CARB Approved Performance Upgrades | 2003-2004 Ram 5.9 Cummins
Over the years, diesels have always slipped by many current emissions standards, and were not upheld to the same standards as gasoline powered vehicles. In the short term, this was advantageous to the ... read more
Over the years, diesels have always slipped by many current emissions standards, and were not upheld to the same standards as gasoline powered vehicles. In the short term, this was advantageous to the diesel performance industry, as it has really brought this sport to the level and popularity it is today, allowing for simple adjustments to a 12 valve Cummins, or easy to install programmers in your Duramax to achieve extremely high levels of torque and horsepower. With the buying public constantly wanting more, more, more, the manufacturers of performance products delivered, and as the power levels continued to rise, so has the emissions output in many cases. Due in part to this, as well as many other factors, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has slowly begun implementing new policies that have tightened down the belts of the original manufacturers. Much of this started in 2004 when we started to see catalytic converters, and even EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) Systems on 50-state diesels. The belts were tightened down even further in 2007 when DPF’s (Diesel Particulate Filters) and EGR Systems were protocol on all Cummins, Powerstroke, and Duramax power plants.
Now that the EPA has gotten the original manufacturers to the emissions output level they desired (at least for the time being), they have now began working with aftermarket performance products companies to help them reach the same emissions output levels. Many manufacturers are even taking their ENTIRE product selection for testing and certification, while others are hand choosing certain products they feel will be a good offering for the emissions conscious customer.
Overall, this is a direction we all knew the diesel performance industry would be heading, just unsure of how long it would be. Now that it’s finally upon us, we welcome it. Of course, we will always have a place for black smoke bellowing diesels, but soon enough it will be limited to the track. Unfortunately, the vehicles belching smoke from every stop light are one of the reasons we are seeing many of the new initiatives being put in place by the EPA.
This category is tailored for those truck owners that would either prefer running products that have received CARB (California Air Resource Board) approval, or that live in California and are required to run these types of products. To further explain the CARB approval process, the manufacturers must have each individual product tested by an independent party to ensure its potential emissions output, and receive a pass or fail grade. If the product receives a passing grade, it will be designated an E.O. (Executive Order) number. This E.O. number can be given to anyone performing an emissions test that will prove the components capacity to effectively handle emissions as well as the factory component that it replaces or adjusts. This is important, especially to residents of California, as without this E.O. number on most performance related items, they will automatically fail the emissions test.
Contrary to the assumption of many, there are many aftermarket performance products that are exempt from requiring an E.O. number whatsoever. For example, an aftermarket intake manifold is completely exempt as long as it does not alter or replace a factory EGR valve or grid heater. Another example is exhaust kits; as long as the exhaust system does not replace any factory emissions devices, it is exempt. For example, a catalytic converter back or DPF back system is allowable. However, if you have a catalyst equipped vehicle, you are not allowed to replace anything before the catalytic converter or DPF, only behind it. To extend this train of thought, if you have a vehicle that did not have a catalytic converter or DPF from the factory, you can install a turbo back exhaust without fear of failing an emissions test, as long as you are within the decibel level limits. For a more detailed description on the letters of the law, we recommend taking the time to brief through the Smog Check Reference Guide, which outlines the specific products that are exempt from requiring an E.O. number shown HERE. And if you are curious if a particular product has received approval, you can visit the CARB website and perform a search for individual products shown HERE.
The main purpose of this category is to serve as a useful tool to find what products have received CARB approval for your particular application, and to understand which products do NOT need approval in order to pass an emissions test, and be legally driven on public roadways. If you have any questions about particular products, feel free to contact us for further information.