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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have my eye on a 2000 MR2 Spyder with 175K miles and a rebuilt engine with low miles. Problem is, the car is registered in California and doesn't pass smog with high CO2 readings. The owner is saying it's a possible cracked manifold causing this. Any thoughts on what might cause this? I haven't personally seen the car yet, but I know the pre-cats are a problem with this generation of MR2. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.
Thanks in advance!
 

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I have my eye on a 2000 MR2 Spyder with 175K miles and a rebuilt engine with low miles. Problem is, the car is registered in California and doesn't pass smog with high CO2 readings. The owner is saying it's a possible cracked manifold causing this. Any thoughts on what might cause this? I haven't personally seen the car yet, but I know the pre-cats are a problem with this generation of MR2. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.
Thanks in advance!
The precats likely won't cause the emissions problem, they'll cause engine failure. The car should be passing emissions if the main cat is working.

Check this out to see what's possibly causing the high readings:

http://www.smogtips.com/failed-high-carbon-monoxide-CO.cfm
 

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I have my eye on a 2000 MR2 Spyder with 175K miles and a rebuilt engine with low miles. Problem is, the car is registered in California and doesn't pass smog with high CO2 readings. The owner is saying it's a possible cracked manifold causing this. Any thoughts on what might cause this? I haven't personally seen the car yet, but I know the pre-cats are a problem with this generation of MR2. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.
Thanks in advance!
are you a resident of California in which you will have to worry about their standards? if you live out of state where only an OBDII test is done, then as long as the CEL isn't on, you should pass... otherwise you will have to address the smog issue... if you are interested in the car and it is a really good deal, go see the car first and report back... we should be able to help you further... how long ago was the engine swapped. is there anymore history on it (i.e.. what kind of car the engine came from) did the owner gut the precat yet?

best of luck...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Awesome!!! Thanks for the link! I feel like buying this car might be opening a can of worms, but hell, it's a Toyota. Sorry for being such a noob, but are there any CARB legal headers available for the MR2 spyder?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
are you a resident of California in which you will have to worry about their standards? if you live out of state where only an OBDII test is done, then as long as the CEL isn't on, you should pass... otherwise you will have to address the smog issue... if you are interested in the car and it is a really good deal, go see the car first and report back... we should be able to help you further... how long ago was the engine swapped. is there anymore history on it (i.e.. what kind of car the engine came from) did the owner gut the precat yet?

best of luck...
I believe the engine is it's own rebuilt 1zz engine. I'm still waiting from the current owner for the smog test readings to get a better idea of whether I'd like to go check it out or not. I am a resident of CA (San Diego) but I'll most likely have the car registered in Imperial Valley (no smog test every 2 years)
Thanks again for all your help guys. Even if I don't end up buying this one, I've still guy my eye out for others, but finding one that isn't a salvage title in my price range is tough!
 

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Have you checked to see if the CEL is on? Codes point to problems. Does the car drive well? Use this as a barginning chip, reduce price, split emissions repair, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Have you checked to see if the CEL is on? Codes point to problems. Does the car drive well? Use this as a barginning chip, reduce price, split emissions repair, etc.
He/she said there are no CELs. I still haven't physically driven or seen the car in person, so I can't attest to how it drives. I did drive another spyder from a local small dealer and when I checked out the engine bay it smelled like burnt oil which was kind of a red flag to me.
 

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are you a resident of California in which you will have to worry about their standards?
I disagree with this approach. The car should pass CA smog, with or without precats.
If it doesn't the engine is not operating correctly, something is wrong with it. It would be wise to know what before buying the car, unless it's so cheap that replacing the engine right away is still economically viable.

Further, conventional wisdom on this board is that 1ZZ rebuilds are not often successful or reliable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I disagree. The car should pass CA smog, with or without precats.
If it doesn't the engine is not operating correctly, something is wrong with it. It would be wise to know what before buying the car, unless it's so cheap that replacing the engine right away is still economically viable.
they want $4K for it (with 175K mi on the chassis) I'm going to have to commute 80mi a day soon and I figure this car would be a lot more fun than a corolla/civic (even though I'm 6'4") Plus, it'd be a much more fun car for the weekend. Eventually, I'd like to swap in a 2zz, but those are possibly pipe dreams.
 

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You asked for thoughts, so I'll share mine.

Thats really high milage. You know it has issues already, and feel like you might be "Opening a can of worms". When I get that feeling, I RUN away from a car. If you're looking in California for one of these cars, be patient. There's plenty out there, wait until you find a good one... UNLESS, you think that the cars in this thread look good.
http://spyderchat.com/forums/showthread.php?26435-RicerChat&highlight=ricerchat
In that case, buy one with high milage, partially missing precats, preferably an engine that makes unusual noises and leaks oil like a BP rig.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
http://spyderchat.com/forums/showthread.php?26435-RicerChat&highlight=ricerchat
In that case, buy one with high milage, partially missing precats, preferably an engine that makes unusual noises and leaks oil like a BP rig.
haha... no thanks.

Even with living in sunny southern California, you'd think these would be somewhat plentiful, but they're not unfortunately. (for under $10K, at least)

Let me ask another question, for the 00-02 spyders, when do the rings typically start giving out with the normal 5000 mi maintenance done?
 

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they want $4K for it (with 175K mi on the chassis) I'm going to have to commute 80mi a day soon and I figure this car would be a lot more fun than a corolla/civic (even though I'm 6'4") Plus, it'd be a much more fun car for the weekend. Eventually, I'd like to swap in a 2zz, but those are possibly pipe dreams.
An engine swap for this car may be no pipe dream, but an immediate reality. Is that why the owner is selling?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
An engine swap for this car may be no pipe dream, but an immediate reality. Is that why the owner is selling?
They said they're "running out of money" Which seems a little strange. Possibly because they just had the engine rebuilt 300mi ago.
 

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They said they're "running out of money" Which seems a little strange. Possibly because they just had the engine rebuilt 300mi ago.
and it's already failing.

IF the rest of the car is in good shape, offer 2K and save the other 2K for a new shortblock and head rebuild.
Otherwise, wait for a better example.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
To the OP:
If you're 6'4" tall, you may not fit in the Spyder. I'm 6' tall and have no trouble, buy my 6'2" friend did not buy a Spyder simply because he felt cramped. So, go drive a Spyder -- any Spyder -- and see how you like it. If you don't like it, this discussion is moot.
I did drive one, my legs do kind of hit the bottom of the steering wheel, but honestly, it's like that in any small car. It did have fairly decent headroom with the top up at least. I really just don't want to get a boring commuter car.
 

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...my 6'2" friend did not buy a Spyder simply because he felt cramped...
I'm 6'5" (no beer gut), and commute 100 miles/day. I love it! Put the seat-bottom-tilt all the way down and make sure you fit.

Definitely NOT a boring car for commuting. I look forward to my drive every day!
 
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