Jump to content
HybridZ
Hey_You

Engine swap possibility (for CA)

Recommended Posts

Since the SR20det isn't allowed here in this lovely state, what about the 3sgte from Toyota? It came in the MR2's, can be built up to around 800hp (many of them have been, and even Toyota was racing their Supra with the 3sgte because of the size to power ratio) and it's rated 200hp stock for the first gen. It's also close to cost of a sr20det.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Man, what is SO hard to understand? I know I pretty much say the ref every day for over a year and we're on a close first name basis but come on!

 

Ok, I'll explain it slowly.

 

Law #1 - NO MOTOR that has NEVER been legalized for USDM use can EVER be put into a USA car REGARDLESS of state OR year. Even a kit car CANNOT legally use a skyline motor. There's NO way to get a legal VIN for it.

 

The ONLY way you'll ever have a JDM motor legalized in the USA is if it's from a FOREIGN vehicle that's been legalized and then passed by the ref. These are special cases and there's a handful a year.

 

Law #2 - JUST because a car is smog exempt DOES NOT mean you can do what ever you want. In the same sense if they decided 85' and older don't have to smog I CAN NOT!!!! Legally go and take of my catalytic converter. Understand?

 

So, basically 90% of swaps out there are illegal. Is that gonna stop you? I don't know. Do I care? No. I won't tell anyone. The cop A - Needs to realize it's illegal and then B - write you a ticket for it. You might be able to sweet talk him and somehow 'prove' it's legal, but odds are you're going to the ref, and then you're in a world of trouble. It's NOT the ref's job to see if everything there is legal. It's YOUR job to prove to him that every thing that should be there is there and is legal.

 

Some more info on getting a swap LEGAL

 

1) Engine must be from the same year or NEWER

2) Engine must not have any LESS smog equipment (meaning no switching to a carb from efi

3) Engine MUST retain ALL smog equipment and be street legal (no modifications that would alter air or fuel usage without a CARB number)

4) Engine MUST retain OEM distribution and USDM ECU (unless you can find me a EFI system that's CARB approved... fat chance on that one)

 

A SR20 was NEVER used in america, therefor there is NO way for a ref to legalize it. If you're caught with it, you're up @#$^ creek.

 

Edit: I still can't understand why people think smog expect means law exempt. Vehicle laws don't just apply to cars that have to be smogged you know. The laws are general laws regarding ALL cars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not that I'm upset. Its just that we get people asking these questions all the time. It would seem a FAQ would help these issues, but I guess not.

 

Maybe we need to overhaul the FAQ? Maybe.

 

In all seriousness though, PM me if you have questions. I've got lots of knowledge and I'm willing to share IF the person is level headed and smart. I don't enjoy sharing with guys when it all goes in one ear and out another because they've got it all figured out, yet are new to cars...

 

I'm even open to IMs. My computer sits online 24/7.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

intercoolers are legal. They don't alter air or fuel quantities.

 

BOVs are legal IF the retain the stock air route. So if you use one that dumps into the atmosphere you could get a cop biting your head off about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't live in the USA, so please don't blame me for the question below - I'm just curious wether one trick would work or not...

 

As far as I know, US got the SR20DE came in some FWD platforms, such as the Sentra SE-R. The FF applications have different blocks then FR cars, which means that you can't just use a Sentra block in, say, a 240Z.

 

Now the question is - if one would swap a USDM SR20DE motor into a 240Z, and change the block for a JDM FR SR20DE block (most of J's and Q's Silvias came with the NA SR20) even with DE internals, would it be legal to drive it in the States? The engine should maintain its basic characteristics, and nowadays it's nothing strange to import some parts from Japan, such as an engine block (especially in a situation when you can't source one from the US). I know it's not a turbo motor and it doesn't have the punch of the DET, but it may be possible to create such a turbo kit to make it smog legal (after all, companies such as Edelbrock make 50-state legal turbo kits for Hondas and such), and with the SR20's parts intercheangeability it should be easy to create SR20 that's legal to drive in the States. Block construction should not alter the car's smog characteristics, as long as you keep the DE internals intact (who checks it anyway?). It you use the stock ECU, cat and so on, it should be pretty easy to tell the Police officer that the car is 100% legal - if only the SR20 really came from a USDM Sentra.

 

If you can't swap to SR20, then why not o KA24DE and turbo it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

See, i've considered the same EXACT option as you're talking about. In theory you could just ship over a RWD SR20DE from japan, and as long as you use the FWD EFI and manifolds you'll be fine. BUT, those FWD manifolds might not fit... since the intake will be facing the firewall. Manifolds need to be CARB approved in CA (not such for other states, part specific mods can be state dependent).

 

But if you could find a legal turbo kit for FWD application it would be legal to use it in a RWD swap.

 

It's all theoretically possible, but it's the manifolds that give you the trouble. And honestly, many times it's just finding a ref that agrees with you. The ref I know will pass a fuel rail, even though other's won't. In his mind a rail doesn't increase fuel usage if the stock injectors are used, so who cares? It's never stated in law as being illegal, but because it's part of the fuel system some refs just call it illegal.

 

So there's some grey area to a lot of things.

 

The laws put in place are so complicated that those PAID to enforce them can't possible enforce them to the extent their job title requires them to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The reason why I was curious about the 3sgte was because I had a 91' Celica GT-S and the motor was on it's way out, and the logical engine option was the 3sgte. However, it's not legal, and it brought some thinking, the All-Trac version has the motor, and it's legal, brought to the US and everything. But it's AWD, does that make a difference in legality? My car is still in the being built stage, been out of DMV computers for years, so it will have to be inspected and everything. I could probably just get my mom to sign off on it (she works at the DMV) so getting it past that stage wouldn't be hard. Anyways, from the way it's been put...

1) The 3sgte was introduced to the US in the MR2 and Toyota Celica All-Trac

2) Those cars are much newer (1990-1993?)

3) I guarantee you they had much more smog stuff than a 71 Z

Well, I'll look more into it, see what it would take to get the engine and drivetrain in...think an AWD gearbox with the FWD part blocked off? I hear that's what the Celica guys do. Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Contact a local smog referee station and ask them these questions. Relying on us to determine the legality of what you're doing is like Paris Hilton relying on her PR agent for advice on driving with a suspended license.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You wouldn't have to weld the center diff on a 4WD tranny, you can use the tranny from a JDM altezza(JDM IS300), It uses the beams 3sge and is rwd, that the tranny you'd want. The biggest downside is the motor is rather heavy for a 4-banger, but it does have a lot of power potential. And you would want the second gen motor(90+), the first gen form the st165 all trac has different heads that nobody makes cams for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Contact a local smog referee station and ask them these questions. Relying on us to determine the legality of what you're doing is like Paris Hilton relying on her PR agent for advice on driving with a suspended license.

 

that was hilarious

 

my input: mu buddy is putting a hi comp "small port" 4AGE in his AE86 and is using the OEM FWD intake manifold. BUT he had the front and back cut and welded on the opposite sides so he can use it in he RWD application. granted this is going to be in an autoX only car so it doesn't need to be street legal. but the questions are really how stock you can make it look and how critical is the ref.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Man, what is SO hard to understand? I know I pretty much say the ref every day for over a year and we're on a close first name basis but come on!

 

Ok, I'll explain it slowly.

 

Law #1 - NO MOTOR that has NEVER been legalized for USDM use can EVER be put into a USA car REGARDLESS of state OR year. Even a kit car CANNOT legally use a skyline motor. There's NO way to get a legal VIN for it.

 

The ONLY way you'll ever have a JDM motor legalized in the USA is if it's from a FOREIGN vehicle that's been legalized and then passed by the ref. These are special cases and there's a handful a year.

 

Law #2 - JUST because a car is smog exempt DOES NOT mean you can do what ever you want. In the same sense if they decided 85' and older don't have to smog I CAN NOT!!!! Legally go and take of my catalytic converter. Understand?

 

So, basically 90% of swaps out there are illegal. Is that gonna stop you? I don't know. Do I care? No. I won't tell anyone. The cop A - Needs to realize it's illegal and then B - write you a ticket for it. You might be able to sweet talk him and somehow 'prove' it's legal, but odds are you're going to the ref, and then you're in a world of trouble. It's NOT the ref's job to see if everything there is legal. It's YOUR job to prove to him that every thing that should be there is there and is legal.

 

Some more info on getting a swap LEGAL

 

1) Engine must be from the same year or NEWER

2) Engine must not have any LESS smog equipment (meaning no switching to a carb from efi

3) Engine MUST retain ALL smog equipment and be street legal (no modifications that would alter air or fuel usage without a CARB number)

4) Engine MUST retain OEM distribution and USDM ECU (unless you can find me a EFI system that's CARB approved... fat chance on that one)

 

A SR20 was NEVER used in america, therefor there is NO way for a ref to legalize it. If you're caught with it, you're up @#$^ creek.

 

Edit: I still can't understand why people think smog expect means law exempt. Vehicle laws don't just apply to cars that have to be smogged you know. The laws are general laws regarding ALL cars.

 

 

BTW for me this cleared up a lot of things that I didn't quite get from the sticky. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Contact a local smog referee station and ask them these questions. Relying on us to determine the legality of what you're doing is like Paris Hilton relying on her PR agent for advice on driving with a suspended license.

 

Agreed. A simple call the ref can clear up alot of things. They aren't mean people, and won't chew your head off if somethings not right, and are very helpful with advise. Asking them questions now will make there jobs easier when it comes time for inspection.

 

edit: what about superchargers? not as practical but sounds more likely to be passed than turboing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gollum viewpost.gif

intercoolers are legal. They don't alter air or fuel quantities.

 

Are you sure about that? I once failed because I had modified the stock air cleaner housing.

 

An intercooler only adjusts the temperature of the air coming in, it does not allow more air to be fed into the engine, until you turn up the boost, haha.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
An intercooler only adjusts the temperature of the air coming in, it does not allow more air to be fed into the engine, until you turn up the boost, haha.

 

Are you laughing at me? Because you just agreed with me... I don't get it :?

 

Are you sure about that? I once failed because I had modified the stock air cleaner housing.

 

That's because a modified intake WILL allow more air in, which is why we do it right? That makes it illegal to CA. Fuel rails can be legal if you use stock injectors because the same amount of fuel gets it. You can't legally raise boost because you're letting in more air. You can't legal modify your air/fuel tables or reprogram your ECU because you can change the air/fuel quantities and ratio. You can't modify the exhaust manifold/header because you'll adjust the air leaving the engine, and in turn effect air going into the engine.

 

Of course, all of these mods CAN be legal if they're CARB approved.

 

EDIT: Oh yea, johnC put it best. Don't listen to me, see the ref. Even if I WAS a ref I'd still say go see your local ref for advice because in the end they ARE the law that you should abide by.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That's because a modified intake WILL allow more air in, which is why we do it right? That makes it illegal to CA.

 

No, they told me it was illegal because it wasn't stock, didn't have a CARB number and wasn't in their book.

 

The tech's simply apply rules. They don't use technical judgment.

 

I have seen cars fail because they didn't have a heat riser tube. I would think an intercooler would have a much bigger impact on how fast the car heats up than a heat riser tube.

 

In a way you CA guys have it good in that there are referee stations to get definitive answers. When I went to do my swap I called half a dozen state agencies trying to find out what the rules are in my state. People would give me answers, but since none of the answers agreed I think the counter clerks were just telling me what they THOUGHT the answers were.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...