Whats legal? Frame Swaps, Importing, etc - Page 16 - Defender Source
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  #301  
Old April 21st, 2013, 11:32 AM
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As far as I heard all the horror stories I wouldn't take the risk. This is why my company only buys and sells completely factory original cars.
If you do want to take the risk and want some eyes on this side of the pond give me a shout and I can check the car out for you.
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  #302  
Old April 21st, 2013, 12:37 PM
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I guess that's why no one is bidding on it...looked pretty good though.

------ Follow up post added April 21st, 2013 11:38 AM ------

Here's this link to the eBay auction if anyone is interested http://item.mobileweb.ebay.com/viewi...933&cmd=VISPEC
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  #303  
Old April 25th, 2013, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ipgregory View Post
Looks like I get to answer my own question...

Based on a phone conversation with EPA this morning we have an response on the 21yr rule interpretation from them. The guy at EPA stated that he was already well versed with the LR Engine Swaps situation and was already primed with the answer.

According to the EPA the 21yr exemption applies to a truck that maintains its original configuration (same as their import rules). If you change that configuration with an engine that is younger than 21yrs then you lose the 21yr exemption. If that configuration is changed (engine change) then the (EPA) age of the vehicle is determined by the age of the engine. That's why the emissions stuff has to be included as the emissions rules for the vehicle will now match those in effect for the model year of the new engine you've fitted. Since you are not allowed to fit an engine that is older than the vehicle then the vehicles (EPA) age would remain the same or get younger depending on the age of the engine you put in. This applies to US Type accepted engines.

When asked about fitting non-type accepted engines that are older than 21yrs to trucks also over 21yrs his response was, you CANNOT fit a non-type accepted engine of a different type to the one the vehicle was originally manufactured with PERIOD. He re-iterated that the 21yr exemption is based on the vehicles original configuration. If you change that configuration, you lose the exemption and the vehicle must then comply with EPA rules.

Ian
To confirm this I emailed the EPA and asked them 2 questions.

Question 1, Can I fit a 21 year old or older non-type approved engine to an imported vehicle that was imported under the 25yr exemption?

Answer (quote):
If the vehicle is at least 21 years old (the age of the vehicle is determined by subtracting the calendar year of manufacture from the calendar year of importation). If the calendar year of manufacture is unavailable, the importer may substitute the model year or year of first registration. For instance, to qualify in 2001, the vehicle must have been manufactured in 1980 or earlier.The vehicle must be in its original unmodified configuration. Vehicles at least 21 years old with replacement engines are not eligible for this exemption unless they contain equivalent or newer EPA certified engines. This means that the engine needs to be a direct replacement (original replacement engine from the OEM) or an after market engine that was built to be identical to the original engine.

If a vehicle is imported under this rule and you change the engine to a different engine than what it was originally manufactured with then it would no longer be exempt under the age exemption and you would be manufacturing a new configuration (new motor vehicle) and would require the vehicle be certified to current EPA Federal emission standards. Once the vehicle is in the U.S. and governed by U.S. regulations then it would fall under engine tampering.


Question 2, Can I fit a 21 year old or older non-type approved engine to a truck that was sold new here in the US but is now 21yrs old or older (i.e. soon to be NAS Trucks)?

Answer (quote):
If you change the engine to a different engine than what it was originally manufactured with then it would no longer be a certified configuration and you would be manufacturing a new configuration (new motor vehicle)and would require the vehicle be certified to current EPA Federal emission standards. This would also fall under engine tampering.

So in a nutshell you cannot fit a non-type approved engine (200TDi, 300TDi, TD5, etc.) to a Defender and either import it or fit one to a truck already here and legally drive it on the road here in the US unless its of the same type as that originally fitted to the vehicle at the factory. Right now this would apply to 2.5NA and 2.5TD engines only as the others are too young still.

There is an unanswered question regarding vehicles older than the start of the EPA rules (1968 for Light duty Gas and 1975 for light duty Diesel), but that doesn't apply to the Defenders we're talking about as they are all 83 or younger.

If you are unsure or want to get direct advice on your own set up or intended changes then they recommend you contact them directly to confirm the legality of your specific set up. You can contact them here:

David C. Hurlin
URS, Contractor
EPA Imports Line
Imports Group
Compliance Division
Imports@epa.gov
Phone: (734) 214-4100
Fax: (734) 214-4676
2000 Traverwood Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48105

HTH

Ian
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  #304  
Old April 25th, 2013, 07:25 PM
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Did this EPA contact happen to cite any legal authority for the proposition that a vehicle imported under a "permanent exemption" from EPA regulation would be no longer be exempt if one non-complying engine was swapped for another?

Just curious. I note that EPA literature uses both the words "exempt" and "excluded". I suspect that they interpret them differently, the former used to describe non-compliant imports >21 years old in their "original configuration" and the latter referring to older, pre-EPA (non-compliant) vehicles.

I will say that regardless of what the law actually is on this, it's helpful to know the EPA's interpretation.

Also the answer to question #2, if accurate, means that almost everyone who installs a crate motor from Jegs in a 1968 or newer car is breaking the law.
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  #305  
Old April 25th, 2013, 07:33 PM
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I don't understand something here. Is a 200 tdi not a type approved engine for a NAS D90? Does the NAS spec somehow negate that they sold the same vehicle in the UK with a 200tdi (or 300tdi - whichever it was)? This doesn't make any sense to. me. It seems in 2015 a 1994 D90 should be legal with a [23]00tdi.
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  #306  
Old April 25th, 2013, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meatblanket View Post
Did this EPA contact happen to cite any legal authority for the proposition that a vehicle imported under a "permanent exemption" from EPA regulation would be no longer be exempt if one non-complying engine was swapped for another?

Just curious. I note that EPA literature uses both the words "exempt" and "excluded". I suspect that they interpret them differently, the former used to describe non-compliant imports >21 years old in their "original configuration" and the latter referring to older, pre-EPA (non-compliant) vehicles.

I will say that regardless of what the law actually is on this, it's helpful to know the EPA's interpretation.

Also the answer to question #2, if accurate, means that almost everyone who installs a crate motor from Jegs in a 1968 or newer car is breaking the law.

Didn't we go over this enough on Expo? I specifically put the non-type excepted bit in bold and underlined it. If the Jegs crate engine is a compliant engine configuration (it has and you fit the emissions eqpt. and is certified) then its not part of the statement is it?

EDIT - Again as I told you on Expo, he never quoted the underlying law, just the interpretation they are using. He mentioned in the phone conversation that he is putting all these types of enquiries through their legal department prior to answering so I am pretty sure its not far off.
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  #307  
Old April 25th, 2013, 07:41 PM
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So why does the EPA even have the 21 year exemption? Seems it can't even be used in anything, anywhere, at anytime. Perhaps as a large, but cumbersome, paperweight?
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  #308  
Old April 25th, 2013, 07:41 PM
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Take a look at this

http://www.epa.gov/compliance/enforc.../engswitch.pdf

It's old (1991) but seems to agree with the #2 statement above
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  #309  
Old April 25th, 2013, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgalpin View Post
I don't understand something here. Is a 200 tdi not a type approved engine for a NAS D90? Does the NAS spec somehow negate that they sold the same vehicle in the UK with a 200tdi (or 300tdi - whichever it was)? This doesn't make any sense to. me. It seems in 2015 a 1994 D90 should be legal with a [23]00tdi.
When we get to the point that you can import a 200TDi or 300TDi factory spec truck due to them being over 25yrs old they will be legal according to the rules. Until then, no. It will still not be legal to fit those engines to a truck sold new here in the US (i.e. NAS) however as they where never tested or sold new here in that configuration and the imported trucks are only legal due to the exemption provided by its age and factory configuration.

------ Follow up post added April 25th, 2013 05:47 PM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanwind View Post
So why does the EPA even have the 21 year exemption? Seems it can't even be used in anything, anywhere, at anytime. Perhaps as a large, but cumbersome, paperweight?

You can use it quite easily. Take a US TYPE APPROVED ENGINE (i.e not a 200TDi, 300TDi, etc.) and its related emissions equipment. As long as it is the same age or newer than the US truck you want to install it into you are good to go. The 21yr exemption relates to the requirement for emissions and is conditional on the vehicle retaining its original configuration. If you change it (new engine) then you lose the exemption and must now comply. Since you have a US type approved engine and the relevant emissions equipment its no problem. Its only when you have a NON-US APPROVED engine in play that you run into these issue.

That's how you can quite legally fit your GM LSx into your US truck or Chip Foose can put some big ass crate motor into an old hot rod.
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  #310  
Old April 25th, 2013, 07:59 PM
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I put this all up on the Expo forum a while ago after I received the email response. We've been round and round on there at length on it.

I only put it here today and revived the thread because when I was commenting on Rivermike's thread earlier I remembered I had never put it up here where it should also be.
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  #311  
Old April 25th, 2013, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipgregory View Post
You can use it quite easily. Take a US TYPE APPROVED ENGINE
If we were talking about US type-approved engines, why the heck would one need an EPA exemption to begin with? Am I the only one confused by this?
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  #312  
Old April 25th, 2013, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanwind View Post
If we were talking about US type-approved engines, why the heck would one need an EPA exemption to begin with? Am I the only one confused by this?
You get an exemption from emissions compliance (testing) basically at the Fed level. Some state laws may override that though and still require testing. The exemption is only valid however as long as the truck retains its original configuration. Change it and it becomes void according to the EPA and you are now required to conform to emissions rules again. On a US truck with a US engine its pretty meaningless as you say as long as you keep all the emissions equipment intact.

If you take a US truck and fit a non US engine to it however then it has more meaning as the resultant configuration of engine and chassis has no type approval (was never sold or tested here) so must now comply with the emissions standards. Since the engine is not compliant then you cant. So there is no way to make it legal without applying to the EPA and obtaining a specific type approval for the configuration you built. And that is costly to do.

If you take an import truck and change the configuration of the engine then you again lose the EPA exemption and the truck must now comply. Since there is no compliance statement for it then it cant so its not legal. Unless you want to apply for one again?
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  #313  
Old April 25th, 2013, 09:19 PM
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Two questions:

1. What about guys who have legally imported 3.5 Rover V8s and they take off the SU carbs and put on Edelbrock intakes and carbs for better performance?


2. What if they rebuild a Rover 4.0 V8 block and use the original top end? Is that ok?
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  #314  
Old April 25th, 2013, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by MUDSUX View Post
Two questions:

1. What about guys who have legally imported 3.5 Rover V8s and they take off the SU carbs and put on Edelbrock intakes and carbs for better performance?


2. What if they rebuild a Rover 4.0 V8 block and use the original top end? Is that ok?
You'd have to talk to the EPA to get a proper answer but on the surface I would say you might be going against the tampering rules. Tampering being changing the configuration of the engine so that its original emissions set up is no longer valid. That's just a speculation on my part though you'd have to check. I think many, many people probably unwittingly break these all the time...

From what I can see, pretty much ANY modification you make to an engine here in the US that changes it from its stock configuration could be considered tampering. If it still has the correct engine serial # for the type of engine supposed to be in the truck and you still pass any applicable emissions tests I would say its pretty tough to get caught unless they are really after you for something.
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  #315  
Old April 25th, 2013, 10:13 PM
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All this noise, and "calls" to EPA, CBP, NHTSB etc etc is certainly going to raise eyebrows somewhere, and methinks my earlier statement that you are not as safe as you seem with a 300TDi in a truck may hold true....why keep up all the hype - posts that go on and on like this give the gov't weenies ideas about what to look for and certainly who to go after.

Just stop!
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  #316  
Old April 25th, 2013, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1971Series88 View Post
give the gov't weenies ideas about what to look for
You think they really need OUR help to work it out?

Now if somebody wants to post up in a public forum about their illegally modified truck then yes I think they are just making somebodies job easier for them. Discussing the rules however is not the same thing. There are MANY people out there who have no idea what they are and how to avoid breaking them. In the current climate I think its important to help get the rules out there so that people have a better idea on what they can and cannot do. If knowing them they then still choose to break them and or post up about it all over the net then that's their business and why should we as a community either protect them or condone it?

Edit - Doesn't this thread exist simply to help people with understanding what is and isn't illegal? There is SO much misinformation and urban myth out there, contacting the authorities and asking them what is allowable has become almost the only way to get a proper understanding.
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  #317  
Old April 26th, 2013, 12:58 AM
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And how do those knuckleheads on that TV show GasMonkey get away with all the crazy shit they do to those old hot rods they fix up and sell? On the color TV no less!
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  #318  
Old April 26th, 2013, 04:53 AM
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So, long story short, if I understand correct the only way to import and/or drive a 25+ year old Defender in the US is when the car is completely factory original as far as Chassis, engine, driveline and bodytype??

What about RH to LH drive conversions?
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  #319  
Old April 26th, 2013, 09:55 AM
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Thanks for the info ipgregory.

I really need a flow diagram or even computer(java/vb) code as I can't read legal speak for shit. So if a Defender comes in 25 years old as a gas vehicle a diesel motor is a no go. But if it does come in with a 2.5 or whatever diesel a 200tdi is fine?

What about a US diesel motor swap like a Mercedes or the 4BT/6BT? Ex: 1985 Defender with a 1985 or newer US Mercedes diesel engine?
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  #320  
Old April 26th, 2013, 09:57 AM
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Thanks for the help. It's better than what cbp told me...to check their website.
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