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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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Discussion Starter #42
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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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #44
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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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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Discussion Starter #46
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.
Thanks, Shadow. Yeah, not being sure where Santo was (other than in back of cereal box), I asked about him, but if there are other helpful mahcs near Hollywood, better yet. Good advice on the smog techs.....they dont see many alfas, Im sure. Even cops, once one asked me "what kind of car is that"?

Didnt know about down pipes. Sounding like a project/other variables to consider. I may take a chance and have my son see one of the "guys" and have them smog it. Theres something to be said about one stop shopping, eh?

Now, IF it fails, done they give you say, some time to fix all? 2 weeeks? a year (LOL)??

Oh, gees, on the tip of the exhause is one of those fat Borla tips (chrome plated, 4" diameter, maybe 18" long), not the stock plumbers pipe, Is that a no no?

Thanks, Shadow.
 

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Joe,
I don't think the tip will make a difference. That seems to be one area that is "free."
Santo's shop is in Northridge in the San Fernando Valley. That's about 25 minutes from Hollywood on a good day.
The shop your son uses will depend a lot on where he ends up working/living. A great majority of TV/film production is no longer done in Hollywood, but rather out in the valley. Hollywood, in general, is not a great place to work or live. But he will have a lot of choices out here.
Yes, I am still in the business. Shooting "The Price Is Right" and "Melissa & Joey," a sitcom for ABC family channel. Price is in Hollywood, M&J in the valley.
I would be glad to talk with your son when he gets here, give him a tour of the studio... He can check out what I have been doing under Keeth Lawrence on my IMBD page.
...Keeth
 

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here's the guy for you in the hollywood area-
John's Alfa Romance - Los Angeles, CA

I didn't write the yelp review ( although i do plan to add to the acclaim soon myself)
but Benny's done quite a bit of work both big and minor refreshing my car already and I'm very happy with his work, speed, and his labor rate is very reasonable, about $65/hr as I recall.
 

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Like Keeth said, tip shouldn't make a difference. From the cat back, they don't really seem to care. One muffler, two or even no mufflers, glasspacks or fart cans, it really doesn't seem to matter when smogging. Cops may at some point, if your pumping out some serious decibel levels, but its amazing how loud some of the vehicles are, without being pulled over.

Not too sure about all the nuances of what happens if you can't pass smog. Somebody else might chime in and give some good info. From what I understand though, if you've done everything possible to get your car to where it should pass and it still doesn't, I believe there is some kind of waiver that may allow you to still drive. If you don't pass, you have up to at least the time of when your plate tags expire, before you have real problems with being pulled over etc.

Cool, nice review for Benny!
 

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Discussion Starter #50
Good to hear about the tip of the exhaust....man, at least one add on is legal.

Oh, I should have mentioned before-my son will be probably living in Silver Lake/Los Feloz(?). Not sure what shop would be best/closest??
 

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Discussion Starter #51
Joe,
I don't think the tip will make a difference. That seems to be one area that is "free."
Santo's shop is in Northridge in the San Fernando Valley. That's about 25 minutes from Hollywood on a good day.
The shop your son uses will depend a lot on where he ends up working/living. A great majority of TV/film production is no longer done in Hollywood, but rather out in the valley. Hollywood, in general, is not a great place to work or live. But he will have a lot of choices out here.
Yes, I am still in the business. Shooting "The Price Is Right" and "Melissa & Joey," a sitcom for ABC family channel. Price is in Hollywood, M&J in the valley.
I would be glad to talk with your son when he gets here, give him a tour of the studio... He can check out what I have been doing under Keeth Lawrence on my IMBD page.
...Keeth[/QUOTE

Thanks Keeth for the gracious invitation! (PM on its way.....)
 

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silver lake - excellent choice!

Joe I live in silver lake (before that in los feliz) and Benny at Johns Alfa will be the closest shop if your son ends up in either neighborhood. In case you don't know this already they're right next to each other.
Takes me about 15-20 minutes to get to Benny on surface streets and most of that time is waiting for traffic lights to change :)
If you need any info about the neighborhoods just ask- I'm happy to help!
 

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Discussion Starter #53
Joe I live in silver lake (before that in los feliz) and Benny at Johns Alfa will be the closest shop if your son ends up in either neighborhood. In case you don't know this already they're right next to each other.
Takes me about 15-20 minutes to get to Benny on surface streets and most of that time is waiting for traffic lights to change :)
If you need any info about the neighborhoods just ask- I'm happy to help!
Thanks, man! I will keep this in mind. I trust Benny can do what Santo does...preping the car /pass smog? Thats the ticket.
 

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Nice area, good restaurants, shops, bars, clubs, etc. I'm in that area just about everyday. Pretty good location in relation to the different studios.

Benny can help prep for smog and tell him where to go to test, or if he doesn't want to bother with bringing it to smog on his own, could probably take care of that as well. However you'd want to have it done.
 

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Discussion Starter #55
Nice area, good restaurants, shops, bars, clubs, etc. I'm in that area just about everyday. Pretty good location in relation to the different studios.

Benny can help prep for smog and tell him where to go to test, or if he doesn't want to bother with bringing it to smog on his own, could probably take care of that as well. However you'd want to have it done.
Too Much. Thanks, shad. This will help to know theres some help!



Regards,
Joe
 

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While you're still on a FL license, go to any smog station. All of them - including "Test Only" places - can do a "pre test". No certificate fee, and usually only a little discount for a follow-up offical test, but you can find out how your car as-is will do. You likely don't need the 87 manifold - a euro type cast two piece is OEM, just not to your car, and likely will pass. Tube and chrome headers will not. It's only a visual inspection for things on the official list.

One thing NOT to do is get an official test cold. If you fail, your vehicle is declared a "gross polluter" and must be sidelined or repaired within something like 30 days. No guarantee it will ever pass, and if it doesn't your FUBAR.

I agree with going to Santos. He's a BB member, a dedicated Alfa racer, and one of the best in SoCal. And a nice guy too!

If your son is actually a student he can remain on his FL license as a non-resident student. Just be sure you update his location with the insurance co. Yes, that will likely change your rates, but a major accident could get you canceled retroactively (i.e no coverage at all!). Insurance co's do not exchange data with CA DMV.

Robert
 

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Moving to S Cal with 87 Spider, Need Advice

While you're still on a FL license, go to any smog station. All of them - including "Test Only" places - can do a "pre test". No certificate fee, and usually only a little discount for a follow-up offical test, but you can find out how your car as-is will do. You likely don't need the 87 manifold - a euro type cast two piece is OEM, just not to your car, and likely will pass. Tube and chrome headers will not. It's only a visual inspection for things on the official list.

One thing NOT to do is get an official test cold. If you fail, your vehicle is declared a "gross polluter" and must be sidelined or repaired within something like 30 days. No guarantee it will ever pass, and if it doesn't your FUBAR.

I agree with going to Santos. He's a BB member, a dedicated Alfa racer, and one of the best in SoCal. And a nice guy too!

If your son is actually a student he can remain on his FL license as a non-resident student. Just be sure you update his location with the insurance co. Yes, that will likely change your rates, but a major accident could get you canceled retroactively (i.e no coverage at all!). Insurance co's do not exchange data with CA DMV.

Robert
I'm not sure what information you're referring to that the insurance companies do not report to the CA DMV, unless you're referring to out of state insurance companies.

They have become much more sophisticated in their notification procedures. Out of state law enforcement agencies do notify the CA DMV of outstanding tickets in their state. Also all California insurance agencies, to my knowledge, report every bit of information they have to the DMV, including missing your insurance payment date. The DMV will automatically send you a notice that you are driving on a suspended license due to no insurance coverage. This has been in effect for some time.
 

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Cheryl - My point was that there are valid and legal out-of-state people living in California. Insurance companies need to have valid information on their risks, such as the location where the vehicle is driven, but do not (because there are valid reasons to have a valid California location with a Florida license) report an address change to the DMV. They do report valid insurance for state residents for purposes of registration (insurance is required to register a vehicle), but not for non-california residents - these reports go to the state-of-registration. Mostly they gather data from DMV on citations, which again affects their actuarial risks, but today most states share all this data.

Robert
 

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Moving to S Cal with 87 Spider, Need Advice

Cheryl - My point was that there are valid and legal out-of-state people living in California. Insurance companies need to have valid information on their risks, such as the location where the vehicle is driven, but do not (because there are valid reasons to have a valid California location with a Florida license) report an address change to the DMV. They do report valid insurance for state residents for purposes of registration (insurance is required to register a vehicle), but not for non-california residents - these reports go to the state-of-registration. Mostly they gather data from DMV on citations, which again affects their actuarial risks, but today most states share all this data.

Robert
Robert,

I totally agree with you that there are legal and valid ways to live in California without making it your permanent address. Being an enrolled student in an university is one of them. Maintaining a permanent address out of state and continuing to file your income tax from that address are two others. Any W-2 issued will show that the wages are being earned out of state and after a certain period of time, it will no longer be considered a temporary move, unless there is a contract that states the specific parameters. Yes, there are ways to accomplish it, but you must always be aware of law changes and what agency talks to whom so that you don't get caught up in a bunch of time-consuming red tape.
 

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...You likely don't need the 87 manifold - a euro type cast two piece is OEM, just not to your car, and likely will pass...
I agree with you on all of this but, while the two piece manifold is OEM for other years, its not part of the OEM setup for the 87 and its emission control equipment, therefore it is not legal to use in the 87 in Ca. Just because its OEM, does not make it legal unfortunately. Since it looks original to the car, and most likely the smog testers don't know what the original exhaust manifold looks like, you are right in that it will most likely pass visual inspection.

Not trying to nit pick what you said because I do agree with you, but did want to try and clarify the OEM thing. I hope my post helps and doesn't cause confusion.

While legally registered in Florida though, it really wouldn't make a difference here in Ca, if it is exempt from testing in Florida.
 
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