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California Smog Test  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: 08-10-2012 10:43 pm
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wtberks
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I am one of the rare unlucky ones that still have to get their car to pass California's emission tests. They require a test for any car manufactured after 1975 and thus, my 1976 GT is the first year requiring a test.

The car has been in storage for the last five years as I was in the process of getting it tested five years ago when I managed to break something on the engine. Well, five years later I am back trying to get it certified.

The car has a set of Greg's re-manufactured Strombergs on it as well as the factory air pump and a catalytic converter. All is well except that I cannot lean the carbs out enough to get even close to passing. I have the nifty Stromberg jet adjusting tool as well as an old CO tester. They tell me that I need to get it down to somewhere around 2.5%, right now I am at 11%. The guy at the test station simply told me that it will never pass the test as these older cars just always run a bit rich. He suggested that I put it back into storage until next year as they may be moving the exempt years to 81 and before.

However, I really want to drive this car. One option is to take it to a garage that can tune it right. I live in Long Beach and am looking for a local mechanic. Any suggestions?

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 Posted: 08-11-2012 04:00 am
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Jensen Healey
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There are a few mechanics listed in the tech section:

http://www.jensenhealey.com/html/repair.html

The smog exemption will not be changing anytime soon, the bill was shelved.

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 Posted: 08-11-2012 05:45 am
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wtberks
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Jensen Healey wrote:
The smog exemption will not be changing anytime soon, the bill was shelved.

It is so hard to convince people that cars built before 1982 are not driven because they are cheap to own and operate. All of those cars can generate lots of money in taxes generated by the various businesses that keep them running. Besides, how many cars that old are still on the road and how much pollution can they generate?

OK, off my soapbox now.

I'll contact the shops on the list and see what they can do. Thanks for the info.

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 Posted: 08-11-2012 08:38 am
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JodyKerr
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Run alcohol for the test instead of gasoline. :)

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 Posted: 08-11-2012 04:14 pm
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wtberks
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Maybe I can convince my brother, who lives in Eureka, to "own" the car. Eureka, which is in Humboldt county, does not require smog testing of older cars. Then I can lighten the car by "storing" the catalytic converter, air pump, and air injectors.

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 Posted: 08-11-2012 04:31 pm
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JodyKerr
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I'm serious about the denatured alcohol.

Get the car good and warm.

Run the car down to around 1/4 of a tank, get the big container of denatured alcohol from the local Ace/Home Depot/etc. Pour it in to the fuel tank.

Go through emissions.

Then fill the tank with super and drive it until it's empty or drain the tank if it's going to sit a while.

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 Posted: 08-17-2012 05:59 pm
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Greg Fletcher
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That's an unfortunate situation Bill. If the engine is in excellent condition, it should pass the California test. Clubber Steve Pike, who used to fix JH's out in the Shadow Hills area of Los Angeles had a great fix. He told me he did this many times, to many Jensens and it never NOT worked, even with old engines. He simply installed a generic catalytic converter and voila, it passed each time. A catalytic converter would need to be "fresh" before the test to make this work. If it's been on the car for any length of time it gets too contaminated to lower the emissions.

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 Posted: 11-17-2012 08:08 pm
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wtberks
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Yes, a new catalytic converter did the trick. The car passed emissions testing. Yeah!

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 Posted: 11-18-2012 05:21 pm
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Jensen Healey
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Congrats! Two years of Jensening until the next test!

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