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Advice on removing California Emissions from 225 slant 6

Discussion in 'Repairs, Maintenance, Help' started by CPaulson, Aug 21, 2017.

  1. CPaulson

    CPaulson New Member

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    New guy here, recently got on the mopar train. A few weeks back I bought a 1982 Dodge D150 with a 225 slant 6. It was a steal at 800, 100000 miles, minimal rust, it was really well taken care of. The problem was that I blew the head gasket on the drive home. So we tore it down to the block and checked for warping, cracks what have you. Put the engine back together and looking to bypass all the California Emissions/smog junk. The smog pump is out, the line was crimped, vacuum amplifier was fried. So aside from removing that stuff, I need some guidance on how to make the engine run better.

    And forgive me if I sound ignorant but another issue is the distributor. The one I pulled out of my engine has two magnetic coils. Everyone that I've found so far has a single coil, the one I have sitting around is out of a 76 Dart. I'm told that it'll work but any advice that can point me in the right direction is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    It's a federal crime to defeat or disconnect emissions control devices. It will not run better without them, if everything is working correctly. Since the air pump is already gone and the tube crimped, I would not make an effort to replace it unless your state requires it for inspection. Removing anything else, however, is time wasted.
    The electronic ignition in these cars only has one pickup. I have no idea what distributor you are looking at.
     
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  3. David Eidell

    David Eidell Well-Known Member

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    Research is needed. If you are in California, contact the DMV and ask a specific question: Does the age of my vehicle exempt it from emissions laws. If the answer is no, then what Mr. Lincoln wrote is more than factual. You will not be able to register the car without a smog certificate. You will risk getting the vehicle seized if caught on the roadway in violation of C.A.R.B. rules. Then comes the matter of unbalancing the engine timing and carburetion.
    The factory's didn't hang a bunch of stuff on the outside of the engine. Compared to a "pre-smog" engine, yours has different designed pistons (lower compression ratio), different combustion chamber shape, different camshaft lobe profile and event timing, the distributor has a different mechanical and vacuum advance action profile, the carburetor is different and most likely does not have "ported vacuum" which is vital to performance and economy. The end result unless a 100% reversion is done to pre-emission design, the engine will have less power and worse fuel economy. Cripes, even the intake manifold needs to be swapped.
    I am faced with helping a local shop here south of the border try and recover some bad effects of an out of spec car which failed Calif smog. How about a Chevy pickup with a V6 that gets 13 mpg? Or a ford ranger that bucks and snorts when the day gets too hot? I make a special trip to California for a smog check. They do it for free. When everything is right my fuel mileage peaks at 26mpg. not bad for a 22 year old Dodge Spirit.
    IMHO if you replace those emission parts, then concentrate on things like getting the ideal distributor advance curve and using the smog test as a guide for clues as to what needs tweaking you will end up as a much happier camper.
     
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  4. AC TC

    AC TC Well-Known Member

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    Besides legal details...
    - you need to get an carb or a complete intake and a distributor with ign box from a pre smog Engine.
    Remove all the smoggy things, make sure your pcv system is working- it doesent hurt a thing and does Clean things up, you avoid the sour smell of old Engine..
     
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  5. ImperialCrown

    Level III Supporter

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    Is there still a tag on the distributor with the Mopar part #?
    Some early electronic ignitions had both a 'start' and a 'run' magnetic pickup.
    2012-08-11_160549_42223462.gif
     
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  6. CPaulson

    CPaulson New Member

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    Yep, that's the one.
     
  7. valiant67

    valiant67 Rich Corinthian Leather
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    The best thing you can do (inexpensively) is to upgrade to a Super Six. The factory added a 2bbl to the slant 6 for 78 and 79 on federal emissions cars. Supposedly only changed the output slightly, but sure felt like more. This setup wasn't offered in California and had a longer life in California. The swap requires the carb, intake manifold, carb and kick down linkages and a new air cleaner assembly. This stuff used to be dirt cheap, but it's getting harder to find and a little more expensive.

    With these mods, you could still be federally emissions compliant, though it's still technically emissions tampering.
     
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  8. AC TC

    AC TC Well-Known Member

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    These early smog systems wasent good.
    - a nightmare to keep working.
    - an Engine that lost almost all its Power but used more fuel.
    I doubt that this pickup will see many miles per year so if it isnt a crime in Nebraska i would definately de-smog it and build a happy running slant and keep it in good tune.
    I seriously doubt that an emissions system that was marginal and troublesome when new can be rebuilt so emissions is at the same level as well tuned un-smogged one have.
     
  9. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    My experience was that these systems had little to no negative effect on the slant-6.
    It is still a federal crime regardless of where he lives in the USA. The only legal question is, would he be caught, or required to comply. The moral question is whether to contribute unnecessarily to more air pollution.
     
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  10. KOG

    KOG KOG
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    Lean burn used two pickups. Best electronic ignition distributor would be 73 model. Best carburetor would also be 73 1 bbl. The "Super Six" two barrel made the same power as the earlier 1 bbl before the 1 bbl was downsized, which is 110 net HP.
     
  11. dana44

    Ad-Free Member

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    Funny, I just helped my daughter's boyfriend get an '82 slant six, 4spd manual D150 with NO rust whatsoever and it just passed smog with all the California smog equipment (air pump, hoses, dual feed distributor in it, I checked, and Lean Burn computer, all functioning). If you are in a state that does not require these smog pieces it is a different story than if you are still in California. You need to change the distributor to a single pick-up distributor and electronic ignition control module, the carb needs to be changed because the smog one does not have adjustments and is computer (Lean Burn) controlled (KOG recommendation is good), and an older intake manifold since there are several sensors in it that aren't needed and simply plugging them does nothing to improve flow. Wouldn't worry about the exhaust manifold, it lines up with your exhaust so save the hassle on that possible headache.
     
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  12. AC TC

    AC TC Well-Known Member

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    I didnt say that they didnt work but they do have their drawbacks.
    - Higher fuel use. ( today when co2 is considered a problem its a big drawback..)
    - If not working correctly, higher pollution than a good tuned unsmogged Engine.
    - Difficult to keep working.
    I suspect that its very difficult to get parts and find someone who actually knows how to keep these in a good state of tune.
    -Remeber that its a complete and complex system that needs every part and that they work correctly.
    He doesent have the airpump....so it aint working and probably polluting more than a 73 truck with a slant.
     
  13. AC TC

    AC TC Well-Known Member

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    " The moral question is whether to contribute unnecessarily to more air pollution."
    - i belive that you can comply to the morale of not pollute in an unneccesary manner by keeping the Engine in a good tune and not just accept that it runs ok but smalls gas all over the Place. If it was modern setup with fi, lamdas and catcons it would be dramatically different as it aint no problem for such an Engine to be Clean and good running.
    Problem with the early smog systems was that they didnt really played well with what the Engine needed to run good.
     
  14. valiant67

    valiant67 Rich Corinthian Leather
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    It comes down to this: most Lean Burn problems were with the carb. So everyone rips out Lean Burn and puts in a conventional electronic ignition with a new carb. Of course if that new carb needs work they have the same problem.
     
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  15. AC TC

    AC TC Well-Known Member

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    - Note that i stated that it should be replaced with a well tuned package...
     
  16. KOG

    KOG KOG
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    My problems with Lean Burn were always ignition.
     
  17. patfromigh

    patfromigh Well-Known Member

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    First question, does it have solid or hydraulic lifters? If it has a solid lifter cam, then adjusting the valve lifters helps a lot. The slant sixes with the hydraulic cams were built in the 1980s. The cams were indexed so the exhaust valves stayed open well into the intake cycle for emissions control. That's where the poor performance comes from. It's not a bug it's a feature.
     
  18. valiant67

    valiant67 Rich Corinthian Leather
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    1982 would be hydraulic lifters.
     
  19. AHBGuru

    AHBGuru Active Member

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    Side note - Nearly all of the later (post-'78) squads used dual-pickup ignition, too. Never had an issue with them, except they had a really slow advance (this was to avoid preignition). They can be used with either ESC or regular electronic ignition.
     
  20. AHBGuru

    AHBGuru Active Member

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    Agreed, 500%. The idea that Lean Burn (proper name is actually Electronic Spark Control, feedback carbs also had Electronic Fuel Control) doesn't work, or inhibits performance, is an absolute MYTH. Removing the ESC/EFC will not solve any problems. Proper diagnosis and replacing the correct part (usually a vacuum hose or wiring connection) and proper tuning will make these vehicles run perfectly. A cleaner burning engine will make the most power, get the best fuel economy, and will last the longest. Some of you guys need to start reading Mopar Action Tech Tips and listen to what Rick Ehrenberg (along with other SAE engineers) are saying.

    The reality is, fellas, carbs are junk. Dinosaurs. Basic EFI systems are readily available, and are becoming affordable for us po' folk. All new vehicles, including pickups, SUV's, and even Class 8 trucks and locomotives, use sophisticated emissions and electronics technology to make the most power using the least amount of fuel, while emitting the least amount of emissions.

    The closest you can keep these older systems to OEM tuning, the better they'll run and perform. That is a fact.
     
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