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Old 10-04-2005, 11:17 AM   #1
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State/Federal Law Question V8 Swap.

Hello

Been researching the whole V8 swap thing. My truck is 2002 4 cylinder 5 speed and is a regular cab short bed, 2wd of course. Looking to do an LS1 and 6 speed install eventually. Was talking to a friend the other evening and he said have fun getting an inspection. Didn't quite understand that considering the LS1 would all be emission legal and such. Upon more research I found a Missouri State law and Federal law. It states it is a violation of both federal and state law to install an engine configuration into a vehicle chassis that is not certified by the EPA in this truck. Doesn't matter that in the Camaro it came out of is certified by the EPA Certified engine configurations must match either the same or newer model year as the vehicle chassis. Installing an engine that is older than the model year of the chassis is not legal.
So, my guess was that installing a 2002 or newer engine in my truck would be legal. Decided to call my local Highway Patrol here and ask their inspection department. I was told that because the S10 did not come from GM with a V8 or did not have a V8 option, it is illegal to install one because such a configuration is not certified by the EPA. I explained to the person on the other end of the phone that it would be a 2002 or new driveline and be emissions compliant and retain OBDII systems and such. He again told me it was illegal and cannot be done.
What I want to do is install a LS1 and a 6 speed and keep everything else stock. Everything else being gauges, air bags, etc. Don't want to change anything except the engine/trans and related items. My question is, how does one get around this? I've seen S10's here in Missouri with LT1's, LS1's that are all stock looking as far as the rest of the truck goes. My only idea (far fetched at that) is to get it inspected again as a 4 cylinder and get 3 year plates. Then do the V8 install and like 1-2 months before it is time for inspection.........stick the 4 banger back in. Yeah, crazy idea and probably overkill but is all I could come up with. OR, do we do the V8 and retitle as a street rod or specialty vehicle or something? Any experiences are welcome, especially from Missouri

Last edited by RC ALLOYS; 10-04-2005 at 11:18 AM.
Old 10-04-2005, 12:59 PM   #2
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Re: State/Federal Law Question V8 Swap.

i would just get the 3 year plate and when its time for inspection again, find someone to hook you up and overlook the fact that the s10 never had a v8 in it, which is a dumb rule anyway and i never heard of that, i thought as long as it was same year or newer it didnt matter. besides the v6 is basically the same as the v8 with 2 cylinders knocked off of it, there is only a slight weight difference and if u went with an all aluminum motor that is taken care of.
Old 10-04-2005, 01:09 PM   #3
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Re: State/Federal Law Question V8 Swap.

The S10 you see with V8s that are leagal are prior to emision laws stating such regulation of motor size for a vehicle. Where do you live? or, what county did you look up or ask the questions about? Not all counties in Missouri fall into that bracket. Counties and local surrounding counties for KC, St. Louis, Springfield and Rolla have adopted this law. Other counties have not. Not all counties are emission compliant either. For instance. Columbia and Sikeston are not that I know of, pretty sure. I had the same thing and the same questions until the lawyer wife shattered the dream by looking up on Lexus Nexus the vehicle laws for Missouri by county. I live in St. Louis so I;m screwed. The only upgrade you can do leaglly would be the V6, in Missouri. You might be able to find someone to overlook the visual on an inspection but the emissions inspection would screw you. The V8 might be emission compliant but the toxin values for the vehicle would be way off for the vehicle type.

That crap pisses me off when I hear some loud ass diesel get on it and blow dark black smoke out the pipe. Any they worry about us being emission legal? Give me a break.
Old 10-04-2005, 01:13 PM   #4
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Re: State/Federal Law Question V8 Swap.

Quote: Originally Posted by RC ALLOYS
Hello

Been researching the whole V8 swap thing. My truck is 2002 4 cylinder 5 speed and is a regular cab short bed, 2wd of course. Looking to do an LS1 and 6 speed install eventually. Was talking to a friend the other evening and he said have fun getting an inspection. Didn't quite understand that considering the LS1 would all be emission legal and such. Upon more research I found a Missouri State law and Federal law. It states it is a violation of both federal and state law to install an engine configuration into a vehicle chassis that is not certified by the EPA in this truck. Doesn't matter that in the Camaro it came out of is certified by the EPA Certified engine configurations must match either the same or newer model year as the vehicle chassis. Installing an engine that is older than the model year of the chassis is not legal.
So, my guess was that installing a 2002 or newer engine in my truck would be legal. Decided to call my local Highway Patrol here and ask their inspection department. I was told that because the S10 did not come from GM with a V8 or did not have a V8 option, it is illegal to install one because such a configuration is not certified by the EPA. I explained to the person on the other end of the phone that it would be a 2002 or new driveline and be emissions compliant and retain OBDII systems and such. He again told me it was illegal and cannot be done.
What I want to do is install a LS1 and a 6 speed and keep everything else stock. Everything else being gauges, air bags, etc. Don't want to change anything except the engine/trans and related items. My question is, how does one get around this? I've seen S10's here in Missouri with LT1's, LS1's that are all stock looking as far as the rest of the truck goes. My only idea (far fetched at that) is to get it inspected again as a 4 cylinder and get 3 year plates. Then do the V8 install and like 1-2 months before it is time for inspection.........stick the 4 banger back in. Yeah, crazy idea and probably overkill but is all I could come up with. OR, do we do the V8 and retitle as a street rod or specialty vehicle or something? Any experiences are welcome, especially from Missouri
id of laughed at him at called him a schmuck and hung up.......

gauges & etc can work like stock you just have to re-wire them....not a big deal if your gonna do a motor swap...


worst comes to worst you would have to find a place to "buy" an inspection sticker......or ....just dont act like a ****ing ass clown and get pulled over, right?

then if you do get pulled over, its like a $125 ticket....
Old 10-04-2005, 01:37 PM   #5
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Re: State/Federal Law Question V8 Swap.

Deisel Motors put out black smoke even a bone stock deisel truck will put out black smoke if u get on it hard enough it is just the way a deisels are doenst mean that they are putting out any more pollution than a gas motor.

That is y i like living in the Rural area of Illinois cause they dont give a shit about emmisions and u dont have to get ur vehicle inspected everytime u have to get new plates
Old 10-04-2005, 01:39 PM   #6
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Re: State/Federal Law Question V8 Swap.

i could not get my truck to pass inspection with the v8 swap in the state of md at all. i had to get "historic" tags on my truck in order to drive it around titled and tagged without the inspection. good thing my truck is an 83, otherwise i would have been screwed. i was pretty pissed off for about 2 weeks about the whole situation until i learned about the historic tags. 2 more years and i'm getting "street rod" tags.
Old 10-04-2005, 02:01 PM   #7
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Re: State/Federal Law Question V8 Swap.

Wow, thanks for the speedy and helpful replies. I live in Overland Missouri as far as city. County would be Saint Louis County. Hmmmm, interesting ideas. I had to run out this morning and while I was out, stopped at DOBBS. Walked in and told the guy what I was thinking of doing to the S10 and told him what Troop C told me. He said he had never heard of that and they see a few S10 V8's that come in the shop for inspections there. He told me if installing a V8 it has to have the same emission control equipment as the original 4 cylinder did. For example, if the 4 had an air pump, the 8 would need one too just as an example. Thought, wow that is easy so I asked if he understood what I was wanting to do again and he said yes he did.

SO, if I understood HIM correctly all that is required is the V8 would need to have all the emission goodies the 4 banger did. Think I am gonna call a few other places that do inspections and see what sort of answers we get from them. Still rather confused but getting closer

While we're on the topic of V8 swaps, few questions if anyone is nice enough to answer or assist with. As stated previous, looking to do an LS1 and 6 speed. Now, what is the ideal donor car for this? Camaro (Z or SS), Firebird (T/A, WS6, Firehawk)? Finding plenty of 98 and up packages complete with ECM, all the pieces such as pwr steering pump, A/C compressor, everything for $2500 and up. Thinking that would be the best bet as I could maybe use interior parts, wheels perhaps and other goodies.
What about exhaust, do we have to run shorty headers or can I use stock LS1 manifolds? How about computer stuff? I've read something about a custom harness having to be made. Not as simple as plug and play eh?

I apologize for all the questions, this is rather confusing. Maybe more confusing that it really is though since I am getting bits and pieces of info. Thanks for the assistance!
Old 10-04-2005, 03:42 PM   #8
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Re: State/Federal Law Question V8 Swap.

i've never heard of having a custom harness made, anything that needs to be done to it you can do. You will have to re program the computer. If you have yahoo messanger im me this evening and i'll answer any other questions you have. l98s15jimmy (incase you cant tell the first letter is a lower case L) is my yahoo name
Old 10-04-2005, 03:51 PM   #9
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Re: State/Federal Law Question V8 Swap.

Quote: Originally Posted by L98Jimmy
i've never heard of having a custom harness made, anything that needs to be done to it you can do. You will have to re program the computer. If you have yahoo messanger im me this evening and i'll answer any other questions you have. l98s15jimmy (incase you cant tell the first letter is a lower case L) is my yahoo name
I'm pretty sure if you specify what connections and sensors are made electrically, then Painless could make it.
Old 10-04-2005, 03:53 PM   #10
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Re: State/Federal Law Question V8 Swap.

Quote: Originally Posted by RC ALLOYS
Wow, thanks for the speedy and helpful replies. I live in Overland Missouri as far as city. County would be Saint Louis County. Hmmmm, interesting ideas. I had to run out this morning and while I was out, stopped at DOBBS. Walked in and told the guy what I was thinking of doing to the S10 and told him what Troop C told me. He said he had never heard of that and they see a few S10 V8's that come in the shop for inspections there. He told me if installing a V8 it has to have the same emission control equipment as the original 4 cylinder did. For example, if the 4 had an air pump, the 8 would need one too just as an example. Thought, wow that is easy so I asked if he understood what I was wanting to do again and he said yes he did.

SO, if I understood HIM correctly all that is required is the V8 would need to have all the emission goodies the 4 banger did. Think I am gonna call a few other places that do inspections and see what sort of answers we get from them. Still rather confused but getting closer

While we're on the topic of V8 swaps, few questions if anyone is nice enough to answer or assist with. As stated previous, looking to do an LS1 and 6 speed. Now, what is the ideal donor car for this? Camaro (Z or SS), Firebird (T/A, WS6, Firehawk)? Finding plenty of 98 and up packages complete with ECM, all the pieces such as pwr steering pump, A/C compressor, everything for $2500 and up. Thinking that would be the best bet as I could maybe use interior parts, wheels perhaps and other goodies.
What about exhaust, do we have to run shorty headers or can I use stock LS1 manifolds? How about computer stuff? I've read something about a custom harness having to be made. Not as simple as plug and play eh?

I apologize for all the questions, this is rather confusing. Maybe more confusing that it really is though since I am getting bits and pieces of info. Thanks for the assistance!
Sounded like what you said was a St. Louis thing. thats exactly what I got from Troop C too.. I got a manual on installing and LS1 that I bought off e-bay. It features the install of an LS1 into a 2nd gen. If you pm your address to me, I try to get it out to you in the next wek or so if you want it. Obviously, I won't be needing it.
Old 10-04-2005, 06:57 PM   #11
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Re: State/Federal Law Question V8 Swap.

painless sells a kit, or you can use the factory ls1 harness......there is some hacking involed in it but nothing to major.....

i know with the painless kit you have to have a 98 ecm..............

exhaust, headman or somethin like that sells some late model v8 headers for an s10....
Old 10-04-2005, 10:07 PM   #12
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Re: State/Federal Law Question V8 Swap.

If your state only does the OBD test on your vehicle in your state when you go through emissions then all you have to do is make sure that the ECM has no codes in it. In maryland 96 model year and newer vehicles only get a code check and they check your gas tank and gas cap for leaks with a pressure tester.
If thats the case with your state then just go through emissions without telling them there is a V8 in it.
Old 10-04-2005, 10:13 PM   #13
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Re: State/Federal Law Question V8 Swap.

Quote: Originally Posted by RedGT
If your state only does the OBD test on your vehicle in your state when you go through emissions then all you have to do is make sure that the ECM has no codes in it. In maryland 96 model year and newer vehicles only get a code check and they check your gas tank and gas cap for leaks with a pressure tester.
If thats the case with your state then just go through emissions without telling them there is a V8 in it.
Its Missouri. You can go to get the emissions without the inspection. You can't pass the inspection without the visual passing. The LS1 won't pass the visual.
Old 10-04-2005, 10:16 PM   #14
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Re: State/Federal Law Question V8 Swap.

Oh, ok. here in maryland they dont do a visual check unless you dont pass emissions and want to get a emissions waiver. That really sucks for you guys in missouri
Old 10-04-2005, 10:52 PM   #15
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Re: State/Federal Law Question V8 Swap.

I am in Springfield MO and I know at least a dozen guys with V-8 s-10's and blazers including several 2nd gens you need to talk to the guy who does your inspection I bet he doesn't even know about this law let me know what you find out I had the same plans with the ls1
Old 10-04-2005, 11:31 PM   #16
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Re: State/Federal Law Question V8 Swap.

Ah, yet more interesting information. The OBDII confuses me a little. If the truck gets an LS1, doesn't the ECM talk to the OBD system and record emissions data? Thinking there are ways around this, has to be. Main fear is we go ahead and do the conversion and do it right keeping everything else factory like gauges and such. I can get a safety inspection and get it passed with a V8, I know a few people . I was an ASE mechanic for like 7 years so over those years, gained quite a few friends in the business. Dunno if any would be willing to overlook that it is a V8 though. Worry about that when the time comes.
Anywho, my fear is I go for emissions and they plug into the diagnostics port under the dash. Doesn't that give them the VIN of the truck thus denoting it is a 4 cylinder? It will also give emissions readings too if I remember correctly. If so, the LS1 emissions parameters most likely will not match those of a 2002 4 cylinder S10. Could run cleaner which shouldn't throw any flags. However, if it runs out of parameters (as in bad for the 4 cylinder config) then we're in trouble correct?
I dunno, this is getting pretty frustrating! Really need to spend some time researching this and talking to folks that have done this. What the guy at Dobbs told me makes more sense and is more along the lines of what we were thinking. State/Federal shouldn't care about the engine configuration as long as the emissions equipment matches that of what came with the 4 cylinder for this particular model year. Then again, like a few have said...... the LS1 isn't going to produce identical emissions results as the 4 banger does for the model year of the truck.
OR, back to my other hair brain idea mentioned elsewhere in this thread. Get the truck inspected as a 4 cylinder configuration and get it all legal and go for the 3 year plate option. THEN, do the full V8 swap and run it for 2 years and 10 months. Then when it is time for inspection again........ yank the V8/6speed out and stuff the 4 banger back in. Course I am sure there are more things to worry about if that were to be done. Such as, when installing the 4 cylinder again what would you do about the computer?? ARGH, damn laws. We shall see.

Thanks for all the help, Feel free to continue posting more info

Last edited by RC ALLOYS; 10-04-2005 at 11:36 PM.
Old 10-04-2005, 11:58 PM   #17
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Re: State/Federal Law Question V8 Swap.

im telling you just "buy" an inspection sticker.......and a daily driver...... lol
Old 10-05-2005, 12:17 AM   #18
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Re: State/Federal Law Question V8 Swap.

This truck IS my daily driver My other truck is a 2004 2500HD Silverado with a big block (496) and Allison tranny. It drinks 9-12 mpg but all it is used for is towing my travel trailer (camper). The S10 was purchased to help save on fuel costs considering the big truck was costing $250-$325 a month to keep happy with gas. The S10 gets about 26-28mpg on average and even swapping to an LS1 and 6 speed, I should be able to maintain 25-28mpg at least with it one would think and so I've read. Long story short, don't need two trucks that sit......one because it is thirsty all the time and the other because it is illegal I've been known to "buy" inspection stickers before in the past though. For grins...... a picture of the gas hog, and yes.....it is always that clean


Last edited by RC ALLOYS; 10-05-2005 at 12:25 AM.
Old 10-05-2005, 12:15 PM   #19
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Re: State/Federal Law Question V8 Swap.

25-28 mpg out of an LS1! so our you just gonna idle around town ?? LOL j/k


im lookin for a 5.3, its cheaper around 1500 for a motor trans harness and computer compared to the 2500+ for an ls1......my dad gets around 15-20 out of his 5.3 fullsize

i think they make around 280hp or so stock....


496 what is that? 8.1? nice truck
Old 10-05-2005, 12:48 PM   #20
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Re: State/Federal Law Question V8 Swap.

Eh, I don't think 25mpg out of an LS1 and 6 speed in a 3200lb truck is out of the question. I am sure for the first few months though my foot will be in it most of the time thus hindering my mileage.
I too looked into the 5.3 idea but want a 6 speed and from what I understand, the T56's no worky on the 5.3's. They are 295hp out of the box so that would be a fun combo too!
Far as my big truck, yeeeeeep it is a 8.1 liter. They are 340hp and 460 ft.lbs if I remember correctly. It'll smoke tires through 3rd gear if you want it too Impressive for a truck near 7,000lbs!
Anywho, back to my researching. Talked to another shop today, they said go for it and make it a V8. However he did express a bit of concern when it came to the OBDII end of it. He said (as others here have) that as long is when they plug in for emissions testing and there are no codes I am good to go. We'll see, we're a long way off from this whole project anyway.






Quote: Originally Posted by MoneyMike
25-28 mpg out of an LS1! so our you just gonna idle around town ?? LOL j/k


im lookin for a 5.3, its cheaper around 1500 for a motor trans harness and computer compared to the 2500+ for an ls1......my dad gets around 15-20 out of his 5.3 fullsize

i think they make around 280hp or so stock....


496 what is that? 8.1? nice truck
Old 10-05-2005, 01:23 PM   #21
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Re: State/Federal Law Question V8 Swap.

yea i want an auto....im sick of shifting gears
Old 10-05-2005, 04:32 PM   #22
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Re: State/Federal Law Question V8 Swap.

MY S-10 is registered as having a V-8(not my doing got it that way) I can't get shit from inspection or anything, I love CT... whats funny is no one ever questions it insurance dmv etc.
Old 10-05-2005, 10:11 PM   #23
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Re: State/Federal Law Question V8 Swap.

Quote: Originally Posted by RC ALLOYS
Ah, yet more interesting information. The OBDII confuses me a little. If the truck gets an LS1, doesn't the ECM talk to the OBD system and record emissions data? Thinking there are ways around this, has to be. Main fear is we go ahead and do the conversion and do it right keeping everything else factory like gauges and such.
Anywho, my fear is I go for emissions and they plug into the diagnostics port under the dash. Doesn't that give them the VIN of the truck thus denoting it is a 4 cylinder? It will also give emissions readings too if I remember correctly. If so, the LS1 emissions parameters most likely will not match those of a 2002 4 cylinder S10.
The OBD II system is designed to control all emissions controlled systems of the vehicle and all the programming for this is contained in the PCM If there are any faults or the OBD II system detects an occurance where the federal emissions are exceeded by 1 1/2 times the emissions limit then a Diagnostic Trouble Code sets causing the check engine light to come on. Thereforewhen they check your OBD II system for codes at the emissions station they are actually checking your emissions for that engine because the emissions diagnostics are programmed into the PCM. Everyone understand? Its alot of info to sum up.
Old 10-05-2005, 11:02 PM   #24
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Re: State/Federal Law Question V8 Swap.

in my state, alaska, you cant do any swaps unless its a factory option and of the same year engine. the only way around it is a seasonal permit.
Old 10-06-2005, 04:44 AM   #25
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Re: State/Federal Law Question V8 Swap.

Its hard to believe Missouri would be so hard. In California as long as the engine is the same year or newer than the vehicle, and passes a visual and smog check, you can change engines, and we have the toughest smog requirements.
Old 10-09-2005, 09:17 PM   #26
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Re: State/Federal Law Question V8 Swap.

YEAH....I know the feeling about smog legal swaps.....I live in cali too and I have been researching the GEN3 swap into an S10/S15blazer lately....and there just seems to be waaaay too much contradicting info..ha ha.....I talked to a couple of CHP officers yesterday about doing the swap and the OLDER guy said "HELL NO YOU WOULDNT BE ABLE TO GET A B.A.R STICKER FOR THAT THING........BUT I'D LIKE TO SEE IT DONE!" (VERY ENCOURAGING FROM THE BARNEY FIFE LOOKING ONE)........the YOUNGER guy said that he had seen one LT1 done smog legal in california but he didnt know how the guy did it...he said that he had pulled over the truck for speeding and noticed that it said LT1 on the cowl hood and asked the guy if it had an LT1 in it.......the guy had a BAR sticker in the door when the guy opened it up to pop the hood he didnt know much about cars except for the fact that an LT1 was a vette motor so he REALLY didnt know much about what he was looking at........The only thing that I WANT TO KNOW....ha ha...is what the heck the guy used for exhaust manifolds....will the STOCK ones FIT with the swap? I know that an SBC is the same WIDTH as a 4.3L.....BUT just two cylinders short......anyone know if you are able to use the stock ones? GOOD LUCK WITH THE SWAP MAN.....
Old 10-12-2005, 01:18 PM   #27
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Re: State/Federal Law Question V8 Swap.

Wee bit of an update. First want to thank Nick for donating the LS1 swap manual, very helpful. Scary but helpful due to the pics and what this particular guy encountered. For a few days after thumbing through the manual I pretty much gave up on the idea. However I couldn't get the thought of an LS1 6 speed S10 outta my little brain. SO, we're going to continue researching.

Learned a few more things about Missouri and the respective laws. My Uncle is an engine builder and has done a few conversions for folks. He seems to think if we can get through emissions without any codes in the OBD, we are in the clear. I'll have to get a scanner, programmer or laptop program to tune on the engine though. Thinking as I mentioned previously, get the truck inspected as a 4 banger and get 2 year plates or whatever the max is. Then do the swap and this will give us time to debug everything to run smooth and not set any codes. With the right program via laptop one can tune on all sorts of stuff such as air/fuel, timing, tons of stuff! Fairly confident right now that this can be done and everyone will be happy.

I have no trouble getting a safety inspection done and passing a visual as I have friends in the right places. The emissions part of it, I feel if there are no codes when the emission station plugs in..........we're legal. Bad thing is, I've heard sometimes they (emissions station) will do a random check and pull a vehicle to the side and do a full tilt emissions test with sniffers and such and look under the hood. Dunno, got quite awhile before we tackle this idea. Thinking maybe next spring or something and gather parts through this winter. Main thing is to find a donor car for engine, trans, and all the other important goods.

We shall see, thanks for all the input from various states!
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