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Discussion Starter #1
As trying to figure it out on my own has left me more confused than I started, I was hoping some of you folks could help. What upgrades are legal in CA for exhaust upgrades? I know I can basically pick up any muffler, but what about headers, y/x-pipes, hi-flow cats, 3-inch mandrel bent pipes, etc...

There's many great upgrades out their, I'm just curious on what can be done to FSB's that doesn't have to be swapped out every two years to pass smog. Hell, if any of you have quick-swap set ups that are working good, I'd love to hear about those also.
 

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Your best bet is to contact the manufacturers that you're interested in. The parts you buy need to have CARB certs and OBDII compliance for California 1996 and up.

Everybody will give you opinions and things that they've gotten away with, but the manufacturers will tell you what they have that meets Cali guidelines.
 

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UHHH......I knew a guy once.....who cut out his cat's, in front of and behind, put flanges on them then made a pipe, the same length with flanges on them. Bolted in and out during smog time. it went infront of his x-pipe and behind his header. he gained 20-30 hp just taking off the Cat's....now if I were to do this......

First, you can't get a long tube header that has a carb number so you have to go shorty. At least I can't find one that does.

So, I would leave stock exhaust the way it is and cut it off like a foot behind the cat's. (You don't need muffler's to pass smog) To make it easy to store. Then I would get another system header back, get rid of the y-pipe, this way it would be true dual. Put on X-pipe, muffler's...this time around I would probably go with sweet thunder's...stop the muffler's right before the rear end. Shuoldn't be too hard to take on and off, maybe 15 minutes.
 

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I have the pace setter headers, which are distributed by summit under summits name, they claim 50 state smog legal. I have a custom bent y-pipe that a shop made, into a high flow catco cat, which also claimed to be 50 state smog legal. Last is a flomaster 40 series with turndowns, which also is 50 state legal. I passed smog with this set up recently and I was WAY under the MAX allowed, so it seems to work great. I do have a rebuilt engine though so it runs real clean, but I think the set up works well and would smog as long as the engine was running reasonably well.
 

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Keep in mind that broncoboy23's setup is for 1990, and for 1996 you need CARB and OBDII compliance which limits things a bit.
 

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Yep, as said, if you want to be legal, you have to make sure the parts have the CARB and EO numbers to go with them. For example, I have the Thorley headers, and they have a CARB #, so all is good...but I will warn you, keep the CARB and EO number certificates WITH the truck, because most of the numbskull smog techs will give you grief if they see anything non-stock...if you're armed with the info, will go much smoother.
 

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I have the pace setter headers, which are distributed by summit under summits name, they claim 50 state smog legal. I have a custom bent y-pipe that a shop made, into a high flow catco cat, which also claimed to be 50 state smog legal. Last is a flomaster 40 series with turndowns, which also is 50 state legal. I passed smog with this set up recently and I was WAY under the MAX allowed, so it seems to work great. I do have a rebuilt engine though so it runs real clean, but I think the set up works well and would smog as long as the engine was running reasonably well.
sounds like my soon to be setup(almost). I got JBAs to stock y-pipe(i think) to stock cats to flowmaster 40 with turndowns. My next plan is for the high-flow cat. Which Catco one was it that they put on your truck? If i could find it cheaper it would save me a lot of dough when i take it in for installation.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
thank you guys for such a quick response. Just the fact that their are headers out there I can run is awesome. I knew about the catco hi flow, but I was under the impression that headers were a no go. I'm gonna look into those for sure. If I can legally run headers, a high flow cat, and a nice sounding muffler I'd be stoked and won't play the exhaust-swap game.
 

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thank you guys for such a quick response. Just the fact that their are headers out there I can run is awesome. I knew about the catco hi flow, but I was under the impression that headers were a no go. I'm gonna look into those for sure. If I can legally run headers, a high flow cat, and a nice sounding muffler I'd be stoked and won't play the exhaust-swap game.
Try this link. http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/aftermkt/devices/amquery.php

Search Manufacturers and Exhaust Modifications. It's time consuming but it's the lastest and most accurate list of Carb certified parts.
 

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this won't help you at all, but my 78 bronco has no cats or smog pump from the factory, I can legally run any header I want including long tubes, as well as convert to true dual exhaust, which has been done all of course with no cats.....I knew there was a reason I dumped my 91 :)
 

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I WILL!!!!!! My current cat makes a horrible sound. the heat shields vibrate causing a loveley screeching sound.
 

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