California Smog Check Cracking Down On Third Party Software tunes

California Smog Check Cracking Down On Third Party Software tunes

July 25, 2021 Off By Mike Vietro

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Image courtesy of Corvette Forum

We have heard that this was coming, but now according to the Frequently Asked Questions section of the California Smog Check website, “Beginning July 19, 2021, vehicles with software not provided by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or approved through a California Air Resources Board (CARB) Executive Order (EO) will fail Smog Check. Before your vehicle will pass a Smog Check, you must have the vehicle’s software restored to the OEM or EO approved software version. Once the software is restored, have your vehicle reinspected by a licensed Smog Check station. Note that vehicles initially directed to a STAR or Referee station must return to the same station type to complete the inspection process.”

The California Air Resource Board (CARB) hopes to reduce vehicle emissions by doing away with vehicle engine tunes. By changing the engine computer programming people can get cheap horsepower increases on modern-day cars with turbochargers without having to make any parts changes or physical modifications to the engine components themselves, just by increasing boost pressure and changing the air/fuel mixture.

The days of being able to do cheap reprogramming of the engine computer is coming to an end even without this new test. As cars become more computers on wheels, manufacturers have begun locking down access to these systems to prevent hacking. The C8 and other General Motors cars have already begun using encrypted engine control units and locked out tuners. This lockout is one of the reasons tuners are having a very hard time making performance enhancements to the now two-year-old C8.

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The entry period for the Classic Corvette Dream Giveaway is coming to a close next week so don’t miss this opportunity to win an Ermine White 1966 Corvette Convertible powered by a matching number’s 427/390 V8 with factory air, plus $30,000 to pay the winner’s taxes!  This Sting Ray is loaded with a Dark Blue interior, white soft convertible top, as well as an auxiliary hardtop. Creature comforts include power steering, power brakes, Transistor ignition and rare factory air conditioning.

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John and Melissa S’s very rare 1967 427 with factory air conditioning and automatic powerglide 

John and Melissa S’s 1967 is very rare 427 with factory air conditioning and automatic powerglide transmission. It was sold new in the Chicago area and spent its first 30 years with the original owner in Wisconsin. After 2+ years of ownership and extensive restoration by Chad at Corvette Mike and exhaustive judging events by John, they are here at the NCRS national convention in Palm Springs, CA hoping to achieve another top-flight award in honor of his dad.

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What Mike Likes about this Shelby:

Let’s go back to the mid-1960s. The new Mustang was recently introduced as a 1964 1/2 by Ford Motor Company and was received with rave reviews. Carroll Shelby was already playing around with the AC Bristol from England and transplanting a Ford 260 cubic inch engine into the chassis to create the cobra!

So Caroll’s next brainstorm was to work similar magic on the Mustang.  And so he tweaked the car’s 289 V8, modified the suspension and exhaust, replaced the stock hood with one made of fiberglass, added a few other finishing touches and the Shelby GT 350 was born!  Carroll quickly learned that transforming the newly created pony car into a real hi-performance version filled a need for the newly created Mustang enthusiast. With slightly over 500 built, (all of them Wimbledon White with Blue stripes) the Shelby Mustang GT 350 was created to do battle on the street, strip, and road course. And in the process gave the Corvette a run for its money!

By 1965, I was hooked on the Corvette and did not think much of the Ford until I saw it in person. The side-exit dual exhaust with glasspack mufflers sounded muscular. All the fiberglass used by Shelby to lighten the GT350 proved to me that the Corvette had it right from the start by ditching the metal body.”

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Fully restored 1963 through 1967 factory hardtop restored by Nabers Brothers back years ago and has been in the crate ever since. This was restored specifically for 1966 Nassau blue 427 convertible. Very hard to duplicate and very expensive to restore. On sale this week for $5,000!


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