• I believe it is only exempt from a bi-annual and transfer smog check, but when it is first imported it needs to either be 50 state legal (which it probably isn't) or you need to do some serious testing at a facility like this. More info here in this MotoIQ article.

    • You are correct. Even though diesel light duty vehicles are not smogged in CA until my 1998, they were subject to standards after 1979. Which means they would have to be made compliant through one of the two labs in the state who do that. Except that neither do diesels currently/anymore so post 1979 grey market diesels can not be brought into compliance…. So yeah. Not an option in this, our fine state 🙁

    • Yet when we swapped OM617's into 4Runners (thru '89) and Toyota pickups, all we had to do was take them to the smog ref to be "forever" branded as Diesel and thus exempt from the sniffer for life.

      What we had to do was ensure we had proof that the diesel engine was the same year or newer than the gas engines in our trucks, and that the diesel engine was sold in vehicles in CA. The B.A.R guy (head smog ref) told us that there are some combos that work (pre 1998 vehicle with post 1998 engine that wasn't imported to CA, for example) but he didn't give specifics.

  • On the bright side, the 1989 passenger vehicle diesel emissions regulations in CA were probably pretty sparse. I'm having trouble finding quantitative limits from 1989 for PV diesel (if they even existed). Here is an extensive guide to worldwide emissions regulations from Delphi, but it doesn't seem to go back earlier than 1993. This E30 was made pre-Euro I, so it is likely pretty "dirty" compared to modern cars, but may be fine for 1989 CA standards if you can afford the testing that Vince referenced above.

    • You are right, I don't think they would be hard to meet if that was possible. Unfortunately, quoting from dmv.ca.gov/pubs/brochures/fast_facts/ffvr29.htm

      "No motorcycle or diesel-powered vehicle can be converted to California emission standards."

      Which I believe is a result of neither of the (2) in-state labs ever getting/renewing their ability to modify diesel vehicles. Oh well

  • "prison camp slow".another classic line.

    On the smog front…….I live in the mountains east of San Diego. Believe it or not…if you live in this particular area gas and diesel are SMOG EXEMPT. So the thinking (if you can call it that) in the Legislature goes like this: if the air is clean and the people somewhat less nutty than down in the flatlands……..you dont have to smog your vehicle……..go figure!

    So maybe a new owner can avoid the whole BAR deal by living in an area of Cali where vehicles are smog exempt and you can happily drive your particulate spewing machine without fear!

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