guy's name is Willam Enriquez and you can call him at 805 813 9318. Supposedly the guy is leaving the country in mid july.
:( I feel really cheated since I thought I was buying a decent car. It looked okay and ran good, but god, I feel like crap since I can't get it to pass.

If anyone wants to buy an SC for parts or off-road use only, it's up for sale at $1350. Contact me at 562 481 1072 if you've got any questions or pm me.

Thanks very much,

06-27-2006, 12:54 AM
Can you post the VIR? All of the numbers are important and can be used to help figure out what is going on. High NO can be from a failure of the EGR, overheated combustion temps, overheated engine, retarded timing, lean mixture or carbon in the chamber. If operating temps are normal that narrows the field and if the HC are at all elevated we can rule out lean mixture. If the HC count is non existant it may be lean and may just need O2's. Try to post the VIR and we can take a look.

RPM 2083 %CO2 13.30 %O2 1.65 [HC (PPM) Max 105 GP 280 MEAS 39] [CO% MAX .69 GP 2.19 MEAS .02] [NO (PPM) Max 757 GP 1943 MEAS 2738] RESULT G POLLUTER
@25mph 2103 %CO2 13.33 %O2 1.63 [HC (PPM) Max 80 GP 230 MEAS 24] [CO% MAX .56 GP 2.06 MEAS .02] [NO (PPM) Max 696 GP 1743 MEAS 2428] RESULT G POLLUTER

There's all the results laid out right there. it appears tht it passed in everything but NOX. I think this may have something to do with what appears to be a very large vacuum leak just after the MAF and the fact that I have extremely small catalytic converters.


06-27-2006, 01:48 AM
a very large vacuum leak


Theres your culprit. Vac should be around 20hg @idle out of gear.

06-27-2006, 02:45 AM
I am new to SC's, but definatly not new to cars. Your hc and co are fine. Your nox is very high. Nox is a function of combustion tempature being too high and or ignition timing too advanced. I believe SC's have EGR(remember I'm new to SC's). If so, egr operation must be verified. Generally done this way:

1 locate egr valve, remove 3/16" hose from fitting on valve, attach vacuum pump to fitting. With engine idling, apply vacuum, engine idle should degrade, noticeably, almost to the point of stalling. If no idle change, the valve is not opening, or it's plugged with carbon. Or, the egr PASSAGE is plugged w/ carbon. NOTE a few "back pressure" type egr valves ALSO require exaust back pressure, to test/operate.

2 if egr tests OK, you must verify that a vacuum signal is being applied to the egr valve. Generally done by hooking a vacuum gauge up to the 3/16' hose, you pulled of the egr valve. Fully warm up engine. When you raise idle to approx. 2500 rpm, gauge should show a vacuum reading. No reading, must diagnose why not. NOTE: Some vehicles requir trans to be in drive, to test. This obviously reqires a second person to apply brakes!! and other safety precautions.

My GUESS is, you car has a defective EGR system. Hope this helps.

Check timing, should be a spec or retarted approx. 2*.

PS: Plese see my "what's it worth/opinions wanted" post elsewhere!!

God Bless America!

06-27-2006, 08:26 PM
:( I don't think I can get it done. The dude who sold it to me isn't answering my calls and I am not sure where to go to report the sale to the EPA.

I just need it back out of my hands. I've put a couple hundred bucks into it touching it up and fixing little cosmetic issues to make it more presentable, and put a set of 18's with ZR rated tires on it. So now it's got two sets.

I can get a set of stock cats installed for $150, and not sure on where to get the intake arm that I need, but I am looking at around $400 to get everything nice again, and I'm out of funding to do anything to it for the next two weeks. It also needs battery tie downs, a headlight puller switch thing, a VMM frame or VMM delete, the overhead cabin light lens and a new plastic thingy for the center console.

In short, I don't have the funds to get this running clean enough to pass smog. The car runs and drives great, has lots of OOMPH to it, starts and stays running reliably, shifts and stops good, but something's up to make it not pass NOX.

Anyone with a white S/C in CA willing to come out and pretend that their car is actually mine? Pretty please?

Short of that, unless someone can loan me a set of cats and a stock intake arm for a week or two, I'm pretty much f**ked and I've gotta get out of this car.
The car's for sale:
1550 obo. Runs better than when I bought it and looks a lot nicer, too.
It's in Los Alamitos, CA in Orange County/LA County border at the 605/405 interchg.


06-28-2006, 01:17 PM
i would take it off ur hands if u accepted payments, but im pretty sure ya dont.... so :rolleyes:

BT Motorsports
06-28-2006, 02:00 PM
:( I don't think I can get it done. The dude who sold it to me isn't answering my calls and I am not sure where to go to report the sale to the EPA.
Nick, Anthony (coasttocoastsc) sent me some info for you:

When a car is sold, who is responsible for the inspection?

The seller is required to provide the buyer with a valid smog inspection
certification at the time of the sale or transfer. Smog certifications are
good for 90 days from the date of issuance.

The inspection is not required on a transfer if a biennial smog
certification was submitted to DMV within 90 days prior to the vehicle
transfer date (a vehicle inspection report may be required for proof of

Note: Smog certifications are not required for transfers that occur for any
motor vehicle that is four or less model years old. A smog transfer fee will
be collected from the new owner.
Start by immediately reporting to the DMV that you purchased the car, it will not pass smog and the seller will not provide you with proof that it has passed smog prior to your purchase. Also, do some further poking around the DMV website before you contact them and investigate the vehicle's smog history. I believe it failed back in February, make sure DMV is aware of that as well. If they cannot help you, they will have the information for who to contact that can and will.


06-28-2006, 11:00 PM
I live in L.A. and always when I have a High NOX only reading new cats are needed and I pass with no problem and this applies to my SC, LX, and S10 pickup. My sc smog check was the last one with High NOX and car was running great. I had two Holley FloTECH high flow 2.25" converters installed for $160 and passed. The same with all the other cars new converters and passed. I have a white SC also referring to a previous post. But, this just MY .02 cents I am not a certified mechanic.