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Re: Dual carb mod in CA?

Subject: Re: Dual carb mod in CA?
From: (Denise Thorpe)
Date: Tue, 22 Aug 95 18:47:18 PDT
Some (abridged) recent comments about California smog laws:

> >     Has anyone out there successfully converted a mid or late '70s MGB to 
> >dual SU carbs in California? I have a '77, and really like to get rid of 
> >the Zenith 'Constant depression' (aptly named) carb. I suppose one could 
> >swap out the manifold and carbs every two years...
> >
> David... 
> I've got a similar problem with an '80 MGB. I posted a message a while back 
>asking people to share 
> their experiences with getting modified cars passed CA smog and got very 
>litt> le feed back. 

You probably didn't get much feedback because not many people do it.  There's
a severe penalty for trying to get a modified car smogged and failing.  If 
you're an idiot or a cheapskate and your car is spewing pollutants because
it's broken, the California Air Resources Board (like they dole out the air)
is happy.  You merely give them MORE MONEY and you can pollute all you like.
However, if you actually improve the combustion of the car by making modif-
ications, then you're financially liable to make the car pass the limits no 
matter what.

For example, your car needs rings and you put dual carbs on it to make it
run better.  If the smog technician notices that you have the wrong carbs,
you're obligated to rebuild the engine, whereas if you left the stock carb
on, you pay the maximum amount (the estimated cost of a tuneup for the year 
of the car) to the smog/repair facility to make a lame attempt to make your 
car pass and then you get an exemption for the rings.  When you modify a car, 
you give away your "get out of jail free" card.  That's why people swap the 
stock stuff back on every two years.

> If you decide to proceed and don't want to convert every year, get it blessed 
>by a CA Smog Referee 
> first. And if you have any LUCK, PLEASE let me know!

If for some reason, you can't _get_ the part you need to make your car stock,
a smog referee can give you an exemption for an approved replacement, but you 
have to jump through a few flaming hoops first.  And you have to _prove_ that 
you can't get the part _before_ you install it or you fall under the "modified
car" rule described above.

It _is_ possible for replacement parts to get a blanket blessing from the 
ARB.  The manufacturer of the replacement part usually does this because it 
costs big bucks and requires supplying specifications that the average car 
owner doesn't have.  Believe it or not, you get the info on what you can put 
on your car from the Automotive Repair Bureau of California.  They're in the
phone book.

But you knew this.  My info comes from having a smog license from '79 to 
'84.  From what I've heard, the smog laws haven't changed much -- just the 
costs and emissions limits.  If I'm wrong, please correct me because I'd 
hate to get anyone in trouble.

MG's in particular:
Air pumps are a "hard to get item" and you can have the ARB look for one for
you.  Honest!  They scour the junk yards and they can only make you pay so

I vaguely remember hearing that there is a Weber that's sanctioned by the

MG's are getting old enough to fall off the edge of the world, info-wise.
There are no longer any timing specs for my '67 B in the official books.
Soon, the pimply-faced teenager who gives your car the visual inspection
will have no way of knowing what's supposed to be on your car.  But s/he
might know MG's and then you'd be in trouble.

Denise "spending WAY too much time on this stuff" Thorpe

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