Project V8 RX-7: Part 13 – Getting it Smogged

Project V8 RX-7: Part 13 – Getting it Smogged

by Jeff Naeyaert

Now that we’ve all survived that whole end of the world, let’s get on With Project RX-7 all put together and roadworthy we need to get her legal!  Since the car has been down for surgery with the heart transplant the registration has long since expired and its only a matter of time before we get busted by the fuzz for expired tags.  A trip to the DMV and a smile got us a one day pass from the lady behind the counter with the date of issuance left blank so if it takes a more than a day to get our smoggin’ done we don’t have to go back and wait in line again!

Jose uses a computer.  Great job!

As one of our astute readers pointed out in the comments of our last article “Why do you need to go to a CARB Ref? I thought the kit came with an EO sticker?” We thought the same thing, but just to be sure we called the CARB to see if the sticker was sufficient.  Unfortunately, the nice lady on the other end of the line informed me that ALL engine changes have to be approved by a referee—EO sticker or not.  BOO!  It’s not the end of the world for us because we’re not trying to skirt the rules here anyway, it just would have been a lot more convenient if we could have hit up the smog shop down the street.  Plan to schedule your appointment at a referee station in Los Angeles at least a week out from when you call because there aren’t that many of them and I guess they have a lot to do!  Unfortunately our excitement to get the car legalized was gonna have to be put on hold…

Project RX-7 visits the GM dealer!

Our appointment came on a Friday morning at a local trade school.  California’s referee stations are established at colleges because of the equipment they require it makes sense for the state to help out student auto mechanics programs.  Good for them!  It also probably ensures the smog referees don’t get corrupted like an independent shop might.. With all the students around the teachers can’t be taking under the table payments to pass violators. 

I wasn’t allowed to take any photographs either without express permission from the state, so sorry, words are all ya get for this part.  Good thing it’s short though!  Within a couple minutes of my arrival the referee asked, “Why are you even here?  You got an EO sticker, just take it to any smog shop.  They’ll sure as hell be easier on the check than I’m going to be—I have to go through every system with a fine tooth comb—and I’m tough!”  Well shit, I’m only here cuz the lady on the phone told me any engine change required a ref approval—sticker or not!  “Nope, but you’re scheduled for the whole hour so I’ll take a look at if you want.”

Positive I did everything by the book I complied and let him loose.  Regretfully, the entire hour I had scheduled the referee never made it past the K&N intake.

Remember in Part 12 on building the intake where we mentioned some gray areas in the instructions that may have been up for a little interpretation and the CARB referees not liking gray areas?  Well THIS is what we were talking about!  So the referee has 2 problems so far. 


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