the "environmental tune up" and other clean-air topics

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asiab3
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the "environmental tune up" and other clean-air topics

Post by asiab3 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:53 pm

Hi folks,

I am in the midst of chatting with a few young people who love these old cars and also want to do our bit to keep them as clean-running as possible. On those grounds, what can we do, as owners, to make our air-cooled cars as environmentally friendly as possible?

The first topic I always address is the efficiency of our cars, which can often increase driving pleasure and ease.
- Tune engine to maximum state of efficiency, regarding valve adjustments, dwell adjustments, and timing settings.
- Inflate tires to proper front/rear PSI for optimal rolling efficiency.
- Ensure drum brakes are not over-adjusted to the point of dragging when warm.
- Ensure air/fuel mixture is not overly-rich at any speed.
- Ensure idle air-fuel mix is approximately stoichiometric, and CO% is not too high.

The next things that I think about are direct environmental issues that our cars often produce without our knowledge. Let's do the following, which have little to no effect on engine longevity.
- Ensure our crankcases breathe to the intake tract. This burns hydrocarbons that would otherwise be released into the air.
- Ensure that fuel tanks are vented to a vapor recovery "charcoal canister" system. This takes fuel vapor that would otherwise be vented to the atmosphere and burns it like liquid fuel, greatly reducing hydrocarbon emissions.
- Ensure your fuel-injected bus EEC valve is operable/connected, and disconnected if inoperable. (And if inoperable, you'll repair or look for a new air-filter housing, right?)

Last on my list are air-cooled VW-specific issues that we have to watch out for.
- The EGR diaphragm on late buses can cause a subtle vacuum leak and make the engine run lean at cruise, introducing more NoX, the exact opposite of that the EGR system is supposed to do.
- Ensure your thermostat and flaps are fully closing on a cold engine and fully opening on warm engine. This helps the engine warm up to its most efficient operating state, and prevents over-cooling which can damage an engine just like over-heating.

What else have I missed?
Robbie
1969 bus, "Buddy."
145k miles with me.
322k miles on Earth.

TrollFromDownBelow
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Re: the "environmental tune up" and other clean-air topics

Post by TrollFromDownBelow » Wed Dec 26, 2018 8:24 pm

If you want to get really picky...if it was originally a California destined vehicle with California emissions (IIRC, some came with cat's and other goodies to make them run cleaner) then make sure all of those bits are still there and function correctly.
1976 VW Bus aka tripod
FI ...8 completely solid lifters.... now it's both kinda noisy and leaky, but she sure runs good!
hambone wrote: There are those out there with no other aim but to bunch panties. It's like arguing with a pretzel.
::troll2::

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Amskeptic
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Re: the "environmental tune up" and other clean-air topics

Post by Amskeptic » Fri Dec 28, 2018 1:51 pm

asiab3 wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:53 pm
Hi folks,
What can we do, as owners, to make our air-cooled cars as environmentally friendly as possible?

The first topic I always address is the efficiency of our cars,
<snip>
What else have I missed?
Robbie

That is about it for the daily effort. Keeping an old car and not buying a new car is very good right off the bat. I have purchased two new cars in my life. I take the hit for new manufacturing planet abuse. But buying a used car, absolves you of that environmental cost. Plus, utilizing an older car through several expected lifetimes is more environmentally friendly, even if the fuel economy is worse. Raw gasoline hydrocarbons that have not been converted to carbon dioxide do manage to get digested by the planet, just so you know. Bacteria eats gasoline and jet fuel. Who discovered this? Jet airplane mechanics.

"the bacterium Aromatoleum aromaticum is a very unusual organism. It munches on petrol and breathes nitrates. PLUS, gasoline eaters - bacteria that cope well where almost nothing can survive - are already helping to create drugs - Prozac equivalents and can accelerate the production of hydroxylated vitamin D."

Older cars without the electronic circuit boards and precious metal catalytic converters and the huge plastic parts (recycling noted), have a much easier return to Earth. Hell, in a rainy environment, our buses seem to return to Earth while we are driving them. While we're here, do dino-based greases break down more readily than synthetic greases? I am dino all the way in every way, 'cept for SEMI-synthetic Valvoline Durablend.

If you decide to take off from the Really Green Launch Pad, LPG is a cleaner alternative, and these buses are suitable candidates for electric conversion, which would be pretty cool actually.
ColinSeeI'mStillHipDuude
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 116,898 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 84,465 miles

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SlowLane
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Re: the "environmental tune up" and other clean-air topics

Post by SlowLane » Fri Dec 28, 2018 1:55 pm

asiab3 wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:53 pm
What else have I missed?
Robbie
Drive less. Bike more.
'81 Canadian Westfalia (2.0L, manual), now Californiated

"They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance."
- Terry Pratchett

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asiab3
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Re: the "environmental tune up" and other clean-air topics

Post by asiab3 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 3:07 am

But my bike can't sleep two and cook a meal…

Interesting you brought up electric conversions, Colin. I pass the local conversion shop display cars every time I setup a booth at a show. They're on trailers in the #2 truck lane, and I'm in the Volkswagen bus in the #1 truck lane. Seems like the range is still a limiting factor, as the shows are less than 40-50 miles each way.

I read that article from Poland just now, and loved this tid-bid: "…they contain such unusual elements as molybdenum or tungsten…" …So are we going to be farming bacteria for grease and breaker points in a few centuries?? :D

Gotta go rig a charcoal canister into my bus…
Robbie
1969 bus, "Buddy."
145k miles with me.
322k miles on Earth.

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Re: the "environmental tune up" and other clean-air topics

Post by Abscate » Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:56 pm

You can win on the manufacturing load and the crankcase and Evap,load, but the exhaust out of any non-cat car will,be 50_100x times dirtier than a cat car.

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tristessa
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Re: the "environmental tune up" and other clean-air topics

Post by tristessa » Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:42 pm

Abscate wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:56 pm
but the exhaust out of any non-cat car will,be 50_100x times dirtier than a cat car.
Which is why I'm running a cat on my Bus even though it's not *required* for emissions purposes, and even though the '98 1.8T I have in the Bus runs Just Fine without a cat .. or even a post-cat O2 sensor. Like most people, I prefer to breathe clean air...
Remember, only YOU can prevent narcissism!

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covelo
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Re: the "environmental tune up" and other clean-air topics

Post by covelo » Mon Sep 30, 2019 12:44 pm

I am inspired by this thread: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewt ... sc&start=0

I see lots and lots of Bolts in my part of California these days and would love to one day do a conversion like that with a wrecked Bolt. (One of our other cars is an E-Golf and we love how it drives).
‘80 Vanagon Westfalia - 54,400 miles
'91 Toyota Pickup (4WD long bed) - 199,960 miles
1987 Alfa Spider Veloce - 166,400 miles
2017 VW E-Golf - 5,600 miles

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Re: the "environmental tune up" and other clean-air topics

Post by Abscate » Sun Nov 10, 2019 6:53 am

Cat precious metals are easily and often recycled.

Synthetic oil and Dino oil breakdown? I haven’t seen studies but chemically they are identical, and wouldn’t expect any difference.

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asiab3
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Re: the "environmental tune up" and other clean-air topics

Post by asiab3 » Sun Nov 10, 2019 3:06 pm

Abscate wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:56 pm
You can win on the manufacturing load and the crankcase and Evap load, but the exhaust out of any non-cat car will be 50-100x times dirtier than a cat car.
I'm all about running cats on a FI Type 4 bus, but many people in CA can't add them without failing the visual inspection. I paid $89 to learn this a few years ago… Here is tommu's '76 smog test results from his new cat-equipped engine.

Image


Here is an engine I refreshed in February, a '77 with NO cat, and an untampered factory AFM. Disclosure: we used the 72-74 heat exchangers and muffler for this pretest.

Image


So maybe only 10-20x cleaner! :bootyshake:

Both of them are well-mannered and peppy. I think tommu's sounds better with the longer late exhaust, but the '77 feels faster because it's an empty Kombi at the moment. :)

So when people nervously ask me about buying a late bus in California… I say bring it the f*ck on.
Robbie
1969 bus, "Buddy."
145k miles with me.
322k miles on Earth.

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Re: the "environmental tune up" and other clean-air topics

Post by Amskeptic » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:05 am

asiab3 wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 3:06 pm

Here is an engine I refreshed in February, a '77 with NO cat, and an untampered factory AFM. Disclosure: we used the 72-74 heat exchangers and muffler for this pretest.

[img]mg]

So maybe only 10-20x cleaner! :bootyshake:

So when people nervously ask me about buying a late bus in California… I say bring it the f*ck on.
Robbie

Good! I would like to know of any research regarding the breakdown of exhaust hydrocarbons in the air. How long do they stay in the air? Do modern cars have more complex or less complex compounds in their exhaust? What is the actual contribution of our old cars to the total exhaust output worldwide?

I won't consider LPG any longer, if it is proven to me that an electricpropulsion system *is* better for the planet taking into account:
the generation of electricity that I must charge to my car
the manufacturing processes and waste that go into electronics, motors, batteries,
the recyclability of the above when it or/and I are deaddeaddead.
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 116,898 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 84,465 miles

Abscate
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Re: the "environmental tune up" and other clean-air topics

Post by Abscate » Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:17 pm

I don’t think comparisons have been made between carb and FI exhaust. It might be the products are the same And so this hasn’t been explored. There is a lot more money for the military welfare state than for research nowadays

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Re: the "environmental tune up" and other clean-air topics

Post by Amskeptic » Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:46 am

Abscate wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:17 pm
I don’t think comparisons have been made between carb and FI exhaust.
My curiosity is currently directed at catalytic converter exhaust versus carb and FI simple hydrocarbons exhaust.

Are there any additional complex compounds released from the catalytic process?
Do we have to add the precious metals path of *making and junking catalytic converters* to the overall environmental impact of our simple VWs versus modern cars?
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 116,898 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 84,465 miles

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