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What was first year for catalytic converters in Ca?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Greg F., Feb 23, 2010.

  1. Greg F.

    Greg F.

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    Anyone know what year cars first started having catalytic converters installed on them? I'm sure Ca. was first in requiring them. I think most States required them in '68 but I don't know when Ca. first required them? I want to buy an old car and don't want the smog equipment on it as it reduces the power alot. I guess I could buy a pre '73 as they are no longer required to be smogged and remove the equipment, but then I'm still stuck with a lower compression engine which is something I don't want either. I tried Google and couldn't find what I was looking for, so I'm hoping someone here will know.
     
  2. Glock Bob

    Glock Bob Snack Attack!!!

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    Knowing California it was probably sometime around 1872. :supergrin:
     

  3. Glock&KimberLady

    Glock&KimberLady Morior Invictus Silver Member

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    According to a search, catalytic converters were first required on light duty vehicles in California in 1975.

    According to Wiki:

    "A catalytic converter (colloquially, "cat" or "catcon") is a device used to reduce the toxicity of emissions from an internal combustion engine. First widely introduced on series-production automobiles in the U.S. market for the 1975 model year to comply with tightening EPA regulations on auto exhaust, catalytic converters are still most commonly used in motor vehicle exhaust systems. Catalytic converters are also used on generator sets, forklifts, mining equipment, trucks, buses, trains, and other engine-equipped machines. A catalytic converter provides an environment for a chemical reaction wherein toxic combustion by-products are converted to less-toxic substances."

    I had a 1969 Kharmann Ghia that had straight pipes and had to buy, um, aftermarket smog inspection for it.
     
  4. NailShooter

    NailShooter

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    1975 should be the first year and it was pretty much all manufacturers for gas engine powered cars. Heavier duty pickup trucks may not have gotten them for a few more yrs--not quite sure, but there was something about phasing in converters for trucks a little later. Not aware that Kali had a requirement before that but they did have slightly more stringent emissions rules.

    It also had to do with unleaded gas availability which was needed to prevent damage to the then new converters.

    1981 saw computer controlled carbs become common as emission requirements became more stringent.

    Hope that helps.


    Nail
     
  5. Haldor

    Haldor Formerly retired EE.

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    I recall 1976 being a major change date for some reason.

    I had a '76 Volvo that was a total POS. My mechanic said most cars got much less reliable and lower power engines when catalytic converters got mandated. Took the car makers a couple of years to figure out how to make catalytic converter equipped cars work right.

    Scratch that, catalytic converters where mandated in 1975.

    http://www.ehow.com/about_5112834_catalytic-converter-history.html

    http://bat5.com/go/3/4749/0/http://imgsrc.ru/english40yoperv/16957076.html?pwd=〈=en
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2010
  6. Zagato

    Zagato

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    74-75 i believe.

    i have an early 74 datsun 260z sans cat, but there was a midyear change in 74 to "upgrade" to mandated 5 mph crash bumpers. the following year was the first year for EFI on the Zs, and im guessing also the first year for catalytic converters, though it may have been part of the 74.5 "improvements".

    im not sure what makes you think you would have to have a lower compression engine. As long as the model year car you have meets your states requirements for SMOG exemption you can put any motor you want in it.

    I see i was beaten to the punch.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2010
  7. chief

    chief

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    smog pump in '68, cat in '75. if your car is over a certain age, it probably won't require inspection anyway.
     
  8. NorthCarolinaLiberty

    NorthCarolinaLiberty MentalDefective

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    I believe that 1975 was the first year of widespread installation of converters. I remember this because I bought a '75 El Camino that had a converter. I changed the exhaust system once, but bypassed the converter part. I don't have a source, but I don't remember the device on too many cars (if any) older than 1975.
     
  9. skorper

    skorper harborrat

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    '74 for passenger cars, and '76 or '77 for some trucks.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2010
  10. GIockGuy24

    GIockGuy24 Bring M&M's

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    open crankcase PCV = 1961 CA - 1962= USA

    closed crankcase PCV = 1964 CA - 1968= USA

    A.I.R. injection (smog pump) = 1966 CA - year varies by model for USA

    EGR = 1972 CA - 1973 = USA (except trucks over 1/2 ton)

    cat converters = 1975 model year for cars. 1979 for trucks over 1/2 ton.
     
  11. CAcop

    CAcop

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    http://www.dmv.ca.gov/vr/smogfaq.htm

    Does my vehicle qualify for a smog exemption?
    Smog inspections are required unless your vehicle is:

    Hybrid
    Gasoline powered 1975 year model or older
    Diesel powered manufactured prior to 1998 or with a Gross Vehicle Weight rating (GVWR) of more than 14,000 lbs
    Electric
    Natural gas powered with a GVWR rating of more than 14,000 lbs.
    Motorcycle
    Trailer


    Which counties require a smog inspection for the registration renewal?
    Counties that Require a Smog Inspection for Vehicle Registration Renewal Alameda Butte Colusa Contra Costa Fresno
    Glenn Kern Kings Los Angeles Madera
    Marin Merced Monterey Napa Nevada
    Orange Sacramento San Benito San Francisco San Joaquin
    San Luis Obispo San Mateo Santa Barbara Santa Clara Santa Cruz
    Shasta Solano Stanislaus Sutter Tehama
    Tulare Ventura Yolo Yuba

    There are six counties that require smog certifications within certain Zip Codes only. These counties are:

    El Dorado, Placer, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Sonoma.

    Follow this link to determine which Zip Codes are included.
     
  12. Greg F.

    Greg F.

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    Thanks for everyones help. I must have been thinking about smog pumps instead of catalytic converters, though I'm not sure what a smog pump is? I guess if I want to buy a car without smog pump equipment on it I have to buy a pre '66. Although I think since I don't have to get a pre '73 car smogged I would be safe removing all the smog equipment from any 'pre '73 car?
     
  13. Zagato

    Zagato

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    anything pre 73 can have any engine you want in it.
     
  14. GIockGuy24

    GIockGuy24 Bring M&M's

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    I had a friend that built dune buggies in California. California has some "odd" regulations. Some were based on the year of the car and others were based on the year of the engine. If he used engine blocks that were dated before a certain a year they didn't require any smog equipment even of the cars' dates were later. I forget the year. It was either 1966 or 1968. I think pre-1966 engines in California don't require any smog gear even if they are put into a newer car. Now that may only work up to a certain year car though. I know he was stocking up on old VW engine block because of that.