As previously posted I had to put a “Thermactor” (smog pump) into the WarWagon to pass the emissions test…
Wednesday that was accomplished by the great guys at JeePerformance but due to to schedules beyond my control I wasn't able to pick it up till yesterday. So Yesterday at noon I got over to JeePerformance, paid the very reasonable cost for having all that installation and plumbing done ($300 – parts and labor), and immediately drove over to the inspection station on Federal near the shop.
While sitting in line waiting to get 'hosed' I noticed that the WarWagon was running funny and in the shadow of the car next to me I could see the exhaust – which unless the vehicle is a diesel should never be visible.
I eventually get to the entrance of the place and the girl comes over to have me shut down and pop the hood, so I turn off the truck and hop out to go stand in the waiting area… A few minutes goes by before she finds me to have me open the hood – it doesnt have an internal hood release and that seems to catch everyone off guard – then I go stand in the waiting area again.
She verifies that there is in fact a working smog pump in the truck (with the aid of a step ladder) and climbs in to move it into the bay – as soon as the engine kicks over a huge blue cloud rolls out from under it…
Well, that fails the test right there.
I drive the Jeep back over to JeePerformance and explain what has happened. Charlie, the owner, starts going over it with a fine tooth comb while I try to express to him that I don't think it was something he did. You can tell he's used to bad clients who blame everything on his work… If he replaces a power steering belt and right afterwards the muffler falls off, it must have been his fault right?
Well, knowing a thing or three about cars I start working over the diagnosis with him. I've had a rather silly collection of pre-77 cars in the past and I'm fairly familiar with their quirks; the engine in the WarWagon is from 1976, a time when they had lead in the gas to act as a lubricant for things such as valve seals, seats, and guides – but that lead proved to be deadly so they removed it. Well, in all of the older cars I've owned I've eventually had to *something* with the valve train raging from simply replacing the valve seals to complete valve jobs. This is what I figure happened to the WarWagon – some/all of the valve seals picked now to fail and oil is passing into the combustion chamber by running down the valve stems, past the failed valve seals.
So, long story short, the WarWagon is still at JeePerformance, Charlie is doing whatever needs to be done, and I have 4 days left on the temp tags to get it past emissions.
Old cars can be so much fun. 😉