Moving to S Cal with 87 Spider. Need advice. - Page 3 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #31 of 131 (permalink) Old 09-24-2010, 04:14 PM
But Mad North-Northwest
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FWIW, Kragen also has stores in Washington state and Nevada.
We ignore the existence of Washington and Nevada here.

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post #32 of 131 (permalink) Old 09-24-2010, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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OK, thanks, gub. Now, I wonder how I never got aroun to asking this basic question, and yes, I can research it out, but figure easier to get it from the members here with a simple post:

1) How many times is one required to do a Smog test in Cal?
2) With the Gold Sheild program, is one roped into a different situation, like, if you go for a gold sheild repair, will one have to do 2 smog tests a year? Once every 2 yrs?

I did read it, and kinda hard to decipher sometimes.....

Thanks a million, people.

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post #33 of 131 (permalink) Old 09-24-2010, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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FWIW, Kragen also has stores in Washington state and Nevada.
Thanks, Gub, and Cheryl. Oh, BTW, in recent posts when replying to Cheryl's posts/links I referred to them as "Pat's" posts, forgetting that yes, it is not Pat, but Cheryl. My apologies.

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post #34 of 131 (permalink) Old 09-24-2010, 05:32 PM
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We ignore the existence of Washington and Nevada here.
Thanks Tom - That's what we thought!

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post #35 of 131 (permalink) Old 09-24-2010, 07:00 PM
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OK, just for my file (yes, I started a file for this project, organizing your info handily) is Kragen in LA? Cal? Where's Kragen (not another Waldo thing)........

Also, this Magnaflow, are all magnaflows the same?
Kragen is part of the CSK Auto Group: Checker, Schuck's, and Kragen...

Magnaflow provides two California-compliant Catalytic converters. Part No. 36511 is a direct replacement of the factory part that includes the down-pipes, cat, etc. Part No. 36104 is a universal cat with a 2-inch inlet and outlet that has to be fitted to the car.

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post #36 of 131 (permalink) Old 09-25-2010, 04:39 AM Thread Starter
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So, looks like 36511 is more of the stock choice here, right? (I do have headers on the engine). This is all in being prepared to know what to do in case I do need one. Dont want to scramble at last minute out in LA on this.......

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post #37 of 131 (permalink) Old 09-25-2010, 09:34 AM
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Yeah, the 36511 is the stock choice, but it is expensive. The Magnaflow list price is somewhere north of $1,000. The list price of the universal cat is over $400, but I got mine for about $125. I don't know what the "over-the-counter" price would be on 36511.

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post #38 of 131 (permalink) Old 09-25-2010, 11:17 AM
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...

1) How many times is one required to do a Smog test in Cal?
2) With the Gold Sheild program, is one roped into a different situation, like, if you go for a gold sheild repair, will one have to do 2 smog tests a year? Once every 2 yrs?

I did read it, and kinda hard to decipher sometimes....
1 smog test every 2 years.

When you get your notice to renew, it will state on the notice, weather or not you are required to have your car smogged. It will also show if you are required to smog at a "Test Only" station, or if you can go to any place that can do a your smog test. Test only places are not allowed to do any repairs on your car, or supposed to be associated with a shop that can repair your car. Gold Shield places are a little different, in that you can do "Test Only" and they can do the required repairs to make your car smog compliant. These places have the required certification to do these repairs (they paid to get it). The only thing that would make it a different situation, is if you are trying to get the state to help pay for what is necessary to make your car smog compliant (most likely easier to use a Gold Shield station).

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So, looks like 36511 is more of the stock choice here, right? (I do have headers on the engine). This is all in being prepared to know what to do in case I do need one. Dont want to scramble at last minute out in LA on this.......
Uh-Oh now you're screwed, you have headers! Your car is illegal. Using a two piece manifold makes you illegal as well. If you need a new one only thing you can do is put on the old manifold and original downpipes and cat!

How handy is your son with the tools? Until he builds up a relationship of trust with a shop out here, meaning they know he isn't working for the state trying to catch them doing something naughty, most will not do anything that involves modification or removal of any legally required smog equipment. They do not want to risk losing their license or get fined. This does not mean however, that they can't do what is necessary to make your car legally compliant while on their property, at the same time making it so that you can easily change things out on your own, somewhere other than their shop.

If your Cat is fresh new and working, wouldn't bother changing it unless you have to. You have the O2 sensor still? You're going to need that to be legal and tested.

You could get it setup before the move, to have a provision in the system, to swap out cat or straight pipe (hollow cat), with a "Ca. certified legal" cat before its out here. Still illegal, but probably legal looking enough.

Easy enough to find an exhaust shop out here that can find you an "inexpensive" Ca. legal universal cat and put it in. Only have to make sure they install with flanges or slipfit pipes so its easier to do whatever you want on your own, otherwise they will usually cut it out and weld it in.

FWIW, I believe that most all of the cats including the 49 state versions can still pass the CA. required specs. Its a matter of weather or not the manufacturer wanted to go through the hassle of getting the required certification and little numbers engraved on the outside of the new Ca. cats. Passing on the extra cost on to you. Example can be seen with the IAP cats available (not badmouthing IAP on this, its a Ca. certification thing (although it could probably be made and sold for less money)). An almost $100 difference to get, most likely the same cat, with some stupid numbers engraved on it.

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post #39 of 131 (permalink) Old 09-25-2010, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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1 smog test every 2 years.

When you get your notice to renew, it will state on the notice, weather or not you are required to have your car smogged. It will also show if you are required to smog at a "Test Only" station, or if you can go to any place that can do a your smog test. Test only places are not allowed to do any repairs on your car, or supposed to be associated with a shop that can repair your car. Gold Shield places are a little different, in that you can do "Test Only" and they can do the required repairs to make your car smog compliant. These places have the required certification to do these repairs (they paid to get it). The only thing that would make it a different situation, is if you are trying to get the state to help pay for what is necessary to make your car smog compliant (most likely easier to use a Gold Shield station).



Uh-Oh now you're screwed, you have headers! Your car is illegal. Using a two piece manifold makes you illegal as well. If you need a new one only thing you can do is put on the old manifold and original downpipes and cat!

How handy is your son with the tools? Until he builds up a relationship of trust with a shop out here, meaning they know he isn't working for the state trying to catch them doing something naughty, most will not do anything that involves modification or removal of any legally required smog equipment. They do not want to risk losing their license or get fined. This does not mean however, that they can't do what is necessary to make your car legally compliant while on their property, at the same time making it so that you can easily change things out on your own, somewhere other than their shop.

If your Cat is fresh new and working, wouldn't bother changing it unless you have to. You have the O2 sensor still? You're going to need that to be legal and tested.

You could get it setup before the move, to have a provision in the system, to swap out cat or straight pipe (hollow cat), with a "Ca. certified legal" cat before its out here. Still illegal, but probably legal looking enough.

Easy enough to find an exhaust shop out here that can find you an "inexpensive" Ca. legal universal cat and put it in. Only have to make sure they install with flanges or slipfit pipes so its easier to do whatever you want on your own, otherwise they will usually cut it out and weld it in.

FWIW, I believe that most all of the cats including the 49 state versions can still pass the CA. required specs. Its a matter of weather or not the manufacturer wanted to go through the hassle of getting the required certification and little numbers engraved on the outside of the new Ca. cats. Passing on the extra cost on to you. Example can be seen with the IAP cats available (not badmouthing IAP on this, its a Ca. certification thing (although it could probably be made and sold for less money)). An almost $100 difference to get, most likely the same cat, with some stupid numbers engraved on it.
Man, I knew it.....to good to be true. Sorry, people, I shoulda mentioned this before, but it just hit me. Yes, it has headers. LOL. (shaking head, left/right, disbelief).

Dang. My son is kinda handy, but that is irrelevant as he wont have any tools when he gets a place there in Cal. I will have to do it here in FL before he moves there. Im sure I could find a manifold to pop in.

The cat has been on there since we bought it in 2004. A shop said its a high flow one. Not sure if thats good/bad, but like you said, maybe its still in good working order.

Now, for the tech record, do headers really contribute to smog vs stock manifold? If so, How? I cant see it.....

Thaks Shadow!!! (oh, just told my son up at FSU headers got to go and he said "aw maaaaaaaaannnnnnn!!!!!!!"

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post #40 of 131 (permalink) Old 09-25-2010, 12:46 PM
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No, headers probably don't effect emissions much at all, but it doesn't matter. You're not allowed to modify anything unless the replacement part has been certified in CA.

Now, if stuff *looks* stock it can pass. It depends how clued-in your smog guy is about what's stock and what's not: remember, these guys aren't Alfa experts. But you makes your mods, you takes your chances. Personally I try to keep everything as stock as possible.

Unless it's been run rich or seen a ton of miles a 2004 converter should still be good, no question. Only way to tell for sure is with an emissions tester, though.

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post #41 of 131 (permalink) Old 09-25-2010, 11:30 PM
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I ‘m with shadowburn on waiting to register in CA. When I moved to LA 9 yrs ago I kept my MA plates and license for a year without incident while I decided whether or not I was staying. About 6 months in I was stopped at a DUI check point and upon seeing my plates they only asked me if I’d just moved to CA, mentioned that I would need to register it here soon and sent me on my way.

Your FL insurance surely covers you in while you are “visiting” other states and until your son is settled and sure he wants to stay in LA (it’s not for everyone and takes time to know that) I’d give it at least a few months. Assuming he doesn’t accumulate an incriminating trail of moving violations and parking tickets in CA, no one will know how long he’s been here.

As for smogging- I recently bought a ’92 spider. The dealer I bought it from admitted the day I came to finalize the paperwork and pick up the car that oops, he did not have a current smog cert for the car (btw it’s illegal to sell one w/out it here, the jerk ) but he was confident it would pass.
I had my doubts since my mechanic who did my PPI noted the car needed a new catalytic converter.

Conveniently there was a Test Only station right next door to the dealer. We had it tested and it failed. We then went to a nearby mechanic who installed an aftermarket cat and about 1 hour and $297 later –parts+labor (dealer paid of course) the car had a new cat. And it passed smog. It was not a big deal and while I was not happy about waiting around while all this was sorted out, in the end I was surprised how easily the issue was resolved. Relatively cheap aftermarket cats as shadowburn mentioned are easy to come by here.

Perhaps you can simply swap out the header in preparation for the move but wait until he’s in CA to do the rest until he’s settled in? As mentioned, any alfa shop: Santos, Johns Alfa, etc. can help prepare the car to pass or refer you to a good muffler shop who can quickly set you up with an aftermarket cat. And it is possible that it may not need anything.

Another note: Make sure your suspension is in top notch condition. LA street surfaces are officially the worst in the country and deteriorating as I write. I have family in Fl and I’m always shocked by the contrast when I visit. Florida roads seem like glass to me. If anything is not up to par with your spider’s suspension it can make getting around LA very unpleasant.
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post #42 of 131 (permalink) Old 09-26-2010, 06:01 AM Thread Starter
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Thaks, gubi and jullian. I like stock too. Im gonna look for a stock manifold...probably on car-part.com. Less things to worry about once hes out there. As far as staying there, hes probably gonna stay cuz thats the movie business heart. Still, may delay registration as long as it seems appropriate..

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post #43 of 131 (permalink) Old 09-26-2010, 09:52 AM
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Joe,
You have gotten some great advise here. I would try to get that stock manifold back on before the move. There is an amount of time involved ($) that you don't need to be paying to a shop out here.
I wouldn't worry about the Cat. Here's how Santo handled the smog issue on my 90 Quad. He took it to the smog shop he uses, and they discovered a bad cat. They then took it to the muffler shop and had an aftermarket cat installed, and returned it to the smog inspection.
Done deal! The next day I had my smog certificate. User friendly. Plug and Play.
I might have saved some money doing the legwork myself. Maybe three or four dollars! And perhaps it still might not have passed.
Your son will have steeper mountains to climb. Having been in the Film & TV business for over 35 years, I can attest to that.

Keeth Lawrence
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post #44 of 131 (permalink) Old 09-28-2010, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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Joe,
You have gotten some great advise here. I would try to get that stock manifold back on before the move. There is an amount of time involved ($) that you don't need to be paying to a shop out here.
I wouldn't worry about the Cat. Here's how Santo handled the smog issue on my 90 Quad. He took it to the smog shop he uses, and they discovered a bad cat. They then took it to the muffler shop and had an aftermarket cat installed, and returned it to the smog inspection.
Done deal! The next day I had my smog certificate. User friendly. Plug and Play.
I might have saved some money doing the legwork myself. Maybe three or four dollars! And perhaps it still might not have passed.
Your son will have steeper mountains to climb. Having been in the Film & TV business for over 35 years, I can attest to that.
Thanks, Lawrence. Good to have a continuous interest in out plight. People like you (and the others of course) go far in easing our tribulations.

Im convinced the stoc manifold is a must. Only thing is I wont be able to do the whole job, as I dont have a welder. No bigee, big item is getting the manifold, of course.

Now, you say you were in the film business/ Cool, Man! Are you still? I need to have my little boy talk to you, if possible. Alfa's and film.......a good combo, eh? (he's almost done with his "final exam thesis movie"). I'll be one of the credits, hehe. Not to hijack the thread.

Santo and stock manifold. Got it.

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post #45 of 131 (permalink) Old 09-28-2010, 05:24 PM
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If you get the manifold, you're also going to need the downpipes. Get both of them used, cut off the old cat, slipfit in a new one, and may be possible you won't really need a welder. Depends on how the header mated up to the rest of the system, and if the pipes are way off from where they would be compared to stock.

If he finds Santos too far, he has other choices. Being in LA/Hollywood, he'll be lucky, as he'll have a small network of ALFA mechanics around the area. He'll also have ALFA Italia, Omega Motorsports, ALFA Milano, and my personal favorite, Benny at John's ALFA Romance.

While changing your setup back to stock is a little more insurance that there won't be a problem with smog/registration, its no guarantee. If your current setup is working, with a cat and O2 sensor, if it was brought into any of these ALFA mechanics to get smogged, they will probably use there favorite smog place, and it will probably pass visually (not talking about having it "passed"). Even if he brought it into a place himself, I bet it would pass. For the most part, the people at these smog places are not really familiar with ALFAs at all. My experience anyway. Last time I went, they still put a stick in the gas filler to make sure it still had the restriction for unleaded fuel only. Seriously, where the hell do they even sell leaded fuel in California, let alone the rest of the states. They looked to see if there was an O2 sensor, but not if it was actually connected. Didn't even care or know there was a 2 piece manifold in place of the 1 piece. Oh, every time I go to get smogged, I am told my timing is off if I pass or don't pass! I just say, "really?" and walk away.

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