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  1. Thank you for your reply. Sadly many manufacturers seem to not be interested in dealing with jumping through the hoops that California has imposed to make aftermarket mods legal in the Golden State. I plan on driving this Jeep on the road so I'll go with products that comply. I agree with your assessment of the CA emissions laws. I see the same thing in the planning department in our county. It is a large bureaucracy with layers of laws that seem to be in place to generate revenue to keep people employed. Obtaining a permit is a emotionally and financially painful process. I question what good all the regulations do. I have a friend that moved from Santa Cruz, CA to Gardnerville, NV. He erected a very large prefabricated steel building that he uses as a shop. I asked him about the permitting process. He said he walked in to the planning department expecting a long, expensive fight. He said he walked out after an hour with a permit that cost him $150. In Santa Cruz that would have taken a minimum of 2 years and at least $20k before breaking ground. Getting back to emissions it is a sad state of affairs that many parts of the country are using CA as the "gold standard" for emissions testing. Like I said before if emissions were really the concern a smog test would consist of a tailpipe test and that is it. The concern shouldn't be what is under the hood but what comes out the tailpipe. I have a friend that bought a 1977 CJ-7 in Denver. The emissions test was a tailpipe test and a tailpipe test alone. They didn't even open the hood. That is how it should be. I plan on keeping the stock 258 and modernizing it. I like the idea of keeping the original engine and I like the torque it develops. Fuel injection will increase power, torque, mileage, reliability and make smog checks easy. It's a no-brainer in my book. This is also a mod that is easily reversible although I can't think of a reason to go back to the BBD carburetor. Like I said the only way to do this legally in California is to go with a Howell kit so that's what I plan to do. The 1980's are a time in automotive history that wasn't very good. The building EPA laws combined with underdeveloped technology made engine compartments that were packed with emissions components that weren't very good or reliable. I am thankful to have found a 1980 model year CJ-7 and not one later in the 1980's. I see the increased complexity under the hood year after year and I don't want any part of it. The drivetrain is what sold me on this CJ. It has the 258, a T-18 transmission, a Dana 300 transfer case that has been twin-sticked and Dana 44s front and rear. The PO recently replaced the alternator, starter, starter solenoid and put on a brand new Chinese carburetor and steel fuel tank. It needs work but is a pretty solid base for a project. It came with 33" mud tires but has 3.73 gears. 4.10s would be better especially with the 1st gear that doesn't have a synchro. Lower gears are on the list for future upgrades. I guess they say a Jeep CJ is never done... I have a question about the MSD ignition but first I'll go through some background. I bought the three components used. It turns out I made an error when I told you what I had. The box is a 6 Offroad model (6470) not a 6A. I realize these have a reputation for being unreliable but this one works for the time being and I got the package for less than 1/2 the cost of the distributor alone. If the 6470 goes out I'll buy a new 6 or 6A box and still come out way ahead. Anyway, the PO had the MSD ignition in a CJ-8 that he is now doing a frame-off restoration on. He decided to abandon the 258 and go with a 4.0 swap so he was selling parts off the 258. Again, I have the Offroad box, a Blaster 2 coil and a 8516 pro billet distributor. Here is the question: The PO had the vacuum advance on the distributor locked out and removed. He said he used the mechanical advance alone and felt that using both mechanical and vacuum advance was too much. I'm afraid that I won't pass a visual inspection when I get is smogged without the vacuum advance connected. Have you heard of anyone doing this before? I wonder if he used the wrong springs for the mechanical advance and using both mecahnicl and vacuum advance caused the timing to advance too much. If that is true I could remedy the problem by installing the vacuum advance, removing the lockout screw and installing stiffer springs on the mechanical advance weights. MSD sells a spring and bushing kit: https://www.holley.com/products/ignition/distributors/distributor_accessories/distributor_components/parts/8464 and a vacuum advance kit: https://www.holley.com/products/ignition/distributors/distributor_accessories/distributor_components/parts/8463 I asked the PO about these parts and he threw them away :(. I have a couple other questions I'll post here but expected to get answered by MSD/Howell. First, the GM ECU needs a tach signal to function properly. Do you know which tach adapter I need to put between the MSD box and the GM ECU? Also will this tach adapter work with an AMC tach? I don't have a tach yet but am looking for one. Second, is there a way to setup a Howell TBI system and MSD ignition so that the GM ECU controls the spark advance? I would think this would increase efficiency. If that is an option I would like to take advantage of it. Thank you for reading my posts and taking the time to reply to them. I enjoy the technical discussion and appreciate your sharing knowledge. I am a mechanical engineer who was educated in the Midwest. My degree was pointed at automotive engineering but I don't work in that industry. Instead I settle for being a weekend mechanic and that is fine with me. I'm happiest when my hands are greasy and I have an engine disassembled for repair. I live in the mountains above Santa Cruz, CA so I have to drive to the desert. I'm not complaining - living in the redwood forest 10 minutes from the beach is a dream come true. Our group drives a long way to get to the desert but we are equidistant from northern Nevada and the Mojave Desert. e usually go out in a group of 2 to 10 friends when we overland in the desert. We have followed the Applegate-Lassen trail from Rye Patch Reservoir to 34 north of Gerlach many times. It is one of my favorite trips for the scenery and history. Desert 4x4 exploration is a very unique experience that is one of the things I enjoy doing most. I enjoy researching an area then exploring historical sites in those areas. The 7 Troughs Mining District was a fun place to explore. We found evidence of the flash-flood at Mazuma, NV in 1912. Have you been to that area? The 4x4 trails aren't that challenging but the history and scenery is worth the trip. Thanks for the enjoyable dialog and knowledge, Bob Elliott
  2. Thanks for your reply and confirming my research. FYI you may want to amend your article to say that the Atomic conversion is not CA legal. If someone were to spend the money for an Atomic TBI based on your article and fail smog you may get a nasty email from a very upset reader. I agree with you that fuel injection is the way to go with a CJ. I also came to the same conclusion about a "junkyard" Mopar EFI conversion. I could do it for a fraction of the cost and have the same thing as the expensive kit and don't pass smog. Really if Califonia was really concerned about pollution they would test an older vehicle and if the emissions were below a set limit it would pass no matter what was under the hood. I think the reality is money is motivating CARB more than pollution. My Jeep has a Chinese BBD clone and the two thermal switches in the air cleaner housing don't work. These are NLA and when you do find them they are extremely expensive. The preheater hose and exhaust manifold shroud are missing. The wiring is a mess and all the old ignition wires are gone. This is a moot point because I put an MSD ignition on it which was a huge upgrade. I plan on going the Howell route for reliability and economy. Really after reading on both the Howell and MSD systems I came to the conclusion that in some ways I'm better off with the Howell. Parts are available for the Howell system nationwide because it consists of GM parts. This is a big advantage if something happens while on a trip. It runs at a low fuel pressure so leaks are less likely. The downside is it is 20+ year old technology. The MSD system is programmable and would offer spark control for my MSD ignition. It's really not an option if you live in CA. When I started this journey of getting back into Jeeps after a 25+ year absence I thought about getting a pre 1998 model and swapping a 4BT Cummins diesel into it. I have a 1997 Ddge Ram with a Cummins that I live so another Cummins seemed like a good idea to me. I called the CA smog referee two times and was told that swapping a diesel into a Jeep would not be approved. They said CARB won't accept making a vehicle that requires smog checks to be smog exempt. They also said California is trying to phase out diesels altogether. Very, very sad. I bought the 1980 CJ-7 because it was a great base for a project, someone had swapped Dana 44s front and rear and I got a pretty good deal because the seller didn't know how to unravel the electrical priblems. I'm glad to have it. I had a 1979 CJ-4 that I bought in 1994 when I lived in the Midwest. It was a victim of road salt and needed a full restoration. I bought your Jeep Owners Bible in 1994 and still have it. Thank you for many years of sharing of knowledge on these fun vehicles. I go up your way on off-road trips a few times a year. I live the deserts east of Reno and have logged many hours on trails in 4Lo. We also go to Sourthern California often. There is so much fun to be had in the deserts of the west.
  3. I have a question about an article I read on 4WDMechicx.com when researching converting a CJ to TBI. The article can be found here: https://www.4wdmechanix.com/MSD-Atomic-EFI-for-Jeep-4.2L-Inline-Six?r=1 I have a 1980 CJ-7 with the 258 I6 engine. It was sold to me non-op and is missing some emissions parts that are hard to find and expensive. Going in my plan was to convert it to fuel injection to increase reliability, economy and make emissions testing easy. I found the above article that was very informative and well written. I dug into the details and have some questions. The article points to emissions testing in California a few times and I was hopeful that I could also put a MSD Atomic system on my Jeep. This was appealing to me because I put a MSD billet distributor, 6A spark control and a Blaster 2 coil on the Jeep. The Atomic system would work hand-in-hand with my ignition system and allow me to program advance curves. When I dug into the details I found that the Atomic system that was installed was part number 2900. Here is a direct link: https://www.holley.com/products/fuel_systems/fuel_injection/atomic_efi/atomic_efi_tbi/parts/2900. This appears to be an older system than the Atomic 2 offerings but is the only fuel injection system sold by MSD or Holley that is California legal. Scroll down to the Emissions heading and you'll see that is is legal under C.A.R.B. EO #D-722. I Googled EO D-722 and found this page:. http://ww2.arb.ca.gov/sites/default/files/classic/msprog/aftermkt/devices/eo/d-722.pdf. In reading the EO I see that the vehicles that this system is authorized for road use in California are GM vehicles made in 1987 and earlier with a V8 engine. California Executive Orders call out the specific vehicles the subject part can be used on. For example I have a MSD 8516 billet distributor on my Jeep. This is the EO for that part:. https://arb.parts/Executive-Order/D-40-39. If you scroll down to Exhibit A it lists 1993 and older AMC inline 6 cylinder engines under the 8516 part number. The point is the EO lists applications for each EO and if a vehicle is not called out in the EO the part is not legal for use on that vehicle. Getting back to the Atomic conversion in the article:. How were you able to pass a visual inspection when the Atomic system in not called out in the EO? In the past some smog shops would accept a CARB stickered conversion without checking the EO. I'm not sure that is the case now. If so putting this system on a Jeep is somewhat of a gamble. If a smog tech reads the EO the vehicle will fail. In that case the TBI will need to be replaced with a compliant part. The cost of the Atomic system is high - too high for me to risk a failing visual inspection. It seems to me that the only option for a fuel injected conversion on a CJ in California is Howell TBI. Please let me know if I'm missing something with the Atomic system and CARB legality. I've researched this for weeks and don't see how it can be legally used on the streets of California when installed on a Jeep with a AMC 258. Thank you, Bob Elliott
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