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Discussion Starter #1
Well I talked to the DEP about diesel conversions and it seems they really don't like it...

I'm going to have to pull some scams to get a sticker for my 1997 explorer I plan to put a 4bt into.

Here's the email I got:

Massachusetts is one of a growing number of states that have opted to
implement California's LEV program to reduce air pollution. As a
result, new vehicles (with less than 7,500 miles) sold in the
Commonwealth must meet California LEV standards. The Anti-tampering
Provisions (310 CMR 7.40(2)(f)) states that no person shall disconnect,
modify, or alter any emission-related part except for purposes of repair
or replacement. The issue your e-mail raises "conversion of light duty
gasoline vehicles to diesel" is not permitted. This type of conversion
is illegal. The installation of any device on a motor vehicle that has
the potential to impact emissions without the device being approved
constitutes tampering and it is against the federal and state
requirements.

Currently under California LEV II standards there are no model year 2004
or newer diesel passenger cars that have been certified to the
California standards. However, now that ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD)
fuel is mandated for all on-road diesel vehicles nationwide, we expect
that the automobile manufacturers over the next few years will move to
certify diesel vehicles to the more protective California LEV II
standards. This is evidenced by a recent announcement by Honda Motor
Company, which is planning to introduce clean diesels in model year
2009. As soon as the manufacturers certify diesel vehicles to the
California standards, they will, of course, be able to be sold in
Massachusetts.
 

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So I don't get it. If you were to use an approved diesel engine that's certified by the CARB, it would be 'ok'...even though no such animal exists by their standards? That's lame.
Specifically the arguement about vehicle size. If you're taking a light-duty diesel engine that was offered at the same time of the light-duty vehicle it's getting put into, there shouldn't be an issue. Technically it's recycling. Would the EPA rather the engine sit in some wrecking yard having it's fluids spilt all over the ground?
If someone wanted to take a Detroit and put it into a Chevette, I'd understand. But trying to improve one's fuel efficiency by recycling parts from other vehicles shouldn't be held back by force.

/rant.
 

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Well I talked to the DEP about diesel conversions and it seems they really don't like it...

I'm going to have to pull some scams to get a sticker for my 1997 explorer I plan to put a 4bt into.

Here's the email I got:
My first thought is.. Do they have any provisions for "special construction" or "kit" cars? If so, what constitutes a "special construction" or "kit" car.. Cab / body / frame swaps SUCK to do in many cases, but if it takes it to get it in as such a vehicle, might be worth it.

My second thought is Not Safe For Work.

So I don't get it. If you were to use an approved diesel engine that's certified by the CARB, it would be 'ok'...even though no such animal exists by their standards? That's lame.
Specifically the arguement about vehicle size. If you're taking a light-duty diesel engine that was offered at the same time of the light-duty vehicle it's getting put into, there shouldn't be an issue. Technically it's recycling. Would the EPA rather the engine sit in some wrecking yard having it's fluids spilt all over the ground?
If someone wanted to take a Detroit and put it into a Chevette, I'd understand. But trying to improve one's fuel efficiency by recycling parts from other vehicles shouldn't be held back by force.

/rant.
The 4BT was certified as a "Light Heavy-Duty" engine by EPA standards. That means to be legal it has to be put into a vehicle that has a GVWR of 8500 LB or more (until 1995 in California, which punched it up to 14,000LB GVWR to be classed as "Light Heavy-Duty", but has been unchanged for Fed. standards). Also, if the vehicle is used primarily as a passenger hauler, then I think the GVWR requirements get pushed up even further.

So, it's a one-two punch: Engine's certification year is older than vehicle and the vehicle is not heavy enough for that engine's certification even if it were the right age.. (96 would require an ISB version of the 4B, IIRC..)
 

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What about living in another state?
Many of them don't care, and I am sure they would let you move and bring your project...

Or, I have heard of some "companies" who will receive your mail and forward it to you where ever you do live, in effect giving you an address in another state, such as SD with no vehicle inspections. You have to go there and get your drivers license, register your vehicle there, and the you can live where you want (another state). Something to do with personal property taxes is the real reason people do this. Probably not "legal", but seems to be a big enough loop hole you can drive through it...
 

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Well, that basically blows. And is expected. What I would do is figure out a way to register it in a different state and bring it in that way. Here in Utah the title reads "diesel 4 cyl" and it is not a problem for the most part to bring into other states that way. Good luck with it. There are always loop holes though, the harder you look. People are also very protective of these too, for what its worth, I've found so they might be hard to dig up..
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm kindof torn on what to do. I have the 4bt and the adapter for the explorer trans. I could do the swap with some work over december break.

I don't think tricking the computer is a feasible thing at this point although I could talk to some electrical engineers about it since that's the only way they test.

I also had this idea:
Supposedly next year OBDII vehicles are the only ones being tested AKA no sniffer test. If I bought a 95 or older explorer and swapped vins and registrations I could possibly get away with it no problemo.

Then there's the option of just forgetting the 4bt and buying gasoline until I can afford to import a powerstroke ranger...

Ridiculous. I'm probably going to do out some calculations of carbon emission reduction and write a report to send to the governor/DEP to try to get this law changed. I've read even california lets you do a swap as long as you prove it's diesel.

What a drag.
 

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I still find it funny (in an absurd way) that its considered illegal to swap in an engine that could conceivable get twice the fuel mileage of the original. Thats why I don't feel guilty about tricking our state when it comes time for my inspection.

Jim
 

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I don't mean to be all conspiracy therory and such but aren't we supposed to be the land of the free? Where will they stop, The government has begain to monitor and control the emmissions of fork lift trucks, Hyster company is using tuned port LP fuel injection with a convertor, we have to check the emmisions with a 4 gas meter. I appreciate the engineering and the technology involved but come on a lift truck is a lift truck. I just bought a new Stihl chainsaw thers a small sticker on the saw that states any alterations to the saw or the engine is Illegal and is a punishable offense. The saw runs great but its my saw I bought it paid good money for it but they will not let me work on it, yeh right?!?
 

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So, I am sure that there are a couple of folks here from California. How do you guys deal with the CARB rules and get your diesel conversions "on the road"?
 

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Diesel engines are exempt in CA. They are in the same category as a pre 76-model year. No smog check or requirements. You take it to a smog ref. They certify it as a diesel. Done deal. The only thing is the engine must be the same year or newer than the vehicle.

I hear rumors that CA is planning to start checking diesels in the near future. When and what model year they will start with who knows.
 

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There was a big fight at our capitol about diesel pollution. A couple of months ago, that law finally passed. It bans all polluting diesels on construction work sites. (Earthmovers, small generators and all non-road construction diesels in-between). Legislators made the law retro-active, so this means ALL equipment with no year of exemption.

Construction people fought a good fight but the sulphur issue won, and now plans are being made to have the equipement changed-out. (I wonder which side the equip. manufacturers were on during this fight).

New equipment will run ULS diesel and will have that catalytic-looking burner at the pipe amongst other things I don't know about.

The relavence to our forum is that it sets precedence to do similar (based upon the coming success of the change-over) for surface vehicles. Most likely it will be retro-active. This is a stated master plan of many "special interest" groups in California.

Already in many areas, I've seen it is illegal to sell new diesel cars at dealerships (since 2004?) but not everywhere in our state.

I'm claiming BS on the change-over happenning, there are just too many diesels here at construction sites, landfills and on the road, but the laws have already started being passed. Other states tend to follow our state in regards to pollution control.

If you have a 1975 or older gas vehicle, you are completely exempt from smog tests/inspection. It looks like this '75 mark is not going to change any more like it did in the past. Seems like a consolation to the 'hotrod' and 'restoration' segment in our state. It is a multi-Billion dollar business, with some strong lobbyists in our capitol.
 

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My first thought is.. Do they have any provisions for "special construction" or "kit" cars? If so, what constitutes a "special construction" or "kit" car.. Cab / body / frame swaps SUCK to do in many cases, but if it takes it to get it in as such a vehicle, might be worth it.
The only problem I could see with that type of loop hole is a "kit car" did not come with a CARB engine from the factory, your ranger did, so your right on the fact that to do a 4BT swap you would have to find a engine from the same year. Now here's where I see the state would fight you. A 4BT from the same year would have no EPA requirments due to it's commercal purpose.

The 4BT was certified as a "Light Heavy-Duty" engine by EPA standards. That means to be legal it has to be put into a vehicle that has a GVWR of 8500 LB or more (until 1995 in California, which punched it up to 14,000LB GVWR to be classed as "Light Heavy-Duty", but has been unchanged for Fed. standards). Also, if the vehicle is used primarily as a passenger hauler, then I think the GVWR requirements get pushed up even further.
The funny thing is here in Colorado, as long as you don't live in the Denver Metro area, you do not have to get checked. I did look and we have the same laws here about "alteration of factory EPA equiptment" Also a 1-ton factory rated truck passes as a "light heavy duty" here.:eek:

I'll tell you one thing, if they pass requirements for the whole state I for one will fight it!!!!!!!!!!:dustin:
 

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The funny thing is here in Colorado, as long as you don't live in the Denver Metro area, you do not have to get checked....
As long as it's titled as a gasser. If it is titled as diesel, you get to have emissions testing done, atleast here in front range Larimer County it is this way.

Ken
 

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As long as it's titled as a gasser. If it is titled as diesel, you get to have emissions testing done, atleast here in front range Larimer County it is this way.

Ken
Well I knew it was just a matter of time.:confused:
 

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The only problem I could see with that type of loop hole is a "kit car" did not come with a CARB engine from the factory, your ranger did, so your right on the fact that to do a 4BT swap you would have to find a engine from the same year. Now here's where I see the state would fight you. A 4BT from the same year would have no EPA requirments due to it's commercal purpose.

The beauty of most "special construction" or "kit cars" is that they usually register as the year / fuel of the engine that is used to power them. Instant compliance, as long as the engine meets it's own certification testing. In many states the testing of diesels such as this is very minimal, usually just an exhaust opacity test.

If by "commercial purpose" you mean that the 4BTs in 1996 were only for off-road use, then you're right. I think that the ISB would be the "4BT" that is EPA approved for the year in question in this discussion (1996). IIRC, the ISB series was also EPA certified as "Light Heavy-Duty" engines.



The funny thing is here in Colorado, as long as you don't live in the Denver Metro area, you do not have to get checked. I did look and we have the same laws here about "alteration of factory EPA equiptment" Also a 1-ton factory rated truck passes as a "light heavy duty" here.:eek:

I'll tell you one thing, if they pass requirements for the whole state I for one will fight it!!!!!!!!!!:dustin:
Yep, a 1-ton truck is a "Light Heavy-Duty" because it has a GVWR in excess of 8500LB (Federal). Most 3/4 ton trucks fall into this category, too.

Not all emissions laws are "evil". I remember the California of about 25 years ago, and have been back about 2 years ago. More people, more cars, but the air was MUCH better than I remembered of the GOOD days in the past..

Also, not all emissions equipment is "bad" or detrimental to engine performance or longevity. In fact, you can thank the PCV valve for just about doubling engine life in gasoline motors. By scavenging unburnt fuel, water vapor, and other contaminants and keeping a mild vacuum in the crankcase, oil leaks were reduced, and piston sealing improved (by which blowby is reduced) which means that oil stays cleaner much longer and doesn't tend to sludge like in the past. Personally, I'm looking into whether or not a PCV retrofit is feasible with the 4BT for just these reasons.

Also worth thinking about is that Cummins offers a retro-fit catalyst system for older diesels such as these. Get it sized right, and you could use it in place of a muffler with little or no loss of power. Yeah, it's gonna cost a few bucks, but if we at least try to make these things as clean as is we can, then we're not as likely to run into problems with states banning our particular hobby..

There was a big fight at our capitol about diesel pollution. A couple of months ago, that law finally passed. It bans all polluting diesels on construction work sites. (Earthmovers, small generators and all non-road construction diesels in-between). Legislators made the law retro-active, so this means ALL equipment with no year of exemption.

Construction people fought a good fight but the sulphur issue won, and now plans are being made to have the equipement changed-out. (I wonder which side the equip. manufacturers were on during this fight).

New equipment will run ULS diesel and will have that catalytic-looking burner at the pipe amongst other things I don't know about.

The relavence to our forum is that it sets precedence to do similar (based upon the coming success of the change-over) for surface vehicles. Most likely it will be retro-active. This is a stated master plan of many "special interest" groups in California.

Already in many areas, I've seen it is illegal to sell new diesel cars at dealerships (since 2004?) but not everywhere in our state.

I'm claiming BS on the change-over happenning, there are just too many diesels here at construction sites, landfills and on the road, but the laws have already started being passed. Other states tend to follow our state in regards to pollution control.

If you have a 1975 or older gas vehicle, you are completely exempt from smog tests/inspection. It looks like this '75 mark is not going to change any more like it did in the past. Seems like a consolation to the 'hotrod' and 'restoration' segment in our state. It is a multi-Billion dollar business, with some strong lobbyists in our capitol.

I don't think we'll have to worry about a "retrofit" requirement or ban hitting a personally owned vehicle of less than 20000LB GVWR. Maybe even more if it's considered a "recreational" vehicle that is not used for commercial purposes. It would be about the same as saying that everyone that owns a car older than 1996 must have it re-fitted / rebuilt to meet 1996 emissions requirements. Having a fleet owner bring his fleet up to newer standards as the engines need to be rebuilt, or on a timetable that comes close to this goal is one thing. Requiring refit / upgrades be installed on commercial vehicles and equipment is OK, too. It's the cost of doing business. But when you try to shove that kind of expense off on the average Joe.. Nope, they're not going to stand for it. Oh, I can just see the fun when they try to take all the diesel H1 Hummers off the road in CA. (Oh, wait.. Doesn't the "Governator" own a few of those?? :dustin: ) If CA thought they could get away with it, they would have done it years ago with the older, higher-polluting cars of the 70's and would have forced them to update their cars to current year standards.

The "ban" that caused NEW diesel cars to disappear from the People's Republic of California dealerships isn't a ban on diesel cars, but just that they started requiring the diesel vehicles to meet emissions standards that could not be accomplished without the ULS fuel. Chicken and egg.. They required the emissions standards be met before the fuel that the systems that can meet those standards requires was available. The 2008 VW Diesels will be 50 STATE EPA certified, meaning you should be able to go into your VW dealer in CA now and order one up, and enjoy driving it sometime in, oh, mid 2009, if demand is anything like I think it will be.
 

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Glad I stumbled onto this thread - haven't started anything yet and figured something was up with the laws in MA (just moved here and smelled a rat on the DEP website). That email looks an awful lot like I can't even take a gas powered '88 F250 (as if the salt hasn't killed them all off by now - but just for example) and drop a 7.3 IDI into it, even though that model came with that engine. Do I have that right? Shoulda kept headin' north a few more exits.

Enjoy the board - keep 'em coming.
 

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how does Frito -Lay get their vehicles to pass the tests?? They are all commercial trucks so I assume they have more strict emissions (probably the opposite) If the engine passes and the vehicle to get the engine passes with the gasser why shouldnt the 'new' vehicle pass!!??
 

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how does Frito -Lay get their vehicles to pass the tests?? They are all commercial trucks so I assume they have more strict emissions (probably the opposite) If the engine passes and the vehicle to get the engine passes with the gasser why shouldnt the 'new' vehicle pass!!??
Under current Federal Regulations engines in commercial vehicles above 8500 lbs GVWR, such as cargo vans or light trucks, continue to certify to heavy-duty engine emission standards.
See: http://www.dieselnet.com/standards/us/ld_t2.php
Heavy duty standards: http://www.dieselnet.com/standards/us/hd.html
 
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