Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Question to Californians buying out of state swapped cars and registering them


  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 ForcedInduction

ForcedInduction

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 0 posts
  • LocationSoCal

Posted 27 February 2017 - 06:22 PM

Hello everyone. 

About a year ago I moved to SoCal and have been brainstorming ways on how I can get my LS swapped FD RX7 out here from the east coast and seems like there's not much I can do if I want to drive it on the street, so I've come up with an idea of getting a pre-75 car, so I don't have to worry about stupid smog laws.

Therefore I'm currently in the market for an LS/2JZ swapped S30.

I also made an interesting observation. In the last year I bought 3 cars off private parties. 2 of them from Cali and the 3rd from AZ. What I noticed is that I didn't have to have a CHP officer look at my Cali cars, but they did look at the car I bought from AZ and they asked me to pop my hood as well. Which leads me to this question:

If I buy a swapped Z out of state will I even be able to register it because of the swap?

 


94 LS RX7 - 535whp
06 C55 AMG
06 Mini Cooper S
06 CBR1000RR


#2 seattlejester

seattlejester

    Totally Addicted

  • Donating Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1977 posts
  • LocationBellevue, WASHINGTON

Posted 27 February 2017 - 09:55 PM

Heh, I was looking to trade my 240z for an FD with an LS motor a while back. Datsun with a newer inline 6 motor and the FD with the LS are probably my two favorite swapped cars.

 

I'll let someone more familiar with the laws down there answer. I do know we have quite a few californian members so my assumption would be that it wouldn't be a problem.



#3 auxilary

auxilary

    Jester

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1794 posts
  • LocationBay Area, California

Posted 01 March 2017 - 12:11 PM

California requires vehicles 1976 and newer to be smogged. Current CA law states that a vehicle with an engine swap must meet the following criteria:

 

-Engine must be from a USDM vehicle

-Must be same year or newer than the chassis

-Must retain all emissions equipment that came with donor engine. This includes gas tank/charcoal/evap system, catalytic converters,  etc

-Must be BAR (bureau of automotive repair) refereed and receive an approval sticker. 

-If the vehicle is a CA certified vehicle, the engine must also be a CA certified engine (this applies to 50 state models vs. 49 state models)

 

https://www.bar.ca.g...Guidelines.html

 

https://www.arb.ca.g...mkt/replace.htm

 

That being said, the loophole for S30 cars 1975 and older is that smog check is not required and therefore engine swap goes unnoticed. 

 

With an FD/LS swap it would have to be refereed and smogged, even if out of state. The work around (not sure if this is still valid) is to basically keep your car registered in another state and keep that state's plates. This can get trickier down the road as you become a CA resident. 


Edited by auxilary, 03 March 2017 - 11:44 PM.

RotaryZ.com
DatsunRacing.com

Pray - a lot! -John Coffey

#4 TimZ

TimZ

    OG Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2376 posts
  • LocationDearborn, MI

Posted 02 March 2017 - 12:54 PM

California requires vehicles 1976 and older to be smogged. Current CA law states that a vehicle with an engine swap must meet the following criteria:

 

 

I'm definitely not an expert, but didn't you mean "1976 and newer"?


Posted Image

Information is not knowledge
Knowledge is not wisdom
Wisdom is not truth
-FZ, Joe's Garage

#5 Marlin2

Marlin2

    Newbie

  • Donating Members
  • Pip
  • 13 posts
  • LocationNational City, CA, US

Posted 03 March 2017 - 08:51 AM

Current CA law states that a vehicle with an engine swap must meet the following criteria:

 

-Engine must be from a USDM vehicle

-Must be same year or newer than the chassis

-Must retain all emissions equipment that came with donor engine. This includes gas tank/charcoal/evap system, catalytic converters,  etc

-Must be BAR (bureau of automotive repair) refereed and receive an approval sticker. 

-If the vehicle is a CA certified vehicle, the engine must also be a CA certified engine (this applies to 50 state models vs. 49 state models)

 

https://www.bar.ca.g...Guidelines.html

 

https://www.arb.ca.g...mkt/replace.htm

 

That being said, the loophole for S30 cars 1975 and older is that smog check is not required and therefore engine swap goes unnoticed. 

 

With an FD/LS swap it would have to be refereed and smogged, even if out of state. The work around (not sure if this is still valid) is to basically keep your car registered in another state and keep that state's plates. This can get trickier down the road as you become a CA resident. 

 

This is really interesting! Kind of put's a spin on buying cars outside of CA. Are you saying that any car purchased outside has to be inspected? Certainly all those muscle cars with 350 swaps don't get inspected.

 

If it were an issue, it might be worth it to pull the engine and get it inspected then? Or is this something were you are actually trying to get it registered as having an engine swap?


Runnin' off a triple doppio corpo orizzontale sidedraft load of pure sex-appeal...

That's a fine lookin' hydro-carbon monocoque you got there.


#6 ritrebor

ritrebor

    Member

  • Donating Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 147 posts
  • LocationLos Angeles, CA

Posted 03 March 2017 - 09:45 AM

From Calif DMV

 

https://www.dmv.ca.g...res/howto/htvr9

 

  • Verification of Vehicle (REG 31) form (PDF) completed by an authorized DMV employee, law enforcement officer, or licensed vehicle verifier (no charge for vehicle verification at DMV offices).

ritrebor



#7 ForcedInduction

ForcedInduction

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 0 posts
  • LocationSoCal

Posted 03 March 2017 - 11:12 PM

This is really interesting! Kind of put's a spin on buying cars outside of CA. Are you saying that any car purchased outside has to be inspected? Certainly all those muscle cars with 350 swaps don't get inspected.

 

If it were an issue, it might be worth it to pull the engine and get it inspected then? Or is this something were you are actually trying to get it registered as having an engine swap?

This is exactly why I'm wondering if I can even register a swapped car bought out of state.


94 LS RX7 - 535whp
06 C55 AMG
06 Mini Cooper S
06 CBR1000RR


#8 auxilary

auxilary

    Jester

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1794 posts
  • LocationBay Area, California

Posted 03 March 2017 - 11:45 PM

I'm definitely not an expert, but didn't you mean "1976 and newer"?

Yes I did. I corrected it, thanks.

 

As for actual laws regarding bringing a swapped vehicle into CA from out of state, I just listed what I saw on the DMV site and my derived interpretation. It's kind of a gray area because as far as I can tell, you can bring the car in and register it. Once it's registered in CA it has to follow CA smog laws as applicable. So if it's an FD with an LS swap, it can be registered but then you'll probably run into problems smogging it the following year.

 

Again, based on my understanding. I could be wrong


Edited by auxilary, 03 March 2017 - 11:48 PM.

RotaryZ.com
DatsunRacing.com

Pray - a lot! -John Coffey

#9 Miles

Miles

    Miles ahead!

  • Donating Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1858 posts
  • LocationSacramento, CA

Posted 04 March 2017 - 12:49 AM

Not all California counties require a smog check e.g., Amador County.


Does California look at pre 1976 out of state cars when you go to the DMV to register the car?

“Life is like arriving late for a movie, having to figure out what was going on without bothering everybody with a lot of questions, and then being unexpectedly called away before you find out how it ends.”    -Joseph Campbell


#10 auxilary

auxilary

    Jester

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1794 posts
  • LocationBay Area, California

Posted 04 March 2017 - 11:18 AM

These are the counties that require smog for registration/renewal of 1976 and newer vehicles:

 

Alameda Butte Colusa Contra Costa Fresno Glenn Kern Kings Los Angeles Madera Marin Merced Monterey Napa Nevada Orange Sacramento San Benito San Francisco San Joaquin San Luis Obispo San Mateo Santa Barbara Santa Clara Santa Cruz Shasta Solano Stanislaus Sutter Tehama Tulare Ventura Yolo Yuba

 

There are six counties that require smog certifications within certain Zip Codes only. These counties are:

El Dorado, Placer, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Sonoma.

 

To my knowledge CA does not look at the pre-76 (or any cars?) out of state for that matter when it's being registered. Registering the car's not the problem but smogging it down the road may be

 

https://www.dmv.ca.g...st_facts/ffvr29


Edited by auxilary, 04 March 2017 - 11:19 AM.

RotaryZ.com
DatsunRacing.com

Pray - a lot! -John Coffey

#11 Leon

Leon

    Tremendous grasp of the obvious.

  • Donating Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2303 posts
  • LocationSan Bruno, CA

Posted 05 March 2017 - 12:27 PM

Buying a car in CA requires a smog cert for '76 or newer, whether it's bought in or out of state. Out of state cars also need a VIN inspection which can be done at the DMV. All they do is check all the VIN plates to make sure nothing fishy is going on.

 

In other words, a '76 or newer car needs to pass SMOG before it can be registered. A '75 or older brought in from out of state is subject to a VIN verification but not a SMOG test. You are supposed to comply with the rules for the older cars but like was said earlier, they won't check since SMOG is not required.



#12 Tony D

Tony D

    Wiki D

  • Donating Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9961 posts
  • LocationReno NV & Lucena Quezon, Philippines

Posted 07 March 2017 - 08:17 AM

Compliance is not as difficult as it sounds. The trick in most cases is having the VIN information from the swapped vehicle as a reference.
Basically take it into a referee station (your swap I'm assuming was done using two 49 state donor vehicles) and present the vin for the  donor vehicle.

The  Referee can print out the required items you must have on the vehicle to pass. While it says you have to use the fuel tank, etc...in reality it's the mechanisms for EVAP control and fuel cap that  are  listed on that print out, if the  FD has them then generally it will pass as acceptable. The Catalyst is considered a 'chassis' item,but since the  FD had one, you will need the same on the LS you install.

 

The testing they will do it to 49 State Standards, not CA standards. Any modifications you have such as headers will need to have a CARB EO number...have  them all on a clip board to present and make it easy for them. The easier it is for them to see it's compliant, the more  likely they will not get too picky on minute details that are only technical violations if the function  is proper (like the FD fuel tank having the right cap, similar to the LS donor...not actually needing the  LS donor tank and cap.)

Really, it sounds hard when you read it, but if you do a complete and professional swap it should pass fairly easily. With the TunerCat Studio, you can have all the performance programs filed, and the  stock burn put in at any time for a Smog Check. . . 


Misanthropic Anthroparion Class 5 Hoarder, aspiring to posthumous fame as my containers are cut open and the market floods with crap I've squirrelled away over the years! I endeavour to persevere...




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users