ranger 2.9 to 4.0 smog legal in CA?

dano626

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Just wondering if anyone has run into a problem with this. I have a 88 ranger with a 2.9v6. I want to swap in a 4.0 from a 93. A mechanic I know says that it will not pass smog. From what I know as long is the engine is newer than the vehicle it should be OK. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Also if anyone has done this some tips would help.
Thanks,
Dano
 

jeff

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Smog laws in California are idiotic. Just remember that common sense doesn't apply to the BAR or California's SMOG program and you'll be ok... :)

Here's some info that should help...

Aloha


Due to some misinformation, and exaggeration; people across the country think the California style smog laws are the end of engine swaps. Even in California, many automotive enthusiasts believe it is against the law to perform engine swaps.

The basic intent of the California engine change laws is that when you do an engine swap, the new engine/transmission cannot pollute more than the original engine/transmission. This means the newly installed engine must be the same year (or newer) as the vehicle, and all emissions controls on the newly installed engine must be installed and functional. Also, you can't put a heavy-duty truck engine (over 6000 lb GVW) into an S-10 Truck because heavy-duty truck engines have less stringent emissions limits than light duty trucks.

To get your engine swap approved, you must go to a Referee Station. The Referee Inspection is less than $40, and it is a benefit for people who do smog-legal engine changes because the engine change can be approved on a visual inspection, current smog laws, and common sense.

The Referee Station will visually inspect the vehicle and engine/transmission for all the proper smog equipment, and inspect the engine to be sure it is the same year (or newer) as the vehicle. If all is there, they will put an "Engine Identification"tag in the door jamb. The "Engine Identification"tag is not mentioned on any registration papers or ownership papers. It is only on the vehicle.

If your vehicle does not pass the visual inspection, and you feel it should, you can have the Referee Inspector call the engineering office for a ruling. If the engineering office fails your vehicle and you think it should pass, you can always run it through the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for a full Federal Test Procedure (FTD), but that can cost you several thousand dollars, and your vehicle may still fail. Remember, the Referee Inspection program is a benefit for people who do engine swaps.

The California smog laws on engine swaps (or engine changes) are consistent with common sense, safety, and emissions reduction.

The EPA recognizes California smog laws as being applicable across the nation. That is, if it is legal in California, then according to the EPA, it is legal in all other states. While some states do not yet necessarily agree with this, it is likely that most states will come around to the California way. Other states with pollution problems will likely be adopting the California smog laws because there has been a tremendous amount of time and money invested in making the California smog laws reasonable, consistent, and effective for pollution reduction. It is far cheaper for other state governments to adopt the California laws rather than come up with their own laws. When the smog laws are consistent across the nation, there will be far less confusion for all involved.

THE INSPECTION PROCEDURE
Let's assume you have done a California smog-legal engine change to your vehicle. You have installed an engine that is the same year (or newer) as your vehicle, with all of the required smog equipment and controls for both the engine and transmission. The chassis has the correct emissions controls: Catalytic converter, charcoal canister, and fuel filler restrictor (if required). Your next step is to visit a "referee station."

The DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) can get you the phone number required to make an appointment with the referee station. When you call to make the appointment, the person on the phone will ask you why you need to go to the referee station. Your answer will be, "Engine change."If you say, "Engine swap"or "V8 conversion," the person on the phone may not know what you are talking about, so please, just say "engine change."

Next, the person will ask for your name, address, and the vehicle's license number. You will then get an appointment date, which can range anywhere from the very next day, to five weeks away. Some areas have appointments on Saturdays if that is more convenient for you. Within a few days, you will receive a postcard in the mail confirming your appointment date, and it will tell you to bring the vehicle's registration papers and any other smog-related paperwork that you may have.

When you arrive at the referee station, be polite, be honest, and be patient. The inspectors rarely see engine swaps. They usually see stock vehicles that have failed the smog inspection. The inspectors are a lot like police officers—they are highly trained, and the public only sees them when there is a problem. Remember, it is their job to make sure your vehicle is smog legal. For all they know, you could be an undercover inspector, so don't expect the inspector to let anything slide, because his job may be at stake.

The inspectors have a general training in smog inspection, and will not necessarily be an expert on the type of engine in your car. They see Volkswagens, Fords, Volkswagens, Chryslers, Volkswagens, Datsuns, Volkswagens, Toyotas, Volkswagens, Mercedes, Volkswagens, Chevrolets, and Volkswagens—just about everything ever built, so they cannot be expected to be an expert on every vehicle's smog equipment, unless of course it's a Volkswagen.

The inspection takes anywhere from 30 minutes to over one hour, depending on the inspector and the type of "engine change."Some inspectors will want to be left alone with your vehicle, others may ask for your assistance in locating devices such as the charcoal canister, vehicle speed sensor, or the wiring for the lock-up torque converter. The inspector will check ignition timing and EGR operation.

If your vehicle passes the visual inspection, a sticker will be placed in the door jamb or engine compartment (see next page).

If your vehicle does not pass the visual inspection, you will be given a form explaining what your vehicle will need to pass the inspection. You will need to correct the problem(s) listed on the form and make another appointment with the referee station.

After the visual inspection, the vehicle will be given the tailpipe (or sniffer) test. The tailpipe test is quite lenient. If your vehicle cannot pass the tailpipe test, something is wrong, or your engine has been modified a lot. Generally, a vehicle's tail pipe emissions will be about 1/3 of the allowable standards if it is running decently.

If your vehicle passes the visual inspection and the tail pipe test, you will get the smog inspection certificate ($7 fee) so that you can register your vehicle. The certificate has no indication of the "engine change,"and is the same type of certificate that "normal" vehicles receive for passing the inspection.

The sticker in the door jamb (below) allows the car to be subsequently tested at any smog inspection station. It gives the following information on what smog equipment the vehicle requires.



This door jamb sticker allows the car to be subsequently tested at any smog inspection station.

Explanation of Sticker Contents:

VIN No. Serial number of the vehicle TAC Thermostatic Air Cleaner
YR. Year of the engine (not the vehicle) AIS Air Injection System
SIZE Engine size EVP Evaporative Controls (charcoal canister)
MFG Manufacturer of the engine FR Fuel Filler Restrictor (unleaded gas)
F/C Federal/California smog requirements OC Oxidizing Catalytic Converter
M/A Manual/Automatic transmission TWC Three-Way Catalytic Converter
SITE Where the car was inspected EGR Exhaust Gas Recirculation
B/A Before/After. If the engine was installed before March of 1984, it may not need any smog controls SPK Spark (distributor) controls
COM Computer
NOX NOx Emission Controls C/I Carburetor/Injection
PCV Positive Crankcase Ventilation OTH Other smog controls





BUY THE BOOK
For the best information on smog laws in California, go to your local Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) office, and purchase the Smog Check Inspection Manual. To find one near you, look in the phone book in the "State Government Offices" section, under "Automotive Repair Bureau". This book is filled with valuable information, and it has important phone numbers should you have any questions about your swap. Cost of the book is less than $20.
 

dano626

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Jeff,
Thank you very very much. That is more info than I could ever ask for. Now i just gotta find someone to help me do the swap or a place to do it for me. The thing that really limits me is I have no garage to do the swap in. The best thing now is I can now sell the 2.9, the transmission and the rearend from the 88. Thanks Again!!!
 

SpareChangeRacng

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I can certainly vouch for how anal the smog nazis (CA BAR referees) are. I swapped in a supercharged 3.8L T-bird motor into my 89 ranger last year and it was a nightmare! I had to go back for the visual inspection and "ok" on the vehicle 7 F---ing times! The truck passed the smog "sniffer" test on the 1st visit too! After jumping through multiple hoops, and playing musical trannies to get the thing to pass the VISUAL inspection, they finally ok'ed the thing. I personally think it was just because I went back to bug the same guys 3 days in one week, and they realised that I was NOT going to stop trying until this thing passed (it was my daily driver at the time). The truth is they don't really want to pass anyone on this stuff, becase most of the swaps are for speed, etc. resaons and I don't think they like that. Plus they seem to see HP in the hands of a "kid" (I was 20/21 at the time) as a very bad thing. Anyway, the 4.0 should not be near as bad as my experience because that engine was offered in the ranger (just later), and it's not something they will see as purely a "hot rod" thing. If anyone wants info, or wants to hear the long nasty story, feel free to PM me, or email me at SHartDP@aol.com
 

partybarge_pilot

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The only reason for the motor swap claus was for vehicles were parts for the original engine are no longer avalible.....
This is why they are not making monster Miata's any more. The company was issued a cease and desist from the CARB.......
 

SDranger

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Hey are you chasetruck on offroadrangers? Im dezertrat over there. Anyways, for my smog question. I was talking to a guy that told me on 1995+ or (something close to that) that the auto trans had to match the year of the engine. I have a 97 ranger 4.0 5spd and want to swap in a c4/c5 next time my 5spd blows up. Will i have a problem smogging it since the motor will be original? Does the normal visual inspection even check the transmission?
Thanks

Paul

97 Ranger 4x4
02 CR125
 

SpareChangeRacng

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I'm not sure on that (the transmission) part of of the legal issues. I do know that the reason I had to play musical trannies on mine was with the 3.8L SC motor, the 5 spds had an EGR setup and the Autos did not. I bought my engine and transmission together (transmission was a sh*tty AOD). I ran the combo in the truck and even though I was told the AOD was freshly rebuilt, the thing cr*pped out on me after a couple months. I put a T-5 out of a 5.0 mustang in it right before I had to take it to the BAR. The reason I was driving it before I took it to the BAR was it was my daily driver and I didn't have to get it smogged for a while so I wwanted to get all my ducks in a row before I dela w/ the smog nazis. When I showed up to the smog nazis w/ a engine that had no EGR, but still had a 5 spd they said NO. I either had to put an auto back in, or put and EGR setup on. Because I was not planning on cutting my firewall out at that time (plans have changed and it is out of the truck right now) I couldn't fit an EGR setup on the truck. SO, I had to put an auto back on. I was out of $$ and my AOD was shot. I gathered as much $$ as I could and bought a beat AOD from a pick and pull and limped the truck over and it wouldn't [censored] do it failed the smog test after finally passing the visual! I messed w/ it some more and it passed the next day. That transmission blew after the test and I put my T-5 back in even though the A$$ put a special note on my BAR sticker that says "auto trans ONLY". That's not a big deal now that I am doing a full build including a c6 - we'll see what hapens to my smog nazi saga as soon as they see that! Steve
PS - yes I am ChaseTruck754 on all other boards
 
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