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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Let's set up some basic guidelines on what to look for in buying a 4BT engine to avoid having your vehicle rejected or even impounded as stolen property due to having an engine that has a history of being stolen.

1. Physically check to insure that the "Engine serial number with CPL number Tag" and the "Emissions Tag" is attached to the gear drive case on the drivers side of the engine.

2. Obtain a WRITTEN "Bill of Sale" receipt from the seller. Some states also require the serial number of the previous vehicle that the engine was last installed into MUST also be on the Bill of Sale. A printed copy of an EBay auction sale MAY NOT meet the requirements of your State or Country. Check your state laws BEFORE starting your conversion for what is required.

3. A secondary serial number is usually found on the rear side of the engine block stamped above the "adapter" and below the cylinder head. On an engine remanufactured by Cummins the serial number can be XXX'd out and a new number stamped into the block by Cummins. This new serial number is usually stamped by using a machine that maintains perfect alignment in the stamping of the new number. Run, don't walk if the serial number at this location is removed by grinding and none is present on the gear cover housing. Chances are you are looking at a stolen engine.

4. Cummins now requires the engine serial number more frequently than the CPL number for replacement parts. Cummins maintains a database of the engines that it has manufactured. It would not be that difficult for them to "flag" the serial number of a stolen engine. A bargain priced engine is not possibly worth a free ride in a police car to the local judicial office and on to a new place of lodging where you will meet new roomates and have free meals provided to you.

5. Save a file copy of all of your purchases for future reference. This should include ALL of your "Bill of sales" for your purchases along with your applications that were sent in to your state or government. Also save a copy of your "approval" or what ever they send back. This can save you a lot of grief if there are changes made in the laws that could affect the status of your vehicle. These items should always include the "Bill of sale" for the engine. Put this file copy in a safe place. A duplicate of this file could be carried in the vehicle but that is not recommended.

6. "So why not just buy a CPL tag and add it to the gear case?" Because this action would subject you to the penalties involved in "Altering a serial number" which is strictly illegal unless it is performed by the original manufacturer.

7. Avoid the headaches involved in buying a "non emissions certified" 4BT. Most of these industrial engines are governed to run at a predetermined fixed speed. The injection pump has a different governor to maintain the fixed speed with varying loads applied; in example a generator set running at 1800 rpm or an irrigation pump. The only exception to the rule is a forklift engine which is set up similar to the automotive engine but they are considered as an industrial engine and most were not emissions certified.

8. Starting your engine the first time. NEVER run your engine more than 10 seconds if there is no coolant in the engine block. I have seen this done many times on TV. It is the quickest way to crack the cylinder head. If you really must start it up you should fill the block first with coolant by rigging a connector hose from the bottom hose outlet to an elbow and another hose or tubing that is higher than the engine.

:idea: Comments to any omissions are welcome. :idea:
 

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I could not agree more. People are probably tired of me saying, "Make sure the engine has a EPA tag". Its only a matter of time when all counties in the US will have some sort of an emission check. In AZ where I'm at the state is looking to add emission testing to Pinal county, one of the fastest growing places in the US.
 

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Geeez...talk about a government bureaucracy intruding in our lives more and more(Soapbox).

By no means I'm not bringing any criticism to your post because its very informative. But in regarding to how we deal with the DMVs, some places in the country are very critical when it comes to registering our vehicles after a post conversion. Plus, confirming your post, we need know the state laws ahead of time when moving to a new location in an era of tight regulations.

About the engine serial numbers, can they be tracked by the VIN of the box van they were removed from?

I'm sure there is no problem but my engine was removed from a van that was scrapped, so hopefully the VIN is recorded in the system.

As for the bureaucrats again, I try to avoid them whenever possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
About the engine serial numbers, can they be tracked by the VIN of the box van they were removed from?

I'm sure there is no problem but my engine was removed from a van that was scrapped, so hopefully the VIN is recorded in the system.

As for the bureaucrats again, I try to avoid them whenever possible.
I think the DMV's are more concerned with the traceability of where the engine was originally installed and that the title of that particular vehicle was recorded in the system. The bill of sale simply confirms the legitimate ownership of that vehicle and documents the legal sale of parts from that vehicle. In other words if you own the van you have the rights to recycle or resell the components. Again this can vary from state to state.
 

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I don't have a data plate or bill of sale from my engine. I bought it from an older guy who scrapped dozens of those breadvans. I'm in MA (a strict state for sure) and I just registered my truck as a diesel. When it came time for inspection I just bought a sticker from a friend for $50. Get the hell outta here stupid government.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just added one that I forgot:

8. Starting your engine the first time. NEVER run your engine more than 10 seconds if there is no coolant in the engine block. I have seen this done many times on TV. It is the quickest way to crack the cylinder head. If you really must start it up you should fill the block first with coolant by rigging a connector hose from the bottom hose outlet to an elbow and another hose or tubing that is higher than the engine.
 

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Unless you have seen the motor run recently......prime the oil before starting.

Thats another question/point that pops up time to time if that is an appropriate list for that.
 

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Easiest way I know is to crank with no fuel to get the oil pump spinning. There are priming tools you can attach to drills, but I have no experiece with these on Cummins
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Go to your local hardware store and buy a cheap garden sprayer. Remove the tip and adapt the sprayer hose to the fitting where the pipe plug is next to the turbo oil pressure feed port is located. Dump a quart of oil into the sprayer, pump her up and feed the port.
 

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years ago in oregon i built a 23t bucket from scratch frame and all and had to show all bills of sale to dmv and have it inspected by state police. follow this advice in this thread.
 

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years ago in oregon i built a 23t bucket from scratch frame and all and had to show all bills of sale to dmv and have it inspected by state police. follow this advice in this thread.
I believe that would be under some type of a constructed vehicle title, like building a trailer and then bringing all the receipts in to get a license. Now a lost title can be had if it has been titled in Oregon or you can get official documents from the state or origin (as long as you can prove that) and then send it in for review and hopefully it goes through... easier just to get the title, out of state vehicles will require a vin inspection here in Oregon.
 
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