78' Camaro LT1 Conversion Cali Smog Legal

Discussion in 'High Tech Retrofits' started by supwicha, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. supwicha

    supwicha Veteran Member

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    I manage a municipal fleet shop here in SoCal, and we do about 150 smogs a year or so to our city vehicles. The rules here are very restrictive, but as mentioned, you can make mods to your current ride so long as EVERYTHING you install is CARB certified, and you'll have to have the supporting documents/stickers, etc for those products. Also as mentioned, the EFI engine swap is a very viable option as well. Since the swap is considered an "upgrade", you can do is so long as you follow the "engine change guidelines" as dictated by the BAR. You can find additional detail HERE

    Generally speaking, you must: Use a 50 State engine, not a 49 state federal engine, your donor must be the same model year or newer as the car your converting, you cannot downgrade by mixing classes (IE heavy duty to a light duty), if computer controlled, it must have a "check Eng" light and a ALDL/Diagnostic link, all sensors and associated wiring must be utilized, blah, blah, blah. Ultimately, you'll have to go to the BAR for your initial smog, and if successful, you'll receive an updated emissions label that is affixed to the car.

    It is interesting to note however, I did an engine swap on my 2002 Dodge Intrepid a few years ago. I scrapped the crappy 2.7 and installed a 3.5 which is a completely different design. It is a legit swap, but I have never taken it to the BAR. I have smogged it twice so far and it amazes me that the shop's have not caught it since the displacement does not match the current emissions label. I'm kinda on a mission to see how long it will take for someone to notice. But because it looks completely stock, and the car was available with the 3.5, it has been easily overlooked.

    Yours on the other-hand will not "look stock", so unfortunately you'll have to follow the rules as I am with my '78 build that I am doing now.

    Consider the swap, it's only blood, sweat, and tears. And maybe some money too :)

    Cheers!
     
  2. sbca96

    sbca96 Veteran Member

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    This is the video from the BAR test, the day we passed. First try.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28K62Up6ey0

    Its all covered in the link in my signature.

    We had the local retest recently. They use the BAR code on the door sticker to
    input the test parameters into the system. It passed without issue.

    Tom
     
  3. supwicha

    supwicha Veteran Member

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    Managed to get some more work done the last couple weeks. I stripped all four control arms of all hardware, ball joints, bushings, etc. Cleaned, stripped, and coated the control arms and shafts. Rebuilt everything with new ball joints, Energy Suspension Poly bushings and hardware. Also got the spindles stripped, cleaned, painted, 1.25" lower springs from Summit installed, new brakes, calipers, pads, bearings, and rotors. It can almost sit on the ground again. Still need to remove the inner fenders, strip and paint. Cant seem to decide on a color for those yet.

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    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
  4. sbca96

    sbca96 Veteran Member

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    Yur makin it too purdy! Yur not gunna wanna drive it an git it durdy!;)

    Tom
     
  5. supwicha

    supwicha Veteran Member

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    That won't be a problem :) I can always cleanup!
     
  6. bigdav160

    bigdav160 Veteran Member

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    Have you driven the car with the poly motor mounts?

    I'm wondering how harsh the are (or not)?
     
  7. supwicha

    supwicha Veteran Member

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    I have not on this particular car. I have on other applications. If the motor is a stock smooth runner, you won't feel too much. If the motor is modified (IE CAM) and has an unstable idle or lope, you will defiantly feel it. In hind sight, I would not have used these mounts. Being that this is the clamshell type mounts, they were a major pain to install, and that was with the frame sitting on the ground where everything is easy to get to. You cannot put the bolts through these mounts and the engine mount if they are bolted solidly to the frame, they must be loose at the frame, install your long bolts/nuts, then snug down to the frame (per instructions). I used them only because I bought an entire kit from energy systems for the entire car. I do like the poly suspension components (must use factory lube or they will squeak) however.
     
  8. supwicha

    supwicha Veteran Member

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    Well, managed to get a fair amount done this past weekend. I got my accessories mounted, power steering lines kinda-sorta figured out, etc. Since this donor car was a 9C1 Police Caprice, I'm also using the heavy-duty trans and engine coolers as well. I did run into something unique however, I noted from other builds that it was necessary to modify the main accessory bracket to have sufficient clearance for the control arm. This bracket looks to be slightly different and did not require this modification. I don't know if it is because the bracket varies between 'F' and 'B' bodies, or if it was because this one is for AC. I cut off the metric fittings from the power steering lines and swapped over the original SAE fittings, but my inexpensive flaring tool cannot double flare these lines. I'll have to either get a better tool, or take them to a hose shop and have them flared or modified. It's unfortunate since they are bent and route perfectly to my box. Guess I should have stepped up and upgraded the box to a later 'F' body box with metric fittings. The lines themselves were identical at 3/8" from both the original and donor car. next up, electrical. This part I actually enjoy, as this is probably my stronger area as a tech. I stripped the original 'B' body harness, traced and tagged all wiring from all 4 connectors from the PCM, and eliminated ABS, etc. I am waiting on my heat shrink and expandable loom to come in that I will use to build my custom harness. Still debating on the location for my PCM, I have a couple areas in mind, I intend to hide as much wiring as feasibly possible.


    A question for you all:

    I have seen some conversions not using the oem coolant reservoir/overflow tank, whereas others have. I would prefer not to if it is an option. I do have an aluminum radiator and could weld on a steam return line at or near the top. Comments?

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    NOTICE THE BRACKET WITH NO MODIFICATIONS FOR UPPER CONTROL ARM CLEARANCE.

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    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
  9. sbca96

    sbca96 Veteran Member

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    Its unfortunate you cut the lines before asking, yes the common upgrade with a
    2nd Gen is to use the "IROC" box, which is faster steering and metric lines. Since
    you used a B-body engine, these lines are EXACT fitment. I used B-body lines on
    my build, but the PS pump is different. I had to bend the heck out of the pump
    side of the hoses to make them work, they fittings were correct. Now you have
    to decide if you want to go "IROC" box, or take your hoses into a shop. Seems
    at this point, unless you want to improve steering response, cheapest route is
    having a hose shop finish what you started.

    It looks as though they resolved the clearance issue on the B-body accessories
    no doubt because the B-body uses the almost identical suspension.

    As for the coolant, tank or no tank, it depends on the radiator system you use,
    the B-body has a coolant tank, the F-body has a cap on the radiator. If you go
    with a radiator similar to the F-body you can certainly add the steam line in the
    same location as what the F-body would have.

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2014
  10. 8pack

    8pack Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Is that because of the LT1 retro fit? The bolts on my gen 1 SB went in without an issue with the Subframe bolted up to the car.
     

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