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Old 10-08-2012, 01:58 PM   #1
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CA SMOG failed Again -rant - considering salvage

Hello Jeepers, long story here….
My Jeep has failed the SMOG for the 3rd straight year; it has failed smog since 2008. 2008 failed(174K miles), spent $1265, don’t ask me what happned there, the smog repair center kept replacing one component after the other (O2, EGR, CAT) and test(and charge me)….I took them to BBB and “nothing happed”( no, quilt literally nothing happened). Well, 2010 failed again (186K miles), a little tinkering with the idle screws and it passed.

Fast forward to 2012, it failed again, this time HC and CO was high. The shop that told me that was going to adjust carb ended up “tuning” and changing O2 sensor. Retest, HC and CO passed, but the NOx failed this time around which was fine before ( measured 12xx when max allowed is 600 something, I can give the exact number as soon as I get home)….there goes another $200 some odd again. Unlike last few years, this time, I have a wife and a new born, so fixing this is no longer a priority at home, especially since this Jeep keeps needing repairs all the time( seriously, there is always something that it needs every month) . My wife has asked to just get rid of it (plain and simple- we cannot sell it in CA as it is NOT SMOG legal anymore).
For the first time I have to agree with her. I cannot spend any more money on this Jeep. It just does not cut it.

I agree that it has 195K miles but here is a brief history. Bought is 2007 with rebuilt engine at 167K miles(engine still runs and sounds fantastic), over last few years, I have changed, starter, alternator, carb, water pump, belts, cat( twice), entire brakes system, radiator, clutch, interior including carpets, seats, I painted the entire Jeep, got hardtop, full doors, off road tires, u-joints etc. The list is endless.
I also agree this Jeep is in its twilight but what bothers me the most is that the engine sounds and run great (no kidding). I have always taken care of it properly and never abused it.


In a nut shell, the issue lies within the carb, it is and has always been the carb. I just know that…It runs fine is SFO bay area(almost sea level) and when I haul it to Tahoe( 6K feet and up), it totally acts up. Again, take a screw driver and tinker with the two screws on the carb and all is well for some time. Come home, it runs rich…back to screwdriver again.
There is one mechanic that I trust (and don’t at the same time) but usually take his advice. I have asked him if there is any way to tell when the carb is set correctly (atleast to pass the smog). He says, bring to the shop and he will “try to fix” the carb and tell what needs to be done. A total of 2 hours at $120 something an hour! Well, that is the whole point; I cannot spend another 200 something just to listen to the same old story that I need to take it to the smog repair center to “legally” replace this and that.
When the Jeep came back from the SMOG repair center in 2008 the idle was pretty high, I say about 850-900 something( normal should be 730 max). I have a feeling that all the things they replaced were just a scam (atleast half of it)…all it needed was a good card adjustment and a quick tune up.


Now, I’m done with all the whining and rant. Sorry to put you guys to through this but I cannot count on any local mechanic that I can trust or pay extended services. I cannot even pay up the Non OP and keep the Jeep as I live in an apartment complex (no unregistered or expired sticker on the lot).
The only question I have now is: how to adjust the carb and know that is upto factory spec? Why my carb does have two adjustments that seem to do the same thing? (Note: Ignoring the one that is towards the passenger side, it is the cold start idle). Of the left most two screws that seems to control the running idle and traffic stop idle (or whatever they call it), both seems to push the same unit on the carb, well, at different points. If it is Air versus Gas, can someone tell me which of these two screws controls the Gas, (high NOx means low Gas- running lean, right?)
One other option that I got was to replace the carb with EFI but that’s $1800 for just the part....

Let me know guys...

I find it unholy to salvage a Jeep- period, but with the blessing of YJ owners…

Some pictures of my Jeep to keep you guys entertained:




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Old 10-08-2012, 03:10 PM   #2
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I'm not going to pour salt into an open wound about your "repair story." Why salvage it, just sell it out of state, done.

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Old 10-08-2012, 03:19 PM   #3
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I'm not going to pour salt into an open wound about your "repair story." Why salvage it, just sell it out of state, done.
I'm open for that...and with no rust anywhere, it might be doable.
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:33 PM   #4
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Yeah I think so, or get a non-CA relative to buy it from you. I just flew out to VA from NY just to buy a jeep and visit relatives, and drove it home. Seems like a waste to salvage a running jeep that you obviously have sentiment regarding.
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:40 PM   #5
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Man that sucks....the more and more I read, I'm glad I dont have to live out there. That being said, why dont you change the carb to something other than a stock one. I wonder if there is anyone passing with a motorcraft or weber on theirs? They are light years easier to tune than that old jeep one. Another thing is that your ECM might be acting up and not calibrating the carb right (most mechanics I know have no idea that the early carbed YJ's have ecms too) The other thing I read is that you said they set the idle high the one time you got it back....this leads me to believe it disperses less smog at a higher RPM than at your 730ish setting.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:32 PM   #6
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The other thing I read is that you said they set the idle high the one time you got it back....this leads me to believe it disperses less smog at a higher RPM than at your 730ish setting.
Exactly what the smog repair center had done in 2008( at least that is what I believe), after all things failed...They just masked their inability to fix the carb by high reving and skewing the results.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:53 PM   #7
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Don't sell it just pack up all your shit and move out of ca get away from that envieromental hippy bull crud plus gas is like a dollar cheaper any where in the us
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:30 PM   #8
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I wish moving out was an option...
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:17 PM   #9
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yeah, vijayjay, i think i agree, i would probly just move also, the money you have spent on their stupid laws and crud you could have put a down payment on another apartment and payed for someone to move your stuff...... but that sucks man. dont know what to tell ya.


and by the way.......GO REDS
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:16 AM   #10
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Webers aren't legal in CA for vehicles that need smogged. Besides the OEM Carter, I believe the Motorcraft and one other are the only legal ones. Over on the jeepforum.com site, there are a couple of CA guys who are quite knowledgable about carbs, maybe you should try posting over there before you give up.
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:24 AM   #11
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You can sell it in ca just have to put as buyer aware of smog done it 3 times im from Modesto ca if you do decide to sell...i think you shouldn't...but let me know
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:39 AM   #12
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if your willing to spend some money it can be fixed and not be a problem again. install the howel fuel injection, the kit costs about 1200.00. be sure to get the CA. legal kit.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:39 AM   #13
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I feel for your situation. I have friends in CA who are trying to smog-pass a classic Triumph they just restored. No amount of anything they do gets them passed.

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Old 10-09-2012, 12:44 PM   #14
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Webers aren't legal in CA for vehicles that need smogged. Besides the OEM Carter, I believe the Motorcraft and one other are the only legal ones. Over on the jeepforum.com site, there are a couple of CA guys who are quite knowledgable about carbs, maybe you should try posting over there before you give up.
Thanks! I will try that forum too....
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:52 PM   #15
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if your willing to spend some money it can be fixed and not be a problem again. install the howel fuel injection, the kit costs about 1200.00. be sure to get the CA. legal kit.
Thanks, I know $1200 is not lot of money in retrospective (considering buying another vehicle and all) but my wife is pretty adamant about not putting in more into this… and I concur( BTW, I was quoted $1800, may be different brand). I did some calculation and I feel I can get another 20K Miles out of it before the engine totally dies on me. That could mean a Jeep for another 4-5 years at the rate I put in miles on it. I need to rethink...
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:56 PM   #16
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You can sell it in ca just have to put as buyer aware of smog done it 3 times im from Modesto ca if you do decide to sell...i think you shouldn't...but let me know
I'm little apprehensive about putting it on craigslist...I do not want the new owner to go through what I know is coming his way, unless he is a smog-repair mechanic(he deserve it).
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:24 PM   #17
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you said your at about 200k right?
i would say you have at least another 50k out of that engine, more if you put that little mileage on it every year
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:40 PM   #18
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What do you want for it as it sits? I would buy, fix and run it (Im also a Cali smog tech).

Where are you located? Would you consider a partial trade?
I have a 97 K1500 Z71 im selling...
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:23 PM   #19
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What do you want for it as it sits? I would buy, fix and run it (Im also a Cali smog tech).

Where are you located? Would you consider a partial trade?
I have a 97 K1500 Z71 im selling...
I'm in Santa Clara, CA! I will pass on trade unless it's Pete 387 with CAT 15 and 18 Speed (500K to 700 K miles) AND RED.
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:20 PM   #20
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What do you want for it as it sits? I would buy, fix and run it (Im also a Cali smog tech).
Ahem...

ALSO: the little screw you want to turn to change the mixture only affects the mixture at IDLE, and we run our smogs on a dyno, off idle at 15 and 25MPH, under load.


Your best bet, if you were to keep it would be to install the Howell TBI kit and be done with it forever.

I am interested in buying it, but remember, without a smog, its not going to sell for much in Cali, and I would need to fix it , so....
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:35 PM   #21
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What do you want for it as it sits? I would buy, fix and run it (Im also a Cali smog tech).

Where are you located? Would you consider a partial trade?
I have a 97 K1500 Z71 im selling...
WTF dude. Instead of helping yourself to a steal on a Jeep, why don't you help a fellow Jeeper out.
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:14 PM   #22
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I am interested in buying it, but remember, without a smog, its not going to sell for much in Cali, and I would need to fix it , so....
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xs View Post
What do you want for it as it sits? I would buy, fix and run it (Im also a Cali smog tech).

Where are you located? Would you consider a partial trade?
I have a 97 K1500 Z71 im selling...
WTF dude. Instead of helping yourself to a steal on a Jeep, why don't you help a fellow Jeeper out.
Thanks P0234 I was hoping he was going to help me too but I will take any valued added input from anyone at this time. If it comes to that(meaning selling), I will trying putting it online for folks from other states to buy(unless they have Pete 387) , just not craigslist or local sale....
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:59 PM   #23
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I wish you were closer to San Diego... I would have a fix for you...
And it wouldnt involve me telling you how little it was worth and then trying to buy it from you!
There is also a method (not sure exactly what it is) that you can petition the state to assist in paying for the repairs to bring it up to code. The previous owner of my YJ did that in 2011 when it needed a new cat. The state cut him a check for $430 to get it repaired.
I can give him a call and ask what he had to do, but I also can look at the paperwork, because he gave it to me when he sold me the Jeep.
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:41 AM   #24
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Yeah you should qualify for state assistance by now..

By the way, with all of the money you have spent on trying to fix ancient technology, you could have put a Howell TBI unit on it and could have had it fly through SMOG. I think you should consider it, it's a worthwhile upgrade from what other TBI 4.2 owners are saying.
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:54 AM   #25
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Ever thought of a howell fuel injection coversion?
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:17 AM   #26
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that you can petition the state to assist in paying for the repairs to bring it up to code. The previous owner of my YJ did that in 2011 when it needed a new cat. The state cut him a check for $430 to get it repaired.
I can give him a call and ask what he had to do, but I also can look at the paperwork, because he gave it to me when he sold me the Jeep.
Yes, any info you can provide be would be much appreciated.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:11 PM   #27
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Talking It lives!!!!

IT LIVES!!!!


Here is what I did last night, I went ahead and messed with the Carb again. Not much, just increase everything by tightening the screws. I replaced all the spark plugs and gapped them to 3500. I changed the air filter and blasted the carb with the cleaner.

A friend of mine told me to go to another shop (even if it costs more) and this time, I shortlisted a few smogs stations that have been running for over 10 years (called and spoke blah blah). Picked the closest shop and went there at 3:00 PM ish and the shop owner told me to do a full test ( I was insisting on a pretest that costs less, $30). He finally had to heed to my demands and did a pretest. Result= PASS!. I told him to do a full test, result =PASS.
While the technician was working on my Jeep, the owner struck up a conversation and told me that most probable cause of all the issues was the O2 sensor and/or running lean. After all test was done he charged me $75( actually it was $90 and I talked him down) and that was end of it...
Good luck to me for 2014 smog then?

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Old 10-10-2012, 08:02 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vijay
IT LIVES!!!!


Here is what I did last night, I went ahead and messed with the Carb again. Not much, just increase everything by tightening the screws. I replaced all the spark plugs and gapped them to 3500. I changed the air filter and blasted the carb with the cleaner.

A friend of mine told me to go to another shop (even if it costs more) and this time, I shortlisted a few smogs stations that have been running for over 10 years (called and spoke blah blah). Picked the closest shop and went there at 3:00 PM ish and the shop owner told me to do a full test ( I was insisting on a pretest that costs less, $30). He finally had to heed to my demands and did a pretest. Result= PASS!. I told him to do a full test, result =PASS.
While the technician was working on my Jeep, the owner struck up a conversation and told me that most probable cause of all the issues was the O2 sensor and/or running lean. After all test was done he charged me $75( actually it was $90 and I talked him down) and that was end of it...
Good luck to me for 2014 smog then?

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That's great you got it worked out! Time to go hit up the trails lol
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:06 PM   #29
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Thats the best damn news Ive heard all day... seriously...
Congrats. Another YJ saved from the salvage yard!!!
If your ever down to San Diego, first round is on me!
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:24 PM   #30
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I should have driven out and bought the thing from you. CONGRATS on hangin in there I went through failed smogs here in Vegas and I know your pain. My old lady was going crazy and actually asked if I knew what I was doing!!!! That was a fun month. Time to get offroad top down!!!!

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