I have a 1983 f350 460 with a single smog pump, I.believe, and it hasn't had a belt on it since I bought it. I plan to take all the smog stuff off eventually, but haven't gotten around to it. I think removing the smog stuff with the belt would be a good move, more power and gas mileage too! Just my two cents, I could be wrong, but I've seen no signs of damage to anything.
My 1981 F150 w/302 had the belt taken off the air pump a long time before I got it. The metal tube that bolted on to the back of the head had rotted out and resulted in a big exhaust gas leak and it was noisy. The PO complained about that and the smell of exhaust in the cab, so he was afraid of taking it more than 10 minutes drive outside of town.
This would only be a problem if you never took off the air injection manifold at the point where it enters the head or exhaust manifold and plug it. Otherwise, no problem with not running the air pump.
the air pump's only purpose is to help the catalyst to start working faster when cold. so if the cat is already missing, then the air pump has absolutely no purpose in your engine bay. regardless, you won't hurt anything by running without it, except maybe if you're running down to take an emissions test
Just to be clear, I was asking about doing nothing but removing the belt for the time being, but leaving everything else as is.
I'm pretty sure the smog pumps were to help with sort of a post combustion as the exhaust leaves the manifolds. Air injection systems were used before the introduction of cats. My truck doesn't look like it ever had cats either.
The way I understand it, as long as the pulley for the smog pump is the only item driven by it's belt, you should be fine. I was under the understanding that I'd be fine with my setup (pump is missing) but according to weskan I could be wrong and the tubes need plugged? In your case you should be fine though as your pump is still physically connected to the plumbing, just not pumping. I'm pretty sure I'll be fine though since my check valves are still in place, they are designed to stop backflow anyway.
On my pickup, the tube was rotted after the check valve. The metal of the injection system wasn't designed to handle exhaust gases and heat, so without fresh air going through it, it eventually developed a leak.
I don't know how long it took, could have been a 20 year process, but $10 for some plugs cured the leak vs over $100 to replace the bad components.
I have read that driving without the air pump functioning will shorten the life of the catalytic converter [if so equipped] which is downstream of the extra air [some have another converter closer to the engine]. This might lead to plugging of the converter.
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