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State Laws concerning Engine Swaps


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32 replies to this topic

#1 s'ko

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 01:03 PM

Thought this might be a good thread to start.

Some of us live in states that are loosey goosey about emissions. Others, like me, live in a state where they have the smog gestapo.
Let's get share info so our engine swaps can be legal.

Here is the info for California.

California there are some of the general rules to follow.
1) Engine cannot be older than the original vehicle. No 1980 motor into a 1982.
2) Donor vehicle MUST be a California car. Then means no out of state motors and NO JDM motors. If the donor is a federal vehicle, that is ok. But how many US Govt Subarus are out there?
3) All emission components from the Donor vehicle must be used.
4) If the tranny is an Automatic, you must also do a tranny swap b/c there are sensor on the tranny that lead to the computer.
5) Take the emissions information from the hood of the donor car so the SMOG referee can ID the motor.
6) Once swap is complete, contact Bureau of Auto Repair and schedule an appointment. (800)622-7733. If it passes, he will give you a BAR number on your door pillar for future SMOG tests.
7) You only have to get the referee to inspect the vehicle once. After that you can go to a regular smog station.

Info was obtained from Dept of Consumer Affairs, SMOG technician. (800)-952-5210.

#2 All_talk

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 01:19 PM

This thread is a good idea, it should help avoid nasty surprises at the inspection/smog check.

.
2) Donor vehicle MUST be a California car. Then means no out of state motors and NO JDM motors. If the donor is a federal vehicle, that is ok. But how many US Govt Subarus are out there?

I know the US government has some deal with Subaru of America for producing right hand drive cars for postal carriers (they can buy these cars cheaper than a normal Sube). These cars may be “federal” spec.

Gary

#3 garner

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 02:13 PM

I've always thought "federal" meant the rest of us, as in California and Federal

#4 s'ko

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 02:22 PM

I've always thought "federal" meant the rest of us, as in California and Federal


The tech was pretty specific about Non-California and Federal.
US Govt vehicle are SMOG exempt in California

#5 archemitis

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 03:34 PM

hrm. aside from cali. isnt it illegal to put an older motor into a newer car, but legal to put a new motor in an old car?

i wonder if i could ever get into trouble for having different motors in cars =/

#6 garner

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 03:44 PM

Interesting......


Is there age at which a vehicle becomes exempt? I think in Portland, OR (where they have smog inspections) after a vehicle reaches 25 years old, no smog is required.

i wonder if i could ever get into trouble for having different motors in cars =/


only if they catch you :headbang:

garner

#7 s'ko

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 03:59 PM

Interesting......


Is there age at which a vehicle becomes exempt? I think in Portland, OR (where they have smog inspections) after a vehicle reaches 25 years old, no smog is required.


Age exemption was 30 years. But as of April 1, 2005 that repealed that and the age is now stuck at 1975 and older.

archemitis
Tech said that "It doesn't matter what you put in. 4-6-8-12. As long as you conform to the new engines smog standards.

So with this info I will be looking at doing a complete EJ swap in the future. Right now I have to get the engine running right.

Anyone else out there w/info from their states?

#8 Scoobywagon

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 04:07 PM

Having asked about this once or twice, here's the jist from Washington.

Motor swaps are entirely ok so long as the new motor belongs to the same "engine family" as the original motor. Additionally, the owner must present a reciept indicating the VIN and title condition of the donor car. Basically, this means that in a Chevy, you can install anything from a 283 to a 400 without penalty so long as the car was originally equipped with a small-block chevy. Theoretically, you should be able to swap your EA-71 for an EA-81 no problem.

If the new motor is from a different family, then you have to deal with the State Patrol to have the vehicle inspected. At this inspection, you must provide proof of purchase and identity of the donor vehicle. THey put it on a rack and go at it. So if you want to swap an ER-27 into your L-body wagon, you have to keep good reciepts.

Then again, they don't have emissions in all counties, so they don't really check.

#9 TheSubaruJunkie

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 05:40 PM

2) Donor vehicle MUST be a California car. Then means no out of state motors and NO JDM motors. If the donor is a federal vehicle, that is ok. But how many US Govt Subarus are out there?


I hate this state with a passion. Even tho there are no differences between CA EJ22T's and Non-CA EJ22T's... the state still will not allow you to swap the engines. Since this rule apply's in California, the sale of my EJ22T has fallen through, and now im stuck with the car.

-Brian

#10 garner

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 06:28 PM

[quote name='s'ko]Age exemption was 30 years. But as of April 1' date=' 2005 that repealed that and the age is now stuck at 1975 and older.[/QUOTE']

Doh!!! It looks like Portland now has the 1975 and older deal too... Oregon really is becoming Californicated....

Atleast we can still do what ever we feel like in Eugene.

garner

#11 Subi81

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 06:36 PM

Yea California has some messed up laws. I think that the emissions testing is a good idea (Sniffer test). A clean running car, is a clean running car shouldn't matter what the engine compartment looks like. I say ditch all that visual inspection and just make sure it passes a sniffer test. This would eliminate all that C($P about where the motor was from and blah blah.

The federal thing I believe has to do with regulations. Long time ago there were no emissions testing (hard to believe). Then California made their own laws. Other states did not. The FEDERAL gov't stepped in and said all states need to have emmision laws. The state had to choose or use existing state laws so we ended up with 2 systems California and Fed emmision laws. That is where the term Fedural cars come from. Least that is what I gather, correct me if I am wrong.

#12 RavenTBK

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 07:30 PM

Only a handful of counties here in Florida require emissions testing. I dont live in one anymore. :grin: None of Florida counties require safety inspections. As I remember from Pinellas county rules the emissions checks are a sniffer, and thats it. The ratings are based on the what was stock engine in the car, which is gathered by decoding the VIN. If you swap the engine, its output must match or be better than the original engine's ratings. eg: Going from a 302 to a 351 in your old Ford truck would be difficult, as the particulate outputs for the 351 would be a lil more than the 302. Same deal as going from an EA81 to an ER27. But again.. I dont live in one of those counties. :brow:

#13 Seahag1978

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 09:16 PM

In Massachusetts, I don't know of any rules regarding engine swaps, they don't check that at all. We do have a strict Lemon Law and the only safe way to sell a used car to a private party is to declare it as "parts only" on the bill of sale. It's the only protection the seller has when selling $100 POS. I have never seen anyone have a hassle registering a "parts only" car. All vehicles must be titled to the tune of $50. We also have excise tax $25.00 per $1,000. of value.

We have to register and insure EVERY vehicle, whether it's driven or not, within 10 days of taking possession. If you retire a vehicle, it's illegal to keep an unregistered vehicle for more than 30 days, even on private property.

We are exempt from any emissions once a vehicle is 15 years or older. Newer vehicles are tested every other year for emissions.

There is a safety inspection for all years, every year. Glass must be intact with no cracks, wipers, horn, lights (no broken lenses), e-brake, tires (tread must come to the top of Lincoln's head on a penny), front end suspension: tie rods, control arms, ball joints, no sharp edges on the body, no holes in the body that could cause exhaust to enter the vehicle. Seat belts, only if original equipment.

#14 GLCraig

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Posted 10 January 2005 - 02:03 AM

Doh!!! It looks like Portland now has the 1975 and older deal too


It's actually 74 and older. It's been that way for almost 10 years now.

#15 rallyruss

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Posted 10 January 2005 - 01:31 PM

good thread. let me make a few corrections for you s'ko.
I am a certified state smog tech and a govt. fleet smog tech.

as some have stated federal vehicles are 49 state cars and then there are Ca cars. tecnically you can only swap from ca into ca. But if you look up the required emmissions items for the year motor you are swaping and make sure your out of state/country motor has or can be retrofited to have the same stuff as a CA car you can sneak it through.

you cannot use an industrial engine in a car.

you CAN use a chevy motor in a toyota/ subaru/ hundai but as already stated you then need to get it inspected by a ref. station to get a lable.

if say you swaped a EA82T into a carbed GL ea82 vehicle as long as you did a complete swap with all parts that effect emissions you can get it smoged normally.(I have a 22re in a orginal 22r toy truck as an example)

you do NOT need to swap tranys with the motor this is espically true of M/T vehicles. some A/T vehicles may need to be done as a complete engine trans combo due to a combined ECM.

you CAN swap in a diesel and get away from smog test perminantly as well as have the option of boidiesel made right here in the U.S.A. by us. but thats for another fourm.

heres one of my favorites. addition of intercoolers is completely exempt.

as a govt. fleet smog tech I can assure you govt vehicles get smog tested too. I do some of the testing and get stuck fixing the ones that fail.

#16 garner

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Posted 10 January 2005 - 01:41 PM

It's actually 74 and older. It's been that way for almost 10 years now.


Opps, I was thinking of Washington. We we thinking of moving back to Seattle....

Thanks for the clarification

garner

#17 Subi81

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Posted 10 January 2005 - 04:27 PM

wait wait wait, did I hear that right.

heres one of my favorites. addition of intercoolers is completely exempt.


Is that true for california? If so that would save me a lot of hassle.

#18 s'ko

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Posted 10 January 2005 - 06:49 PM

RallyRuss- Thanks for the info.
I so if I find a EJ motor from a non-cali vehicle and it has all of the cali required stuff I can use it as long as I don't inform smog tech/referee that it's from a non-cali vehicle.

BW

#19 rallyruss

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Posted 10 January 2005 - 08:26 PM

wait wait wait, did I hear that right.



Is that true for california? If so that would save me a lot of hassle.


this is absolutely true. its in the blue smog information book thatall smog techs are required to have.

the first time I took it in for inspection the tech told me he could not do it because of the intercooler. I asked for his book and showed him the section regarding the exempt items. the second time it went in there were no questions at all.

I cannot smog my own vehicles unfortunately because I am not registerd at a private shop.

s'ko- yep as long as you make the motor look like and work like a CA equiped vehicle you are ok. now rember this may require differnet manifolds and ECU if there are too many differences. usually they are verry similar. look it up if you are not shure. I can help with figuring out the differnces between a federal and CA car if needed. if you have info on your non US motor that would be helpfull too. do the homework first.

#20 TheSubaruJunkie

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Posted 10 January 2005 - 08:39 PM

Russ... I may need your help. My friend who wants my EJ22T is set to believe he cannot use the Canadian EJ22T in my car since its not a CA engine.

What do we need to do to get around this? From what I understand, the only difference between the CA EJ22T and a 49 State EJ22T is an extra ground to the ECU.

I want to see this EJ22T in my friends car... also, would it being a '92 Engine going into a '91 car cause more red tape trouble?


-Brian

#21 syphon

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Posted 10 January 2005 - 11:33 PM

I love WA state. You have to pass a sniffer test, which is pretty forgiving. That's it. I suppose they have laws about engine swaps, but every time I go in for emissions (been like, 6 times now between all my cars) They've never popped the hood.

Also, if you live in certain counties, emissions is not required. Even the counties that DO require emissions are pretty lax. If I recall, Tex's parents accidently sent his wagon through emissions (they brought the Wagon's title in with another car, the guys didnt check the VINs closely).

#22 Russ Hill

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Posted 11 January 2005 - 02:06 AM

I love WA state. You have to pass a sniffer test, which is pretty forgiving. That's it. I suppose they have laws about engine swaps, but every time I go in for emissions (been like, 6 times now between all my cars) They've never popped the hood.

Also, if you live in certain counties, emissions is not required. Even the counties that DO require emissions are pretty lax. If I recall, Tex's parents accidently sent his wagon through emissions (they brought the Wagon's title in with another car, the guys didnt check the VINs closely).


Yep, in Washington if it passes a tailpipe test, it's a go. you'll only have trouble if you want an exemption due to repeated failure. Then, you have to pop the hood.
You could put blown V8 in it if it'll pass a tailpipe test. My El-Camino was originally a V6 car, I installed a built V8. It took a little tuning but it passed with flying colors.
25 years and older/5 years and newer are exempt

#23 CHIM

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Posted 12 January 2005 - 06:06 AM

I am so happy to be living in central oregon, No smog testing here at all (That i know of anyway).

I got pulled over by a state cop for my custom exhaust.
He said "that thing have a muffler?, I said "yeh, it's just custom"

He told me to have it looked at due to noise, It's really loude:), but that was the end of it.

Also, a few years ago when my firebird was still running i passed a servey crue testing passing cars for excess polution, As cars where passing a servey guy was waving cars to speed up to get them to "Blow smoke", as i passed i slipped in to nuetral and hammered it, the numbers jumped!, i got all there attention.:)

Also i had a safty inspector tell me that technicaly here in oregon a car doesn't have to have a wind shield, but does have to have working wipers.

Said there was no law saying anything about about a windshield.

I have yet to test this

#24 Subi81

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Posted 12 January 2005 - 02:40 PM

rallyruss you made my day I got to get me one of those blue books!

Thanks a bunch!

#25 ballitch

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Posted 14 January 2005 - 03:28 AM

Chim you are absolutlely correct, you dont have to have a windshield in Oregon, but you have to have wipers, only god knows. and WTF is up with smog this and smog that c**p, they going to make you do it, at gunpoint or somethin, how do they know you have to get your car smogged, they send you something in the mail, please explain.




~Josh~




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