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Old 01-10-2016, 01:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Retrofitting old cars for cleaner exhaust

I've been pondering the idea of retrofitting late 70's early 80's vehicles (gas and diesel) such as the rabbit, chevette, omni, escorts, ect, with better/newer emissions components to make the car more ecofriendly. I realize some of these cars mainly the gas ones already had catalytic converts my main idea was cleaning up diesel emissions. I've already tried to research passive diesel particulate filters for older diesels and have only found things for large fleet vehicles. I've also looked for catalytic converters for diesels and found some for the rabbits but I've read that cats aren't very good for cleaning diesels. I've also looked for the selective catalyst reduction (urea fluid injection) kits for cars and haven't found any. I also know some of the cats had smog pumps because o2 sensors weren't installed along with computers so I was wondering if the pumps could be replaced with electronics. My question is, is this retrofitting plan a good idea or even practical? I know that the cats and filters can clog and that a lot of the vehicles didn't have sophisticated computers some had none at all. So that could be a problem

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Old 01-10-2016, 02:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Are you thinking about this as a business? Is it legal to mess with the emissions controls on an old car? How many of these cars do you plan on modifying? I can envision lots of work and expense and no payoff.

Offhand, I would guess that most 70's and 80's autos would have much better emissions just by being converted to fuel injection. There are kits for that.
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Old 01-10-2016, 05:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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No. To what end?
You would be adding $2-3k to the price of a used car. Since you can only do a few cars and not the whole market, then no one would buy your cars because the were too expensive!
Where is the 'demand' for you service?
People don't want 'clean air' used cars, they want cheap used cars.
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Old 01-10-2016, 03:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Today's market is not about retrofitting cars - If you want a car which is cleaner, more fuel efficient, etc., then you buy a new one.
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Old 01-10-2016, 07:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You'd be better off swapping in a newer drivetrain.
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Old 01-10-2016, 10:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I apologize I didn't mean to make it sound like I was doing this as a business which I am definitely not. I was looking into buying on old car for fuel mileage but I wanted to clean up the emissions a little better because I care about air quality. I'm doing it out of self interest. I know that the EPA grandfathers in these cars but I was wondering if I could make the one I purchase cleaner. I am prepared to spend some money but not all out and if it effects fuel economy significantly then I'm not going to do so.
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Old 01-10-2016, 10:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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i feel like these cars have engines to small to swap in a newer drivetrain because the current engine market is to large excluding something like a small gas engine I was talking more about a diesel. A rabbit with a 1.9 or 1.8 vw would be cool but idk if it would fit or be as efficient
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Old 01-10-2016, 11:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The Smart ForTwo had an option with a 0.8 liter turbodiesel. I believe they were available in Canada.
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e·co·mod·ding: the art of turning vehicles into what they should be

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Old 01-11-2016, 01:33 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Just for the halibut, How about just taking one of the cars that you like (70's or 80's) and adding a later model tranny with Overdrive and a lock-up converter. (Available in a Packard in 1955 or in a GM car in the mid 1980's.) Then convert the car to throttle body fuel injection (Holly) and you've brought an oldster into modern times.

Taking another tack, the GM small block has remained roughly the same size since 1955. And Ford's small block has remained roughly the same size since the mid 60's.

What particular vehicle do you plan on altering?

Last edited by MobilOne; 01-11-2016 at 01:40 AM..
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Old 01-11-2016, 09:33 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm looking at ford escort with the 2.0 diesel or a vw rabbit with a 1.6 diesel in particular. Do turbos lower emissions? I am open to suggestions both gas and diesel

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