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  #121  
Old May 19th, 2013, 10:26 PM
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1988 Land Rover - Ninety with 2.5 Turbo D engine. Has been in Port of Houston since May 5th. Sitting for intensive examination at the Bonded Warehouse since May 9th. Still waiting on Customs clearance.

Of course had paint done, carpet, seats but everything else is original and unmodified. It looks great however still a 25 year old vehicle. VIN's match and have a letter from Land Rover certifying date of manufacture at 12/16/1987.

Frustrated because legitimacy of the vehicle is documented. Outfit I purchased from is also a legitimate organization. With all the BS that is going on right now with CBP and ICE I am on pins and needles waiting.

------ Follow up post added May 19th, 2013 09:33 PM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by BOBCAT110 View Post
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1986-...item51a9e8c53e

BLR has six of these "NAS" 110s for sale on Ebay. Discuss.
BRL is sending them to their Florida shop location. They are arriving in original condition - no modifications, no work, no paint nothing. They are the rust bucket 25 year old rovers. Then they have them titled in Florida as is. Once done and federalized they are clear to modify to their heart's content and sell - clean title no penalties.

Family has a body shop and garage operation down in Houston area. Considering approaching my contacts in the UK to see if they want to do something similar. Is all within the confines of the law. So long as the replacement engine is an EPA engine or 21 years old, other than that you can put a new chassis on, add AC, modernize and kit the car out with any modification you want.
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  #122  
Old May 19th, 2013, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by bsjbrown View Post
Is all within the confines of the law. So long as the replacement engine is an EPA engine or 21 years old, other than that you can put a new chassis on, add AC, modernize and kit the car out with any modification you want.
You might want to double check with the EPA regarding replacing engines in an imported exempt truck if the engine you are planning to install is not of original type fitted to the vehicle.

When I asked them (EPA) about this their response to me was that the age exemption granted at import was conditional upon the truck maintaining its original (emissions package) configuration.

You may also want to verify with the DOT/NHTSA regarding any possible conditions on their exemption granted at import to make sure that it is not also conditional on maintaining the original (vehicle) configuration which was also required for it to be granted at import. They have not published or responded in writing with a stance on this I am aware of but you may want to verify it with them.

Just because BRL is doing something does not mean its automatically legal.....

HTH

Ian
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  #123  
Old May 19th, 2013, 11:20 PM
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You sir are completely correct. When I was talking about engine replacement I was thinking more of a swap for a non Land Rover engine into an existing 25 year old Rover. For example one of the International 2.8L TGV engines. Or replacement with say an Isuzu engine or a Cummins BT4T.

The EPA regulations are somewhat familiar (as I have a legal education and background) and I suspect what they mean by the maintenance of the original emissions package is that you do not remove the existing protection provided. In that the vehicle has to maintain its already existing emissions protection. If the engine is essentially a "cleaner engine" which a newer engine would be then as such you would have a compelling argument.

For DOT/NHTSA on importation as the vehicle would already be "federalized" and titled (in BLR's case in Florida) the DOT/NHTSA no longer has oversight on the modification. It would fall to Florida DOT and the regulations for it to pass local emissions standards etc. For example in Texas - Diesel engines are not subject to emission standards for passenger vehicles. So using Texas as an example if BLR were to import a MOD rover, obtain proper forms, title it in Texas, then put it in their Shop in Texas modify it by replacing the engine, converting to LHD, upgrading with all the modern toys - and sell it - it would be within the letter of the law. Would it be the Spirit of the law, not sure.

I am just concerned about my 1988 Ninety sitting in the Bonded Warehouse as we speak awaiting the intensive inspection. Everything is above board - engine original, chassis original matching VIN to vehicle. Only work I had done was paint, interior carpet, new seats - essentially made it look pretty. Even have a letter of verification of date of Mfg. from Land Rover and also corresponding paperwork from DVLA matching date of mfg (12/16/1987). Yet It has been sitting awaiting the intensive inspection for about a week now and either should be cleared soon or god forbid - them calling saying there is a problem - which I cannot imagine what it could be.
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  #124  
Old May 19th, 2013, 11:48 PM
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What I am really trying to figure out is how there is a significant number of 300tdi engines here in the US in defenders currently when the following is already verified:

1. The 300tdi was never approved by the EPA
2. The 300tdi is not yet 21 years old for exemption under the EPA ruling

The EPA rule about the engine is in place where a replacement engine is required for an already existing auto. Understanding that in my example my Landy has a 2.5L TD. If it were to go out and require replacement an exact replacement may not be available due to the age of the engine. So I would have to select a suitable replacement to fit within the architecture of the vehicle that is 21 years of age or older and be within EPA guidelines. In the alternative if there was another suitable engine that was EPA approved that was a newer engine that engine could be used without federalization.

We all need to remember why we are going through all of this. It is because of Mercedes Benz USA. It all stems back to 1988 and the Motor Vehicle Safety Compliance Act. The creation of that Act has a sordid history and is somewhat "suspect".

"Mercedes-Benz chose to offer only the lower-output 380SEL model in 1981 to Americans, some of whom wanted the much faster 500SEL available in the rest of the world. BMW had the same issue with their 745i Turbo. The grey market was successful enough that it ate significantly into the business of Mercedes-Benz of North America and their dealers. The corporation launched a successful million-dollar congressional lobbying effort to stop private importation of vehicles not officially intended for the U.S. market. An organisation called AICA (Automotive Importers Compliance Association) was formed by importers in California, Florida, New York, Texas, and elsewhere to counter some of these actions by Mercedes lobbyists, but the Motor Vehicle Safety Compliance Act was passed in 1988, effectively ending private import of grey-market vehicles to the United States. No evidence was presented that grey-import vehicles' safety performance differed significantly from that of US models, and there have been allegations of improper lobbying, but the issue has never been raised in court."

All of this was a law put in place to support arbitrage markets - the setting of car prices and the fixing of car prices by region. It actually disgusts me to read about this. The 25 year rule came into effect thanks to Bill Gates and his Porsche - another hilarious story. Perhaps the US should possibly start to at least reconsider the policy considering the safety standards of the EU is in some cases surpassing those of the USA. I know the emissions standards are more stringent.
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  #125  
Old May 20th, 2013, 02:34 AM
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I hear what you say but the EPA's response to me was quite clear. The 21yr age exemption only applies to a vehicle package (including engine and any emissions components if fitted) in its original factory configuration. If that configuration is changed at any time then that exemption becomes void and you no longer have an emissions compliant vehicle that is legal at the Federal level to drive on the road here. That is to say a vehicle with an accepted emission configuration (the exemption being its configuration in this case). It has nothing to do with whether the resulting package you built may or may not be able to pass an emissions test. Its all about the paperwork (or lack of in the case of non-type accepted engines such as the 300TDi for example). They did not say to me that is must be the original engine only the original type. That means you cannot change to a different engine type no matter if that engine type is cleaner or not in your opinion. I asked them that very question specifically. They stated that changing the engine after import to a different type voids the exemption and constitutes tampering.

Now if you can prove that the resulting configuration is an acceptable configuration and is better than the original then I am sure you would have a case to work with. Problem being that proving it in their eyes requires that you submit it for compliance testing. Which of course you can do if you want to pay for it. But you would have to do it for each different combination of year/type of vehicle you build with each different engine you fitted. Which could get rather pricy quickly.

The possible fly in the ointment may be the DOT/NHTSA exemption which you must also have and maintain to drive an import vehicle on the road here. They also state that in order to be imported the vehicle must be in its original configuration. They have not stated anywhere in writing I have found yet that it must maintain this configuration to retain the exemption in the way that the EPA has. If that is their position however then major changes to the vehicle once here such as the engine or the body style may affect its legality to be driven on the road even if the engine you fit may otherwise pass the EPA rules (US sourced, EPA approved engine with all emissions equipment for example). That needs to be checked of course.
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  #126  
Old May 20th, 2013, 02:40 AM
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I find it interesting how quiet a high end shop that has done many 300 Tdi vehicles has become.
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  #127  
Old May 20th, 2013, 03:23 AM
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Before this turns into another dissection of my bad choice of words or terms and not the actual rules, since I am not a lawyer let me clarify what I am saying and why.

I don't think there is an argument that you must have (at least) 2 different certifications to drive a vehicle on the road here in the US. For our discussion its only 2 we care about. 1 comes from the EPA and covers the vehicles (the package that includes the engine and any emissions equipment fitted) emissions under the clean air act. The 2nd comes from the NHTSA or DOT and covers amongst other things a vehicles safety and so on. Both of these require a manufacturer of vehicles to submit for different types of testing and certification and if they pass the relevant tests then the results are documented and they are issued US certifications and you are good to drive those vehicles on the road here because the have been tested and documented and the paper pushers are happy.

Other than the NAS Defenders that where sold here in the US new no Defender will pass US Safety standards and no diesel engine other than those fitted to the earlier series vehicles has a US emissions certification. The paper pushers in other words are no longer happy because the new configuration you have built or bought has no exemption and no documented compliance paperwork.

In order to import a ROW Defender here to the US the 2 agencies extend an exemption to the normal rules for the imported vehicle. This exemption makes the paper pushers happy as it takes the place of the normal compliance stuff. You must have both exemptions to be able to import it. The EPA exemption applies to vehicles in the original factory configuration and over 21yrs old or older. The NHTSA/DOT exemption applies to the same factory original configuration but the vehicle must be 25 yrs old or older. Because the DOT exemption is 25yrs we cannot import 21 yr old Defenders which would be EPA exempt so the 25 yr rules is the one we care about for age.

Now the wrinkle. The EPA has stated (to me) in writing that their exemption is conditional and may be withdrawn if the vehicles configuration is changed. See here:

http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...&postcount=307

If you lose that exemption then the vehicle no longer has any EPA compliance and by the rules should not be driven on the road here.

The NHTSA/DOT has NOT stated the same anywhere in writing I have found so far but it is implied by the import requirement in the same way. I have been told off the record by people working in the enforcement side that their exemption is also conditional but I cannot quote them or confirm it with a link or written confirmation in the same way as I can from the EPA. So you would need to confirm that yourself.

If you can lose the DOT exemption then other changes than just the engine will become problematic. Changing a 3 dr to a 5 dr or a SW to a Truck Cab or double cab for example would all cause a potential issue and a loss of exemption.

Taking that a step further it would stop you changing the engine for what would otherwise be an EPA compliant set up such as putting in an LSx with all the right emissions bits or something. So the rules would be different for an import vehicle in that respect than for a US vehicle. You can put an EPA certified same age or newer engine in a US vehicle and be compliant as long as you take and fit the relevant emissions equipment with it. If the DOT exemption is conditional however that would negate that for import vehicles as they don't care about EPAs rules, only the configuration of the vehicle.

In simple terms you may import a ROW truck as long as it is still in its original factory configuration. Under the EPA you cannot change its engine when its here to a non-type approved engine of a different type. Under the DOT/NHTSA you MIGHT also not be able to change a bunch of other stuff (check).

None of this has anything to do with any state law, enforcement, emissions tests, ability to get a title/insurance or any assessment of the risks of getting caught. Fed trumps state and all of these are different discussions. This only applies to the Fed rules as they stand and whether you are on the right side of them or not.

HTH

Ian
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  #128  
Old May 20th, 2013, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsjbrown View Post
You sir are completely correct. When I was talking about engine replacement I was thinking more of a swap for a non Land Rover engine into an existing 25 year old Rover. For example one of the International 2.8L TGV engines. Or replacement with say an Isuzu engine or a Cummins BT4T.

The EPA regulations are somewhat familiar (as I have a legal education and background) and I suspect what they mean by the maintenance of the original emissions package is that you do not remove the existing protection provided. In that the vehicle has to maintain its already existing emissions protection. If the engine is essentially a "cleaner engine" which a newer engine would be then as such you would have a compelling argument.

For DOT/NHTSA on importation as the vehicle would already be "federalized" and titled (in BLR's case in Florida) the DOT/NHTSA no longer has oversight on the modification. It would fall to Florida DOT and the regulations for it to pass local emissions standards etc. For example in Texas - Diesel engines are not subject to emission standards for passenger vehicles. So using Texas as an example if BLR were to import a MOD rover, obtain proper forms, title it in Texas, then put it in their Shop in Texas modify it by replacing the engine, converting to LHD, upgrading with all the modern toys - and sell it - it would be within the letter of the law. Would it be the Spirit of the law, not sure.

I am just concerned about my 1988 Ninety sitting in the Bonded Warehouse as we speak awaiting the intensive inspection. Everything is above board - engine original, chassis original matching VIN to vehicle. Only work I had done was paint, interior carpet, new seats - essentially made it look pretty. Even have a letter of verification of date of Mfg. from Land Rover and also corresponding paperwork from DVLA matching date of mfg (12/16/1987). Yet It has been sitting awaiting the intensive inspection for about a week now and either should be cleared soon or god forbid - them calling saying there is a problem - which I cannot imagine what it could be.
Braden, a couple weeks is normal and not something you should be too worried about. Especially if the Houston port has little experience with the whole rover issue. I've had two clear in the past six months with one taking almost five weeks and the second taking about two.

The new interior will probably give them the biggest hurdle to clear. I know they've used new interiors as excuses in the very beginning for not allowing entry, back when they knew even less about what they were dealing with.

Clay
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  #129  
Old May 20th, 2013, 09:08 AM
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Just want to throw this out there.
A contact of mine at one of the UK mail order places emailed me this morning. Apparently many of their part shipments to individuals in the US are being held at customs as long as six weeks.
It seems the anti Land Rover Customs brigade is extending is interest to the parts market as well.
Anyone else sense a shipping delay in parts?
Something I had took a week longer than normal. But thats one shipment but not enough to confirm what I heard this morning.
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  #130  
Old May 20th, 2013, 09:09 AM
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I just got my ExMoD110 in last month (bone stock) and it took about 2 weeks to clear customs.
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  #131  
Old May 20th, 2013, 09:30 AM
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I just received a small order from Turner in about 3 days. No hold up there.
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  #132  
Old May 20th, 2013, 09:56 AM
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I had a front prop left the UK Friday and is here today, had another package last week arrived without issue.
The were problems with the UK Post Office packages taking a long time for all items last year, maybe the same problems have returned.
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  #133  
Old May 20th, 2013, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsjbrown View Post
You sir are completely correct. When I was talking about engine replacement I was thinking more of a swap for a non Land Rover engine into an existing 25 year old Rover. For example one of the International 2.8L TGV engines. Or replacement with say an Isuzu engine or a Cummins BT4T.

The EPA regulations are somewhat familiar (as I have a legal education and background) and I suspect what they mean by the maintenance of the original emissions package is that you do not remove the existing protection provided. In that the vehicle has to maintain its already existing emissions protection. If the engine is essentially a "cleaner engine" which a newer engine would be then as such you would have a compelling argument.

For DOT/NHTSA on importation as the vehicle would already be "federalized" and titled (in BLR's case in Florida) the DOT/NHTSA no longer has oversight on the modification. It would fall to Florida DOT and the regulations for it to pass local emissions standards etc. For example in Texas - Diesel engines are not subject to emission standards for passenger vehicles. So using Texas as an example if BLR were to import a MOD rover, obtain proper forms, title it in Texas, then put it in their Shop in Texas modify it by replacing the engine, converting to LHD, upgrading with all the modern toys - and sell it - it would be within the letter of the law. Would it be the Spirit of the law, not sure.

I am just concerned about my 1988 Ninety sitting in the Bonded Warehouse as we speak awaiting the intensive inspection. Everything is above board - engine original, chassis original matching VIN to vehicle. Only work I had done was paint, interior carpet, new seats - essentially made it look pretty. Even have a letter of verification of date of Mfg. from Land Rover and also corresponding paperwork from DVLA matching date of mfg (12/16/1987). Yet It has been sitting awaiting the intensive inspection for about a week now and either should be cleared soon or god forbid - them calling saying there is a problem - which I cannot imagine what it could be.

Mine sat in Galveston for eight days (working) I could see it every day from the top floor of the UTMB parking garage.
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  #134  
Old May 20th, 2013, 01:24 PM
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Great article, thanks for the link. As much as we read and are told of all of the cooperation between the agencies the whole thing is still a bit of a crap shoot.

We had a ex mod 110 land on the 11th. 1987 bone stock blah, blah.... There was the usual amount of general confusion but it was submitted to CBP on the 14th and placed on "Intensive exam hold" immediately.

Generally, we clear within 24 hours so by Friday mid day I was a bit concerned. My agent spoke with CBP in Brunswick and gets an e mail from the agent dealing with my truck. He says all is well but now they need to take pictures and submit the pictures to DOT prior to release. In other words CBP was OK with the truck but it had to be run by DOT prior to being released. He also said this can take up to 30 days!

Whatever, it will be cleared eventually...then today I get the e mail.....truck is cleared ...come get it as today is your last free day!
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  #135  
Old May 20th, 2013, 01:53 PM
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Yea, they basicly drug mine out to the free deadline as well. Hummm?
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  #136  
Old May 20th, 2013, 08:28 PM
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Well they released it today at noon, flying to Houston in the morning and driving it back. Also dragging it out to the last free day. Go figure. Not going to question why the delay or the reason but counting the blessings that 15 days is not so bad considering the situation.

Back on the engine question. If you exchange an engine for another engine 21 years of age then it is still exempt? However if the engine being exchanged is an EPA approved engine - irrespective of the remaining emission control package - I am speaking about diesel and not petrol - then as such the EPA should have no issues with the exchange and you should not lose your eligibility.

I have seen a few Defenders on the roads now that have swapped out their older Land Rover engines for the International 2.8L TGV and they are still allowed on the roads. The problem with the response from the EPA in your post is he is citing Bible and Verse from the regulations.

I am going to do some digging on this but I am willing to bet that if you have to replace an engine and that engine is not available or readily available and there was a newer EPA approved engine that was suitable as a replacement then as such it can be done. If not then why are people like ECR or ECO Offroad in the business of performing these swaps? They can't be blatantly be breaking the law like this? Another example Jeep CJ engine swaps - what makes that any different?

Got to love the myriad of the bullshit we have to go through just to get an answer to a question. Our tax dollars at work.
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  #137  
Old May 20th, 2013, 08:53 PM
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The 1991 Letter from the EPA only talks about CERTIFIED CONFIGURATIONS:

A "certified configuration" is an engine or engine chassis design which has been "certified" (approved) by EPA prior to the production of vehicles with that design. Generally, the manufacturer submits an application for certification of the designs of each engine or vehicle it proposes to manufacture prior to production. The application includes design requirements for all emission related parts, engine calibrations, and other design parameters for each different type of engine (in heavy-duty vehicles), or engine chassis combination (in light-duty vehicles). EPA then "certifies" each acceptable design for use, in vehicles of the upcoming model year.


So Since Land Rover Defenders never had a Certified Configuration so then we fall back on this rule:

For light-duty vehicles, installation of a light-duty engine into a different light-duty vehicle by any person would be considered tampering unless the resulting vehicle is identical (with regard to all emission related parts, engine design parameters, and engine calibrations) to a certified configuration of the same or newer model year as the vehicle chassis, or if there is a reasonable basis for knowing that emissions are not adversely affected as described in Memo 1A. The appropriate source for technical information regarding the certified configuration of a vehicle of a particular model year is the vehicle manufacturer.

So makes sense that swapping a 200tdi for a 300tdi would be considered a configuration of a newer model year as the same vehicle chassis for defender. Having said that they mention FOREIGN Engines however this is specifically addressed to already US Compliant vehicles - not ours as we are already non-compliant but Federalized.

Another situation recently brought to EPA's attention involves the offering for sale of used foreign-built engines. These engines are often not covered by a certified configuration for any vehicle sold in this country. In such a case, there is no way to install such an engine legally. EPA has recently brought enforcement actions against certain parties who have violated the tampering prohibition by performing illegal engine switches.
It should be noted that while EPA's policy allows engine switches as long as the resulting vehicle matches exactly to any certified configuration of the same or newer model year as the chassis, there are some substantial practical limitations to performing such a replacement. Vehicle chassis and engine designs of one vehicle manufacturer are very distinct from those of another, such that it is generally not possible to put an engine into a chassis of a different manufacturer and have it match up to a certified configuration. Therefore, practical considerations will generally limit engine switches to installation of another engine which was certified to be used in that same make and model (or a "twin" of that make and model, e.g., Pontiac Grand Am and Oldsmobile Calais). In addition, converting a vehicle into a different certified configuration is likely to be very difficult, and the cost may prove prohibitive.

So here I am still at the point of saying - I believe that you are not losing your compliance by installing a newer non compliant engine to replace your older non compliant engine as long as that newer engine is available for that chassis as long as emissions are not changed or are changed to work with that engine. Furthermore by adding an EPA compliant engine and upgrading exhaust - which is typically done on 2.8L TGV swaps - you are probably more within what the intent of the EPA wants you to do. What I believe they are trying to prevent is people from taking EPA approved configurations and tampering with them by installing non--compliant engines and emission systems thereby ruining their compliance status.

Here is Mobile Source Enforcement Memorandum No. lA
Attached Files
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File Type: pdf 98revadmem1a.pdf (826.4 KB, 81 views)
File Type: pdf admem1a.pdf (22.3 KB, 21 views)
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  #138  
Old May 20th, 2013, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsjbrown View Post
You sir are completely correct. ...

For DOT/NHTSA on importation as the vehicle would already be "federalized" and titled (in BLR's case in Florida) the DOT/NHTSA no longer has oversight on the modification. It would fall to Florida DOT and the regulations for it to pass local emissions standards etc. For example in Texas - Diesel engines are not subject to emission standards for passenger vehicles. So using Texas as an example if BLR were to import a MOD rover, obtain proper forms, title it in Texas, then put it in their Shop in Texas modify it by replacing the engine, converting to LHD, upgrading with all the modern toys - and sell it - it would be within the letter of the law. Would it be the Spirit of the law, not sure.

Thanks. Clarified this a lot for me. Great post.

Jeff
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  #139  
Old May 20th, 2013, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by bsjbrown View Post
So here I am still at the point of saying - I believe that you are not losing your compliance by installing a newer non compliant engine to replace your older non compliant engine as long as that newer engine is available for that chassis as long as emissions are not changed or are changed to work with that engine. Furthermore by adding an EPA compliant engine and upgrading exhaust - which is typically done on 2.8L TGV swaps - you are probably more within what the intent of the EPA wants you to do. What I believe they are trying to prevent is people from taking EPA approved configurations and tampering with them by installing non--compliant engines and emission systems thereby ruining their compliance status.
I think your overlooking the basic point. The only way you can drive your non-compliant engined truck here is with an exemption. Their exemption is applied to the complete configuration package (truck and engine) not just the engine. They have stated their exemption is voided if the original configuration is changed (different engine type). They have stopped vehicles at the ports recently because they have determined that the 200TDi for example is NOT a 2.5NA or 2.5TD but a completely different engine (it has a different engine type number). Without that exemption the new engine must be compliant or you couldn't drive the truck. So yes you could (under EPA Rules) fit a newer compliant engine but NOT a newer non-compliant one. The resulting package would be non-compliant and not covered by an exemption. Change the engine type and you change the configuration and lose the exemption, irrespective of the age of the 2 components (truck and engine).

Now if it can be determined that the DOT exemption is also conditional (as I have been told but cant prove) then you could not fit a newer EPA compliant engine as it would still change the configuration of the truck and you would lose the DOT exemption. If the DOT exemption is not conditional after import then you could put your LSx or whatever US engine in but not one of the later LR diesels.

Is a 2.8L TGV EPA compliant? The 2.5NA, 2.5TD, 200TDi, 300TDi, TD5 and LR 2.4 TDCi are not and cannot legally be fitted to anything here that was not fitted with them at the factory originally. If the 2.8 is then it will hinge on the DOT question.

You should note that companies like ECR and others that have done these types of swaps in the past have put in the paperwork that the truck can only be driven off road once the new engine is fitted.
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Old May 20th, 2013, 09:42 PM
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Rocky
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Chris
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That's the first I've heard the ECR did those conversions under the guise of off road use only. Two thoughts. Are retailers making the same caveat? Surprised I've yet to see that caveat on their website.
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