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So I finally have this 94 RRC project running and I took it to the smog check place. They said the welds below needed to be fixed and the part replaced -- an approximately $1,200 job! Anyone know if that sounds right or if there's a way around this? (Other than trying to improperly pass a smog check which is not my preferred option.)

92575
 

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I'm not aware of laws against ugly welds, or what the factual basis of needing to replace the cat is...

can you find a spare part from a wrecker?
 

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I'm not aware of laws against ugly welds, or what the factual basis of needing to replace the cat is...

can you find a spare part from a wrecker?
Yeah, I can't seem to find that rule anywhere, either. I'll take a look for one.
 

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I remember reading about something like this somewhere. I think California doesn't allow relocating or modifying the cats, which is why some headers that move the cats (even a little bit) aren't permitted there. It appears as though someone at some point welded that small section of pipe into the exhaust, and the guy at the smog place considered this a "modification to emissions control devices" or something (maybe the cat got moved downwards?) and is therefore "illegal". If the cat still works, I have no idea why this wouldn't be allowed, but California be California. Maybe try taking it to a different smog place and see if they care too? I don't see what replacing a fully functional cat to get rid of some ugly welds would accomplish in the eyes of the inspector (aside from putting working materials in a junkyard - gotta love "eco-conscious" California laws, but that's a conversation for another day).
 

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I remember reading about something like this somewhere. I think California doesn't allow relocating or modifying the cats, which is why some headers that move the cats (even a little bit) aren't permitted there. It appears as though someone at some point welded that small section of pipe into the exhaust, and the guy at the smog place considered this a "modification to emissions control devices" or something (maybe the cat got moved downwards?) and is therefore "illegal". If the cat still works, I have no idea why this wouldn't be allowed, but California be California. Maybe try taking it to a different smog place and see if they care too? I don't see what replacing a fully functional cat to get rid of some ugly welds would accomplish in the eyes of the inspector (aside from putting working materials in a junkyard - gotta love "eco-conscious" California laws, but that's a conversation for another day).
I think you're right and I should just try another place. I see that modification isn't allowed but I'm not sure that ugly welds should not automatically qualify....
 

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Yeah I don't get it... If I were inspecting I would have passed you. The factory cat is still there on the factory piping before the cat (I could see if they were worried about exhaust leaks before the cat, but the ugly welds are after, so idk what gives), so I don't see a problem. These inspections can be somewhat subjective, so finding another place to test it is what I would do. I see no valid reason why you shouldn't pass (assuming you have no CEL or anything like that) - the factory cat is still there and looks to be in good shape, and is attached to the factory exhaust from the manifold back to those welds, so I see no reason why ugly welds should fail you.
 

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Do you know why it has that piece is welded on there? Is there another cut on the other side of the cat? If that’s the only cut it could’ve been to gut the cat, the reason I say that is because I did it to mine, I live in Oregon where it’s less of an issue though. If there’s two cuts then the cat was probably replaced and if it’s carb compliant I don’t see why it would be an issue. That would mean you couldn’t have new cats welded in, you’d have to replace the whole y-pipe assembly which is crazy, but not surprising for California. I’d definitely try another place, or maybe you can take it to a shop to have them clean that section up with better welds?
 

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Do you know why it has that piece is welded on there? Is there another cut on the other side of the cat? If that’s the only cut it could’ve been to gut the cat, the reason I say that is because I did it to mine, I live in Oregon where it’s less of an issue though. If there’s two cuts then the cat was probably replaced and if it’s carb compliant I don’t see why it would be an issue. That would mean you couldn’t have new cats welded in, you’d have to replace the whole y-pipe assembly which is crazy, but not surprising for California. I’d definitely try another place, or maybe you can take it to a shop to have them clean that section up with better welds?
Interesting. No welds on the other side of the cat. So maybe it was gutted -- car wasn't always in CA with the prior owner so that's possible. But it failed visual inspection not the test even so not sure why it fail before they checked to see if actually was. Sounds like I definitely need to try a new place. I'll try and get over there tonight or tomorrow and update the thread. Thanks for the help.
 

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Do you know why it has that piece is welded on there? Is there another cut on the other side of the cat? If that’s the only cut it could’ve been to gut the cat, the reason I say that is because I did it to mine, I live in Oregon where it’s less of an issue though. If there’s two cuts then the cat was probably replaced and if it’s carb compliant I don’t see why it would be an issue. That would mean you couldn’t have new cats welded in, you’d have to replace the whole y-pipe assembly which is crazy, but not surprising for California. I’d definitely try another place, or maybe you can take it to a shop to have them clean that section up with better welds?
I'm going to try a new place. Otherwise the local range rover mechanic quoted me a good price on the welds but he was also skeptical that this alone should lead to a visual fail.
 

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Good luck! If you want to try something cheap and easy you could wrap it with heat shield just to cover it up and maybe they wouldn’t think to look closer... might work?
 

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Californian here, even with our absurdly strict smog regs this should have been fine. I would definitely try another shop, that's a load of malarkey. The cat is in it's proper place, and if it runs clean per the sniffer, that should be the end of it. Sounds like the tester is trying to drum up work for himself or one of his repair shop buddies.
 

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Agreed.
 

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Californian here, even with our absurdly strict smog regs this should have been fine. I would definitely try another shop, that's a load of malarkey. The cat is in it's proper place, and if it runs clean per the sniffer, that should be the end of it. Sounds like the tester is trying to drum up work for himself or one of his repair shop buddies.
This certainly seems to be what's going on here - I can't see any other valid reason why you would fail because of this.
 

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So I finally have this 94 RRC project running and I took it to the smog check place. They said the welds below needed to be fixed and the part replaced -- an approximately $1,200 job! Anyone know if that sounds right or if there's a way around this? (Other than trying to improperly pass a smog check which is not my preferred option.)

View attachment 92575
the ugly welds are not what's wrong with it. there appears to be an additional section where we cant see, because that cat looks way low to begin with. they need to be so many inches from the manifold. Just take it to a different smog center. The one I go to runs the first test with out sending the info, in case it wont pass. also that Cat needs to say CARB on it someplace (California air resource board) approved. since last years the cat prices have doubled
 

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To update -- took it to a second place and they said -- like everyone predicted that the weld issue was "malarkey." So everyone who suspected that was right. Thank you again. Still not sure it will pass smog (hasn't been running in 3 years) but ran out of time and have to take it back there to give it a shot.
 
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