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Need to make a '81 280zx street legal!


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I'm considering trading my car for a 1981 280zx turbo but the car only has a down pipe. I want it to pass emission's and not have a reason to get pulled over.


My questions are: what do i need? A cat and a muffler? Where can i get decent ones on the cheap and doesn't sound like crap? I'm leaning more towards lower price than performance right now since I'm in a rush to take this car before anyone else wants it and I don't have much money. I checked the pick-aparts and they cut off every cat on every car?


any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Every Pick-A-Part and scrapyard cut the cats first thing. They get recycled for the small amounts of precious metals they contain like platinum. That's why you see news stories about people having the catalytic converters stolen from their SUV's.

I'm not sure if they'll physically look under your vehicle to see if you have a muffler and a catalytic converter. Every state is different, and have different laws regarding NOx and CO2 emissions. You'll probably need the cat (and have it nice and hot) to help you pass smog.

Check out howstuffworks.com or wikipedia to find out what a catalytic converter does to the exhaust gases as they pass through it and you'll understand why they are equipped to modern vehicles.

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Thanks Comrade Charlie I thought it was 71 and older that didn't need to be smogged.


Blue72 thanks for the info. I should of done some research before asking. I've learned a lot about cats and mufflers in the few minutes on howstuffworks.com


Would anyone like to recommend where and what cats/mufflers to get? I see some stock v8 exhausts for sale on craigslist, and on ebay i'm finding decent priced magnaflow cats. I've never bought an exhaust system before. :/

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Even before catalyst recycling was popular, they cut out the cats. The fine is the same to a shop for selling a used one, as it is for knowingly removing a functioning one!


Drive down to your local smog check station and ASK them what you need. The techs will tell you. in many cases they can test your car and will tell you what you need as well.


There is the possibility that if they are on an idle-2500 static test, and tailpipe only criterion as long as it's clean out the tailpipe you will pass.


The EFI when working properly is very clean, and the catalyst is along for the ride...

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