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Old 11-04-2006, 04:41 AM   #1
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Default California smog legal swaps

I am looking into a LT1 or LS1 swap into a middle 80's 928, but I am curious about anybodies experiences in getting an engine swap past the California smog laws.

Just so everybody doesn't need to repeat it, here are the rules as I understand them, and yes I am getting the CARB inpsection manual to look over.

Engine change is what its called.

Anything that was sold from the factory in the same or a later year of the same model is easy fair game to swap. Places like Callaway and Saleen count just like GM or Ford. Usually no need for a referee station.

Swap from other models or makes must be the same class of vehicle (car to car, not heavy vehicles which have different smog requirements into car) and the same year or newer, and have to meet whichever smog requirements are stronger. All of the smog equipment including transmission controls have to come with the donor motor. Always needs a special very detailed inspection the first time by a referee station which then issues a doorjam sticker and the car is tested in the future pretty much exactly as if it was the donor car.

Thats all I know, or think I know.

Swap headers seem like a bit of a grey area, but cats have to be the same as the donor car required and in the same relative location.

I also wonder if EO# stack, as in EO: D-278-1 which says its ok to put a ZZ4 into any 82/87 Camaro, so is it ok to put a ZZ4 into a 86 928? (I have no clue what a ZZ4 is btw).
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Old 11-04-2006, 05:30 PM   #2
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zz4 is an aluminum headed 350.....i think its approved as a replacement part for the stock piece of **** 305 as long as a buch of other garbage **** is used with it....they did an article in super chevy about it a few years ago. i dont even think they sell the "swap kit" anymore due to the fact that gmpp discontinued many of the associated garbage parts that went with it.

the way i understand the rest of the swap crap is if the donor engine is older than the vehicle, all of the vehicles emissions controls must be used. If the donor engine is newer than the vehicle its being swapped into all of the emissions controls from the donor engine must be retained.
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Old 11-04-2006, 11:36 PM   #3
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The ZZ4 kit has everything you need to put one in for an 3rd gen Cab A4 car only and be Smog Legal. No T-5 cars ! You have to do everything as documented and ony applies to the F-Body.. a 86 928 is would not work or pass.

As a kit you get a new ECM and chip, adapters, fuel pressure regulator, gas tank sender and intake pump. I have cloned the kit for for my 84 Z-28 w/T-5 and just don't tell the Smog guy that I changed anything.. it barely passes here in Calif. But I guess I could try more tuning.

But SS496 is right.. You will be lucky if you find a kit let alone all of the parts.
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Old 11-04-2006, 11:54 PM   #4
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Calif you can't use a motor from an older year, legally. Normal smog check where it "looks" like whats supposed to be there, and my guess is no trouble. Engine change means a referee station and they are going to check the block ID. If there is no real difference in the block due to year, maybe that sneaks in, or get approved by the place you appeal a referee station ruling at.

I have no plans to use a ZZ4, its just one of the engine change EO# GMPP applied for and got.

My question is as long as I move engine and all smog related stuff from what was legal to have in a 87 Camaro why am I not still legal in the 86 928?

As I understand it moving the engine and smog controls from an 87 Camaro into a 86 928, the 928 is then treated just like it was an 87 Camaro for smog testing.
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Old 11-05-2006, 01:18 AM   #5
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That is how I understand it also. but the best thing to is really find a Referee station and talk with the technican on what is needed.. also going from one station to another.. you will also get different answers!.. Some people say to keep going to different stations and tech until you find one that know the laws or what is needed. If you the one that is good for you, or gives the right answer, then return to him for the check and cert !

I think what comes into play also is the original car, engine and trans configuration (FWD vs RWD, transver , etc), you should ask those queston.
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Old 11-05-2006, 02:48 AM   #6
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Just found this, link to carb engine change guidelines, haven't changed it looks like since 1994.
http://159.145.15.175/stdPAge.asp?Me...s-Jan_1994.htm

Engine Replacement and Rebuilding Guidelines

Overview

Engine changes continue to present problems and challenges to car owners and technicians. Here are some tips to keep you and your customers on the straight and narrow.

Our recommendation is to rebuild and reinstall the original engine, transmission, and emission control configuration.

When rebuilding an engine, it must be rebuilt to the original equipment specifications. However, if you do decide to change the engine, these guidelines must be observed to ensure that the vehicle will be eligible for smog certification or registration.

Remember, these are guidelines for performing engine changes -- not certification procedures. All exhaust emission controlled vehicles with engine changes must be inspected by an official referee station and must have a Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) Vehicle Identification Label affixed to the doorpost.

Remember also, state and federal anti-tampering laws generally prohibit any modification to the vehicle's original emission control system configuration as certified by the manufacturer. And, Section 3362.1 of the California Code of Regulations prohibits any engine change that degrades the effectiveness of a vehicle's emission control system.
California Certification

A federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certified (federal or 49-state) engine cannot be used in a vehicle that was originally certified for California.
Certification Standards

Make sure the engine and emission control configuration on exhaust - controlled vehicles are certified to the year of the vehicle or newer, and to the same or a more stringent new vehicle certification standard.
Classification

Don't mix engine and vehicle classifications which will degrade the emissions certification standards. For example, a heavy-duty engine cannot be installed in a light-duty exhaust-controlled chassis even if they have the same displacement. Non-emissions controlled power plants such as industrial or off-road-use-only engines may not be placed in any exhaust-controlled vehicle.
Computer Controls

If a computer-controlled engine is installed in a non-computerized vehicle, the "CHECK ENGINE" light, the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) diagnostic link, and all sensors, switches, and wiring harnesses needed to make the system fully functional must also be installed.
Emission Control Configuration

Mixing and matching emission control system components could cause problems and is generally not allowed. Engine and emission control systems must be in an engine-chassis configuration certified by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) or U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The engine must meet or exceed the requirements for the year and class of vehicle in which it is installed.
Emission Warranty

Voiding the vehicle manufacturer's emission warranty is not allowed.
Engine Modifications

No internal or external engine modifications (cams, pistons, intakes, etc.) may be performed unless the parts are ARB-exempted or EPA-certified for use in the installed engine. Use the database on this site to search for aftermarket parts covered by ARB Executive Orders.
Original Equipment

The installed engine and host chassis must retain all of their original emission control equipment. Diesel-to-gasoline conversions must have all gasoline engine and chassis emission control systems installed (such as fillpipe restrictor, catalytic converter and evaporative emission system).
Smog Inspection

These vehicles must pass a complete smog inspection (visual, functional, and tailpipe).
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Old 11-05-2006, 02:52 AM   #7
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What actually happens at the referee station is what counts, but this seems more strict in some ways, shaving the heads to bump compression a touch would not be allowed etc., and less strict in others with the door open for exactly what I was wondering about a modified as long as it has the EO# on the mods engine is ok to swap.

OTOH I have read it four times and it doesn't entirely stick with me yet.
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Old 11-08-2006, 06:51 PM   #8
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Wow, I am not finding many people in California that aren't taking the sneak it through route and hope it looks normal enough to the tech.

Talked with my regular mechanic who does loads of "classic" smog exempt swaps, and he says he had all kinds of trouble even on swaps like same model V6 goes to a V8, but I wonder if they didn't just treat it the wrong way, ie not strictly by the book, but hoping it looked ok and see what happens.

I picked up a copy of DRIVE magazine, a free at shops Hot Rod catalog/magazine thing, and made a few calls, who listened and passed me on to somebody else. Tomorrow I talk to Steve at Eclipse Engineering, and see if the buck stops.
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Old 11-09-2006, 11:27 PM   #9
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My Friend swaped in a 2003 Cobra engine (actually everything) into a 92 Stang, took it to the BAR, the car was smoged as a 2003.
for pictures and a video of that car here:
http://cobra4me.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=164
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Old 11-10-2006, 01:09 AM   #10
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hey man i live in vegas and im good friends with the guys at renegadehybrids.com... They had a cali smog legal ls1 swap car in there the other day... not sure what it was because i dont know much about european cars... I can tell you this, the motor looked completely stock... they even put the stock hose covers on aftermarket hoses...looked like the ls1 was born in that car... the engine should have every single orginal/stock part that's visable... Including the filter/pressure regulator. It can't be adjustable.. Dont have anything that looks "pretty" or colorful, paint it black at least for the inspection... I can tell you that they don't really know alot about engines but they do know exactly what it should look like and what the emission parts do... they basically judge how it looks and if everything is "there"... BTW i thought i read someone post that it's illegal to put an older motor into a new car... thats not true the engine just has to have the emission devices for what ever is newer the motor or the car... Which in most cases yes older motors just wont work with newer emission devices...

In vegas iemissions is almost the same but in some ways stricter... we have to get the manufactor of the engine to write up a letter head with all the emission devices from the motor and a bunch of other questions the DMV asks (There is 11 questions total the manufactor has to answer)... then a GM (or which ever manufactor it is) emissions tech. has to inspect the car with the engine in it then has to state that all the emissions devices work and sign/date the letter head... then we have to take that to the DMV and have them inspect it all over again... And show all the paper work and pictures and **** of the swap, they want to see invoices of the parts that you buy for it to see if they are actually for the engine or not(i.e. catalytic converters)..
At this point I have had 3 dealerships, a GM rep., a pontiac rep., and the GM emissions department all tell me they can't help me... 1 dealship called security on me all because i wanted them to type up a letter head for me... I ended up finding a service manager that is interested in my truck that "might" do it... Im just going to front him a 100 dollar bill when i walk in...

So it really isn't about how much pollution your car puts out or doesn't put out but how much **** they can give you because they feel power hungry...

GOOD LUCK MAN!!!
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Last edited by gmax111; 11-10-2006 at 01:17 AM..
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Old 11-10-2006, 01:41 AM   #11
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Its not that difficult, but it is a pain the ***.

http://www.torquecentral.com/showthr...t=finally+road
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Old 11-10-2006, 02:15 AM   #12
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Regular smog test, which isn't technically legal for any engine change including rebuilding the factory installed motor, doesn't look at stuff like the required Referee Station inspection which includes checking block and head ID numbers. Most people I talk to in California that have a motor that vaguely looks like the factory motor, cross their fingers and hope the regular smog check guy doesn't notice or doesn't care, and I haven't heard of anybody getting caught that way. Many cops are MUCH more savvy about this stuff, and people do end up at the referee station from getting pulled over.

Cobra engine in a non Cobra mustang I don't think is going to draw attention. Maybe even not an explorer engine would get noticed. I am waiting to hear how a couple local guys do on that in fact.

Absolutely an engine block, even if it is FREAKING identical cannot be older than the car it goes in legally. Referee stations check block ID, regular smog stations don't.

I'll be in Vegas for the electronics show in January, and I am set to take the Renegade tour, and have talked plenty with them already. I am 100% sure what you saw was the 944 LS1 conversion they do. If it could pass smog in 944, should be fine in a 928, but Renegade isn't doing a kit yet due to the weight balance issues I mentioned, and I am trying to get them to do one.

Take your Vegas car to California, a California approved smog test is accepted in all 50 states (eh, I think so anyway).

Link below is about Honda's and its from 1999, but its 3 or 4 people with all the details of going through the Referee station in California, and they say the same thing, one guy got failed the first time for a YELLOW vacuum line going to some actuator. Mods with CARB EO# didn't cause any problems, but all of them said to bring all your receipts which should not say stuff like off road only, but maybe list the EO#.
http://hybrid2.honda-perf.org/ref99.html
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Old 11-10-2006, 02:18 AM   #13
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Daaaam, that Cobra wouldn't fool my grandma, so they must have done it right and gone through the referee station, but sounds like those guys are very swap savvy.
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Old 11-10-2006, 02:45 AM   #14
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Great link Bornagain, and I am even working to get more links from it. I live 10 miles from Santa Ana, so I may end up joining that forum to talk to some of the guys directly.

One REALLY critical point that is showing up, I was planning on reusing some of the 928 parts, like the canister, and that sounds like it won't fly.

Also sounds like getting some factory documents on emission details like routing tubes etc., maybe some pictures, might be very handy too.
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Old 11-11-2006, 05:18 AM   #15
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I have seen alot of their swaps at renagade... You should have seen the open house they had just last week... Of course i was there when they were setting up for it so i didnt see all the cars that was in the open house... The cali smog legal car they had in there was a front mounted engine unlike alot of the other cars in there... Like i said i know nothing about european cars so... Anyway im waiting on mike to get my headers coated so i can put my truck back together... then im bringing the whole truck back down there to finish the exhaust...

They are really good guys and are really good at what they do...
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Old 11-11-2006, 09:40 PM   #16
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They do seem like a good bunch, but I have also talked to a few people who were left holding the fuzzy end of the stick when some part did not work out, and the only option Renegade offered was a discount on a improved part. They are in a tough spot because until they do a dozen swaps on the exact same setup its impossible to work out any bugs, and they can't afford to be responsible for every mess an end user can get themselves into.

Unfortunately they have a LOT less experience with the 928 than with the 944, but I am hoping some experience is better than none.
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Old 11-17-2006, 03:27 AM   #17
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Learned a few more bits today, visited the Bureau of Automotive Repairs field office in Placentia, snagged a Smog Inspection Check Manual $12, and really lucky part is after the first guy didn't follow a bit of what I was asking, he left for a minute and found me a guy that used to be a referee. Everything he said included a, but I haven't done it in 5 years and its up the people at the referee station, but I still think I picked up some stuff. Mostly the point of view, the way the smog guys look at a swap.

He put smog equipment into two groups, engine, and chassis. Doesn't seem to apply to me, but he said that if the chassis didn't come from the factory with a requirements for cats or canister, the cars exempt since they don't want to get into the liability issues to adding a cat to cars without heatshields etc.

The other issue was in talking about PCM, Powertrain Control Modules that expect a matching tranny to talk to. This may be required because otherwise it could cause an error in the PCM when it doesn't get a signal it expects. Resolving any error might remove that issue. Check engine light requirements that are confusing some people come from the Mopar MPI I think kit, which had a light, but no label. He said the fix they required was putting some kind of easy to read label under the light, not some whole dash component out of the donor car.

All referee stations are NOT the same, case in point this link to the Honda guys with a review on different referee stations in California; http://honda-tech.com/zerothread?id=815454
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Old 11-17-2006, 11:29 AM   #18
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This is why both of my swap vehicles I am working on are pre 74...
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Old 11-17-2006, 11:46 AM   #19
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God old Peopel's Republic of Commyfornia...kinda like Peopel's Republic of Maryland...

Good lcuk...I can't wait to find out the "scratch" built myself.
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Old 11-17-2006, 12:29 PM   #20
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I ref'd my RX7. Took two refs.. most refs do not understand the code fully and you also have to remember that most refs do not have an intimate knowledge of every motor and it's emissions control systems, they are relying on a few books and diagrams.

Best way to approach it is to get the car so you feel it is ready (at least have the right cats, legal intake, no codes and most of the readiness tests passed) and then go to the ref and see if he nitpicks you on stupid items. If he does, fix them and come back or find another ref.

Oh yeah and HPTuners is your friend when reffing these cars.
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Old 11-17-2006, 12:29 PM
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