Whats legal? Frame Swaps, Importing, etc - Page 3 - Defender Source
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  #41  
Old May 10th, 2006, 02:58 PM
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Those kit cars are usually registered as home-builts or as kit cars, which has its own category.

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  #42  
Old May 10th, 2006, 04:20 PM
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You can't register a late model Defender which has it's own VIN as a 109 "replica"

Kit cars don't have a VIN, they are assigned one after they are assembled and the origin of the parts meets the criteria of a 'kit car.' A vehicle which has a VIN (like a mass produced car of any type) cannot be taken apart and then called a 'kit.'

In the instance of the MGB with a Heritage body- the car keeps the original VIN because it is being rebuilt as original. You can't say that putting a 110 body on a 110 frame and putting the VIN off an unrelated 109 is anywhere close to the same thing. It's changing it into an entirely different model- and the Defender already had it's own VIN. The intent of the project would be obvious- to get around having to use the undesired later model VIN to avoid importation and EPA/DOT laws.
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  #43  
Old May 10th, 2006, 05:48 PM
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Lets not forget there is most likely a BIG difference in how insurance companies handle kit cars as well.

-Hans
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  #44  
Old May 10th, 2006, 09:15 PM
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Like all of you, I'm glad we are having this discussion. 25 years ago while in law school, I imported around 60 european grey market cars. Many of the rules on importing vehicles we had then have changed, but the basic DOT safety standards are still with us, as well as the emissions standards. The general rule on importing cars now is that only those that were built to conform to US safety and emissions standards may be imported, the main exception being vehicles more than 25 years old-they can come in with virtually no restrictions. While there are certified remanufacturers out there who can alter and certify a non-conforming vehicle for importation and use here, the cost of conversion makes this an unattractive alternative. Credit these rules to Ralph Nader, Joan Claiborne and others who pushed hard for safer cars, and who can argue that cars aren't safer now than they were 20 years ago. Safe cars save lives.
Focus next on the laws that forbid transferring a VIN from one vehicle to another. A big reason for these rules is to prevent auto theft, and to give the prosecutor to have a weapon to deal with chop shop operators and similar crooks.
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  #45  
Old May 10th, 2006, 09:23 PM
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There's no reason to transfer a VIN to another vehicle except in a situation like the Heritage bodies for MG etc where the replacement part IS the frame and body.
All manufactured vehicles have a VIN already- and the ones without are issued a VIN based on a Certificate of Origin from the manufacturer. I believe one can even generate a title on a Heritage replacement MG body- but when I did it, I was advised that the engine year would be what the state put on the title. I asked about using a NEW engine and the DMV lady gulped hard and said "that would make it a little more involved, I think."
The kit car arguements don't hold water when you're taking apart a vehicle that already has a VIN. Kit cars don't have pre-existing VINs.
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  #46  
Old May 10th, 2006, 09:42 PM
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Does anyone here know how far down you have to disassemble a Land Rover to import it as "parts"? For example, if you simply removed the drive train is that sufficient? Nobody at Customs seems to know or be willing to tell me.
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  #47  
Old May 10th, 2006, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pendy
Under the rules you spoke about that does not seem correct. If a frame were replaced then I think only proof of purchase of the frame in question would be necessary to provide, to prove the frame was not stolen. And maybe cut the leg off the original frame with the VIN# attached to demonstrate that the work was completed as claimed.

As far as I am concerned at the state level their job is to make sure that the vehicle is not stolen. Not enforce Federal mandates. If they fear the vehicle to be unsafe to use thier states highways then they should forward the issue to the correct Federal office.

JP
Jim - As to your first paragraph, yes, proof of purchase would suffice to prove it not stolen. I was trying to convey that if a guy was to get pulled over and the officer checked for a secondary VIN which was different, it would be a problem if that receipt was not in hand.

As to the 2nd para... not quite right. In Ca. there is a specific vehicle code section for "unsafe vehicle" which gives the officer the authority to impound it on the spot. There is also a section giving authority for a safety inspection at any time, any vehicle on the road, pursuant to a pc stop.

To be clear, the priority with enforcement is definitely auto theft, but safety is big issue as well.
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  #48  
Old May 10th, 2006, 11:04 PM
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Technically it's has nothing to do with the state of assembly, but instead the issue is getting the few critical parts in. Things that identify the vehicle as a non-US approved assembly would be the ones that are restricted from being imported. These would be the VIN stamped parts, as the VIN includes the information regarding point of manufacture, engine type, and country that it is built for. In the case of a D-90, it's the chassis and bulkhead.

-Hans

Follow-up Post:

Phil: Excellent point about Police officers being able to impound on the spot. That one Defender that somebody posted from an E-bay is a great example of that possibility. It was imported from Italy, and was missing a number of required lights. An observant officer would notice the 2 missing side marker lights, and missing tail-light here in NY and pull them over on the spot. And most Judges I've ever run across would only give so much leeway with the whole "But I bought it like that" defense.

-Hans
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  #49  
Old May 11th, 2006, 12:01 AM
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Yeah, every state is different with enforcement. If I was still on the job in Ca. I wouldn't have been able to drive my D90 to work. I had about 4 blatant violations going on (all infractions) and the first time parking in the office lot I would have gotten a visit from a SGT pretty quick. Here in Ohio, I never got pulled over once in 2 1/2 yrs.
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  #50  
Old May 11th, 2006, 12:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gearco
Does anyone here know how far down you have to disassemble a Land Rover to import it as "parts"? For example, if you simply removed the drive train is that sufficient? Nobody at Customs seems to know or be willing to tell me.
This might be the info you are looking for.

Importing a vehicle under 25 years of age as Parts
http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/...l#Anchor-42790

9. Importing a vehicle for parts.
If a vehicle originally manufactured for on-road use is shipped with its engine and drive train, it would be regarded as a motor vehicle for the purpose of the vehicle importation laws, and would have to be declared as such. If the vehicle was not originally manufactured to comply with all applicable FMVSS, it could not be lawfully imported unless it is determined eligible for importation by NHTSA and is imported by an RI or by a person who has a contract with an RI to modify the vehicle so that it conforms to all applicable standards following importation.

If a vehicle is shipped without its engine and drive train, it would be treated, for importation purposes, not as a motor vehicle but instead as an assemblage of motor vehicle equipment items. In this instance, the vehicle would be entered under Box 1 on the HS-7 Declaration form, which covers motor vehicle equipment not covered by a standard, or manufactured before the date that an applicable standard takes effect. Any items included in the assemblage that are subject to an FMVSS (brake hoses, brake fluid, glazing, lighting equipment, seat belt assemblies, tires, rims) that were not manufactured to comply with the applicable standard, and/or were not so certified by their original manufacturer, must be removed from the assemblage and exported or destroyed before entry. Any covered equipment items that were manufactured in compliance with the applicable FMVSS, and were so certified, must be entered under Box 2A.
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  #51  
Old May 11th, 2006, 10:14 AM
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I purchased my D90 in Georgia and registered it in Texas. One of the requirements for the registration of an out of state vehical was a VIN check where the inspector walked around the truck and checked the VIN # on the bulkhead and frame. Depending on where you live, it could be difficult to register a car with mis-matched VIN #'s without the proper documentation.
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  #52  
Old May 11th, 2006, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d901560
I purchased my D90 in Georgia and registered it in Texas. One of the requirements for the registration of an out of state vehical was a VIN check where the inspector walked around the truck and checked the VIN # on the bulkhead and frame. Depending on where you live, it could be difficult to register a car with mis-matched VIN #'s without the proper documentation.
Same procedure here in Colorado. ANY out of state vehicle must have a VIN check done prior to registration. As I found out the hard way, this even includes brand new vehicles with a manufacturer's certificate of origin (I bought my Wife's MINI from Mini of the Hamptons and had it shipped out).
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  #53  
Old May 11th, 2006, 01:07 PM
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Its the chassis and the windscreen. The frame has a VIN# and the other VIN# is attached to the windscreen around the windshield. This is bolted between the roof/softtop and the bulkhead. Grey market defender vehicles have the VIN# on the frame and the brake booster tower. Another removable part that can swap easily between vehcles during repair procedures.

New replacement frames are being sold without VIN# stamped into them and of course a reciept would be supplied with them.

If the bulkhead from a 109' were used and the VIN# on the bulkhead were not tampered with, I think the rest of the vehicle could be assembled as required. With reciepts available and safety sytems for its era intact. Headlights, safety belts, horn, etc...

Of course you get a VIN# inspection when you move state to state. And of course a police officer has a right to take a vehicle off the road if it is unsafe to drive. Some of the minor differences between European and USA vehicles do not make them unsafe to operate on the road. And without the knowledge that the vehicle is nonUSA spec I think all safety inspection parameters outlined for a police officer to look for would be acceptable in a homebuilt defender.

I certainly agree that VIN# swapping is illegal. And I do not have my mind made up on many details of this discussion. But I know enough about what is going on here to play devils advocate about the feasability of building vehicles from parts.

Jim Pendleton

Phil can you go into detail about why you did not want to drive you D90 into work as a police officer?
What safety items were out of spec that made you worry about taking it to work.
Thanks for sharing your unique knowledge of this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans
Technically it's has nothing to do with the state of assembly, but instead the issue is getting the few critical parts in. Things that identify the vehicle as a non-US approved assembly would be the ones that are restricted from being imported. These would be the VIN stamped parts, as the VIN includes the information regarding point of manufacture, engine type, and country that it is built for. In the case of a D-90, it's the chassis and bulkhead.

-Hans

Follow-up Post:

Phil: Excellent point about Police officers being able to impound on the spot. That one Defender that somebody posted from an E-bay is a great example of that possibility. It was imported from Italy, and was missing a number of required lights. An observant officer would notice the 2 missing side marker lights, and missing tail-light here in NY and pull them over on the spot. And most Judges I've ever run across would only give so much leeway with the whole "But I bought it like that" defense.

-Hans
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  #54  
Old May 11th, 2006, 01:19 PM
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You know, I just had another thought on this whole matter.

Didn't production of coil-sprung 90's and 110's originally start in the UK in 1986? If so, then it's only another 5 years until you can LEGALLY start importing Defender 110's into the US again, though only the very earliest examples. And as time goes on, the pool of LEGAL trucks available for import will only increase. Figuring in the cost difference, I wonder if we will start seeing shops bring them in here in any decent numbers.

-Hans
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  #55  
Old May 11th, 2006, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pendy

Phil can you go into detail about why you did not want to drive you D90 into work as a police officer?
What safety items were out of spec that made you worry about taking it to work.
Thanks for sharing your unique knowledge of this.
Sure Jim - I had no front license plate (no mount for it on the RW winch bumper), modified exhaust (borla), no reflectors to the rear, no rear bumper (shrockworks tire carrier and rear corner bumperettes), and if I'd have gone to a 285/75 tire like I had planned that probably would have been another if the tire stuck out past the fender flare (not sure if that would have been the case). Obviously, a completely stock truck wouldn't have these violations. My dept was extraordinarily strict about the conduct of its officers. They are very PR conscious and pride themselves on professionalism. They are not going to let someone go out in a patrol car and issue citations for things the officer is in violation of himself. They just don't tolerate that kind of thing. Maybe other depts are less strict, I don't know. BTW, that was a hypothetical, I didn't have my 90 when I lived in Ca.
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  #56  
Old May 11th, 2006, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans
You know, I just had another thought on this whole matter.

Didn't production of coil-sprung 90's and 110's originally start in the UK in 1986? If so, then it's only another 5 years until you can LEGALLY start importing Defender 110's into the US again, though only the very earliest examples. And as time goes on, the pool of LEGAL trucks available for import will only increase. Figuring in the cost difference, I wonder if we will start seeing shops bring them in here in any decent numbers.

-Hans
1983 for the 110
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  #57  
Old May 17th, 2006, 01:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DEF110
Being that I am stationed in the UK and in LOVE with my 110. If it could cook and clean, I would be in haven. (Just kidding if the wife reads this)

I have looked into bringing a newer 110 back to the US with me. Not going to happen as I am not willing to have it impounded and crushed at the port.

I have extended to stay in England until 2008 that makes my 110, 25 years old and do not have to worry about the import. So I am now in the process of rebuilding my 1983 Land Rover 110 from the ground up.

It will only be 11/2 year till the first 110s will be 25 years old and then you will see a flood of 110 being imported into the US.
Well, just to muddy the water further, I think DEF110 is on the right track. So here's a thought: in 2008, you guys south of the 49th will be able to legally import a 1983 110 into the US with no trouble. So here's what you can start planning to do: start contacting Land Rover garages and rebuilders in the UK, to locate a 1983 110 with its UK V5 registration paper intact.

You buy that 1983 110 for pennies, as it will be in poor shape. You replace the chassis with a new galvanised one and stamp the original VIN onto it. This is allowed in the UK. You retain parts of the axles and suspension (see the DVLA website http://www.dvla.gov.uk/vehicles/regrebil.htm in the UK for full info on how they add up points on various parts to add up to the original vehicle that can retain its age-specific registration and V5, but basically with a new replacement chassis plus the old axles and suspension you'll be OK). You need to retain that 1983 V5 registration as that is your key to passing the 25 year rule. If your rebuild does not have enough points on the DVLA system, they re-register the vehicle as a "Q-reg" of indeterminate age, and that is no good for US importation.

Onto that rolling chassis with the 1983 VIN you build the rest of the truck you want, from another donor vehicle (300Tdi, Td5 whatever). Or if you are based in the US, you contract a LR specialist garage in the UK to do all this work for you, and there are many of them that are interested in this sort of big-project work. You can have as new a Defender body, engine, and interior as you can afford. In the UK the chassis is the main thing, gets the most points. But you can replace the chassis for a rebuild IF it is a new chassis built to the same specs. In the UK it would be impossible to rebuild a 110 onto 109 paperwork legally. A rebuilt 110 like this will cost you $15-20K USD, and take the better part of a year probably, depending on who does the work. The only dilemma is finding the 1983 110s with their V5 registrations. There will be a few about but not many still on the road, and no doubt in the next year or so their values will jump a bit!

So, as of 2008 you'll be able to do this - in Canada it is already being done with no troubles, as our cut-off is 15 rather than 25 yrs old. In fact there is a 2005 Td5 110 CSW for sale in Toronto right now for $65,000 CAD, delivery mileage, totally legal ... in Canada.

So that is why DEF110 is on the right track. If his 110 has a 1983 VIN, he can start the rebuilding now.
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  #58  
Old May 17th, 2006, 12:09 PM
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There are a few "legal" defender 110's brand new with 1970's ownerships.

The legal bit would not worry me much the most likely problem would be a fine and mabe loose the truck. The big issue I would be concerned with is if you have an accident with it. It is very obviously not the truck you had insured so now you loose the truck your house your life in a nut shell.

If you do do a somewhat legit part swap and have something uncommon I would certainly have your insurance company physically inspect and get documentation that that is the truck that is insured.
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  #59  
Old May 17th, 2006, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pushngo
There are a few "legal" defender 110's brand new with 1970's ownerships.

The legal bit would not worry me much the most likely problem would be a fine and mabe loose the truck. The big issue I would be concerned with is if you have an accident with it. It is very obviously not the truck you had insured so now you loose the truck your house your life in a nut shell.

If you do do a somewhat legit part swap and have something uncommon I would certainly have your insurance company physically inspect and get documentation that that is the truck that is insured.
Well, what do you mean by a "legal" 1970s 110? It would be impossible to export a legally registered 110 from the UK with a 1970s V5, as the chassis would not be to original spec. So a 1970s 110 is just a re-VIN with all the dilemmas and legal issues others have already pointed out.

But if you have legally rebuilt a 1983 110 and had it registered as such in the UK, it is exported as a legal 1983 110 and you import it as a 1983 Land Rover 110. As for insurance you find a company that is willing to insure it as such. There is no such thing as a 1970s 110, but there is such a thing as a 1983 and on 110. If you have a crash in your 1983 110, no problem so long as you had it registered and insured as such.

Cheers!
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  #60  
Old May 17th, 2006, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talleyrand
Well, what do you mean by a "legal" 1970s 110? It would be impossible to export a legally registered 110 from the UK with a 1970s V5, as the chassis would not be to original spec. So a 1970s 110 is just a re-VIN with all the dilemmas and legal issues others have already pointed out.

But if you have legally rebuilt a 1983 110 and had it registered as such in the UK, it is exported as a legal 1983 110 and you import it as a 1983 Land Rover 110. As for insurance you find a company that is willing to insure it as such. There is no such thing as a 1970s 110, but there is such a thing as a 1983 and on 110. If you have a crash in your 1983 110, no problem so long as you had it registered and insured as such.

Cheers!
You don't export a "70's or 80's 110 they are getting new 110's into the country and swapping the VIN's with a truck that is legal to import and people are buying them knowing that it is not a brand new 25 year old + truck and driving them.

Not as big of a deal in Canada where you can buy a 110

And don't think by getting an insurance company to write you a policy will guarantee you coverage when you make a claim esoecially if you didn't have it physically inspected.
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