Motor Swap Legality. Lots of assumptions, but actual laws?

REDLYNER

Mall Crawling Race Rig
Joined
Oct 31, 2008
Location
Mountain Island
Chris at Marsfab and I had a really long discussion about motor swaps today, and we found some info, but like what always happens in these conversations, a lot of it ends up being "I heard from this guy...." Or "I've always been told....".


Can anyone help clear up a few things?



*Can you swap a different manufacturers motor into your vehicle, as long as it's newer and still pass emissions/tech?

*Can I swap any Chrysler (hemi) motor into my jeep, as long as it's newer than my model year?

*Can you put a v8 in a vehicle that only came in 4 or 6 cylinders from the factory and still pass emissions/tech?




It's imperative that my car continues to pass NC inspection, so what options are available that are truly legal?
 

StretchASU

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2006
Location
Creedmoor, NC
High Country 4x4/RubiTrux has been doing Hemi swaps in TJ's, LJ's and JK's for a while now and selling them to the public all over the US so I would ASSUME that the hemi swap would be legal. Their LJ is titled and tagged in NC, but Watauga doesn't have emissions testing. As for crossing over to different brands, not sure.
 

Black Bear

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Location
Raleigh, NC
Found this on the google machine. I didnt bother to read it all. IIRC swaps are ok as long as its the same year or newer and all emissions stuff for the year you are getting the motor from is present and working.


What year is your jeep? How do you deal with the charcoal canister and still have KOH legal gas tank vent lines?


NC DMV Registration Guide - In section 1 capter 7 states:
"Motor numbers are the numbers assigned to identify 1953 and older model vehicles. Ford, Studebaker, Lincoln
and Mercury vehicles 1953 and older were assigned a serial number to identify their vehicles. Prior to 1954 the
primary identifying numbers on V-8 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury automobiles were located on the frame and the
changing of a motor would not affect this number. A change of frame would necessitate a correction of title. 1953
and older model vehicles registered in North Carolina are titled showing the motor and the serial number of the
vehicle. A change in motor affects the vehicle identification number.
1954 and later model vehicles are registered by a serial number. A change in the motor would not affect the
vehicle identification number. The brand “Motor Change” will be shown on the North Carolina title.
The certificate of title follows the vehicle and not the motor. A certificate of title is not issued for motors only. A
change in the motor for 1953 and older models would require:
1. North Carolina title in the owner’s name for the motor removed
2. MVR-5 (Application for Correction of Title or Substitute Title)
3. Inspector’s report indicating changes made in changing the motor and verification of motor numbers
4. $11.00 title fee
5. Title in the name of the owner for motor being replaced or file an indemnity bond for the vehicle
A Corrected Title Is Required When:
1. Installing a New Motor G.S. 20-69, 70
a. Motor with existing motor number:
(1) Form MVR-5 Application for Correction or Substitute Title
(2) Certificate of Title in the name of the owner or file an indemnity bond
(3) Bill of sale for replaced motor
(4) Inspector’s report
(5) $11.00 title fee
b. Motor without motor number:
(1) Form MVR-5, Application for Correction or Substitute Title
(2) Inspector’s report
(3) Certificate of title in the owner’s name or file an indemnity bond
(4) Bill of sale for replaced motor
(5) $11.00 title fee
After title work is received, motor number will be assigned to the vehicle and Form MVR-101
(Assignment of Special Engine Numbers) mailed to the inspector. The motor number with a prefix of
NC will be stamped or cut with dies into the engine block in a legible and workmanlike manner. The
inspector will inspect the vehicle and verify that the identification number is intact.
2. Installing A Used Motor G.S. 20-69, 70, 109
a. Install motor with existing motor number
(1) Form MVR-5, Application for Correction or Substitute Title
(2) Inspector’s report
(3) Certificate of title in the owner’s name for motor removed
(4) Certificate of title in the owner’s name for replaced motor or bill of sale
(5) $11.00 title fee
b. Install motor without motor number
(1) Form MVR-5, Application for Correction or Substitute Title
(2) Inspector’s report
(3) Certificate of title in the owner’s name or file an indemnity bond
(4) Bill of sale for replaced motor
(5) $11.00 title fee
Motor number will be assigned to the vehicle and Form MVR-101 (Assignment of Special Engine
Numbers) mailed to the inspector when title work is received. The motor number with a prefix of NC
will be stamped or cut with dies into the engine block in a legible and workmanlike manner. The
inspector will inspect the vehicle and verify that identification number is intact.
Motor numbers which have been altered or removed will not be registered in North Carolina if there is theft
or fraud involved. It is a violation to alter the manufacturer’s engine or serial number or other
distinguishing number or identification mark of a vehicle, nor shall any person place or stamp any engine,
serial, or other number or mark upon a vehicle unless a number is assigned by the Division."

"

NC General Statutes - 20-70:
"§ 20‑70. Division to be notified when another engine is installed or body changed.
(a) Whenever a motor vehicle registered hereunder is altered by the installation of another engine in place of an engine, the number of which is shown in the registration records, or the installation of another body in place of a body, the owner of such motor vehicle shall immediately give notice to the Division in writing on a form prepared by it, which shall state the number of the former engine and the number of the newly installed engine, the registration number of the motor vehicle, the name of the owner and any other information which the Division may require. Whenever another engine has been substituted as provided in this section, and the notice given as required hereunder, the Division shall insert the number of the newly installed engine upon the registration card and certificate of title issued for such motor vehicle.

(b) Whenever a new engine or serial number has been assigned to and stamped upon a motor vehicle as provided in G.S. 20‑69, or whenever a new engine has been installed or body changed as provided in this section, the Division shall require the owner to surrender to the Division the registration card and certificate of title previously issued for said vehicle. The Division shall also require the owner to make application for a duplicate registration card and a duplicate certificate of title showing the new motor or serial number thereon or new style of body, and upon receipt of such application and fee, as for any other duplicate title, the Division shall issue to said owner a duplicate registration and a duplicate certificate of title showing thereon the new number in place of the original number or the new style of body. (1937, c. 407, s. 34; 1943, c. 726; 1975, c. 716, s. 5.)"
 

REDLYNER

Mall Crawling Race Rig
Joined
Oct 31, 2008
Location
Mountain Island
Charcoal canister and KOH legal vent line still in place.

Mine is a 2000 TJ with the 4.0 and automatic.
 

Falko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2005
Location
Winston-Salem
I'm not going to comment on actual laws since I only know the "what I've heard from someone else version" but ill share my actual experience.

I have been through the registration and inspection process twice with my hemi powered TJ, and no one has ever asked a even one question about it. They plug it up just like any other OBDII and NC has no problem with it. All emissions equipment is in place and functioning, so that probably helps.
 

Croatan_Kid

How's your hammer hangin'?
Joined
Nov 4, 2007
Location
New Bern
As long as the OBD II scanner can read the VIN, it'll be fine. Motor of the same year or newer, etc. My K30 has no problems passing either, of course, it's an 86. I'll be doing an LS swap in my 85 S10 soon...I don't forsee any problems with that either.
 

shawn

running dog lackey of the oppressor class
Administrator
Joined
Mar 13, 2005
Location
Raleigh, NC
Where us the guy that was talking about this the other day? Said that he had seen LS powered rigs confiscated by NCDOT.
 

Lurch830

messin' with sasquatch
Joined
Mar 1, 2007
Location
Wilton, NC
Out of curiosity...if you swap an OBDII motor into a pre-OBDII vehicle, do you still have to have the scanner hooked up or would they do the pre-OBDII inspection?

/hijack
 

Mac5005

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2005
Location
Rocky Mount
Where us the guy that was talking about this the other day? Said that he had seen LS powered rigs confiscated by NCDOT.


I don't know but there are several local guys with newer miatas and rx7's with ls motor swaps and I'm sure they are obd2 and pass inspection.

I wonder who and what that guy was talking about.
 

snappy

YHDG's adopted son!!!
Moderator
Joined
Jun 19, 2007
Location
high point
When i was looking in to putting a cummins in the Excurison i had the local DMV inspector come out and was told i had to have
Same year or newer motor
Have all epa reg stuff from BOTH motors
Then have a branded title(basically the same as rebuilt totaled truck)


Then in the next breath he asked if I was over 8600 lbs and when i said yes, he said theres your answer.....
 

paradisePWoffrd

Recovering Project Junkie
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Location
Newton, NC
Here is a link to the EPA Fact Sheet for engine swaps.
EPA Fact Sheet
It basically says that:
You must use the complete engine and emissions system.
The vehicle that is being converted must have been produced with a diesel engine.
The donor engine/emissions system must be from the same year or newer vehicle.
The engine must be from the same weight class of vehicle.
Foreign engines are not allowed unless they are sold in the USA on certified vehicles.
When I started researching my diesel swap I spoke with a guy at the EPA and he told me that if the donor engine/emissions did not have OBD and was swapped as a complete system into the converted vehicle, then there is no requirement for the OBD. This makes sense if you read the rules, but I would be very cordial in dealing with your DMV agent because they can interpret the law however they like...

Here was a conversation about epa from the past.

I've also been told the same as snappy about swaps.

That being said, I've seen a number of LS swapped vehicles running around inspected. Just make sure the Vin/mileage is written into ecm.

Edit: here's the link http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/engswitch_0.pdf
 

Tim C

Wizard
Joined
Jan 22, 2007
Location
Fayetteville
Definitely have the vehicle vin programmed into the pcm. If the pcm vin doesn't match the registration it'll flag the DMV inspectors to come visit your inspection shop to fine them and take their license for clean scanning. They may come visit you too.
 

krehel24

<- and it begins!!!......
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Location
Locust NC
Its simple "Technically" if it didn't come that way it can't be that way in less DMV comes out and gives there blessing. we all know it is not that strict, it is like it's illegal to walk across the train tracks, but who goes to jail for that! You can also be arrested for not signing your registration! So you see there is a fine line with what is "actual" law and "enforced" law.
 

Croatan_Kid

How's your hammer hangin'?
Joined
Nov 4, 2007
Location
New Bern
@Lurch830 If it's pre OBD II, they still won't plug it in even if it's been swapped to an OBD II setup. Just has to pass the same inspection it normally would. I'll be running cats too, so no worries from me. After all, it'll be running way cleaner than it ever did to start with and probably get better mileage.
 

Lurch830

messin' with sasquatch
Joined
Mar 1, 2007
Location
Wilton, NC
@Lurch830 If it's pre OBD II, they still won't plug it in even if it's been swapped to an OBD II setup. Just has to pass the same inspection it normally would. I'll be running cats too, so no worries from me. After all, it'll be running way cleaner than it ever did to start with and probably get better mileage.

Thanks...that gives me some piece of mind for some future projects!
 

broncosbybart

Is it 5 YET?
Joined
May 15, 2008
Location
Charlotte, NC
Anything here in Meck county that is 96 and earlier is safety only. They don't run emissions tests on them but do a visual check to see if all factory stuff is still in place. Now 3/4 ton or 1 ton vehicles like my F250 are safety only, even if they are OBDII. No idea why that is.

I've wondered the same thing on engine swaps on 98+ vehicles.
 
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