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Old 06-01-2020, 07:34 PM   #1
Manualm0de
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Member#: 514906
Join Date: May 2020
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Los Angeles
Vehicle:
2004 WRX
Java Black

Default Returning built 2004 WRX back to stock for smog

Hi NASIOC!

I had a few DSM's back in the day and have always wanted a WRX, recently I found a beautiful Java black pearl on offerup that was modded and youth owned but the body was really clean and the price was too good to pass up for a car I have always wanted so I shot first and decided to ask questions later and picked it up.

I'm now finding out that this car has apparently had issues with getting smogged in dreaded California and there is no way for it to pass a test as is, even with the right amount of cash under the table the car is apparently "flagged" somehow in the system and I can't get around it. My plan now is to return the car to as stock as possible to pass smog, get it road legal, then return the car back to built later on. The car has a walbro, 1000ccs, big top mount, fp green, equal length manifolds, a 3'' catless turbo back and injen intake. Currently my list of stock items to get is: turbo back exhaust, up pipe, manifolds, TD04, injectors and intake. Right now the car has a (supposedly locked?) boost by gear tune and accessport.

After installing everything back to stock can I reset the accessport to a factory map and be fine or will I need something done with the ECU because of the "boost by gear" that is in it that can't be reset? Am I missing any factory parts that I will need to get to put this thing closer to stock? Any glaring holes in this plan?

Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
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Last edited by Manualm0de; 06-01-2020 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 06-02-2020, 09:26 AM   #2
dangerousatom
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Member#: 70710
Join Date: Sep 2004
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Quakertown/AREA1320 391whp
Vehicle:
2002 04STi Swaped RS
w/PPGS & 02 Wagon w/PPGs

Default

Yes flashing back to stock or very nearly stock is possible, but Iíd think returning all those mods to stock parts will be well over $2000. Iíd get a P.O. Box out of state and registered tags there then once a year drive it to get inspection out of state. ( or if you have a friend out of state try to register it at their address ) thatís a far cheaper option. Trucking Co do this all the time for a lot of their fleet in states that are one time registration/inspection to save money on hundreds of vehicles at a time ..... thatís why majority commercial trailer tags are from Maine/FL and other odd states.

Yes itís a work around and yes some people may frown upon the idea but itís legal if done properly.
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Old 06-02-2020, 10:17 AM   #3
Jack
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not my president
(From General)

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dangerousatom View Post
Yes flashing back to stock or very nearly stock is possible, but I’d think returning all those mods to stock parts will be well over $2000. I’d get a P.O. Box out of state and registered tags there then once a year drive it to get inspection out of state. ( or if you have a friend out of state try to register it at their address ) that’s a far cheaper option. Trucking Co do this all the time for a lot of their fleet in states that are one time registration/inspection to save money on hundreds of vehicles at a time ..... that’s why majority commercial trailer tags are from Maine/FL and other odd states.

Yes it’s a work around and yes some people may frown upon the idea but it’s legal if done properly.
Wrong. It isn't legal.

Quote:
A vehicle must be registered in California if it is based in California or is primarily used on California highways (located or operated in this state for a greater amount of time than any other individual state during the registration period), even if registered to a nonresident owner (CVC ß4000.4).
When I read the OP's post, my thoughts were: "Why didn't he just buy a stock STi. Or a GT-R?". I don't get why CA people jump through all these hoops when the laws have formed a tighter and tighter noose around modded cars. Isn't there a recent one where you'll get a $1k fine for anything as mundane as a non-stock exhaust? The lack of a cat, besides being a $10k Federal violation would certainly be an easy CA violation. Heck...that wouldn't pass my inspection, here in Mass.
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Old 06-02-2020, 10:20 AM   #4
Manualm0de
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Member#: 514906
Join Date: May 2020
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Los Angeles
Vehicle:
2004 WRX
Java Black

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack View Post
Wrong. It isn't legal.

When I read the OP's post, my thoughts were: "Why didn't he just buy a stock STi. Or a GT-R?". I don't get why CA people jump through all these hoops when the laws have formed a tighter and tighter noose around modded cars. Isn't there a recent one where you'll get a $1k fine for anything as mundane as a non-stock exhaust? The lack of a cat, besides being a $10k Federal violation would certainly be an easy CA violation. Heck...that wouldn't pass my inspection, here in Mass.
Because you can't get an STI or GT-R for $4,000. CA is crazy with smog but the state itself is amazing to live in (came from Wisconsin 10 years ago). A lot of owners return to stock annually or bi annually to pass smog, its just the price you pay, might seem counter productive but thats what a lot of people seem to do.

Last edited by Manualm0de; 06-02-2020 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 06-02-2020, 10:22 AM   #5
Manualm0de
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Member#: 514906
Join Date: May 2020
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Los Angeles
Vehicle:
2004 WRX
Java Black

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dangerousatom View Post
Yes flashing back to stock or very nearly stock is possible, but I’d think returning all those mods to stock parts will be well over $2000. I’d get a P.O. Box out of state and registered tags there then once a year drive it to get inspection out of state. ( or if you have a friend out of state try to register it at their address ) that’s a far cheaper option. Trucking Co do this all the time for a lot of their fleet in states that are one time registration/inspection to save money on hundreds of vehicles at a time ..... that’s why majority commercial trailer tags are from Maine/FL and other odd states.

Yes it’s a work around and yes some people may frown upon the idea but it’s legal if done properly.
Thanks for the reply but I have already pieced things together for under 2k, it won't be that bad, stock parts are everywhere for these cars because no one keeps them stock. I also got the car for less than I was expecting to spend on a wrx and have extra set aside for this stuff.

Out of state registrations almost everywhere require a drivers license in that state and a bunch of other BS, its really not as easy as just getting a po box and claiming to live there, trust me, I have researched a lot of other options before getting to this point.

Last edited by Manualm0de; 06-02-2020 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 06-02-2020, 03:44 PM   #6
Manualm0de
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Member#: 514906
Join Date: May 2020
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Los Angeles
Vehicle:
2004 WRX
Java Black

Default

Can anyone else chime in on the locked boost by gear setup on the car? Is that something that will cause problems with stock everything else?
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Old 06-03-2020, 10:23 AM   #7
Jedi03
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2009 STi Blue
Blue

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yes wont be able to get the correct afrs and other aspects of the tune as the ecu tries to compensate for all of it...i think your best option is to throw a stock downpipe on and see what happens...sti that is iirc mine had 2 cats in it...with aftermarket most likely failed the visual could have also had the readiness tests fail and the inspector notices all the not carb exempt items...
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Old 06-03-2020, 12:41 PM   #8
Ernest
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Member#: 45076
Join Date: Oct 2003
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Rockland County, NY
Vehicle:
2004 Stg 2 wagon AT
16 BRZ. Both silver

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Put stock parts on and flash to stock tune using accessport. Save current tune on accessport. Get your inspection passed. Put mod parts on and flash modded tune back. This is the process you will have to live with. If something is locked contact Cobb or a local tuner should be able to help.
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Old 06-03-2020, 08:58 PM   #9
Manualm0de
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Member#: 514906
Join Date: May 2020
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Los Angeles
Vehicle:
2004 WRX
Java Black

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest View Post
Put stock parts on and flash to stock tune using accessport. Save current tune on accessport. Get your inspection passed. Put mod parts on and flash modded tune back. This is the process you will have to live with. If something is locked contact Cobb or a local tuner should be able to help.
Thanks for this, will do. I know the car came from Road Race Motorsports here in LA so I can always check with them about the lock if I run into issues. Two more questions:

1. Can I get away with running the fp green with the stock downpipe + adapter + 3'' grimmspeed axle back temporarily to move it around or would that be too restrictive? If I stay out of boost would it be a huge issue?

2. (If the boost by gear tune is locked) When I go back to complete stock (with the td04) will the car be hobbled because of the ecu trying to fight the stock setup or will I be able to drive it to the tuners to get dialed in?

Thanks much!!
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Old 06-04-2020, 01:50 PM   #10
Ernest
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Member#: 45076
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Location: Rockland County, NY
Vehicle:
2004 Stg 2 wagon AT
16 BRZ. Both silver

Default

1. I think you can drive it, but I would baby it and keep boost low. No WOT pulls.
2. I would think even with boost locked the car will run. Don’t really have experience, but I once tried an economy tune which limited the boost to 3psi. The car ran absolutely fine for DD, with obviously less power. It only saved my like 1 mpg so not worth the loss in power for commuting. Good luck.
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