Gc3p0, if you're sure you have a Federal SC300 and not a Cali model then you have even less to worry about. Buy the Catco #6266, take it to a shop to get the one bend re-welded and call it a day. No need to worry about that #3 O2 sensor at all. Your car is legally tested according to the emissions system it was manufactured with. If it's a 49-State SC300 then it's tested as one. You'll have to deal with an emissions test or roadside smog check at some point (yes, they have them in L.A. too. Extremely rare to see in my area but I have seen a couple).
I didn't even get into a catback exhaust. I have an M2 dual system (bolt-in) and it sounds great and looks stealth. There's a tiny smidgen of seat of pants difference from losing the stock mufflers, just nothing really huge. The sound changes dramatically though. And the M2's don't drone.
Originally Posted by oldManTan
i'm dreading my move to cali just because of emissions. and hipsters... in illinois if your car is 15 years or older, no emissions and 25 dollar registration.
oldManTan, don't dread it. Plenty to like here. Emissions testing is a pain if you have a modified engine but it's otherwise one small aspect of life here. Cali doesn't have an emissions exemption for any car unless it's 1976 or older unfortunately. I actually thought it was 1973 or older. Have to check. Everything else has to smog unless it's a diesel which is exempt until the 1998 model year. Your car is an SC400 and as far as I know you haven't modified the 1UZ yet, correct? For now I'd keep it that way. Suspension work, brakes, differential, wheels, exhaust system (just try to avoid extremely flashy and extremely loud and droning), etc... all those are fine and won't affect emissions. A 5-speed swap technically shouldn't affect emissions as long as your 1UZ engine is stock but it might depend on the technician doing the test. There are a couple of threads on the subject. I've read that it's okay and not okay according to the BAR and depending on which BAR technician gave the info. And yet, you do see an occasional stock 1UZ swapped Cressida with a W58 5-speed trans and it's "legal". Far more legal than a 1JZGTE swap because the 1UZ is a USA emission controlled engine. ARB and BAR primarily care that the engine is not modified so as to change the emissions output. What's putting the power to the ground is of a significantly lesser interest to them.
Hipsters abound but plenty of non-hipsters abound too. L.A. is a diverse place and outside of L.A. and SF it's different. I also welcome you here when you're ready to move. There are annoying things but plenty to love as well.