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Discussion Starter #1
HI folks!

Well, my '86 Spider Veloce is refusing to pass emissions this time around here in NJ. It has always passed without a problem (ie, way below limits), but it is not getting the job done this year, and I'm a few years away from qualifying for HIstoric Car status (need to be 25).

Anyway, after failing 3 times (I've replaced gaskets, filters, O2 sensor, and used chemicals), the inspection folks finally tipped me off to "Collector Vehicle Status" here in NJ. Qualifications are a car less than 25 (because then it needs to go for HIstoric plates), no more than 3k miles per year (no problem, I probably don't even put 1k on her), and (here is the catch) proof from "the manufacturer, a recognized car club [on letterhead], or collector organizations that the vehicle was issued in a limited edition quantity or that a limited quantity of the original production run remains."

Now, of course, they don't give specific numbers here. Hell, we all know this was produced in far less numbers than, say, an Accord. But, anyway, I was hoping to hear of someone who has gone through this OR just ideas in general of what my next step should be to obtain this "proof."

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!!
 

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Sounds to me like a letter from the Alfa Romeo Owners Club should be what you'll need. web site - if you aren't currently a member is:
www.aroc-usa.org/
Good Luck (or move to PA where the Classic car tags start at 15 years, and only mechanical inspections, or if the car is driven less than 5K miles in the past 365 days, it needs no emission inspection regardless of age).

Gary Knox
West Chester, PA
'91 Spider V (soon to arrive!!), and several Porsche 928's & MB's.
 

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The collector vehicle status may be a good idea in and of itself, but you really need to find out why your car won't pass - if for no other reason than it is probably not performing as well as it could right now.

Have you done a compression/leakdown test? That will give you a general idea of the health of the motor. You can also check that your cat is performing correctly.

Joe
 

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Welcomes to both Qbrozen and Gary!

...that the vehicle was issued in a limited edition quantity or that a limited quantity of the original production run remains."
The '86 Spider Veloce was not a limited edition vehicle so that rules that out. Alfa designated a starting chassis number of ZAR115410*00036011 for the 86 Veloce. The '87 Veloce starting chassis number was 00048011. Doing the math, that's 12,000 chassis. This does not mean though that 12,000 chassis were built. It means that Alfa allocated 12,000 chassis numbers for the '86 Veloce. In order to persue collector car status on the second part of your question, one would need to A) determine the actual number of chassis produced and B) determine how many are left. Both of which would be monumental, if not impossible, tasks.

I'm with Joe on this. Determine what is wrong with the car and fix it. Given whats been done so far, I'd lean toward the cat converter needing replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks for the suggestions. I figure a cat may do the trick ... but it may not. At this very moment, I don't want to have to spend the money to find out. I've put alot into my vehicles this year and the budget just isn't going to allow any more. And considering how little I drive the Alfa, it doesn't concern me to put this off a while, if I can.

Like you said, papajam, getting the status would be good no matter what.

I believe I read somewhere that the '86 Spider was the biggest selling year for it in the United States, which of course doesn't bode well for my cause. But considering I see more Ferraris on the road than Alfas, I believe collector car status really shouldn't be that difficult.
 

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HI folks!

Well, my '86 Spider Veloce is refusing to pass emissions this time around here in NJ. It has always passed without a problem (ie, way below limits), but it is not getting the job done this year, and I'm a few years away from qualifying for HIstoric Car status (need to be 25).

Anyway, after failing 3 times (I've replaced gaskets, filters, O2 sensor, and used chemicals), the inspection folks finally tipped me off to "Collector Vehicle Status" here in NJ. Qualifications are a car less than 25 (because then it needs to go for HIstoric plates), no more than 3k miles per year (no problem, I probably don't even put 1k on her), and (here is the catch) proof from "the manufacturer, a recognized car club [on letterhead], or collector organizations that the vehicle was issued in a limited edition quantity or that a limited quantity of the original production run remains."

Now, of course, they don't give specific numbers here. Hell, we all know this was produced in far less numbers than, say, an Accord. But, anyway, I was hoping to hear of someone who has gone through this OR just ideas in general of what my next step should be to obtain this "proof."

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!!

I just did it a few wks. ago. I didn't need to prove anything about "...limited editon quantity...". I was also told that it DOES NOT save you from a fine if you get stoped for a random emissions test.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I just did it a few wks. ago. I didn't need to prove anything about "...limited editon quantity...". I was also told that it DOES NOT save you from a fine if you get stoped for a random emissions test.
random emissions test?? I've never heard of such a thing. What is this all about? Are cops carrying emissions equipment in their trunk these days?? And why would someone who isn't required to pass emissions need to worry about it?

Unfortunately, I believe the rules for collector vehicle status have changed. The form I have states something to the effect "After September 1, 2007 you have to do the following..." So if only I had known about this the first or 2nd time I failed, I probably could have had no problem getting the sticker. :mad:
 

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random emissions test?? I've never heard of such a thing. What is this all about? Are cops carrying emissions equipment in their trunk these days?? And why would someone who isn't required to pass emissions need to worry about it?

Unfortunately, I believe the rules for collector vehicle status have changed. The form I have states something to the effect "After September 1, 2007 you have to do the following..." So if only I had known about this the first or 2nd time I failed, I probably could have had no problem getting the sticker. :mad:
Bummer. Good luck.
 

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You should not have a problem getting the sticker now, either... Nonetheless, you are placing the cart before the horse. A stock '86 Spider that does not pass emissions is a poor running car. (No, I don't want to argue about how it just "feels fine, etc.") Guessing that it probably needs a new catalytic converter is also not the way to diagnose the root cause and speaking in $$ terms, trial and error is definitely the most wasteful approach. A well kept Bosch injected Spider is not expensive to maintain, but if you defer maintenance, it will be.

You may also want to state where in NJ you are located, and perhaps we can point you to a shop that will fix the issue for you. (There is an excellent one in Newark, just one block away from the train station. They are open late during the week and on Saturdays.)

Best regards,
 

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I'm in NJ too and in the process of resolving my emission failure. Test site was in Wayne, NJ.
I'm ready to drop off my car at my mechanics ( not an Lafa mechanic) who also does state emissions. If not totally out of whack the garage can eventually MAKE a car pass, I mean IF the can is not totally off the charts with the readings. I have purchased a O2 sensor which I believe will fix the problem. After withnessing the torture test at the emission station and having to explain for the 1Millionth time why the gas cap is a screw on and thus exempt fronm the gas cap test.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm in Jackson.

And, really, speaking in money terms, I've always found that taking it to a shop is the most wasteful. I'm not just referring to Alfa here, of course. I've always repaired/maintained my own vehicles. And, believe me, I always take great care of my cars.

The Alfa, of course, takes a back seat to my daily drivers, unfortunately. It is not a matter of neglect as much as it is a matter of time and $$. As a matter of fact, my inspection expired back in February, but it wasn't until June that I took it to the station because I had it stored for the winter, then when I started getting her ready in the spring, I decided to replace the rear springs, motor mounts, tranny mount, U-joints, put in a new stereo, etc, etc. So it was then laid up for months while I slowly did the work. This is the life of my Alfa over the past 8 years I've owned it, hence the roughly 6k miles in those 8 years. Yes, I will find the root of the problem, but I would prefer to start on that in November. And, even if I were to decide to take it to a shop at that time to figure out why it won't pass inspection, I won't be able to do that legally since it won't pass inspection. Kind of a catch-22, ya know?

There is an "Italian" shop in Red Bank. My wife called there once because she was feeling generous and wanted us to pay someone else to do some work for me to free up some of my time. I asked that she just get a rough quote on the phone for something like replacing the rear springs. It would give me an idea of their pricing. Well, they wouldn't do it. Basically, the answer was that my car had to audition for the privelege of being worked on in their shop. ummmmm.... alrighty then! It just reminded me of why I do my own work.

Anyway, as far as my emissions go, I believe it is a bunch of things. I believe my valves are out of whack, for one thing. I've wanted to replace/rebuild the head for years now anyway. Based on the condition when I bought it, this poor car lived a very very hard first 90k miles of its life. The cat really has had it, too. I welded up some holes in it last year. It is more than likely original. The O2 sensor was in very bad shape when I pulled it (caked up), so that was money well spent. And, of course, the leaking gasket I mentioned earlier was a definite necessity.

I'm not giving up on it by any means, and I'm not neglecting it. The moment I ordered all new floor panels 6 years ago put me on a one-way street in this car with no exit ramp in sight.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm in NJ too and in the process of resolving my emission failure. Test site was in Wayne, NJ.
I'm ready to drop off my car at my mechanics ( not an Lafa mechanic) who also does state emissions. If not totally out of whack the garage can eventually MAKE a car pass, I mean IF the can is not totally off the charts with the readings. I have purchased a O2 sensor which I believe will fix the problem. After withnessing the torture test at the emission station and having to explain for the 1Millionth time why the gas cap is a screw on and thus exempt fronm the gas cap test.
Good grief, tell me about it! You really want to run out there and smack the tester upside the head, don't you? Like I said, I've done it 3 times in 3 months and it is just brutal. They ALWAYS manage to grind the gears!! AND, by the time they are done, the water temp is nearing the red.

Anyway, I thought about a shop that will "make" it pass. I visited one such place ... its a long story, but what it came down to was I didn't want to spend the money he wanted and NOT fix the car. I took both my '87 bimmer and the alfa to this guy. He said he wasn't sure about the Alfa, but said he could get the bimmer by for $375. Hmmmm... a new cat was $360 delivered to my house. So I did that instead. It passed with flying colors. So I feel the same thing about the Alfa. Basically, if I can't afford to get the car fixed, I'm certainly not giving that kind of money for a sticker.

With my new O2 sensor, the Alfa just BARELY failed this last trip. I want to fix it, but I don't want to go through inspection again.
 

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...
Anyway, as far as my emissions go, I believe it is a bunch of things. I believe my valves are out of whack, for one thing. I've wanted to replace/rebuild the head for years now anyway. Based on the condition when I bought it, this poor car lived a very very hard first 90k miles of its life. The cat really has had it, too. I welded up some holes in it last year. It is more than likely original. The O2 sensor was in very bad shape when I pulled it (caked up), so that was money well spent. And, of course, the leaking gasket I mentioned earlier was a definite necessity.

I'm not giving up on it by any means, and I'm not neglecting it. The moment I ordered all new floor panels 6 years ago put me on a one-way street in this car with no exit ramp in sight.
Nothing wrong with doing your own work, and your expanded post has restored my faith that you have a handle on the process, and it won't be "trial and error". :) You are right in taking your time. Once the head work is done, you'll have a great car. BTW, of the professional shops that make a living servicing Alfas, there is only one shop that I would recommend in NJ.

Best regards,
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Nothing wrong with doing your own work, and your expanded post has restored my faith that you have a handle on the process, and it won't be "trial and error". :) You are right in taking your time. Once the head work is done, you'll have a great car. BTW, of the professional shops that make a living servicing Alfas, there is only one shop that I would recommend in NJ.
so that's the one in Newark? do you know the name? that's a REALLY far drive for me, but it may be worth it. I am afraid to use anyone without a recommendation.

If I do replace the head, I'm thinking of going with the performance version from centerline ... but man that's big bucks. :(

*sigh* if only my wife didn't want to quit work and stay home with our son. :(

Thanks for your restored faith, by the way. :)
I admit, I was a bit put off by some of the responses ... but only because I was thinking "you have no idea of how I treat this car!" But then I remember that you have every reason to be skeptical. After all, if it wasn't for so many people neglecting their poor alfas, us alfa lovers wouldn't have to go through the kind of troubles we do now.
 
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