El Camino Central Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Working on my 83 elco just rebuild the engine and i want to put on some headers and was reading that headers are illegal here in cali. It doesnt have the catalytic converter so it doesnt pass the smog either way. So Would i still have to get legal headers? If so what kind of legal header would you guy recommend?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,039 Posts
Working on my 83 elco just rebuild the engine and i want to put on some headers and was reading that headers are illegal here in cali. It doesnt have the catalytic converter so it doesnt pass the smog either way. So Would i still have to get legal headers? If so what kind of legal header would you guy recommend?
Headers are NOT illegal in California by any stretch of the imagination, however if you dont have the CAT you arent going to get past the visual inspection unless you live in one of the few counties that dont require testing, In which case who cares about headers either :)

Technically only headers with an EO number are legal, the reality is a little different. If the headers you install have the AIR tubes installed and the system operating, smog techs are very unlikely to care about the EO number. I base this on the fact that for the last 18 years I've been smogging my 78 Corvette with Hedman hedders installed, these headers have the air tubes and the techs have never blinked twice at them because the system worked. I have had the car tested at State run referee stations and test only stations.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Hooker 2050 is discontinued; 2049 was a similar set with a crappier Y-pipe. Edelbrock might still make their legal ones. That's all I know.
 

·
Supporting Member
Joined
·
4,474 Posts
Yep, hooker and Edelbrock were the only "legal" ones. Not sure either is still in production, but used ones pop up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,102 Posts
on a computer car they need air tubes and the o2 sensor.they must go into a y pipe before the cat and you can not move the cat farther from the engine than factory. some smog techs dont sweat some things and some are anal about it.the smog legal headers are available and must have eo tag on them,usually welded to a tube in plain sight
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,039 Posts
on a computer car they need air tubes and the o2 sensor.they must go into a y pipe before the cat and you can not move the cat farther from the engine than factory. some smog techs dont sweat some things and some are anal about it.the smog legal headers are available and must have eo tag on them,usually welded to a tube in plain sight
Yup, on my 78 I had the o2 sensor bung, the car wasnt required to have it but I installed it for tuning purposes, Jeff Smith of Car Craft tested an innovate guage on my car and that of two friends for a small article in Car Craft. Where Jeff said my car was a '77...heh

2 1/2" head pipes smoothly merged into a 3" single pipe where it passed through a 3" high flow cat, exiting the cat it then smoothly merged back to 2 1/2" duals and mufflers. Not as good as true duals but not nearly as horrid as the factory setup.

The hedman headers had no EO number, they were never "technically" legal in CA, but they had
AIR tubes functioning, and not a single inspector from a referee to the local schmo gave a flying flip. The problem is often finding headers that have the air tubes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys on the tips. I live in LA and according to the map is well echanced. But i havent had a problem not having CAT so there wouldnt be a problem with headers either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
196 Posts
I just installed Hedman headers #61318 on my '87. They are 50 state emissions legal, look great, fit great and very little ground clearance loss. Mine are ceramic coated, but they also have uncoated versions of the same set.

Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
In general, headers that require movement of the catalytic converter or addition of a second one to an engine that was never certified with two are not federally emissions legal. So the 61318 Hedmans stand zero chance of being emissions legal for an 83.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
365 Posts
if its not legal anyways just get any that fit, there hooker, flowtech, the list goes on...but if your trying to get back to being smog legal then go for the kind mentioned above and buy a highflow cat, you can see theones I used in my thread below
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
432 Posts
Edelbrock makes a perfectly legal header for your application. The TES system they sell goes into a "y " pipe that empties into a cat. From there, you can add any pipes you wish. If you want to stay CA legal, it is the way to go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,102 Posts
if you dont have a cat its just a matter of time before you get flagged into a test only station and get flagged for tampered emissions and whatch the crap they put you through.cats for our cars are cheap and a good one doesnt hurt the performance.i was a 30 yr resident of ca. and got cought once with tampered systems.they made me repair it to factory specs ,i hade to take it to the state ref and have it recertified then had to take it to a test only station for 5 years.not to mention removeing the cat is a federal crime.its a violation of the federal clean air act.dont get me wrong i am no goody two shoes but its not worth the headache if you get cought.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,348 Posts
It's possible to buy a replacement cat in the appropriate diameter from Speedway, Summit, etc.

Just in passing, the guy with the meanest engine in our local T club also has the cleanest engine, and gets 20+ mpg cruising 85 mph on the highway. He has one of those EFI systems, not sure which one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
342 Posts
Doug Thorley makes legal headers for the 5th gen Elky with the O2 bung and the Y-pipe. They are really well made and way heavier gage than most other companies but they are expensive. Purchased these for my 79, but didn't need the O2 snesors since I have historic plates here in NJ (no inspection), so I traded them in for Doug Thorley Tri-Y's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,559 Posts
Edelbrock makes a perfectly legal header for your application. The TES system they sell goes into a "y " pipe that empties into a cat. From there, you can add any pipes you wish. If you want to stay CA legal, it is the way to go.
The edelbrock header have been discontinued.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top