SoCal Smog Check

Joined
Apr 3, 2017
Messages
48
Location
California
Hey Everyone,
First off I have put my flame suit on and am prepared for any negative comments due to this thread.

I have been helped out big time by the members of this forum and I commute in my 80 every day thanks to you folks.

Long story short, I have a 1991 FJ80 3FE with 335k miles on her and have invested a small amount of coin in her but thankfully she hasn't let me down. I recently just got my first apartment and am 22 so cash to pour into the 80 isn't really there.

I've done a decent amount of basic work on her: new plugs, wires, cap, rotor, fluid changes, vacuum lines, etc... but my tags are already 2 years expired (I bought the rig less than a year ago) and I want to get this taken care of asap as the cops in my new city are strict about having out of date tags.

I figure my back fees at dmv will be about a grand and then I would have to get a new egr valve, o2 sensors, and a cat and money is tight.

The ask: Can any members willing to help of course please PM me smog check recs in the so cal area that will "work with me" to pass my baby. If you can put me in touch with a place that can put my 80 series through very very tough and extensive tests I can even send a small thank you I would appreciate it.

Thanks in advance and for reading this thread
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 3, 2017
Messages
48
Location
California
Do a pre-test? Why don't you think it wil pass?
Thanks for the reply.

To answer your question:
1. The PO gave me a smog test print out from around 2 years ago showing the emissions readings and it did not pass at the time (can't remember each reading's measurements or by how far off it failed)
2. There are a decent amount of fumes from the tail pipe (no smoke but an emissions smell that certainly wont pass the strict CA smog)
3. The emissions components (EGR, o2 sensors, and cat are most likely original. Not doubting Toyota quality I am a believer but it's unrealistic to think that those emissions components are functioning will enough with 335k miles on them to pass a previously neglected tractor engine in Ca)
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2008
Messages
2,490
Location
San Diego
 
 
I second the pre-test. Then, post up the results if you don't pass. The numbers will help us understand what might be wrong.
 

surfpig

The Anti-Tech
Joined
Jan 14, 2005
Messages
4,785
Location
Tagged for removal
 
 
 
Find those numbers if you can, that will tell you a lot. Also, change the PCV valve. Correct ignition timing is also important. You're probably right about the CAT, and maybe the valve that activates the EGR.
 

bajaphile

Boojum Hugger
SILVER Star
Joined
Apr 6, 2008
Messages
2,069
Location
Solana Beach, CA
 
 
I've owned a lot of Toyota's from the 80s and 90s with more than 250k on them. I've also smogged roughly 15 80 series in the past 7 years... This is all in San Diego, and never failed a smog test.

It's important to make an appointment and ensure they can start the test when you get there. Drive it hard for a good 15 minutes on the highway (yes I know sometimes it's hard to actually travel above 5mph on the highway these days...) to get the cats hot.

I would also check to make sure you don't have any codes stored...

The pre test will tell you what you need to fix without throwing money at it.
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2008
Messages
2,490
Location
San Diego
 
 
If you can see your exhaust it definitely won't pass.

What MPG's are you getting?

If, for example, you engine is running rich, there are a lot of things that can cause it from bad O2 sensors to O2 plugs swapped, to a bad charcoal canister, engine not warming... lots of things. To make it more fun, the 3FE is not very good at telling you what is wrong with it. I had my O2 sensor plugs swapped and was running so rich it emitted black smoke and didn't throw a code. Thus, a lot of these threads end up advising to start troubleshooting with the FSM and go through each system one by one. If you have the old smog report it could help narrow things down.

From my experience with the 3FE I would say read this link very thoroughly, it will help understand the system and diagnose it. http://www.lovehorsepower.com/ToyotaPDFs/24.PDF

If you can get your O2 sensors reading properly which indicates the engine is controlling its mixture. Maybe then pre-test and if you fail we can go from there.

Frank
 

Brentbba

Former Golfer
SILVER Star
Joined
Mar 27, 2003
Messages
10,375
Location
OC, CA
 
 
 
Had to chuckle at your comment on original cats. I actually had one shop, to busy to take me, ask if I had my original cats. I think he had a pat answer ready regardless of my answer - original - to old and will fail or new cats not being CA legal! Went elsewhere. '94 80 series with 248K and clean as can be on smog.

Dump in a can of BG injector cleaner and run a tank with it, then as has been said, get her real warm and take it for a test only to see if it passes. If you've omitted your cats, or removed any of the smog equipment, you are doomed to fail on visual alone.

Good Luck.
 

DirtScaresMe

Trouble Maker
Joined
Oct 8, 2015
Messages
598
Location
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Unhelpful but cool fact: in a few California counties (mine included, Mono) there's no smog check requirements. I think you need to get it done when you first buy it (which means driving a pretty good distance as most towns don't have the gear) but after that there's no checks on renewals.
 

DirtScaresMe

Trouble Maker
Joined
Oct 8, 2015
Messages
598
Location
Mammoth Lakes, CA
To late now but if it was sold in CA, it is the responsibility for the seller to pass smog.
Really? How does that work? I've bought a bunch of used cars in California and I'm familiar with just going to the DMV and getting registered and bringing a current smog report with me.

I could ask the seller to give me one, but he could just say no and sell it to the next guy who doesn't care. And like I said in my county I don't need to smog check my truck; people sell stuff all the time here.
 

surfpig

The Anti-Tech
Joined
Jan 14, 2005
Messages
4,785
Location
Tagged for removal
 
 
 
Really? How does that work? I've bought a bunch of used cars in California and I'm familiar with just going to the DMV and getting registered and bringing a current smog report with me.

I could ask the seller to give me one, but he could just say no and sell it to the next guy who doesn't care. And like I said in my county I don't need to smog check my truck; people sell stuff all the time here.
That's an agreement you can make with the buyer to not provide a smog cert, but then it's on you to provide it in order to register the vehicle (legally).

Anyway, back on track...

If it "smells like emissions fumes" or whatever he said out the exhaust there's something wrong.
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2015
Messages
2,178
 
Since the OP truck has fumes coming out of it he needs to check out the "gross polluter" info below.




THE CALIFORNIA MODEL


Changes in California's Smog Check II program are a good indication of the direction that other states forced to adopt enhanced emissions testing may follow. When the federal Clean Air Act was amended in 1990, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency initially mandated a centralized, state-run enhanced vehicle emissions testing program (I/M240) that would have eliminated privately-owned Smog Check stations (a $480 million per year industry in California). California negotiated an alternative plan with the EPA that would achieve the same reductions in vehicle emissions without such draconian measures.

The new emissions testing program enhancements were enacted into law in 1994 and approved by the EPA on September 26, 1996. Subsequent legislation has further refined the Smog Check II program to include the following elements:

  • As of June 8, 1998, California's smoggiest urbanized regions that did not meet federal or state air quality standards for ozone and carbon monoxide went to enhanced emissions testing on a dyno. The tests included oxides of nitrogen (NOx) for the first time.
Enhanced areas include all of Orange County, southern Ventura County, western San Diego County, most of Los Angeles county, parts of Riverside and San Bernardino counties, and the urbanized areas of Sacramento, Fresno, Stockton, Modesto, Bakersfield, Davis, Vacaville, Palm Springs, and Hemet-San Jacinto.

In less smoggy "basic areas" enhanced emissions testing is not required and the existing biennial two-speed idle test at licensed test-and-repair stations remains the same as before. Basic emissions testing is required for vehicles that are being sold or are being registered in California for the first time.

  • I/M 240 Test Equipment. In areas that required enhanced testing, equipment meeting BAR97 specifications and a dynamometer are required. The BAR97 Emissions Inspection System (EIS) for Acceleration Simulation Mode (ASM) testing consists of a 5-gas analyzer, other hardware, software, a fuel cap tester, and a dynamometer with restraints. Test station technicians are also required to have a Digital Storage Oscilloscope (DSO) to help diagnose emissions system problems, and an "Advanced Emissions Specialist" (EA) license.
The dyno is used primarily for checking NOx emissions. To get accurate NOx readings, the engine must be under load to produce the high combustion temperatures that form NOx.

The only problem with using a dyno is that some all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles cannot be driven on a two-wheel dyno, nor can some vehicles with traction control systems. These vehicles will be exempt from the enhanced emissions test but must still pass a two-speed idle test.

Test results are transmitted electronically to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Eliminating paper Smog Check certificates should reduce the potential for fraud.

  • Targeting Gross Polluters. A "gross polluter" is a vehicle that far exceeds allowable emissions levels for a particular model. Gross Polluters represent up to 15% of California vehicles, but are responsible for more than half of the state's vehicular smog. Gross polluters must be repaired and have those repairs verified (and emissions certified) at a Test-Only station. California will use computer modeling to identify vehicles that fit the "high emitter profile" so the owners can be notified that they have to take their vehicles to a Test-Only station for testing.
Test-Only Stations are privately-owned Smog Check stations licensed by the Department of Consumer Affairs/Bureau of Automotive Repair (DCA/BAR) to inspect and certify vehicles (including gross polluters), but they do not fix emission problems. Repairs can be performed at "Gold Shield Guaranteed Repair" stations which are licensed Smog Check facilities that meet high performance standards and guarantee the repairs they make on gross polluters.

Remote Sensing Devices (road side sniffers) may also be used to catch gross polluters. Such devices use an infrared beam to identify gross polluters and a camera snaps a picture of the vehicle's license plate.

  • Help for poor folks. If a vehicle fails a Smog Check inspection, but the owner cannot afford to make the repairs, the owner may be granted a "repair cost waiver" if the owner first pays for at least $450 in emissions-related repairs at a licensed repair station. This waiver is good for two years, and only one waiver will be issued while the motorist owns the vehicle.
There is also an "economic hardship extension" for qualified low-income motorists. Like the Repair Cost Waiver, the extension is valid for two years and may be obtained only once during a motorist's ownership of a vehicle. However, to obtain an extension, motorists must spend $250 on emissions-related repairs at a licensed Smog Check station, or have an estimate from a licensed Smog Check station showing that a single repair would cost more than $250. Motorists must also verify their household income, which must be at or below 175% of the federal poverty level (about $29,000 a year for a family of four).

Neither the repair cost waiver nor the economic hardship extension can be obtained if the vehicle has a tampered emissions system, is being registered for the first time in California, is being sold, or was issued a waiver or extension in the previous Smog Check inspection.

California also offers "low income repair assistance" to help low-income motorists pay for emissions-related repairs. The program will help pay for vehicle repairs that are cost-effective and maximize clean air benefits. The motorist must make a $250 co-payment, with the state contributing an additional amount not to exceed $450. Repairs must be performed at a Gold Shield station.

  • Exempt vehicles: Cars built in model year 1973 and earlier are exempt from all aspects of the Smog Check Program. Also, cars four model years old and newer are exempted from the biennial requirement, but still must have Smog Checks performed when the vehicle is sold or being registered for the first time in California.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 6, 2002
Messages
15,091
Location
OC, CA
 
 
 
 
In CA, the PO is responsible for the vehicle passing smog and it is illegal for him to sell it if it can't pass smog. If you have a problem with it passing, you can stick him with it if it is too much money, but you may have to initiate a civil action to recover your money.
 
Top Bottom