Engine Swaps Made Easier
Engine swapping activities are bound by specific state laws that may vary from state to state. Having said that, there are some general guidelines one may consider. This article will cover the rules for switching the engine in production-type vehicles (but not specially-constructed vehicles, street rods, kit cars, and the like). The basic rule of engine switching (as opposed to installing a "replacement" engine) is that the change must do no harm. This means that the engine being installed must theoretically be at least as "clean" as the one taken out. Several requirements may define clean for the purposes of engine switching:
The U.S. EPA and many states have enforceable policies and guidelines on how to perform legal engine changes. For further information, please consult the EPA and California Bureau of Automotive Repair at: www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/policies/civil/caa/mobile/engswitch.pdf
How Loud is Too Loud?
Imagine driving down the road and getting stopped because of the modified muffler on your restored '72 Charger. Now imagine sitting on the shoulder, receiving a citation from local law enforcement, while a stock Ferrari overtakes your car and drives on. This is the scene being played on state highways across the country, the result of poorly drafted or ineffective state laws and regulations. The laws on the books in these states frequently cite the manufacturer's specifications or a factory installed muffler as the basis on which vehicle exhaust noise is measured.