Yes, if the BAR sticker is not present, or if it is present but is illegible, you will need to take it to a smog referee, who will inspect and test the vehicle before issuing a new one. It's very useful to bring whatever supporting documentation you have to show exactly what smog equipment was on the car originally. The resources that the smog referee has for determining such (primarily the Mitchell manual), are very likely to be in error. For example, I was able to use my owner's manual to prove to the referee that my Federal-spec van didn't come with an oxygen sensor originally. Without that proof, they would have relied on the Mitchell manual, which apparently doesn't know about the differences between Cali-spec and Federal-spec Vanagons.tommu wrote:I’m very serious about buying a 1976 Westy. It’s in Minnesota but it was originally from California. It appears to have a fully intact and stock ljet system as well as a brand new exhaust system.
From my research I need to apply register within 20 days of purchase in CA. As part of the process I need a SMOG certificate.
In order to get SMOG certificate I would need:
1. SMOG sticker indicating how to test? This may not be present so I’d need to visit the ARB REF for one
2. CARB II CAT
3. A Bus that’s running efficiently!
This raises a couple of questions for me:
a) Am I crazy to do this!
b) What do I do without a drop in CAT. I know SGKent is doing great things with Magnaflow, but their drop in CAT is seemingly not yet available. Does anyone have any experience of those weld in universal CATs?
C)What would happen if I paid my fees but didn’t present SMOG cert for some months? Are there severe consequences? I can’t seem to find out online.
I also have been waiting to hear from SGKent on the Magnaflow part number for the drop-in cat. My present system has a Magnaflow 339916 cat which they once claimed was a "Direct-Fit" for the Vanagon, but which required a fair bit of cutting and welding to eventually fit. If I were you, I would wait for the correctly-fitting cat to be available, even if it pushes you outside the desired time window. It is so much nicer having the factory-correct exhaust system instead of some fugly bodged-together mess of pipes.
Bleyseng does bring up a good point about the new exhaust system, though. If it is an aftermarket "header" system, then the new cat from Magnaflow isn't going to help, and you'll have to get a cat and muffler welded in somehow, It's actually pretty hard to find a muffler that is short enough to fit back there in-line with the cat. Aircooledchris has a couple of pictures of his setup with a header.
Based on my experience, you need to have the smog certificate in hand before the DMV will even take your money to register it. If you don't get the smog certificate within the 20 day window, it's no big deal: you just end up paying a penalty (consider it a tardy tax) for past due registration fees. In my case the penalty added up to about $400, but that's mostly because I was about 4 years tardy. I wouldn't think that the hit would be anywhere near as bad for you.