73 engine in an '80 fj40

Apr 16, 2003
Washington DC
OK.... here is the situation. I have a 1980 fj40 that the previous owner put a 1973 chevy inline 6 (250) in. Trouble is the 1980 is not quite an antique... and I don't want to have to pay for this thing to get emissions tested when I shouldn't have to. Has anyone else ever dealt with this? I know it is odd to have an older engine than the car.... but I guess that is par for the course with this rig....

Where would I get documentation certifying that the engine in there is a 73 and not the original 80. More importantly will the DMV accept it?

I have a call into the DMV so I should hear back at some point... but you know how slow they can be.

I was just wondering if anybody had any experience with anything similar.

May 2, 2003
Sorry. At least in NC you would lose this battle. They determine what is and is not tested by vehicle year and not by engine without exception. In fact, having done an engine swap to an 80 you may find them quoting the federal book at you.


Staff member
Jan 15, 2002
Toquerville UT
unfortunately, you are likely stuck...it depends on the state, but some require you to meet emissions for whatever is newer...in this case, the 80 truck emissions standards. If you had a 1995 V8 motor in there, all the visual and sniffer tests for that 95 model would be required.

I'm not in a smog county fortunately, but I was careful with the install of my 91 motor in my 74 rig to not remove anything smog related, just in case it needs to be in the future.


Aug 18, 2003
when I lived in CA the motor you put in your cruiser had to be the same year or newer. Then on top of that they made you pass smog for the year of the engine and the first time you smogged it it had to go to the state referee. I have a CA smog legal 1970 FJ40 with a TBI 350 out of a 1990 chevy. Then to top it off 6 months later my year cruiser did not have to be inspected. They never made me smog it again. If your state requires you year car to be smogged I would contact DMV and play stupid. If you year does not have to be smogged and it needs a saftey inspection you should be ok because most inspectors do not have a clue about fj40's.

good luck

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