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Discussion Starter #1
I had no plans to do this, and god knows I, the sedan guy, have too many Spiders already. But this 77 Spider was on CL and the seller was going to turn it in to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District on Saturday, for $1500, to be cut up if it didn't sell. She had one looker some weeks ago, I only noticed the ad this week, looked at it yesterday. Runs OK, one low-ish cylinder that may or may not be a major problem, but I've been building a lot of engines lately, so what the heck. Her dad bought it with 8000 miles in 1981, it's been on the Peninsula and SF ever since. White with oxblood seats, cheap repaint long ago.

Picked it up today at the SF Ferry Building and drove it home over the Bay Bridge. Managed to get her to work against her interest and take a few hundred off her guaranteed $1500 in the interest of not crushing it. I was not dying for a late Spica Spider, but sending it to be cut up feels like drowning cats or clubbing puppies; I can't stand it. We recycled our Explorer with the Air Board earlier this year after the engine catastrophically died, and the junkyard where you turn it in immediately defaces every single panel on the car so it cannot be sold for parts; it has to be crushed.

I looked at it yesterday in the Marina in SF, met her in my red Bosch Spider, then drove home across the Golden Gate and San Rafael Bridges. Spiders can have their moments.

Another brilliant move, anticipating the market for single-exhaust, air-pump, big-bumper Spica Spiders. I know their time will come! SCM will back me up!

Andrew
 

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Andrew: You have the disease and you have it bad.

Looks like you already scavenged the e-brake lever handle:

 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
It was already missing. Only thing I've done so far is air the tires and attempt to check the timing. So much white paint on the pulley from the ancient repaint, I don't see how it could ever have been checked. Plus the flamin' air pump is right in the way.

Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, like I say, no one even came to look at it in the last two weeks. Spiders are a dime a dozen here, cheap, and late Spica ones are the bottom of the barrel. It's the rare car that's better in person than in the pictures.

Well, it's an Air Board program to get categorical heavy polluters (like 1974-1992 or something) off the road. The CA legislature voted money for it, and the state Bureau of Auto Repair and regional air quality boards use that money to buy "junker polluters" within those years. When I turned in the Explorer, a woman was junking a Volvo V70 XC Allroad, but she had many thousands in transmission repairs, still not solved, and she just wanted to be done with it. It's an easy way to get rid of a problem or unwanted car, get some money, and not have to deal with CL flakes. I got a free Honda 125 last week, all the CL takers ahead of me flaked. I don't understand it.

You may have your views about the state smog program. But the state has an air quality goal, as do the feds, and Calif has always gotten special provisions because of its very bad air problems, since the original Clean Air Act (hence 49-state and Calif separate models in the 70s). The Fresno-Bakersfield corridor has some of the worse air in the country for a variety of traffic, commerce, farming, and weather reasons.

Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The letter of the law is no, you can't modify an engine, really any engine, that has smog controls. Doesn't matter whether it's subject to smog checks (1976 and later) or not. Whatever equipment was there is still supposed to be there. Practically speaking, on a 1975 or earlier, the only way you'll have a problem is if there's a roadside sniffer that busts you and they look you over. I've heard of such a thing but never seen one. For 1976 and later, a reputable smog mechanic will not smog it if all the original equipment, or CARB-approved modifications (Edelbrock stuff, smog-legal headers on V8s, etc), is not in place, and it passes the dyno test. I don't know of any CARB-approved aftermarket Alfa stuff except maybe Magnaflow exhausts and cats.

Internally, as long as the car meets the tailpipe test, they can't possible know or check what's inside. I've smogged Spica cars with Motronic pistons, which should make the car run better, not worse. I've heard of folks getting by with Euro cams and the like, but I'm going stock other than maybe better pistons. We'll see.

Andrew
 

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Nice work Andrew!

I saw that ad on CL, but don't have the garage space and that model year requires smog certification.

FYI Many of those cars donated to charity go straight to the salvage yard and then on to the crusher.

Found the donation paperwork in one Spider at Pick'n'Pull. Also, noticed the statement all cars rated at less than 27 MPG will be sent to salvage on one charity's solicitation.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
The program I went through, you go to a contract junkyard (Pic n Pull in Richmond), they process the car, deface it, send the paperwork to the state, give you a check. And off it goes to the crusher. It does not go into the junkyard. You never deal with a state person, you deal with private companies that contract for it.

I didn't know that about auctions, but I'm not surprised. I know the guy who runs Auction City in Redwood City. He is full of fun/crazy stories.

Andrew
 

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This car is the spitting image of one I bought in KC and dragged to California (Fresno, strangely enough) early 80's. It had all its smog gear stripped off, so I went through 7 levels of hell trying to find all the relevant bits, to get it smogged and registered there. Brought back all sorts of memories, looking at these pics...good luck with getting it running well.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Moved it this AM, started first turn, so it starts hot and cold fine. Spica seems to be in the ballpark. Actuator looks like a rebuilt one, but I haven't had the airbox off yet.

Andrew
 

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I know this is an Alfa spider forum, not a smog and california emissions forum, but I have a 1989 Jeep Grand Wagoneer that $1500 would be nicely spent on my 1974 spider. It has NY plates. How long does it have to be in CA to get this $$?
 

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I know this is an Alfa spider forum, not a smog and california emissions forum, but I have a 1989 Jeep Grand Wagoneer that $1500 would be nicely spent on my 1974 spider. It has NY plates. How long does it have to be in CA to get this $$?
From CA Vehicle Bug Back Program
The Vehicle Buy Back Program buys used vehicles from CA motorists. The program offers a flat $1500 to low income applicants, and $1000 to above income vehicle owners.

Your vehicle must have failed a recent smog check in order to be eligible for the Buy Back Program. Your vehicle must not have a tampered emission system(s), and the smog check failure must not be due solely to an ignition timing adjustment failure or gas cap functional test. An illuminated check engine light or malfunction indicator lamp is smog check failure.

Click Here (CAP Eligibility Requirements) for a complete list of vehicle buy back eligibility requirements.
The CA officials are not dumb; their list of eligibility requirements eliminates the path to buying newly imported clunkers into CA.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
It has to be current CA registered and have a smog check. I think it wouldn't be worth it to try.
Andrew
 

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1984 GTV6, 1973 Berlina, 1987 Milano
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Thank you Andrew for saving another one! That looks like a pretty good pick for $1500.
 

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1984 GTV6, 1973 Berlina, 1987 Milano
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I know this is an Alfa spider forum, not a smog and california emissions forum, but I have a 1989 Jeep Grand Wagoneer that $1500 would be nicely spent on my 1974 spider. It has NY plates. How long does it have to be in CA to get this $$?
You should be able to get $1500 for that just by throwing it on Craigslist if it runs. It would likely bring close to that at the wholesale auctions.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
In prep to register/smog, and to put off working on the Giulietta trunk project, I looked into the compression. Pulled the plugs and cam cover, I knew the plugs were running about right on mixture but showing some oil burning. They may have been in there years, I don't know. Cleaned them up and gapped them. Cam lobes look OK, clearances are good, all about .001 or .002 tight, not really a big deal. Cam timing was within a mark's width, though I cannot see the pulley P mark due to the air pump, working off a TDC pointer in the #1 cylinder. It's close.

Various vacuum lines were broken and/or blocked, fixed those, fixed a sloppy rod end on the Spica long rod. Oil vapor separator was just nasty with crud, could barely blow through it, and oil drain port to dipstick tube was blocked. Cleaned all that and put it back. Opened up the air filter, and either someone drove through the world's biggest pile of leaves, or someone was nesting in the back of the air box. Tossed those filters, cleaned the box and the air pump filter, put in another filter I had lying around. Fired it up, runs fine. Got it warm, checked the compression, now all above 170. So either the nest was blocking airflow, which is possible but I'd say not likely, or there was just crud on a valve seat, etc. that made one low cylinder temporarily.

The other experience like this I've had where bad numbers turned good was a Bosch Spider, on which the throttle bellcrank was frozen, so in doing a compression test you really weren't letting in any air.

Still a big exhaust leak, need to look at that before I go to the smog guys. A couple hours well spent, all in all.

I have the engine and pump numbers, will check tomorrow to see if they're likely original. My guess is yes.
Andrew
 

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