an older daily driver

Messages
7,485
Location
S California
If you wanted a DD that was old enough to be smog exempt, a big issue in California, and something that you could work on and maintain by yourself as much as possible what would you pick and what modifications would you make?
 
Messages
4,437
Location
Guilford, CT
Originally Posted By: d00df00d
How old does it have to be to be smog exempt?
From CA DMV website:
Quote:
Smog inspections are required unless your vehicle is: • Hybrid • Gasoline powered 1975 year model or older • Diesel powered 1997 year model and older or with a Gross Vehicle Weight rating (GVWR) of more than 14,000 lbs • Electric • Natural gas powered with a GVWR rating of more than 14,000 lbs. • Motorcycle • Trailer
However, OP didn't say old enough to be smog exempt IN CALIFORNIA, he just said old enough to be smog exempt, which is "a big issue in California." In that case, I'm almost already there. Here in CT, anything 25 years old or older is exempt, and my 1992 Accord is 3 years away from that. I drive it almost every day and do all maintenance and repairs myself. I don't really have, or plan any modifications for it. The only mods I have are an upgraded stereo, R134a conversion, and rotor-over-hub conversion for the front brakes.
 
Messages
9,108
Location
Marshfield , MA
Heh heh. I THINK it is '73 and lower in CA. What would keep me from DD-ing a car that old is the brakes. Modern traffic is a power front disc world. What does your DD have to do with regularity? My fleet is old enough not to be smogged in MA, and I can work on them. grin2
 
Messages
648
Location
SF Bay Area, CA
I'm prejudiced of course, but the Mustang in my sig is a daily driver. If you get a pre-67 Ford, the minimum modification is to upgrade the single bowl MC to a dual version. After that it's focusing on safety from the ground up (tires, brakes, suspension and steering). Starting in '68, collapsible steering columns became standard (at least on cars; don't know about pickups). It's easier to adjust adjust the caster and camber on '67 and later Mustangs. There are many reasonably priced options for disk brakes for those that worry about drums. By the way, correctly adjusted drum brakes with good shoes work just fine. I completed a half-dozen track days with them before finally upgrading to front disks. If I was interested in something other than Mustangs and other Fords, I'd try to figure out which brands have the biggest supply of after market parts, which is an advantage of Mustangs at least. I continue to wish I had the room and money for a '67 El Camino. Whatever you get, be sure you can get a copy of an OEM factory service manual; not some Chilton or Haynes knockoff.
 
Messages
10,008
Location
Upstate NY
Some old Chevy or Ford smallish fullsize pickup, like a F100. It'll be a pig on gas, which is a concern in California, but parts for those old V8's are everywhere, cheap, and being old trucks they're generally easy to work on. Or, you may be able to find a old small Japanese car like a original Civic or old Subaru. Parts availability might be an issue, but those cars do have cult followings so there ought to be writeups online about how to do just about anything to them. Lastly, what about a VW Beetle?
 
Messages
24,417
Location
Dallas,Tx USA
Originally Posted By: ag_ghost
I'm prejudiced of course, but the Mustang in my sig is a daily driver.
^^Right on! I'm glad you drive her. I've never understood people why have really nice classic cars or high end cars and never drive them. You can't enjoy them if you don't drive them :^)
 
Messages
2,466
Location
Pennsylvania
I am surprised that CA does not yet do an emissions test on a trailer. Jeez, all that air passing over it must knock some paint molecules loose. An just think of the grease in the whell bearings.....
 
Messages
13,076
Location
North Carolina
How does calif emissions look at older cars that have newer engines. What if you took an older 6cyl mustang and put a fuel injected 6 or 8cyl engine and drivetrain? With an overdrive you could get decent fuel economy.
 
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Messages
17,301
Location
OH
Originally Posted By: aquariuscsm
Originally Posted By: ag_ghost
I'm prejudiced of course, but the Mustang in my sig is a daily driver.
^^Right on! I'm glad you drive her. I've never understood people why have really nice classic cars or high end cars and never drive them. You can't enjoy them if you don't drive them :^)
I agree with you. I wouldn't have a car I couldn't use for at least a summer's worth of daily driving. We don't drive nice old cars winters here, for obvious reasons. It depends upon the car, though. An old Mustang is a dirt-simple car for which parts are readily available at reasonable cost and any needed repairs are easy. The same would not be true of a number of cars of the era of this Mustang. I wouldn't plan on daily driving an old Italian car with more than four cylinders, for example.
 
Messages
22,446
Location
Apple Valley, California
Originally Posted By: spasm3
How does calif emissions look at older cars that have newer engines. What if you took an older 6cyl mustang and put a fuel injected 6 or 8cyl engine and drivetrain? With an overdrive you could get decent fuel economy.
its still registered as an older car.you can do pretty much any mods to a pre smog car here.
 
Messages
22,446
Location
Apple Valley, California
Originally Posted By: Boomer
I am surprised that CA does not yet do an emissions test on a trailer. Jeez, all that air passing over it must knock some paint molecules loose. An just think of the grease in the whell bearings.....
they do if it has refrigeration unit on it
 
Messages
8,859
Location
Texas
Vehicle doesn't matter much, but drivetrain should be one of the following, in no particular order: -Ford 302/351/400 and C4/C6/FMX -Chevy 350 or Olds 350 and TH350 or TH400 (avoid: Chevy 400 smallblock) -Mopar 318/360 and A904 or A727 Parts availabilty galore, durability to run forever, easy to work on. Any one of the Big 3's inline-sixes (or a few of the early v6's like the Buick 3.8) can be substituted for the v8, but the v8s actually have better parts availability and were produced in far bigger numbers. I daily drove my '66 up until about 2009. Nothing to it, and it never stranded me (delayed me an hour once...) but I kinda had my own spares system from restoring it and also the '69, which helped with oddball little parts and the knowledge to know things like which fuel filters would work even though they weren't specifically cross-referenced for the application.
 
Messages
9,614
Location
Pennsylbammyvania
Originally Posted By: spasm3
How does calif emissions look at older cars that have newer engines. What if you took an older 6cyl mustang and put a fuel injected 6 or 8cyl engine and drivetrain? With an overdrive you could get decent fuel economy.
This can also be done on the Bowtie side with an older Malibu/Chevelle/2nd gen f body, and an LSx/T56 transplant. wink
 
Messages
1,981
Location
Greatest Earth on Show, UT
Originally Posted By: bullwinkle
Diesel car, preferably Mercedes turbo diesel, as little electronics as possible. I've seen a few nice early '90s 300D 2.5 diesels that would be good.
That's what I was thinking.
 
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