Hypothetical '82 refurb question

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Feb 6, 2015
At some point in the future I want to completely de-rust and restore my '82 fj40. When I replaced the exhaust manifold a year ago I was amazed at the number tubes and piping in the engine that I had to disconnect/reconnect. It was quite a puzzle to get them back in the right place. When I read all the rebuild threads here in the forums I haven't seen any of this rats nest. I suspect much (or all?) of this had to do with tightening of emissions standards in the 80s. Many of the restore threads are for older trucks so perhaps that is why I don't see this. My question is when I do restore should I just restore all of that as well? Or do people remove it and how difficult is that? And is it legal?
Your options are 3 in number: one is to remove it all, which leaves you exposed to the wrath of emission goons and future buyers.
You can fully enable it (leave it all in place), and get it all working, which will require that you buy and study and emission manual, and possibly source some hard-to-find parts.

You can also selectively disable certain things, but leave all the equipment in place, so that it appears to be working. I prefer this approach. I would disable the EGR and anything that may retard the timing, but leave the air pump functional. As someone once said, 'half that stuff is there to control emissions, and the other half is there to ensure that the engine still runs'. Your goal (presumably) is maximum power from the 2F, but it may include leaving the truck fairly close to stock.

The eco-crowd will only want to further strangle old vehicles to legislate them off the road (see Calif., Colo., etc.) so leaving things in place to pass a visual inspection, and then keeping the vehicle in tune (tuned up) to pass a tailpipe test, seems like a good idea. I just welded my EGR hole shut on my manifold, but I left the EGR cooler and all parts in place - looks totally stock, but no longer will suffer endless exhaust leaks at the EGR flange. Others can chime in here with other ideas.
tomcrusr, here's my two cents: If you live in Cali you are screwed because your year model will always have to pass a visual (under hood) smog inspection. This means your almost inoperative emissions equipment must remain on the engine regardless. If you were fortunate enough to live in a state where they only care what comes out the tail pipe (tail pipe sniffer test only), then you would pass the emissions test every time merely by adding a fresh Cat. Convt.(whether your year model needed it or not). Plus, the Cat. Convt. does not noticeably hurt performance at all, and it acts as a second muffler for those in the "quiet" age group.
Thanks to both of you. I live in Michigan so there isn't any inspection of any kind. But I would like it to be original in general and legal (or easy to make so) if sold elsewhere someday. Sounds like I either disable some stuff or just leave it all intact. Regarding the catalytic converter, I recently noticed that mine is rusting through and blowing hot air out the side. Where best to get a replacement? I have a new muffler to put on and will need to get a couple hangers welded on, the old ones broke partially off so it seems like a good time to replace the cat. and some pipes as well...

Thanks again,
Just saw this posted in another thread
magnaflow direct fit replacement (#23894) $195.00 at AutoZone in North Carolina

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