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Hi everyone!
I bought an 02 WRX this past saturday and currently I have gotten a new timing belt change as well as water pump, all the other belts changed, oil change, new spark plugs, and thermostat. I'm really excited about this car and I upgraded from a 95 civic hatch to this amazing car! And I'm completely new to subarus and the turbo and everything! So I'm going to need a lot of help!

As for now I want to keep it mostly stock bc I am a full time student. However I read that the cat in the uppipe can break and damage the turbo. I would def want to invest in a new uppipe but I live in ca and the smog laws are very difficult. So my question is, will gutting out the cat in the uppipe ruin my chances of passing smog legally or will I have to buy another cat and put it somewhere else? Right now this is My main concern as this is going to be my daily and I spent more money than I ever had to buy this car. So I need advice from my Cali people! And I want to keep it smog legit.. At least for now lol
 

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It's definitely a reason they could use to fail you... whether or not they would catch it would be the bigger question. I'd say pass smog then replace it and save your stock one to put back on when you have to pass smog again.
Ya I could do that but I heard it was a pain in the butt haha.. Do u have a stock one on urs? And if not do u pass smog without having to change it?
 

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Gut the stock cat. Take the up pipe off, then take a screw driver, then dremel to the inside, breaking apart all of the catalyst element. then dremel it smooth, then reinstall it. Cheaper than an uppipe, will pass the visual smog inspections, and you'll get a bit of a power gain.
 

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Gut the stock cat. Take the up pipe off, then take a screw driver, then dremel to the inside, breaking apart all of the catalyst element. then dremel it smooth, then reinstall it. Cheaper than an uppipe, will pass the visual smog inspections, and you'll get a bit of a power gain.
Yep.

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Ya I could do that but I heard it was a pain in the butt haha.. Do u have a stock one on urs? And if not do u pass smog without having to change it?
I'm only in Tahoe for school, my car is registered in Colorado and they don't test emissions back home. So it's a non-issue for me.
 

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Legally you would not pass, but even with that converter non-functional, you should still run clean enough to pass a smog test.
 

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I'm only in Tahoe for school, my car is registered in Colorado and they don't test emissions back home. So it's a non-issue for me.
haha lucky!

Legally you would not pass, but even with that converter non-functional, you should still run clean enough to pass a smog test.
Ok cool, so if I gut it I can pass the visual and the emission part of it..

Another question, If I gut out the cat on the up pipe will the sensor give me a CEL? and If it does how can i avoid that or delete the code or whatever so I don't get into probs with the smog?
 

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lendo_21 said:
Another question, If I gut out the cat on the up pipe will the sensor give me a CEL? and If it does how can i avoid that or delete the code or whatever so I don't get into probs with the smog?
It will trip a CEL, but that's disabled by replacing the EGT sensor with a resistor.

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It will trip a CEL, but that's disabled by replacing the EGT sensor with a resistor.

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Yup... a 2.2k ohm resistor if I remember correctly. Like 80 cents at radioshack.
 

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Sinister said:
Yup... a 2.2k ohm resistor if I remember correctly. Like 80 cents at radioshack.
1/2W, I believe

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But if you're gutting the cat, you can leave the EGT in, can't you? Therefore it wouldn't throw a CEL
 

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You're correct. My apologies. But the EGT sensor is only there for the cat... so might as well remove it, plug the hole with a bung plug, and not have anything in the pathway of the exhaust.
 

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Sinister said:
2.2k Ohm. I win ;)

http://www.clubwrx.net/forums/engine-modifications/8837-2-2k-ohm-resistor-mod.html

edit... googled 2.2k ohm resistors, and found that they were all 1/2 watt. Alright. We both win.

(but 1/2 watt doesn't = 2.2k ohm. OP... make sure you get a 2.2k ohm, 1/2 watt resistor)
Someone PMed me a while back asking whether to get ¼W or ½W versions, which is the only reason I specified. Maybe they only make ½W ones...

jd92677 said:
But if you're gutting the cat, you can leave the EGT in, can't you? Therefore it wouldn't throw a CEL
It may still throw the CEL, not sure.

Either way, remove the sensor.
 

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lol ok so if I put a resistor will I still be able to pass the tedious CA smog? I mean no offense but idk if you guys have any cars registered in CA or know how extreme CA is with the smog. Basically I just want to be able to have a reliably running car without having to worry about the cat effing up my turbo and what not and I want to not have to worry about the stupid CA smog lol so ya. If a CA smog rep can answer this question that would be nice or an anonymous one haha or any threads relating to it would be cool too!

Another question: I picked up my car today from my mechanic who did a timing belt and water pump change, replaced a radiator hose, changed the spark plugs, changed the thermostat, and also changed all the accessory belts and basically he said that when he started it this morning there was white smoke coming out the exhaust then after it warmed up it went away. The car I had before my wrx is a 95 civic and I never really paid any attention to the color of the exhaust smoke and I never had a car with an exhaust so idk if the smoke is due to the turbo being cold or what. Idk if the mechanic knows about turbos and stuff bc he usually works on oem cars without built in turbos and what not and I don't think he comes across many subies. I asked him what he thought it could be and he said that I might have to get an engine rebuild which I thought was crazy bc the car only has 141k on it and I know that subies last a long time. The previous owner did all the scheduled maintenance but I don't think she changed the timing belt or spark plugs bc the water pump was leaking and the plugs were worn out!

So is it normal to have white smoke come out of the exhaust when u start it cold? and should it be thin white smoke or no color to the smoke? if its thick white smoke I would think that it would be worse but ya any thoughts or advice would help! this is my first subie and first turbo so thanks for replying!
 

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you should have no problems passing california smog. People do it here in colorado, and in the denver metro area, we have worse smog tests than california (I lived in california for 4 years)
 

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as for the white smoke... it could be coolant, or it could be condensation. I'd lean towards condensation, but if next time you change your oil it looks milky... then that would indicate a head gasket replacement in your near future.

It's common to have condensation on start up though. With all cars. Especially in the cold.
 

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as for the white smoke... it could be coolant, or it could be condensation. I'd lean towards condensation, but if next time you change your oil it looks milky... then that would indicate a head gasket replacement in your near future.

It's common to have condensation on start up though. With all cars. Especially in the cold.
Ok thanks for the info! I was thinking it was condensation too but since it was a mechanic that said it might be collant I freaked a bit.. But I started it this morning and I saw no smoke at all so I think it was condensation.
 

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So I did an exterior detail. This is the longest I've worked on detailing my car and as a result I think that i'll do a paint job on her in about a year and a half (I'm a full-time student) because there are a lot of rock chips, scratches, and some scrapes on the bumpers from the previous owner. Here are some pix after the detail!

stuff 022.jpg stuff 023.jpg stuff 024.jpg stuff 027.jpg
 
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