Any motor-swap JK owners in AZ run into trouble with emissions? (kinda urgent) - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 02-06-2017, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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Any motor-swap JK owners in AZ run into trouble with emissions? (kinda urgent)

I have an 07 JKU with one of MoTech's 6.0 LS motor swaps. Last year it passed emissions perfectly. This year, the wife takes it in and the gal looks at the two ODB2 connectors and says that this vehicle has been "tampered with" and "modified". She fails it and sends my wife to one of 3 places in AZ that can handle "waivers". My wife goes there and the guy prints out this:

(can't post links yet, but you can find the doc if you google: EPA engine switching fact sheet... it's a couple pages long from 1991)

and he highlights a few lines and tells her that they cannot pass the vehicle because it's a heavy duty engine.

My wife tells him that it's an LS1 motor that used to be in Corvettes and probably wouldnt be considered heavy duty. She gets me on the phone with the guy and I ask him why it matters what motor is in what vehicle as long as the emissions are acceptable. He tells me that "they are clamping down" on the engine switching law and the presence of two ODB2 connectors prohibits him from going any further. I said that every kid who put a bigger motor in an old muscle car and dozens of jeep owners in AZ are going to be enraged by this and he said that they are aware. He suggested we go to DMV and try to get it registered as recreational only and just trailer it.

Well... I have a huge investment over 5 years with this thing and pretty much every mod I selected was intended to get the most off road but still keep it street legal. I can't tell you how irked I am.

We now have a 60-day extension to figure out who to talk to. Either this guy is wrong (I read that thing a couple times and there is room for interpretation) or I'm going to be the first one in AZ to challenge this. I don't mind but I thought I'd check first with the community. Any advice would be helpful, especially if you are professionally intimate with Federal or AZ laws.

(I will post this on a couple other forums as well, so if you see it again, just ignore)

Thanks!

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post #2 of 29 Old 02-06-2017, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, forgot to add, I did talk to Robbie over at MoTech and he gave my contact to a guy in AZ that he believes already went through emissions in AZ.

I also thought about hiding the old ODB2 and playing ignorant and going to another emissions place, but I suspect we are in the system as failed due to non-OEM motor and "tampering/modifications". Probably won't fly.
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post #3 of 29 Old 02-06-2017, 08:06 PM
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My buddy in Scottsdale had his Hemi swap I did for him pass with flying colors


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post #4 of 29 Old 02-06-2017, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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Did he go through emissions in 2017 or 2016? And does he have both ODB2 or just one visible?

If 2017, I would appreciate it if you put me in contact with the guy? Email is fine, I just need to know where he went and whether he ran into any hassles.
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post #5 of 29 Old 02-07-2017, 04:34 AM
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I wonder if this is going to be a ongoing trend with the swaps. Hope not .

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post #6 of 29 Old 02-07-2017, 05:26 AM
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That certainly has been the talk in AZ lately that they have been "cracking down". I'm not entirely sure what has happened from a regulatory point of view. You can get around it with an LS swap, as I did, but you have to have an older vehicle, get classic car insurance, register it as a classic......no emissions. Otherwise the rule is supposed to be the car requires the emissions equipment that the engine had from the donor vehicle.

I'd try hiding the old OBD2 port and trying it again. As long as you're running cats and everything else visible, you really should pass. I wouldn't consider that being sneaky. It's more repairing the reason you failed.


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post #7 of 29 Old 02-07-2017, 06:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiveFree0rDie View Post
Did he go through emissions in 2017 or 2016? And does he have both ODB2 or just one visible?



If 2017, I would appreciate it if you put me in contact with the guy? Email is fine, I just need to know where he went and whether he ran into any hassles.


He went through last year I believe. Heonly has 1 obd2 port as the Hemi swap is plug and play unlike the LS swaps run 2 different control systems. I can almost guarantee that you will not pass having 2 different DLC connections (obd2 ports). I remember them flagging him on his first round because the mounting bracket for the DLC was broken from accidentally being kicked while Offroad.


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post #8 of 29 Old 02-07-2017, 07:05 AM
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This is exactly the crap reasons why I pay a little extra and just buy my stickers. So worth avoiding the hassle.
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post #9 of 29 Old 02-07-2017, 08:14 AM
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This is exactly the crap reasons why I pay a little extra and just buy my stickers. So worth avoiding the hassle.
Buy what stickers? In Arizona there are two counties Pima and Maricopa counties that require emissions checks every two years. Hard to get around doing them but there are ways.

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I think too much of a pressure variant between Earth and outer-space... lack of oxygen... something like that.
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post #10 of 29 Old 02-07-2017, 10:29 AM
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Buy what stickers? In Arizona there are two counties Pima and Maricopa counties that require emissions checks every two years. Hard to get around doing them but there are ways.
I have a couple of guys who are state inspectors here in Tx, I just txt them my info and they pencil whip it into the states system. When I pick up the paper to take to the tax office to renew the registration (required to have a valid inspection prior to being able to renew here in Tx) I slip him a hundy and I'm done.
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I have a couple of guys who are state inspectors here in Tx, I just txt them my info and they pencil whip it into the states system. When I pick up the paper to take to the tax office to renew the registration (required to have a valid inspection prior to being able to renew here in Tx) I slip him a hundy and I'm done.
Ahh, Texas.

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If people don't take a stand now,you'll be bitches under their thumbs tomorrow.
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I think too much of a pressure variant between Earth and outer-space... lack of oxygen... something like that.
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post #12 of 29 Old 02-07-2017, 01:08 PM
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Arizona is a state in transition trying to step up enforcement. We had 2 LS JK's certified in Arizona over the last 6 months. AZ now wants to plug into the DLC and see the chassis VIN# so we have been having to program the JK VIN into the ECM for AZ conversions. I do believe there is a lot of ambiguity as to the actual emission laws in AZ. More progressive states like California and Colorado have technicians better trained in engine changes. A lot comes down to who you talk to but AZ still enforces USEPA laws as far as I know. Here is the USEPA rules for engine conversions, you will notice they emphasize no tampering and using a certified configuration. Hybrid(LS inside of a Chrysler OS), missing modules (BCM's and TCM's), turning off monitors, etc.... is not a "certified configuration". I had this argument with the Salt Lake lab recently when they pointed to the Federal regs so we looked at the Federal regs and the customer got registered. You will notice the regs state cross manufacturer swap are more difficult but not prohibited. In a way the full GM network conversion has many advantages over the hacked and patched Hemi conversions.


UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20460
ENGINE SWITCHING FACT SHEET
UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20460
March 13, 1991
OFFICE OF AIR AND RADIATION
Pursuant to frequent requests for information received by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) regarding the legality and effects of engine switching, this document will summarize federal law
and policy pertaining to this matter, and will discuss other related issues.
A. Federal Law
The federal tampering prohibition is contained in section 203(a)(3) of the Clean Air Act (Act), 42
U.S.C. 7522(a)(3). Section 203(a)(3)(A) of the Act prohibits any person from removing or rendering
inoperative any emission control device or element of design installed on or in a motor vehicle or motor
vehicle engine prior to its sale and delivery to an ultimate purchaser and prohibits any person from
knowingly removing or rendering inoperative any such device or element of design after such sale and
delivery, and the causing thereof. The maximum civil penalty for a violation of this section by a
manufacturer or dealer is $25,000; for any other person, $2,500. Section 203(a)(3)(B) of the Act
prohibits any person from manufacturing or selling, or offering to sell, or installing, any part or
component intended for use with, or as part of, any motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine where a
principal effect of the part or component is to bypass, defeat, or render inoperative any device or
element of design installed on or in a motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine, and where the person
knows or should know that such part or component is being offered for sale or is being installed for
such use. The maximum civil penalty for a violation of this section is $2,500.
EPA received many questions regarding the application of this law to a situation where one engine is
removed from a vehicle and another engine is installed in its place. EPA's policy regarding "engine
switching" is covered under the provisions of Mobile Source Enforcement Memorandum No. lA
(Attachment 1). This policy states that EPA will not consider any modification to a "certified
configuration" to be a violation of federal law if there is a reasonable basis for knowing that emissions
are not adversely affected. In many cases, proper emission testing according to the Federal Test
Procedure would be necessary to make this determination.
2
A "certified configuration" is an engine or engine chassis design which has been "certified" (approved)
by EPA prior to the production of vehicles with that design. Generally, the manufacturer submits an
application for certification of the designs of each engine or vehicle it proposes to manufacture prior to
production. The application includes design requirements for all emission related parts, engine
calibrations, and other design parameters for each different type of engine (in heavy-duty vehicles), or
engine chassis combination (in light-duty vehicles). EPA then "certifies" each acceptable design for use,
in vehicles of the upcoming model year.
For light-duty vehicles, installation of a light-duty eng~ne into a different light-duty vehicle by any
person would be considered tampering unless the resulting vehicle is identical (with regard to all
emission related parts, engine design parameters, and engine calibrations) to a certified configuration of
the same or newer model year as the vehicle chassis, or if there is a reasonable basis for knowing that
emissions are not adversely affected as described in Memo 1A. The appropriate source for technical
information regarding the certified configuration of a vehicle of a particular model year is the vehicle
manufacturer.
For heavy-duty vehicles, the resulting vehicle must contain a heavy-duty engine which is identical to a
certified configura- tion of a heavy-duty engine of the same model year or newer as the year of the
installed engine. Under no circumstances, however, may a heavy-duty engine ever be installed in a
light-duty vehicle.
The most common engine replacement involves replacing a gasoline engine in a light-duty vehicle with
another gasoline engine. Another type of engine switching which commonly occurs, however, involves
diesel powered vehicles where the diesel engine is removed and replaced with a gasoline engine.
Applying the above policy, such a replacement is legal only if the resulting engine-chassis configuration
is equivalent to a certified configuration of the same model year or newer as the chassis. If the vehicle
chassis in question has been certified with gasoline, as well as diesel engines(as is common), such a
conversion could be done legally.
Another situation recently brought to EPA's attention involves the offering for sale of used foreign-built
engines. These engines are often not covered by a certified configuration for any vehicle sold in this
country. In such a case, there is no way to install such an engine legally. EPA has recently brought
enforcement actions against certain parties who have violated the tampering prohibition by performing
illegal engine switches.
It should be noted that while EPA's policy allows engine switches as long as the resulting vehicle
matches exactly to anv certified configuration of the same or newer model year as the chassis, there are
some substantial practical limitations to performing such a replacement. Vehicle chassis and engine
designs of one vehicle manufacturer are very distinct from those of another, such that it is generally not
possible to put an engine into a chassis of a different manufacturer and have it match up to a certified
3
configuration. Therefore, practical considerations will generally limit engine switches to installation of
another engine which was certified to be used in that same make and model (or a "twin" of that make
and model, e.g., Pontiac Grand Am and Oldsmobile Calais). In addition, converting a vehicle into a
different certified configuration is likely to be very difficult, and the cost may prove prohibitive.
B. State Laws
Many states also have statutes or regulations prohibiting tampering in general. Most of these laws
specifically prohibit tampering by individuals. A few specifically prohibit engine switching, using
provisions similar to those stated in EPA's policy. To determine the state law in any given state, the
state's Attorney General's office should be contacted. In addition, many states have state or local
antitampering inspection programs which require a periodic inspection of vehicles in that area, to
determine the integrity of emission control systems. Many programs have established policies for
vehicles which have been engine switched. While EPA does not require these programs to fail engine
switched vehicles which are not in compliance with federal policy, the Agency does strongly
recommend that these programs set their requirements so as to be consistent with the federal law. State
or local programs which pass illegally engine switched vehicles may mislead federally regulated parties
into believing that engine switching is allowed by federal law.

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post #13 of 29 Old 02-07-2017, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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So, if your friend got his registered in 2016 he didn't run into this... yet. The guy at the emissions waiver place said they have been told to look for "modifications and tampering" in 2017.

I will try to hide the old ODB2 and hit the other emissions place near me and play ignorant.

If that doesn't work, my daughter lives in Casa Grande which is in Pinal County and non-emissions. I may try to use her address and get it registered down there.

If that doesn't work, I may have to get an attorney.

I hit the forums because I assumed others may have run into this already but maybe I'm the lucky first one.

Thanks for the feedback folks.
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post #14 of 29 Old 02-08-2017, 08:25 AM
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I received an Arizona 2 year tag in June good until June of '18. Sounds like it is a relatively new development. I've passed 3 times now with my 2009 Jeep / 2012 5.3 conversion.
I have an Aeroforce gauge plugged into the GM side. I think they plug into the Chrysler port and it thinks everything is fine. My speculation anyway.
I hope it's all figured out by June of '18.
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post #15 of 29 Old 02-08-2017, 02:35 PM
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If that doesn't work, my daughter lives in Casa Grande which is in Pinal County and non-emissions. I may try to use her address and get it registered down there.
I know a few guys who have done this for various reasons. This might just be your best option.
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post #16 of 29 Old 05-17-2017, 06:16 PM
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I have the same issue with my TJ (sorry, not JK..) 5.3 LS conversion that was done professionally and looks factory. I moved to AZ from a state that did not conduct emissions testing or vehicle inspections. I took my Jeep to get emissions tested and got nailed for VIN mismatch. While I have all the emissions control equipment fully functional and I would pass the "sniff test", all that is irrelevant to the state inspectors. They sent me to a waiver station, which I did not go to, to get inspected. I called before driving over and was told that I would never get approved to have a Chevy V8 in a 2006 Jeep Wrangler. Since my out of state registration is good until July of 2018, I'm buying time to figure out what to do. There are 4 options I've identified. 1) Find a programer/program good enough to load a Jeep VIN into a chevy ECM without corrupting the engine management program.(not easy to do!) 2) Register the Jeep under an LLC in my home state and insure it as a company vehicle. 2) Find a trusted friend outside of Maricopa county that would be OK with me registering my Jeep at their address. 4) Sell the Jeep
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post #17 of 29 Old 05-17-2017, 07:28 PM
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You can put your JK VIN into the GM ECM, most forward States require the donor VIN for proper testing.
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post #18 of 29 Old 05-18-2017, 05:08 AM
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Are you using EFI Live, HP Tuners or some other program to change the vin without corrupting the file? If you fail in tricking the AZ inspectors, they blacklist your vehicle and you can't register it anywhere in AZ, not just Maricopa County. If I'm going to roll the dice, I want to get the best odds of passing as possible.
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post #19 of 29 Old 05-18-2017, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torque2006 View Post
I have the same issue with my TJ (sorry, not JK..) 5.3 LS conversion that was done professionally and looks factory. I moved to AZ from a state that did not conduct emissions testing or vehicle inspections. I took my Jeep to get emissions tested and got nailed for VIN mismatch. While I have all the emissions control equipment fully functional and I would pass the "sniff test", all that is irrelevant to the state inspectors. They sent me to a waiver station, which I did not go to, to get inspected. I called before driving over and was told that I would never get approved to have a Chevy V8 in a 2006 Jeep Wrangler. Since my out of state registration is good until July of 2018, I'm buying time to figure out what to do. There are 4 options I've identified. 1) Find a programer/program good enough to load a Jeep VIN into a chevy ECM without corrupting the engine management program.(not easy to do!) 2) Register the Jeep under an LLC in my home state and insure it as a company vehicle. 2) Find a trusted friend outside of Maricopa county that would be OK with me registering my Jeep at their address. 4) Sell the Jeep
Its really a shame the OP never came back an updated this thread with the final outcome. Its very selfish to come on here, ask for help, get help and then never come back to update the outcome. Oh well.....

As for your situation, I don't know AZ laws, but in CO you only have a set time to register an out of state vehicle once you take up residence here. I think its 90 days but not certain. So if you get stopped and they confirm you live in AZ, you might get a ticket for failing to register.

You are wise to carefully weigh your options. Once you start down a path, its hard to undo. For those that follow this topic (emissions testing of engine swaps) you have probably heard Robbie talk about action that the state of CO took against one of the hemi swap companies. Well, it was my swap that started that whole mess and shined a light on something that the emissions people had not seen before. It was a case of once I started down the path, there was no turning back.

I recently had another fun encounter with the CO emissions people. Long story, won't bore everyone with it. But it is clear that emissions testing continues to evolve. Its not surprising to me that the "rules" are changing in AZ from one year to the next. My own theory is that the emissions testing bureaucrats see their jobs going away in the future. With more hybrids and electric vehicles coming on line, the need for testing is declining. State legislatures are always looking for places to cut budgets. CO recently went to a 7 year exemption for new vehicles. That means less testing and thus a lower budget. The bureaucrats that run the emissions testing programs are trying to find new areas to keep themselves relevant. Engine swaps, while still a tiny, tiny fraction of the population, are one such area that they hope will help keep them relevant - and thus employed!

I ended up "volunteering" to have my vehicle included in a new study on the affect of larger tires on emissions. (I was more or less black mailed into it - say yes and we will pass you. Say no and take your chances.) Again, they are looking for things to keep them relevant and employed. I would guess AZ is no different.
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post #20 of 29 Old 05-18-2017, 08:57 AM
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They are just looking for revenue. Only 2 cities in Arizona currently are required to do emissions checks, Tucson and Phoenix metro area. Yes they are the biggest cities in AZ, but just another way for the state to fund its Environmental Quality department.

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If people don't take a stand now,you'll be bitches under their thumbs tomorrow.
Quote:
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I think too much of a pressure variant between Earth and outer-space... lack of oxygen... something like that.
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post #21 of 29 Old 05-18-2017, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torque2006 View Post
Are you using EFI Live, HP Tuners or some other program to change the vin without corrupting the file? If you fail in tricking the AZ inspectors, they blacklist your vehicle and you can't register it anywhere in AZ, not just Maricopa County. If I'm going to roll the dice, I want to get the best odds of passing as possible.
As a State emissions inspector and diagnostic technician of 20 years I do not recommend tricking the system; we have set up our swap to meet the USEPA standards. The issue arises when jurisdictions add their own regs; California is leading the way. Most advanced emission states allow mods if they meet the USEPA and local statutes, problem is the level of enforcement. Within a couple weeks of the OP's post I had another customer get his JK certified in AZ. The OP's swap was done a while ago, a couple years ago I spoke with a technician in AZ who said the lab wanted to see the chassis VIN# in the engine performance computer, so we started doing that in AZ, the OP does not have that. We did not try and trick the lab we did what they asked. If your vehicle is not compliant don't register it in that area. Some states in the South and AZ I know of want the analyzer to pick up the vehicle VIN for whatever reason. If a proper engine change form is completed the DMV database is updated with the VIN of your JK and the donor VIN so the analyzer and inspector know how to test the vehicle. It's difficult to test a vehicle if you don't know what you are testing. I would hope AZ will switch over to the donor VIN like the other states. And this does not just apply to LS's, Hemi's, diesels.....are all under the same rule.

We do not cop out and state "for off-road use only", because we know our customers are going to register their JK's for on road use. We work with labs and ref's all over the country to keep these swaps legal. We cannot foresee everything, some state like AZ are trying to step up enforcement but are not as mature as states like CA so you get inconsistencies, ambiguity and misinformation. Hacked calibrations are always a concern so CA now requires the cal be certified by the manufacturer(dealer). A Hemi 6.4 tune patched into a 3.6 ECM will no longer fly in CA. An LS engine inside a Chrysler OS will not work either. A cal that has the monitor support turned off is being cracked down on and we have several Hemi customers were helping who had the red flag go up and the registration pulled.

Pretty simple, the USEPA says bring over all the donor vehicles hardware and software; you guys are tired of hearing me preach that but times are changing and states are comparing USEPA data to the installed cal now; if it doesn't match then you may lose your registration. In the event a jurisdiction does not allow your swap first thing to ask is why; and not a quick answer from the tech, look at the regs and statutes many are online. In many cases the tech is wrong.
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post #22 of 29 Old 05-18-2017, 12:50 PM
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Very good read as I am due an emissions test this month. There are only two counties in Idaho that do emissions testing and although I do not know the laws up here but I do remember them looking at the VIN so I will have to research before going to the test station. This will be interesting...


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post #23 of 29 Old 05-22-2017, 02:21 AM
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I'm beginning the think that the answer for those us us living in Maricopa Country, AZ is to forgo the engine swap and install a supercharger which will pass emissions here no problem. Probably much cheaper in the long run than an engine swap anyway.
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post #24 of 29 Old 05-23-2017, 02:40 AM
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I'm beginning the think that the answer for those us us living in Maricopa Country, AZ is to forgo the engine swap and install a supercharger which will pass emissions here no problem. Probably much cheaper in the long run than an engine swap anyway.
Unless your main reason for the swap is to replace an ailing engine. Watching this closely as a swap may be in my future and here in NJ, a simple ODB plug in is used as well. Just to make sure codes are not present. I assume also checking for a matched VIN.

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post #25 of 29 Old 05-23-2017, 04:33 AM
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Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJV View Post
Unless your main reason for the swap is to replace an ailing engine. Watching this closely as a swap may be in my future and here in NJ, a simple ODB plug in is used as well. Just to make sure codes are not present. I assume also checking for a matched VIN.
Nope looking to increase HP and Torque, getting the numbers up to or over those of the 3.6 Pentastar motor over my 3.8 Mini-Van motor............wait the Pentastar is also a mini-van motor too ;-)
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