On the road again, temporary tag for smog

So this weekend while my beautiful wife was in town (haven’t seen her for three weeks!) I rented a car for the weekend? Why? Well, to be honest, the 350z wasn’t legal to be driving around on the roads of California! The temporary tags expired on the 1st, and I had planned to hit the DMV up on the 2nd, only to figure out that California had state employees on furlough so the DMV is closed the first three Fridays in April. Welcome to California!

So I rented a car for the weekend, a Mid-sized from National (via Hotwire) and we picked out a black New Beetle. It wasn’t a half bad ride for the weekend, the windshield felt like it was 10 miles away, and I would hate to try to sit in the back seat, but for the two of us it worked out fine.

Over the weekend I tried to figure out what I was going to do with the 350z, I need to get some OEM Cats (catalytic converters) to put back on the car as it came with non-oem ones when I purchased it from the dealer in Colorado. (quick tip: if you buy a car in Colorado, you have three days to have a smog test, if it fails you can take it back to the dealer, I learned this far too late)

I found a few options for getting some OEM Cats and even found a shop locally that will put them on for me saving me the hassle of doing it myself. Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal, but as we haven’t moved all of our stuff from Colorado yet I don’t exactly have a jack and stands to get under the car to do the swap myself.

I’m hoping that cats are all I need to get the car to pass emissions, having purchased the car previously modded (Stevinson Lexus of Frederick in Colorado so far has been unresponsive in my inquiries about why they would sell a car that wouldn’t pass smog), I don’t know exactly what has been done to the car beyond what I can see. We will see if Cats make it legal for California or not. If not I’m likely going to be up a creek!

Monday morning I headed off to the DMV, arriving there at 7:10am, with 5 other cars already in the parking lot. Around 7:25am we started lining up out front to wait for the doors to open at 8am. I was third in line. About 15 minutes or so before 8am an employee from the DMV came out and handed out Window numbers for the first people in line, telling you which window to go directly to when the doors opened up. You know there’s way too much F’n demand and not enough supply when a DMV office has to do this. I wasn’t in there too long, it was actually very painless for me. When I left though the line was backed up out there door, had to be at least 75 people waiting to get in, not to mention all the people already in side and waiting.

I was able to get a two month temp tag from the state for the 350z, so now I’m somewhat legal to drive around as I work to get the car to pass smog. Hopefully I can get that done here in the next couple of weeks.

Sunday I’m going to the Z Car Garage for a ZONC (Z cars of Northern California) dyno day. I’m curious to see what numbers the car puts down in it’s current form and then want to get it dyno’d again after swapping the Cats to see if there’s a big difference. I’ll take plenty of pictures down there, I’m looking forward to meeting some other Z guys this weekend.


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