1983 Toyota Tercel Carburator & emissions system

Tiny
JERREJUNG
  • MEMBER
  • 1983 TOYOTA TERCEL
  • 1.4L
  • 4 CYL
  • 4WD
  • MANUAL
  • 140,000 MILES
I am looking at buying a used car as described above. It appears to have been maintained fairly well by the owner who is a mechanic. I live in an area that is subject to periodic emissions testing (Denver, CO). The current owner does not. He has replaced the original Toyota carburetor with a Weber that appears to work well. I agree with his logic that the Weber is a much better carb than the Toyota. I am concerned, however, that this may not be a legal modification under the Clean Air Act although the emission standards for this car are probably quite low. I have tried to research this issue on the Internet with little success but did find that illegal emissions system modifications can result in significant fines. Could you advise what the "general rule" might be on such carburetor modifications or where I might find guidance as this might be more of a legal question, and I'm fairly sure you would not want to give legal advice? Emission tests here include inspections of the fuel induction system as well as emission systems for alterations.
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Thursday, March 5th, 2015 AT 9:31 AM

8 Replies

Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
This car is so old that if you do get called in for testing change oil and filter air filter then driv about 20 miles either on country road or eway to get it good an dwarmed up then get it tested it will more than likely pass
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Thursday, March 5th, 2015 AT 10:09 AM
Tiny
JERREJUNG
  • MEMBER
I saw the reply, but unfortunately it is not responding to my question. I'm not worried about the car not passing the test on actual emissions. Let me explain. All cars in this area are subject to emissions tests. When a car is purchased as used, it must be E tested before it can be registered to the new owner. Also, most cars must be tested annually or bi-annually to renew registrations. There is not a random sampling for testing here. E tests here consist of two major parts. One is the actual emissions the car is putting out. For older cars like the one I am looking at, the permitted emissions are quite high and are not usually a problem to pass. The other major part is the inspection of the different elements of the fuel and emission systems even including the proper functioning of the gas cap. This second part is my main concern. Although the emissions may be very low and well within limits, the car will not pass if the fuel or emission systems have been altered so that the emissions system "could" be functioning other than as designed. Hence, my question if simply changing the carburetor to one that is not original equipment is a violation of the Clean Air Act. I'm sure the seller of the car I am looking at is not the first guy to swap carburetors since the Clean Air Act went into effect, so there must be some, at least, rules of thumb for doing so. Basically, the question is: Can an other than original equipment carburetor be put on a car that will not put the car in violation of the Clean Air Act? I know this is not a mechanical question, but I believe it is one that experienced professional mechanics should know in the event that one of their customers would want to do so. Are such swaps limited to non public street use vehicles?

I would appreciate a response to this question. I can provide more information if needed. Many thanks.
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Thursday, March 5th, 2015 AT 12:52 PM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
As long as the car passes emissions then you shouldn't have anything to worry about. The weber carb is different yes but you can also explain if asked that the parts aren't available any longer. The Govt. Is only concerned about emissions and there money to collect nothing more. If the station won't accept the carb then it has to pass prior to getting a plate then get your money back from the person whom you bought it from. Besides the weber downdraft if that is the one I'm thinking is a progressive carb, meaning the front half that it normally drives on is smaller than the original and only gets to maybe the same size as an original when back barrel opens up. That is why isaid what to do I'm sure the state gives you a temporary plate so you can get it to the place to test or use the old plate. Emissions are pretty loose for the older cars because they use a a carb.
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Thursday, March 5th, 2015 AT 1:07 PM
Tiny
JERREJUNG
  • MEMBER
What happened to my prior reply?
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Friday, March 6th, 2015 AT 8:09 PM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
No idea
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Saturday, March 7th, 2015 AT 6:19 AM
Tiny
JERREJUNG
  • MEMBER
Your responses to my inquiries have been unsatisfactory. Based on 2carpros policy of return of donations if dissatisfied with your performance, I want my donation returned. Please make the return ASAP.
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Saturday, March 7th, 2015 AT 6:07 PM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
No problem.
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Sunday, March 8th, 2015 AT 8:15 AM
Tiny
2CARPROS MIKE
  • ADMIN
Thanks for giving us a try, your card was not charged. We hope we can help you next time.
Admin
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Monday, March 9th, 2015 AT 10:12 AM

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