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frame VIN != body VIN, legal question

Discussion in '40- & 55-Series Tech' started by nilepoc, Aug 19, 2006.

  1. nilepoc

    nilepoc

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    Just last night I was surfing through the parts for sale forum, and saw a frame that has already been blasted and painted with por-15. I got to thinking about how easy it would be to have a frame next to my fj and just take things off of the the vehicle, clean them up and bolt them on the new frame.

    Then this morning I started to think of other implications of this plan. Specifically I was wondering what happens when the VINs don't match on the tub and the frame. ( I am in Maryland) I have a clear title on my FJ40, and would hate to screw it up for convienence. From some of the threads I have read on here, I get the impression that I would be better off blasting and painting my own frame and keeping the numbers matching.

    As a side question, should I register my FJ before doing the frame off, or wait til its done?

    thanks for any and all advice.
     
  2. nailbender

    nailbender

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    Frames get replaced all the time. Mankin(sp) makes them new for Toyotas and jeeps. The vin plate on the body should be good enough. If I were doing a complete restro I would want the matching numbers. If it's going to get modified who cares. The only state that would worry me would be Cailfornia, ran by a bunch of pinkos.
     
  3. erics

    erics

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    call your local DMV and ask so you KNOW
     
  4. nilepoc

    nilepoc

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    I plan to call on monday, but thought I would poll the collective wisodom here until then.
     
  5. Poser

    Poser Oh...Durka Durka Durka. s-Moderator Supporting Vendor

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    Which will only net you a bunch of hearsay and "I think" statements, that will not make two bits worth of difference and only create more confusion for you when the DMV in your state tells you the way it will be....




    I would register the vehicle and get it in your name as soon as possible.


    The other thing that this will help is when you are five years into your restoration, life deals you some major changes and you no longer have money, time or interest in completing this project and you go to sell it. It will only prevent more headaches at the time of sale and transfer.



    Good luck!


    -Steve
     
  6. albee

    albee

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    I would not register it. Then you have to pay tax and insurance on it while you are building it. Just get the title in your name, in the state you live in. When you are ready to drive it, then register so you can get your plates. Title and registration are two different things. Good luck
     
  7. nuclearlemon

    nuclearlemon not an addict Moderator

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    as mentioned, check your dmv. here in colorado, the title goes with the frame, not the body. some states may be strict enough to require frame and body to match, some may go off body vin.
     
  8. numtel

    numtel

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    The frame and tub vins don't match on my 40 but I never have to have it inspected or smogged so I don't know when I would ever find out if that's a problem. I think somebody before me put earlier vin plates on it to be smog exempt.
     
  9. Mark W

    Mark W

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    The rules vary from state to state. And it is a state thing, not a federal thing. Here, the frame is the important one. But if you combine a body and frame from different vehicles (Or even "major body parts", and there is gets grey), you have to provide documentation that you own all of it to the state and they inspect the rig and issue a new title.

    Many many Cruiser owners do not bother with this and it is never checked. Yet. But IF you do get caught with mismatched numbers on your rig, or a fame number that is different than the title... You *could* be looking at felony charges the same as if you were runnming a chop shop. *Could be*. I doubt that it would come to that unless there was a whole lot more to the situation.

    Regardless, it is not something to play around with without knowing the facts. NOT just opinions from knuckleheads who don't even know what state you are in. ;)


    Mark...
     
  10. kulangot

    kulangot

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    Like poser said, you have to be really carefull about getting information from the DMV - no one can be held to what they said, even if you get their name and they are not going to put stuff in writing.

    I have been told by a DMV "special agent" that you have to get a reconstructed vehicle permit to do what you are doing, but only if you tell them that you are doing it. On an older vehicle, the tittle more or less goes with the frame. On new cars, the VIN number is all over the car - litterally and the same logic does not apply. Recently, I did a bunch of work with a friend on his new Rubicon and the VIN was printed all over the truck, front of frame, side of frame, fenders, other body parts, etc. I guess to keep chop shops out of business.

    He also told me that if I put an Aqualu body on my truck that it would no longer be a 72 FJ40 and it would be either a reconstructed vehicle or a specially constructed vehicle. In this case, I think he was quoting the letter of the law and not what is actually enforced.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2008
  11. nilepoc

    nilepoc

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    Thank you all for your input. The ideas and suggestions posted here made my search of the Maryland MVA code easier. Here is what I found, for others future reference.

     
  12. MOfj40

    MOfj40

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    This thread reminds me why I left the east coast.

    When I titled my 40 in Missouri, no one checked anything. I have the tub data plate that says 1974 (which it's not) and no frame VIN. I walked into the DMV with old title and current inspection, paid my $$, and was on my way with new tags in 10 minutes. Title was in my mailbox 2 weeks later. No one even checked to see what vehicle the tags were going on. Even had the sale price listed as $200 to save on sales tax.
     
  13. kulangot

    kulangot

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    You could do that here no problem. I've owned something like 30 or 40 cars, and a t least 18 Land Cruisers. I've never had a single situation where they actually checked my car. It's not a matter of what you can get away with, it's a matter of what is the law and what could be enforced.


    You'd probably never have a problem unless you got in an accident, it was stolen and investigated by the police or worst possible case scenario some State Trooper with a hard on checks at a traffic stop. You could probably get away with it, but with my luck I'd be the one to get nabbed so I keep my s*** legal as can be.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2008
  14. llih

    llih

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    In Calif they check. I have had my current 40 since 75. There was a period of several years that I didn't drive the vehicle. I let the registration lapse. When I went to get the registration caught up, it wasn't in the system. I had to have a sheriff come out and verify the frame and tub numbers. He filled out the paper work and I was good to go. I got the truck back into the system. By that time I had removed the 6 in favor of the Chevy. This was before the law allowed my truck to be de-smogged. After the engine transplant I had to go to the smog referee and he helped me get the smog crap on the vehicle, so it would pass. He put a smog sticker on the drivers door piller. It contained both the vin and a bar code so smog stations could determine what equip I had to have. Oh the joy of living in CA!
     
  15. El Cazador

    El Cazador

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    Kind of an off-topic reply, but if anyone in California has a question or problem with registration let me know. 24+ years as a prosecutor has, if nothing else, put me into contact with a lot of DMV investigators who are pretty good about answering questions or at least being able to send me to the person with an answer, not to mention the CHP folks I've met who research and authorize weird VIN issues. I suspect I'll be talking to them myself in a few months as my rebuild has a '72 frame and a '74 body. Like the project itself was not challenging enough?
    Vic
    Redlands, CA.
     
  16. nilepoc

    nilepoc

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    new question

    Now I am hesitant to do the purchase of the frame, because I just thought of another wrinkle.

    The frame might be a 1978, and my current cruiser is a 1971. The cutoff for emmissions in Maryland is 1974. Now I need to find if I will be held to the emmissions requirements for a 1978 frame.

    Any insights on that one?

    What I thought might be simple has brought up so many questions.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2006
  17. kulangot

    kulangot

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    You can get Hot Rod Tags in MD that make your truck smog exempt, very nice compared to what we have here in VA.

    I'd be carefull about this though, just because you can get away with something now, that does not mean the enforcement or the law will not change at a later date. Here in VA a bill was on to change the way antigue tags work, but it was removed this year because of so much oppostion. That does not mean it wont come back.

    Still, very cool that Hot Rod tags even exist.

    Here is a thread where some Marylanders discuss it:

    Good Suburban MD Mechanics? - IH8MUD.com Forum

    Good luck,
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2008
  18. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon

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    You can't junk a body or frame in Oregon without a title, unless it is chopped up into bite sized pieces so it is no longer a body or a frame. Found that out when I tried to get ride of a leftover frame from a project vehicle. I sold the vin plated cab with the title, but was left with the wrecked frame. No wrecking yard would take it without the title due to the law. Had to cut it up into little pieces and get rid of it as scrap steel.
     
  19. tyler black

    tyler black

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    mark,
    are you the mark in wasilla?

    tyler
     
  20. Toyo FJ40

    Toyo FJ40

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    How clean is the frame? Can you even make out the vin numbers. I replaced my frame on my 74 and replaced the cowl with it's vin plate too and had no problem getting a title off the door jam vin plate in PA. PA also says that anything before 1970 just needs a bill of sale for proof of ownership ( I think that they don't have anything older than that in their system).

    I think if it was an issue I'd think about cutting the vin stamp out of the old frame and weld it into the new one.



    Kevin
     
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