308gtbi Passing smog CA

Discussion in '308/328' started by jlonmark, Jul 7, 2009.

  1. jlonmark

    jlonmark F1 Rookie

    Mar 29, 2005
    Beverly Hills, CA
    Full Name:
    So, I'm ready for a smog check to register my 81 308 gtbi. Are there any tricks or tips to get it to pass the first time? I have not tested it yet. I know on my 97 m3 the car fails like crazy when the cats aren't hot, Is there anything like this for the Ferrari? Better hot, cold, types of gas, etc?

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  3. robbie

    robbie F1 Rookie

    Aug 26, 2005
    Los Gatos, CA
    Full Name:
    California is tough. I hope you have had it tuned, changed plugs, etc. Be sure it is warmed well .. run a can of Techron through it (fuel system cleaner). If possible, I would pay to have a smog person do the test first without sending the results to the DMV. If you bomb out in the "official" test you get put in the penalty box and may have to go to a special station for the retest. There is a Gross Polluter category for multiple failures so I hear. Something to avoid. When you go into the real test you want to be sure you pass the 1st time so it's worth the cost for a trial run.
  4. 2dinos

    2dinos F1 Rookie

    Jan 13, 2007
    I've had some experiences so I'll pass it on and hope this helps. When cats are good, and the rest of the machine is in proper tune, you'll blow zero's. If the aformentioned is not right, you can pray, but you'll fail anyway. If the exhaust upstream is too far out of wack, cats are useless. Also, cats just plain fail wear out etc. If you buy new ones, know that thay are not all created equal. On the injected 308, I think the biggest drop in emissions occours when the air injection system is good. Be very weary of rebuilt air pumps. I'd say, STAY AWAY!! If your pump is good, it should pump air, not just fan it. The WSM calls for 5 to 8psi. The cracking pressure of the check valves is 0.5psi. A crappy rebuild will not even achieve this, and the air will stop at the check valves.

    Now some good news. The injected car is EZ to set mixture. If ignition is good, and air is being pumped, you're pretty much there. More good news is that for initial registration, you can take it anywhere. This assumes of course it's a US built car which are all 50 state. If you get a scary sounding "Gross Polluter", all it means is that it's got something wrong. I haven't seen any other screams by the DMV monster over gross polluter. The DMV will require the car go to a Test-Only center based on the emission profile for the car, and what county you live in. Go for a pre-check to know where you're at. The stations can be funny on allowing this. Why???? No idea. But after some discussion, they usually will help you.

    Best of luck.
  5. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Jan 26, 2005
    Fullerton, California
    Full Name:
    #4 Bullfighter, Jul 7, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2009
    That sounds right, although I have a 328. Mine passes by a wide margin. With original smog equipment in place and the engine in decent shape, the injected cars should all be OK.

    They will probably do a rolling test (on rollers...), so your car will be hot by the time they're done. Not sure it matters what temp the car is when they start.

    Carbs -- be glad you don't have them around here...
  6. AZDoug

    AZDoug Formula 3

    Jun 17, 2009
    Along the Verde , AZ
    Full Name:

    Move to someplace that doesn't test vehicles more than 25 years old, because some states realize that you just can't obtain smog replacement parts for vehicles that old, much less have the Holy CARB certified compliance BS.

    Rant: When I dropped a 486 Big Block Chev into a 1976 Jag XJS back in 1988, the smog police wouldn't pass the car because I had the temerity to put dual cats on it,and 1976 Jags only had one cat converter.

    Even though the emissions were higher with one cat vs the two cats, I was able to register the car once it was a worse polluter with only one cat, but met their modification requirements.

    A pox on your state.

    Good luck with your test.

    Doug (ex CA resident)
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  8. greg328

    greg328 F1 Rookie

    Nov 17, 2003
    Austin, TX USA
    Full Name:
    Question--would a non-cat 1977 GTB (USA) pass CA emissions? I'm considering moving to California, and bringing my baby with me!
    Are older pre-cat cars grandfathered in?

    I currently live in Texas, where they don't test emissions, at least on my old car. Come to think of it, they also don't emission-test my 2001 M3 either..

  9. 2dinos

    2dinos F1 Rookie

    Jan 13, 2007
    Somehow, you gotta get the info from DMV in Sacramento in writing! I'll tell you what I T H I N K I understand from CARB (the guys who instruct DMV on emissions) - IF you own the car in another state for some period of time (1 yr or something like that), it's registered to YOU, and it has more than 7,500 miles on it (no clue what this mileage biz is about), than you get a trip to the referee. This can be a pain, but in the big pix, it's simple. But since it's a USA car, this should be straightforward like the ref will tell you it has to have the equip the label states.

    Again, you must get this info from DMV in Sac.

    Best of luck!
  10. 2dinos

    2dinos F1 Rookie

    Jan 13, 2007
  11. irondogmike

    irondogmike Formula 3

    Sep 8, 2006
    San Diego area
    Full Name:
    Michael Tucker
    no their not grandfather in but there are some shops I've heard that are putting on cats from corvettes and passing
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  13. mustardfj40

    mustardfj40 Formula 3

    Jun 17, 2004
    Northen California
    Full Name:
    That's a good advice, when still had to smog my '75, I always asked the smog station to pre-test, the idea is to avoid having your car tagged as gross polluter.

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