Sometimes the simplest fix is the toughest one to jump into. Let me give you a little background. I live in Massachusetts which is second only to California in terms of DMV Inspection Requirements for Emissions and Safety Equipment. In Massachusetts, local service stations and repair facilities apply for and are licensed to inspect vehicles. The typical state Vehicle Inspection Report is printed out on-site when your vehicle is inspected... and it looks like this:
Typically, the Inspector will visually check all of the safety items and if any item is not up to state requirements, you can fail the inspection. If its a minor item like a bad bulb or wiper blade, the inspector will tell you if they can remedy the problem and how much it'll cost you. If you have a tire with worn tread, they can fail you, and if your exhaust is too loud in the inspector's opinion... he can fail you. If you have aftermarket lights he doesn't think are legal, you fail. It can be tough.
All Mass Inspection Stations use a special computer which is networked to the State DMV, and the computer has a bar code scanner as well as a OBDII connector. All your inspection information that came from the OBD port and bar code are posted in the DMV database via internet in real time.
The inspector compares the registration VIN against the reading from the bar code in the vehicle door jamb, and the information must match. In 2010 Massachusetts upgraded its inspection software and they got a little tighter with OBD results. So that meant that people like myself, with a JDM tune that had everything turned off, failed even though we had passed just 12 months prior. You should know that if you fail the emissions part of the OBD section, you have no more than 60 days to remedy the situation or your license plates are confiscated. There's no stalling or appealing, and you must present the repaired vehicle to a real state inspector at a regional MAC (Motorist Assistance Center) where the inspector has the right to go over your failed vehicle with a fine toothed comb. If you pass muster, he sends you back to the original inspection station for a re-inspection.
So, getting back to the Turkey Pan elbow and hose... a couple of months ago, out of the blue, I saw the "Service Engine Soon" dash light come on. I tried clearing it and re-doing the drive cycle, even went several hundred miles before it came back on. Time was passing and no quick and easy solution... and, I was due for inspection. I thought that maybe I had something weird going on and if I cleared the trouble codes I could pass... but I didn't. I Failed.
My inspector is an older guy like me, and I think he enjoys performance vehicles of any kind. He said that it could be any number of things that caused me to fail. Told me it could be a bad PCV, bad O2 sensors, Vacuum leaks, or more. So I replaced both Upstream O2 sensors, and installed a new PCV... did a drive cycle... no dice, still showing the 0171 & 0174 codes. Most everyone said it was most likely the real Turkey Pan Elbow and hose, a known culprit. Here's what most Lightning owners are looking at in the way of plumbing nightmares:
Gerry [SonicB03] lives across the river in the next town, and he's helped me out before... well he talks me into deleting the elbow and hose, so we did this one afternoon. Here's a few picture to let you know what's going on under the cowl.
Looks easy to get at, but its not. Once you have the blower off, its best to build a step-up to get yourself into a horizontal position, lying across the fan shroud and engine. Gerry is creative... he used two inflated Lightning tires/rims stacked. Once behind there, you want to pull off the plastic pipe that is connected to the elbow. The 1st piece you want to remove is this:
Basically a plastic barbed pipe that has a small section of rubber hose shaped in an elbow at the bottom, connects up top to the line that T's into PCV.
Once you slide the hose off, the next item to come off is the actual OEM Elbow:
As noted in the picture, use an 11/16" open end wrench to break it loose. An adjustable crescent wrench could be very handy here. I should mention that after struggling with the IC cover in place, Gerry took out the four bolts and got the IC and the hose elbows out of the way... once that was done, it was much easier to get the wrench onto the elbow and turning as it is not something that goes in/out easily. Once your done getting it out you should be looking at something like this:
Next step, replace the elbow with a plug. Here's what you want to use to replace it:
Now depending on how much patience and daylight you have, you can plug the threaded opening from either the outside, or the inside. If you do it from the outside, be prepared to drop it at least 2-3 times before you give up. Have a magnet tool handy to help you retrieve it LOL.
We used some teflon-based pipe thread sealer on the plug and snugged it good. Next step is to put everything back in place without the hose. I have an L&S Oil Separator so my plumbing is a little different. Here's what it looks like now:
Gerry is schooling me on uncluttering my engine bay. It looks better already, and the next project will be to re-route those two hoses out of there when I install the Canton tanks. Then I will no doubt be looking at a billet tensioner, may even polish the idler/tensioner bracket or go with a MP down the road. Oh... one last picture.
And I'm happy to say that I passed inspection earlier today without any modification of my current tune by Paul at Total Induction Tuning Solutions!
(if anyone sees any mistakes or has a question, post it or PM me and I'll do my best to fix or answer you.)