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Discussion Starter #1
I'm the proud new owner of 04 blue STI, I also live in So Cal. Although I love the car and I think its wickedly fast, I keep returning to the APS website ( among others ) and I'm finding myself wondering about upgrade paths. The main problem, I keep coming back to is this: is it possible to do engine mods and still be street/smog legal? I've seen more than few subaru performance shops in the area, and even more modded cars. So what's the deal? How are people smogging their cars? What about test only stations? What about police citations for modifications? Are most people not worrying about it, and paying the fines when they come up? Do I keep all my stock stuff so I can put it all back to smog?
If anyone has any advice on this, it would be most appreciated.

2004 Impreza WRX STI - Blue\Silver
 

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This is a question that comes up all the time for me. But no one seems to know, or it's just something that's not talked about for some reason.

The bottom line is this: If a part doesn't have a CARB EO (Executive Order) number, it's not street legal. Period. If you remove ANY of the cats, it's not street legal.

It doesn't matter if the car passes the actual tailpipe test. Without that EO number they can fail you on the visual inspection, unless you're lucky enough to find an unscrupulous tester. Probably isn't too hard.

There are many manufacturers who produce CA-legal parts. Look for "50 state legal" in the descriptions and such. Personally, I would stay away from the ones that say CARB EO "pending". You should be OK with simple stuff like cat-backs and many intakes. Headers are pushing it; you'd be lucky to find a kosher one.

Examples of illegal, "for off-road use only", parts are: catless downpipes, most (if not all) boost controllers, and every aftermarket piggyback ECU I've ever seen. In other words, all the good stuff.

Truthfully, I don't know how all these heavily modified Supras, etc., are "street legal". I think the only heavily modified cars that are legal are the 30-year-old muscle cars.

You should write APS and ask them if they have plans to certify any of their parts for California, and post the results!

Mod at your own risk!
 

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I have experience with modifiying my first car.

Most of the info was already mentioned in the post before me, so I'll just say this: other than K&N, differential protector and small stuff.

JUST LEAVE IT ALONE.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the responses. Everything that was said was pretty much what I expected, unfortunately. I sent an email to APS and got a response, which I can't repost so I'll paraphrase.

APS has no plans for obtaining CARB exemptions.

The getting passing tailpipe numbers is not a problem. The problem is visual inspection.

Engine really needs to be "uncorked" to produce real power. This means
no cat or hi-flow cat, but messing with the cat(s) at all is "illegal".

Damn this state :-?

I guess suspension and wheels are going to be the first to change. Prodrive can take my money.

oh well this car still kicks arse.

2004 STI - Blue\Silver
 

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Downpipe install?????????

I Didnt know hi flow cats were illegal

i heard if you bring the stock cats in and they happen to mangle them on a speed bump then the hi flows will excusably pass/// but again sometimes it comes down to the individual station huh?

sman
 

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Yes suspension is one way to enjoy the power that the car already has...

If you go to the track, you can always pull the cats for that day and reinstall them before returning to public roads.

~Nivek
 

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in california if you purchase a new car you won't need to smog it for 4 years so technically you wouldn't need to worry about smog unless you get pulled over and inspected.
 

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Bigger DVD then 4.7GB???

i think its still every two years isnt it or did i miss something?

sman
 

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sub, i heard that a new car gets 4 years, then the standard check every 2, i may be wrong though, when i heard it i was surprised as well... anyone else know whether it is 2 or 4?
 

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Thanks for confirming Agent...
 
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