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Old 08-11-2003, 01:03 PM   #1
guero
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Default Laws regarding exaust systems (VA)

I have heard a catless system is illegal in most states including virignia. Just wondering what the actual laws/rules are for exaust systems.

Im looking into the turbo back exaust, just dont wanna get myself into any trouble.

If it will just fail the emissions inspection, I will pop the cat back on before the test

Any help will be appreciated.
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Old 08-11-2003, 01:18 PM   #2
BOY
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It is a federal offence to tamper with any emissions control equipment that is in good working order and less than 50k miles. An individual can be fined up to $5k (IIRC) and any shop caught removing/modifying emissions equipment can be fined up to $10k. That being said, there are emissions friendly high flow cats on the market that have a negligable impact on performace. If you are stopped and found to be running catless you may get a fix it ticket (if you're lucky), you may also get cited and fined outright.

Happy motoring
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Old 08-11-2003, 01:20 PM   #3
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i'm not sure about specific states, but I do know that cats are highly regulated. You're not allowed to remove your cat for the first 60,000 miles in some states and if you want to buy a used cat it has to go through a certification process.

Aside from that, though, the important thing for a regular car is that it pass inspection. Most likely if you can pass inspection, no one will bother to check if you still have a cat. But I'm not sure you can pass inspection without one anyway...
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Old 08-11-2003, 01:23 PM   #4
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Default Tampering with Emissions

Tampering with Emissions control devices in just about any state is considered illegal. I believe it is also a Federal infraction, but I have heard many things like that b4.

My speed shop guy for the mustang stated he could not legally remove or replace the CATs without them being damaged or nonfunctional.

(He also showed me the screwdriver and hammer needed to make them as such )
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Old 08-11-2003, 01:44 PM   #5
BOY
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You might find these links interesting... these are the federal statutes:
(prohibited acts) http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/42/7522.html
(civil penalties) http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/42/7524.html

Quote:
sec 7522 (a)(3)
(A)
for any person to remove or render inoperative any device or element of design installed on or in a motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine in compliance with regulations under this subchapter prior to its sale and delivery to the ultimate purchaser, or for any person knowingly to remove or render inoperative any such device or element of design after such sale and delivery to the ultimate purchaser; or
(B)
for any person to manufacture or sell, or offer to sell, or install, any part or component intended for use with, or as part of, any motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine, where a principal effect of the part or component is to bypass, defeat, or render inoperative any device or element of design installed on or in a motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine in compliance with regulations under this subchapter, and where the person knows or should know that such part or component is being offered for sale or installed for such use or put to such use;
Quote:
sec 7524(a) Violations

Any person who violates sections [1] 7522(a)(1), 7522(a)(4), or 7522(a)(5) of this title or any manufacturer or dealer who violates section 7522(a)(3)(A) of this title shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $25,000. Any person other than a manufacturer or dealer who violates section 7522(a)(3)(A) of this title or any person who violates section 7522(a)(3)(B) of this title shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $2,500. Any such violation with respect to paragraph (1), (3)(A), or (4) of section 7522(a) of this title shall constitute a separate offense with respect to each motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine. Any such violation with respect to section 7522(a)(3)(B) of this title shall constitute a separate offense with respect to each part or component. Any person who violates section 7522(a)(2) of this title shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $25,000 per day of violation.
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Old 08-11-2003, 01:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by BOY
It is a federal offence to tamper with any emissions control equipment that is in good working order and less than 50k miles. An individual can be fined up to $5k (IIRC) and any shop caught removing/modifying emissions equipment can be fined up to $10k. That being said, there are emissions friendly high flow cats on the market that have a negligable impact on performace. If you are stopped and found to be running catless you may get a fix it ticket (if you're lucky), you may also get cited and fined outright.

Happy motoring
FYI: Even replacing a working cat with a high flow cat on a car with under 50k miles is still considered illegal..
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Old 08-11-2003, 02:03 PM   #7
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quite true.
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Old 08-11-2003, 02:44 PM   #8
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Law enforcement can target a specific group of people or vehicles through equipment violations. For example perceived "street racers" or younger drivers. We STI drivers already know that the high wing is a "cop-magnet". Another example would be that the beanie helmet that most Harley riders wear is not DOT approved. Instant conviction if so desired. I have seen troopers look underneath cars. For what I don't know but you get the idea. If it were me I would get at least one high flow cat as the consequences, however slim, are not worth the few horse power to be gained.
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Old 08-11-2003, 03:53 PM   #9
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why do they make the laws so cryptic??? I read those paragraphs and basically all I got out of it was "you can't do something to something or it'll cost you money"
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Old 08-11-2003, 04:11 PM   #10
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you nailed it on the head.
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Old 08-11-2003, 04:17 PM   #11
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Yup, that's pretty much it. The Greenhouse Theorists convinced the feds that auto emissions were leading to the suffocation of our planet. Of course its bull, but hey these laws were drafted by our elected officials right? Just glad I don't live in the People's Republic of California.
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Old 08-11-2003, 04:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
FYI: Even replacing a working cat with a high flow cat on a car with under 50k miles is still considered illegal..
Key thing is a working cat - but in the warranty for Emissions gear you would normally have a "broke" one replaced by Subby... But how do you break a cat without it being obvious.
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Old 08-11-2003, 08:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by gasguzzler259
Law enforcement can target a specific group of people or vehicles through equipment violations. For example perceived "street racers" or younger drivers. We STI drivers already know that the high wing is a "cop-magnet". Another example would be that the beanie helmet that most Harley riders wear is not DOT approved. Instant conviction if so desired. I have seen troopers look underneath cars. For what I don't know but you get the idea. If it were me I would get at least one high flow cat as the consequences, however slim, are not worth the few horse power to be gained.
OK. I'm older than most people that post here. My first car was a 383 Plymouth Roadrunner in 68. Everyone I knew had goats, hemis, Vettes, 427 Novas, 302 Z28 Camaros, Shelby Cobras, 396 chevells on and on and on. Between the emissions laws, kids having fatal accidents and insurance costs, by the mid 70's I think a Vette had something like 200HP max.

Now, I live in the Atlanta area and for the first time since I was in high school there a lots of kids with hot cars. Best example I can think of is the SRT-4 Neon (or whatever it's called). The biggest bang for a buck I have seen since my Roadrunner.. never mind that its not the best made thing around. It delivers a lot of performance for the money. I mean 20,000? And DC is opening up the Mopar parts bin too. And there's been a big increase in wrecks around here. More than half seem to kill innocent people on the road. Just recently a girl rolled a SUV over a divder and took out herself and a few other people in the other lane. Is becoming a big topic on the news and with cops. About a week ago an idiot with a roll-cage in an RX7 decided to see if he could jump a fence and park 40 feet below. He never lived to see that he couldn't. And the cops are still looking for whoever he was racing.

So I expect the old stuff to come around again. Insurance goes up.. Emissions enforcemant gets funded (I have never seen or heard of an emissions related offense in Georgia). The cops use the smog laws to crack down and the manufacturers get out of the biz of making cheap high performance cars that kids afford. And we all suffer. I guess its the Fast and Furious syndrome.
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Old 08-11-2003, 10:47 PM   #14
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Well this thread has gone off topic...

but might I suggest asking in the Mid-Atlantic forum You will probably get more specific answers.

-bd
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Old 08-11-2003, 11:08 PM   #15
guero
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lol yup it has.

I was reading up on the RFL-TI Turbo Back Exhaust System .
http://www.turboxs.com/WRX%20Exhaust.htm

I'm not too keen on exaust systems yet. My '93 impreza never need an "upgrade" .

Does this system go from the cat -> back. Or does it include one of those cat looking things and make it "cat-less". I know a catless system is outta the question for my situation
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Old 08-11-2003, 11:14 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by guero
lol yup it has.

I was reading up on the RFL-TI Turbo Back Exhaust System .
http://www.turboxs.com/WRX%20Exhaust.htm

I'm not too keen on exaust systems yet. My '93 impreza never need an "upgrade" .

Does this system go from the cat -> back. Or does it include one of those cat looking things and make it "cat-less". I know a catless system is outta the question for my situation
Well... a turboback exhaust is from the turbo, back...

The RFL muffler is axleback AFAIK...

-bd
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Old 08-12-2003, 02:41 AM   #17
SlickmisterN
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Default TurboXS

I live in California and I was wondering if I would pass the emissions with the afore mentioned TXS Turbo-Back Exhaust? Would this exhuast even be legal in California?
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Old 08-14-2003, 03:11 PM   #18
R Diamond
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There are two answers to your question. (1) you can get away with it depending on how careful you are. (2) it's entirely illegal to have a "non-OEM muffler".

At the last Mid-A subie meet at MachV, a dude there told me he got pulled over in VA for having a non-stock exhaust! It was a bone stock STi.

Anyhow, read it and weep:


46.2-1047. Muffler cutout, etc., illegal.

It shall be unlawful to sell or offer for sale any (i) muffler without interior baffle plates or other effective muffling device or (ii) gutted muffler, muffler cutout, or straight exhaust. It shall be unlawful for any person to operate on the highways in the Commonwealth a motor vehicle equipped with a gutted muffler, muffler cutout, or straight exhaust.

46.2-1048. Pollution control systems or devices.

No motor vehicle registered in the Commonwealth and manufactured for the model year 1973 or for subsequent model years shall be operated on the highways in the Commonwealth unless it is equipped with an air pollution control system, device, or combination of such systems or devices installed in accordance with federal laws and regulations.

It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle, as herein described, on the highways in the Commonwealth with its pollution control system or device removed or otherwise rendered inoperable.

It shall be unlawful for any person to operate on the highways in the Commonwealth a motor vehicle, as described in this section, equipped with any emission control system or device unless it is of a type installed as standard factory equipment, or comparable to that designed for use upon the particular vehicle as standard factory equipment.

No motor vehicle, as described in this section, shall be issued a safety inspection approval sticker unless it is equipped as provided under the foregoing provisions of this section or if it violates this section.

The provisions of this section shall not prohibit or prevent shop adjustments or replacements of equipment for maintenance or repair or the conversion of engines to low polluting fuels, such as, but not limited to, natural gas or propane, so long as such action does not degrade the antipollution capabilities of the vehicle power system.

46.2-1049. Exhaust system in good working order.

No person shall drive and no owner of a motor vehicle shall permit or allow the operation of any vehicle on a highway unless it is equipped with an exhaust system of a type installed as standard factory equipment, or comparable to that designed for use on the particular vehicle as standard factory equipment, in good working order and in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise. An exhaust system shall not be deemed to prevent excessive or unusual noise if it permits the escape of noise in excess of that permitted by the standard factory equipment exhaust system of private passenger motor vehicles or trucks of standard make.

The term "exhaust system," as used in this section, means all the parts of a motor vehicle through which the exhaust passes after leaving the engine block.

Chambered pipes are not an effective muffling device to prevent excessive or unusual noise
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Old 08-14-2003, 03:31 PM   #19
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You CAN have a modified exhaust, it just 1) has to meet or exceed the emissions of the OEM exhaust and 2) has to meet or exceed the noise requirements of an OEM exhaust.

Of course, what aftermarket exhaust meets those, I have no idea...

So you can go to your local muffler shop and replace your muffler with no problems, but buying a performance exhaust probably will violate the rules.
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Old 08-14-2003, 05:06 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by meridock


Key thing is a working cat - but in the warranty for Emissions gear you would normally have a "broke" one replaced by Subby... But how do you break a cat without it being obvious.
Feed it fuel, and lots of it.
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Old 08-14-2003, 07:59 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Grinch


Feed it fuel, and lots of it.
Reminds me of high school... A friends Delta 98 - take it up to 55... Kill the igniton... pump the gas... hit the ignition... and BANG BANG Instant straight pipe!
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Old 08-14-2003, 08:13 PM   #22
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It is also illegal for you to remove tags from your pillow and bed matress.
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Old 08-14-2003, 08:58 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by meridock


Reminds me of high school... A friends Delta 98 - take it up to 55... Kill the igniton... pump the gas... hit the ignition... and BANG BANG Instant straight pipe!
Heh heh, I had a Delta 88 Brogham ;-).

Your story reminds me of some guys who used to drive their manual autos up to speed then kill the ignition and hold the gas while still in gear, then re-start. Depending on how hot the exhaust was, you could get some interesting fire shows, even before the car was restarted.

Makes you wonder how anyone with a drivers license in high school manages to live past their teens. I keep expecting the reapers in Logan's Run to come tell me my time has come up.
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Old 08-14-2003, 09:15 PM   #24
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I agree - I hesitated when I sold my WRX to a High School kid - but his mother and father-in-law brokered the deal. so I had to trust they were able to install a good head on his shoulders.

A WRX in a 17year old hand could be considered a lethal weapon.



Now back to Mods in the great Commonwealth of V*gina... I have also 'heard' suspension mods are verboten. So what does this mean to the everyday modder - keep them stealth.

IE - Up til 2 years ago my mustang was VERY stock looking and sounding. The car had a number of non-legal things including Heads, Cam, and EXHAUST, then I went ahead and "Saleen'd" it. but no one knew the car was that trick until I hit the gas and was running 12's with a stock block... Now a little birdie told me an illustrious member of this board has his STi set up Turbo back and can bust windows... Cool, but not stealth. If you don't want hassled keep the mods as tame as possible (I still want to hear it rumble up the driveway mr "WRX What!")

BTW - the Mustang blew cleaner emissions AFTER mods with illegal Hi-Comp heads...
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Old 08-14-2003, 11:03 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by hatchy
It is also illegal for you to remove tags from your pillow and bed matress.

ahh ****, im gonna end up in jail as someones bitch. :/



Thx for the info guys. I just picked up my sti yesterday and having tons o' fun. Being a 20 year old and used to a 93' impreza, its one sweet ride.

I'm gonna wait a while before getting back into the exaust mods. I see moded exausts all the time around here, so I don't think the cops are that anal about the strict laws. I just have to find one that will give it more of a roar, and maybe give it a lil' more powa
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