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Discussion Starter #1
I’m a student in Tech College who’s doing way too much to a civic sedan that doesn’t deserve it... anyways I am doing all this work to my spare engine and trans (and also manual swapping and also VTEC swapping. I’m going from a 1999 Civic LX AT 4D motor + trans to a Built 1999 Civic DX 5 Speed motor + trans) and I need a good ECU tune to go along with all the crap I’m throwing into this Auto Non Vtec Chassis. I looked at the Hondata S300 but I have no clue if I want to commit to retrofitting plus I’m worried it might not be emissions compliant. (Lancaster County, PA)
My question is; Which ECU do I go with? Hondata OBD I Chipped? AEM? Some Plug N Play? Will my codes still show up with an OBD II scanner if I retrofit and will it be legal if I retrofit it in an emissions county? I’m terribly sorry for my lack of knowledge here. I’m new to the tuning game. Usually just replace stuff.
 

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Civic turbo Hx/Ex
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As far as I know, you can't tune an actual OBD2 ECU for honda, they are pretty much useless. If you convert it to OBD1 via a conversion harness (they are everywhere) you can throw in a VTEC ECU like a P28 or something similar and you can tune and convert your car with that. If you just plan to do the VTEC swap and manual trans swap with no tuning at all you can just use an OEM EX OBD2 ECU.

As far as tuning there are a lot of options out there. I just invested in a program called NepTune with the Demon 2. It's one of the best, affordable programs out there. Other users on this site are using a few other programs and I'm sure will sware by their experience as well.

As far as emissions, if you tune the car right you shouldn't have any issues passing an emissions test. I know a dude in Jersey that use to tune his turbo civic to pass emissions for a stock ECU, so it's definitely possible. You will probably need a wideband and or an EGT tool to assist you in that process.

I hope this helps answer your questions.
 

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93 Civic HB SI
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It depends on how emissions testing in your state is done.

Does the state look for OBD monitors present, or do they only use a loaded dynamometer with tailpipe testing?

If they dyno test only and never hook to the OBD2 port, then you can tune your car to pass smog no problem, assuming you still run a catalytic converter. You will not be able to fool tailpipe testers on a loaded dyno without a cat in place, regardless of how the tune is done.

If the state only uses OBD monitors to determine if the car is emissions compliant, then your SOL. As rexinre said, you can't tune an OBD2 ECU on our engine/chassis platforms with any of the available tuning solutions. If you go K series you could haha. Currently only the OBD1 variants are supported.

You MUST have an OBD2 capable ECU present on the vehicle in order for the testing machine to fetch the monitor data. The monitors also need to be in a PASS state, so simply swapping from OBD1 back to OBD2 just for e testing doesn't work. You need to be able to drive the vehicle with the OBD2 ECU, have all emissions systems the ECU is designed to work with present and functional on the car, and drive the car long enough to get the ECU to test and pass those systems.

The only way I've been able to get around OBD2 e-testing is either a) registering a car in a non emission county at a different address, or b) buy a pre-OBD2 shell and use the OBD2 engine with OBD1 hardware, or c) move to florida, the land of zero safety or emissions testing.

It's not impossible to get the OBD monitors to pass through fake out methods, just highly impractical. Honestly there is less effort in just getting an OBD1 shell, especially if you run OBD emissions testing every year.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It depends on how emissions testing in your state is done.

Does the state look for OBD monitors present, or do they only use a loaded dynamometer with tailpipe testing?

If they dyno test only and never hook to the OBD2 port, then you can tune your car to pass smog no problem, assuming you still run a catalytic converter. You will not be able to fool tailpipe testers on a loaded dyno without a cat in place, regardless of how the tune is done.

If the state only uses OBD monitors to determine if the car is emissions compliant, then your SOL. As rexinre said, you can't tune an OBD2 ECU on our engine/chassis platforms with any of the available tuning solutions. If you go K series you could haha. Currently only the OBD1 variants are supported.

You MUST have an OBD2 capable ECU present on the vehicle in order for the testing machine to fetch the monitor data. The monitors also need to be in a PASS state, so simply swapping from OBD1 back to OBD2 just for e testing doesn't work. You need to be able to drive the vehicle with the OBD2 ECU, have all emissions systems the ECU is designed to work with present and functional on the car, and drive the car long enough to get the ECU to test and pass those systems.

The only way I've been able to get around OBD2 e-testing is either a) registering a car in a non emission county at a different address, or b) buy a pre-OBD2 shell and use the OBD2 engine with OBD1 hardware, or c) move to florida, the land of zero safety or emissions testing.

It's not impossible to get the OBD monitors to pass through fake out methods, just highly impractical. Honestly there is less effort in just getting an OBD1 shell, especially if you run OBD emissions testing every year.
I’ll ask my instructor about it. I have my safety license here in PA but not emissions.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
As far as I know, you can't tune an actual OBD2 ECU for honda, they are pretty much useless. If you convert it to OBD1 via a conversion harness (they are everywhere) you can throw in a VTEC ECU like a P28 or something similar and you can tune and convert your car with that. If you just plan to do the VTEC swap and manual trans swap with no tuning at all you can just use an OEM EX OBD2 ECU.

As far as tuning there are a lot of options out there. I just invested in a program called NepTune with the Demon 2. It's one of the best, affordable programs out there. Other users on this site are using a few other programs and I'm sure will sware by their experience as well.

As far as emissions, if you tune the car right you shouldn't have any issues passing an emissions test. I know a dude in Jersey that use to tune his turbo civic to pass emissions for a stock ECU, so it's definitely possible. You will probably need a wideband and or an EGT tool to assist you in that process.

I hope this helps answer your questions.
Okay thanks. I’ll ask around.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
By the way guys; I decided that I’m gonna go stand-alone ECU (AEM) and just get a tune. That way it can be more ‘legal’ haha.
 

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93 Civic HB SI
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By the way guys; I decided that I’m gonna go stand-alone ECU (AEM) and just get a tune. That way it can be more ‘legal’ haha.
Did you figure out how your area does E-Testing? If they require OBD2 to be present on your car for the machine to check the emission component monitors, then going standalone AEM will not fix things. You will still fail e test.

You could get into a situation where you might have to pay the state to get a conditional pass, and you're only allowed so many of those.
 

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93 Civic HB SI
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Just did a quick search and your county requires OBD on 1996 and newer vehicles as part of its emission test program.

Going standalone removes On Board Diagnostics entirely. You will not pass emissions testing. Most all standalone engine management systems are for "off road" use only. You will be making the car more illegal lol
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just did a quick search and your county requires OBD on 1996 and newer vehicles as part of its emission test program.

Going standalone removes On Board Diagnostics entirely. You will not pass emissions testing. Most all standalone engine management systems are for "off road" use only. You will be making the car more illegal lol
I gotta have OBDII in my county :( FBMP Sticker’s it is
 
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