So if Engine swapping isn't legal, why are 'gliders" legal? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old June 11th, 2015, 12:56 PM
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So if Engine swapping isn't legal, why are 'gliders" legal?

Interesting article on the way manufacturers are building new engine less trucks for owners to drop in the old pre emission drive trains into.

The Return of the Glider - Article - TruckingInfo.com
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  #2  
Old June 11th, 2015, 01:19 PM
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And you'd think the DOT/EPA would care more about that than Defenders, but they dont.

From reading the article it sounds like you basically call up a glider company with your VIN #, they stamp that VIN onto a new/reman "glider", then ship it to you for you to swap your old/rebuilt drivetrain into.

That creates two vehicles with the same VIN...
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Old June 11th, 2015, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by transientmechanic View Post
That creates two vehicles with the same VIN...
That doesn't sound very legal. I'm thinking it is more of a "kit car" type deal.
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Old June 11th, 2015, 01:35 PM
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This is interesting, especially with grey guidelines as to what constitutes the "Identity" of the vehicle. What VIN does a re-bodied glider use? I'd assume the original one, hence why they're able to use the older power plants.
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  #5  
Old June 11th, 2015, 01:36 PM
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It is kind of like remodeling your house, keep one wall and its a remodel, knock it all down its new construction. Kind of a skate on the laws, but like building anything from parts is a rule stretch.
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Old June 11th, 2015, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by transientmechanic View Post
And you'd think the DOT/EPA would care more about that than Defenders, but they dont.

From reading the article it sounds like you basically call up a glider company with your VIN #, they stamp that VIN onto a new/reman "glider", then ship it to you for you to swap your old/rebuilt drivetrain into.

That creates two vehicles with the same VIN...
I wonder how the OEMs feel about another manufacturer using "their" VIN, or did I read that wrong that while there are 3rd party manufacturers the OEMs are "gliding" their own original designs too. What about insurance companies? Crash/safety comparisons between the original (dying) truck and its glider replacement? I can't see how a newer truck(-body) would do worse but prove me wrong.
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  #7  
Old June 11th, 2015, 02:00 PM
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Looks like they get a new VIN. Some special interest must have exempted Big Rigs from the same rules as regular cars. Looks like they are tested based on the engine year, not the vin.

Massachusetts Vehicle Check
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  #8  
Old June 11th, 2015, 02:46 PM
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It's the same reason ECR can replace the frame and 90% of the components on a NAS defender and retain the same vehicle identity... The DOT does not consider a glider as a vehicle because it's missing a sufficient number of major parts. So it's considered as "parts". And the outfit using the parts to "fix" a truck can do so without being a vehicle manufacturer, so they aren't required to certify to federal standards.

You guys assume that there is some logic in this - There isn't. It all relates to jurisdiction and limitations of the legislation... If you tried to import a completed glider from another country, you'd probably land in hot water.

Edit: I am speaking from the point of view of the DOT - I think the EPA has an issue with gliders as well, and may be moving to stop the practice.
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Old June 11th, 2015, 03:23 PM
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I'd bet the "rules" regarding big trucks falls in an entirely different class than our trucks.
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Old June 11th, 2015, 03:33 PM
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I would see the correlation not so much as an ECR rebuild, but like buying a Puma body/chassis/suspension (rolling shell), dropping in my "existing" Tdi drivetrain, and slapping the VIN tag from a 109 on it... sounds familiar...
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  #11  
Old June 11th, 2015, 04:13 PM
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Since when is it illegal to change engines?
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  #12  
Old June 11th, 2015, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o2batsea View Post
Since when is it illegal to change engines?
I had an overseas defender exporter tell me last week he couldn't be involved with exporting a truck to the states knowing the engine would be swapped because its illegal. Where are people getting this from? And once i get the truck stateside why do they care what i do to it?
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Old June 11th, 2015, 06:37 PM
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It's only illegal to switch engines if you do one of the following:
1) Use an engine never sold in the USA and therefore not EPA certified.
2) Use an engine that takes a type of fuel (gasoline or diesel) that the vehicle has never been certified with by the EPA.
3) Put a heavy-duty engine into a light-duty vehicle or vice versa.
4) Deletion or omission of any emissions component originally installed in the vehicle or used by the engine you're installing.
5) Use an engine that's from or meant for a vehicle with an older model year.
6) If emissions have been "adversely affected."

It's okay to use an engine the EPA hasn't certified for use in the vehicle you're installing it into as long as at meets the requirements above. Also, the different engine has to meet the requirements of the model year of the engine, not the model year of your vehicle.

This is of course for USA sold vehicles in the USA. I imagine the rules for grey market imports are well, more grey.
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Old June 11th, 2015, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip View Post
It's only illegal to switch engines if you do one of the following:
1) Use an engine never sold in the USA and therefore not EPA certified.
2) Use an engine that takes a type of fuel (gasoline or diesel) that the vehicle has never been certified with by the EPA.
3) Put a heavy-duty engine into a light-duty vehicle or vice versa.
4) Deletion or omission of any emissions component originally installed in the vehicle or used by the engine you're installing.
5) Use an engine that's from or meant for a vehicle with an older model year.
6) If emissions have been "adversely affected."

It's okay to use an engine the EPA hasn't certified for use in the vehicle you're installing it into as long as at meets the requirements above. Also, the different engine has to meet the requirements of the model year of the engine, not the model year of your vehicle.

This is of course for USA sold vehicles in the USA. I imagine the rules for grey market imports are well, more grey.
Once you own it and have it titled, you can do whatever you want. There is no legal restriction on that. Only caveat is that if it has to pass state emissions, you have to take that into account.
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  #15  
Old June 11th, 2015, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o2batsea View Post
Once you own it and have it titled, you can do whatever you want. There is no legal restriction on that. Only caveat is that if it has to pass state emissions, you have to take that into account.
Not according to the federal government.
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Old June 11th, 2015, 07:24 PM
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State regulations and EPA regulations vary greatly (love our government) and Andrew is basically right on with regards to EPA regs, except they are even slightly more strict as they "certify" an engine/chassis "configurations" and not engines individually... read more here: http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production...ngswitch_0.pdf

For light-duty vehicles, installation of a light-duty eng~ne 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


Continued...

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.


And...

It should be noted that while EPA's policy allows engine switches as long as the resulting vehicle
matches exactly to anv 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.


Now enforcement is another thing altogether because it is largely up to the states, but hey the federal law is written and who knows when this shoe will drop.
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  #17  
Old June 11th, 2015, 08:04 PM
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Those regs are about as toothy as a newborn. Clearly, nobody pays any attention to them including the states. If the vehicle passes state emissions it gets a go.
Yes you aren't supposed to take out the emission controls. However it is simply inconcieveable that the feds would do anything to you if you put an LS engine in your Defender. They absolutely do not check if your vehicle is in compliance with EPA "certification" once it is in your driveway.
Will's efforts have proven that.
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  #18  
Old June 11th, 2015, 08:07 PM
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imho, there is zero consistent, systematic logic regarding emissions law. no one goes through the law books and is tasked with making sure "it all makes sense." there is no constitutional rule stating that federal emissions regulations have to be consistent.

the short answer: there is no logic.
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Old June 11th, 2015, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonoronos View Post
imho, there is zero consistent, systematic logic regarding emissions law. no one goes through the law books and is tasked with making sure "it all makes sense." there is no constitutional rule stating that federal emissions regulations have to be consistent.

the short answer: there is no logic.
I think they know that too and that's why they put in this clause: "or if there is a reasonable basis for knowing that emissions are not adversely affected."

I agree with Bill that they let the states handle enforcement through emissions testing, so as long as it passes that is "reasonable basis for knowing that emissions are not adversely affected." But that is the law like Adam says and I think people should know the law just so in the unlikely event they got fined they couldn't say they didn't know. And as long as you try to follow it to a reasonable extent I think the feds would look favorably upon you. If you blatantly violate with the laws with absolutely no plausible deniability though I think things might not turn out so well for you if you got caught. Obviously putting something like a foreign Puma engine in a NAS Defender is a blatant disregard for the law.
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  #20  
Old June 11th, 2015, 08:26 PM
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to Bills point an 07+ LS motor is going to run a hell of a lot cleaner than an early 80s carbed 3.5L.
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