Educate me on CURRENT smog laws

ChromolyKid

Well-Known Member
I searched the forum quite a few different ways, and couldn't come up with any recent threads pertaining to my situation. My question is this: What do I have to do to make my 1990 Chevy smog exempt?
Not because I'm lazy or trying to save money, but we recently dove head first into a TBI engine project that didn't turn out well, and a carburetor or EFI system is being considered, which I've learned won't be smog-legal. I also would like to run the truck without cats. Don't worry I have two mufflers.

So, what's the best way to go about this?
Weld on a piece of a '73 frame rail and register it so? I assume I'd get pulled over for year not matching body.
Get a P.O. Box on an Indian Reservation?
Do you need just a P.O. Box? Or do you need a utility bill too?

Thanks for your help.
 

Co-Dog

Well-Known Member
http://dmv.ca.gov/vr/spcns.htm

This is the only legitimate way that I am aware of.
I have been told that the 500 permits are all issued on the first day of the year. Get your sleeping bag and camp out!
 

SpeedBump

Well-Known Member
http://dmv.ca.gov/vr/spcns.htm

This is the only legitimate way that I am aware of.
I have been told that the 500 permits are all issued on the first day of the year. Get your sleeping bag and camp out!
The “Specialty Constructed Vehicles” program is limited to kit cars. If you show up to a smog referee with a SPCNS permit with a vehicle that looks like a truck your smog application will not be processed.
 

Co-Dog

Well-Known Member
The “Specialty Constructed Vehicles” program is limited to kit cars. If you show up to a smog referee with a SPCNS permit with a vehicle that looks like a truck your smog application will not be processed.
It doesn't say "kit car". It says homemade vehicle and without a manufacturers model year assigned to it (grind off numbers and remove emblems). It's a loophole in the system for the first 500 vehicles. After that, I agree, it's for kit cars.
 

Zambo

Well-Known Member
GM Performance makes a pretty nice smog legal crate motor. It comes with all the cats and stuff to pass smog.
 

steveG

Well-Known Member
It doesn't say "kit car". It says homemade vehicle and without a manufacturers model year assigned to it (grind off numbers and remove emblems). It's a loophole in the system for the first 500 vehicles. After that, I agree, it's for kit cars.
keep in mind that what the letter of the law says and what the smog ref says (or feels) can be two different things. Smog refs have a lot of freedom to make decisions and they're not always in our favor.
 

charlie_brown

Well-Known Member
GM Performance makes a pretty nice smog legal crate motor. It comes with all the cats and stuff to pass smog.
that’s the way to go. i think all the major MFG should make some sort of alterative like this. my motor swap is becoming a huge nightmare. same motor, same year, one in a ranger, one in a sport trac, one has 2 charcoal can's, one has 1. dam smog ref.
 

Co-Dog

Well-Known Member
The first 500 have the golden tickets. It just requires meeting the loosely worded requirements of C.V.C Section 580. The vehicle must still pass a smog test, but the test is based on a 1960's vehicle if it is considered to be a Specially Constructed Vehicle.

V C Section 580 Specially Constructed Vehicle

580. A "specially constructed vehicle" is a vehicle which is built for private use, not for resale, and is not constructed by a licensed manufacturer or remanufacturer. A specially constructed vehicle may be built from (1) a kit; (2) new or used, or a combination of new and used, parts; or (3) a vehicle reported for dismantling, as required by Section 5500 or 11520, which, when reconstructed, does not resemble the original make of the vehicle dismantled. A specially constructed vehicle is not a vehicle which has been repaired or restored to its original design by replacing parts.

Amended Ch. 1286, Stats. 1983. Effective January 1, 1984.

The underlined part is the key.:cool: Loopholes are great when ya can get one.
 

SpeedBump

Well-Known Member
It doesn't say "kit car". It says homemade vehicle and without a manufacturers model year assigned to it (grind off numbers and remove emblems). It's a loophole in the system for the first 500 vehicles. After that, I agree, it's for kit cars.
I went to the smog referee with a SPCNS permit, CHP assigned VIN (blue tag) and the following vehicle:

1987 FORD F250 frame
1991 F250 extended cab
1996 F250 front clip
Glassworks bedsides
1969 E350 beams, 1980 E350 spindles, Cone hubs, 37” tires
2003 Chevrolet 2500 6.0 motor and 4L80e transmission
Tubeworks full floater 9” axle linked
SCORE tagged roll cage

I was denied an inspection because the vehicle is not eligible for the SPCNS program. “If it looks like a truck it is not a specially constructed vehicle.”
 

steveG

Well-Known Member
I went to the smog referee with a SPCNS permit, CHP assigned VIN (blue tag) and the following vehicle:

1987 FORD F250 frame
1991 F250 extended cab
1996 F250 front clip
Glassworks bedsides
1969 E350 beams, 1980 E350 spindles, Cone hubs, 37” tires
2003 Chevrolet 2500 6.0 motor and 4L80e transmission
Tubeworks full floater 9” axle linked
SCORE tagged roll cage

I was denied an inspection because the vehicle is not eligible for the SPCNS program. “If it looks like a truck it is not a specially constructed vehicle.”
That's exactly what I was getting at. There are no "free passes" in the smog system these days. People that think they can get by because the letter of the law is on their side are in for a rude awakening.
 

charlie_brown

Well-Known Member
so what do you do now? make it look like some sort of freak truck? one other problem with a specially construction reg is insurance. i thought i saw a truck on here for sale not long ago that had a specially construction reg.
I went to the smog referee with a SPCNS permit, CHP assigned VIN (blue tag) and the following vehicle:

1987 FORD F250 frame
1991 F250 extended cab
1996 F250 front clip
Glassworks bedsides
1969 E350 beams, 1980 E350 spindles, Cone hubs, 37” tires
2003 Chevrolet 2500 6.0 motor and 4L80e transmission
Tubeworks full floater 9” axle linked
SCORE tagged roll cage

I was denied an inspection because the vehicle is not eligible for the SPCNS program. “If it looks like a truck it is not a specially constructed vehicle.”
 

Triaged

Well-Known Member
I went to the smog referee with a SPCNS permit, CHP assigned VIN (blue tag) and the following vehicle:

1987 FORD F250 frame...
so what do you do now? make it look like some sort of freak truck? one other problem with a specially construction reg is insurance. i thought i saw a truck on here for sale not long ago that had a specially construction reg.
What SpeedBump has is a 87 ford truck with a body swap and an engine swap. 2 different sets of paperwork. What you should have done is started with a 75 truck frame and title.

Unless you convert the engine over to propane or diesel, you're screwed. Sorry.
Propane swaps that are CARB approved are hard to come by and expensive.
 

SpeedBump

Well-Known Member
What SpeedBump has is a 87 ford truck with a body swap and an engine swap. 2 different sets of paperwork. What you should have done is started with a 75 truck frame and title.
I read the SPCNS legislation and thought it obvious that it applied to my truck build. If I had known that BAR (smog referees) could interpret the law the way they wanted and exclude my truck I would have done several things differently.

However, everything worked out and the truck is registered.
 

Tom_Willis

Well-Known Member
So, what's the best way to go about this?

Find a way to move out of this fawked up state. Forever. Look at the stupidity on the CARB website, and see if it looks like they are trying to do anything less than destroy industry here. They have a committee for "environmental justice", and for bending the emission rules based on your income, but something as logical as allowing you to transfer your fuel tank parts into a bigger, safer tank in a better location? Nope. They never thought of that. They never considered having a committee of anybody who actually knows much about cars. Another reason to vote for anybody but brown.
 

Co-Dog

Well-Known Member
You can get a SPCNS at anytime. What you guys aren't understanding is that it must be one of the first 500 issued for the calendar year. Any permit issued after the first 500 requires you to have a freak car. It sounds weird, but it is what it is.
 

SpeedBump

Well-Known Member
You can get a SPCNS at anytime. What you guys aren't understanding is that it must be one of the first 500 issued for the calendar year. Any permit issued after the first 500 requires you to have a freak car. It sounds weird, but it is what it is.
The DMV only issues 500 permits in a calendar year. After they are gone there are no more permits issued that year.

If you have a "kit car" and want to get one of the 500 permits that essentially exempts the vehicle from a smog inspection, I suggest you consider going to the DMV in San Clemente, CA. Starting at about 6pm Jan 1st, people from neighboring towns including some from North Orange County and North San Diego County get in line. Bring a chair and a heavy jacket. The DMV office is just a couple hundred yards from the beach and it gets very cold at night. There is a lot of Factory Five Cobra build discussions.

Why the SC DMV? They have a history of getting more permits than other offices. Each permit application DMV calls into the Sacramento office to request a permit number. The phone line has a steady busy signal. The SC DMV office manager takes the stack of permit requests and keeps re-dialing. Her persistence has resulted in permits for many people and make the extra drive worthwhile. People have reported that other DMV offices do not know the process and the permits are gone before they can figure it out. All the permit numbers are gone before 11:00am on Jan 2nd.
 

charlie_brown

Well-Known Member
how do you go about insuring a "SCV" and who would you go through?
what paper work do you need to bring with you? do you need to bring the vehicle to the DMV or have a CHP inspection first?
 

pappawheely

O.G. Photo
It doesn't say "kit car". It says homemade vehicle and without a manufacturers model year assigned to it (grind off numbers and remove emblems). It's a loophole in the system for the first 500 vehicles. After that, I agree, it's for kit cars.
Grinding the serial numbers off a frame is generally frowned upon by DMV, BAR etc..
 

cusico

Well-Known Member
My history with this has been:

1. Live outside of California-Not reasonable.
2. Get a PO BOX 50 plus miles from a smog station, and fight with the dmv that your 50 plus miles away.
3. I have heard that the Indian Reservations have a "gray area" that the dmv just doesn't send out smog to.
4. I have heard that very small sects of the state only make you smog it when you sell it or buy it. Imperial, sections of Riverside down buy Salton Sea, Humbolt, etc. It is based on population density and access to a smog station 50 miles away.
5. Get a clean registration from a smog exempt early car, and plug in those frame rails sections, or just run that reg and go. Just don't drive like a d-bag on the street.
 
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