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I've had the Spyder for about 13 years and can't let it go. About a year ago the 1zz finally died and I finally went for the dream and had a 2zz installed. The shop I had it installed at made the custom exhaust header (1zz/2zz hybrid) with the precats, everything looks normal unless you know what to look for. After the install I went to a star station to smog and the car passed with flying colors. Come this year my renewal notice says I need to go to a star station to smog, so I go and the machine says "refer owner to referee station" and no testing can be done there.

I made my appointment for the referee and take the car in. The referee immediately knows a 2zz was swapped in and tells me it's illegal. Says the frankenstein header is a major violation along with the catalytic converter and exhaust. He said I have to have all the equipment the the Celica the engine came from has. I'll post a pic of the paper I was given of what needs to be corrected.

Hopefully someone here has done this process with a California referee and can give me some guidance. Thanks for reading.

73732
 

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There's a lot of threads about this, but to have the stock Celica header clear with no modification, you have to do a little cutting of the subframe to get the header to clear. Otherwise, you can angle the header up a little. Also, the stock Celica cat isn't going to fit since it goes straight out the back. The Lotus one would fit, but it has a bend which they might say is not okay since it's not from a Celica.
 

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Yah this is so dumb. I hate CA for this stuff. Some people get by with a car like yours and some get a ref like this one. With the rules he’s laid out it’s impossible to pass. As stated you’d have to cut into the subframe and the cat would stick out the back of the car. I’m not sure what to do in this situation, maybe you can try a different referee station and hope you get a reasonable ref.
But are you saying you swapped in a 2zz and just smogged it like that the first time? If so you lucked out and the smog tech didn’t know what he was doing as it should have been BAR certified before your first smog after a swap. I actually don’t know how it passed with the wrong computer as all 2000 models and up only have the computer read and a visual inspection. It should have automatically failed when the computer read celica gts instead of GT.
It also won’t help you pass if you have loud exhaust and a modified looking car, the more stock looking the better. I think ref’s get a bad taste in their mouths with “ricers” coming through all the time trying to pass shady swaps. So the more modified it looks the stricter they are from the get go.
I’d say ditch the ram air, get a stock box in there from the mr2 or celica if it fits. Maybe get a spare sub frame to hack up for the celica header. And try your luck with a factory celica cat welded onto a factory mr2 cat pipe with a celica flange? Technically not legal but as close as it gets. Hopefully someone with real and current experience getting through CA BAR can chime in.
It’s stories like this that kept me from doing my CA BAR legal K24 swap. Too much red tape.


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Sounds like a nightmare, and your length of ownership, location and relatively recent 2ZZ swap is eerily close to my own situation....

Keep us posted.
 

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Swap it back to a 1ZZ.. no other way to pass.. it has to be the ECU that was the giveaway .. PITA but no other way to get around the SMOG Police..

My advice to anyone looking to handle this situation BEFORE it ever gets smogged..

Do as you did and make it look STOCK..
Use a Swap Harness for the Wiring Fix
Put the 1ZZ ECU back in and drive it to get all the Monitors to Set.
When the ECU is read by the Smog Machine, it will report as a 1ZZ.
Put the 2ZZ ECU back in and have fun with it.. for another 23 Months.

I remember a 2ZZ swap that was done in 'The Eastern Block' of Europe.. I forget where, but they used a 1ZZ ECU and 'Tuned' it with a Piggyback ECU to get all to run..

Cap
 

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Those idiots, that will make it run like shit.
Tack weld the celica header to a table and hit ti with a big hammer to bend it up. Make a super shitty down pipe with the celica Cat, add the celica airbox and call it a day.
 

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Yah this is so dumb. I hate CA for this stuff. Some people get by with a car like yours and some get a ref like this one. With the rules he’s laid out it’s impossible to pass. As stated you’d have to cut into the subframe and the cat would stick out the back of the car. I’m not sure what to do in this situation, maybe you can try a different referee station and hope you get a reasonable ref.
But are you saying you swapped in a 2zz and just smogged it like that the first time? If so you lucked out and the smog tech didn’t know what he was doing as it should have been BAR certified before your first smog after a swap. I actually don’t know how it passed with the wrong computer as all 2000 models and up only have the computer read and a visual inspection. It should have automatically failed when the computer read celica gts instead of GT.
It also won’t help you pass if you have loud exhaust and a modified looking car, the more stock looking the better. I think ref’s get a bad taste in their mouths with “ricers” coming through all the time trying to pass shady swaps. So the more modified it looks the stricter they are from the get go.
I’d say ditch the ram air, get a stock box in there from the mr2 or celica if it fits. Maybe get a spare sub frame to hack up for the celica header. And try your luck with a factory celica cat welded onto a factory mr2 cat pipe with a celica flange? Technically not legal but as close as it gets. Hopefully someone with real and current experience getting through CA BAR can chime in.
It’s stories like this that kept me from doing my CA BAR legal K24 swap. Too much red tape.


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There is no model or VIN identification on the celica 2zz ECU. The smog machine can't tell what ECU is in the car. A lot of spider with camouflaged 2zz engines that look like 1zz pass the smog yearly.
 

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Unlike what is stated here, you CAN make it legal, but it's more difficult with a 2ZZ than a K20. Read below to understand why. You need to talk to BAR and not go off false information stated above.

I completed a CARB legal K20A swap this year (RSX-S). It is difficult to follow all the rules, but it is not impossible. My swap has RSX cat in legal position, RSX stock manifold (uncut per law), CARB legal RSX-S intake tube, stock engine.

The reason swaps are so difficult to make legal now is because of people cheating smog who ruin it for everyone else. CARB laws are extremely strict because of this. Blame the people who tell you how to cheat, not the law.

FYI, BAR follows CARB laws. But, their only goal is to help you succeed. They want you to complete the swap legally because it cuts down on pollution. A V8 in an MRS doesn't work as hard so it pollutes less given same smog laws.

You need to call BAR (www.asktheref.org). They will likely put you in touch with the same state ref as they did for me. He is unbelievably helpful (as are ALL BAR employees). I have had 100% good experience with all of them. They were all excited to see the swap done, but they stick strictly to CARB laws. They will not sacrifice their jobs and livelihoods so you or anyone else can cheat.

I have researched 2zz CARB legal swap carefully as well. Below are some of the rules (not all) and issues. My main reason for not doing the 2zz yet is that it is fragile for racing, too expensive to build a motor that can't match a stock k20a2. I may do it in the future:

•The exhaust manifold CANNOT be cut or modified in any way. This means that the rear member brace needs to be notched, boxed/reinforced. I would also suggest using and modifying the triangulating trd braces to fit. That was easy (passenger side needs modding for k20. idk about 2zz).

•The piping from the exhaust manifold flange to the catalytic converter must maintain the same ID as stock

•The piping from the exhaust manifold flange to the catalytic converter can be cut/bent/routed in any direction you want as long as the primary o2 sensor remains at the same linear distance from the exhaust manifold flange as stock donor. Take pictures of the distance from the flange to the o2 sensor before cutting post manifold piping for documentation of stock distance.

•The cat has to be the same linear distance from the exhaust manifold flange as stock donor. Take pictures of measurements of the distance from the cat flange to the cat before cutting for documentation of stock distance.

•The secondary o2 has to be the same linear distance from the exhaust manifold flange as stock donor. Same as above with pics.

•Functional ODB port

•Functional CEL

•stock ecu

•stock intake air box and filter in stock, uncut location OR CARB legal intake tube which is unmodified. THIS IS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF THE SWAP TO OVERCOME (see explanation below)

•Documentation from the dealership service department with specific wording confirming the ecu part number is correct for the donor vin, the donor vin belongs to the correct make, model, year of donor vehicle, the tune flashed to the ecu is confirmed to be stock and unmodified. This can all be done in a single visit. I did mine at Acura dealer with kswapped MRS so it was much more unfriendly. Toyota with Toyota swap at Toyota dealership would be much easier.


There are other details which need to be taken care of. I would highly suggest a Celica GT-S as a donor. The whole car is cheap. Most importantly there is no immobilizer.

The reason the intake tubing is the most difficult is because the stock airbox won't fit. For OBD2 to OBD2 swap, you cannot cut the air box.

The CARB legal intake tubes for 2zz Celica are all u-shaped. They point forward toward the firewall. You cannot rotate it 180° because it will hit the head. The only legal option is to cut the firewall and box it where the cubby is for a pocket to fit the intake tube.

As for 2zz wiring, using Cap Weir's posts and charts, I originally made the 1zz run great off Celica GT-S ecu by changing 5 wires (not 3) and physically adding a second VVL solenoid in place of the VVT solenoid. I stored it behind the driver seat. Resistance on VVT and VVL solenoids are the same, so I grabbed one from junkard Corolla. The wiring should be super simple relatively speaking.

It's very doable. The only question is are you willing to cut a hole in the firewall and add a box to clear the CARB legal intake tube? I haven't seen any other shapes available.
 

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That list isn't too bad. K&N makes a carb approved ram carb legal intake for the celica.

It says to use a celica catalytic converter so you need to weld in a California legal celica Cat. Muffler is irrelevant.

The header is the big issue. You either have to cut it at the flange and shorten the runner or at a the lower flange and turn it up.
 

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Really important, you cannot cut or modify the stock exhaust manifold in any way. There are efforts to alter this part of the law because cutting suspension makes the car unsafe to make it smog compliant. As of last I heard, this has not been changed.

The biggest benefit to using a whole car as a donor is that you get all the parts you need and the donor VIN already has a smog history with DMV. This is very valuable.

If you shop around you can make money off your donor vehicle after removing the parts you need.
 

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Unlike what is stated here, you CAN make it legal, but it's more difficult with a 2ZZ than a K20. Read below to understand why. You need to talk to BAR and not go off false information stated above.

I completed a CARB legal K20A swap this year (RSX-S). It is difficult to follow all the rules, but it is not impossible. My swap has RSX cat in legal position, RSX stock manifold (uncut per law), CARB legal RSX-S intake tube, stock engine.

The reason swaps are so difficult to make legal now is because of people cheating smog who ruin it for everyone else. CARB laws are extremely strict because of this. Blame the people who tell you how to cheat, not the law.

FYI, BAR follows CARB laws. But, their only goal is to help you succeed. They want you to complete the swap legally because it cuts down on pollution. A V8 in an MRS doesn't work as hard so it pollutes less given same smog laws.

You need to call BAR (www.asktheref.org). They will likely put you in touch with the same state ref as they did for me. He is unbelievably helpful (as are ALL BAR employees). I have had 100% good experience with all of them. They were all excited to see the swap done, but they stick strictly to CARB laws. They will not sacrifice their jobs and livelihoods so you or anyone else can cheat.

I have researched 2zz CARB legal swap carefully as well. Below are some of the rules (not all) and issues. My main reason for not doing the 2zz yet is that it is fragile for racing, too expensive to build a motor that can't match a stock k20a2. I may do it in the future:

•The exhaust manifold CANNOT be cut or modified in any way. This means that the rear member brace needs to be notched, boxed/reinforced. I would also suggest using and modifying the triangulating trd braces to fit. That was easy (passenger side needs modding for k20. idk about 2zz).

•The piping from the exhaust manifold flange to the catalytic converter must maintain the same ID as stock

•The piping from the exhaust manifold flange to the catalytic converter can be cut/bent/routed in any direction you want as long as the primary o2 sensor remains at the same linear distance from the exhaust manifold flange as stock donor. Take pictures of the distance from the flange to the o2 sensor before cutting post manifold piping for documentation of stock distance.

•The cat has to be the same linear distance from the exhaust manifold flange as stock donor. Take pictures of measurements of the distance from the cat flange to the cat before cutting for documentation of stock distance.

•The secondary o2 has to be the same linear distance from the exhaust manifold flange as stock donor. Same as above with pics.

•Functional ODB port

•Functional CEL

•stock ecu

•stock intake air box and filter in stock, uncut location OR CARB legal intake tube which is unmodified. THIS IS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF THE SWAP TO OVERCOME (see explanation below)

•Documentation from the dealership service department with specific wording confirming the ecu part number is correct for the donor vin, the donor vin belongs to the correct make, model, year of donor vehicle, the tune flashed to the ecu is confirmed to be stock and unmodified. This can all be done in a single visit. I did mine at Acura dealer with kswapped MRS so it was much more unfriendly. Toyota with Toyota swap at Toyota dealership would be much easier.


There are other details which need to be taken care of. I would highly suggest a Celica GT-S as a donor. The whole car is cheap. Most importantly there is no immobilizer.

The reason the intake tubing is the most difficult is because the stock airbox won't fit. For OBD2 to OBD2 swap, you cannot cut the air box.

The CARB legal intake tubes for 2zz Celica are all u-shaped. They point forward toward the firewall. You cannot rotate it 180° because it will hit the head. The only legal option is to cut the firewall and box it where the cubby is for a pocket to fit the intake tube.

As for 2zz wiring, using Cap Weir's posts and charts, I originally made the 1zz run great off Celica GT-S ecu by changing 5 wires (not 3) and physically adding a second VVL solenoid in place of the VVT solenoid. I stored it behind the driver seat. Resistance on VVT and VVL solenoids are the same, so I grabbed one from junkard Corolla. The wiring should be super simple relatively speaking.

It's very doable. The only question is are you willing to cut a hole in the firewall and add a box to clear the CARB legal intake tube? I haven't seen any other shapes available.
Good info.

So you wired in a stock RSx ecu. What happened to the imbolizer?
 

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Lots of good info there. I knew about the exhaust linear distances thing and totally forgot but I hadn’t heard about the intake piping thing.

And how did you get past the immobilizer for the RSX ECU?

I dream of swapping a Toyota 1UZ into my Jeep...this has me thinking about it again....ugh one project at a time haha


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A Matrix XRS or Vibe GT may be a better option for a donor. Take a look at their CARB legal intake tubes. They're more s-shaped rather than u-shaped. I haven't looked into it, but because of the s-shape you may be able to rotate it 180° to sit over the tranny and still be under the engine cover. Rotating the intake tube is legal. Modifying the tube is not. Modifying mounting brackets coming off the tube is.

For my swap, I added the immobilizer "system". It was way easier than I thought it would be. It's only 6 wires off of one plug. I didn't use the 7th wire.

For the RSX-S the immobilizer circuit is contained completely in the plastic unit around the key (green plug). The blue plug is only for the key light. The service manual clearly indicates where to run all the wires.

I converted the door ajar light in the gauges to be my security light.

Honda updated their ecu software a few months ago. It's now called something Immobi. It has to communicate with the immobilizer before the ecu. So, adding it was a necessity.

I originally bypassed the immobilizer and multiplexor (and kept the CEL light off for the multiplexor) by using the ktuned bypass. Because it's external to the ecu and did not plug into the OBD connector it is legal.

I now have a second hidden RSX-S key, ignition lock, and programmed immobilizer. I had the dealer flash the key from donor vehicle since I was there. Reprogramming the immobi takes almost 40 minutes.
 

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•The piping from the exhaust manifold flange to the catalytic converter can be cut/bent/routed in any direction you want as long as the primary o2 sensor remains at the same linear distance from the exhaust manifold flange as stock donor. Take pictures of the distance from the flange to the o2 sensor before cutting post manifold piping for documentation of stock distance.

•The cat has to be the same linear distance from the exhaust manifold flange as stock donor.
Sorry if this is a stupid question but when you say linear distance, you don’t mean that literally right; you mean total piping distance measured linearly? For example, let’s say there is a u-Bend that puts the flange next to the cat, I take the piping and follow it with string and then measure the string after right?
 

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Sorry if this is a stupid question but when you say linear distance, you don’t mean that literally right; you mean total piping distance measured linearly? For example, let’s say there is a u-Bend that puts the flange next to the cat, I take the piping and follow it with string and then measure the string after right?
Not a stupid question. It's weird wording. Linear distance mean just that on a straight section of pipe - from point A to point B. For curved sections, it's the circumferential distance along the center of the pipe.

When you bend a pipe, you have an ID, an OD, and a centerline. Measure the curved sections along the centerline of the bent portions.

Because there was a single bend in the RSX cat pipe, I measured from the flange to the cat with a tape measure and bending the tape measure. It does tend to kink which can change distances. If you measure by making a kink your distance will be shorter.
 

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Techstream Knows what year and Make and Model the ECU is.. It's not a stretch that the Smog Data can find that as well..

The VIN is not encoded until something like 2007 MY

Cap
 

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Another thing that no one called out here yet is that by the rules you supposed to swap the whole drivetrain, not just the engine. Both engine AND transmission from the donor car have to be used. I'm planning out to BAR my 2zz as well, if it doesn't sell first.
 

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Another thing that no one called out here yet is that by the rules you supposed to swap the whole drivetrain, not just the engine. Both engine AND transmission from the donor car have to be used. I'm planning out to BAR my 2zz as well, if it doesn't sell first.
II. Vehicles originally equipped with OBD-II must receive an OBD-II certified engine and meet the following: 1. All emission system configurations must be in the original emission control system configuration as the donor vehicle, including, but not limited to, the transmission, evaporative system, exhaust, and intake
 
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