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Discussion Starter #1
I'm overdue and need to get the car smogged and registered, California uses a chassis dyno and they will likely see the CEL come on after doing the hold rpm then rapid decel part of the test.

Does 155 correspond to O2 sensor error? What do I do now?

A little history: My 2000 Spyder now has 178k on the clock, has been using oil for the past 50k or so, about 1 qt every 600-900 miles. It's also pushing oil out of the main seal, and exhaust. I replaced the main seal when I replaced the worn clutch and bad-bearing trans in January. Still leaks under power.

There is a lot of crankcase pressure, you can feel it when the oil fill cap is off. New or not, I believe that excess crankcase pressure is pushing oil out the man seal. I installed a deep Moroso oil pan to increase capacity, as to not accidentally run it out of oil. A band-aid for sure, but an effective one :cool:

The pre-cats looked perfect at 120k, but I gutted them none the less. In any case, I suspect the rings are shot and the engine needs a rebuild, I'm aware that the early 1zz's are prone to rings/bores going bad prematurely. But it's my commuter, I want keep it limping along until I can afford to fix it right, with a re-man long block or JDM 30k engine from a 2003 and later.

Getting to the point: Recently the CEL has come on, code 155. I reset it using my ScanGauge, but it returns in as little as 5 minutes, as long as 1-2 hr drive time. A couple of hard decelerations usually turns on the CEL. I pulled the PCV valve and it still rattles and looks clear. What now?
 

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Left Side Heater is bad in the O2.. Replace the O2 Sensor..

Crankcase Pressure.. Need to Somehow get that Down.. Is the 'Other End' of the PCV valve actually hooked to the Intake Manifold?.. Verify that the PCV is Actually Sucking on the Crankcase.. Check it while the Engine is running.. Might need to add TWO of them.. but Need to get the Pressure Out.. Somehow.. as that will slow down the Oil use

Cap
 

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has been using oil for the past 50k or so, about 1 qt every 600-900 miles.
Is there any chance you'll pass a smog dyno burning a quart of oil every, say, 25 gallons of gas? If there is, their tests are badly flawed.
I installed a deep Moroso oil pan to increase capacity, as to not accidentally run it out of oil. A band-aid for sure, but an effective one :cool:
Not necessarily an effective one - how high is the oil pickup from the floor of the Moroso pan vs stock? In other words, how much of that added oil capacity will be left in the pan when your engine dies of oil starvation?
What now?
If you've got a 2000, reset the CEL as you're driving in to the inspection bay and hold your breath. Otherwise, I'd recommend selling your uber-expensive oil pan and putting that money towards a junkyard engine.

And yes, I am being cranky -- top-down driving is no fun behind someone's oil-burning cloud.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Left Side Heater is bad in the O2.. Replace the O2 Sensor..

Crankcase Pressure.. Need to Somehow get that Down.. Is the 'Other End' of the PCV valve actually hooked to the Intake Manifold?.. Verify that the PCV is Actually Sucking on the Crankcase.. Check it while the Engine is running.. Might need to add TWO of them.. but Need to get the Pressure Out.. Somehow.. as that will slow down the Oil use

Cap
Thanks for the helpful response, Cap. Changing out the O2 sensor is an easy thing to try, I'll do that today. From building my own lean/rich gauges for race cars, I know unburned hydrocarbons and lead in fuel will kill O2 sensors pretty fast, so it's plausible that the oil consumption has killed the new one I put in when I gutted the pre-cats, come to think of it that was about 50k ago :eek:

Everything on this engine is oem stock, but I'll check the non-valved side of the valve cover vent to make sure it's connected tot he intake (I'm 98% sure it is) and not blocked or pinched.

I like the idea of adding another PCV valve or another vent to get the crankcase pressure under control, until I can make the real fix the right way. Have you ever read about a pcv mod called an "Envalve" ? It essentially increases pcv capacity, they claim. It sounds like snake oil, but I may try it anyway. I'll report results, good or bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Is there any chance you'll pass a smog dyno burning a quart of oil every, say, 25 gallons of gas? If there is, their tests are badly flawed.
I have my opinions about the entire smog testing thing as well, I'm a California native, we (unfortunately) lead the way in "try the latest thing to maybe clean up our air" read about MTBE sometime :angry:. I will say that they run most cars through a pretty extensive 'real world' drive test on dyno rollers, the data goes straight to the DMV via secure internet connection. I notice fewer eye-watering-rich-running untuned poorly running P'sOS on the Cali highways since they stated this program. Of coarse, a smog check cost $90 now.

In short, I'm just another Spyder enthusiast wanting to get his car to pass the CA mandatory every-other-year smog test.

Not necessarily an effective one - how high is the oil pickup from the floor of the Moroso pan vs stock? In other words, how much of that added oil capacity will be left in the pan when your engine dies of oil starvation?
Yea, I read all the stuff a couple years ago... You've never looked at a Moroso pan, have you? If you ever do, you'll notice the extra capacity comes mostly from extra width, not depth.

And yes, I am being cranky -- top-down driving is no fun behind someone's oil-burning cloud.
1qt every 600-900 miles does not constitute a 'Cloud', and I'll leave it at that, officer.
 

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In short, I'm just another Spyder enthusiast wanting to get his car to pass the CA mandatory every-other-year smog test.

....

1qt every 600-900 miles does not constitute a 'Cloud', and I'll leave it at that, officer.
I don't make a habit of posting here to give people a hard time, but in this case I'll make an exception.

1 qt in 600 miles is more than half way to 2-stroke engine territory. Pass or fail your upcoming test, you're still likely to be spewing more crap in the air than 20 properly operating vehicles.

If it's your daily driver and you depend on it, and you can't afford repairs, I have no issue with that -- I've done worse when I needed to. Most have/would. BUT, when you spend upwards of $500 on an oil pan so you can drive around in this state and be a little more lazy about checking your oil level, that tells me you just don't give a damn. Or did I miss something?

So... google P0155 - it takes a few seconds. Pop $60 on a new O2 sensor, or $10 on a 20 ohm resistor and some electrical tape. Pass your test, drive around beautiful Napa for a year or 2 or however long your smog interval is in CA. Enjoy. It doesn't bother me 2500 miles away - you have my blessing. But don't bother trying to defend or justify - you're spewing a lot of crap in the air, it could have been fixed for a little more than twice the price of your oil pan and some elbow grease, and you don't seem to give a damn about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The LAST thing I expected from anyone on this forum, is for someone to bust my balls over a worn out engine, burning a little oil, trying to get through a smog check.

In the past I've found guys here, and on other forums I frequent, to be pretty helpful without a lot of BS.

But instead, from one avid poster, I get a reply laced with sarcasm, a question as to weather I'm lazy, and few other jabs thrown in for good measure. Boy this place has changed, or maybe it's just one guy, on one day.

Nice. See ya... :angry:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Left Side Heater is bad in the O2.. Replace the O2 Sensor..


Cap
It turns out those were likely the factory O2 sensors, not replacements that I thought I put in (I take care of mine, my 4 teenage kids, and G/F's cars, and loose track).

I replaced both O2 sensors on Saturday, then I took my gal for a 120 mile drive out to the coast and back on Sunday, another 70 miles this morning. No CEL, nothing under hard deceleration.

O2 sensor replacement cured problem #1 solved, thanks again Cap!
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
As I said earlier, replacing the bad header O2 sensor enabled me to reset the CEL, and keep it off.

But, it still failed the dyno roller smog test, high in both Nox and hydrocarbons during the 25mph portion of the test. I am not sure how many times the DMV system lets you fail a smog test before labeling your car as a "gross polluter", which triggers a hold on future registration in this state, requiring you to take the car to a state-run referee emissions station, I think they even make the owner take a weekly urine drug test!... ok, I'm kidding, but only about the urine test.

My suspicion is my 179k mile yr 2000 1zz engine, with confirmed high crankcase pressure and using oil, is pushing oil vapor through the PCV valve and into the intake manifold. My theory is oil vapor in the intake tract is causing some Nox producing preignition (for the last 35k miles I've had to use to top-tier mid-grade 89 octane to keep it from pinging, where I could use top-tier 87 octane before). My scangause II confirms what my ears detect, as you can watch the timing advance number reading drop 10deg or more as the ECU pulls away timing when knock is detected. I am not sure about the high Hc, maybe unburned or burned oil vapor will raise the Hc reading out the tailpipe, not sure.

I tried a couple bottles of Redline fuel injector cleaner, premium fuel, drove it hard to get the cat good and hot... still failed :(

Ticket for expire registration: Unfortunately, California is low on cash. The state sent out this years registration renewal notices late, and I got caught up in that. Now I have a ticket, which puts a special urgency on getting my car smoged so I can register it.

Changed the cat: One smog technician guessed maybe the catalytic converted was tired. 178k miles he says, will do that, he suspects a bad cat for every smog failure if the car has more than 100k miles on it. A Spyder chat buddy of mine loaned me a known good cat, that tested good the last time he smogged his car. I don't like to just throw parts at a car without testing, but in this case, swapping was inexpensive and took an hour. I swapped out his cat for mine, took it to be tested, again. FAILED again! Same deal, high Nox, high Hc. I'm not sure what they cost, but California has some new restrictions on which cat you can use, driving the price of a 'California certified' cats through he roof, I'm told. Glad I didn't spend the money on a new cat, thanks Rasheed!

Limit oil vapor going into the intake tract: Pull the oil fill cap off while the engine is running, and the pressure pushes the cap off after the last 1/4 turn. Too much crankcase pressure. I suspect the rings are not sealing very well, or the PCV system isn't working correctly.. I'm no emissions device expert, rather a novice and learning, the PCV system is pretty straightforward... or is it? More reading for me.

Capturing oil vapor: I've read about guys using a simple oil trap, on the PCV valve side of that system. While doing an ebay search, it seams some cars come with a system like that from the factory. I'll look at that.

Enhanced 'Smart" PCV valve?: Earlier in this thread, I mentioned something about a device called the En-Valve that I stumbled across while searching the net. http://www.envalve.com/ that is supposed to reduce blow-by, create a vacuum inside the crankcase (where there was once pressure) The literature says it is a CARB approved device for highway vehicles, has an executive order number and a sticker for the underhood. I'll let you read the marketing stuff if you care to. I parted with my $60 and bought one, but up to now have not tried it, since it isn't 'plug and play' on a 1zz engine. I need to design and build an adapter...
 

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To make up for being a bit pissy before, some bits of info I think I know:

1. High NoX and High hydrocarbons showing up together mean high cylinder temps and almost always mean you are running too lean. Clean the MAF, and a bottle of Techron through your injectors can't hurt.
2. One trick for lowering hydrocarbons temporarily is simple.... change your oil right before inspection. Better to burn clean fresh oil than used oil that has been collecting combustion byproducts for several thousand miles. Thicker oil can't hurt, either.
3. N02... in your aged engine's case, if it's not lean burn causing it, it's probably carbon buildup. I'm not usually a believer in such things, but a Sea Foam treatment (or Marvel, or pick-your-poison, they're all mostly kerosene and naptha and the like) could help.
4. Make sure you've run really hot before showing up for the test, and show up at a time when there's no line.
5. I'd bet the higher octane is hurting your emissions slightly rather than helping. But that's just a guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
smog check; cont.

to recap: after the staged parts swapping and subsequent failed tests, new O2 sensors, swapping out the catalytic converter for a known good one, adding Techron then Redline's fuel injector cleaner, mid-grade, then premium fuel, it still failed the dyno roller California smog test, now for a 4th time. Oh, and now I have a ticket for expired registration with an appear date of Oct 5th :unsure:

I am thinking the oil vapor is causing combustion temps to spike (a known phenomenon in the race engine world) which through higher combustion chamber temps may be resulting in high Nox. Maybe residual unburned oil is causing high Hc out the tail pipe.

What if I could just filter the oil vapor out of the PCV stream? Some of the performance tuners offer these as part of there 'packages', an internet and ebay search reveals some Mercedes, Volvo and BMW's come with factory installed oil separators.

I decide I now have nothing to loose, so I work on installing the En-Valve PCV and to build my own oil separator.

Ev-valve: Snake oil and bull$hit, like the intake Tornado and fuel line magnets, or is it a real solution for high mileage cars with blow-by and crank case pressure? I don't know, but I parted with $55 to find out.

As I mentioned before, I bought one of these devices a few weeks ago, but have been real reluctant to try it. Reluctant for several reasons
A) sounds too good to be true, and I am some-what a skeptic
B) Fearful that a smog tech would see it, and even though it has a CARB (California Air Resources Board) approved by executive order # blah-blah-blah on it, tells me the device is on some 'California watch list' or some BS like that, and label my car a gross polluter, sending me to the State referee... believe me, if you live in California, you DON'T EVER want that! Unless you want to sell your car tot he taxpayers... oh wait, that's me!
C) It doesn't fit my Toyota out of the box. In order to make it fit and look sort of 'ligit', I need a design and to borrow a lathe to modify a couple fittings.

Essentially this device replaces the PCV valve with a higher flowing PCV-like valve, that, unlike a standard PCV, works at times when a normal PCV is closed. They say. You also plug one of the PCV vent lines, which does not sound right to me, but what do I know? You'll have to read the sales literature for a better explanation. By making this mod and adding this high-flow PCV valve, it's supposed to create vacuum in the crankcase, where on a tied engine, there is pressure and resultant blow-by. The last thing I want is to be caught circumventing some federal or state emissions law and be fined. But again, this device claims to be legal and CARB approved, and I am getting desperate.

I modify the fitting at a friend's shop, buy some hose, look for a way of plumbing it up per the instructions. I stop by Harbor Freight and buy a $15 water/oil separator and fittings, intended for the outlet of an air compressor. Max pressure is 220psi, and 140degF. I'm not sure about 140degF, but if the concept works but the heat ruins the plastic, I can figure out a higher temp solution that uses the same principle, like one of those shiny polished one son ebay.

Nothing to loose, I plumb both up, both En-Valve and water/oil separator are plumbed inline and in series between the valve cover to intake manifold. Per instructions, I block off the pre-throttle body-to-valve cover hose (which for the record, does not sound right to me). While underneath the car, I wipe up oil dribble that had been oozing out of the (almost new) rear main seal. I changed that seal in January, but i saw no change, it did not stop the rear main from leaking slightly.

I fire it up and let it run and to let the FI system do it's thing and adjust to (presumably) the different amount of air leaking into the intake manifold, as it settled in to normal idle rpm. Dash check revealed no CEL. I remove the oil fill cap, and low-n-behold, there is IN FACT vacuum! Tried to suck the fill cap out of my hand while I removed it. I take it for a drive, all seems well, scan gauge reports all normal, no codes. Interestingly, lugging up a grade on my way to get smog checked for the 5th time, no pinging now, no reduced timing reported by the scangauge :eek: a welcome change, but maybe it's because of the premium fuel I have in it now.

Smog test: It passed!!!!! Not perfect, but enough to get a passing grade for both Nox and Hc. Nox was still a little on the high side, but again, passed. Hc had gone down dramatically.

Over the weekend, I put another 200 miles on the Spyder, then I checked the water/oil separator on Sunday night. Sure enough, there is about a teaspoon of oil that had been separated out, in the bottom of separator's plastic bowl. Surely this oil was destined for the intake tract before the filter intervened. While underneath, I did not see any new oil mess, the rear main seal area was dry. It seems to have a little more power under load, when I 'get on it'. I need to put more miles on it before claiming ultimate victory, but passing smog was great, the rest looks promising as well. If oil consumption goes down like early results indicate, I may have a winning modification that might be help others. :icon_thumright:
 

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You may have to smog it again next year. Looks like the spyder is one of those cars with higher than normal fail rate and some may get chosen to test EVERY year. I have had to test my car the last two years in a row.
 

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Under what circumstances could pressure build faster than a single PCV could handle (assuming no forced induction)?
A worn out engine, or one with stuck or broken rings will sometimes make a lot of crankcase pressure from combustion pressure going past the rings. I had one once that would blow the dipstick up out of the tube about 3 inches when you revved it up. Then it would blow oil out of the tube all over the engine. Most car's didn't have a PCV valve till the mid 60's. I have installed PCV valves on some of the older cars like from the 50's when they had mild blow by that I wanted to get rid of. I've even done the dual thing with one in each valve cover on an old V8. On the old cars that had an open system with no PCV valve they couldn't build up too much pressure because it would just go out the vents and into the atmosphere. If they were really bad, smoke would boil out around the front of your car when you were stopped like at a traffic light and embarrass you. :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
You may have to smog it again next year. Looks like the spyder is one of those cars with higher than normal fail rate and some may get chosen to test EVERY year. I have had to test my car the last two years in a row.
excellent point! All the statistical information is in the DMV data base 'for the compiling' to target the early 3rd gen Spyders and Celicas with the 1zz
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I would suggest that the negative pressure in the engine was produced by blocking the air line entering the crankcase, and has little or nothing to do with the En-Valve. You now have a partial vacuum, but you've lost ventilation. Good? Bad? I can't say. Passing the smog test is good, though.

Also, with no fresh air entering the crankcase, there is less air to be extracted through the PVC valve, meaning the En-Valve's purported higher flow rate is not being used.
Blocking the crankcase airline (the one that goes to the airbox side of the intake hose) is all part of the 'system' and instructions. I am not sure I'd get the same result using the oem PCV valve instead of the En-Valve, I never tested that, but I should. My guess is the PCV wasn't enough, wouldn't flow enough volume for my worn engine, and the positive pressure was venting via both hoses.

After having just made the 1300 mile round trip to Bonneville and back, what I am sure of is this: I have no CEL, I now have a negative pressure condition in the crankcase, my flywheel seal all but stopped leaking, oil consumption is much reduced, I can burn regular 87 octane unleaded again, and my mpg went up slightly.

I attribute being able to burn 87 octane fuel again to the in-line oil separator. Knock has been significantly reduced, ignition timing is not being retarded as often/as much under la load, now, all the while burning lower octane fuel. I attribute less oil leakage out the flywheel seal to the negative crankcase pressure. That same negative pressure may be reducing oil getting past the rings, and may be allowing the top and second rings to seal better. Slightly better FE to a healthier running engine.
 

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After having just made the 1300 mile round trip to Bonneville and back, what I am sure of is this: I have no CEL, I now have a negative pressure condition in the crankcase, my flywheel seal all but stopped leaking, oil consumption is much reduced, I can burn regular 87 octane unleaded again, and my mpg went up slightly.

I attribute being able to burn 87 octane fuel again to the in-line oil separator. Knock has been significantly reduced, ignition timing is not being retarded as often/as much under la load, now, all the while burning lower octane fuel. I attribute less oil leakage out the flywheel seal to the negative crankcase pressure. That same negative pressure may be reducing oil getting past the rings, and may be allowing the top and second rings to seal better. Slightly better FE to a healthier running engine.

Any updates on this? It looks like it could be something really worthwhile to do. I'm practically running a two stroke over here.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Update: I drove it to the WOS event last month at Bonneville, a 1300mile round trip. I've commuted another 2000miles on top of that. 3300 miles, 1-1/2 quarts of oil consumed. About half of what it was a couple months ago.

Improved? Yes :)
Passed smog? Yeppers!
Did I slow down oil consumption? Yes.
Did I stop/slow the oil leak out the flywheel? Thankfully Yes!
Did I reduce oil contamination in the combustion chamber so I can burn 87oct again? Yes!
Am I getting better mpg (than 2 months ago)? Yes, about 5% better.
Do I think this En-Valve thing was worth the ~$50, did it work as advertised? Yes.
I find some fix-all for worn out engines. No.

I want to be clear, my engine is still worn out. It still uses too much oil. But I bought myself some more time, to either buy and rebuild a core 1zz myself, or buy and exchange engine from a rebuilder. I stand by my earlier comment that a Moroso oil pan is a great addition on these early engines, particularly if you put on a lot of miles, like I do, and burn oil, like my engine has been doing. With more capacity, you are less likely to run out of oil and spin a rod bearing.
 
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