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Thread: California Smog Engine Swap Discussion Thread

  1. #1

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    California Smog Engine Swap Discussion Thread

    I'm making plans to do a few engine swaps around here, by which I mean swapping in engines from different cars. I am mindful that California's Smog Nazis are ever watchful for otherwise decent people making minor infractions. When they find them, they issue savage punishments. The farmers can spray the most diabolical substances freely, but heaven help me if I swap a newer, cleaner-burning engine into my car without their say-so.

    Anyway, I've been calling around to different bureaucracies trying to get more details on what's allowable. I've called DMV, CHP and my nearest Smog Referee. That's the very guy who will be inspecting my swapped car to see if I've done it right. Sadly, NO ONE seems to know the first thing about it! DMV pointed to CHP. CHP pointed to the referee, and the referee couldn't answer the simplest questions.

    I get the feeling that everyone is going through the motions pretending not to be incompetent. I almost feel like I could put anything under the hood and get it approved. I tell you, the wheels have come off this state.

    What do you think guys? How far can I push this?
    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 220k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap

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  2. #2
    DX User Temeku's Avatar
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    Re: California Smog Engine Swap Discussion Thread

    I'm not too inclined with the intricacies of California's smog standards myself, but as a fellow Californian with an '87 Accord myself (last passed smog a year ago) I feel like I should chime in with any information I can (which isn't much). What engine were you planning on swapping into it?

  3. #3

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: California Smog Engine Swap Discussion Thread

    K20. Can you believe the referee tried to talk me out of it? "OBD2 is hard. I'd recommend you stick with OBD1." l thought, "too hard for me? Or you?" These are the folks tasked with improving our air quality. By encouraging people to stick with more polluting technologies. Good grief.
    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 220k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap

    Shop manual downloads available here: CLICK TO VIEW

  4. #4
    3Geez Veteran
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    Re: California Smog Engine Swap Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Snooz View Post
    K20. Can you believe the referee tried to talk me out of it? "OBD2 is hard. I'd recommend you stick with OBD1." l thought, "too hard for me? Or you?" These are the folks tasked with improving our air quality. By encouraging people to stick with more polluting technologies. Good grief.
    Just to gut punch you they are seriously thinking of getting rid of the emissions testing in Nashville TN. Not worth the time or effort.
    1988 Lxi owner since August 1995
    336k miles running strong!
    Now running E85.

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