Daily Driver in California - Subaru WRX Forum
 
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#1 Old 02-14-2010, 05:10 PM
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Daily Driver in California

I searched through the various "read me first" postings and hadn't found anything that addressed my questions, so please forgive me if I overlooked it. I have an '06 WRX Wagon, and would very much like to put a little more "fun" factor into the car while at the same time keeping it CA (smog) legal.

In essence, I would appreciate any advice concerning bolt on mods that improve engine and handling performance while retaining stock reliability and emissions legality.

Thank you all much.
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#2 Old 02-14-2010, 06:21 PM
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Not real familiar with the CA laws, but some type of Engine management, even a "stage 1" tune really helps the car to be a better driver. Usually the best thing is to get an aftermarket bellmouth DP (down pipe) and a tune. This should help some here tho also:Unabomber's Manifesto - NASIOC

Joshua
"2007 WRX- PPG'd, 20G- Tim Bailey tuned
Stage 2 2005 WRX
Cobbtuning.com"
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#3 Old 02-14-2010, 07:08 PM
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At the absolute worst, keep all the stock parts and you an always put them back on if they fail you for emissions. That's what I'm doing with the parts that seem to matter- intake, intercooler, downpipe, exhaust.

-Chris
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#4 Old 02-14-2010, 08:03 PM
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#5 Old 02-15-2010, 12:41 AM
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If you want to be fully legit, then get parts that are CARB certified. The problem will be finding parts with this certification since it is a pain to get.

The AP should be a safe bet- just as long as you don't reflash/reset the ECU within a couple days of needing a test- if it fails the sniffer test, you will need to go back to stock mapping more than likely.

But for the visual, they will fail you if they notice a non-stock part without a CARB number. All depends on your inspection station on that issue. Course, it's been a few years since I lived in CA, but you can also always go down to your local smog station and ask.

Just one more reason I love living in Elmore county in ID- no smog laws =)

-D
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#6 Old 02-15-2010, 12:55 AM
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Get a hi-flow cat in the downpipe (COBB,HELIX,ETC) and then get a stealth exhaust (Maddad Whisper, Borla Hush, SPT). Then get tuned by a reputable tuner. Depending on where you are located in CA, you can go to Crawford Performance (Oceanside), or HB Speed, etc
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#7 Old 02-16-2010, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RcrsWetDream View Post
At the absolute worst, keep all the stock parts and you an always put them back on if they fail you for emissions. That's what I'm doing with the parts that seem to matter- intake, intercooler, downpipe, exhaust.

In CA, you'll probably pass the "sniff test" but it is the visual test that poses problems (depending on how well you know your smog test tech).

For my last smog test (Dec 2008), I kept the stock exhaust starting from the turbo and going back to the tailpipe, so that I can put it on before the smog test (I have a stock intake). I did not swap the up-pipe. Also, if your engine computer is throwing any CELs, the testing computer will catch that (in CA). I did not change my tune back to the stock tune for my test and still passed with flying colors.

I also ended up explaining what an Intercooler (top mount) was to the smog tech...

Matt
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