Skishop69, thanks for the info. I will do a combination of the tactics recommended in this thread. Then give it another test and see what happens. My suspicion is there must be an EGR blockage or maybe it has failed. Rock Auto carries EGR's but they are not the correct part. My part number book says I need #14710 AA170 which has the tube to connect to the "anti-backfire valve" (I think that's what it is). The Nox number on my report is very high from what I have been told so whatever is causing it must be profound. I will report back what happens. Thanks for all the feedback USMB! Aaron
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85 GL wagon smog fail
Posted 01 June 2014 - 01:12 PM
did you test egr yet? on the backside there is an opening. you can push in the diaphragm while it idles and the motor should start to stall out if the egr is working properly. if not , it is easy to take off. cleaning all the carbon off if the diaphragm is NOT broken is time consuming.
also , you the passages in the manifold are probably clogged with carbon too. I cleaned mine out with screwdrivers and wire from a clothes hanger and whatever else would fit.
Posted 16 June 2014 - 09:14 PM
Hey roadsubiedog, I have not had the wagon retested yet. I have done the following: 1) removed and inspected the EGR. It wasn't clogged up with chunks or pieces of anything but has charcoal black coating on passages and ports. I moved the valve open and closed and put a finger on the vacuum line connector and it had good suction. The valve remained in position until I removed my finger. IMO the EGR seemed fine. The small 90 degree elbow vacuum line hose (numbered 5504) was loose on the nipple coming off the intact manifold. The hose is hard and rigid and I thought maybe it was leaking vacuum and not actuating the EGR as a result so I replaced it with a different hose that fits snug on EGR and manifold nipples. This may have been the big gross polluter culprit...I don't know.??
2) I had an almost empty tank of gas and I added 1 can of Sea Foam to that gas then I drove until the tank was empty.
3) I filled the tank with 91 octane and added 1 bottle of "Guaranteed to Pass Smog" product, which according to instructions says retest after a full tank is run through the engine.
4) I changed my oil and oil filter.
Yesterday while crawling under the car I noticed an exhaust leak coming from an exhaust pipe flange connector before the muffler and I am wondering if that would cause NOx to exceed limits. My car has no appearence of smoking whatsever, runs with good power, idles about 800 rpm but it does have a slight "off balance" kind of idle. So I plan to remove the bolts and put a new gasket in a clamp down on it with new bolts. So thats the update as of now.
I plan to fix that exhaust leak and run out the tank of gas with the Guaranteed to Pass Smog in it. Then I'll add 2-3 gallons more of 91 octane and get it retested. BTW will a octane booster product help and cause an engine to burn cleaner? thanks for all the help, Aaron
Posted 17 June 2014 - 02:56 PM
it seems like you are doing everything you can. I had to change an exhaust gasket a couple times too. I think the high octane gas is so it burns hotter and burns off excessive HC , hydrocarbons. the high NOX , I believe, would be either from a defective EGR, a lean air/fuel mixture or a defective cat. I think these were covered here on this thread.
you said you tested the EGR? at idle push in the diaphragm and the motor should almost stall if it is working correctly.
on my car the carb has the air/fuel mixture screw blocked behind a plate that has to be done by a mechanic. I don't know how to correctly adjust this. not sure how you test a cat. the mechanic pointed a heat gun at it to see if it was functioning correctly.
Posted 17 June 2014 - 08:13 PM
An exhaust leak upstream from the O2 sensor can cause you to fail with excessive O2 readings, but has nothing to do with NOX.
Octane rating of fuel has nothing to do with it's BTU rating (energy and burning temp). Octane rating relates to how well it will withstand detonation, IE: combusting prior to ignition due to high compression and elevated temps.
Posted 29 June 2014 - 04:33 PM
any update? real curious to see how you did as my 84 is coming up for smog soon.
Posted 30 June 2014 - 12:42 AM
Hey roadsubiedog, I have not had the wagon retested yet. I haven't done anything more except burn 2/3 of the tank down with that product "guaranteed to pass smog" in it. I think Tues or Wed I'll be getting it tested and I will post results after including a photo of the smog test figures. I don't drive the wagon daily so using a full tank takes longer for me. Thanks for asking and take care, Aaron
Posted 29 July 2014 - 06:17 PM
I have not had the wagon retested yet. Once I get it resmogged I'll will post the outcome. Sorry for the delay but it's just the way it has been lately, thanks all. Aaron
Posted 19 September 2014 - 02:48 PM
Finally I know...... After doing the things I listed:
1) checking EGR and replace hose to it I thought may have been causing a vacuum leak
2) using "Motor Flush" and then changing oil and filter
3) locating an exhaust leak on pipe connector just before muffler and putting good new gasket in
4) running gas tank below 1/4 tank adding 1 can Sea Foam and runnning to empty
5) then on a full tank I added the product "Guaranteed to Pass Smog"
6) ran that tank to empty and filled tank with premium 91 octane
After much delay, I took the Subaru in to my mechanic shop that is certified for smog testing and inspection and it failed miserable again. They said bring it back it when they could spend time to figure out whats what. I said it must be the CAT because I knew the EGR was not clogged and was functioning. What else ....could it be, the car idles great, has good power (considering HP), is pretty quiet, doesn't overheat, and has no noticeable smoke or pollution. I mean we all have seen obvious gross polluter vehicles on the roads and you would not think my Subaru was one aside from it age. So, they agreed it would be the CAT but because of California Smog rule B&%$sh%t they had to document that they "tested" the EGR and CAT. They could not simply cut out the old CAT weld in a new one and then retest. So they got a new CAT ordered and then I brought the Subaru back in once they had it. They said they documented some how that the old CAT had "defects" and welded in the new one.
Then they resmogged the Subaru and......Wham bam $604 later the wagon passed easily. I have included photos of the results from the three different tests. My CAT was only 2.5 years old but while desert offroading I had banged it enough and killed it I think. I will be offroad more I am thinking seriously that I should have two complete exhausts set-ups. One with a CAT and one without. I have been told a CAT is like a sponge and can only do its job for so long.
I am required to resmog every 2 years so the system with the CAT would be bolted on just prior to testing and then.....effing problems solved. Hope this helps, Aaron
Posted 19 September 2014 - 03:19 PM
wow. im surprised they assumed it was the cat and were not sure and you got a new one. well im glad it was finally figured out. I have to smog my 84 in January so I was real interested in your gl smog.
im wondering why the cat would fail so fast? usually when they fail the motor will run poorly or not at all.
Posted 19 September 2014 - 04:24 PM
Hi roadsubiedog good to hear from you! I very glad to have it pass and sorry to take so long. I don't know why the motor would run poorly etc with a bad CAT aside from excessive back pressure from a "blocked" or plugged up CAT. In my case I think 1) CATs are probably made as cheap as possible while meeting specifications 2) I probably scrambled or dislodged the insides of mine while driving on many desert roads. One road in particular had deep tire ruts with a high center portion for about 3 miles and the CAT is not protected where it is located. My CAT had a big dent in the bottom front probably from that road. I hope your 84 passes without troubles. Your information says "Reno Area". Are you residing in CA or NV? I thought Nevada had much less restrictive vehicle smog laws? Best wishes
Posted 21 September 2014 - 10:02 AM
I live in the semi communist state of CA. only 20 miles from NV. wish I lived in NV so I wouldn't have to stress the smog test.
ya, I big dent in the Cat probably did it. well glad you are all set. these gls can last a long time. mine has 331,000 miles on it and in the past 11 years have not had a major problem. just mostly maintenance. I plan on keeping it forever.
my smog is due in jan. I plan to do exactly what you did. i'll clean the plugs, change cap and rotor, change oil, check egr, run the guaranteed to pass amd run high octane. also get it nice and hot before having it tested.
need to replace the temp sensor which is making my ECS light come on which auto fails the smog test in CA.
Posted 21 September 2014 - 12:22 PM
Yeah roadsubiedog, thanks it's a big relief to have it pass. The mechanics said the state changes the smog requirements regularly and wants our vintage of cars to fail so they continue to make it harder to pass. Warning lights, poorly inflated tires, and any other FAILS that are not due to actual tail pipe readings are baloney. In America we have far too many laws, regulations, permits, taxes, fees, waiting periods, mandatory inspections, fines, federal-state-local codes.....it goes on and on and is a twisted type of "Freeom". Legislators state and federal (public servants not) deciding how it is best for us to live our lives. Well ......no thank you very much. California is probably one of worst offender states...toxic to small businesses, the poor and the middle class residents. Even those that live, largely on handouts, off the state because that it not freedom in any sense.
Meh, back to our bitchin Subarus lol. I bet you will be fine. If you look at the smog report from my wagon from when it passed. It passed easily as it should, but the CAT did it. Your plan is great because you do maintenance that's great for your wagon. Two suggestions for you friend: 1) If you haven't done it before immediately prior to changing your oil and filter use a "motor flush" product (I used one by "Gunk"). You get the wagon to operating temp, add the flush, run for five minutes, immediately drain completely & then proceed as usual. 2) I would skip buying the guaranteed to pass product because I think it's a scam. One pint of Sea Foam added to a 8-25 gallon tank of gas (and then use the whole tank till empty) is probably money better spent.
Your wagon has a temp sensor? Where is it located? and an ECS? I don't think my wagon has either of those. Nor do I think my wagon has a computer. Thanks again best wishes, Aaron
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