So we took the jeep for a test run smog test since I knew it wouldn't pass and of course it didn't, the guy told us the emissions were all about the same level and that it might be the catalytic converter, and other suggestions?
It's in California, it's a 4.2L engine, only mod is the distributor, we have not done anything yet to help it pass smog, the timing is spot on, it does have a bunch of small hoses with discs running around the top of the engine. Not sure what the air/fuel mixture is.
That's a start - do you have the results you could post up? Catalytic converter is definitely a possibility, but it'd be nice if it were something as easy as adjusting your mixture screws on the carburetor or changing the spark plugs, which would save you some cash.
I just had to replace the cat on my 82 to get it through smog last fall. The cat was original and was told on the previous check that it was at the limits. If you paid for the test, they should tell you what part of the test failed so you can address that issue. The first time I failed it was the fuel pressure test. That narrowed it down to the venting which turned out to be the roll-over check valve for me. If you're only showing a high emissions output and no other failures, then the cat could be the culprit. If the distributor "looks" stock, then they probably won't even notice it.
They tried to fail me on a visual this year because I have a cold air intake plenum on top of my howell kit. The intake has the port for the PCV breather, but because it looked aftermarket he wanted to fail me. I had to convince him that there is no difference between that and the paper element that lays on top of the throttle body. I've had that intake on for years and never had a problem... he gave me the old "just because the last guy passed it doesn't mean it's legal..." crap. I gave him the "it's not illegal - you're just looking at something other than a 2004 Toyota Camry here" speech.
could you post the ppm results for the failed emissions?
i have failed two "pre smog" insp based on the emissions results. visual/functional check passed both times. i think my catalytec converter is also original. im simply wondering how much of an improvement i can expect from a new converter. oops! i see you posted above thanks! mine are much worse. after the cat replacement post the results.
Mine was hi NO. Cat fixed it. BTW, I have a CA legal FI kit that doesn't use the air tube (or something like that) on the cat. The smog guy was confused about that as well because his manual said my Jeep should have it.