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Old 09-16-2010, 01:00 PM
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Here are a couple thoughts on the subject. They are open for disagreement. Encouraged, even.

A properly tuned and maintained engine will not be a gross polluter IMO.

Not Needed:
  • retarded ignition timing
  • retarded cam timing
  • low CR
  • restrictive exhaust system
  • overly lean carburetion
  • 210 F thermostat
  • 0W-20 viscosity oil
  • ported vacuum advance (unless the engine runs better using it)

What SHOULD Be Used:
  • PCV valve- while it does act as a pollution control device of sorts (burns unspent hydrocarbons so they're not released into the atmosphere like w/a road tube evac. system), it is useful for the longevity of the engine and reduces oil contamination and helps ring seal, etc.
  • high output electronic (i.e. no points) ignition- including secondary wires
  • extended tip, rare earth electrode plugs when possible
  • EGR valve- since it takes EGT in the area of 2500 F to form NOx, simply running w/the correct fuel/air ratio (i.e. not "artificially' lean), and the "correct ignition advance curve, will prevent these temperatures from being seen during normal operation.
  • OD transmissions coupled to good rear gear ratios
  • engine components AND specifications carefully tailored to the application and to each other
  • manifold vacuum advance (in most cases)
  • EFI where practical
  • variable valve timing, whenever possible- helps ALL IC vehicles, performance or not

I'm sure there are many more things that could go into either list- as well as disagreement over any or all that's there now!

The biggest reduction in pollution was made when the gasoline was made unleaded. The next biggest reduction was made in CA when they outlawed any "visible smoke" from the tailpipe. And those things were needed- especially (and MAINLY) in CA.

Unfortunately, CA has now become the "default" way of defining the needs of the rest of the country. That there were BOTH "CA" and "Federal" emissions for as long as there was, was a miracle, of sorts. But the industry is edging closer and closer to a "one size fits all" type vehicle.

I am of the opinion that many of the schemes used by the OEM's (that came about due to federal mandates) were not necessarily the BEST solution- instead they were the least expensive to manufacturer and implement solutions.

Many times, the OEM's took full advantage of how the fedgov designed the testing criteria- like at what RPM certain samples were to be taken, etc.. This gave rise to pollution control that did what it had to do- within the bounds of the federal testing requirements. In the "real world", performance took a nosedive as did fuel economy.

Then there was a lot put into making the systems as "passive" as they could be made- requiring as little additional maintenance or monitoring by the owner as possible. This has now been legislated into a vehicle emissions system that will go 100,000 miles w/o intervention by the owner, and dashboard lights that signal when a system needs attention.

If instead the owners were to take a more proactive role in the upkeep of the vehicle in the first place, much of the mandated pollution control gear would not have been needed in the first place. But we all know that didn't- and ain't gonna- happen.

Instead, I firmly believe there's a need for a separate system to measuring the pollution of "performance" vehicles that are not necessarily driven on a daily basis- or, a system that would allow a vehicle to be tested for what comes out of the pipes- regardless of what pollution controls are or are not there.

As a side note to the "carbon footprint" of an individual- this would be great if it worked for me the way industry worked, that is "credits" for conservation that can be used to offset other pollution. I have recycled literally many hundreds of automobiles in my lifetime, w/an additional amount of metal recycling that amounts to TONS.

If I were to be credited w/this, I should be exempt for twenty lifetimes of hotrod tailpipe emissions.

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Last edited by cobalt327; 09-16-2010 at 01:05 PM.
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