Engine swap legalities...

orion2.0

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syracuse, NY
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2002 golf tdi
hey guys... I know that in NY, to legally swap an engine for an on-road car the engine must be of the same make, the same year or newer, and have all emmissions stuff.

My question is: if you rear/mid engine mount the engine will it be able to pass inspection and be drivable on the road?

What I want to do is a rear/mid engine mounted mk1 rabbit with a fully modded TDI...tubeframe, cage, etc. I am actually going to look at and possibly buy the car today. But, I dont want to waste time and money if I wont be able to drive it anywhere other than a track.
 

G60ING

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Alexandria, VA
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No TDIs Currently, I have an R36 Corrado. I've had an ALH Corrado swap, AHU Corrado swap and 2003 TDI Jetta
Go talk with your local inspector and see what the requirements are.
 

Spulen81

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I'm pretty sure the inspection requirements are up on NYSDMV page. Much of the inspection process is up to the inspector's interpretation.
 

shortysclimbin

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you could always build it and give it to me! I will surely be able to register it in VT! We let ducktape and spray foam go though the inspection stations! ;) But no maybe buy land in VT and then have it as an out of state car?
 

orion2.0

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syracuse, NY
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The car will be arriving this weekend...then I just have to figure out an engine. I really want to do a full blown TDI build... but the cost/power ratio of a gasser is tempting.
 

Scott_DeWitt

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orion2.0 said:
The car will be arriving this weekend...then I just have to figure out an engine. I really want to do a full blown TDI build... but the cost/power ratio of a gasser is tempting.
Move to a state that doesn't have those stupid vehicle registration laws.
 

Lug_Nut

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If NY is like MA (both CARB states) the engine swap will be legal if all the emission equipment is transferred over with the engine and functions as factory intended. A modern diesel meeting the emissions for that donor's model year can be transferred into an older model with the emission stipulation as noted.
Where the engine is positioned doesn't matter, that's a safety issue. Having all that donor year emission equipment fully functional is.
Your A1 will need a catalytic converter, OBD II functionality (if the TDI is 97 or newer) and the ability to pass an OBD II scan with no faults, the donor transmission (or one with each gear ratio within some percentage of the original), basically the entire functioning donor driveline, and then you'll need to pass all the safety and construction requirements.

Note that moving an older engine into a newer car requires bringing the engine up to the newer standards. That's what I'm dealing with right now. My June of 96 build date conversion is a "1997" model. My engine came from a May of 96 build date "1996" model donor. I have to change the non-OBD II 1996 ECU for one that is OBD II compliant to pass the inspection process. Great! 11 years after the vehicle requirement and just this fall they start checking.:rolleyes:
 

RoundHouse

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Ga USA
Would be a WHOLE lot easier to just get a Pontiac Fiero and bolt in a V-8.

The 4.9 Cadillac V-8 from a 89-90 DeVille is almost a bolt in swap. And kits are avail if you cant/dont want to make the motor mounts.

You move the battery to the front and bolt it inside the spare tire, swap the motor mounts, grind the bellhousing for the starter, swap on a carb or the EFI of your choice, and start having FUN!

Costs about $600~1000 for a good Fiero and about $600 for an engine and about $600 for misc parts.

It doubles the HP and since the Caddy engine has an aluminum block the car actually weighs a few lbs less after the swap.

The 88 GT is the best, but harder to find since it was a one year only and shares almost no parts with all the rest of the Fieros.

My brother did this swap and it is awsome, he likes it so much, he sold his Corvette.




does your state have a cutoff year for inspections?

Maybe a very old Rabbit would be exempt?

In GA they check the emissions if the vehicle is registered within 50 miles of Atlanta, but other than that, the sky is the limit.


If its older than 1986 no one looks at it ever, and no title is required, just walk in with a bill of sale scribbled on some paper, pay the reg fee/taxes, prove you have insurance and walk out with a liscense plate. Bolt the plate on your vehicle and drive all you want.
 

hevster1

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One thing which I rarely see mentioned is according to federal EPA laws any engine used in a road going vehicle must be from a road going vehicle and have all applicable emissions components intact. Now this is a gray area in some states where people have swapped industrial diesels into cars and got them registered. Fact is they are illegal and the person performing such a swap can be fined unless they use the 1 time exemption provided for a home built vehicle.
 

Lug_Nut

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Until the 1997 model year there were no applicable emissions components for diesels. The industrial engine swaps meet the emission requirements in effect (none) and will be legal.
Putting one in a 1997 or newer will require full compliance with the requirements in effect for 1997 models.
 

RoundHouse

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Ga USA
hevster1 said:
One thing which I rarely see mentioned is according to federal EPA laws any engine used in a road going vehicle must be from a road going vehicle and have all applicable emissions components intact. Now this is a gray area in some states where people have swapped industrial diesels into cars and got them registered. Fact is they are illegal and the person performing such a swap can be fined unless they use the 1 time exemption provided for a home built vehicle.

Do you ever change lanes without signaling?

Turn without signaling?

Exceed the posted speed limit?

You did something illegal and may be fined.

Everytime we ride in the V-8 Fiero, a traffic law gets broken, usually the speed limit.

Last time we got stopped the cop said he stopped us cause we were doing 70 in a 50, the guy driving the Fiero said, "you should get that radar checked, it cant be accurate." cop goes into the explanation of hos it is calibrated every shift etc, driver says, " No, no, you dont understand, we were doing 90, if your radar said we were doing 70, you should get it checked."

cop started laughing so hard he couldnt write the ticket and let us go with a warning.
Said he had been a cop for 22 years and no one had ever argued that they were going faster than his radar showed.
 
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hevster1

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RoundHouse said:
Do you ever change lanes without signaling?

Turn without signaling?

Exceed the posted speed limit?

You did something illegal and may be fined.

Everytime we ride in the V-8 Fiero, a traffic law gets broken, usually the speed limit.

Last time we got stopped the cop said he stopped us cause we were doing 70 in a 50, the guy driving the Fiero said, "you should get that radar checked, it cant be accurate." cop goes into the explanation of hos it is calibrated every shift etc, driver says, " No, no, you dont understand, we were doing 90, if your radar said we were doing 70, you should get it checked."

cop started laughing so hard he couldnt write the ticket and let us go with a warning.
Said he had been a cop for 22 years and no one had ever argued that they were going faster than his radar showed.
I was making a statement, nothing more. What my statement has to do with your driving a V8 Fiero at over the speed limit is beyond me.
Comparing someone swapping a Kubota diesel into a car for example to someone speeding is like comparing apples to oranges.
 
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hevster1

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Lug_Nut said:
Until the 1997 model year there were no applicable emissions components for diesels. The industrial engine swaps meet the emission requirements in effect (none) and will be legal.
Putting one in a 1997 or newer will require full compliance with the requirements in effect for 1997 models.
I have to double check, however since the 80's in order for you to even import a non US certified car you had to post a bond and let the EPA have the car to do testing.
If an engine wasn't certified, diesel or not it is illegal to be used in a road going car. I will do some searching however to make sure. I remember this from courses I took in the 80's about so called gray market cars.
 

G60ING

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No TDIs Currently, I have an R36 Corrado. I've had an ALH Corrado swap, AHU Corrado swap and 2003 TDI Jetta
that has to do with emissions and safety regulations
 

orion2.0

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syracuse, NY
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2002 golf tdi
Thanks for all the input guys! That settles it...the engine will be rear/mid mounted. I planned on getting it all installed and working with the engine in stock condition for inspection/registration. Then pulling the engine back out for the mods.

I really wish I could use a european inline 5cyl 2.5 TDI... but that would be way expensive and not legal for the road in NY:( NY's registration rules really are BS.

So, I think it comes down to a modded ALH or an mTDI from a mk3 engine.
Or, a remote blasphemous possibility of going with a gasser. Probably what ever good deal comes along will determine it.

As for the V8 fiero... I can't do that because I cut my mullet in 3rd grade. Those cars look like something Michael Knight drives over to MacGuyver's house on the weekend when Kit is in the shop. Besides, slapping in a V8 gasser is just too easy. Mk1 rabbits done up Berg Cup style look badass.
 

orion2.0

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syracuse, NY
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2002 golf tdi
nice...but its in oregon and I'm in NY! Also, I already bought/tore apart a rabbit so I'm in too far. Nice swap though!
 

RoundHouse

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Location
Ga USA
orion2.0 said:
As for the V8 fiero... I can't do that because I cut my mullet in 3rd grade. Those cars look like something Michael Knight drives over to MacGuyver's house on the weekend when Kit is in the shop. Besides, slapping in a V8 gasser is just too easy. Mk1 rabbits done up Berg Cup style look badass.
Ha!

I hear ya about the mullet. Never had one myself.

You could be the first to put a tdi into a Fiero.....

There are lots of bolt on body kits that make it look like anything from a GT-40 to a Vette to Ferrari.

Saw a rabbit with a Northstar somewhere....

The Fieros do look cheesy, especially if they havent been washed in years and have mildew all over them, really good for unsuspecting BMWs.
 

orion2.0

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syracuse, NY
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2002 golf tdi
haha...me neither. But I did have a rat tail...kind of a mullet...equally disgusting haha.

I see a fiero on my way to work often...this one has some sort of air intake snorkel that goes up on the roof of the car. It looks like a fast/fun car to drive. They just look like an 80's attempt at a car of the future...or a short firebird.
 

Spulen81

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Location
Warners, NY
orion2.0 said:
Thanks for all the input guys! That settles it...the engine will be rear/mid mounted. I planned on getting it all installed and working with the engine in stock condition for inspection/registration. Then pulling the engine back out for the mods.

I really wish I could use a european inline 5cyl 2.5 TDI... but that would be way expensive and not legal for the road in NY:( NY's registration rules really are BS.

So, I think it comes down to a modded ALH or an mTDI from a mk3 engine.
Or, a remote blasphemous possibility of going with a gasser. Probably what ever good deal comes along will determine it.
quote]

In my experience they will not know or care what diesel you have in there, what you have done, what year or anything. I would run a 2.5 without hesitation if I could afford one.
Diesels are exempt from emissions here. There is even a different safety only inspection sticker for diesels. When you go to get it inspected they do not check the emissions systems at all. I converted my Toyota truck with a TDI, I was never asked about what engine I used or anything. I passed inspection for two years no problem at all. It was converted to diesel through the nys dmv also so my title and reg both say diesel.
 
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orion2.0

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syracuse, NY
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2002 golf tdi
i just thought that after you convert it to diesel you have to get a thorough inspection where they would check the engine code...thats what scared me away from any engine that isnt available already in the US.

Also, yeah...the price of the I5 tdi is probably out of my range. And, to do the swap I really need a whole donor wrecked car...more than just the engine. I figure I will need the electronics, transmission, gages/dash...etc.

Where could someone get that engine around here anyhow? Were they offered in mexico or canada?
 

Lug_Nut

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Spulen81 said:
Diesels are exempt from emissions here. There is even a different safety only inspection sticker for diesels. When you go to get it inspected they do not check the emissions systems at all. I converted my Toyota truck with a TDI, I was never asked about what engine I used or anything. I passed inspection for two years no problem at all. It was converted to diesel through the nys dmv also so my title and reg both say diesel.
Be aware that MA has just begun checking after similarly ignoring diesel passenger cars for years. NY might also have reserved the right to institute checks long after the date of vehicle manufacture and may yet begin checking what was never checked before.
Mass light duty diesels from June of 1996 to September 2008 were similarly not checked. They were never exempted, just never checked. Now they have to pass an OBD II scan.
 

BleachedBora

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How about a 1.4 TDI modded to 100+ hp? Engine is 250 lbs and you could probably get over 60 MPG easy....
 

Spulen81

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Lug_Nut said:
Be aware that MA has just begun checking after similarly ignoring diesel passenger cars for years. NY might also have reserved the right to institute checks long after the date of vehicle manufacture and may yet begin checking what was never checked before.
Mass light duty diesels from June of 1996 to September 2008 were similarly not checked. They were never exempted, just never checked. Now they have to pass an OBD II scan.
Actually I think that is the same as NY now. I know you need to get an OBDII scan to even get an inspection sticker on any post 1995 vehicle diesel or gas. I'm just not sure that you have to pass the scan with a diesel or not. I haven't been able to get a clear answer on that.

Generally on pre 1995s they don't seem to care what you have. I will be registering another converted car tomorrow most likely so I'll see how it goes. Hope I didn't just jinx myself. Its a 1991 so I won't have to do the OBDII scan.

Orion, there was no special inspection when I did mine. I was expecting something but it never happened. The inspection station didn't say anything about it.
 

orion2.0

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BleachedBora said:
How about a 1.4 TDI modded to 100+ hp? Engine is 250 lbs and you could probably get over 60 MPG easy....
I'm not really going for MPG with this project...I'm going for fast as possible TDI.
 

G60ING

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 5, 2001
Location
Alexandria, VA
TDI
No TDIs Currently, I have an R36 Corrado. I've had an ALH Corrado swap, AHU Corrado swap and 2003 TDI Jetta
orion2.0 said:
I'm not really going for MPG with this project...I'm going for fast as possible TDI.
Its shouldn't matter whether the engine is in the front or back for this desire.
 
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