Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Someone clear the air, legal or not! {non-certified conversions in general}

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Someone clear the air, legal or not! {non-certified conversions in general}

    Been seeing quality conversion kits... NOT EPA CERTIFIED..... and am being told they do NOT have to be certified and if you install one of these kits you are NOT breaking any laws. I live in Indiana, they don't check anything here in regards to EPA, but I also don't want to be hauled off to the pokey.

    That being said, I'm sure certification has its merits, but the government has gotten there hands in our pockets, directly or indirectly ( as with CNGV) and driven costs to the sky. These conversion products have done nothing but shot way up in price since the gas price crunch and I am tending to think... well I don't want to post what I think.

  • #2
    Re: Someone clear the air, legal or not!

    How does one tell a quality kit from one that might explode and kill you by looking? The EPA's purpose is to sort them out and make sure they don't do more harm than good. The poorly installed kit may be even more dangerous. If an illegal kit is shipped to an uncertified installer... no thanks. A legal shop is the only way to go. Encouraging anything else on this site is a violation of Terms of Service.

    We all understand the frustration of doing it right, the economics and cost, but what is it saving you if you, or your family, gets hurt? The EPA has been cracking down HARD on all the illegal conversion shops. Wouldn't need that kind of trouble in my life, hopefully you don't either. That was a topic covered at the Clean Cities Convention. I have a feeling that life is about to get real uncomfortable for those choosing to take the low road.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Someone clear the air, legal or not!

      And the rich get richer...

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Someone clear the air, legal or not!

        Cracking down where? Heard a lot of scare, never any actual action?? The EPA know's it's rules don't make sense, i don't think they dare inforce them??
        2000 Escalade (option 3 conversion) FOR SALE
        2004 F150 XLT (OEM conversion)
        2000 Camry (Awesome Car!!)

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Someone clear the air, legal or not!

          To "clear the air", the EPA regulates the air quality, not the quality of the conversion kit. Legally, the EPA has no authority on the safety of the system, that is regulated by local "authorities having jurisdiction". NFPA 52, the national Natural Gas standard for safety, outlines what and how items must be installed. Not "install this screw here" but why that screw has to be there. NFPA 52 is the MINIMUM safety standard.

          By federal law, it is illegal to install a fuel system that:
          1) Renders the original fuel system emission controls inoperative;
          2) Degrades the emissions from the original certification;

          and frankly, it does not make any logical sense to do so, for either of them. Converting a vehicle can do both of them. The conversion performed properly will or should improve emissions. Just being careful on how tidy an installation is installed will not guarantee the emission production. It takes the total mechanical package.

          Just relying on the gas composition to improve emissions is a fallacy. Original vehicles technology has improved steadily, especially in the areas of emissions production, while the aftermarket has lagged far behind.

          If a kit is advertised that it is not EPA certified but is certifiable, that means that the company has not certified it but if it is taken to an EPA certified emission lab (not the corner emission sniff station), it SHOULD pass the emission test. This leaves the responsibility of the certification to the installer, not the manufacturer. If the manufacturer takes the steps to certify a system, the cost of the amortized expenses will be factored in the cost of the kit. This also puts restrictions on what that kit will fit since the EPA requires specific vehicle information on their certification.

          But, this also opens the door for junk installs. Anyone can convert a vehicle but it takes an expert using top level equipment to do it correctly. The comment that if it is installed by the consumer, the rules of EPA do not apply is incorrect. It is the same law as removing the catalytic converter, it is rendering the emission control device inoperative. This is also the same position that got us where we are today, little care for the quality of the conversion, just sell parts and get fuel sold.

          Does the EPA have enforcement authority? Absolutely. Has it done so? Absolutely. Can it happen to you? Yep. The EPA will make surprise inspections on any garage, exhaust shop, or OEM. They have the authority to do so, just ask any OEM when they announce a 200,000 vehicle recall for a computer reflash, catalyst replacement, sensor replacement, etc. Cadillac was hit hard several years ago, along with several other prominent makers.

          All that is asked is that a system be selected and installed according to the premise that the emissions are cleaner afterwards. Just doing a "best guess" no longer works, we have to prove what we did. Anyone can make a claim, it takes the test to prove it. There are tons of junk devices being sold that make claims, it takes a test to prove it.

          Lastly, there are also junk being sold that DO HAVE EPA certification! All the test does is to prove that the emissions are NOT decreased. If they stay the same, guess what? This includes all the fuel line enhancement devices (tubes with copper mesh, ionizers, moleculizer alignment grids, and so on.)

          Snake oil and a topic for another thread. I am tired and this ran far longer than I expected.

          Franz
          Last edited by Franz; 09-25-2008, 06:53 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Someone clear the air, legal or not!

            OK, still mixed answers. Some of the kits out there (not EPA certified) do not render the emissions control in-operable, they are seemingly exactly as the certified kits, with all the same bells and whistles to make the vehicle operate in a safe, enviorementaly favorable fashion. Plus, how can the vehicle NOT be greener, running on CNG?

            The safety issue is taken well, shouldn't be done by an inexperienced back yard mechanic in the garage, but there are mechanics, though not EPA certified, that are excellent. Why could they not install one of these kits properly, if they can r&r an engine/tranny and rebuild or fix other major problems, surely the conversion isn't rocket science.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Someone clear the air, legal or not!

              Seems to me that EPA certification says nothing at all about the safety or quality a conversion kit nor about its installation safety. All the certification says is that the kit has electronics computable with the OEM engine part error-reporting software (which is generally proprietary, btw); in other words, the kit is installed by Honda or was once installed by Chevy or Ford.

              Because of certification costs and red tape, affordable universal kits have no chance for certification at all in the US under current regs, regardless of quality, safety, or performance.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Someone clear the air, legal or not!

                Gus et al,

                I think Franz's response pretty well covered this continuing question. It boils down to two issues; safety and emissions.

                re. safety
                No, it's not rocket science, but dealing with 3600 psi DOES require a different skill set and specialized training. ASE is updating the CNG Technician F-1 exam to better reflect those conversion requirements.

                re. emissions
                Again, there are two parts to this issue; documenting that NGV's meet the same standards as the OEM's, viz., we're all playing on the same field and secondly that MIL's will be triggered when the CNG systems exceed the same deterioration factors as is required by the gasoline system.

                Documenting emissions accurately means that you have to compare your results on a specific drive cycle under cold, cold transient and hot operating conditions. CNG can certainly do this, but it takes dyno time and a sophisticated fuel system.

                OBD-II compliance requires that several key components must be tested to verify that they will trigger the MIL when they fail. Again, this requires more equipment to simulate failed sensors at certain values and additional dyno time all of which is expensive. However, most of these development costs don't go to the EPA but private research facilities and labs.

                I'm all for more conversion systems, if we all follow the same rules to assure that the claims we make are, in fact, true and the public safety and our nations air quality are protected.

                Is that too much to ask?

                afvman/Bill

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Someone clear the air, legal or not!

                  I might be barking up a tree that's been barked up befor if you go here this was a certified Honda install imagine a poor install by a DIY.


                  http://www.firetrainingresources.net...RMISScompresse



                  powerful stuff........................................

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Someone clear the air, legal or not!

                    Ok, I wanted to chime in on this topic. First, in defense of the the EPA, they are not there to keep technology out of the market! What they want to see, is that the "kits" can maintain low emissions and be reliable for the useful life of the vehicle that it is installed on. The EPA has seen alot of junk that barely works over the years and they have had enough of it. There is the process of demonstrating this to EPA. What they ask of companies, is to show proof that the OBD system works and that vehicle can pass FTP emissions testing along with adding a deterioration factor. Its not that easy putting on a cng system and having it pass emissions testing. The FTP emissions testing in much more complex than most or all states will ever do. What you have to understand, is that just because the vehicle passes a state test, doesn't mean that it would pass FTP testing. Natural Gas can be just as dirty as Gasoline, remember CNG has carbon too. The EPA could make it much harder for certification, they have reduced alot of the requirements of Alt fuels, so we can get these vehicles to market. So save yourself the headaches and do it right, go through the process, demonstrate that your system works, pay the fees and benefit that you did it correctly.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Its all about the OBD

                      Great comments, all.
                      If you look under the hood there is a sticker placed by the OEM which indicates the EPA certification (and CARB if sold in California) along with test and evap group numbers. It will also say it is certified to run on gasoline/E85/diesel or whatever the OEM used when certifying with EPA/CARB.

                      Here is where you come in. You change the fuel and suddenly all of the calibrations the OEM did on his fuel no longer apply to your fuel. So what many "universal" kits do is spoof the sensor signal to cause the OBD computer to think everything is working fine when in reality the engine may be running rich/lean, the sensors may be failing, there may be misfires occuring, catalysts may be burning up... you get the "rendering inoperative" idea.

                      EPA/CARB certified retrofits actualy recalibrate the OBD (onboard diagnostics) for the new fuel. So the computer-on-wheels behaves just like the OEM intended it to do on his fuel. When there are engine problems it trips the check engine light and sets the codes for any technician to diagnose problems on the new fuel just as it used to do on the OEM's fuel (or continues to do in the case of bi-fuel vehicle retrofits).

                      As for enforcement, EPA was out in Utah a couple of weeks ago, knocking on a dozen or more automotive shop doors. They do care about this.
                      Last edited by John Mitton; 09-25-2008, 11:23 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Someone clear the air, legal or not!

                        I might be barking up a tree that's been barked up befor if you go here this was a certified Honda install imagine a poor install by a DIY.

                        http://www.firetrainingresources.net...ressedpics.pdf -



                        powerful stuff........................................

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Someone clear the air, legal or not!

                          Barking up the tree some how the total url did not go, look up Seattle Fire Department Honda CHG explosion Just a note if it wasn't for the EPA primitive man would still be dumping oil down the storm drain

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Someone clear the air, legal or not!

                            Holy cow, that PDF has me scared silly now. I did a lot of convincing to my wife that our cars wouldn't go ballistic.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Someone clear the air, legal or not!

                              That .pdf showing the blown up Civic GX has made the rounds of the forum before. A couple of things to keep in mind: The fire did not originate in the CNG fuel system. Slide 2 clearly indicates that arson was the cause of the fire. It is not the fire danger that we should be worried about in NGVs, it is the pressure in the system. If there is an explosion in an NGV, it is because of the rapid release of pressure from the tank and not because the gas itself ignited in the tank. In two recent incidents in California (SuperShuttle and Corona) the gas from the tanks did not ignite. Natural gas requires a narrow range of gas/oxygen ratio to ignite. Nonetheless, this explosion was one reason why Honda recalled the older GXs to place a thermal blanket on the tank so that a fire that originates elsewhere in the car will not overheat the tank. So, if your NGV catches fire, . . . RUN.

                              Incidents like this are precisely the reason to avoid non-certified installs. If this .pdf/ppt gives you the chills, look at what is riding around Salt Lake City in the back of the pickup owned by a non-certified installer: http://cngchat.com/forum/showthread....hlight=streets
                              _____________________________________
                              '12 Blue Mist Metallic Civic Natural Gas; '03 Galapagos Green Civic GX; '07 Alabaster White Civic GX

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X