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Old 10-06-2008, 01:35 PM   #1
BigKuma
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Default Emissions test in Colorado (Rolling Dyno) failure

I have a Ludespeed kit from many years ago. It has been happily running on my MY00 RS for 6 years now. It came with one 9Ē cat on the downpipe. Stock computer, running some minimal 5-6psi.

Every two years I have a headache dealing with this emissions test in Colorado. Of course it would be easy to register the car some place else, but I canít find anyone willing. Either I smell bad or the car.

So, the first Colorado emissions test, I just roller right in w/ the turbo kit all in tact. I got 3x the limit on NOx and 2x on HC. Very close to passing on CO.

So, I took out the path from the turbo to the intake: took off the intercooler and put the cone air filter on to the engine intake. So, then I was not getting any boost. I also disconnected the RRFPR, so that I am only running the stock fuel pressure regulator.

So that the only change from stock is that the uppipe and the downpipe replacing the stock 2 cat system.

Took the test. Same results. 3x NOx and 2x HC.

Then I figured that the 1 cat is not enough. I bought a 3-way small cat from the Magnaflow. Which is still rated for some huge V6. Had it welded right behind the cat back flange (as close to the first cat as I could).

Took the test. Same results. 3x NOx and 2x HC.

The only way I could pass the test was to take out the up and down pipes and put on the original cats.

I am really puzzled; the O2 sensors are the same between passing and not passing setups. There is no boost, there is no extra fuel. There are 2 cats in the system.

Question : I am looking at what I can do to avoid the 2 days it takes me to remount the original cats.

Also, does anyone w/ an old Ludespeed kit know what catalytic converter Tom used. I canít reach that guy anymore, he must have went into hiding.
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Old 10-06-2008, 05:22 PM   #2
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My initial thought is that with the turbo in you're losing too much heat in the exhaust before it gets to the cats. If you knew someone that would let you on the test rig for a while you could try different things. Also a better form of engine management that allowed timing adjustment might help too. I'm curious if you tried resetting the ECU?
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Old 10-06-2008, 05:36 PM   #3
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Yes, I think it is too. I was going to wrap my flex section w/ insulating tape.

But most turbo cars have an up and downpipe before the cats. How do those work ?

I reset the ecu, and drove around for a while.

The prob is that something like a 3x more then normal can't be fixed by these minor measures. Like resetting ECU, changing sparkplugs back to normal, adding ethanol to the tank, etc.

I wish I had a $1000 computer where I could advance the timing. But the question is, it is basically stock, w/ 2 more feet of exhast pipe. Shouldn't that at least come close to the emissions passing ?



Quote:
Originally Posted by gumby647 View Post
My initial thought is that with the turbo in you're losing too much heat in the exhaust before it gets to the cats. If you knew someone that would let you on the test rig for a while you could try different things. Also a better form of engine management that allowed timing adjustment might help too. I'm curious if you tried resetting the ECU?
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Old 10-06-2008, 10:43 PM   #4
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Colorado substantially tightened the emissions standards this year, on NOx in particular. Many of us have failed with the exact same set ups that previously allowed us to pass. Even on my wife's '99 RS which had Cobb headers and their very high quality high flow cat, it failed and I was forced to reinstall the stock headers. It was almost triple the limit. 2 years ago it passed easily. Lots of WRXes are faliing with a single high flow cat. In all honesty there is nothing wrong with your car and not much more that you can do than you did. With the new standards, even the best high flow cats don't pull out enough to get you through the test.

In the future, the best suggestion that I can make is that you attempt to run through the driveby testing stations on the freeway onramps during the 90 days prior to your registration expiring. It's your best chance of avoiding the hassle you just went through.
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Old 10-06-2008, 11:11 PM   #5
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Most turbo cars have much less exhaust piping before the cats than Subarus. Most stock Subarus have a cat in the up pipe, all except the STIs I think. I know they all have heat shields on the pipes that help hold in heat.

Chances are you have more than one thing making it hard to pass with the aftermarket cats. It's a 9 year old car. Could be the lambda sensor is marginal, injectors are a little dirty, small stuff, it just happens that the stock cats are good enough to keep you under the limit. Also if you have a walbro pump in it with the stock regulator your fuel pressure will be higher than stock.

Probably your best bet is to just pull the stuff off every two years. Think of it as a good time to check everything over.
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Old 10-06-2008, 11:32 PM   #6
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Crap, I was afraid that everyone will suggest to take it apart again.

I prob won't have time before the 10 days free retest expires, so I'll do an experimental run with one more change:

I wanted to setup a 7psi pressure inside the vacuum line to the waste gate. That should open it, and I'll get more exhast flowing straight to the cat. Although I realize that half the exhast will still be going to the turbo.

My other briliant idea was to get a cat w/ an air port, and pipe the turbo output into it.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 10-07-2008, 02:38 AM   #7
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so on a N/A engine she's been runnig fine for 6+ years of turbo power...wow I can dea lwith that...so would you recommend the AVO turbo kit for my n/A impreza
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Old 10-07-2008, 08:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gumby647 View Post
Most turbo cars have much less exhaust piping before the cats than Subarus. Most stock Subarus have a cat in the up pipe, all except the STIs I think. I know they all have heat shields on the pipes that help hold in heat.
Not anymore. With the introduction of air injection and avcs to the whole line of turbo cars, all the new ones have no cat in the uppipe.

Big Kuma,
You are wasting your free retest messing around with this. Trust me on this one. I know of about a dozen cars in the last six months that have had to go back to factory cats to pass here. I only know of one car with an aftermarket cat that was able to pass, and that one is owned by a professional tuner with an Autronic ECU. It's the new standards. It's not your car.
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Old 10-07-2008, 09:13 AM   #9
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wow they actually test your smog on an OBD2 car there ?? do you have a CEL ??
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Old 10-07-2008, 04:20 PM   #10
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wow they actually test your smog on an OBD2 car there ?? do you have a CEL ??
Not only do the tailpipe test us, but they AWD dyno test us. Two years ago, they removed the auto fail for a CEL from the testing which made a lot of us happy. But then last year they tightened that actual tailpipe test standards and a bunch of people got hosed. I really shouldn't complain because it's good for business since people come to our shop and pay to rent our stock exhaust for 24 hours along with an install and removal so they can go get tested, but it still sucks for everyone involved when it comes down to it.
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Old 10-07-2008, 04:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VIsubi View Post
so on a N/A engine she's been runnig fine for 6+ years of turbo power...wow I can dea lwith that...so would you recommend the AVO turbo kit for my n/A impreza
Well, I am very careful, I also have the "SafeGuard". That's an auxilary knock sensor/ignition retard system. Also, w/ only 5-7psi, it's not that deadly.

I only looked at two kits. When I was shopping around, Ludespeed had better stuff. But now I see that:

1) The kit is just a start, then you have to try to get the engine management sorted out to get real gains. Plus turbo specific camshaft and maybe even Ti connecting rods. The spending never stops.

2) All kits have only 2 parts that are hard to get/make separately: up pipe and down pipe. The rest are just marked up standard parts.
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Old 10-07-2008, 10:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Monson View Post
Not only do the tailpipe test us, but they AWD dyno test us. Two years ago, they removed the auto fail for a CEL from the testing which made a lot of us happy. But then last year they tightened that actual tailpipe test standards and a bunch of people got hosed. I really shouldn't complain because it's good for business since people come to our shop and pay to rent our stock exhaust for 24 hours along with an install and removal so they can go get tested, but it still sucks for everyone involved when it comes down to it.
wow that's super retarded...

what about people who just drive old cars and can't afford to keep up to absolutely RIDICULOUSLY strict exhaust laws like that ?? I mean... that's even more strict than MASS ...and we're the only state that's not even a "State"

I'm pretty sure my 98 Legacy would definatly fail your test...and its completely CEL free...
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Old 10-07-2008, 10:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IllNastyImpreza View Post
wow that's super retarded...

what about people who just drive old cars and can't afford to keep up to absolutely RIDICULOUSLY strict exhaust laws like that ?? I mean... that's even more strict than MASS ...and we're the only state that's not even a "State"

I'm pretty sure my 98 Legacy would definatly fail your test...and its completely CEL free...
For "old" cars there are different standards than cars that should be meeting LEV or ULEV standards. On my Porsche 914 I had to smog it before I could register it. I got vintage plates, don't have to re-register it until 2015 and will never have to smog it ever again. Now if I sell it, the new owner will have to smog it once.
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Old 10-07-2008, 11:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Monson View Post
Not only do the tailpipe test us, but they AWD dyno test us. Two years ago, they removed the auto fail for a CEL from the testing which made a lot of us happy. But then last year they tightened that actual tailpipe test standards and a bunch of people got hosed. I really shouldn't complain because it's good for business since people come to our shop and pay to rent our stock exhaust for 24 hours along with an install and removal so they can go get tested, but it still sucks for everyone involved when it comes down to it.

Matt, you guys don't get in trouble for doing that?
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:17 AM   #15
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Matt, you guys don't get in trouble for doing that?
Why would be get in trouble? We're not doing anything illegal. The car owner may be but we aren't. In fact, technically we are just charging them labor. We lend them a stock exhaust (in Colorado you are not allowed to legally sell a used catalytic converter) and they leave their hi-perf exhaust at the shop as collateral. It's just an R&R job.
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:26 AM   #16
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^ you can't even sell a CAT >???? but in Denver WEED is 100% legal correct ???
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Old 10-08-2008, 09:51 AM   #17
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Default presumed legality,emisions testing

I would check with your legal advisor(attorney) about that,

My opinion is that when you remove the stock loaner exhaust you are violating Federal law. I am not familar with Colorado's particular laws,but your intent/knowledge is what would fan the flames of prosecution .

How about large free flowing cats , correct engine management for a fast ,fun ,legal and CLEAN car ?
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Old 10-08-2008, 09:57 AM   #18
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Quote:
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Why would be get in trouble? We're not doing anything illegal. The car owner may be but we aren't. In fact, technically we are just charging them labor. We lend them a stock exhaust (in Colorado you are not allowed to legally sell a used catalytic converter) and they leave their hi-perf exhaust at the shop as collateral. It's just an R&R job.
I just thought that you were not allowed to take a cat off a car at a shop. That is all
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Old 10-08-2008, 03:44 PM   #19
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I just thought that you were not allowed to take a cat off a car at a shop. That is all
then how would you put a new one on ?? just ADD another one after that ???
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Old 10-08-2008, 11:31 PM   #20
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I meant.... take in off and put a "track" pipe on instead
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Old 10-09-2008, 09:05 AM   #21
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I just thought that you were not allowed to take a cat off a car at a shop. That is all
If that is the case F-irons, B-Buddy, and R-lutions as well as every other speed shop in the state of Colorado that installs a high performance exhaust on a customer car is breaking the law.
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Old 10-09-2008, 01:12 PM   #22
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If that is the case F-irons, B-Buddy, and R-lutions as well as every other speed shop in the state of Colorado that installs a high performance exhaust on a customer car is breaking the law.
I am almost positive that it is illegal. I know when I went to bud's muffler I had to refer to it as a "flanged insert or something". And the shop in golden here wouldn't put Mark's test pipe on because he said he would get shut down.
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Old 10-09-2008, 07:31 PM   #23
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I am almost positive that it is illegal. I know when I went to bud's muffler I had to refer to it as a "flanged insert or something". And the shop in golden here wouldn't put Mark's test pipe on because he said he would get shut down.
Are you talking about catless exhausts? I've never in my life installed a catless exhaust. I wouldn't install one for someone for money on principal, not legal reasons. I don't support people who run catless. It's 2-5chp. For that, you can suffer a cat on your car. If you don't want to, take your business elsewhere is my attitude.

Muffler shops definitely will not happily weld up catless systems. I avoid that issue by only dealing with catted ones. The installs I was talking about where high performance aftermarket exhausts with cats.
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Old 10-16-2008, 12:51 AM   #24
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Are you talking about catless exhausts? I've never in my life installed a catless exhaust. I wouldn't install one for someone for money on principal, not legal reasons. I don't support people who run catless. It's 2-5chp. For that, you can suffer a cat on your car. If you don't want to, take your business elsewhere is my attitude.

Muffler shops definitely will not happily weld up catless systems. I avoid that issue by only dealing with catted ones. The installs I was talking about where high performance aftermarket exhausts with cats.
Yeah I was talking about catless. Now we are on the same page

On another note, my high-flow I had got all blown though in like 8 months. So I have nothing on it, I don't daily drive that car is my crappy excuse. I actually haven't driven more then 40 miles in the past 6 months
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Old 10-17-2008, 09:16 AM   #25
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To the OP, in Denver there are mobile inspection stations usually located on a uphill grade. From what I recall if your car goes through the testing point twice and passes, you don't need an emission test. So with that in mind, say one were to speed up to the test point and let the car coast through the emission testing area, one would expect lower emissions.

For test locations
http://www.aircarecolorado.com/rapid...locations.html
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