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Hella_GTR

Do I Need Programmable Fuel Management with Basic Bolt-ons?

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2 minutes ago, joshuaho96 said:

It's much harder than IM240 because you have to do both a temperature controlled cold start portion of the test, then kill the engine for 10 minutes after the stabilized phase then restart and redo the first 505 seconds of the drive cycle again. A stock RB26 fails the test pretty badly. There's also a shed evap test that the car has to pass.

The performance standard is whatever the CARB minimum standard was for the year of production, in this case it's tier 1 which means 0.31 g/mi HC, 4.2 g/mi CO, 0.6 g/mi NOx in the FTP-75 test. It takes a set of two catalytic converters in the front pipe as well as a double catalytic converter where the main cat goes, on top of various little adjustments to things like base timing and weirdness like an fuel filler restrictor to keep people from trying to put leaded gasoline in the tank.

I was looking into things like VCAM step 1, secondary air injection on cold start, more modern injectors at higher base pressure, stepper motor controlled wastegates, stuff like that to try and get emissions down but I realized even if I could prove that everything I was doing was to reduce emissions I would never get past the smog referee because you're not going to pass with a standalone.

Okay so this is the kicker then - You're doing a test where the stock 26 won't actually pass.

Funny thing is though, you therefore need mods in order to pass the test, effectively mandating an aftermarket ECU. I found it all pretty interesting tuning the car on the emissions dyno, watching pollution in real time. That said, certain regulatory bodies don't give two shits if they say contradictory things like

1) The engine will not pass stock
2) You are not allowed to modify the engine.

I suggest putting a LS into it, it makes for a better engine than a RB26 anyway ;) 
Though this does or may explain why certain LS's have AIR pumps in them whereas they don't have that here.

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29 minutes ago, GTSBoy said:

I thought R33 GTR was same as 32. My bad.

Just put R33 lid on 32 ECU?

Cheeky, probably would work too if I'm honest.

27 minutes ago, Kinkstaah said:

Okay so this is the kicker then - You're doing a test where the stock 26 won't actually pass.

Funny thing is though, you therefore need mods in order to pass the test, effectively mandating an aftermarket ECU. I found it all pretty interesting tuning the car on the emissions dyno, watching pollution in real time. That said, certain regulatory bodies don't give two shits if they say contradictory things like

1) The engine will not pass stock
2) You are not allowed to modify the engine.

I suggest putting a LS into it, it makes for a better engine than a RB26 anyway ;) 
Though this does or may explain why certain LS's have AIR pumps in them whereas they don't have that here.

There are definitely contradictory directives at play here, part of the "fun". I believe remapping the stock ECU in a non-tamperable fashion is ok, they just don't want you to be able to change the engine map at will. And even if you somehow convinced Haltech to make you a special snowflake version of their ECU with some efuses and map integrity/encryption to keep yourself from being able to flash an ECU map I doubt that it would actually satisfy the state referee because it's still not a stock ECU at the end of the day.

The ridiculous part is that after initial registration you never see a smog referee again in most cases. And these are OBD1 cars so the only test is a tail sniffer shoved in the exhaust while revving to 2500 rpm in neutral for AWD cars, 15/25 mph roller tests for RWD/FWD.

Edited by joshuaho96
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This makes me super depressed to go back to California.  I hear it also costs about $10k (USD) for the compliance work and takes up to 6 months since there's only like one lab that can do the work (my information is a bit old though).  Reading all this though, I would rather just stick the OEM ECU back in and put the car back to stock for the compliance work.  Great information here and you should open up your own import business and compete with Top Rank who seem to dominate importing to California.  My understanding is that the 1995 GTR, or any car really, will be able to go into California unless they came with OBD2 (1996+).  I have heard there's a loop whole where if you register the car in a different state for 1-year then you can bring it into California without having to do the compliance work (this may be a myth though).

Going back to parts though, is it safe for me to install the RSR equal length front pipe and HKS Cat back on OEM ECU with my already installed HKS Hi-power?  sorry for going back to this but I want to hear the car sing through the mountains to Hakone and Fuji Speedway track days before going back to the US. 

Thank you all again for the constructive discussion on this complicated topic of regulatory compliance. 

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Your 10k estimate is still current, hard to say how long it'll take. I just learn this stuff so I can make sure I can do what I want to the car, I'm not too interested in getting into engine calibration.

The loophole of living in a different state for 1 year then returning was closed, doesn't exist anymore, that was maybe true 7 years ago but definitely not now.

You can probably do the front pipe + catback without issues on the stock ECU, just make sure you aren't spiking boost too high.

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4 minutes ago, joshuaho96 said:

Your 10k estimate is still current, hard to say how long it'll take. I just learn this stuff so I can make sure I can do what I want to the car, I'm not too interested in getting into engine calibration.

The loophole of living in a different state for 1 year then returning was closed, doesn't exist anymore, that was maybe true 7 years ago but definitely not now.

You can probably do the front pipe + catback without issues on the stock ECU, just make sure you aren't spiking boost too high.

Thanks so much for the input!  Gosh $10k is a chunk of money but I bet the value of the car will go up that much or more.  I just hope it's not going to be super hard to protect the car from theft, or worse, getting car jacked.  Probably not going to be many R33's in California.  I appreciate your first hand experience and wish you the best of luck with your journey through compliance.  Also, I appreciate the clarification on the loop hole being closed.

I think I'll go ahead and install the parts and just watch the boost gauge.  Last thing I want to do is mess up the engine which is in stellar shape and runs like a champ.  Or I may just buy a Power FC for cheap and run that for safety.  

Thanks again!!

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I'm paying much more than that right now to get my R33 restored and with the ridiculous appreciation these cars have seen in just the past 2 years I would probably stand pretty good odds of being able to recover my money if I sold it.

Theft protection is tough, my general recommendation is a GPS tracker and a transponder immobilizer.

Edited by joshuaho96
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Totally understand man. Restoration, especially body work, is hella expensive. I'm trying to get all the goodies and that stuff done here as I imagine parts there are even more. The ways these cars appreciated in value did kinda take the fun out of it. I like the idea of a GPS tracker and immobilizer. Maybe when you're all done you can share your California r33 wisdom with me. Thanks again man and stay safe. 

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Yeah, honestly I would prefer if R33s didn't spike quite as hard in price, I think speculation is driving a lot of the price increase.

I still need to find some way of getting my hands on an Autowatch 573, it's been reviewed well and seems to do exactly what I'm looking for: 

 

From there I think a Trackmate GPS unit hidden somewhere in the car should work, maybe a tilt sensor too to notify me if the car is getting towed instead of relying purely on geofence. Of course the important part is to actually keep the car in a secured garage but thankfully I won't have trouble with that.

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