Registering FJ40 diesel swap in CA

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Hi,

I recently brought a FJ40 into California and I have some questions around where to begin with registering the car in the state and getting plates. You can view information about my vehicle here. The website lists the specs on it. Some things worth pointing out...
The car was titled as a gas vehicle but has since been converted to diesel with a Cummins 4BT turbo diesel.

I'm not really sure where to begin and any advice/help/experiences shared would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
 
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I don't think it can be made smog legal unless you register it as a diesel in another state first and have that title state it is diesel.
 

tlaporte

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I don’t know enough about the Cummins 4BT or the donor vehicle, but the following two links will help you understand what’s needed.



The first link addresses engine changes in general, and the second link addresses a change to motive power (ie, gas to diesel).

Generally speaking, the donor engine
  • has to come from a vehicle in the same GVWR class (you can’t put a semi-truck engine into a Subaru, e.g.),
  • it must come from the same or newer model year as the recipient vehicle
  • it has to adhere to the same or stricter emissions requirements than the original engine (can’t put a 49-state engine in as a replacement for a CA-specific engine)
  • It has to retain all of its original emissions equipment
  • smog requirements are dictated by the age and engine type of the donor engine
 

fyton2v

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It all sounds really hard, but since you're already in it be sure to let us know how this progresses. If you get it registered, I'd be curious how it'll ever pass a visual smog inspection.
 
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Diesel smog is only required for 1998 or newer. But since this is a swap that wasn't registered here in the first place not sure how that comes into play?
 

tlaporte

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I’m not at all familiar with the Cummins 4BT engine and the OP didn’t specify (maybe doesn’t know) what the donor vehicle was. I don’t imagine that getting this legally registered in CA will be easy, especially since the swap likely wasn’t done with an eye toward getting it registered here.

The age of the receiving vehicle is almost irrelevant, as far as I understand. For example, if you put an LS1 from a 1998 Corvette into your 1980 FJ40, and you manage to bring over all of the emissions equipment from the Corvette, you could get it approved by the referee and your FJ40 would be subject to 1998 smog standards.

As @bhsdriller points out, diesels pre-1998 are smog-exempt, so if the Diesel engine swapped in came from a pre-1998 vehicle, as long as it was a legal engine for CA the year it was built and all of the emissions stuff was transferred over, it would seem you could do it.

This is just based on my reading of the relevant information on the DMV and CARB websites. IANAL.
 

1MOA

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Won’t happen in Ca. Beast bet is South Dakota route or similar. Ca shut that door .
THIS.
Your problem is when CA does a vin verification it will show as a gas vehicle in whatever state it was titled before.
That will prompt the DMV to forward the vehicle for the emissions and smog test automatically. When you tell them it is a diesel they will then have to verify visually and it will then prompt the system to add the year/make and model of the diesel engine in it.
Since it is a new diesel it will have to have all the diesel equipment required for that year . I would suggest having it titled and registered somewhere else than CA and enjoy it.
Also looking at your link with the sale add go buy some battery tie downs. Would be a shame that they spent all that money on the truck only to have the batteries spark against the hood in a minor collision or wheeling and have it burn up.
 

middlecalf

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Isn’t that a Cummins motor in the 40 in the consignment auction listing? How’s does a vehicle get to a consignment sales without being licensed somewhere?
 
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Isn’t that a Cummins motor in the 40 in the consignment auction listing? How’s does a vehicle get to a consignment sales without being licensed somewhere?
"Off road use only"?



That engine could've come out of virtually anything. Bread truck, generator, boat, water pump, small tractor, dozer, telehandler. Anything but a passenger vehicle.

Just a thought. I would see if there's a way to decode the serial number and figure out a build date on it, and pray it was built before the cut off date. Might give you the information you need to get it through the bureaucracy.

I can't see the pump, but judging from the valve cover, (which is doesn't exactly mean anything), it's a P pump motor. I think Cummins switched the 4bt over to the vp44, then the cp3 pumps at the same time, but I could be a liar. I'm willing to bet there's a lot of grey area on that too. Somebody on here has to be a higher level Cummins nut than me and know. 😆
 

1MAC

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If it turns out to be incredibly difficult/impossible to register, the generous person who gave it as a gift would probably understand if you decided to sell it and buy something easier to own.
 

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