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Tips on passing SMOG? (78 wagon, with issues)


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56 replies to this topic

#1 Kostamojen

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 08:22 PM

Well brian brought the car over :) Im the proud owner of a 78 wagon now! Woo!

On to the complicated stuff... I got one of the temporary registration permits so I can get the car smogged, but the car does have some issues. It seems as if oil is coming from somewhere in the engine bay, dont know where, and its recirculated em masse into the air filter box. After awhile driving, it smokes in the engine bay (not alot, but enough to notice, and alot of it is probably burn off but you can see that there is fresh oil coming from aparently the air filter box). Im not sure whats causing it, but the vacume hoses are fubared and I need to get them back into locations (anyone got a pic I can reference to do this?)

There is also a hole in the muffler, not a big deal, I was planning on getting a 2" header back exhaust with a cat installed, would this improve my emissions passing cabality alot or would it be a waste?

I also need an oil change, what is the best oil to use for the EA71? Just whatever, or something specific?

Is there anything else I should be worry about to pass emissions? I havent had a pre-test yet, but thats what I was going to do tommorow after I get gas and change the oil along with try to fix the vacume hoses.

#2 SuperRallyRoo

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 08:25 PM

Man! a 78 has to be smogged in CA! Whats the cut off year? Its 80 for us as of this year. Sorry for going slightly off topic...

#3 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 09:03 PM

Check your routing of the PCV. Sound like you are puking oil from the passenger vavle cover. If the PCV isn't connected right this will happen....

As for oil, 10w30 is fine.

Engine is WAY too small for 2" headers. Run the stock Header (y-pipe), and anything you like after it. Holes in the muffler will not effect your emmissions - just make it loud.

GD

#4 Erik R

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 09:32 PM

Here in CA, it's 30 calendar years back to the model year of the vehicle.....in this case, 1974.

This is why I have a '71 P/U.....:grin:


A fresh CAT never hurts......just make sure to "burn it in" a little before you take it in to test. Always pre-test, because if you fail, you will get a "gross polluter" status and you will have to go to a "test-only" station for ALL future tests.

#5 Kostamojen

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 11:46 PM

Engine is WAY too small for 2" headers. Run the stock Header (y-pipe), and anything you like after it. Holes in the muffler will not effect your emmissions - just make it loud.

GD

I meant stock header + 2" after that. The exhaust is a total bottleneck after the header, and rusted :-p

#6 Kostamojen

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 11:48 PM

A fresh CAT never hurts......just make sure to "burn it in" a little before you take it in to test. Always pre-test, because if you fail, you will get a "gross polluter" status and you will have to go to a "test-only" station for ALL future tests.

Funny though, since the car doesnt have any cats, or any exhaust silencer :-p

#7 TheSubaruJunkie

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Posted 21 June 2004 - 02:34 AM

Steve, that car needs an oil change. There's a filter in the back, use some Castrol 20w50 in it with a quart of Marvels Mystery Oil. Is oil still making its way into the air filter box?? I think your going to need to get some hoses from the JY cause the original ones fell to pieces. The ones on there now i got from a EA81 at the yard, with a EA82T made to work. Maybe its time for another trip to Carson City??

-Brian

#8 Zefy

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Posted 21 June 2004 - 04:59 PM

you think you guys have it bad... 30 years??? not bad at all!!! up here my friends 69 datsun 510 had to go through smog(or aircare as we call it)...

but ya anyway... i have a few tricks to get you though smog that work... jack up your idle speed to 1500rpm... or around there... just make it idle really fast... before you go in run the car till it is very very got... almost redlining hot... put in really good fuel... it helps...

i dunno about you but up here i have to use a 4wd aircare machine... and they break a lot...

if all else fails you can bring it in on studded tires... you cannot run a car with studded tires on an aircare machine... they might just let you pass...

i have never actually used any of these methods because i have yet to aircare my car aso i don't know if they work...

but good luck!

#9 archemitis

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Posted 21 June 2004 - 05:27 PM

well, some ghetto tricks. get it hot before the test. unplug the fan, and get it close to the red(not too close).
also theres some stuff you can put in the tank that guarantees a pass
thicker oil wouldnt burn past the rings as easy as thinner oil, so that helps too.
theres more, just cant think at the moment.

#10 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 21 June 2004 - 06:23 PM

It's critical that the engine not have any misfires while idleing. Get rid of ALL vacuum leaks as this will lead to a rough idle. Most problems with emmissions on Subaru's are at idle. Getting the carb tuned right is critical to getting the right mixture at idle. Make sure the ignition system is in top form (coil, plugs, wires, cap, rotor, and points/condensor). Ignition problems will lead to misfires, and a single misfire will cause a LOT of unburnt fuel to contaminate your exhaust.

GD

#11 RenaissanceMan

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Posted 21 June 2004 - 06:39 PM

Ok, you cant get rid of all the vacuum lines, in Cali the underhood inspection makes sure all things like EVAP, EGR, and PCV are properly connected, though for a 78 there shouldent be much more than that, if it even has EGR, I dont know, I have never owned one that old. Check out your points and make sure they aint fried, cause that will cause some major issues with misfiring. As for your oil problem, try replacing that PCV valve, or make sure it has the right one for the car. Its a $3 part and could probably use a new one anyway.

#12 NV Zeno

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Posted 21 June 2004 - 07:59 PM

Your car may not have originally had a cat. During that era, some of the Japanese 49-state versions were without cats, some came with them. Hmmm...come to think of it, I believe that is a California model. My experience was with mostly Toyotas back then..I guess it's possible that California (and high altitude) Subarus came without cats.

I like the thicker motor oil idea, that worked for awhile on an Oldsmobile with lots of blowby. (Helped to sell it actually, heh heh) We used 90 weight. In your case, maybe a ridiculously heavy oil (no MMO) could be used temporarily until after the test..then change to normal weight with the MMO.

#13 Erik R

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Posted 21 June 2004 - 09:04 PM

There is no law here that says you can't install a CAT, even if not originally equipped with one.

It will lower your HC's............But it needs to be "burned-in" a few miles before testing to assure it's fully effective and "lit-off".

I installed one on my wife's car and drove it straight down to the test station (Only seven miles). Passed the first try, lowered my HC's down by over 100ppm............and it was not fully burned-in.

Not the cheapest alternative, but advice is worth what you pay for it.........:)

Vacuum leaks are the biggest killer of an otherwise passing engine..........

Oh, don't forget to check your gas cap. They will vacuum test your cap and if it leaks, you will fail the test.

#14 Kostamojen

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Posted 21 June 2004 - 10:16 PM

Ok, that was a horrible failure...

It was actually passing the test, but the car fubared and couldnt get to 25mph! They told me oh well, get it worked on, it would have passed, but we couldnt get it to 25mph... I was freaked out, cause I was just doing 45mph 10 minutes prior.

So they didnt charge me anything, and I left, but OMG the car is sooo fubared!!! I got to 2nd gear, and the car would just go "bug bug bug" and would lurch back and forth and not go any faster even with it floored :(
Also, since the first time I drove it, I barely made it back because it was dying when I was about to get home and it totally died as I pulled in (let off the gas, with the clutch in and it would stall) and its doing this even more now, especially after the smog test.

There is something wrong and I have nooo idea, it could be that vacume regulator that Brian messed with, or it could be the PCV (but it looked fine, anyone have a part number for a new one?) or it could be something with the fuel... I fiddled alot with the idle adjustment screw too trying to get it to idle good (at the smog station it was idling at 950rpms)

Oh and yes I got that filter on, and got some new vacume lines and fixed all the vacume line locations to the right spots, and got the exhaust recurculator going back into the airbox. I dont have a heater hose, because there isnt one and I couldnt find one that was the right length and diameter.

After the test after dinner, I spent that time up to now cleaning out the engine bay so it looks more like an engine rather than a glob of mud, LOL! Looks better now, but its still not running very well at all.

The car does not have a cat. It also has an exhaust leak, that might help it get through emissions, so ill keep that until I can get the motor running right... I put in 10w30 before the test, with the new Fram filter brian had. I dont think the pcv is recurculating oil anymore either, but ya I should replace it.

Any thoughts/ideas? Ive got 3 weeks to get this smoged.

#15 TheSubaruJunkie

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Posted 21 June 2004 - 10:29 PM

The PVC valve is brand new. I dont know why it wont reach 25mph or run, the thing was running great when i drove it over. You did add more fuel right??? cause it was resting on E.

Did you put those new wires on? If so, make sure they're crimped tight. Sounds to me like the car isn't firing on all 4 cyl's. and if thats the case it'd run fine until you tried to reach a higher speed, at which point the spark would be too weak to fire.

Lemme know if you cant get it figured out and i'll try to stop by to take a look at it.

-Brian

P.S.
Find a heater hose that fits, or they'll fail you.

#16 Kostamojen

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 12:03 AM

The PVC valve is brand new. I dont know why it wont reach 25mph or run, the thing was running great when i drove it over. You did add more fuel right??? cause it was resting on E.

Did you put those new wires on? If so, make sure they're crimped tight. Sounds to me like the car isn't firing on all 4 cyl's. and if thats the case it'd run fine until you tried to reach a higher speed, at which point the spark would be too weak to fire.

Lemme know if you cant get it figured out and i'll try to stop by to take a look at it.

-Brian

P.S.
Find a heater hose that fits, or they'll fail you.

Got the fuel, didnt add the new wires. Any idea where to get the right heater hose? Both kragens didnt have the right size, smallest they had was 2" and this one is like 1.5" (4cm actually) and like I need a 3 foot one...

#17 RenaissanceMan

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 12:47 AM

Dang, I coulda gotten you one, my parts plus store has that size of preheater hose, but tomorrow we are closing and becoming a napa store :banghead:

As far as the other 25 mph problem, since it was passing smog, it sounds a lot like fuel starvation, meaning your fuel pump is flaking out, or you have some sediment in the tank thats clogging up stuff. you also might wanna take off the Fuel-Input fitting on the carburetor and make sure something isnt plugging/restricting that. 2 cents for ya

-Mike

#18 NV Zeno

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 01:15 AM

Yup, sounds like fuel starvation..try replacing the fuel filter again. Remember, that car's been sitting a long time and some crud from the tank probably got stirred up enough to get sucked into the fuel system. Never hurts to replace a cheap part. The new plug wires would help, also.

I'm guessing your're talking about the "pre-heater hose" that goes from the exhaust to the air cleaner snorkel. Until I found the correct size, I used the closest size that would fit that was a little larger, and hose-clamped it to the snorkel. I kind of "loose fitted" it at the exhaust end. Passed every time.

My 2 bucks

#19 SUBARU3

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 01:29 AM

Rebuild the carb...cheap and easy.
Flush the motor with gunk motor flush
USE Mobil #1 15W15 Synthetic oil will not produce as high of emissions if burned.

New spark plugs/wires and new coil

Replace ALL vac hoses, although they can appear good, they leak from being hard.

Replace the PVC valve

Adjust the valves.

I have never failed an emissions here and usually the cars run nearly as clean as my Imprezas!!

Oh the Gen1s did not have a CATs till the 80/81 BRAT. Original CA cars "may" have had a CAT, but I'm unsure.

You should be fine! Generally, EA-71s are very clean running when maintained, even with high mileage.

Work from the cheapest/easiest, to the more expensive, more complex repairs.

Regards, Todd

#20 Kostamojen

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 02:09 AM

I have a spare fuel filter ill toss on there tommorow. Ill check the fuel lines and such too to see what is going on with them. I have the service manual, along with the haynes and chiltons manual, so that helps alot for looking up all this, but it is a rather simple engine :P The hard parts are mostly the carb and the vacume.

I also got some of that "garanteed to pass" stuff, ill throw that in tommorow and try get a good run out of the car.

#21 TheSubaruJunkie

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 03:38 AM

Those plug wires really need to be replaced, and if you re-installed the coil backwards in my garage then you would have similar problems. I'd double check everything, and maybe try to get that coil to work.

-Brian

#22 Kostamojen

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 03:06 PM

Ok, I tried again today. At first, it wouldnt even start without dying immediatly afterwards. I tried flooring it while starting it, and it still would die. Fiddled with the idle adjuster, nothing.
So, I threw in the "garanteed to pass" stuff and it still didnt start, but then after a few more tries, it started AND idled fine. So I let it sit there awhile and cook off all the oil and gunk that was on the headers from yesterday, and it was going fine, even adjusted the idle lower so it wasnt so crazy high and it was still running.
Then, I tried to back it up, and as soon as I put it in reverse and let off the clutch, death... :( So I put it back in the driveway, ran it some more, tried again, got it out of the driveway, but as soon as I put it in first and gave it gas, death :( Something is wrong for sure, but im at a loss. I havent worked on carbed cars before, this is my first.

#23 RenaissanceMan

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 10:43 PM

ok, thats either gonna be a MAJOR vacuum leak, or definetly fuel starvation like I said before. You said it was suckin up oil thru the pcv system, how much oil are we talking? you might have got all that oil on the venturi's and gummed up everything, which if thats the case, DEFINETLY rebuild the carb.

#24 TheSubaruJunkie

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 10:53 PM

Did you put new plug wires on?

-Brian

#25 Kostamojen

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 06:46 PM

No brian, like I IM'ed you, I cant find the instructions for the wires. Im going to have to look online to find how to do it. (plus I worked like from 4pm yesterday to now, with only 8 hours between to sleep)




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