Car won't pass inspection in Oregon, giving up - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 62 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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Car won't pass inspection in Oregon, giving up

Fate has determined that I should no longer own an Esprit. Either that or my family is conspiring behind my back LOL. In any event, the car is runing beautifuly, finally seem to have sorted all the latest issues and then this. Bang, car won't pass DEQ in Oregon. The shop tried a tune up and stuff but no go. They now want to do a complete engine rebuild (they wanted to do a complete suspension rebuild when an alignment solved all the issues). Nothing against the shop, they are perfectionists, and typically work on getting cars ready for track days.

I'm just not into it anymore, I'm burned out with all the repairs. The engine purrs so I hate to put all that money into a rebuild. I'm wondering if the PO changing out the ECU chips set is the issue (though I had no problems passing emissions in PA).

In any event, I'm done. I'm going to sell it (probably more like giving it away). So what's the easiest way to sell it; eBay, Craigslist, Cars.com)?

Rob
93 Esprit SE
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post #2 of 62 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 10:32 AM
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Honestly, my suggestion would be to find a better shop. If their response to emissions issues is really to do a full engine rebuild, then I would run far, far away.

Perhaps you can share what/how the car is failing emissions and the folks on here can help solve it?

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post #3 of 62 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rteichman View Post
Fate has determined that I should no longer own an Esprit. Either that or my family is conspiring behind my back LOL. In any event, the car is runing beautifuly, finally seem to have sorted all the latest issues and then this. Bang, car won't pass DEQ in Oregon. The shop tried a tune up and stuff but no go. They now want to do a complete engine rebuild (they wanted to do a complete suspension rebuild when an alignment solved all the issues). Nothing against the shop, they are perfectionists, and typically work on getting cars ready for track days.

I'm just not into it anymore, I'm burned out with all the repairs. The engine purrs so I hate to put all that money into a rebuild. I'm wondering if the PO changing out the ECU chips set is the issue (though I had no problems passing emissions in PA).

In any event, I'm done. I'm going to sell it (probably more like giving it away). So what's the easiest way to sell it; eBay, Craigslist, Cars.com)?
If you're giving it away, I'll take it.

In Maryland I can get historic tags for it and it won't even have to go through safety or emissions inspections.

Owned, loved, enjoyed, and now gone:
1969 Europa S2 Blue
1970 Europa S2 White
1974 Europa Twin Cam Blue
1974 Europa Twin Cam Blue
1984 Turbo Esprit Calypso Red
2005 Elise Starlight Black
2005 Elise Saffron Yellow
2005 Elise Ardent Red
2006 Exige Graphite Grey
2007 Exige Canyon Red

Other:
1970 MGB GT
1970 Datsun 510
1984 Honda CRX Si
1984 Pontiac Fiero
2004 Chrysler Crossfire
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post #4 of 62 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 10:56 AM
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Unless you've already done so, it likely only needs a new cat -- if it's running as smoothly as you say it is..

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post #5 of 62 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 11:02 AM
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Don't sell it!

How is it failing?

What CAT are you running? If its a smaller free flow type one then you may simply need to take the car for a hard drive before the test and not allow them to turn the motor off and let the CAT cool down.

I know every State can be different so maybe it is worse for you, but here in Vancouver BC. there are two SE's one mine and the other a 93. Both are modified with chips, injectors, turbo, small free flow cat, and both pass the emission inspections just fine.

Mine failed first time due simply because the cat was not hot enough to work properly the first time.

Hope this might help

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post #6 of 62 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 11:51 AM
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If the motor is running normally there is no reason it shouldn't pass. I second or third what the others have said. Get that cat good and HOT before you take it.

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post #7 of 62 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 11:59 AM
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Rob, I am sorry to hear this latest problem. You've gone through a lot (fuel tanks, loose bolts, etc) but please heed the advice so far before dumping the car. Explain as specifically as you can what is failing in the OR test. here are many here who can figure out what you need. A "complete engine rebuild" is nuts. Good luck-Ken
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post #8 of 62 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 12:07 PM
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I 2nd or 3rd the question... How's it failing?

The 93 Esprit SE is pretty simple to diagnose and repair for emissions related issues (generally). The CAT would be one of the more likely. But also simple things like replacing a dirty air filter, running some injector cleaner, replacing the O2 sensor ($33)...

It sounds like your shop doesn't know what they are doing with the electronic injected Esprit... IMO

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post #9 of 62 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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When I get home I will get the numbers and post them. The car was hot before the emissions test as I have to drive 20 minutes to get there. The cat is original, not sure what type it is.

As I said, the shop is just being meticulous. They ran compression tests on the cylinders and they were below spec. That's why they said to do a rebuild. I don't have the numbers handy, 2 cylinders were slightly lower than spec and 2 where more below spec. I'm not sure how far off spec the compression has to be before you "feel it". I just know that it's responsive and smooth.

By the way, this place is better than my last shop. The new place asked me to check the bill from the other shop when they replaced the head gasket to see what was done. With my work schedule I tend to pay over the phone, and pick up the car when the shop is closed. Hence I never looked at the bill closely. The last shop charged me for 16 gallons of antifreeze, 45 quarts of oil, 2 oild filters, amongst other charges for the gasket replacement

Rob
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post #10 of 62 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rteichman View Post
[snip]though I had no problems passing emissions in PA).

In any event, I'm done. I'm going to sell it (probably more like giving it away). So what's the easiest way to sell it; eBay, Craigslist, Cars.com)?
Unless I missed something, the smog requirements for 1993 are the same for all 50 states. So if you passed in PA, unless something drastically has changed from PA to OR, there should not be a difference.

Easy stuff has been mentioned - get the engine/cat hot, then test.

If your cat is gutted/original 1993, as Sanj mentioned, a new cat may push you over the top.

How far off are your smog levels?

RE: selling - I'ver sold my 1992 Mustang on eBay - very easy back in 2006. But selling (or buying) an Esprit - well, that's a little more of a challenge - old exotic car, limited market.

Last time I looked at eBay (2012), they were charging a flat $150 to sell any car above $4500 value. The issue is that screening out non-paying bidders is still an issue on eBay; craiglists is even harder for obvious reasons.

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post #11 of 62 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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OK, I called home and got results:
HC try 1 722 limit 220
HC try 2 501 limit 220
CO try 1 1.0243 limit 1.0000
CO try 2 0.7677 limit 1.0000 (passed that time)
CO2 try 1 12.4
CO2 try 2 12.9
Not sure about CO2 since it was not indicated but there is a column that says CO+CO2: 6 I'm not sure if that means with a CO of about 1 my CO2 needs to be below 5. In any case DEQ did not mark that as bad

Rob
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post #12 of 62 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 12:42 PM
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I had my car checked north of the border and it was incredibly clean. (probably not so much now that the cat is gone....) but the car can certainly run clean.

For a shop to suggest a full rebuild in order to pass smog certainly sends a few red flags up as far as I'm concerned. I would look to the Chip and the condition of the cat. Remember even if the cat appears to be intact there have been more than a few that have had the guts removed...might be worth a look.
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post #13 of 62 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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I also got the compression and leakdown numbers:
Cyl 1/2/3/4
PSI 140/110/110/130
Leak 50%/30%/30%/35%
To be honest I'm not sure what the leakdown tests mean. I do know that the car has almost 60,000 miles on it and never had a valve job (which this shop says could have been done at the same time I had the gasket replaced for less than they charged me for all that oil )

Rob
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post #14 of 62 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 12:56 PM
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Sadly, your engine is probably in need of a rebuild with those numbers. If the numbers are following the cylinder pattern, you have strong compression at 140, but a leakdown rate of 50% in that same cylinder, which usually indicates worn rings or valves. Leakdown is a static test that measures a decrease in pressure from a start point with that cylinder typically fixed at TDC. I'd say 20% leakdown is an acceptable number for a stock engine, YMMV.

Taking this into account, you could be getting some oil contamination in your exhaust causing the high emissions readings, but like others have said, a good cat might be able to clean that up. Some fresh full synthetic oil might not hurt either if you don't already have that.

Best of luck, hate to see you sell in this kind of situation.
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post #15 of 62 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 12:57 PM
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The high HC and CO numbers say very poor combustion; those compression numbers don't help. But if you passed in PA, SOMETHING major has changed since moving to OR.

>60,000 miles and never had a valve job

My 88 engine has never been apart 68K miles and near zero CO at last 3 smog tests 2011 (31K miles), 2012 (43K miles), and 2014 (57K miles). And that is with the more primitive mechanical injection (Bosch CIS).

I'd be very surprised if your PA tests were anywhere near the levels of your current HC/CO - those indicate something in the fuel sensor loop (O2 sensors ? vacuum leak? ECU profile?) are telling it to dump more fuel than is necessary (or you truly do have a rebuild issue).

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post #16 of 62 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 01:00 PM
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If the cat is original then replacing it would be my first step to fix the emissions failure. I had a friend do a complete rebuild for the same reason, and it still failed. We put a new cat on and he passed with flying colors.

Those middle cylinder compression numbers are fairly poor, but I would want to be sure they performed them while the engine was hot, all four plugs removed, and throttle wide open.

The leakdown numbers are bad, but it's pretty hard to do the test in situ -- the engine will want to turn over due to the force compressed air, and it's pretty hard to get 2 and 3 to TDC. Not saying they didn't do it right, but it can be tricky.

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post #17 of 62 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 01:15 PM
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I echo what others have said regarding engine condition. However, your 2nd test numbers are lower. I'm going to speculate and say your cat was hotter that time. There is a chance you can get through the test and then tackle the engine in the future.

A new cat may be required, but maybe just make sure the cat is very hot. In my example where it failed first time and passed second time, the difference was turning the car off for 10 minutes between arriving and starting the test. Second time I never turned the car off.

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post #18 of 62 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 01:55 PM
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Simple,

Bring it to Colorado on a vacation, register with my address, no emissions, no inspection (just VIN inspection) and I will send you your tags every year.

I HATE states that do not allow owners to freely enjoy their cars, that's why I moved from Denver to Colorado Springs.

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post #19 of 62 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the feedback. I have just 2 questions. If the compression/leak numbers are so bad why is the engine running smoothly? My fear is that its "on the edge" and it will soon (the day after I get it through inspection with my luck), stop runing so nicely. The second question is what should I expect to pay for a ring/valve job or is a total rebuild required?

Like I said in my first post, I'm just worn out. I'm really worried that literally as soon as I make it get through emissions I'll have to address the compression/leaks.

Rob
93 Esprit SE
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post #20 of 62 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 02:56 PM
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I pm'd the OP a shop I recommend in Portland. Not sure where the OP'er is located. If you can register the car at an address outside of the Metro area you do not have to deal with emissions testing.
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