Stage 2 WRX & Inspection
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This is a discussion on Stage 2 WRX & Inspection within the Engine Modifications forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Okay so how do all your Stage 2 and most likely catless WRX's pass inspection? I live in PA and ...

  1. #1
    Registered User MisterNBG's Avatar
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    Stage 2 WRX & Inspection

    Okay so how do all your Stage 2 and most likely catless WRX's pass inspection? I live in PA and was curious, obviously the car doesn't have any cats so that right there would mean fail right? Especially if there's a visual inspection. I'm sure this has been asked 1000's of times but I've got all the parts for stage 2 and just want to know how to pass inspection. Do you guys throw the stock catted DP back on and somehow tune it back to normal with the Cobb AP? or do you just leave it catless and play around with the AP? Hell maybe I'm worrying over nothing.

    I have a 2004 WRX, this car has 3 cats, one in the UP and two in the DP, so going completely catless just seems like I would fail, yet I see SO MANY WRX's out there stage 2 and I'm curious how they do it.

    Your 2 cents is appreciated!

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    Pro Manscaper Mikie13's Avatar
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    A lot of people will just swap the DP back on before they get inspected, and change right back afterwards. Flash the map as necessary. Or find a shop you can slip a little extra loot to? I dunno. Never actually dealt with it in PA. Never really cared and had past due inspection stickers for at least half of the 5 years I lived there with two different catless stage 2 STIs.

    In NJ, they don't care anymore as long as your ECU isn't throwing a CEL.
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    Registered User wreckingball man's Avatar
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    I don't have inspections where I live. That accounts for most of your catless people.

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    does PA do sniff tests? here in MA it's a "visual" inspection... i have a catted DP.

    i've seen a lot this over @ NASIOC where some people in New England weld a "fake" cat onto their exhaust systems... they sell them on eBay.

    but here in MA, it's a OBDII to check for codes and a visual i just passed inspection in August through my dealership during my 15k service... (oil change, annual inspection and few loose ends...) came off just over $200 bucks and drove away happy.

    YMMV.

    ETA: the "fake catalytic" converters are just a shell that you weld onto your DP or Mid Pipe to pass it off as a cat. the only dudes i saw that really had this problem were in commie states like California...
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    Registered User MisterNBG's Avatar
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    Well there's a catch, my car is currently throwing the PITA P0420 code which I'm not too worried about (could be and most likely is a faulty sensor) but the inspectors might be, so if going stage 2, full catless system with stage 2 map, that will rid my car of the annoying code correct?

    But that still goes back to my first issue.

    @Mikie13 If I just throw my stock DP and (if it's possible) revert my tune back to stock just for the inspection, will it pass? How simple is it to keep changing the tune?

    @wreckingball man You lucky SOB, I'm jealous lol!

    @WRXchet Yes PA sniff tests :'( I've read a lot on this forum about how "high flow cats" won't save you from failing the sniffer test.

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    Moderator   Sasquatch's Avatar
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    The sniffer is always used for pre-1996 cars in PA. I have an Cobb cat. The WRX has never been sniffed, OBDII only. You will not pass with any code. Performance oriented shops are much easier to deal with.
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    and the Funky Bunch Calvinball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch View Post
    The sniffer is always used for pre-1996 cars in PA. I have an Cobb cat. The WRX has never been sniffed, OBDII only. You will not pass with any code. Performance oriented shops are much easier to deal with.
    ^ This. A relatively modern car need only pass readiness on the ecu. The P0420 code will definitely make you fail. You can be completely catless though, and as long as your car isn't throwing codes/is passing readiness it will be fine (unless you go to a totally unknown shop who happens to be a stickler).
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    Registered User MisterNBG's Avatar
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    So correct me if I'm wrong but, because the car is > 1996, they won't 'sniff' it? even if it's throwing the P0420 code? Also, if I Stage 2 it with 0 cats (catless UP, catless DP) The map will get rid of the P0420 right so when they do the OBDII, it shouldn't come up because of the Stage II map correct?? So that means I'll pass?

    I'm sorry for all these questions, I have all the parts sitting right here to go in and it just dawned on me... inspection is coming up in October. That code REALLY sucks because I would just get it inspected NOW, but @Sasquatch your saying I won't pass at all with that code? ugh what a PITA -___- Especially because that damn sensor costs about $120-$190 and like 99% sure it's the sensor

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    Registered User jtk07's Avatar
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    Keep in mind a lot of people try to clear the comp and rush into the shop to get a sticker. When I was younger working in a shop in pa we saw it daily. You will fail if the cel has been cleared and the car has not been driven enough.


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    MAINEiac 11blackSTi's Avatar
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    I'd just find a place to inspect it with the parts on. They are around, you just need to find them. I have a shop up here that will give me a sticker regardless of what I ever wanted to do to the car.

    But to the point. If you can clear the cell then I believe what the PENN natives are telling you is that you will be fine. If you are that worried just get it inspected tomorrow and then put the parts on. A lot of dealerships will give you a sticker for free if you go to them regularly, so you don't really have much to lose. Then you can mull it over for the next year.

  12. #11
    and the Funky Bunch Calvinball's Avatar
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    Yes for the most part in PA as long as the ECU says the car is fine, bam you've past emissions. I just would warn against the remote possibility that you could go to an unknown shop where someone is a real stickler and could fail you based on a visual inspection. Again this is a remote possibility but it never hurts to make sure you're going to a shop you know a little about.
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    Registered User MisterNBG's Avatar
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    Alright, thanks dudes, I'll stop worrying about it so much, I think I will do what @11blackSTi said, I think I'm going to get it inspected next week, just get it out of the way you know?

    I'll worry about stage 2, maps, tuning, cats and MOAR POWA after the car has passed. Thanks for all your answers, drive safe out there!

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    Pro Manscaper Mikie13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calvinball View Post
    Yes for the most part in PA as long as the ECU says the car is fine, bam you've past emissions. I just would warn against the remote possibility that you could go to an unknown shop where someone is a real stickler and could fail you based on a visual inspection. Again this is a remote possibility but it never hurts to make sure you're going to a shop you know a little about.
    This.

    PA isn't all that terrble. Also keep in mind that a lot of shops will see a resonator in the midpipe and automatically think that it's the cat. It happened to me multiple times.

    Also if you're worried about inspection in October, can you just go now? It's only a month...get inspected now, then do your parts. Good for a year +.
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    Pro Manscaper Mikie13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MisterNBG View Post
    Alright, thanks dudes, I'll stop worrying about it so much, I think I will do what @11blackSTi said, I think I'm going to get it inspected next week, just get it out of the way you know?

    I'll worry about stage 2, maps, tuning, cats and MOAR POWA after the car has passed. Thanks for all your answers, drive safe out there!
    Oops, didn't realize that was the conclusion you'd come to
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    i hope everyone feels safer with all these stupid ass inspection sticker laws. LOL. [EDIT]
    Last edited by EJ257; 09-10-2013 at 08:37 AM. Reason: no politics
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