Whats legal? Frame Swaps, Importing, etc - Page 17 - Defender Source
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  #321  
Old April 26th, 2013, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daddymow View Post
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!

Exactly...half the hot rods out there are illegal..
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  #322  
Old April 26th, 2013, 11:22 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??
That to me is the safe harbor approach. Even pulling a 2.5 NA diesel and dropping in a 200Tdi could be seen as risky.

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What about RH to LH drive conversions?
RHD>LHD would push you away from Factory spec and into potential trouble.
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  #323  
Old April 26th, 2013, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by ipgregory View Post
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 Tampering being changing the configuration of the engine so that its original emissions set up is no longer valid.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.
This doesn't make any sense to me. If you blew a gasket and cracked the block you are SOL since the new block will not have the correct engine serial # from factory? You have no chance of putting in a replacement engine? That seems like a complete waste. We have to scrap the whole truck because the engine is toast?
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  #324  
Old April 26th, 2013, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Tophat View Post
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 isc ompletely factory original as far as Chassis, engine, driveline and bodytype??
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tophat View Post

What about RH to LH drive conversions?
Correct on the 1st part. They will most likely decode the VIN # and compare it to the body type and engine type. If they don’t match then you may have issues.

RHD/LHD conversions prior to import are considered a no go on 2 fronts. 1, they consider it VIN tampering as the brake booster bracket must be moved and it carries a VIN plate and 2 its changing the configuration from the original.

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Originally Posted by don View Post
Thanks for the info ipgregory.
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Originally Posted by don View Post

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?
Any engine that does not match the original type of engine fitted is a no go. If it left the factory with a V8 or a 2.5 diesel for example then it must still have the same type of engine fitted when it turns up at port. There is an engine type code stamped on the engine block that tells the type of engine fitted. This code must match what theVIN says it should be or you may have problems. 2.5NA/2.5TD/200TDi/300TDi although all the same basic block, all have different type codes and are not being considered the same engine types. This is based on recent activity at the ports where TDi engine trucks have been stopped recently.

According to the EPA if you change the engine in an import truck at any time you lose the exemption you were granted on import (see answer from their email in my post above). Do it before it may not come in, do it after it may not be legal to drive on the road here. If you change it for a US Type approved engine then you would probably want to check the specifics directly with EPA AND DOT as both grant you an exemption to bring the truck here and both must be maintained to use the truck here in the US. Both state the truck must be in its original factory configuration.

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Originally Posted by MUDSUX View Post
This doesn'tmake any sense to me. If you blew a gasket and cracked the block you are SOLsince the new block will not have the correct engine serial # from factory? You have no chance of putting in a replacement engine? That seems like a complete waste. We have to scrap the whole truck because the engine is toast?


No, the serial number contains 2 pieces of information. The engine type code and the unique engine serial #. The serial # must match the vehicle paperwork (Engine # is listed on the UK V5 registration document for example) and the engine type must match the engine type given in the VIN #. They don’t know what the engine # was it left the factory with, only the engine type.
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  #325  
Old April 26th, 2013, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ipgregory View Post
....No, the serial number contains 2 pieces of information. The engine type code and the unique engine serial #. The serial # must match the vehicle paperwork (Engine # is listed on the UK V5 registration document for example) and the engine type must match the engine type given in the VIN #. They donít know what the engine # was it left the factory with, only the engine type.
Oh, so engine type for engine type. V8 for V8. So a 4.0 block replacing a 3.5 block is ok? Sorry, as this is all confusing to me, and thanks for taking the time out to clarify this issude for us.
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  #326  
Old April 26th, 2013, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by MUDSUX View Post
Oh, so engine type for engine type. V8 for V8. So a 4.0 block replacing a 3.5 block is ok? Sorry, as this is all confusing to me, and thanks for taking the time out to clarify this issude for us.
I think the answer is in post #307.

But I'm also about ready to wave the white flag....in confusion......
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  #327  
Old April 26th, 2013, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by MUDSUX View Post
Oh, so engine type for engine type. V8 for V8. So a 4.0 block replacing a 3.5 block is ok? Sorry, as this is all confusing to me, and thanks for taking the time out to clarify this issude for us.
This is where it gets sticky. 3.5/3.9/4.0/4.6 are all Rover V8s right? Well 2.5NA/2.5TD/200TDi/300TDi are all 2.5 diesels with a block that's about as common in nature as the V8s are as well and they are being determined as being 'different' because all of these engines have different engine codes (types). This type number is used to determine the emissions set up of the engine amongst other things. So as you can imagine its of interest to the EPA who cares about the emissions.

To follow the letter of the rules exactly you could be in the wrong for mixing ANY of the above. For example a 3.5 with carbs has 1 engine type, a 3.9 with 14CUX has another, a 4.0 with GEMS another and a 4.6 with GEMS another. All will provide different levels of emissions compliance in conjunction with the rest of the stuff they were fitted with at the factory (Cats, Evap Systems, SAI, etc.). If you change them around then you are 'tampering' with the emissions package that was approved or exempted depending on whether it is a US truck or an import. That by the rules makes them illegal to drive on the road.

So in a nutshell, no a 4.0 block cannot legally be used in place of a 3.5 because they are considered different engine types. If somebody is checking them then you may have issues. At import this might be a problem. After import? Depends on the type and level of checks you may have to go through. Emissions etc. People do it all the time as we know and how many get caught? Doesn't mean it wont or cant happen of course.

Now if you want to say put a 4.6 in your NAS truck you can do so quite legally as long as its the same age or younger than the truck you put it in. BUT to stay legal you need to also transfer all the GEMS/BOSCH stuff as well as the EVAP systems, etc. over to the truck you put it in. Not just the engine. Why do you think the 97 D90s have the stupid Rough Road partial ABS set up? Because the GEMS ECU needs it and they need the GEMS ECU to be legal in the 97 model year.

There are 3 factors here. 1, What is actually 'legal'? 2, What can you probably get away with? 3, What are the risks? You should consider all 3. Just because many, many people do it and have got away with it does not make it legal to do. Research the emissions tampering laws if you really want to know or call the EPA. The way they are written there is really very little you can legally do to an engine and stay within the law, but people do it all the time.

HTH

Ian
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  #328  
Old April 26th, 2013, 02:27 PM
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Thanks for the explanation Ian,

Seems we are not allowed to do anything to make these things more efficient or safer. They would rather we drive around a rusted out frame and smoking V8s than put a new frame under it and modify the engine for better fuel economy and performance.

------ Follow up post added April 26th, 2013 02:27 PM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
I think the answer is in post #307.

But I'm also about ready to wave the white flag....in confusion......
Yeah I read that 3 times and still confused. I'm waving the white flag too
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  #329  
Old April 26th, 2013, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by MUDSUX View Post
Seems we are not allowed to do anything to make these things more efficient or safer. They would rather we drive around a rusted out frame and smoking V8s than put a new frame under it and modify the engine for better fuel economy and performance
You certainly are you just need to prove it...

The problem is not that you are improving the set up of the vehicle but that you didn't prove it on paper.

The EPA has a compliance process that all vehicles must go through to be sold here. They must be tested and prove that they meet the emissions requirements at the time and they are then given a type approval. Then the 'configuration' which is THAT engine with THAT set of emissions equipment in THAT chassis for THAT year get an OK. Its documented and as long as you don't change it and everything works as it should you can happily pass your emissions tests or whatever scrutiny you may come under.

If you 'build' a new 'untested' configuration using vehicle type A and engine type Z in your garage or at a local shop then there is no documentation to PROVE that you built a better vehicle is there? There is a process that allows YOU to apply for and obtain an approval for the particular configuration you built up in just the same way as a vehicle manufacturer like LR but its very expensive. There is nothing to stop you importing or sourcing the pieces of a truck and an engine, building them up in your garage or wherever and applying for an EPA approval. IF you pass your vehicle would be quite legal. But a one off.
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  #330  
Old April 26th, 2013, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by ipgregory View Post
You certainly are you just need to prove it...

The problem is not that you are improving the set up of the vehicle but that you didn't prove it on paper.
Yes of course and I said that "tongue in cheek".

I just don't see too many guys running to get the proof on paper after adding that Holly carb or Edelbrock intake. I highly doubt the hot rod guys are doing it all properly either
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  #331  
Old April 26th, 2013, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by MUDSUX View Post
They would rather we drive around a rusted out frame
The EPA couldn't care less about your rusty frame that's DOT. DOT also couldn't care less about it other than the fact that it carries the ONLY permanent copy of the factory applied VIN # on that vehicle. When/If you change it you remove the only permanent record of the vehicles identity and that comes under the VIN tampering laws.

Rusted out doors/hood/roof/etc.? No problem, put new ones on as they don't have a VIN # on them. Rusted out frame? Different issue because it does. Your state may or may not have a process for recording the continuation of the vehicles identity in the event of a frame swap. If they do and you follow it then you should be OK. If they don't or you don't follow it, how can you now prove beyond a doubt that this vehicle is the same one the paperwork says it is? If its an import and you cant prove its identity then how can you prove its really 25ys old and legal to be here and driven?

The frame issue is really about identity not safety.

------ Follow up post added April 26th, 2013 11:52 AM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by MUDSUX View Post
Yes of course and I said that "tongue in cheek".

I just don't see too many guys running to get the proof on paper after adding that Holly carb or Edelbrock intake. I highly doubt the hot rod guys are doing it all properly either
Nope, doesn't mean what they are doing is legal though does it? The title of this thread is "what's legal?"....
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  #332  
Old June 17th, 2013, 02:30 AM
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I have sold a 1986 110 to the US a few weeks ago.
It has the original chassis galvanized. It has a 300TDI and auto gearbox. It has been converted from RHD to LHD. Brake discs on rear axle, modern color, alloy wheels with big tires, smooth roof, modern interior.
It entered the US (Houston) without problems....
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  #333  
Old June 17th, 2013, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by stobbie View Post
I have sold a 1986 110 to the US a few weeks ago.
It has the original chassis galvanized. It has a 300TDI and auto gearbox. It has been converted from RHD to LHD. Brake discs on rear axle, modern color, alloy wheels with big tires, smooth roof, modern interior.
It entered the US (Houston) without problems....
That's not really the point.
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I am talking purely from an aesthetics standpoint.
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  #334  
Old August 30th, 2013, 10:28 AM
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Has anyone heard of a Defender being turned back for having Range Rover wheels but original in every other way ?
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  #335  
Old August 30th, 2013, 10:33 AM
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Has anyone heard of a Defender being turned back for having Range Rover wheels but original in every other way ?
Ken- yes It has been in a couple of seizure letters. Alloys were not original to 80's defenders.
They get down to the fabric on the seats in some of these seizure letters.

------ Follow up post added August 30th, 2013 10:36 AM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by stobbie View Post
I have sold a 1986 110 to the US a few weeks ago.
It has the original chassis galvanized. It has a 300TDI and auto gearbox. It has been converted from RHD to LHD. Brake discs on rear axle, modern color, alloy wheels with big tires, smooth roof, modern interior.
It entered the US (Houston) without problems....
You got lucky. I asked DOT for permission to import that very truck (if not an identical one) for Michael @ Riverhouse. Sachs the head of import compliance @ DOT advised me "not to try it".
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  #336  
Old December 3rd, 2013, 02:19 PM
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I am relatively new to the Land Rover community and details of importation of these vehicles. However, I feel this thread has given me a descent understanding of what works and what does not. I am unfortunately still very unsure of insuring these vehicles. For instance, if I were to buy a 85 110 LHD complete stock would I be able to find insurance companies that would insure the vehicle and if so has there been precedent of major accidents covering these vehicles? Please share your experience in the matter and what insurance companies have historically been good to the rover community.
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  #337  
Old December 3rd, 2013, 02:53 PM
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If it is legally imported and insured then there is no issue. Where the rumor mill gained momentum was a scenario where someone with a vin swapped truck got in an accident. I have been driving imports for 5 years and have had no issues and yes I did have a claim once.
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  #338  
Old December 3rd, 2013, 03:04 PM
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I appreciate your response Doug. It would be my fair assumption to take your word as gospel regarding these trucks. I have read your posts and visited your website frequently to gather as much information as possible. The insurance questions was my last bit of "what if" that I have on buying a 110. I will be contacting you shortly to discuss.

Thanks,
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  #339  
Old December 3rd, 2013, 03:32 PM
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Josh you are making a wise choice to use Doug's service. He is the best at what he does. It's money well spent. Good luck with your search.
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  #340  
Old December 3rd, 2013, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Archbronco View Post
I appreciate your response Doug. It would be my fair assumption to take your word as gospel regarding these trucks. I have read your posts and visited your website frequently to gather as much information as possible. The insurance questions was my last bit of "what if" that I have on buying a 110. I will be contacting you shortly to discuss.

Thanks,
Josh
What is Uncle Douglas web site?
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