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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i am considering headers for my car to go along with my HKS exhaust and i am trying to do something that won't void my engine warranty. i know that the DC and meagan racing headers won't pass emissions but i don't know if alpha werks will? i also saw they make the cheak engine light come on. is the a way to make these headers street legal and not mess up anything. has anyone had problems with their headers? thanks
 

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Ironhead
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no, you will not pass emissions with the alphawerks. all these headers have two things in common - they remove the catalytic convertor that is in the factory header, and they throw a CEL instantly. you can try to overcome the latter with an O2 simulator, but i have heard mixed reviews on the performance of said item. there is nothing you can do about the first. removing a cat is a federal violation.
 

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well if your state is anything like maryland when it comes to emissions you just have to fix the cel problem. in maryland if your car comes equiped with OBD2(ours does) they dont put the sniffer in the tail pipe or pop the hood.

the only thing they do is hook the car up to the computer and check the engine code history. if nothing comes up (basically as long as you dont have a cel) then you pass and your on your way.
 

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yeah they check ours also. but the guy at the station told me something im not suppose to know. i had to do it inorder to get a passat i had to pass. the cel was on because of the transmission not the motor. it had an automatic in it and it was about to take a dump. so even if the light is on i know how to get around it.
 

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Ironhead
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used to work that way all over the place. thats how i got my BMW to pass with dual webers. but that was back in the day. here in cali they are way harder on that than they used to be. all my smog check hook-ups have been shut down for fraud, or quit hooking up people because of everyone else getting pinched.
 

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A modern smog machine sends its information to a central database located off the smog station site. If there are any problems with a vehicle the machine automatically sends the information to the Bureau of Automotive Repair. There is no way around this as the smog machine will not work unless it is receiving a signal code from the Bureau of Automotive Repair. Besides is it worth a tiny almost unnoticeable jump in performance if it means you’re a gross polluter? I'm sure the future generations of Americans would say no.
 

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well this is what happened with the passat i had.

it started off that the elbow of the factory intake going into the throttle body had a vacuum line going to a valve. it was all part of the emissions set up on the car. well the line broke and started showing cel. so after a little while of driving the car like that i finally replaced it and had the cel erased at auto zone. i also had to replace it because i needed to take the car for emissions.

so when i took the car in the following weekend the light was still off. they plugged up the car to the computer and it failed me because the ecu wasn't showing enough memory. the employee told me to go drive for another week so the ecu would have enough memory in it.

in the middle of that week i saw the light come back on. i was pi$$ed. i went to have the code checked and it was for my transmission. it was going bad. so that following weekend i took the paper work from the first time i went in and failed and talked to a guy that works at the emissions station. i asked if the car would still fail even though the code was for the transmission. he told me yes it would just because the light was on.

that is when he said he would let me in on a secret because he didn't think it was fare that i had to put in a new transmission just to pass emissions. he told me to leave and go straight to auto zone, have them clear the code and bring the car straight back in. he said that if i do that they have to pass it because they cant fail the car twice for the computer not having enough memory.

so i drove to auto zone. had the computer erased again. went straight back to the emissions place and the car was passed.

and thats the end of my story and you all know the little secret in maryland.
 

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BOOST its what I do!
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thats prety cool. but right now i am in SC and there is no emissions ill worry about that when i get to NY in 2 and a half years.
 

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Ok since the header removes the factory cat then why not get a magnaflow or catco catalytic converter put in after the header? I mean this is a trick that has been going on for year in other cars. I know the first sensor is an Air/Fuel ratio sensor (wideband) and the second one is just an O2 sensor (narrow). If I'm reading and understanding things correctly the second sensor just monitors weather or not the cat is working (burning oxygen). So all you would have to do is relocate the second sensor behind a cat. Yeah the cat may limit the performance a little but it would still net a decent gain.

If I'm missing something here please let me know.
 

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Ironhead
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Originally posted by josh_trdsparks@Feb 2 2006, 07:33 AM
Ok since the header removes the factory cat then why not get a magnaflow or catco catalytic converter put in after the header?
hmm. i dont know if CA would be okay with that being non OEM, but if it works in other states to solve the federal compliance issue, its a possibility. lo bux knows the laws here like the back of his hand, and the federal compliance stuff, too. wonder what he has to say.
 

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http://performancepeddler.com/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=MAG94136

I found this cat a while back and thought it may work. BUT after reading the description it says "(EPA-Federal 378 CID/6.2L 6000 lbs. 3-Way ) (CARB-Calif 360 CID/5.9L 6000 lbs. 3-Way ) *Except California OBDII vehicles." I'm taking it that it still won't pass CARB if your OBD-II. I could be wrong though. So while it may solve the CEL problem you Cali guys are still stuck so to speak. I would like to find a real solution to this problem and not just the 'quick fix" if you know what i mean.
 

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Aren't all cars OBDII nowadays anyway?
 

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I think my old '95 Jetta was one of the exceptions! Plugged it into an OBDII and it wouldn't read!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
well i asked a mechanic i work in the same dealship with(at a gmc dealership so i can pay for my car) about that exact question and he gave me a good reason why it won't work. if the cat is too close it will mess up from the heat, if it is too far away from the headers it will not read anything and make the light come on(which will make you fail emissions) so if someone else know other wise please tell me b/c the only other option is to get custom made headers which seems pricy

p.s. i got my hks exhaust and the canister is huge but not ricy huge i hope. i can't wait to put it on, it looks really well made
 

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Ironhead
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what is your obsession with a header? if you really have to do something there, take off your stock header (no s) and find someone who will ceramic coat it for you. heat retention benefits, still compliant. but even that seems like to much trouble to go through for the gain.
i mean, do you really need that 13hp that bad?
the simple answer is this - there is no answer. no legal answer. not now. no answer that doesnt require cheating the system in your car to turn off the CEL, if that even works.
get suspension work done. shocks/struts/springs or get a set of tein ss-p's. lower front and rear sways. wider lighter wheels and wider tires. or spring for a lightened flywheel - one of the best mods out there for the dollars.
so many things more worthwhile than an aftermarket header, imnsho.
 

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Originally posted by inevitablegod@Feb 2 2006, 08:59 PM
what is your obsession with a header? if you really have to do something there, take off your stock header (no s) and find someone who will ceramic coat it for you. heat retention benefits, still compliant. but even that seems like to much trouble to go through for the gain.
i mean, do you really need that 13hp that bad?
the simple answer is this - there is no answer. no legal answer. not now. no answer that doesnt require cheating the system in your car to turn off the CEL, if that even works.
get suspension work done. shocks/struts/springs or get a set of tein ss-p's. lower front and rear sways. wider lighter wheels and wider tires. or spring for a lightened flywheel - one of the best mods out there for the dollars.
so many things more worthwhile than an aftermarket header, imnsho.
 
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