Test Pipes & Borla (Emissions questions) | FerrariChat

Test Pipes & Borla (Emissions questions)

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by Ricambi America, Jan 12, 2004.

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  1. Ricambi America

    Ricambi America F1 World Champ
    Sponsor Owner

    OK, here's the 65K question...

    With test pipes and a borla on a 1990 348, what kind of trouble do you think I'd encounter when I get my car registered in North Carolina? We have emissions testing in my county. Here are our standards:

    Model Year CO HC
    1981-later 1.2 220

    Help! I'm getting nervous.
  2. Darolls

    Darolls F1 Veteran

    Jul 2, 2003
    Full Name:
    Take it to a shop that has the equipment, and have them 'sniff' before you go for the emissions test.

    If you don't pass at the shop, make the necessary corrections before going to the t6esting station.
  3. Mike328

    Mike328 F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed

    Oct 19, 2002
    Boulder, CO
    Full Name:
    I don't want to make you nervous, but I think there is some cause for concern.

    1.2% CO and 220ppm HC is medium-strict, from my research.

    Without cats, if your car is running rich my opinion is that you will exceed those values.

    With no cats and running lean, I think you could be OK.

    Do you have any information on 348 emissions "before the tailpipe" (i.e. before any catalytic converters can improve things)? These are published for my 308 both in the manual and on a plate on the car itself... That will be important information for you.
  4. pma1010

    pma1010 F1 Rookie

    Jul 21, 2002
    Full Name:
    I think the car's emissions standard (for model year XXXX) is usually on a plate in the engine bay. I don't want to scare you, but my guess is you'll fail w/o cats.

    I have heard that come counties have different standards than others (for example, in Illinois, I believe regional districts do not have emissions testing where as Chicago does). I am told it is possible to register a car at a PO Box/MBE in such a regional district and thereby avoid the test. No direct experience, not advocating the position, any and all other disclaimers etc, but if NC is the same, there may be a work around.

    Alternatively, you could just get a couple of cats, put them on and run through the test. A decent muffler store should be able to sort you out. A cat is a cat.
  5. Ricambi America

    Ricambi America F1 World Champ
    Sponsor Owner

    So should I assume that:

    1. All the folks running with test pipes live in counties that don't perform emission testing? Come on, I can't beleive that... what about all those folks in sunny SoCal?

    2. If the car is tuned within an inch of it's life, why wouldn't it pass without the cats?

    3. Would you seriously take a 348 into Midas for them to slam some cats onto it?

    4. There's a lot of junk riding around the North Carolina freeways. Do those yahoo's slip some cash into their friendly mechanic's pocket? I abide by the law, but it'd anger me if Uncle Jethro's F-150 which is nothing more than rust and fumes can stay on the highway, but I can't.

    ... Perhaps if I fail enough times, and should some type of financal hardship, they'd grant me an exemption (especially if the insurance is listed as <2500 miles /year)
  6. Mike328

    Mike328 F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed

    Oct 19, 2002
    Boulder, CO
    Full Name:

    Some folks, every year or every two years, put back their stock exhaust or cats or whatever, and do the deed. We carb guys in 308s can just swap in some really, really lean jets and change the picture significantly for a few hours on an as-needed basis.

    The car may or may not pass without cats. All depends on the "raw" emissions of the engine, as indicated by the manufacturer, of a very tuned engine.

    Nobody's telling you to take your 348 into midas. Put them on yourself (should be an easy do-it-yourself job, or a good learning job if you're new to DIY maintenance), or have a private shop do it. I presume you have a mechanic--that's prerequisite #1 for owning these cars. He'll gladly do it I'm sure.

    Also, I doubt you'll get an exemption, unless there are regulations on this and you fall into one of their exemption categories. A low mileage 1990 Ferrari that can't pass emissions probably isn't going to get much sympathy.

    Regarding the F-150, often times there is an age exemption. Some states, for example, exempt cars greater than 25 years old... That might be why you see some seriously old smokers out there. The thinking is that these are 1) Pre-EPA cars that didn't have a lot of emissions in the first place, and 2) Form such a minority as to have little impact in the overall scheme of things.

    NC, emissions are a problem that most of us face. You'll get through it. See what your car puts out pre-cats first as a starting point.

  7. Dr.T348

    Dr.T348 Formula 3

    Jan 8, 2004
    Chicago NW Burbs
    Full Name:
    Richard T.
    In some states (Illinios) you can obtain a show car exemption. You need to have a special insurance with restrictions on milage, but not any more expensive. You that (at least in IL) get a 2 year exemption from emission testing. Check with your local testing station.

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