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Front Range Vehicle Emissions test.

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  • Front Range Vehicle Emissions test.

    So as to not limit where and when I could drive the Champ I opted for regular Colorado truck plates instead of Antique Vehicle or Horseless Carriage plates. The downside to this decision is that the Champ is subject to annual pre-1981 (less restrictive) emissions tests.

    As new stickers were due by 8-31, I headed for the emissions test line on Thursday. Hydrocarbon limits on the test are 1,000 PPM and on the first pass the Champ failed with a score of 1,016 at idle! 2,000 RPM scored 165.

    Remembering that last year it first failed with the idle set at 400 RPM and passed when I raised it to 1,000, a twist of the screwdriver and back in line..... 1,066 and idle fail #2. I next tightened the needle valves and managed to idle fail #3 with a 1,670 score. As a last resort I actually read the instructions that came with the carb kit and amazingly passed with an idle score of 160!

    By mid afternoon today with 4 trips to 2 test stations and 2 trips to the county license plate emporium, the Champ is again happy and legal.

    I tell this story not to suggest that any of us should violate our core principles and read instructions but rather to point out one more excuse to drive and show off our breed.

    PS. On the final successful trip while sitting in the cattle call room waiting for the pass/fail announcement, a gentleman proclaimed, "Hey, I remember you and your truck from last year. Remember that dolly came in and got you after about 15 minutes to ask, 'Where is First Gear!'" Yes, he was there.

  • #2
    Just out of curiousity, do you have to pay a fine/penalty for repeated flunking and the retests? Here in DC, you get one re-test for free. If you flunk that one, each additional re-test is $25. (Since the DC govt owns the inspection stations, the inspection fee is included in the cost of license plates.)
    Skip Lackie


    • #3
      '81 and prior are $15 and one free retest so it cost me $30. Newer than '80 test cost is $25.


      • #4
        I don't understand how a vehicle that was not designed to pass such tests when new, can be expected to pass such a test 50 years later.
        Joe Roberts
        '61 R1 Champ
        '65 Cruiser
        Eastern North Carolina Chapter


        • #5
          How can the state justify this when there were no emission tests or limits at any point your truck was in production? What happens if you fail with anything from 1952? I'd be a little miffed if the state wanted to continuously charge me for an emissions test.
          Tom - Bradenton, FL

          1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2514.10)
          1964 Studebaker Commander - 170 1V, 3-Speed w/OD


          • #6
            Joe and I have the same thought...LOL!
            Tom - Bradenton, FL

            1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2514.10)
            1964 Studebaker Commander - 170 1V, 3-Speed w/OD


            • #7
              I have the option of "Horseless Carriage Plates", very limited use or 5 year "antique vehicle plates" with a little more latitude in use and neither of these require an emissions test. Because I use the Champ extensively and frequently use it to sport a political sign board... a use that invites an opponent to alleged that I've misused the chosen plate, I opt to register it as a regular vehicle that requires the emissions test.

              Older vehicles taking the option I chose do not require a dyno test but must meet hydrocarbon and CO standards. I think it speaks well of Studebaker engines that I met the stationary standards easily once I put down my pride and read the carburetor instructions.

              Like most other older vehicle owners I could have easily taken one of the first two options and no one would be the wiser if I would drive it 10,000 miles a year. With the ways I use the vehicle the first two options would place a target on my back that I can avoid with the emissions test.


              • #8
                I sometimes wonder how here in "regulated California" we are still allowed to completely avoid smog test if the car is 1975 or older. But, thankfully we do. As to the test for standards when there were none..., I think the anticipated average of a typical, decent running engine is used. A 1,000 PPM of H/C limit is rather high when you consider that a new car here in Calif. will fail if they go over about 65 PPM.

                The local smog test guy I go to has a "Police issue" Mopar from the late 70's. A civilian version was required to have CATs. His doesn't. He said he still passes. Go figure.
                '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-98 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.


                • #9
                  Ok, you are not going to get off that easy! How could you pull that kind of miracle off? Yeah, yeah I know it's Magic!

                  But I am not buying an astonishing 1670 to 160 without an embarrassing explanation of WHAT in the Instructions was not done correctly!!
                  Float Level...What?
                  Second Generation Stude Driver,
                  Proud '54 Starliner Owner


                  • #10
                    I'd screwed the jets almost totally in and had RPM's at 1000 with a result of 1600+. When I correctly took the idle jets out, adjusted them in till RPM's began to drop with RPM's at 800 the test went to 160 range. I'm convinced that engine will run with about any fuel/air mixture you throw at it.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JRoberts View Post
                      I don't understand how a vehicle that was not designed to pass such tests when new, can be expected to pass such a test 50 years later.
                      The answer is the 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act, which give the EPA the authority to establish and enforce emissions standards for ALL motor vehicles in the US. That said, the Feds allow states to exempt vehicles with historic/antique plates, and also do not require testing in those counties/areas that already meet overall air-quality standards. I know that not everyone has access to old TWs, but these standards were discussed in the Auto Legislative Matters column in the January 1998 issue, and were then updated in a number of subsequent issues.

                      The EPA also allows states to exempt other categories of vehicles, such as those built before standards were established, if the state demonstrates that those vehicles make an insignificant contribution to air pollution (or that testing them does not make economic sense) AND that the state is taking other actions to mitigate air pollution. These can include such things as expanding public transportation, switching state/municipal-owned vehicles to cleaner fuel, adding bike lanes, etc. This is how California is allowed to exempt vehicles built before the installation of catalytic converters in 1975.
                      Skip Lackie


                      • #12
                        Yeah, don't jinx it!

                        In 1987, when I bought my '67 LeMans from Pennsylvania, I had to add a NoX kit and pass annual smog tests in San Diego county. The standard then, much as with Merlin now, was 1000 ppm; my Pontiac 326 with Rochester 2-Jet easily passed with 180 (I still have the test paperwork!) Later, once SEMA had successfully lobbied the State Senate for repeal of smog testing on pre-'75 cars, I ripped off the NoX tubing and never looked back, proceeding to drive, as my daily drivers, that '67 LeMans, a '72 Datsun pickup, and now my '63 Stude. I may never have to smog-test my car again

                        Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" |


                        • #13
                          mmajic- I saw you Thursday when I was driving my truck up Parker road. It was about 3pm & you were in a drive thru. I was having fuel issues or I would've stopped. I have a '62 one ton dually dump. I was gonna argue about mileage limits for Collector plates, but did some research. CO just revised the requirements in June to 4500 miles annually. It was bill 13-1071. DMV website hasn't been updated. When I got collector plates on Wednesday, they didn't say anything about it. I see why you need to cover your but.


                          • #14
                            When I first got our Avanti I had to get it tested to plate it. I lived on top of Palmer least 1000 ft higher than Colorado Springs. The closest testing station was in Co. Springs. I had to do some parking lot tuning and it still didn't pass the first time. I went back after I rebuilt the distributor, and carb, but a stuck ring was not coming loose .
                            On the second test (different person) they asked me what size engine and I mumbled "289". Ho thought I said 389, and it passed! (barely).
                            Maybe you should tell 'em it's a 389 too!
                            Bez Auto Alchemy

                            "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln