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E vs. Emissions

Discussion in 'Members' Lounge' started by E_SolSi, May 15, 2010.

  1. E_SolSi

    E_SolSi Member of the 20 nut club Moderator

    2 years ago i put my sol back on the road
    to register it i needed to go through emissions

    in my state even if you fail you can still register the car, and you were given 30 days to retest it free of charge (now 60 days)
    but you can still keep your registration, so you are good on a failed car for 2 years... although not completely legit
    if you failed again you would be unable to re-register the car until you passed

    anyway back to the story... i built this car about 8 years ago when my state canceled its emissions program for a few years... my JDM ITR swapped sol was running pig ass rich on a modified Skunk2 map (kenji from H-T) touched up with a VAFC... i took the car off the road for a few years while i cleared up some issues... 2 years ago i decided to put it back on the road again
    and when i tested it two years ago i failed MISERABLY
    how miserably you ask???
    here are my original numbers from 2 years ago:

    (normal 10% alcohol pump fuel)
    HC ppm -- limit: 188 -- actual: 227 = FAIL
    CO% -- limit: 1.00 -- actual: 6.22 = FAIL
    NOx -- limit: 2188 -- actual: 377 = PASS
    final result = FAIL

    didnt much care about the fail as i was registered and wouldnt really need to worry about it again for 2 years...
    but i did have B find me a new map to run... found a map that is supposed to be a pretty close simulation of a stock ITR map... burned that to a chip and zeroed out the settings on the VAFC and everything seemed a hell of a lot better... car still seemed to be running a bit rich but my mpg doubled so it definitely seemed leaner than it was

    fast forward to this year and its time to re-register which means i need to pass emissions now... i go get tested with my much cleaner map running the car... and get these results:

    (normal 10% alcohol pump fuel)
    HC ppm -- limit: 188 -- actual: 215 = FAIL
    CO% -- limit: 1.00 -- actual: 6.38 = FAIL
    NOx -- limit: 2188 -- actual: 538 = PASS
    final result = FAIL

    WTF!?!? i failed just as bad as i did before even with the leaner fucking map

    so i start looking at my options...
    i can lean it out on the VAFC and see if i can get it clean enough to go through (played around with it a little)... i can fuck with the ignition timing to see if i can get a more complete burn (not real confident playing with that)... i can try to replace my high flow cat with a stock one (dont really want to)... i can try to put a stock P28 on it and run a D16 map (couldnt find my old P28 i think it got tossed)... i can spend a bunch of money on getting re-tuned and hope that they can get me on a map that is clean enough to get me through emissions
    ive heard of people running alcohol in their gas to pass emissions... but dont know anyone who has and ive heard a lot of horror stories... i dont want to destroy a $5000 engine trying to pass emissions

    i start researching my options...

    i find a bunch of info on running denatured alcohol as a way to sneak past emissions... most of it garbage... some of it a little helpful... some of it very helpful

    i start running some numbers and decide im going to run 2 qts maybe 3 in the about 3 gallons of gas in my tank
    so i go to Home Depot and pick up 2 qts of Denatured Alcohol (zeroed out the VAFC again)
    the morning i am going to go for my re-retest, i dump the 2 qts in the tank and go for a 20 minute ride to warm the car up and get the alcohol fully mixed in...
    i go to the test station... and i wait for my results:

    (blended fuel about 23% alcohol)
    HC ppm -- limit: 188 -- actual: 192 = FAIL
    CO% -- limit: 1.00 -- actual: 4.31 = FAIL
    NOx -- limit: 2188 -- actual: 317 = PASS
    final result = FAIL

    fuck :(... but it showed improvement :)
    looking at my numbers i figure another 4 qts should clean me up enough to pass... but shit thats a lot of alcohol to run in my car... so im a bit nervous

    i go buy a 1 gallon can of denatured alcohol, and i head back home to do a little more research...
    trying to find more info on how much alcohol i can safely run in a non flex fuel vehicle i finally decide to try searching for: "what if i put e85 in my car"... which brings me here: E85 Conversion Kits Change2E85.com
    1-7 are exactly the kind of information i needed

    feeling pretty comfortable now... i dump the gallon in to the tank
    i go and drive around again getting everything mixed in and warmed up and go to get re-re-retested:

    (blended fuel about 50% alcohol)
    HC ppm -- limit: 188 -- actual: 106 = PASS
    CO% -- limit: 1.00 -- actual: 0.93 = PASS
    NOx -- limit: 2188 -- actual: 1650 = PASS
    final result = PASS

    :D :D :D :D :D

    fuck yeah i made it through!!!!

    drove the tank down to just about empty then went to the gas station, topped off my car with regular gas, and excited as hell i went to get my car re-registered

    i called and told neonmike about my success, because he has been having a whore of a time getting his turboed neon through emissions... and i thought this just might do the trick

    i also continued looking for information on running cars on alcohol... i stumbled across this article... and found a lot of useful information in there
    Mother Earth Alcohol Fuel: Alcohol as an Engine Fuel

    this part i found especially interesting
    i guess i should say, Denatured Alcohol does not fix any of the actual reasons your car is failing emissions... and whether it will help you depends on why you are failing... and you should still look into getting your car running properly and clean to protect the environment, and for the children dammit!!!

    but if you are failing because you are running rich, i can comfortably say :yes: Denatured Alcohol can safely be used to get your car though the sniffer test for emissions

    how much you need to use depends on a few things:
    how badly you are failing... the worse your numbers are the more alcohol you will need to run
    how rich your car is running, and how high a percentage of alcohol are you going to try to run... alcohol needs to run a lot richer than gasoline in order to run well... running too high an alcohol mix can cause a lean misfire if you are not running enough fuel
    whether or not your car is running ok or not (ie: if your car is just a piece of shit and barely runs i dont think alcohol will fix you)

    all of the pages i found with people talking about tossing 1/2 a qt or a full qt into 10 gallons and passing, they must not have been failing by much at all... they probably could have passed by just driving around and heating up their cat (if they would have failed at all)

    the 1-2 qts to 1-3 gallons will probably get most normal decent running unmodified cars through

    if you are running pig ass rich though, you are going to need to run a LOT of alcohol...
    my recommendation... run your car almost empty and pour in a gallon of denatured alcohol, then drive that off till its almost empty and pour in another gallon...
    that should have you on just about straight alcohol... drive around for about 15 minutes and go to the testing station... if you dont pass with that, im not sure you can be helped (if your state has limits for how low your numbers can be you cant run straight alcohol... it burns wayyyy to clean... you will have to find your own mix ratios)

    as always:
    ****TRY AT YOUR OWN RISK****
    neither hondaswap, its owners, any of its staff or myself are responsible for your actions or the consequences of your actions...
    if you are going to dump industrial solvents into your fuel tank you are doing so on your own
    Last edited: May 15, 2010
    2 people like this.
  2. neonmike

    neonmike Senior Member

    First off let me say this trick works well but if you blow your car up(which i would have to say from my extremes is impossible) its not my fault. Now for a little back story, I built my car when emissions was not in effect so i have no idea what the car really would blow on a sniffer stock. Shortly around 2004 emissions came back but what they don't tell you is if your obd2 and you fail it your car goes to the sniffer and won't be let back to obd test until it passes the sniffer, well surprise surprise mine failed but it was my own fault i had a bad downstream o2.
    Test 1
    HC Limit 150 Actual 202 Fail
    CO Limit .80 Actual .79 Pass
    Nox Limit 1750 Actual 1653 Pass
    Test Fail
    Now it was a fail but pretty damn close with no cat on the car. Car also had stock 2 1/4 exhaust still on it. Now flash forward to this year i finally have the car back together and want to get it registered. I go with the same setup i had before but it now has a 3 inch exhaust and a brand new cat on it, no its not even a high flow. Now mind you all tests have been done with the boost pipe disconnected and it running on the stock ecu not my standalone.

    Test 2
    HC Limit- 150 Actual 242 Fail
    CO Limit- .80 Actual- 3.64 Fail
    Nox Limit- 1750 Actual 334 Pass
    Test Fail
    Wtf i put it back to stock almost and it has a cat how did it get worse? I lost my test 3 results but it was the same as test 2 and I lowered my fuel pressure alot so that's 3 tests down failed. next one is with the addition of that CRC Guaranteed to pass garbage
    Test 4
    HC Limit- 150 Actual- 281 Fail
    CO Limit- .80 Actual- 4.01 Fail
    Nox Limit- 1750 Actual- 445 Pass
    Test Fail
    Now here comes the fun part, E tells me about the alcohol and i say sure i have tried everything else why not. I added 2 gallons to roughly 3 gallons of gas and take it back through after a nice long warm up ride.
    Test 5
    HC Limit- 150 Actual- 210 Fail
    CO Limit- .80 Actual- 2.93 Fail
    Nox Limit- 1750 Actual- 782 Pass
    Test Fail
    Okay now i am heading in the right direction, drive it down to an 1/8 of a tank and add another gallon of alcohol.
    Test 6
    HC Limit- 150 Actual- 75 Pass
    CO Limit- .80 Actual- 1.29 Fail
    Nox Limit- 1750 Actual- 687 Pass
    Test Fail
    Okay now i am on to something here, call up E and we decide drive it empty add 1 more gallon of Alcohol. I take it down some twisties and sputter to the end of E's driveway, add 1 gallon and off the two of us go not expecting much more out of it.
    Test 7
    HC Limit- 150 Actual- 23 Pass
    CO Limit- .80 Actual- 0.01 Pass
    Nox Limit- 1750 Actual- 870 Pass
    Test Pass
    So in conclusion my car was running on 100 percent alcohol and it blew cleaner than any hybrid out there. If any of you need to pass emissions and can't i highly recomend looking into running alcohol through your car it will pass anything as long as it can start on its own. Oh and yes that is not a typo it blew a 0.01

    2 people like this.
  3. E_SolSi

    E_SolSi Member of the 20 nut club Moderator


    i can verify the 0.01%... i saw it with my own eyes
  4. B16RacerN2NR

    B16RacerN2NR Working Hard

    For us in Cali, keep in mind that we can also fail for o2. So if the o2 and CO percentages are too far from each other, we'll fail for o2 dilution. The same reason you disable the air pump on air pump equipt (sp?) vehicles while running a smog test. I figure the release of the extra o2 molecules in the alcohol may have this affect.

    Good info though, E :)
    Last edited: May 15, 2010
  5. E_SolSi

    E_SolSi Member of the 20 nut club Moderator

    thank you for pointing that out :thumbsup:
    they dont test for that here... so it was a non issue for mike and myself
    we just have the visual cat check, a gas cap check, and a 3 gas sniffer test on the rollers for OBD-0 or OBD-1 cars, or a plug in computer check for OBD-2
    Last edited: May 15, 2010
  6. B16RacerN2NR

    B16RacerN2NR Working Hard

    Yeah, we fail for damn near everything. If the smog guy doesn't like your air freshener, you'll fail...
  7. awptickes

    awptickes unimpressed by you

    I did this same thing to pass my civic through german emissions. They used a 5-gas sniffer though. I'll see if I can dig up the documents (not very likely since I just sold it.)
  8. E_SolSi

    E_SolSi Member of the 20 nut club Moderator

    if you remember the ratios and can get the readings that would be awesome

    i would like to build up a good reference base in this thread for anyone else who is trying to research this... theres way too much worthless crap out there
  9. E_SolSi

    E_SolSi Member of the 20 nut club Moderator

    speaking of which... anyone who tries this, please post up your ratios and results

    please use a similar format to the above posts

    thanks :thumbsup:
  10. B16RacerN2NR

    B16RacerN2NR Working Hard

    Let me see if I can dig up my old course book from my Drivability and Emissions class. It has Rule of Thumb specs on what you'd want to see on the sniffer/analyzer.
  11. 92stoccord

    92stoccord Big Member

    ...Wait.... You can... fail. For emitting, diatomic oxygen... the substance we breathe. The substance for our entire respiration, you can fail for? I'm 96% sure that's 100% retarded.
    1 person likes this.
  12. B16RacerN2NR

    B16RacerN2NR Working Hard

    Lol yup. It's not so much considered too much oxygen though. It's because too much o2 content in the exhaust stream will cover a high HC and CO problem. High o2 can indicate a lean mixture but you'll usually find or confirm the lean mixture with a high NOx level.
    Last edited: May 16, 2010
  13. GSRCRXsi

    GSRCRXsi Super Moderator Moderator

    Jesus christ you need to get your shit properly tuned E. Do you have a WBO2 sensor? My car runs anywhere from 12-13.5:1 afr at WOT and like 13-15:1 idle and light throttle. 99% of the time it's running without a cat. But last month I was due for emissions on it. I had SMSP (guy who made my header) fab me up a cat that would bolt on since I needed one for emissions and I didn't feel like taking it somewhere to have some hillbilly "custom" fab one up. Anyway with my cat on I went to get emissions tested and it blew something stupid low like 14-HC and .04 CO2, which was actually a lot lower than the first time getting tested two months ago when I failed for the gas cap. But I was still well below the thresholds on everything. That was on my 215whp 93 pump gas NA B18C engine that's in the CRX.

    Maybe it depends on the testing method as well. Did they put the car on the rollers? In MD they used to put the car on the rollers and run the car at varying speeds and rpms. But now MD has eliminated the rollers and just has you shut the engine down, then start it up, hold revs a bit fir a few mins (I held it at 2000 rpm :) but my exhaust is loud so maybe he thought it was higher lol), and then you're done. Plus the gas cap pressure test and visual cat check
  14. E_SolSi

    E_SolSi Member of the 20 nut club Moderator

    yeah i know i need to get it tuned properly... but i didnt really want to spend the money on getting that done right now... i just needed to get the car registered... i will take care of the tuning over the summer and get a map made specifically for my car
  15. reikoshea

    reikoshea HS Troll...And Mod Moderator

    I just want to point out that a lot of the ethanol tree hugger bull shit in E's article is fucking propaganda. Ethanol's safer for the environment blah blah blah. Helps farmers and food supplies...uh huh

    Wanna know why there are no CRXs that make 50MPG like they did in the 90s? Yeah. The whole hybrid craze is falling on the back of ethanol and it just pisses me off.

    Ever notice how much the price of an ear of corn has gone up at the grocery store in the last 5 years? Wanna take a guess at why? Might be there are more farmers growing corn for the ethanol subsudy, so to make up for not selling it to a refinery you get fucked. You also get fucked due to the other shit said farmers could grow, but dont, since it's not as profitable. Less competition = higher prices. Fucking Iowa. This whole E85 bullshit would have gone away if Iowa wasnt the first state for presidential primaries. Fucking pandering by both parties in that state is what caused the 10% in all gas. Not to reduce emissions (if we wanted to do that, we would have ratified kyoto).


    E's experience at the sniffer though is 100% valid though, so :thumbsup: for that.
    Last edited: May 16, 2010
  16. B16RacerN2NR

    B16RacerN2NR Working Hard

    Just thought i'd point out that CO2 is your efficiency indicator. If it was that low, you'd fail hardcore lol. You probably meant CO :p
  17. B16RacerN2NR

    B16RacerN2NR Working Hard

    I can't find my actual emissions course book right now but I found some from my diagnostics course book. It's not much but I suppose it's better than nothing right now...

  18. corvetteguy78

    corvetteguy78 Well-Known Member


    Just sent post this to the New Britain DMV
  19. reckedracing

    reckedracing TTIWWOP

    did you come across anything about toluene in your research?
  20. 95b16coupe

    95b16coupe New Member

    pics of said del sol? i knew you had one, just never seen it.

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