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NJ Inspection Issues


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#1 Shem

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 11:24 AM

Hey Folks,

Having some inspection problems, and hoping to tap into the boards collective knowledge. I just bought a 2004 Noble M12 GTO 3R. Awesome ride, runs like a demon, and can't wait to get it down to Bader field and NJMP for some fun.

I bought the car from a dealership in Illinois, where it had been previously registered. I registered the car in NJ, and was told to get an inspection done within two weeks. I brought it to the DMV inspection station, and was told that the car can't pass without a CEL indicator. It does have an "ignition warning light". It also doesnt have an OBD2 port for emissions testing, although my understanding is that you can also use a tailpipe emissions test if it fails the OBD2 test.

In some other states, people have registered the car as a "specially constructed vehicle/kit car", which I might be able to do, but it requires a ton of paperwork that I don't have, so I am trying to avoid that if possible.

Anyway, I was wondering if anybody knew of a private inspection facility that would be willing to get a little creative to get through the inspection. Feel free to PM.

Here is a pic of the car for those interested: http://www.nobleforu...d=2&pictureid=8

Thanks for your help,
Shem
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#2 JBranco

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 06:37 PM

Have you tried the Noble forums? http://www.nobleforums.com/ It looks like they have a whole section dedicated to inspections and reg.

Also, I wouldn't trust what one inspection station says.

I can't wait to see this thing run!
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#3 boostinsidewayz

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 01:26 AM

Wow gorgeous car. Good luck getting everything figured out.
Just to be nice.. Let me be the first to offer to be a tire warmer :)

#4 Shem

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:45 AM

Thanks guys. It should be fun to drive - although it's my first powerful RWD car, no traction control, no ABS, etc, running north of 400rwhp and only weighs 2400 pounds. It gets away from you real fast. Just need to learn how to drive it.

As far as the inspection, tried 3 different places so far - no go, so I think I will need to go the kit car registration route. Hopefully I will be able to get my hands on the right paperwork to support the process. I had read the registration thread, but unfortunetly there is almost nothing regarding NJ - but the consensus seems to be that you need to go the kit car route pretty much everywhere, and Jersey is one of the tougher ones.
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#5 Shem

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 03:05 PM

Funny how things turn out...

Apparently the DMV made a mistake when they let me register the car, and provided NJ title and plates. I should have had to go through a long and complicated process to get to that point, but I guess they accidently let me register the car through the normal channels. Anyway, what they told me this afternoon is that I can basically skip all the paperwork now and just make an appointment to go to one of the 3 specialty inspection stations. Sweet.
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#6 JoeCool

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 03:29 PM

All vehicles build after 1996 are supposed to have an OBD2 connector. It may not be in the standard location. It might be under the hood or in the glove box. Your Noble should have a Ford Duratec V6 3.0L. This is similar to a Mustang motor in a Factory 5 kit car. This means it probably has a reprogramed Ford computer. If this is the case, any scan tool that reads Fords will work. The VIN on the Noble, however, is not likely to work. Use a Lincoln LS or Jaguar AJ30.
Sometimes lights come on based on millage. This means the emissions could be fine but you may need a scan tool to turn it off. It if fails emissions a scan tool can help figure out the problem.
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#7 Shem

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 09:24 AM

Thanks Joe. Understood that post 1996 cars are supposed to have an OBD2 connector, but the Noble doesnt. I have confirmed this with the US importer of the car, and other Noble owners. It does have the 3L Ford duratec.

It's basically shipped to the US in two parts (chassis and powertrain) and the duratec is added by a third party once here. That puts it in "kit car" status, and so needs to go through a special inspection process. There are 3 locations in NJ that do it. You don't need the OBD2 or CEL light on the car to pass. My appointment is mid march, and hopefully I won't run into any issues.
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#8 Spanky

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 03:06 AM

Glad you figured everything out,that car looks amazing and deserved to be driven! Can't wait to see it in person!
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#9 JoeCool

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 02:45 PM

View PostShem, on 26 February 2012 - 09:24 AM, said:

Thanks Joe. Understood that post 1996 cars are supposed to have an OBD2 connector, but the Noble doesnt. I have confirmed this with the US importer of the car, and other Noble owners. It does have the 3L Ford duratec.

It's basically shipped to the US in two parts (chassis and powertrain) and the duratec is added by a third party once here. That puts it in "kit car" status, and so needs to go through a special inspection process. There are 3 locations in NJ that do it. You don't need the OBD2 or CEL light on the car to pass. My appointment is mid march, and hopefully I won't run into any issues.
Even if you pass emissions you are going to want the ability to retrieve codes and monitor sensor readings. Especially with a turbo motor. A few seconds in a lean condition and the party is over. Personally, I would mount a rich/lean gauge somewhere in clear view.
I did a little research and it looks like your model Noble has an aftermarket ECU from MBE Systems manufactured in the U.K. You would use a laptop, USB cable, or serial cable to communicate with the computer instead the OBO2 connector. Some of the details are on their website http://www.mbesystems.com/support.html .
Autox is a good place to shakedown a new car. Hope you can make out this year.

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#10 Shem

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 02:42 PM

View PostJoeCool, on 01 March 2012 - 02:45 PM, said:

Even if you pass emissions you are going to want the ability to retrieve codes and monitor sensor readings. Especially with a turbo motor. A few seconds in a lean condition and the party is over. Personally, I would mount a rich/lean gauge somewhere in clear view.
I did a little research and it looks like your model Noble has an aftermarket ECU from MBE Systems manufactured in the U.K. You would use a laptop, USB cable, or serial cable to communicate with the computer instead the OBO2 connector. Some of the details are on their website http://www.mbesystems.com/support.html .
Autox is a good place to shakedown a new car. Hope you can make out this year.

Thanks joe - that's good info and advice. Currently the car has gauges for boost, oil temp and pressure. Adding an AFR gauge would probably be a good idea. As far as the software, I actually got the software when I bought the car. It even had the original serial cable to connect it up with the laptop. Haven't actually done that yet, but it's on the to-do list. The ECU was actually remapped by a well known Noble/Rossian tuner. it's running 1bar now instead of the stock 0.7. It's also got an upgraded IC, exhaust, front mount oil cooler and trans coolers, some custom duct work to cool the front rotors, accusump, upgraded track sump, upgraded shift linkage system, etc. All the upgrades were done beautifully.

I can't wait to get this down to Bader field to try it out. When I first got it, I took it to a deserted stretch of road near my house, got it into 2nd and punched the throttle and the world pretty much exploded. These things are crazy. I am used to driving AWD cars, and this thing is gonna take some getting used to. The back end steps out pretty quick as soon as you get aggressive with the throttle, even in 3rd gear, although right now it has pilot sport cups on it, which are not great in this weather. I'm not complaining tho - it's a total blast to drive, I just need to learn how to tame it.

When I took it out for its first spin I lasted a whole 10 minutes before I got pulled over :-).
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#11 boostinsidewayz

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 10:46 AM

Did the cop ask to go for a ride?

#12 Shem

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 02:40 PM

Actually, he stopped me because the back end slipped a little. I wasn't going fast, maybe 35, but applied a little too much torque and it was wet. He was fine. No ticket. The conversation went something like:

Cop: So is it fast or something?
Me: Um....no...not really.
Cop: Are those tires street legal?
Me: Yes sir.
Cop: Ok, be careful.
Me: Yes sir. Have a nice evening.
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#13 Shem

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 01:26 PM

View PostShem, on 26 February 2012 - 09:24 AM, said:

It's basically shipped to the US in two parts (chassis and powertrain) and the duratec is added by a third party once here. That puts it in "kit car" status, and so needs to go through a special inspection process. There are 3 locations in NJ that do it. You don't need the OBD2 or CEL light on the car to pass. My appointment is mid march, and hopefully I won't run into any issues.

Went to the appointment. Passed the structural part, which took a few hours, and then failed emissions badly. HC PPM was 525 (allowed was 220) and CO% was 10.5 (allowed was 1.2). So not even close. And of course the Illinois dealer who assured me the car was 50 state emissions compliant (but not in writing of course) is playing dumb.

So now the car has a reject sticker which is good for 45 days. Looking at other options, but because there is no OBD system, I can't even take it to a private inspection facility since they are not allowed to do tailpipe inspections any more. As far as I know, the car is in good running order, and has cats (although I should confirm). I might be able to put some additives into the gas prior to the next test, and also run it hard right before the test, but it's hard to believe that will bring the CO% down to legal from 10%. Not sure what my next steps are at this point.

Suggestions?
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#14 bhipp2004

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 06:42 PM

I just failed tailpipe emissions on my 91 crx last year, turned out to be out of time pretty badly. I'd hope that car is in time, but it might be something easy to double check.

Other than that, yeah make sure there are cats, run it hard right before the inspection and that's about it. Hope it works out!
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#15 IMPREZvWRX

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 02:16 PM

View PostShem, on 29 March 2012 - 01:26 PM, said:

And of course the Illinois dealer who assured me the car was 50 state emissions compliant (but not in writing of course) is playing dumb
Would that dealer be Continental Autosports? Is this yours? Seems to be advertised as usable on the street, and you would be reasonable to assume that means legally.
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#16 maven

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 11:56 PM

Your HC and CO readings are both indicators of a rich condition. Its probably related to the ECM calibration to play it safe for durability. It could obviously also be too low an idle, bad plugs, restricted air filter, excessive fuel pressure, etc, etc, etc...... A solid tune and clean oil are essential, beyond those basics you need to look at the ECM calibration to solve the problem assuming there is no mechanical failure or cataylst defficiency :)
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#17 Shem

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 08:07 AM

Thanks guys,

Chris - Yes, that's the car. Thanks for finding the archived add. I did print it out, exactly for this reason. I have been in discussions with the dealer - the problem is that I don't have a ton of leverage. The legal definition of "street" is debatable, ie, streetable where? Montana (which has no emissions inspections)? And legally, in Illinois, there are no regulations around selling used cars and emissions compliance. They did very clearly tell me it was compliant, and are not denying that (yet). The discussion is on-going, but I don't expect much from them.

Maven - I actually got in touch with the guy who provided the upgraded map running on the car. He's actually THE noble guy in the US, and also fitted the car with upgraded IC and cat-back. He knows the car well. He confirmed the car runs rich, and was not surprised at the emissions numbers. He said the car just wasnt built with emissions in mind, and I would have a tough time getting it to that point. He could provide a leaner tune at lower RPM's (up to 2500, where the high idle test happens), but didnt seem very confident it would pass emissions.

I am thinking the best option right now is to register the car as a collector car. It's limited production (I think only 90 M12's in the US right now) and meets the other criteria as well. The only down side is that it is a 3K/year mileage cap, but they only check every 2 years, so this would at least kick the can 2 years down the road.
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#18 Richter77

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 08:18 PM

Shem, I know this isn't the answer you are looking for, but... Safelite and other windshield repair techs can get inspection stickers off without damaging them easily. If you happen to run into one, they more than likely will have a sticker on hand that they would give you for a "price".

#19 IMPREZvWRX

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 03:44 PM

So uh. What happened?


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#20 Shem

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 08:53 AM

Not too much. Still in the process of doing the collector car thing. Takes awhile. Dealer said they would fork over $500 to do any emissions related repair, but at this point, I'm not convinced there is much that can be done without de-tuning the car. In the meantime, I am still driving the car around with the failed inspection sticker (and having a blast with it). I figure if I get pulled over, I can explain that I am working through the issue with the DMV, show the paperwerwork I have submitted, and that might be enough. Otherwise, I'll just eat the ticket. I think that's all it is (hopefully) and not them towing your car.
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