November 28, 2007

The engine swap/smog(schmaug) saga

Filed under: Uncategorized — numist @ 11:32 pm

So, since most people reading this presumably already know my car, I’ll quickly recap:

I have a ’95 Del Sol VTEC (which comes with a B16A3) with a D16Z6 in it (from a ’95 Del Sol Si). It doesn’t have a smog certificate to make the new engine smog legal.

I bought it that way, and now I’ve inherited the business on fixing whatever was not done correctly in the swap.
At least, it’s either fix it correctly, or smog it in Fresno…

So I went to the referee today to get certified, and they check everything. Anything remotely attached to the engine with a wire, tube, or belt, they check. At the end of the day, I have good news and bad news.

First, the bad news:

  • The engine computer I have is not one they have on record as being the right ECU for the engine.
    Luckily their documentation was wrong, and a quick lookup in the dealer parts manual has saved me from buying the “right” computer. I spent months looking for the one I have now — when I bought the car it definitely had the wrong computer in it.
  • The cam pulley is aftermarket (and adjustable. Genius adjusted the timing an entire 0 degrees with the super cool rice pulley). Easily fixed.
  • The computer is throwing an error code. I think it’s the O2 sensor. Fine, easy. Another $100.
  • The fun one: the VTEC solenoid (the one that makes the car go vroom) is connected to a temperature sensor (instead of the computer).
    Let’s think about that for a moment:
    “But Scott,” you would say, “doesn’t that mean that when your car overheats, VTEC changes to high-rpm mode?”
    You’re goddamn right. \m/

Luckily, there’s more good news than bad here, and I can sum it up in one point:

  • The car passes the emissions test.

Yeah, you heard me. PASS.

This might not actually wind up being so bad.

A lesson to you swap kids out there: do it right.


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