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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Engine Changes : Japanese Engines : Electric Conversions : Exemptions California

A friend just asked a question about Japanese replacement engines for California vehicles, and since the last information we wrote up was 9 years ago, its a good time to go over some of the California and ARB requirements.

The ARB website has more information, but here are a few points to know and understand.  A replacement engine is identical to the original engine.  A Japanese replacement engine must be identified as functionally identical to the original engine.  Any engine that was not originally certified for the USA, are not legal for engine changes in accordance with California laws.

Replacement Engines

Entire engines can be replacement parts. As with any other replacement part, the engine must be identical to the original. If the replacement block or engine is obtained without emissions equipment, all the equipment from the original engine must be installed on the replacement block.

If the engine is not identical to the original then it is not a replacement part, instead it is considered an engine change.
Engine changes are a modification that must meet certain requirements to be legal (please see "Engine Changes").

Japanese Replacement Engines
Used engines imported from Japan can be used as replacement engines as long as the engine being used has been identified as functionally identical to the original engine. Please refer to the engine retailers or importers catalogue to determine if a replacement engine is legal for installation in your vehicle. 

Engines not specifically identified as functionally identical are not legal for installation in any pollution controlled motor vehicle. Please note that all non-USA engines are prohibited for engine changes. Please download the official engine change policy for more information.

Engine Changes
Engine changes are only legal if they are completed in compliance with the California Bureau of Automotive Repairs (BAR) engine change policy. Please review all information before purchasing any vehicle with an engine change or any parts for a vehicle project. If you require additional assistance, FAQ's are available or contact the BAR referee appointment line at: (800) 622-7733.

Conversion to a fully electric vehicle
Vehicles converted to 100% electric drive, with all power supplied by on-board batteries are considered in compliance with the BAR engine change policy. All fuel system components must be removed prior to inspection. If you require additional assistance or a referee inspection appointment, please contact the BAR at: (800) 622-7733.

Please note that only electric or ZEV conversions certified to minimum performance and durability standards are eligible for incentives such as HOV stickers. View official list of qualifying vehicles.

All electric Chevrolet Camaro Conversion

Exemptions for Uncontrolled Vehicles 

Vehicles that were manufactured before emission control regulations took effect are called uncontrolled vehicles. Aftermarket parts regulations and anti-tampering laws do not apply to these vehicles. 

Uncontrolled vehicles may have any aftermarket add-on or modified part installed as long as the vehicle can still meet the tailpipe emission standards for the year of the vehicle. Uncontrolled vehicles must retain any original or retrofit crankcase control (PCV) devices and NOx device required for the year of the vehicle. 

The following vehicles are considered uncontrolled vehicles: 

  • 1965 and Older : U.S. Manufactured California Certified Vehicles 
  • 1967 and Older: U.S. Manufactured Federally Certified Vehicles 
  • 1967 and Older: Foreign Manufactured Vehicles


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