Opel GT Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Pedal Smasher
1973 Opel GT
Joined
·
2,700 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone,

To start, this topic does involve politics but the purpose of this thread is not to start bashing on politicians. To my fellow mods, let me know if we need to move this to a different forum. I looked and I did not see this topic posted yet. This topic is important enough that it should be shared on the forum, as it could impact all of us.

Right now, the EPA is trying to re-interpret the clean air act so they can decree that it is illegal to turn any production vehicle into a race car and that it is illegal to "tamper" with emissions hardware and software, such as adding turbochargers. The EPA is currently trying to prosecute a small tuner garage for selling hardware that improved older Hondas with the Hondata ECU mod. The irony is that the Hondata ECU mod actually improves engine management and could decrease emissions on older Hondas. When you research this problem, you will likely get pissed off that bureaucrats with zero automotive knowledge are trying to make things illegal which wasn't even the purpose behind the clean air act.

SEMA and the SEMA Action Network has been trying to pass the RPM Act for some time, which would protect motorsports from what the EPA is trying to do. I tried to see if this has been discussed on the forum before but I didn't see anything for RPM Act. The below video is just one of many on YouTube that dives into this problem.


This is a potentially serious problem. The EPA has gone after many people already for modifying vehicles with emissions controls on them. If this is the first you are hearing about this problem, I recommend you look into it. At least be aware of what is going on. Again, the purpose of this thread is NOT to start bashing politicians. Yes, there are stupid ones in DC and there always will be. This topic will be closely monitored, I do not want it to spiral out of control. So, let's keep any comments civil and mindful to not make this a politically charged thread. I know it is very tempting to do so.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,704 Posts
JEEZ There are so many much much larger problems in our world today that they should be focused on and this isn't and shouldn't be one of them.
But if they can find a way to get there pockets deeper into something they will.
Thank you for sharing Joe
 
  • Like
Reactions: Autoholic

·
Pedal Smasher
1973 Opel GT
Joined
·
2,700 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
JEEZ There are so many much much larger problems in our world today that they should be focused on and this isn't and shouldn't be one of them.
But if they can find a way to get there pockets deeper into something they will.
I agree completely. Racing and modifying vehicles is worth billions every year. There's a lot more to be lost in taxes than gained by trying to crack down on a pretty small portion of vehicles because of a small increase in emissions. If the EPA really wants to crack down on emissions, they should go after the shipping industry. One large shipping container vessel puts out more toxic emissions than all of motorsports in the whole world combined. It's really stupid that the EPA is trying to do this. It's also annoying that even after the hearing, which was alarming, that our legislative branch still hasn't taken action to protect the automotive industry. And there are too many idiots who think we need to kill the aftermarket because it's hurting our climate. Compared to an EV, sure that's true. Compared to coal power generation, India, China, and the shipping industry... each of these dwarfs the impact the aftermarket has on global emissions. We should focus on the massive polluters first before we start going after the little guys. It's just easier to bully the little guys. Going after the large polluters would involve foreign policy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
848 Posts
Joe, you have become too sensitive to criticism, off of the recent commotion on "censorship"! This thread is precisely the type of political conversation that is most appropriate for an automotive forum. But you are correct to carefully monitor the thread -- we do not want to become sidetracked onto broad discussions about what is right or wrong about the current Administration. I will admit that I am not pleased or impressed with what I see in Washington at the moment, but this is irrelevant to the discussion.

I need to do some research on the regulations that you are describing. Cannot convert a road car to a race car? What does the SCCA have to say about this? It could mean the end of club racing.

Decades ago, one could order up a car from Detroit that was essentially a rolling chassis, stripped to the bone. The manufacturer's certificate stated specifically that the car was not to be used on the highways. This allowed club racers to buy Camaros and Mustangs already stripped down so that they could do what was necessary to put them on the track in A-Production, B-Production, etc. Too bad that the world has changed so.
 

·
Pedal Smasher
1973 Opel GT
Joined
·
2,700 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
This thread is precisely the type of political conversation that is most appropriate for an automotive forum.
Which is why I created the thread. But it wouldn't take much for this to turn into a mess. Also, this problem started before the current administration. The EPA has been trying to do this since 2016. So, it's not actually a new problem. The EPA just has another favorable administration to pursue this, after a 4 year hiatus when the previous President tried to destroy the EPA. We just need common sense people running the EPA, instead of constantly having someone with an agenda in charge. That likely will never happen though.

I will admit that I am not pleased or impressed with what I see in Washington at the moment, but this is irrelevant to the discussion.
I haven't been pleased or impressed with what I see in Washington since 2008. It's just one train wreck after another. I want to see a common sense, down to earth administration but that doesn't fit with our duopoly that has happily been in control since the 1800's.

It could mean the end of club racing.
That is just one group which would be impacted by this. The total impact would be devastating to the aftermarket.

Decades ago, one could order up a car from Detroit that was essentially a rolling chassis, stripped to the bone. The manufacturer's certificate stated specifically that the car was not to be used on the highways.
You still can. Ford, Chevy, and Dodge have options for this. Ford has the Cobra Jet, Chevy has the COPO Camaro, and Dodge has the Challenger Mopar Drag Pak. All of these are built better than most people could do on their own with just a rolling chassis. These are some seriously quick race cars when you consider what they can beat, at least on a drag strip. I know Ford and Chevy do have road course variants, at least in recent history. Ford at least used to sell the Mustang GT4, which was a track only version of the GT350 and Chevy at least used to sell the Camaro GT4.R which was based on the ZL1.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,704 Posts
I feel like there's a bigger picture behind all this
For instance ( and if this is in conspiracy land, let me know)
But who's big idea was this to begin with? The Karen in the video pissed off at the neighbors or does she live to close to a track?
The big auto manufacturing industry Tired of being so heavily regulated and they see the aftermarket industry doing what they can't per epa ?
It kind of makes sense to me that they would fill the epa pockets to some how put an end to what they aren't or can't do.
We build vehicles now that aren't as easy to manipulate or as they are saying (turn into race cars) but the older vehicles that weren't originally built under these newer stricter laws have tons of aftermarket parts and once they're in the consumers hands they can manipulate the vehicles for what ever they want.
The big car industry can't sell enough new cars, and now they're pissed off about it because there's a good market there and their hands are tied
This whole thing smells fishy.

What is more concerning is if they get this crap through,
How many of the next/younger generation is going else where for there careers?
Do you really think the service industry will survive when you've robbed the next and current generation of motor/gear heads of all the potential and creativeness to be forced into cookie cutter repairs all day every day.
Then not be able to modify and learn on their own vehicles to have something to take to the track to show off what they've achieved? Or even an aggressive daily driver.

All I'm thinking is big money somewhere is pissed and they've found/paid a way to stop it.
There's no way this is about emissions.

If I'm totally off here please enlighten or educate me
 
  • Like
Reactions: Autoholic

·
Can Opeler
Joined
·
3,570 Posts
They’ve been talking about this for years. Personally I’m not worried. California will probably do it and then Texas because Texas has the second most liberal car emissions laws in the US for what ever reason. But on the federal level? I doubt it.

Technically I have to get my GT emissions tested in Texas to drive it to anything other than car shows, but the antique plate laws really aren’t enforced yet.

But I digress. I don’t see this passing any time soon. For once the lobbyists from all the major automotive parts and car companies are on our side.
Racing still sells a ton of cars, voids a lot of warranties so dealers make more money, and sells a lot of parts.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Autoholic

·
Pedal Smasher
1973 Opel GT
Joined
·
2,700 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't have to get any emissions tests done on my GT. Our laws are once it hits 35 years old, no more emissions. And that is only in Bernalillo county, all other counties have zero emissions testing for all vehicles. So, there are lot of cars registered in Rio Rancho that are pretty much race cars. Straight pipes and never having to worry about it either.

It's kinda funny that we have lots of people who live here and they keep their vehicle registered in Cali or Texas. It's cheaper to have it registered here.
 

·
Registered
1969 Opel Gt 1.9 Automatic
Joined
·
470 Posts
Well I sure hope this never happens. I want to modify all my vehicles. Modifying stuff is fun and it is worth it.
What will happen to the cars that are already modified? Do the owners have to turn them back to stock if this law passes?

Sam
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,704 Posts
Well I sure hope this never happens. I want to modify all my vehicles. Modifying stuff is fun and it is worth it.
What will happen to the cars that are already modified? Do the owners have to turn them back to stock if this law passes?

Sam
A perfect example of what I mentioned earlier
 

·
Detritus Maximus
Joined
·
2,993 Posts
Two things come to mind...
One is this may be targeting all the people who are defeating emissions equipment and using non-emissions tuning on weekend warrior drag/drift/track day cars that are still subject to emissions inspections. This may fall into the big money thing. As I understand it, states that are IM240 (or whatever the emissions testing standard is now) compliant get federal dollars.

The other is that if the auto companies follow thru on their stated (and if not stated, probable) goals of majority electric vehicle production in 15-20 years, then vehicle emissions really starts to become a moot point. But that will mean a huge support and labor shift away from internal combustion engines. Lots of people will become unemployed as the need for fewer ICE services are required (like machine shops..) This will happen fast and it will be one of the next waves of labor obsolescence as much of the new tech will be automated and systems not serviceable.
Old cars and race cars will still be around...for awhile, but here in MO, anything older than 96 is emissions exempt and track only race cars are irrelevant.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Autoholic

·
Registered
Joined
·
799 Posts
First, just a clarification...

If the EPA really wants to crack down on emissions, they should go after the shipping industry. One large shipping container vessel puts out more toxic emissions than all of motorsports in the whole world combined.
That's famously misunderstood and misquoted.

Short answer: It's completely false for any practical consideration.

Longer answer:

Giant shipping vessels use "bunker fuel", the leftover sludge no one else would want after refineries refine gas, diesel, plastic, etc. It's basically asphault and it's so thick it's literally solid at room temp, you have to heat it to even get it to melt, which means it's only useful for massive engines that run constantly. It's cheap, but it's also a smart use of something that is otherwise a waste product.

Large shipping vessels are not magical polluters. They pollute roughly linearly with respect to their engine displacement, which, while obviously massive, is not "More than everything combined" massive.

Back to the quote, the quote refers to only one very specific type of emission only, not all emissions or even the most relevant emissions. The type of pollutant this quote originally refers to is some sulphur compound (sulphur dioxide?). This actually isn't any worse for the environment in most ways than CO2 is, with one notable exception as far as people are concerned: smog. It's smelly, people notice it's smelly and brown, and it makes us not want it. It's why we have catalytic converters and why gasoline is refined to remove the sulphur compounds (which is why, in refining, it ends up in the left-over slop).

We have catalytic converters, in part, to complete the burning of the stuff that makes smog. In some ways, I almost wish we didn't, because, at least smog makes the average human confront what they're doing to the environment, rather than hiding it as the invisible-but-destructive CO2 does.

In fact, our cars create more CO2 and get lower gas mileage (worse for the environment) specifically so that we're not confronted with visible and smelly smog.

The entire shipping industry (ship shipping, not rail shipping or truck shipping), some 90,000 gigantic container vessels, are only ~2% of the world's emissions. So, no, 1 ship or "the 13 largest" ships do not pollute more than the rest of the world combined. Ships pollute "some" sulphur while almost nothing else in the world has "any". So of course, of that very specific type of pollutant, their "some" is more than "none x 1,000,000,000" so it's technically "more than everything else in the world."

...

However, what is true with respect to motorsports is, the vehicles involved in the race are utterly dwarfed by several orders of magnitude by vehicles of the audience who drove there to watch it. Or who would have driven to a park to do a nature walk. Or gone for groceries, or anything else.

It's utterly ridiculous to regulate the amount of emissions on motorsport vehicles.

And, that's where a lot of the people complaining about this start to lie and BS.

They'll say things like "These are track vehicles only, they blah blah blah" when no. It's people's every day cars that they're modifying for performance.

...

It's not something that could happen. It's something that is happening. Fines are massive, crippling. They're targeting businesses that sell "emissions-defeating equipment" or whatnot, which is almost anything. And, even then, these businesses that are being crippled or crushed into oblivion are getting away with 99.9% of what they do. They'll do something like, sell mods for a dozen cars that they get caught for, that's all the EPA will bother to investigate, one week or sales receipts or whatever (when they've been selling to thousands, for years), and the fines are so brutal that even a dozen of the easiest-to-proove fines is pretty much a death sentence to any small or medium motorsport supply business. Tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. And most are staying quiet about it because they know they're actually guilty and could get fined for a thousands times those amounts.

It's been very, very lightly and lowest-hanging-fruit enforced, and even that has been devastating to the industry.

...

I think perhaps the point is that, as this catches on, if it's not enforced, then all the emissions regulations that have made cars more efficient and less polluting to drive over the decades will become undone as almost everyone installs a cheap workaround mod for it.

Which, to me is a weak argument. What percentage of people even bother to take off the dealership's branding they smuggle onto every vehicle they sell? Just about every damned car I see on the road is sporting decals saying what dealership it was bought at. The number of mods most people (80%? 90%? 99%?) make to their vehicles is zero.

...

Instead of going after people enjoying motorsports, the EPA should be taking on industry. But industry has the money to fight back, to lobby back, etc. As a species we have locked ourselves into something between "medium" and "catastrophic" looming steamroller of climate change, and going after motorsports is like fixing a drip leak on a boat when you've got a gash in your hull. Yes little things can add up, but, if they don't add up to addressing the catastrophe, they're actually net-negative because they deceptively make us feel like we've accomplished something while doing nothing beyond theatrics. Fix the big leaks first or you might as well let it burn, it won't make any difference.
 

·
Über Genius
Joined
·
9,490 Posts
The government is full of HOA-head wannabees and full-on Karens and Kevins.

We need a new plan. This whole pandering to certain groups has to stop.

Moreover, if one isn't qualified to speak to a topic, they should have their job on the line like people do in the private sector.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top