SO JUST WHAT DOES CA EMISSIONS LEGAL MEAN TO US?
At Jeep Speed Shop can help you with getting your Jeep through the emissions process,
BUT WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR HOW LONG THIS CAN TAKE AND HOW MUCH THIS CAN COST.
We have a flat fee for taking your Jeep, car or truck to the EMISSIONS referee and that prce is $1000.00 this does not include shop time fixing parts like adding convertors, air cleaners and so on. those add-ons are an additional fee.
This can be a long process and IS NOT PART OF OUR NORMAL INSTALL IT IS AN EXTRA EXPENSE FOR THE CUSTOMER AND THIS MUST BE IN WRITIING, WE WORK WITH THE B.A.R AND THE AIR RESOURCES BOARD.
WE ARE TRYING TO KEEP OUR AIR CLEAN AND HELP YOU DO THE RIGHT THING.
AND WE HAVE MORE TIME INVESTED IN DOING EMISSIONS LEGAL SWAPS THAN ANYONE.
The following is the STATE OF CALIFORNIA EMISSIONS LEGAL GUIDELINES we follow and achieve for our customers who opt to pay for this service so that their emissions pass wherever their paths take them with their conversion. These guidelines are extensive and will explain why the service has a flat rate.
Engine Change Guidelines
- Engine changes continue to present problems and challenges to car owners and technicians. Here are some tips to keep you and your customers on the straight and narrow.
- Our recommendation is to rebuild and reinstall the original engine, transmission, and emission control configuration.
- When rebuilding an engine, it must be rebuilt to the original equipment specifications. However, if you do decide to change the engine, these guidelines must be observed to ensure that the vehicle will be eligible for smog certification or registration.
- Remember, these are guidelines for performing engine changes – not certification procedures. All exhaust emission controlled vehicles with engine changes must be inspected by an official referee station and must have a Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) Vehicle Identification Label affixed to the doorpost.
- Remember also, state and federal anti–tampering laws generally prohibit any modification to the vehicle’s original emission control system configuration as certified by the manufacturer. And, Section 3362.1 of the California Code of Regulations prohibits any engine change that degrades the effectiveness of a vehicle’s emission control system.
- A federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certified (federal or 49–state) engine cannot be used in a vehicle that was originally certified for California.
- Make sure the engine and emission control configuration on exhaust – controlled vehicles are certified to the year of the vehicle or newer, and to the same or a more stringent new vehicle certification standard.
- Don’t mix engine and vehicle classifications which will degrade the emissions certification standards. For example, a heavy–duty engine cannot be installed in a light–duty exhaust–controlled chassis even if they have the same displacement. Non–emissions controlled power plants such as industrial or off–road–use–only engines may not be placed in any exhaust–controlled vehicle.
- California defines a ULEV as a vehicle that has been verified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), United States to emit 50% less polluting emissions than the average for new cars released in that model year. Under LEV II regulations, the Tier I and TLEV classifications were removed for 2004. The ULEV is one of a number of designations given by the CARB to signify the level of emissions that car-buyers can expect their new vehicle to produce and forms part of a whole range of designations, listed here in order of decreasing emissions: The Jeep JK is a ULEV Vehicle and we can not use a NON ULEV engine in a Jeep JK.
- If a computer–controlled engine is installed in a non–computerized vehicle, the “CHECK ENGINE” light, the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) diagnostic link, and all sensors, switches, and wiring harnesses needed to make the system fully functional must also be installed.
Emission Control Configuration
- Mixing and matching emission control system components could cause problems and is generally not allowed. Engine and emission control systems must be in an engine–chassis configuration certified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) or U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The engine must meet or exceed the requirements for the year and class of vehicle in which it is installed.
- Voiding the vehicle manufacturer’s emission warranty is not allowed. The warranty is 8 years and 80 thousand miles, you must out side the warranty for us to help get you a emissions label
- No internal or external engine modifications (cams, pistons, intakes, etc.) may be performed unless the parts are CARB–exempted or EPA–certified for use in the installed engine. Use the database on this site to search for aftermarket parts covered by CARB Executive Orders.
- The installed engine and host chassis must retain all of their original emission control equipment. Diesel–to–gasoline conversions must have all gasoline engine and chassis emission control systems installed (such as fillpipe restrictor, catalytic converter and evaporative emission system).
- These vehicles must pass a complete smog inspection (visual, functional, and tailpipe).
DON’T WORRY, THEY AREN’T THAT BAD!
Due to some misinformation, and exaggeration; people across the country think the California style smog laws are the end of engine swaps. Even in California, many automotive enthusiasts believe it is against the law to perform engine swaps.
The basic intent of the California engine change laws is that when you do an engine swap, the new engine/transmission cannot pollute more than the original engine/transmission. This means the newly installed engine must be the same year (or newer) as the vehicle, and all emissions controls on the newly installed engine must be installed and functional. Also, you can’t put a heavy-duty truck engine (over 6000 lb GVW) into a Jeep because heavy-duty truck engines have less stringent emissions limits than light duty trucks.
To get your engine swap approved, you must go to a Referee Station. The Referee Inspection is Free plus $7.00 certificate , and it is a benefit for people who do smog-legal engine changes because the engine change can be approved on a visual inspection, current smog laws, and common sense.
The Referee Station will visually inspect the vehicle and engine/transmission for all the proper smog equipment, and inspect the engine to be sure it is the same year (or newer) as the vehicle. If all is there, they will put an “Engine Identification”tag in the door jamb. The “Engine Identification”tag is not mentioned on any registration papers or ownership papers. It is only on the vehicle.
If your vehicle does not pass the visual inspection, and you feel it should, you can have the Referee Inspector call the engineering office for a ruling. If the engineering office fails your vehicle and you think it should pass, you can always run it through the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for a full Federal Test Procedure (FTD), but that can cost you several thousand dollars, and your vehicle may still fail. Remember, the Referee Inspection program is a benefit for people who do engine swaps.
The California smog laws on engine swaps (or engine changes) are consistent with common sense, safety, and emissions reduction.
The EPA recognizes California smog laws as being applicable across the nation. That is, if it is legal in California, then according to the EPA, it is legal in all other states. While some states do not yet necessarily agree with this, it is likely that most states will come around to the California way. Other states with pollution problems will likely be adopting the California smog laws because there has been a tremendous amount of time and money invested in making the California smog laws reasonable, consistent, and effective for pollution reduction. It is far cheaper for other state governments to adopt the California laws rather than come up with their own laws. When the smog laws are consistent across the nation, there will be far less confusion for all involved.
THE INSPECTION PROCEDURE
- Let’s assume you have done a California smog-legal engine change to your vehicle. You have installed an engine that is the same year (or newer) as your vehicle, with all of the required smog equipment and controls for both the engine and transmission. The chassis has the correct emissions controls: Catalytic converter, charcoal canister, and fuel filler restrictor (if required). Your next step is to visit a “referee station.”
- The DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) can get you the phone number required to make an appointment with the referee station. When you call to make the appointment, the person on the phone will ask you why you need to go to the referee station. Your answer will be, “Engine change.”If you say, “Engine swap”or “V8 conversion,”the person on the phone may not know what you are talking about, so please, just say “engine change.”
- Next, the person will ask for your name, address, and the vehicle’s license number. You will then get an appointment date, which can range anywhere from the very next day, to five weeks away. Some areas have appointments on Saturdays if that is more convenient for you. Within a few days, you will receive a postcard in the mail confirming your appointment date, and it will tell you to bring the vehicle’s registration papers and any other smog-related paperwork that you may have.
- When you arrive at the referee station, be polite, be honest, and be patient. The inspectors rarely see engine swaps. They usually see stock vehicles that have failed the smog inspection. The inspectors are a lot like police officers—they are highly trained, and the public only sees them when there is a problem. Remember, it is their job to make sure your vehicle is smog legal. For all they know, you could be an undercover inspector, so don’t expect the inspector to let anything slide, because his job may be at stake.
- The inspectors have a general training in smog inspection, and will not necessarily be an expert on the type of engine in your car. They see Fords, , Chryslers, Toyotas, Mercedes, Chevrolets, just about everything ever built, so they cannot be expected to be an expert on every vehicle’s smog equipment.
- The inspection takes anywhere from 30 minutes to over one hour, depending on the inspector and the type of “engine change.”Some inspectors will want to be left alone with your vehicle, others may ask for your assistance in locating devices such as the charcoal canister, vehicle speed sensor, or the wiring for the lock-up torque converter. The inspector will check ignition timing and EGR operation.
- If your vehicle passes the visual inspection, a sticker will be placed in the door jamb or engine compartment.
- If your vehicle does not pass the visual inspection, you will be given a form explaining what your vehicle will need to pass the inspection. You will need to correct the problem(s) listed on the form and make another appointment with the referee station.
- After the visual inspection, the vehicle will be given the tailpipe (or sniffer) test. The tailpipe test is quite lenient. If your vehicle cannot pass the tailpipe test, something is wrong, or your engine has been modified a lot. Generally, a vehicle’s tail pipe emissions will be about 1/3 of the allowable standards if it is running decently.
- If your vehicle passes the visual inspection and the tail pipe test, you will get the smog inspection certificate ($7 fee) so that you can register your vehicle. The certificate has no indication of the “engine change,”and is the same type of certificate that “normal” vehicles receive for passing the inspection.
- The sticker in the door jamb (below) allows the car to be subsequently tested at any smog inspection station. It gives the following information on what smog equipment the vehicle requires.
The following list will help you determine if a part for your vehicle is a replacement part and legal for use on pollution. Check the manufacturer’s catalogue to verify vehicle application and look for disclaimers, such as “Not legal for street use in California.”
Most emission controlled vehicles will have an air cleaner that is a closed element type or thermostatically controlled. A replacement air cleaner must meet the same specifications as the original and connect to any emissions equipment that was attached to the original equipment air cleaner. Any replacement air cleaner elements may be used as long as they meet original factory specifications. Any air cleaner that does not meet the original factory specifications requires an Executive Order to be legal for street use.
The manufacturer of replacement cams determines which of their parts are considered replacements for original equipment. These replacement cams are then listed by vehicle year, make, model and engine size in the manufacturer’s catalogue. A replacement cam must have exactly the same specifications (grind) as the original part. Cams that have different specifications than the original part require an Executive Order to be legal for street use.
The manufacturer of replacement carburetors determines which of their models are considered replacements for original equipment. These replacement carburetors are then listed by vehicle year, make, model and engine size in the manufacturer’s catalogue. Carburetors not listed as replacement parts by their manufacturer must have an Executive Order to be legal for street use.
A legal aftermarket catalyst is one that is listed in an CARB approved manufacturers catalogue for the year, make, model, and engine size of vehicle on which it is being installed. Manufacturers of aftermarket catalytic converters must obtain an Executive Order for their products from the Air Resources Board in order to be listed in an approved catalogue.
Coils and Ignition Wires
Any type of coil or ignition wires may be used as long as they meet original manufacturer specifications.
Replacement computer chips must be an original equipment manufacturer part. Aftermarket computer chips must have an Executive Order to be legal for street use.
The manufacturer of replacement electronic ignitions determines which of their models are considered replacements for original equipment. These replacement electronic ignitions are then listed by vehicle year, make, model and engine size in the manufacturer’s catalogue. Electronic ignitions or electronic point replacement units for vehicles not originally equipped with these items require an Executive Order to be legal for street use. Swapping electronic ignitions from different years, engines, or makes is illegal.
The manufacturer of a replacement distributor determines which of their models are considered replacements for original equipment. These replacement distributors are then listed by vehicle year, make, model and engine size in the manufacturer’s catalogue. Swapping distributors from different years, engines or makes is illegal. Aftermarket distributors that are not listed as replacements for the original part require an Executive Order number to be legal for street use.
The manufacturer of replacement fuel injection systems determines which of their systems are considered replacements for original equipment. These replacement fuel injection systems are then listed by vehicle year, make, model and engine size in the manufacturer’s catalogue. Fuel injection systems not listed as replacement parts require an Executive Order to be legal. Modifications that change a vehicle from fuel injection to carburetion or from carburetion to fuel injection also require an Executive Order to be legal.
Replacement fuel tanks must be identical to the original part. Add-on fuel tanks, or tanks with greater capacity than the original tank are legal for street use only if they have been issued an Executive Order.
Replacement heads must be identical to the original part. Head swaps from different years, engines or makes are illegal. Aftermarket heads or valve train components that are not made to the same specifications as the original parts require an Executive Order to be legal for street use.
Non-Catalytic Converter Equipped Vehicles
Headers for non-catalyst equipped vehicles are considered legal replacement parts as long the replacement header allows for the installation of all smog control equipment originally attached to the stock exhaust manifold. Depending on the vehicle, some of the equipment that would normally be attached to the exhaust manifold includes:
- Air Injectors
- Heat Shields for the Thermostatic Air Cleaner
- Heat Risers
- EGR System Hookups
- Fuel Evaporation Systems
Catalytic Converter Equipped Vehicles
Headers for use on catalytic converter equipped vehicles require an Executive Order to be legal for street use.
The manufacturer of replacement manifolds determines which of their models are considered replacements for original equipment. These replacement manifolds are then listed by vehicle year, make, model and engine size in the manufacturer’s catalogue.
Replacement manifolds may be made of a different material than the original part, for example polished aluminum instead of cast iron, but the design of the casting must be the same. Any manifold not listed as replacement part by its manufacturer must have an Executive Order to be legal for street use.
Carburetor adapter plates are not legal unless they are an integral part of a replacement manifold.
Other Internal Engine Parts
Replacement internal engine parts, such as pistons, rods, or the crank, must be designed to factory specifications. Oversize parts can be used as long as they are within factory tolerances for replacement engine parts. Any part not built within factory specifications requires an Executive Order to be legal for street use.
Transmission or Transaxle
Transmissions and transaxles changes alone are not legal. Transmissions and transaxles can only be changed along with their matching engine. The total engine transmission package must conform to the engine change requirements above.
Entire engines can be replacement parts. As with any other replacement part, the engine must be identical to the original. If the replacement block or engine is obtained without emissions equipment, all the equipment from the original engine must be installed on the replacement block.
If the engine is not identical to the original then it is not a replacement part, instead it is considered an engine change.
Engine changes are a modification that must meet certain requirements to be legal (please see “Engine Changes”).
Japanese Replacement Engines
Used engines imported from Japan can be used as replacement engines as long as the engine being used has been identified as functionally identical to the original engine. Please refer to the engine importers catalogue to determine if a replacement engine is legal for installation in your vehicle.
Engine changes are legal as long as the following requirements are met to ensure that the change does not increase pollution from the vehicle:
The engine must be the same year or newer than the vehicle.
The engine must be from the same type of vehicle (passenger car, light-duty truck, heavy-duty truck, etc.) based on gross vehicle weight.
If the vehicle is a California certified vehicle then the engine must also be a California certified engine.
All emissions control equipment must remain on the installed engine.
Vehicles converted to 100% electric drive, with all power supplied by on-board batteries are considered in compliance with the engine change requirements. All fuel system components must be removed prior to inspection. For additional information contact the CARB helpline at (800) 242-4450
After an engine change, vehicles must first be inspected by a state referee station. The vehicle will be inspected to ensure that all the equipment required is in place, and vehicle will be emissions tested subject to the specifications of the installed engine.
Exemptions for Uncontrolled Vehicles
Vehicles that were manufactured before emission control regulations took effect are called uncontrolled vehicles. Aftermarket parts regulations and anti-tampering laws do not apply to these vehicles.
Uncontrolled vehicles may have any aftermarket add-on or modified part installed as long as the vehicle can still meet the tailpipe emission standards for the year of the vehicle. Uncontrolled vehicles must retain any original or retrofit crankcase control (PCV) devices and NOx device required for the year of the vehicle.
The following vehicles are considered uncontrolled vehicles:
1965 and Older : U.S. Manufactured California Certified Vehicles
1967 and Older: U.S. Manufactured Federally Certified Vehicles
1967 and Older: Foreign Manufactured Vehicles
For More Information
To verify Executive Order numbers, or for questions about the replacement parts guidelines, please contact the California Air Resources Board Vehicle Hotline:
(800) 242-4450 California
(626) 575-6858 Non-USA
To obtain a list of CARB Executive Order parts, or for information on the Executive Order certification process for aftermarket parts manufacturers, please write to:
California Air Resources Board
Aftermarket Parts Section
9480 Telstar Avenue, Suite 4
El Monte, California 91731