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Old 05-31-2008, 08:12 PM   #1
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Exclamation Help, my VX is a Gross Polluter!

Hey guys, I thought after my major service (timing belt, water pump, distributor, spark plug wires, spark plugs, new o2 sensor, seals) my car would be ok to get smogged. I have 142k plus miles on the car, original motor. I took it today and it failed. Oh btw, i didn't warm up the car, just drove the car from my house to the smog place and it's about 5 minutes down the street. Here are the readings:

1st test rpm 2415
Co2% 13.8
o2% 0.1

2nd test rpm 2246
Co2% 13.8
o2% 0.1

Visual inspection:

Functional Check:

Emissions test:
Gross Polluter

First test @ 15mph

Max 138
GP 312
Mine was 1238

Max .84
GP 2.34
Mine was 1.36

Max 859
GP 2088
Mine was 527

Result was GP for Gross polluter

Second run @25mph

Max 112
GP 262
Mine was 1071

Max .73
GP 2.23
mine was 1.36

Max 798
GP 1888
Mine was 507

Result GP

What can I do? The tech was saying maybe to clean the injectors? I have no clue what to do. Someone else recommended to get a new cat. Any clues?

I live in Los Angeles, CA. Emissions here are strict. My gas mileage still sucks. It's not getting anywhere near where this car was designed for. I think i'm average 28 mpg so roughly 280 a tank.

Former VX Owner

DD is a 1993 Civic Si Hatchback
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Old 05-31-2008, 10:27 PM   #2
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Looks like the EGR and timing are good, at least. How many miles on your engine? How old is the converter? I might be able to help with a new cat...just don't leave it closed up in the car'll probably pee on the seat...

But seriously, if the engine is burning a lot of oil, it may be time for a rebuild. If the catalytic converter has a lot of miles on it, or has been abused, might be time to replace it.

True story...I took a car ('84 Lincoln Town Car) in to be smogged last year. First time through, the HC was high. The smog guy recommended taking the car out and driving about 40 miles or so on the freeway and trying the cat good and hot...worked like a charm (that car usually just sat in the driveway).

Good luck

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Old 06-01-2008, 07:48 AM   #3
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That's extremely high HC's. Basically you're blowing gas out of the exhaust system. Usually it's NOx that are the problem. HC's are hydrocarbons which means you're NOT burning all the fuel or the piston rings are bad and you're getting oil in the combustion chamber. In either case, this will destroy your cat converter in a short time so you can basically plan on getting a new one.

You need to post up your O2 readings also.

Usually a weak ignition system is the reason you get high HC's. You didn't mention changing the distributor cap and rotor but these are cheap and easy parts that go bad in a short time. Check the vacuum line to your fuel pressure regulator. If it's leaking then you'll get very high fuel pressure at idle. Also check your base ignition timing. Check your spark plug wires. It's likely that you're getting a misfire. If the spark doesn't fire in the combustion chamber, all that fuel just gets pushed right out of the exhaust. What kind of spark plugs did you put in?

The highest HC's I've ever seen on a Civic were still less than 150ppm. After you pass, you'll be grateful for the smog check because you'll be getting much better mileage.

Civic VX, D15Z7, 5 Speed LSD, AEM EMS, AEM UEGO, AEM Twin Fire, Distributor-less, Waste Spark
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Old 06-01-2008, 10:19 AM   #4
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I hope you got the pretest so the smog machine didn't report you to the dmv. If it did you are going to have to go to a test only smog station next time. I had a car fail that bad before and it was a blown head gasket. You should do a compression check on it. The cat might be a problem but even without it it should almost pass, not fail that bad. It might be time for a $400 jdm engine in that thing.

If you have to take it to the test only place make sure to warm it up good and leave it idleing until they get to it. Since they don't do any adjustments on the car they often won't leave it warming up long enough to get it to pass for an older car like that
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Old 06-01-2008, 10:44 AM   #5
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Definately make sure the fuel pressure regulator is not a problem. Dai[hragm gone and sucking fuel in through the vac line.

NOX below specs and loads of unburned HC. Too rich.

Try clamping off the fuel supply hose to cut fuel delivery, see if the RPM rises before the lack of pressure causes it to stall.

Check fuel pressure, if too high the regulator is your problem, but the regulator could be leaking and still have pressure within specs (odds are low of that).

Oil consumption would need to be bad to really affect emissions.

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Old 06-01-2008, 09:26 PM   #6
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bummer i know them CA smog blues.... i just took out my D15Bvtec (= 1.6L D16Z6 ex/si) and put in the jdm D15Z1 vtec-E. definitley doing pretest first. i have new spark plugs, new rotor, my cat is 2yrs old (car sound??). Once I change my 5wire o2 and set the fast idle i'll smog her and post my results. that sounds bad you results... def run it for a good 30min before the test,and idle it till they put in the sniffer. For my low-mileage motor from Nippon Motors it was $350 w/o warranty or tax & plus my buddy bought a D15B7 same time so they gave us like $50 off each. If you go that route. I see another engine supplier on ebay located in Gardena (makoto) but they want a core or +$50 ! i was like fkk that yo.they tryin to come up on you by recycling your aluminum block and holding your $50 hostage ! Nippon is good, or another place down in San Diego i got a 1.6L jdm ZC sohc vtec for $425 few years ago is Orient Engines off of Ceasar Chavez Pkwy. Good luck!
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Old 06-02-2008, 06:21 AM   #7
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You stated you changed the distributor, spark plug wires, and spark plugs. Did you replace the distributor cap/rotor as well?

If so, my guess is it?s the catalytic converter. From what I understand cats for California cars are especially expensive. You have to ask yourself how long you will be keeping the car.
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Old 06-02-2008, 08:23 AM   #8
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Does CA allow you to give up trying to pass after spending a certain amount of money on repairing it? In RI, if you spend something like $300 and still can't pass, you get exempted.

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