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  #1  
Old September 10th, 2014, 01:20 PM
fpdigit
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Peter
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Owning a Diesel Defender (CA)?

Hi Folks,

Now I've noticed that a number of things get knocked around here - posts from noobs, import/reg topics, and california. This one is going be all three, so guys please cut me some slack and let me know if I'm not coming at it right.

First off let me introduce myself. I've been a lurker around here for about half a year now. The main thing that has kept me from getting a D90 is that I only really want diesel but it seems owning one where I live (NorCal) is easier said than done. I'd like you guys' take on whether my understanding of the situation is sound. Here are reasons why I believe (based on browsing endless threads here) that a diesel D90 would be extremely difficult:


1) Direct import - fuggedaboutit. Something about direct imports to CA are considered 'new' regardless of actual age. The federal 25 year exemption does not apply to direct imports to California. When the VIN doesn't look up you'll be asked for some 'manufacturer letter' to prove EPA/FMVSS compliance, which you won't be able to produce for an ROW truck. This applies whether it's diesel or not.

2) Previously imported ROW diesel - There are some properly imported and titled ROW 2.5 diesels out there, as well as re-engined Tdi's, and I expect there will be a flood of legit 200Tdi imports starting next year. But trying to get one titled in CA won't happen. There won't be a '50 state' emission sticker under the hood, and no original Rover diesel motor would pass CARB/CHP scrutiny.

3) Already titled in CA - I remember running into a couple of threads where people are saying the DMV is even walking back on already titled diesels and refusing registration renewal.


So am I correct to say that, shy of somehow slipping one past (due to either DMV incompetence or some helpful nudge-wink) - only NAS trucks can really be happily titled and registered in California? And if I want diesel - the only channel would be to first obtain a NAS truck, and then do an engine swap CARB compliant diesel engine and transmission?

Do CARB-OK diesels that can legally be installed in a NAS D90 actually exist? (AFAIK there are yet more rules about what diesel engines could go in a gasoline powered car - year, donor vehicle class etc). Assuming this entire enterprise is even possible in California (perhaps an OM617 with the right provenance?) - what would be the ballpark cost? As a kit and to have the job done?

I'm under no illusion that this would a walk in the park. This is all hypothetical - it may well turn out to be an impractical pipe dream - but I'd just like to collect some information. Even if I don't end up doing it - perhaps this thread will be helpful for some other CA dweller pondering the same questions.

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old September 10th, 2014, 01:23 PM
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You should've put the word California in your thread title.
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Old September 10th, 2014, 01:28 PM
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You are talking about going down a path that may lead you to a bottomless pit. The State of Kalifornia is trying to save the world in oh so many ridiculous ways. I wouldn't even attempt to try to register any non CARB diesel vehicle there let alone live there.
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Old September 10th, 2014, 01:35 PM
fpdigit
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Peter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyboyUpstate View Post
You should've put the word California in your thread title.
Done

------ Follow up post added September 10th, 2014 12:43 PM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by javelinadave View Post
You are talking about going down a path that may lead you to a bottomless pit. The State of Kalifornia is trying to save the world in oh so many ridiculous ways. I wouldn't even attempt to try to register any non CARB diesel vehicle there let alone live there.
I won't disagree with your sentiment. Unfortunately this is where I've built my nest and where it makes the most sense for me to be for my line of work. As they say trying to making lemonade out of lemons.
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Old September 10th, 2014, 02:50 PM
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So i thought it used to be that diesels were exempt from emissions testing in CA. When did this change? In the last year and a half or so?
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Old September 10th, 2014, 03:02 PM
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I know there are owners who live and drive diesel LR in California. But I only know one personally. He might be of assistance. Go to his website and try to contact him there. I haven't chatted with him in a few years. His name is Craig Reece. www.plantdrive.com

After visiting his website, it looks like he might have sold out to his partner.
Not sure if he is still there. He was living in or near San Francisco.
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Old September 10th, 2014, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fpdigit View Post
The main thing that has kept me from getting a D90 is that I only really want diesel but it seems owning one where I live (NorCal) is easier said than done.
If that's the only reason you want a 90, that's not a good reason (IMHO).
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  #8  
Old September 10th, 2014, 03:42 PM
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From everything I have heard/read, diesel is indeed a no-go in CA. There are (now) some good gas engines, depending on budget. On the plus side, they are quieter and you have the potential for more useable power, depending on use. You might explore that?
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  #9  
Old September 10th, 2014, 03:47 PM
fpdigit
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Peter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonoronos View Post
If that's the only reason you want a 90, that's not a good reason (IMHO).
No it isn't the only reason I want a D90. But it IS a reason I haven't already simply gotten a 3.8 gas NAS 90 (They come up fairly often on craigslist- there was one going in SoCal recently by a member here - the one with the slightly weird cage)
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  #10  
Old September 10th, 2014, 04:01 PM
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Chris
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Move out of Kalifonia if you want a diesel.
Btw: the gas powered ones are 3.9 liters
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  #11  
Old September 10th, 2014, 04:28 PM
fpdigit
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Peter
1985 LR90 2.5NA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuisC View Post
I know there are owners who live and drive diesel LR in California. But I only know one personally. He might be of assistance. Go to his website and try to contact him there. I haven't chatted with him in a few years. His name is Craig Reece. www.plantdrive.com

After visiting his website, it looks like he might have sold out to his partner.
Not sure if he is still there. He was living in or near San Francisco.
Thanks for the lead. I found his profile on the internet. Will send him a PM.

------ Follow up post added September 10th, 2014 03:35 PM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elbee View Post
So i thought it used to be that diesels were exempt from emissions testing in CA. When did this change? In the last year and a half or so?
Some sources (e.g. this on the DMV site https://www.dmv.ca.gov/vr/smogfaq.htm) do suggest that but there are so many overlapping and contradictory regulations it's hard to know what kicks in when. For instance - whether titling has a different set of rules than SMOG (which is based on the registration cycle).

On top of that - there are threads where people claim to have to sell as they could not get their diesel rovers renewed. If anyone this has happened to could share their experience....
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