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Smog info help...I bought a 76 2002 in SoCal....


Ian76
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Hi everyone,

So, I purchased a 76 2002 in November of 2009 from a gentleman in San Jose. Flew up to San Jose one early morning and drove it back the next day after stopping at a friend's in Santa Cruz that night. I've been driving her almost everyday since. Took her to San Diego and Bakersfield on separate occasions with no problems.

Let me start by saying I absolutely love this car (as I know you all do too), everything from the Hofmeister kink to that look it gives me when I'm walking towards it. I swear they look almost human. Whenever I walk away from it, I look back at her as many times as possible, just cuz I like to look at her.

I was hoping I'd drive her, fix what needs to be fixed, and in the future, restore her back to her former glory.

With all that said, I bought a 76, which needs to be smogged in CA. The seller had already had her smogged for me and told me it shouldn't be a problem when I need smog in another two years, he said something like "just bring it to a mechanic and have him clean out the carbs before you bring it in to smog, it should be fine." Well, I'm 34, lived in NYC most of my adult life, so I've never owned a car. Getting a car smogged is completely new to me. It has a weber carb and all the tubes going in an out of the engine are for smog purposes but rob the engine of about 20hp. I've been told every time I go to smog it's gonna cost me $200-$300 just to pass. I've also been told that I should think about selling the car out of state because anyone in CA looking to buy one is not gonna be looking for a 76 (except me, apparently).

Basically, I am asking for a little insight into my dilemma. I really love 02s and want to own one the rest of my life, whether I'm driving it everyday or not. If I'm living in CA, a 76 is not the most practical thing. Should I think about selling this one, probably out of state? It's basically rust free and has a good running engine. I got a great little car, but I'm thinking I should've got something that didn't need to be smogged. I'm getting the feeling that 76s are mainly parted-out here in SoCal. I'm not exactly independently wealthy so I'd have to take the funds from selling my current 76 and buy something older, which is not exactly and easy thing to coordinate.

Any insight is greatly appreciated and I've attached some pics of the 02 named "Betsy" (named by the previous owner). Thanks for reading.

Ian

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76s are tough in Cali. You have the option to remove the smog and when you need to smog it put it back on or you can hope to find a friendly or uninformed smog test center or sell. Some have talked about getting it re-registered as a 75. It's possible, but may take some doing. The car really does run better without the smog stuff. Contests on a great car. Oh and nice 76s don't just get parted out. There is a nice market out of California for them. Be persistent if u want to keep your car. There are people on his board with 76s that don't have to smog it.

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Thanks jrhone,

What do you do for smog? Some friends told me when it's time for smog, they'd take me to a shop that would pass it. A "friendly" smog shop I presume?

I really want all that stuff off so it will run better. Great site, your car looks great. It looks awesome after the suspension and wheel upgrade and euro bumpers look sweet. Thanks for your comment.

Ian

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Its going to cost you $200-$300 just to have it tinkered with it every 2 years to get it to pass smog if your not able to do it yourself. Last time my 76 passed smog it was with the mechanic for 2 weeks while he coaxed it into passing. It was done all legally and did indeed pass smog but I haven't had the drive to do that again so the car just sits in my garage for now. It seems like the people who have the best luck passing smog every 2 years are the ones who plunk down the money for the CARB legal 32/36 carb. I haven't yet and the stock carb is the problem area when doing smog on mine so probably wouldn't be a bad investment.

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The carb I have, which the previous owner already installed, is a Weber WK204-32/36 DGEV-IC BMW 2002 72-76. Which, I think, is the carb you speak of. Unfortunately, I can't do the work myself. Thanks for your reply.

If the car is already setup to smog correctly, no reason to dump it just because it could be a problem. It seems well sorted so unless you have big plans for the motor you will probably be pretty happy with it. Even if you have to spend a couple hundred dollars every two years, that really isn't that much.

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I've owned a 76 in CA for the last 15 yrs, it's not worth it. You don't know what you are missing with all that emissions equipment choking off the car's performance. I use to do the 2 yr dance, swapping out everything to pass but gave up a few years ago when the car would not pass, been sitting ever since.

If you can, I would sell the car and wait for the right pre-76 to come along. You are obviously ok with not getting a roundie, picking up a 74 or 75 for a good decent price should be fairly easy. If you are going to sell the 76, would be a good idea to do it while it still passes smog.

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If you really love the car and do not have plans to do any engine mods, I think your only option is to fiddle with it every time smog comes around. Just keep it tuned and you sound be good.

All of the other mentioned "options" are not good options at all. If this is your daily, a historic plate is just going to get you into trouble if you get into an accident, towed, ticket, limited insurance etc. Silly to worry about it during a commute everyday. Spending half your life finding a newbie DMV worker and convincing them to backdate your title, good luck! I doubt anyone has done it successfully. Switching VINs....enuff said.

Lesson of the day, don't buy a 76 in CA. GL

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All of the other mentioned "options" are not good options at all. If this is your daily, a historic plate is just going to get you into trouble if you get into an accident, towed, ticket, limited insurance etc. Silly to worry about it during a commute everyday. Spending half your life finding a newbie DMV worker and convincing them to backdate your title, good luck! I doubt anyone has done it successfully. Switching VINs....enuff said.

L

Email me off the board....I have a 76...no smog....look at my sig...its been done and many do it. No VIN switching needed.

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I wouldn't be too quick to unload your 76! I have one and I'm in the process of researching the emissions requirements for a possible EFI upgrade in 2011.

The California Health and Safety Code, section 44011 states:

44011. (a) All motor vehicles powered by internal combustion engines that are registered within an area designated for program coverage shall be required biennially to obtain a certificate of compliance or noncompliance, except for the following:

and:

© For purposes of subdivision (a), a collector motor vehicle, as defined in Section 259 of the Vehicle Code, is exempt from those portions of the test required by subdivision (f) of Section 44012 if the collector motor vehicle meets all of the following criteria:

(1) Submission of proof that the motor vehicle is insured as a collector motor vehicle, as shall be required by regulation of the bureau.

(2) The motor vehicle is at least 35 model-years old.

(3) The motor vehicle complies with the exhaust emissions standards for that motor vehicle's class and model-year as prescribed by the department, and the motor vehicle passes a functional inspection of the fuel cap and a visual inspection for liquid fuel leaks.

(d) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2010.

H&S 44012 F

(f) A visual or functional check is made of emission control devices specified by the department, including the catalytic converter in those instances in which the department determines it to be necessary to meet the findings of Section 44001. The visual or functional check shall be performed in accordance with procedures prescribed by the department.

CVC 4000.1 requires smog for vehicles of the 1976 model year and later... and;

(g) For purposes of subdivision (a), any collector motor vehicle, as defined in Section 259, is exempt from those portions of the test required by subdivision (f) of Section 44012 of the Health and Safety Code, if the collector motor vehicle meets all of the following criteria:

(1) Submission of proof that the motor vehicle is insured as a collector motor vehicle, as shall be required by regulation of the bureau.

(2) The motor vehicle is at least 35 model-years old.

(3) The motor vehicle complies with the exhaust emissions standards for that motor vehicle's class and model year as prescribed by the department, and the motor vehicle passes a functional inspection of the fuel cap and a visual inspection for liquid fuel leaks.

So reading this (at least my preliminary take is this)-

- Thanks to Hagerty Insurance mine is a "collector vehicle (check).

- As of January 1, 2011 our cars will be "at least 35 years old" (check).

- My fuel cap is functional, there are no liquid fuel leaks and, hopefully with the EFI from a 1985 318i it will meet and pass the standards for a 76' 2002. (check, check, check---I think!).

As I said before, I'm still in the process of researching and there are definitely still some things that need looking into. BUT--- If it all works out, your car can have just about any equipment under the hood (from a non-stock air cleaner to EFI and, as long as it passes the functional test for a 1976 vehicle (ie. it isn't a polluter) it should be O.K.

more references:

CVC 259

259. "Collector motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle owned by a collector, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 5051, and the

motor vehicle is used primarily in shows, parades, charitable functions, and historical exhibitions for display, maintenance, and preservation, and is not used primarily for transportation.

CVC 5051. As used in this article, unless the context otherwise requires:

(a) "Collector" is the owner of one or more vehicles described in Section 5004 or of one or more special interest vehicles, as defined in this article, who collects, purchases, acquires, trades, or disposes of the vehicle, or parts thereof, for his or her own use, in order to preserve, restore, and maintain the vehicle for hobby or historical purposes.

CVC 5004

5004. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, any owner of a vehicle described in paragraph (1), (2), or (3) which is operated or moved over the highway primarily for the purpose of historical exhibition or other similar purpose shall, upon application in the manner and at the time prescribed by the department, be issued special identification plates for the vehicle:

(1) A motor vehicle with an engine of 16 or more cylinders manufactured prior to 1965.

(2) A motor vehicle manufactured in the year 1922 or prior thereto.

(3) A vehicle which was manufactured after 1922, is at least 25 years old, and is of historic interest.

I'm sure that folks reading this that are not from California are shaking their heads and going cross eyed right now. But that's the price we pay for living here on the "left coast".

I'll keep you posted as I find out more. . .

I'd be interested to know if anyone out there has a Mega Squirted car that they have run an emissions test on and what the results were. . .

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