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emission test help

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by cward05, Feb 9, 2005.

  1. cward05

    cward05 Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 113

    Hello everyone, I may in a bit of a pickle...I have an 83 chevy k10 shortbed with either a 305 or 350...I just received a notice for emissions testing in ct (I hear they are strict) and I bought the truck this past April from New Hampshire where there is no required emissions testing...my problem is, for some reason, perhaps a hunch, I have a feeling it will not pass. It has dual exhuast and headers (which I hear are illegal). I have the plow currently on and have some ballast in the back. Is there anything I can do to ensure it will pass the test? Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks. Oh, and I just had a tune up this past summer (oil and filter change, headers reconnected to pipes, and air filter change, spark plugs too)
  2. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    Headers and duals aren't necessarily illegal. Depends on the local laws, whether it originally had AIR injection, etc. Do you still have cats on the truck? That is probably manditory.

    I would go talk to the person you intend to take the truck to. Explain what has been done with it, blame the previous owner for EVERTHING! If you don't like what you hear, try a second shop.

    Most tests on these older vehicles are pretty easy. If all of your emission junk is still on board, even just enough to pass a visual, you are halfway there. As long as the engine runs well with no smoke, misfires, etc. etc. it should pass ok at the sniffer, at worst needing a carb adjustment or something. As long as the tune-up parts (cap, rotor, wires, plugs, pcv, air filter) are fairly new, you should be in good shape that way.

    As for advice, make sure it is up to proper temperature before taking it in for the test! Run it up the highway for a few minutes, get it good and hot.

    Other than that, just try it and see.
  3. cward05

    cward05 Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 113

    Thanks for the advice. The truck does not have cats on it, that was my main concern. Any more tricks of the trade would be greately appreciated.
  4. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    You'll probably need them, if nothing else to pass the visual test. They are so easy to spot if they are missing.

    They have gotten pretty cheap for universal ones (like Catco etc.) and with nothing but a hacksaw, floor jack, and socket set, you could install them in your driveway. All they will do is make your engine run cleaner. You want them as close to the headers as possible for maximum exhaust heat to 'light off' the junk in the exhaust...
  5. BigRedBarn

    BigRedBarn Senior Member
    Messages: 133

    This is good advice (above).

    If the inspections and tests are like NY State, then the model year determines what's done. For example, those new "plug-into-the-engine's-computer-port" tests here are for only certain very-late-model vehicles.

    As recommended, the cat converters are a key, and you can get those universal after-market ones for a reasonable amount. They're typically pretty small compared to original cats, so they probably aren't made to last a long time, maybe?

    Also, car bone yards often have cat converters piled up in the front areas as they recycle them or some such thing for the precious metals in them. As long as you have them on the vehicle, whether or not they work may not matter.

    A friend knew his car's cat converter was bad, so he dismantled it, removed the innards and carefully reassembled it. The cat converter was there, but it was empty. Thus, there should be nearly no change in back pressure for an empty converter, right?

    Just my 2¢.
  6. sonjaab

    sonjaab PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    BIG.........I hear ya about the cats passing the "visual" part of NYS inspection!Pretty sure it effects 75 and up model years. SOME weight trucks are exempt.
    Most of the motorheads I know "hog" out the guts on their cats on newer cars.

    The new NYS inspection policy is getting pretty tough ! SES light on....You Fail! Sniffer test too !
    Pretty sure it costs $30 for inspection too ! Local indy shop just spent $$$$ for a new test machine............NY is gonna be worse than California soon :realmad:

    C Ward.......Call your local DMV for NH inspection info. to be sure !!!!!!
  7. joe_padavano

    joe_padavano Member
    Messages: 68

    Emissions test requirements vary from state to state, so you do need to ask. More importantly, many testers are not well versed in what aftermarket mods may or may not be acceptable, so just asking the guy at the test station may not provide you with correct info. Most states have a referee station for just such instances. It might pay to check with them.

    As for the cats, if the truck was only equipped with a single cat and a Y-pipe, you may be requried to install this if your truck currently has true duals. The reason is that two cats may not "light-off" quickly enough to pass the cold start emissions requirements. Unfortunately test stations can't test for this, so they rely on a visual match to what was factory and assume that's good enough.

    The bottom line is that you will be required to have all the equipment that was factory installed hooked up. If you do, most states have a repair cost maximum dollar amount that you must pay for repairs. If the vehicle still doesn't pass, you'll get an exemption. Of course, if any factory equipment is missing or has been tampered with, there are no cost limits on repairs and no exemptions.

    Headers are not grounds for disqualification if they have an approval or C.A.R.B. exemption number.
  8. Rick Loncosky

    Rick Loncosky Senior Member
    from 17557
    Messages: 102

    Here's another thing to look into. What kind of exemptions do they have in your state? I just got my 77K10 and was exempt due to not going over 5,000 miles a year :drinkup: So I can have headers etc. - etc. This is PA, maybe there is something the same for you.
  9. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    The Catco brand of universal convertors sells around here for about $90 Canadian each and comes with a 5 year warrenty... good deal if you ask me. They are the newer monolithic type, not the heavy and restrictive old pellet type. There are cheapie ones available here for beaters that aren't expected to live very long anyways going for less than half of that, with no warrenty at all.

    For the price of those, which is no where near what they used to be, I wouldn't even consider hollowing out a cat... which would only help you if they use a visual only test! The cat makes a HUGE difference in the output from your engine! Therefore, if you need to pass a sniffer test, it won't help you anyways. As the gasses pass over the material in the cat, the heat mixed with chemical reaction converts a lot of the nasty stuff into carbon dioxide and water vapour.... hence why they put them on everything now!

    I wondered about light-off time too. To cure that problem on my S15 (which went thru emission testing with a carbed 3.8 in place of the TBI 2.8 AND passed with flying colours), when I went to dual exhaust, I purchased a dual-inlet dual-outlet catalytic convertor (it was also a Catco product) and ran the exhaust down one side (following the stock path) and made the split near the tailpipe... still true duals but no one can complain about light-off time.

    Also, not many people think about light-off anyways. Most e-testers are just some dude who took a one-week course at the local college. The GM dealer in town here uses the same kid who does their oil changes.

    If I was in your case, (which I am on the big truck, just havent taken it in yet) I would put the twin small cats on and go from there. If they give you flack about light-off I would argue that they are physically smaller than stock and take less time to get to running temperature anyways. If it passes the sniffer test and it comes down to visual, a solid arguement like that will probably get you through anyways.

    Again, bring it to them HOT so it will have burned up anything in the system and the convertors will be lit up anyways.
  10. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    ps I had the cheapie disposable cat on the big truck for one winter and it was extremely rusty and the heat shield was falling off... don't waste the money on those!!