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Old June 4th, 2011, 07:54 PM   #1
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Default Smog pumps or not, real world question, 1986 E-350 chasis

OK, not a 4x4, actually a 1986 Ford motorhome chasis. I'm all ready for a short trip, start the vehicle, lots of noise, sounds and smells like slipping fan belt.
Turns out one of the two smog pumps seized up. Fortunately, there is a dedicated belt from one of two groves on the alternator pulley to the smog pumps. Removing the belt, I was able to travel to and from my event. The alternator still spins from a belt on the other groove to the flywheel pulley.
So my question, in the real world (not the EPA, Mfg, etc. world), should I replace the smog pump (p/n E5TE-CC), or am I fine without it? If I don't replace, do I need to bypass, plug off, etc. any hoses or other connections? The p/n of the other smog pump is E5TE-DB if it matters.
TIA for any advice I can get.
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Old June 5th, 2011, 08:16 AM   #2
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The pump is there to provide fresh air to the catalytic converter - this allows the CC to burn any unburned hydrocarbons and lower emissions.

If you remove it, just seal the pipe going to your CC, or you'll get a pretty big exhaust leak. Shouldn't hurt anything.
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Old June 8th, 2011, 12:13 PM   #3
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Important question to ask is is this motorhome efi or carb (without the feedback jazz)
if it is efi you will throw a MIL and you gas mileage will go down.
If you can't tell if its efi or not, look for an o2 sensor.

only a carb that is non-feedback? you are good to go, but then why not remove all the emissions stuff too while you are at it.

personally I'd just replace the pump, but there are thousands of trucks on the road that have had them removed, efi or not, and still drive around for years.
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Old June 8th, 2011, 12:31 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by turnofftheradio View Post
Important question to ask is is this motorhome efi or carb (without the feedback jazz)
if it is efi you will throw a MIL and you gas mileage will go down.
If you can't tell if its efi or not, look for an o2 sensor.

only a carb that is non-feedback? you are good to go, but then why not remove all the emissions stuff too while you are at it.

personally I'd just replace the pump, but there are thousands of trucks on the road that have had them removed, efi or not, and still drive around for years.
I was under the impression that all a smog pump did was pump air in so as to dilute the exhaust and cheat the sniffer. Also MIL?
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Old June 8th, 2011, 05:16 PM   #5
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I was under the impression that all a smog pump did was pump air in so as to dilute the exhaust and cheat the sniffer. Also MIL?
Doesn't "dilute" - it adds oxygen to the cat to burn the unburnt fuel in the exhaust from running too rich. Think of it as "fanning" flames to make the fire hotter.
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Old June 9th, 2011, 08:07 AM   #6
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the smog pump I have does two things. pumps air into cat, pumps air into the head via an a.i.r. manifold in conjunction with the egr valve and some other devices. mil= check engine light. I know my truck gets confused if there is not "air" being pumped into the head when necessary, since the computer figures its calculations should have that air. if it does not get the air, mixture is rich o2 sensor will fault, egr will fault. check engine light then comes on, and base timing and fuel map go dumb. that is my understanding of the system at least.

I have heard that if you run a cat without the air pump it burns it up, or clogs it faster. Not sure if there is any truth to that though.

so do you have efi or no?
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Old June 9th, 2011, 12:35 PM   #7
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the smog pump I have does two things. pumps air into cat, pumps air into the head via an a.i.r. manifold in conjunction with the egr valve and some other devices. mil= check engine light. I know my truck gets confused if there is not "air" being pumped into the head when necessary, since the computer figures its calculations should have that air. if it does not get the air, mixture is rich o2 sensor will fault, egr will fault. check engine light then comes on, and base timing and fuel map go dumb. that is my understanding of the system at least.

I have heard that if you run a cat without the air pump it burns it up, or clogs it faster. Not sure if there is any truth to that though.

so do you have efi or no?
So y is it that smog pumps are so uncommon. My bronco and 1983 delta had one but the other 20 cars I've had have not. Just seems like something that isn't needed now that engines/efi are of more efficient design.
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Old June 9th, 2011, 01:42 PM   #8
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So y is it that smog pumps are so uncommon. My bronco and 1983 delta had one but the other 20 cars I've had have not. Just seems like something that isn't needed now that engines/efi are of more efficient design.
Not true - many cars have air pumps on them even now!

The big difference is that they are electric and only run for the first 20 seconds or so after startup. Back then, it used to be about reducing emissions from poor fuel control with shitty technology cats -

NOW, it is all about getting the super-efficient cats up to operating temperature as fast as possible. One car I'm do some work on gets center catalyst temperature to 700C IN 20 SECONDS. The sooner you are hot, the quicker you reach your best catalyst efficiency.
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Old June 9th, 2011, 01:57 PM   #9
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Not true - many cars have air pumps on them even now!

The big difference is that they are electric and only run for the first 20 seconds or so after startup. Back then, it used to be about reducing emissions from poor fuel control with shitty technology cats -

NOW, it is all about getting the super-efficient cats up to operating temperature as fast as possible. One car I'm do some work on gets center catalyst temperature to 700C IN 20 SECONDS. The sooner you are hot, the quicker you reach your best catalyst efficiency.
I had to google it after reading your previous posts and found the wikipedia article on it. Interesting. I swear I read in some old school car mag about smog pumps just pumping air to thin out exhaust and make a false tail pipe reading on the sniffer. I guess you can't believe everything you read and magazines are not gospel. Your explanation which is exactly what wiki said makes a lot more sense.
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Old June 9th, 2011, 03:08 PM   #10
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I've only been doing this kind of work for, I don't know, almost 20 years.
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Old June 9th, 2011, 03:35 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by turnofftheradio View Post
if it is efi you will throw a MIL and you gas mileage will go down.
If you can't tell if its efi or not, look for an o2 sensor.
I thought this was only true if you have an o2 sensor post cat. A lot of early OBD only has a O2 sensor pre cat, so the PCM really isn't monitoring the effectiveness of your cat.

Scooter can correct me if I am wrong
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Old June 9th, 2011, 10:04 PM   #12
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I appreciate the feedback guys. One thing I didn't think to mention in my first post is this vehicle does NOT have a catalytic converter, it never did. If there were still leaded gas pumps around, the larger nossle would fit the gas filler tube.
Without the smog pump belt, the pumps just idle, no further modification, the vehicle seem to run fine for a 30 mile each way trip.
With the added information, any wisdom definitely welcome.
Thanks!
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Old June 10th, 2011, 05:34 AM   #13
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I thought this was only true if you have an o2 sensor post cat. A lot of early OBD only has a O2 sensor pre cat, so the PCM really isn't monitoring the effectiveness of your cat.

Scooter can correct me if I am wrong
For catalyst efficiency, the only way I've ever seen a MIL associated with it has been as Bones said - need a post - O2 sensor to monitor the exhaust after the cat.

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I appreciate the feedback guys. One thing I didn't think to mention in my first post is this vehicle does NOT have a catalytic converter, it never did. If there were still leaded gas pumps around, the larger nossle would fit the gas filler tube.
Without the smog pump belt, the pumps just idle, no further modification, the vehicle seem to run fine for a 30 mile each way trip.
With the added information, any wisdom definitely welcome.
Thanks!
Then those pumps feed directly into your exhaust manifolds and could be removed and have the lines capped. When you have pumps and no cat, there is a benefit to plumbing the air into the exhaust right after the valve. At this point, the exhaust is still hot enough to enable the extra oxygen from the pump to burn some of the unburned exhaust gasses right in the cast-iron manifold.
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