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What year is exempt from EPA 96?

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  • What year is exempt from EPA 96?

    Does anyone know at what year you can use non EPA-certified CNG conversions. I have seem to have read somewhere that it is 1996 and before, (OEM 1), that are not subject to the EPA standards. If I do a conversion on say a 1996 Dodge Ram, and the kit is not certified, am I legal?

  • #2
    Re: What year is exempt from EPA 96?

    Also, I have read that any vehicle that is 10 years old, or over 120K miles becomes excempt from EPA umbrella. True?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: What year is exempt from EPA 96?

      Gus, there is no 1996 vehicle that could be converted for less than the value of the vehicle, even if it was legal. Better off just going onto EBay, our z"Marketplace Forum" or Craigslist and just buying one that's already done. Any legal kit, done by a certified shop is going to run $11,000-$15,000 +.

      If you're talking about illegal, uncertified kits from 3rd world countries... Not only do we not discuss them on this site, we delete postings about such info and ban members that persist in that line of illegal activity. You're better off buying a GSA vehicle than trying to figure out how to beat the system.

      There was a very long and detailed discussion about what years the EPA controls kicked in. You find it in the conversions forum I believe. Someone was wanting to convert a 60's vehicle.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: What year is exempt from EPA 96?

        Gus,

        My understanding is model year 1997 and earlier would be exempt from the EPA rule...if you can show a 'reasonable basis' that the conversion is no worse than on gasoline. The 'reasonable basis' they suggest is back-to-back IM-240 chassis dyno tests. Most repair grade dynos can perform this test for a minimal cost.

        Here is an excerpt from the original Addendum to Memo 1A that started the whole issue:

        UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
        WASHINGTON, D.C. 20460
        June 1, 1998
        OFFICE OF ENFORCEMENT AND COMPLIANCE ASSURANCE

        Revision to Addendum to Mobile Source Enforcement Memorandum 1A

        SUBJECT: Revised Tampering Enforcement Policy for Alternative Fuel Conversions

        A. Purpose: The purpose of this document is to revise the tampering enforcement policy for alternative fuel conversions as currently provided in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Addendum to Memorandum 1A in response to comments and suggestions received by the regulated community and other stakeholders.
        B. Background: EPA issued an Addendum to Mobile Source Enforcement Memorandum 1A (Addendum) on September 4, 1997, to address emissions increases that resulted from the conversion of gasoline powered vehicles and engines to operate on compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied petroleum gasoline (LPG or propane). The background and basis for the issuance of the Addendum and the contents of the new policy are fully contained in the
        Addendum. Since issuance of the Addendum, EPA has received a number of inquiries and recommendations that certain revisions to the policy would be in the public interest while not jeopardizing the effectiveness of the Addendum. EPA believes some of those suggestions are appropriate and is revising the Addendum as described below.
        C. Revised Policy: Effective immediately, the Addendum to Memorandum 1A is revised as follows:
        1. In lieu of meeting the testing requirements under Options 1, 2 or 3 of the Addendum for model year 1997 and older motor vehicles and engines, compliance with the requirements for demonstrating a “reasonable basis” may be achieved by completing back-to-back I/M 240 emissions tests as contained in 40 CFR Part 51, Subpart S, for each converted vehicle using gasoline in the vehicle or engine’s original configuration and with each operational fuel after conversion provided:
        (a) All tests are conducted in accordance with the specified protocols under 40 CFR Part 51, Subpart S,
        (b) The vehicle as tested in the original configuration with gasoline meets the
        applicable standards under 40 CFR 51.351,
        (c) The exhaust emissions of each regulated pollutant after conversion using the alternative fuel are no greater than .90 times the emissions levels for each pollutant before conversion, except that no hydrocarbon standard shall apply for operation exclusively using C
        (d) If dual fuel operation is retained, the exhaust emissions of each regulated pollutant after conversion using the original certification fuel are no greater than the emissions levels for each pollutant before conversion, and
        (e) No party shall convert more than 25 vehicles or engines of any single vehicle/engine family combination in any calendar year under this I/M 240 protocol.

        afvman/Bill
        Last edited by afvman; 10-01-2008, 03:42 PM. Reason: formatting

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        • #5
          Re: What year is exempt from EPA 96?

          Originally posted by Curtis View Post
          Gus, there is no 1996 vehicle that could be converted for less than the value of the vehicle, even if it was legal. Better off just going onto EBay, our z"Marketplace Forum" or Craigslist and just buying one that's already done. Any legal kit, done by a certified shop is going to run $11,000-$15,000 +.

          If you're talking about illegal, uncertified kits from 3rd world countries... Not only do we not discuss them on this site, we delete postings about such info and ban members that persist in that line of illegal activity. You're better off buying a GSA vehicle than trying to figure out how to beat the system.

          There was a very long and detailed discussion about what years the EPA controls kicked in. You find it in the conversions forum I believe. Someone was wanting to convert a 60's vehicle.
          I have a 2000 Nissan pickup that I love and don't want to get rid of. I dream of being able to convert that. I understand it is against the law. And, I will not bring it up again.
          1998 Honda GX
          ebike

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: What year is exempt from EPA 96?

            Thanks Bill. One question though. Say a pre '97 is converted to dual fuel. I understand the testing protocall, but who has to do the testing? I'd assume there would be a referee (or someone) that would certify the conversion once completed. Does it have to be presented to the EPA for testing? I didn't read it that way. Also, would that apply in Ca (the land of CARB?), or only non-CARB compliant states.

            On another note, the cost of doing a propper conversion on an 11 year old car is still about the same price as replacing the vehicle with an already converted vehicle that was done either as a factory setup, or done through a shop for a fleet.

            As much as some of us love our old iron... it just may not be worth it to do cng on them. LPG is another matter though. There is a conversion you can do for about $2000 including the tank. There's no high pressure to worry about, and, done right, is still cleaner than gasoline.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: What year is exempt from EPA 96?

              Originally posted by Curtis View Post
              ...On another note, the cost of doing a proper conversion on an 11 year old car is still about the same price as replacing the vehicle with an already converted vehicle that was done either as a factory setup, or done through a shop for a fleet.

              As much as some of us love our old iron... it just may not be worth it to do cng on them...
              Because you get to choose the car of your choice for the retrofit (to some extent), and your not stuck choosing 1 of the same 5 cars on eBay. Not everybody wants a 4-banger Contour, Honda GX, Crown Vic, Cavalier or a white V8 Ford truck. People want choices. And this would seem like the only way to attain this. And not everybody cares about having the latest model out there. What is the point in saving gas if your paying $500 per month on a car payment? And if you DIY the CNG retro (qualified DIY'ers only), often times it IS still worth it to restore an old car. I just built a new engine w/ a Crane EPA cert cam and stuck it in my Blazer, and the rest of the running gear is in premo shape, the car has been well maintained throughout, and I've updated the grille to a '00 grille and put Audi xenon projector headlights, and LED taillights in the rear. It seems like a new car, has all the new car features, is mechanically sound, is PAID FOR, and is a perfect candidate for a CNG retrofit. And if there is a legal way for me to do the conversion, I will do one right away. But if the EPA says I can't get away with it, then what....

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: What year is exempt from EPA 96?

                Curtis, it is understood the focus on the after market kits, and especialy safety, above all. This first time someone does one of these in their back yard and and ends up blowing up, killing, maming people, CNG will be on the black list for sure, including sanctioned kits, None of us want that!

                As far as the emissions test, I would think it would have to be done (along with installation, with training) by a certified ASE mechanic, that is willing to put his reputation on the line, plus risk his certification.

                I've got my eye on a 97' Dodge Ram sweetheart pickup, low milage and can be bought right in this neck of the woods, that would be a perfect candidate.
                Still doing my research though!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: What year is exempt from EPA 96?

                  Good luck with it Gus. Trucks can be had for a song these days. Sounds like a nice truck. Where do you live? If you're in Ca, the EPA isn't your only concern, CARB is even worse.

                  Josch is in Ca, aren't you Josch? Hopefully the vehicle you're talking about never need be smogged again. If it's old enough, you may not have a problem. I get it that we don't all want to drive GSA vehicles, or GX's. Of course we don't always want to drive the posted speed limit and we have to live with the consequences of the choices we make. 45 mph in a school zone is legal if you don't get caught, right? No, it's not, but some make that choice.

                  One of these days we may have more choices, but for the moment... we drive what's legal and available... or we risk the consequences.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: What year is exempt from EPA 96?

                    Actually, I'm in Utah. The rig is a '96 Blazer.

                    I'm not too worried about the state inspections here. We aren't even required to pass an underhood visual test like in CA. Besides, if I were to run CNG someday yonder (without the EPA's blessing say, and by the way, hypothetically speaking), I'd probably just remove the cylinder and make sure to install the rest of the kit so it were extremely stealth and didn't alter the standard underhood appearance to the untrained eye, so that the system wont even be noticed during inspection. It would just pass on gasoline. Then there would be no argument about it at all. Of course if I DID install some kit w/o EPA's blessing (of course hypothetically speaking), I would use a good quality multiport kit that has full software tuneability closed-loop operation and I would make sure there were no codes, and I would dial it in correctly of course.

                    But if I knew that there was a nice loophole to become EPA permissible like the one listed above in a previous post, I would pass through those channels, because I always prefer to take the legal path when is feasible. And no matter what happens, I may likely even go pay for a dyno session (even on my own) to have it tested to see if it burns clean enough and is within limits under load, cruise, decel, and other operating conditions. Where I could even further fine-tune it in the software to ensure that it is burning as clean as it possibly can, just because I at least TRY to be a perfectionist wherever reasonably possible. Plus, because I feel bad about my huge carbon footprint of my past when I was young and used to build hot-rod cars, and would like to now finally counteract that and reduce my footprint to below average to try and reverse my horrible ways of old. I got my power bill down to $60 /mo and my home NG is usually no more than $110 /mo in the Winter months and $13 /mo in the Summer, so now I just need to get my car's footprints down as well. Hopefully, the EPA can understand this desire of mine to keep my perfectly good 'ol cars that are in great shape and put CNG on them to help protect the environment. Hopefully they will create a path for me to do this. I just want the EPA to mend things up and make an honest man out of me. Hey that reminds me of the old saying...

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