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Old 06-21-2018, 02:38 PM   #1
getouttamyway
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Default CA Smog timing?

I picked up a 1991 240DL (LH2.4) and went to get it smogged, it's a CA car but it was last registered in WA. It passed everything in the smog test except the timing has a 'fail'. The smog tech admitted he has a hard time with euro cars. Can anyone tell me what the test condition is supposed to be for the smog tech to evaluate? Ie, is it at idle, with or w/o vacuum, and what is the reading supposed to be?

I did find a vac leak so that could have thrown the test off, but I'd like to replicate it at home before bringing it back in for a re-test to make sure the timing is correct.
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Old 06-21-2018, 03:10 PM   #2
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1991 is pre-OBD2, so wouldn't he have had to measure timing with a timing light? Surely he'd have known what the target was in that case.

When I CA smogged my old Crown Vic, I swear they just put a thing over the gas cap and a sniffer in the tail pipe. IIRC it was "First Street Smog" over in Livermore and they were pretty cool folks, so maybe give them a call and see what they'd test on your car, maybe the tech you got was just wrong?
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Old 06-21-2018, 03:19 PM   #3
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LH 2.4 controls the ignition timing automatically. They put a strobe light on the number 1 plug wire and flash it at the crank pulley. Timing is on the sticker under the hood. I think it's 10 plus or minus two degrees.

Get a timing light and check it yourself. If its way off it means the harmonic damper has failed and has slipped. Replace.
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Old 06-21-2018, 03:46 PM   #4
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Had a hard time with euro cars? Find a new smog place. LH 2.4 is non adjustable so there is no need to check it really.
Well it is adjustable but not going to go into that here.

He may have failed it just to fail it. Find another station.
The emissions label in the strut tower probably says " no adjustments needed" So tell me smog guy what is there to check?
Other than what Zvolv said if the damper mark slipped on the rubber ring then it wont be there.
Hard time with euro cars, lol. Facepalm.

These guys are getting wackier all the time. Last week the guy I know gets a customer on a Toyota that failed it because there was no egr. Takes it to my friend and label indicates no egr on it- so it wasn't equipped with one. So the guy failed it for not knowing it didn't come with an egr.

Its at idle to answer your question. LH 2.4 doesn't have vacuum advance. But for spec it supposed to be 8 or 10? btdc iirc. I believe you have a + or - 2 degree variance though. But its not adjustable mechanically anyway.
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Last edited by 122power; 06-21-2018 at 03:55 PM..
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Old 06-21-2018, 04:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 122power View Post
The emissions label in the strut tower probably says " no adjustments needed"
This is most likely the case. If true he has to redo it for no charge because the entry on the report under the Ignition Timing should simply be N/A instead of Pass or Fail

Last edited by PCH; 06-21-2018 at 04:23 PM..
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Old 06-22-2018, 02:14 AM   #6
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I'm in California with a Canadian 240. never had a problem with getting smogged. Maybe pull the cam cover off and show them the timing marks..or find a new shop
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Old 06-22-2018, 02:29 AM   #7
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I had a 91 caprice in 2004. Took in in for smog guy tells me it failed smog because timing is off. WTF I just checked it 30 min agao....it was dead on. Car had almost perfect Lambda (1.01 or better) with 80k on it ... turned out he didn’t know how to check timing

Even then they would school smog guys on BS smog but not on timing. I had to show him
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Old 06-22-2018, 11:48 AM   #8
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I also had a shop tell me timing was too far advanced, but I had it set within spec.

Try another shop.
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Old 06-22-2018, 12:01 PM   #9
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I also had a shop tell me timing was too far advanced, but I had it set within spec.

Try another shop.


But first go back and waste their time asking for a free re-test after telling the manager that it's nonadjustable.
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Old 06-22-2018, 12:33 PM   #10
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I've had to show the smog tech where the EGR valve was and which hose to pinch to do the EVAP test. They can't know everything but they should at least be able to read the VECI label.



If they charged you to do the test and failed you for timing, I'd file a complaint.

https://www.bar.ca.gov/Consumer/Complaints/index.html
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Old 06-22-2018, 01:01 PM   #11
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then we start threads asking "why did the previous owner get rid of this Volvo?"
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Old 06-22-2018, 02:33 PM   #12
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I think may be in his Motor or Chilton emission reference book it states that timing is 10 Degrees* and he doesn't bother to see what the * means in the fine print foot notes (not adjustable). Smog techs are not used anymore to doing much other than plugging in OBD reader that does everything for them.
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Old 06-22-2018, 03:03 PM   #13
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Right. ^^^. 99.5% of the cars are just a smog check that consists of the tech plugging the computer into the OBD port. Don't be surprised when they are inexperienced at older cars.
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