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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I just recently got my first 1966 289 v8 Mustang and began doing some work on it to get it running, but I can't figure out what this part is. Does anyone know what it is?
Thanks!


fyi
This photo I got off the internet. But my Mustang does have this piece. It's just missing the upright tube.
 

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Too easy. That's the air cleaner for the Thermactor (smog) pump. If you have an intact, or nearly intact Thermactor system, you are lucky indeed. Most have been removed long ago.
 

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It's the "Exhaust Gases" Canister for the San Jose built California Emissions Cars. To the right of it in your picture is the wonderfully loved CA "Smog Pump". Those parts are expensive today in the "Concours" Restored crowd because the majority of them got tossed in the trashed 48 hours after a car was driven off of the CA Dealer lot...at least by gearheads that purchased the cars....and gearheads that re-purchased the cars as "Used" years even decades later. The fact that it is even still under your hood is a bit of a miracle.

:eek:)

Tony K.
 

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Yes, "Thermactor" is the correct term for the whole entire CA Exhaust "Emissions" system setup. Thanks for mentioning that.

:eek:)

Tony K.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes, "Thermactor" is the correct term for the whole entire CA Exhaust "Emissions" system setup. Thanks for mentioning that.

:eek:)

Tony K.
Too easy. That's the air cleaner for the Thermactor (smog) pump. If you have an intact, or nearly intact Thermactor system, you are lucky indeed. Most have been removed long ago.



I would have never figured this one out. Thanks!!!
 

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Years ago, when I lived in LA, parts like this were $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ as cars had to maintain original equipment smog, and cars were being pinged for coming in without smog, and were told to get the correct parts. EVen simple things like the 2 tube V8 air cleaner, etc. were pricey.

Then California effectively dropped smog stuff on cars 30 years or older. You could hear the collective KA CHUNK of smog heads, pumps, brackets, etc. hitting the ground.
 

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My favorite part of that CA era was when people were taking '66 Mustangs and converting them to '65 Mustangs because they were CA SMOG EXEMPT. The problem was so rampant that it was mentioned in the great 1978 Movie "Corvette Summer" in the opening scenes...

Seen here at 1:16sec :


Great movie too!

:eek:)

Tony K.
 

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The comment about '65's being smog exempt when new is incorrect. California '65's came equipped with PCV valves which is a smog device that was required on all new '65's being sold in the Golden State.

As far as '66's being "changed" to '65's, how exactly is that done. Tampering with the VIN?

Note that back then brand new cars sold by franchised new car dealers required a smog certificate from a licensed smog inspection station as part of the new car registration process with DMV. Given the cash cow nature of smog licences, a smog tech would be a fool to risk his license. I know of a local guy who lost his business, was a assessed a large fine, and was charged criminally for looking the other way for his shady dealer buddies.
 

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Boy I sure thought about how I might convert my 66 when I was in the peoples republic of California. I was lucky (in an odd kind of way), I had my motor blow and I dropped in a stock 302 that passed smog so when my motor was done I was fine for a while, then the law changed or I moved to Colorado I forget which...
 

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"The comment about '65's being smog exempt when new is incorrect."

Believe that all CA made/sold cars had to contend with in 1965 was Federally Mandated laws...which was just a simple PCV valve. 1966 and after had to contend with Federal Law and also CA Smog Laws as well...that's why 1966 and after CA Made/Sold cars have SMOG Equipment and 1965 and earlier cars just have simple PCV valve which was just Federally mandated.

CA Changed it's Emissions laws in the 1960's so that the 1965 Mustang was SMOG Exempt, but the 1966 Mustang was not. That's a fact.

Apparently it had something to do where 1965 Model year cars were "Grandfathered" in for some reason, but 1966 and newer vehicles were not.

1966 was the very first year for CA Vehicle Emissions Laws, so it makes perfect sense why 1966 and later cars were not exempt...and 1965 and earlier models were.

"California’s Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Board issued regulations mandating use of the nation’s first vehicle emissions control technology in 1961, and developed the nation’s first vehicle emissions standards in 1966. "

:eek:)

Tony K,
 

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Yeah, The PCV was Smog equipment...but in a very simplistic form. It was not an entirely complicated "Thermactor" SMOG system where even the engine heads had to be changed for CA SMOG ones... which is what 1966 and newer CA Made/Sold cars were MANDATED BY CA to have.
 

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IIRC - and I'm probably wrong - many of the early emissions (and safety) requirements went into effect on January 1st, so the same model year cars built before that were under the previous rules. This may be how 66s were "back-dated" to 65s (just change everything under the hood and look like the earlier version). I think it also explains the mid-year steering column change for the 68s.
Just my old memory … others may have been "facts."!
 

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"This may be how 66s were "back-dated" to 65s (just change everything under the hood and look like the earlier version)"

Yeah, That was considered highly "illegal" by the state of California.....though it stopped very few from doing it.

:eek:)

Tony K.
 

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>As far as '66's being "changed" to '65's, how exactly is that done.

I may have been involved in this situation as I had both a 65 and 66 when the smog laws came into effect.

The 65 was first and I thought was completely stock. I had no idea that there was a snorkel extension that was bolted to the RH exhaust manifold that warmed the air. My car failed and the tech described the part that I needed...fortunately I was able to find one at Pic-a-Part for a few dollars (this was before the mad rush to get smog parts). Ford wanted about $100 for a new one, which would have been painful.

The smog tech knew I had a 66 and gave me some helpful hints.

There was no way to determine if the car came from out of state which did not require the thermactor, only the cars sold new in CA required the smog pump. The rules from CARB instructed the tech to look for empty brackets or evidence of removed equipment. To mimic an out of state vehicle the all the equipment had to be removed, the pulleys replaced and the engine repainted. Once this was done the car could be taken for a smog check and it would pass the visual as well. The snorkel extension was the hard part, but could easily be shared between cars :)

A few years later the 65 was completely exempt. I sold the 66 and it was shipped to AU.
 

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I remember those days. My 66 was originally sold in Oklahoma and brought into CA around 1968 by the original owner.
I bought it in 1977. Every smog exam I had to explain why my car did not have the smog pump system on it.

When I rebuilt the motor, I made sure I got my heads redone and not just grabbed some random rebuild exchange heads.

The fact my heads had no smog bump and no threaded plugs in the head was the only way the smog examiners would buy my story that my car could not have been equipped with a thermactor system.
 
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