Newer Vehicles 2006 and up

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Phil's picture
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I'd be very leery of converting a newer vehicle to diesel.  From a quick search, it looks like 32 states have emission testing, as well as many  metropolitan areas in states that don't test statewide.  It seeems likely that those numbers will increase.  So if you do all the work - and it is a lot of work - to convert to diesel, then find out you cannot register your, you've lost a lot.

danalinscott's picture
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Those considering converting a "newer" vehicle to diesel might want to do a bit more research than a "quick search". A more indepth search will reveal that only vehicles registered in a few counties in some states require testing or that there are exceptions like
 
 

  • "Diesel powered vehicles with a model year 2006 and older." are exempt.
  •  
     
    And those in states that emission test "newer" vehicles might want to consider simply buying a (body and frame) "donor" car that is "grasnd-fathered in" to the emission testing rules.
    And remember all the vehicle usually has to do is pass an emissions test. Every diesel I have converted to wvo that has had to be emissions tested has passed easily.  The emissions testing station is unlikely to care if the engine is a gas or diesel as long as it legitimately passes the tailpipe test.
    For the cost of a new (and harder to sucessfully convert) "newer vehicle" it is quite feasible to buy and completely refurbish  a "donor" car and drop a quality rebuilt Mercedes diesel into it with an American made adaptor kit. 
    Not for everyone..but an option if you don't mind driving an older model car in excellent condition.

    Phil's picture
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    If you convert a gas car to a diesel vehicle, it does not ft the "diesel vehicle exemption".  As I said, I would proeed very carefully with this.  It would be a shame to put all that work and money into a vehicle you cannot legally drive on the road.  Or sell.

    danalinscott's picture
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    "If you convert a gas car to a diesel vehicle, it does not ft the "diesel vehicle exemption"
     
    This may or may not be correct.
    It depends on the specific wording of the governing statute. There are provisions made in most states for liscensing heavily "customized vehicles"including ones that do not have engines which were originally installed.
     
    "I would proceed very carefully with this."
    We BOTH agree on that point.
    Careful research is the start of any sucessful project.
    It is possible however to operate diesel re-engined vehicles without running afoul of the  the law in most of the US IF you carefully plan the project.
    There has been a small fleet of private vehicles which are currently being used all over the country  which have had thier original gas engines swapped for diesels...which are also converted to wvo fuel. These have so far run legally since they are not used commercially (in the legal sense)  AND are not in violation of emissions testing due to a form of "don't ask-don't tell".  Most are not subject to emissions testing..but those that are have passed.  The only places this such vehicles seem to run a high risk of running afoul of the law is in one western state and a few highly populated countys in 4 others.
     
    If you live in a rural area in the majority of the US the possibility of not being able to use or sell a vehicle with a diesel swapped for a gas engine is very low.  About the same as  being busted for using wvo instead of diesel fuel in one that originally came from the factory with a diesel engine.

    Phil's picture
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    Federal EPA regulations prohibit the installation of an engine that does not meet or exceed the emissions of the original engine. This would practically prohibit the installation of a diesel motor in any newer car.

    danalinscott's picture
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    "Federal EPA regulations prohibit the installation of an engine that does not meet or exceed the emissions of the original engine. This would practically prohibit the installation of a diesel motor in any newer car."
     
    I disagree.
    Is that statement based on the belief that a diesel engine in such a conversion cannot meet the emissions of the original engine? 
     
    Can you cite the specifc "EPA regulations" you are referring to?  There are exemptions to nearly every bit of EPA regulation in existance. Have you researched the regulations you refer to enough to be certain that no exemptions exist in this instance?
     
    Let's be realistic on this?
    Even without exemptions such regulation does not prohibit in any practical manner such swaps. They might possibly be prohibited legally but not practically.
    Even if what you appear to believe is true what are the odds of a private individual with a newer vehicle (converted to a diesel) attracting the attention of the EPA?  Heck..there are commercial enterprises currently swapping diesel engines into vehicle that openly do so and THEY have not been issued a "cease and desist" letter by the EPA.

    Phil's picture
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    http://www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/policies/civil/caa/mobile/engswitch.pdf
     
    And you did say legally.
     
    Practically, of course it can be done (illegally), if your area does not emission test.  But it would be a drag if they instituted emission tests the next year.

    danalinscott's picture
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    Thanks Phil,
    I think you proved my point.
     
    From the "fact sheet"  you provided.
    "This policy states that EPA will not consider any modification to a "certified
    configuration" to be a violation of federal law if there is a reasonable basis for knowing that emissions
    are not adversely affected."
     
    As long as the emissions test results are as good (or better) this is not a problem.
    Do you believe that a diesel cannot produce just as good emissions as a gas engine?
     
    PS...You DO realize of that it is provisions of the Clean Air Act  that "technically" makes it illegal to install a VO conversion kit..or sell them.

    Phil's picture
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    So tell me what diesel engine you might put into a newer gasoline vehicle that will still pass the  emissions test. 
    Um, we are all well aware that greasecars are technically illegal.  Did you just figure that out?

    danalinscott's picture
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    "we are all well aware that greasecars are technically illegal.  Did you just figure that out?"
     
    Hardly.
    I simply used that to illustrate that the "illegality" of swaping a diesel engine is the same as converting to wvo. In fact covered by the same legislation.
     
    For all practical matters they are BOTH equally unenforced.
     
    Similar to driving 67mph in a 65mph zone.

    Phil's picture
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    That is incorrect; they are not both equally unenforced. The swapping rule is very strictly enforced anyplace you have to pass an emission test to register your car. 
    Again, what are the diesel engines that you think burn as clean as a gas engine, that you would use in a swap?

    danalinscott's picture
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    "The swapping rule is very strictly enforced anyplace you have to pass an emission test to register your car. "
     
    States do not generally enforce federal law.
    In fact they rarely inform federal agencys of such minor breaches.
     
    Since you used the wording "strictly enforced" I imagine there should be quite a few instances where the enforcement action has been take by the EPA on private individuals who have swapped engines as we are discussing. Yet I can find none. Can you?
    From what I can find this just as many are subject to prosecution for engine swapping as for adding vo conversion kits to their vehicles. Which is to say none.

    MarkP's picture
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    There is no emmision testing here in VT, but they will plug in anything 96-newer OBD2 to check for codes. Not an emmision test, but a code check at inspection time which i believe all states requiring inspection will do. When you plug in a vehicle that was originally gas, you will get codes/errors because none of the engine management stuff is there anymore. There are work arounds, but then you are intentionally and knowingly breaking the law, subject to big fines.

    danalinscott's picture
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    Good point,
    Though all states requiring emission testing may not require an OBD2 test those that do will probably not be able to run ANY post 96 vehicle on wvo without intentionally and knowingly breaking the law with a high probability of being caught doing so.  States may not enfoce federal law..but they DO enforce state laws.
    Does the OP live in one of those states?
     

    JR3342 (not verified)
    JR3342's picture

    Have proof where all parts came from. Go thru the process of registering as a homemade or kit car.
    if u under stood epa engine swapping regs.it reads for light duty vehicles only. U cannot put a older engine in a car so a 81 benz motor in a 2001 suv technically wont fly. But a motor from a 01 can go into a 81 as long as all the 01 emmisions standards are met. No mention of must be same size, fuel or mfg.
    And annyone who knows about comercial apps would know what a glider kit is. A 2012 truck delivered with no engine at all. U can install a 2000 non egr engine and its all legal in 50 states and canada. Can even install a 1980 mechanical and as long as it meets engine year standards its all good.

    Phil's picture
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    Dana: States often enforce Federal Laws. The reason for state emissions testing vehicles is to comply with Federal EPA mandates.  Anyone who has failed an emission test would be an instance.  Any other questions?
     
    Many of us are in fact running post '96 vehicles in states with emission testing, and have not had any problems.
     
    You did not mention which diesel engines you would use that run cleaner than a gas engine.
     
    For anyone else still reading this thread, I came across this yesterday: 
    http://www.popularmechanics.co.za/article/23-ways-your-car-is-better-than-your-dads-2011-06-23

    danalinscott's picture
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    "Go thru the process of registering as a homemade or kit car."
    This is certainly an option in some states. States decide what is "street legal" and can be registered. 
     
    "if u under stood epa engine swapping regs.it reads for light duty vehicles only. U cannot put a older engine in a car so a 81 benz motor in a 2001 suv technically wont fly." 
    I agree... if th eEPA had to sign off on the process.
    They don't. Swapping an older engine into a newer vehicle only works because you do not have to re-register it and so as long as it passes any state mandated emissions testing no one is the wiser. 
     
    I am not encouraging anyone to swap engines in violation of federal law.
    I am just saying it is clearly possible to do so without any more serious concequence than converting a deisel vehicle to VO and operating it in violation of federal law. 
     
     
     
    "Dana: States often enforce Federal Laws."
     
    Phil:
    That is absurd.
    State agencys enforce state laws. 
    Federal agencys enforce federal laws.
    This is why our country has both state and federal courts.
    "The reason for state emissions testing vehicles is to comply with Federal EPA mandates.  Anyone who has failed an emission test would be an instance. "
    To be more accurate...states sometimes pass laws to comply with federal mandates and then enforce those state laws.  Anyone who has failed a state emissions test has actually failed a test required by state law...not federal law.
    "Many of us are in fact running post '96 vehicles in states with emission testing, and have not had any problems."
    By "problems" I assume you mean that you have not been caught intentionally and knowingly breaking a federal law. Doesn't that prove the point that states are not enforcing federal EPA regulations?  
     
    "You did not mention which diesel engines you would use that run cleaner than a gas engine."
     
    And you have not answered my question (which you morphed into your question above)  as well as several others.
    "Do you believe that a diesel cannot produce just as good emissions as a gas engine?"
     
    What I actually posted was
    ""From the "fact sheet"  you provided.
    "This policy states that EPA will not consider any modification to a "certified
    configuration" to be a violation of federal law if there is a reasonable basis for knowing that emissions are not adversely affected."
     
    As long as the emissions test results are as good (or better) this is not a problem.
    Do you believe that a diesel cannot produce just as good emissions as a gas engine?""
    If you answer my questions I will consider answering yours.
    I have to assume that you too were unable to find ANY prosecutions of those who have swapped diele engines despite your claim that "The swapping rule is very strictly enforced ".

     
     
     

    Phil's picture
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    I know that some diesels run cleaner than some gas engines. I do not believe that any diesel engine one is likely to swap into a newer gas engine chasis is going to be cleaner than the original gas engine.  Does that answer your question?  Do you have any others?
     
    I have never looked for such a prosecution, but I do know lots of people who have failed emissions test.  And that's what will happen if you put a diesel engine in your gas chassis and are required to take an emissions test.  That is how the EPA regulation is enforced.
     
    The fact that we are succesfully runing post '96 vehicles on WVO proves that your post #14 was wrong, that's all. 

    Blackgrease's picture
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    Hey Dana - Remember me?  I remember you.
     
     
    http://www.frybrid.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10231

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    danalinscott's picture
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     I do not believe that any diesel engine one is likely to swap into a newer gas engine chasis is going to be cleaner than the original gas engine.
     
    That is not what is required by the EPA regulation you cited.
    Here's what is:
    "This policy states that EPA will not consider any modification to a "certified
    configuration" to be a violation of federal law if there is a reasonable basis for knowing that emissions are not adversely affected."
     
    Very specific.
    As regulations tend to be.
     
    "I have never looked for such a prosecution,"
    Too bad. Since you claimed that the regulation was "strictly enfoced".
    That is clearly not true.
     
    If as you now claim it is indirectly "enforced" by the patchwork of state emissions testing that hardly constitutes "strict enforcement".
     
    "And that's what will happen if you put a diesel engine in your gas chassis and are required to take an emissions test."
     
    Clearly this is not correct as stated.
    I suspect that you did not intend ot make such a broad claim.
    Did you mean post 2006 chassis?
    "The fact that we are succesfully runing post '96 vehicles on WVO proves that your post #14 was wrong, that's all. 
     
    Which part?
    The "intentionally breaking the law" part or the "easily caught" part?
     
    Black grease...(Chris?) if you want to start a "let's post lies about Dana" discussion please start another none.  Plenty will join in I am sure. You do not need to hijack this discussion.

    Phil's picture
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    The part you got wrong is the "high probability of being caught".  Do you think that is accurate? 

    slatemd's picture
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    Hey Dana - Remember me?  I remember you.
     
     
    http://www.frybrid.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10231
     
    Here we go again...........

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    The future of America is easy to perceive;  Just visit Mexico or South Africa!

    Blackgrease's picture
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    Dana - It's me, Rog, not Chris.  Your memory is slipping again.  Those aren't lies - most of 'em are quotes.

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    1991 Jetta SVO's picture
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    http://www.lostjeeps.com/forum/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=94&t=61532 This is a link with lots of pictures of my Jeep Liberty conversion it now has 25k miles. My wife drives it 120 miles a day at least. The spare tire tanks is great it takes no space in the vehicle. I installed a Common Rail fuel heater that keeps it nice and hot. No major modification I even used the factory fuel line to connect to the greasecar valve. I did all of the recommended modification to keep the Liberty CRD running good. (for about $25) se website.
    As far as trucks go I have seen DPF removal it involes a reprogram (tune) and removal of the DPF. Then 07 and up can be converted to WVO. But that is removing emissions equipment. The Last years of the Dodge with the 5.9 motor are the best. Not that hard to convert. Really nice well equiped smooth running and a good design. Fuel goes in on the right and exhasut goes out on the left. In line 6's are good like that.
    Converting to diesel is usually a very cost ineffective option.

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    Two grease cars: First--2006 Jeep Liberty CRD it is nice and new and runs perfect on the grease with a custom spare tire tank 2nd frame mounted tank for a total grease volume of about 27 gallons, two greasecar valves, FPHE, and Injector Line heater mounted on the Common Rail. I have a spare tire cover that goes over the tank in the picture. Second Vehicle is a 2005 Mercedes E320 CDI with 3 greasecar valves, a 36 gallon custom tank in trunk, Comon Rail Heater and a Raw Power fuel pump.  I use all PEX line and flare fittings with pushlocks.