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Q: car self built new jersey emmision regulations, how to pass ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: car self built new jersey emmision regulations, how to pass
Category: Sports and Recreation > Automotive
Asked by: ray59-ga
List Price: $200.00
Posted: 03 Sep 2002 13:06 PDT
Expires: 03 Oct 2002 13:06 PDT
Question ID: 61362
i am considering building a kit car. The car comes from the UK and
does not include an engine or transmission. I intend to source the
motor from a us rebuilder who takes an old engine out of a donar car
and then rebuilds it with mostly new parts.
The engine I would like is a small block chevy and will be modified to
produce about 600 horsepower and related emissions. I need to
understand what is required to register the car in NJ and what the
emisssion testing will be.
The car will have limited road application and will probably be driven
less than 3000 miles per year.
I understand many people are putting engines with this type of
horsepower in car licensed in nj and thqat these cars pass emisssons

Request for Question Clarification by alienintelligence-ga on 04 Sep 2002 04:59 PDT
Hi ray59...

I'm in California and I just did a buildup
of an engine to around 725hp. As you can
imagine, California is rather stringent with
their emissions. The way I made sure I will
pass was I started with a fresh engine (it is
a '97 block but is practically new after all
the machine work). The engine is an LT1. A
very efficient engine. It is also based on
96 emissions OBDII. I chose the OBDII type of 
PCM (the engine brain) because of the ability
to modify its program. When you modify the
program you can take into account different
fueling methods, different air flow rates,
different spark curves, etc, etc. I am still
tuning it by carefully modifying the PCM
parameters but it will soon be ready to sit
on a state smog dyno and prove that you don't
need to spit out raw fuel to have power. Nice
an clean.  =)

The way California handles engine swaps is,
same year or newer can pass. If I have a 96
vehicle and I swap out and put in a new engine,
as long as that engine was made with 96 emissions
or newer AND passes smog, no grief. From what I
have read this is pretty standard in all states.
I am still seeking out that confirmation.

In the meantime, I need to identify your main questions
from what you wrote. I got this from what you said:

1) I need to understand what is required to register
   the car in NJ.

2) What will the emissions testing be like.

3) How do people get licensed and pass emissions in NJ
   with these types of high horsepower engines?
Is this what you are interested in having answered? 

If so... I have a few questions for you.

The kit car you are getting... tell us more about
it. What type is it? There are 3 different types
when it comes to having a car licensed.

#1 One that uses a donor car for the frame / parts

#2 One that is constructed using a custom frame 
   built by the manufacturer.

#3 One that is constructed using a custom frame
   built by you.
I know you said the engine and tranny were from a
donor but the key element is the chassis or frame.
This is the key to registering and titling the car.   

If you are using a donor car from a yard, you need
to insure the title is clear. A small title search
fee is worth not losing thousands in the future.
Also, as tempting as a salvage title may be, please
be sure you are familiar with ALL aspects of salvaging
before you go that route.

What type of engine and transmission are you 
thinking of? Reasons for selection?

What year is the kit? Care to share the bodystyle?


"Vehicle Inspection" - Motor Vehicle Services from
New Jersey Department of Transportation
[ ]
The value of this page is the diagram at the bottom
[ ]
It shows some of the inspection items that you will
have to pass.

(Maybe this exemption will apply? Waiting on info)
"Inspections are not required for certain vehicles such as
historic and collector cars.

"Historic vehicles at least 25 years old, used only for
exhibition purposes or manufactured before 1945, require a
special registration and a QQ plate displayed on the rear
of the vehicle.

"Collector cars display two standard license plates and
have a triangular decal on the front left windshield that
are valid for two years.  The owners must provide proof of
miles driven annually (3,000 miles or less) and special
insurance (limited use collector vehicle) and renew this
status every two years, or if owners change."


FAQ by Clean Air New Jersey
[ ]

"Q: What is a PIF?
 A: A PIF is a Private Inspection Facility. This is a
private garage that is licensed under the new program to
inspect your vehicle. Each PIF is required by the state to
have the new enhanced inspection equipment, including a
dynamometer. PIFs are also required to have a licensed
inspector on staff who has completed special training at a
facility approved by the state. These inspectors perform
both the safety and emissions parts of the inspection. The
PIF should have a paper license as well as a Clean Air NJ
sign displayed in their shop.

"Q: How do I find a licensed Private Inspection Facility?
 A: You can search for a licensed Private Inspection
Facility (PIF) by using this website. 
[ ]
Select -Test & Repair Locations- from the main menu. Then 
select "Private Inspection Facilities."


I could not look up a PIF local to you without your
zip code or city of interest.



"DMV Proposes Regulations Pertaining To The Enhanced 
Motor Vehicle Inspection And Maintenance Program" from
New Jersey Department of Transportation by Micah Rasmussen
P.O. Box 600 Trenton, NJ 609-530-4280
RELEASE: August 21, 2002

"Toll-Free Number for New Enhanced Motor Vehicle Inspections to be
Activated on November 9"
from Clean Air New Jersey
"Consumers to Call 1-888-NJ-MOTOR for Program Information"

"Trenton, NJ - A new toll-free telephone number for
motorists to call for information about New Jersey’s new
enhanced motor vehicle inspection program will be
activated on Monday, November 9, 1998. The toll-free
number, 1-888-NJ-MOTOR (1-888-656-6867), will be available
to motorists during the state inspection facilities new
business hours for questions specific to the new enhanced
inspection program. Questions related to subjects other
than the new enhanced inspection program, such as
licensing, registration, titles, etc., should still be
directed to the current toll-free number maintained by New
Jersey Motor Vehicle Services (1-888-486-3339)."


from New Jersey Department of Transportation
"On Monday, December 13 ????, when New Jersey begins its
new enhanced inspection and maintenance program, state
inspection facilities at Morristown, Asbury Park and
Winslow will become "Specialty Vehicle Inspection

"Those three facilities will be reserved for inspections of
specialty vehicles such as kit cars, retired school buses,
reconstructed vehicles, high-rise and salvage vehicles,
and vehicles with adaptations for handicapped drivers."

"For inspection purposes, "collector cars" are not 
considered specialty vehicles. Collector cars are 
driven less than 3,000 miles a year, have special 
limited insurance, and are exempt from inspection. 
Owners of collector cars may go to any inspection 
station for odometer verification, required every 
two years."


We will have to determine if the eventual status
of the car is specialty or collector. I can see
your desire for the "collector" route... but can
you actually imagine not wanting to drive a car
like that more than 6000mi in 2 years? 250 miles
a month. Only 60 miles a week?  Just want to be
sure... I know my steed doesn't stay in the stable 
very long, ;o)



I have emailed several agencies and a few New Jersey
clubs, as well as placed a couple of voice mail calls
to the New Jersey area DOT and the MVS. Awaiting the
responses to all of these. 

When you respond to the clarifications, I should be 
able to answer your questions fully.


Request for Question Clarification by alienintelligence-ga on 04 Sep 2002 13:29 PDT
Hi again ray59...

I believe I have spoken with everyone I need
to in order to answer your question. As soon
as you post the clarifications I asked about I 
will be able to provide you with some insight about
the inspection testing and registering of your vehicle.


Clarification of Question by ray59-ga on 04 Sep 2002 16:18 PDT
Thanks for the reply. 

The kit I am looking at is an Ultima Can Am kit from the UK. This
package includes the frame, body and all parts required to complete a
bodied rolling chassis. The link to the site is

I have not decided on a transmission yet. Utlima recommends a Porsche
setup or a Gertag. I would like to add more horsepower but the
transmission options above are the limiting factor. These units are
not able to handle the torque more than 600 pounds of torque. In
addition, I would like to install a sequential transmission if
possible but have not yet found one suitable.

Your questions are correct with one exception; I would like to know
the specific emissions standards for each motor year. For instance
what are the standards for a 1968 small block Chevy versus a 1975
model. Are motors put together pre 1968 required to meet any emission
standards? What about modifications to the motor, new cam etc and
there impact to the testing standards?

I am willing to do a later model motor with all emissions setups if I
can get the horsepower. Your setup sounds great! Why don’t the engine
builders take this approach? Do you care to share what you have done?

I would like to register the car so I can drive it frequently so if 
I can avoid collector status etc that would be great.

I am aware of the special inspection stations, but to be frank the
people at these facilities have not been any help.

If you need more please let me know.

Subject: Re: car self built new jersey emmision regulations, how to pass
Answered By: alienintelligence-ga on 05 Sep 2002 06:31 PDT
Hehe, I told everyone today that it was
a Pantera kitcar. I wasn't too far off.
That is one sweet looking Can-Am. A
Chevy V8 with a Porsche gearbox. Nice.

"Brit sports car with Ferrari-crushing pace" by Brett Fraser in
[ ]

The Can-Am model is 2140lb... 4.20lb/hp
with a 600hp Chevy V8. Well, that beats
me by a stretch but I did choose my car
because it was a 4door and seats 5 adults
comfortably. At a 4200lb penalty, I'm
right around 6.82lb/hp.  The Viper is
around 7.55lb/hp base trim. We don't
have to worry about those huh? ;o) 

I would say it would pay to recognize
the Henneseys, base model hits 4.81lb/hp
and the crazy ones are 3.4lb/hp.

Enough chit chat and daydreaming, hehe.

}-{ }-{ }-{ }-{ }-{ }-{ }-{ }-{ }-{ }-{ 

These are your questions that I wrote down 
which you are seeking an answer to:

1) I need to understand what is required to register 
   the car in NJ. 
2) What will the emissions testing be like. 
3) How do people get licensed and pass emissions in NJ 
   with these types of high horsepower engines? 

You replaced one of those questions in your clarification

"Your questions are correct with one exception; I would like to know
the specific emissions standards for each motor year. For instance
what are the standards for a 1968 small block Chevy versus a 1975
model. Are motors put together pre 1968 required to meet any emission
standards? What about modifications to the motor, new cam etc and
there impact to the testing standards?
"I am willing to do a later model motor with all emissions setups if I
can get the horsepower. Your setup sounds great! Why don't the engine
builders take this approach? Do you care to share what you have done?"

*I'm not sure which to replace, so I'll just add that to the 
questions for a total of four.


I am really glad I got a chance to do some research
in this area. I learned all about the ins and outs 
of the engine swap on my vehicle so I wouldn't have
any surprises. It seemed intimidating at first but the 
sole requirement in my case was the replacement engine
must be of the same year or newer as the one it
replaces. All emissions parts that came on my car
from the factory, have to remain for visual inspection.
So the swap of a year younger engine into her 1996 body
is ok. All emissions parts were retained. I did have
to get creative to find a home for the electric AIR
pump though. 

I wish I could say that building and having a kitcar
pass emissions is going to be that easy. I don't believe
it will be though.

The gentleman who is in charge of the specialty vehicles,
etc in New Jersey, was out of his office today, supposedly
back tomorrow. I called the alternate number he gave for
his absence. It was one of the specialty vehicle testing
areas. The person I spoke with there was helpful with my
questions about the vehicle inspections. It seems it is
very easy to understand the requirements in the case of
a car that is considered a reconstruct. He seemed very
adamant that this is the only classification it would
be under. I asked about collectors cars... he said "these
are cars that came from a factory production line." 

The reconstructs, like a car from a manufacturer, must pass
ALL current emissions tests and vehicle safety / equipment
tests for the year of its production. Yep, that means that
if you start this car tomorrow... and it takes 2 years to
build, it will have to be compliant with all rules that
are current to 2004. This is not to say you could not use
an engine that is older, a prior year or so... but the
chances of passing a more stringent emissions with an
engine that was made before the standards, isn't very good.
In addition to having to pass those new standards... it
will be required to have the equipment that comes from
the factory on the typical cars of that year model for the

The gentleman at the station I spoke with, STRONGLY suggested
a mill that is current to the year of completion of the
kitcar. He is recommending, complete the vehicle, then drop
in an engine, preferably from the current year. He said,
"The closer to the year of completion the engine is, the
more likely it will meet compliance" The phone number of
that station I called is: (609)567-0190

What is worse about this is... using the hypothetical date
of two years into the future, it brings us to the upcoming
year 2004... that is one of the years that emissions tests
are being ramped up to meet Tier 2 / LEV-II standards. It
will be even harder after that point.

So, your Can-Am is designed for a Chevy V8... I hope that
doesn't just mean a Chevy SB pre-86. I think it would be
pretty impossible to even have a 87-91 SBC pass a modern
test for emissions. Can this kit handle a LT1 engine? Or
better yet a LS1 engine? I'd be willing to bet (not taking
into account hypothetical emissions equipment in the future)
that a LT1 would pass emissions in the future. I have seen
some VERY impressive posts about basically non-existent
noxious vapor emissions. Those tests were NOT on the higher
horsepower engines though. PCM modification is usually 
involved in a case like that. A LS1 would also be an engine
likely able to handle emissions testing in the future. 

I base those statements on the results I have seen posted
to the newsgroups I am part of. In the case of higher
horsepower engines that have camshafts of a duration which
do not allow for a full, proper combustion. Individuals
have reprogrammed parameters in their PCMs to create a
special environment for testing. The "test program" is not
suitable for daily driving.

I will take this moment to mention a point that was cleared
up by the special vehicles titling division of New Jersey.

The lady I spoke with, inquired from her supervisor about
the origin of the frame. As I stated in my clarification,
the 3 types of kit cars are differentiated by the source
of the frame. Donor car, Kitcar company, or fabbed. New
Jersey will not allow you to have a hand fabbed frame. She
said, if it's a donor car, make sure you have clear title.
You would need this for registration. The chassis they 
provide you in the kit, will be able to be titled and 

The lady I spoke with at the titling office, offered to send
out the "Reconstruct Vehicle Packet". From what I gather it
has pertinent information and forms that you will need to
complete titling. I figured it couldn't hurt to have that
info, so I accepted. It'll be here next week. If you would
like the same packet for yourself, you can call the agency

(609)633-7412 Specialty Vehicles Titling. 

If you talk with them, don't "blow my cover" ;-)

Since I wanted to get some info for you, right now... I 
gently pressed further if there wasn't "some items she
might be able to point out to me on the phone" Seems there
were a few things she could tell me.

To get a kitcar vehicle titled in New Jersey, you must
provide proof of ownership by having clear title of the
donor car. Or in this case, you need the Manufacturer
Certificate of Origin. You will also need the VIN of the
kitcar (she emphasized this point) Since I like to explore
possibilities, I asked was there a way to avoid all the
paperwork? I had told her previously that I was out of state,
she said... "if the vehicle is assembled and titled out
of state, then you simply do a title transfer to the
New Jersey registration." Interesting point, eh?

This of course would not apply in the case of emissions
testing, which would still be required to pass, based on
the year shown on the title as being its "first year".

The gentleman that was out of his office is named, Richard
Dittmore (sp?) He is in charge of the Motor Vehicle Services.
I'm not sure if he's in charge of everything or just this 
type of specialty inspection. You can reach him at:

As far as safety and equipment inspections, the Can-Am will
also have to pass those based on current models. All of the 
typical requirements such as safety belts, mirrors, and horn. 
As well as proper ride height, proper bumper height, all 
external lights, windshield and wipers, etc.

So, to summarize the answers to the questions:

Q1)I need to understand what is required to register 
   the car in NJ. 
A1) To register a kitcar in New Jersey you must request a
   "Reconstruct Vehicle Packet" Study the info inside and
   fill out the required forms. When the time comes for
   the registration, you will need proof of ownership, a
   clear title and/or the Manufacturer Certificate of origin
   as well as the VIN of the kitcar (in case this differs
   from the frame VIN) 

Q2)What will the emissions testing be like. 
A2)The emissions testing will be based upon the current
   year requirements at the time of vehicle completion. The
   vehicle must pass all visual, sniffer and diagnostic

Q3)How do people get licensed and pass emissions in NJ 
   with these types of high horsepower engines? 
A3)I would have to presume a few things here with this
   question. These people are not visiting the "friendly
   testing stations" and getting the certification the
   easy way. I will have to presume also that the vehicles
   in question are not kitcars, or if they are, their mills
   are in compliance with what I already stated. I will
   also have to presume these cars are possessing engines
   that are the same model year or newer in age and still
   have all required emissions parts. That said. And not
   knowing if the engines in question are normally aspirated
   or if they are blown, turbocharged, or if they are on
   squeeze. And also not knowing the displacement... But
   lets say we know of person X, and they have a car. A
   Trans-Am, a 1996. They took a donor engine from a 
   wrecked 97 T/A or Camaro. Rebuilt it. High compression,
   everything is new except the block and a few odds and
   ends. This engine placed back in the T/A, as long as
   it has either the emissions items from 96 or from 97,
   is an emissions legal swap. That is, if it passes the
   sniff test. But the engine has new injectors, it has
   been bored .030 over and stroked. The "volumetric
   efficiency model" of the original engine is waaay out
   of spec for this new beast. Fortunately it's an
   OBDII type vehicle. You load up a nice program like:
   "TuneItUp's LT1_Edit - THE Editor for your GM F, Y, or B-body Car!"
   [ ]

   You play with fun tables like this:
   "Advanced Tuning" from LT1_edit
   [ ]

   Then you create your new "program" and upload to the
   cars' PCM. You place the car on a dyno with a wideband
   O2 sensor to test for rich/lean. If you are dead on,
   you did well. If not... you try, try again.
   And I would give that for my final answer... having
   taken these same steps and currently in the middle
   of 'try, try again', I would enthusiastically say,
   anyone making REALLY HIGH horsepower has tuned their
   vehicle through countless hours of trial and error. This
   is how they manage to pass emissions
   If this isn't a "modern car" chances are the regulations
   regarding the emissions standards are pretty lax. I have
   seen cars from the 80's with multi-hued smoke still 
   make a squeeking-by passing grade on the sniff test.
   By the time you get back to the 70's cars, they basically
   just want to make sure that you are at least burning
   some of the fuel in the engine and not letting it all
   pour out the tailpipe. So someone with a stout 70's
   musclecar, would still be able to pass the emissions,
   so long as some effort was put in to making the car
   run properly. If it's high horsepower, it is probably
   tuned to be efficient as possible.
   A word at the end of this about camshafts though. 
   During my engine buildup I learned that one of the
   greatest make or break parts in an engine when it
   comes to emissions is the grind on that camshaft.
   Sure you can grind out an awesome amount of power,
   but will it be clean? The camshaft I wanted for my
   buildup was a fairly large one. I was told by a very
   knowledgeable camshaft grinder that I would have to
   back off a bit to maintain streetability (no torque
   convertor was wanted by me) If you are considering
   a custom grind on the bumpstick, try this guy:
   [ ]
   Charles at Camcraft Cams, he's on your side of the
   US, in Maryland. As long as I don't experience any
   problems with my camshaft, such as premature wear, 
   then I'm totally happy with it. He selected a dead-on
   grind. No lope to speak of and instant throttle

Q4)I would like to know the specific emissions standards for
   each model year. For instance what are the standards for a
   1968 small block Chevy versus a 1975 model. Are motors put
   together pre 1968 required to meet any emission standards?
   What about modifications to the motor, new cam etc and
   their impact to the testing standards?
A4)As regards the kitcar, this information is irrelevant.
   It appears that these engines are not permissible in
   the Can-Am in NJ. But I'm not going to leave it at that.
   This is a useful question to know about anyway. From
   what I understand, vehicles prior to 1968 are exempt.
   This applies to the vehicle though and is not relative
   to the engine. The concept is, the 'vehicle' must pass
   the emissions, with whatever engine exists in the car.
   And those standards are based on when the car rolled
   off the assembly line. For a non-computer controlled
   engine, almost any modification you do to it will
   have a large effect on tailpipe emissions. There will
   be a smaller range of changes possible. With a modern
   PCM, one that can be reprogrammed... many things can
   be changed before noticeable tailpipe emissions are 
   noted. Current computer controlled engines are always
   trying to maintain the stoichiometric balance by minor
   changes to fueling. These are known as Short-Term and
   Long-Term fuel trims. By modifying the base table
   information that relates to the air flow and fuel
   characteristics of your new mods, you can allow the
   engine to operate in a range that is still able to
   be balanced by the PCM, thus maintaining the desired
   emissions levels.

"The Plain English Guide to Tailpipe Standards" from
The Union of Concerned Scientists 
[ ]
"The federal Clean Air Act (CAA) provides the framework for
regulating emissions from motor vehicles. In 1970, it
established nationwide air quality standards to protect
public health. Recognizing the large contribution motor
vehicles make to air pollution, the Clean Air Act also set
the first federal tailpipe standards. Finally, the CAA
granted California, which has some of the worst air
quality in the nation, the authority to set it's own
vehicle emission standards. As of 1990, other states may
adopt the California program as their own (and several
have done so), but are otherwise prohibited from setting
their own emission standards."

"Summary of Federal and California Exhaust Emissions
Standards for CNG, LPG, Gasoline, and Diesel" from
the Alternative Fuels Data Center.
[ ]

So far, all I can find are documents and programs
you have to purchase that have a wide variety of
emissions data.

"BAR-Compliant Repair Information in an Easy-to-Use 
Format To Compliment Your ALLDATA Subscription" by
[ ]
"Information on the ALLDATA Emissions CD goes beyond 
BAR requirements to include extensive Technical 
Service Bulletin (TSB) selection and expanded Year, 
Make, Model and Engine (YMME) coverage for 1966-1981 
model-year vehicles. The convenient CD format is easier 
to use, maintain and store than manuals, providing 
efficient access to complete emissions information."

Here is a site from Colorado that has emissions limits
and other testing information. From what the CAA said,
the standards should be the same.

"Emissions Limits for Passenger Vehicles" from Air
Care Colorado
[ ]
"The following chart shows emissions limits for 1982 
through 2001 model years for carbon monoxide (CO), 
hydrocarbons (HC) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) by 
vehicle model year."

"What Exactly Gets Tested?" from Air Care Colorado
[ ]

"Testing Requirements" from Air Care Colorado
[ ]

This is one of the things I enjoy about answering
questions. I just found a really nice site with
emissions comparison information.

"Tailpipe Tally - How much does your vehicle pollute"
from Environmental Defense
[ ]

That last part was supposed to be a "summary". hehe, sorry

Well I provided a very long answer here to your questions.
I hope I did well in providing the information you sought.
If I lost you along the way, please ask for a clarification,
Any items you need for me to expand on, also please ask
about. I will try to answer if I have the information
available to me. If you are still interested in the details
of my vehicle's build-up, I will place the information down
below in the comments field so it doesn't co-mingle with
the answer.

-search techniques-

"Emissions Limits" vehicle
[ ://

vehicle emissions model year
[ ://

emissions standards year
[ ://

"Emissions Limits" vehicle
[ ://

Emissions Limits Fail
[ ://

emissions vehicle 2004
[ ://

reconstructed vehicle "New Jersey"
[ ://]

"kit car" "New Jersey"
[ ://

"kit car" "New Jersey" license
[ ://

emissions requirements "New Jersey"
[ ://

vehicle registration requirements "New Jersey"
[ ://

thanks for your question,

Request for Answer Clarification by ray59-ga on 05 Sep 2002 16:28 PDT
Fine research but the requirements seem clear as mud.

I have read that EPA guidance governs all states but Ca, which has
more stringent requirements. If this is true then the information
provided by the N.J. inspection folks does not appear consistent with
EPA, unless of course I have misinterpreted the EPA policy. Take a
look at import kit car policy modified 7/8/94. This policy
appears to indicate that the car is subject to emission regulations
and levels according to the engine vintage installed in the kit (if it
is a rebuilt model).

Take a look and let me know what you think.


Clarification of Answer by alienintelligence-ga on 06 Sep 2002 06:59 PDT
You are right, it is clear as mud. Let me attempt to 
be a filter.

I think that maybe the most confusing part is this. The
ultimate goal here is to have a vehicle registered
in New Jersey which requires a safety / equipment
test and an emissions test.

The registering part seems to be the most straight-
forward. You provide documentation about the vehicle
which seems to be all provided by the kit car dealer.
Forms, paper shuffling, signing and some fees seem 
to be it for that process.

What seems to be a point of contention is the separate
emissions standards adopted by different states. The
EPA allowed California to have it's own standards
regarding air quality since it was a gross emissions
producer. The EPA has also allowed states to choose
either the EPA standards or California's standards.

"The Federal Clean Air Act" from South Coast Air
Quality Management District
[ ]
"Motor Vehicle Emission Controls. 1970 Act required EPA to
adopt emission limitations for motor vehicles. The 1990
Amendments require EPA to adopt regulations to achieve further
reductions in emissions from motor vehicles, as well as from
other mobile sources such as locomotives. States are preempted
from adopting emission limitations for motor vehicles and
certain other mobile sources. Exception: California can adopt
motor vehicle standards, and standards for some --but not
all-- other mobile sources, and other states can adopt the
California standards."

I went to the EPA site and looked up what you said to 
look for. Your kit car is not a vehicle as is concerned by
the EPA upon importation since you are going to be
supplying the part that causes emissions, here in the US. 

"EPA Kit Car Policy" from the EPA
July 8, 1994 - Previous versions are obsolete  (1994 isn't?)
[ ]
"The following represents a clarification of EPA's 
policy concerning the regulation of imported and 
domestically produced kit cars and kit car packages. 
Kit vehicles are understood by EPA to typically 
involve new bodies, used drivetrains and new or used 

** That is point #1, they don't consider it a kit vehicle
   because you are supplying the drivetrain
"1. Fully-assembled kit cars are "motor vehicles" under 
the Clean Air Act. Complete kit car packages are also 
"motor vehicles" under the Clean Air Act. These are 
packages which contain all of the major components 
needed for assembly (i.e., body, chassis, engine and 
transmission). As "motor vehicles" they are subject 
to all applicable emission regulations."

** Point #2, it's not fully assembled, nor does it come
   with an emissions producing drivetrain

"The production, sale and importation of automotive 
bodies alone (i.e., no chassis, engine or transmission)
are not regulated by EPA since such units are not 
considered "motor vehicles" under the Clean Air Act. 
EPA form 3520-1 is not required for imported automotive 
bodies. A motor vehicle from which the engine has been 
removed is still a motor vehicle and is not considered 
a body."

** Point #3, they just spell it out there, no engine,
   no motor vehicle, no emissions regulations.

So it would seem that there are no problems there. The
problem is when this kit car becomes a full vehicle.


California's regulations regarding the Specially
Constructed Vehicles and emissions testing are:

"Specially Constructed Vehicles- Emission Control"

[ ]

What's New? 
"Effective January 1, 2002, the first 500 owners to apply
for original registration of specially constructed
passenger vehicles and pickup trucks may choose whether
smog requirements that apply to their vehicles are based on
the engine model year or the vehicle model year.

"If your application is one of the first 500 received by the
Department of Motor Vehicles, a numbered Specially
Constructed Vehicle (SPCNS) Certificate of Sequence will be
issued for your vehicle.

"NOTE: Due to the limited number of SPCNS Certificates of
Sequence available, you may wish to submit your application
for registration in person at a local DMV office. "

As of close of business on September 4, 2002, 280 of 500 
sequence certificates are unassigned and available. 

@@ ** ^^ 0o @@ ** ^^ 0o @@ ** ^^ 0o 

So it seems the main question is this. Does New Jersey
follow the EPA standards for the United States or have
they adopted the California standards. I believe this
article clears that up.

"Energy Wise Options for State and Local Governments"
                  By Michael Totten and Nita Settina 
"Fuel Economy and Emissions Standards"
[ ]
"Northeast Ozone Transport Commission
Recognizing that the federal Clean Air Act did not go far
enough to improve air quality, the governors of eleven eastern
states (Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, New
Jersey, Delaware, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode
Island and Vermont), and the Mayor of the District of
Columbia, pledged to adopt California's program through a
Memorandum of Understanding signed in October 1991. It is one
of the largest joint steps against pollution ever taken by the

"The Massachusetts legislature was the first, followed by
Maine, to vote in favor of adopting the California program in
1991. Many states, however, can adopt the standards through
administrative procedures.

"In 1991, New York Governor Mario Cuomo announced that the
Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) would implement
the stricter California standards scheduled to go into effect
in 1995. DEC Commissioner, Thomas Jorling, testified on behalf
of the program's adoption, comparing the cost of a ton of
hydrocarbon reduction from reduced tailpipe emissions of $800
to $4,000 a ton, to stationary source reductions approaching
$15,000 a ton of reduction. In addition, Jorling contrasted
the annual hydrocarbon reductions available from stationary
sources -- 12,500 tons -- to the 30,000 tons of reductions
available through mobile sources. Public hearings have been
completed on the regulation amendment and final regulations
are expected soon.

"Adopting such a far-reaching program raises numerous
controversial issues. Connecticut Governor, Lowell P. Weicker
Jr., was the sole northeastern Governor to refuse acceptance
of the California standards. Amidst criticism from fellow
northeastern leaders, Weicker cited cost concerns, (the auto
manufacturers claim an additional cost of $1,000 per vehicle,
while California experts say it is probably under $200), and
questions regarding the availability of technology to meet the
new cleaner standards."


This is consistent with what I was told by the specialty
vehicle testing station I spoke with in NJ. I am still waiting
for a call from the director of Motor Vehicle Services (MVS)
department of Specialty Vehicles, Richard Dittmore. Hopefully
he will be able to confirm that article. Maybe he will also
know of a program such as California's where they are accepting
500 applicants that are able to choose.

This article states New Jersey is considering adopting
the California (LEV)II requirements:

Stakes high for automakers as fight to cap greenhouse 
gas shifts from D.C. to legislators"
     By Jeff Plungis / Detroit News Washington Bureau"
[ ]
"The California legislation came as a surprise to the 
auto industry, which had focused on a bruising but 
successful yearlong battle in Congress to defeat 
tougher fuel economy rules. Now, other challenges loom: "
" * New Jersey is the latest state to consider copying 
California's stringent low emission vehicle (LEV) II 
emissions program. Rhode Island and New Hampshire could 
soon follow. "


I will let you know as soon as I have some type of 
confirmation. I am also waiting for a response from
a lady I spoke with at the DC office of the EPA.


Clarification of Answer by alienintelligence-ga on 07 Sep 2002 03:03 PDT
No one, that I had placed calls to, 
contacted me today. I didn't expect 
much on a Friday.

I do have new concerns and maybe I
can find it online or hopefully
that MVS guy can answer it. Are
airbags required to pass the safety
and equipment tests?

I know the NHTSA - National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration has
airbags as a requirement for new
vehicles. But will that be part of
the inspection. 

Here is the link that caught my 

"Luxury Sports Convertible" by Brett Fraser 
"Gas-guzzling V8"
[ ]

"Safety and Security
"You'll find not a trace of airbags, seatbelt pre-tensioners 
or electronic driver aids. However, the Can-Am does have a 
five-point racing harness, and you sit a long way inboard, 
protected by massive sills. Although the bodywork is 
glassfibre, the Can-Am's tubular-steel spaceframe chassis 
is immensely strong."

I did not find any info to the contrary on 
the Ultima website. I contacted their email
address with the question.

So, I will ask the gentleman from
the MVS when he calls me. I will 
continue to look online also.


Request for Answer Clarification by ray59-ga on 07 Sep 2002 06:31 PDT
The reason I pointed you to the EPA Kit Car Policy is that I think it
may govern. The policy covers fully assembled kit car indicating that
they are motor vehicles under the policy and must meet current EPA
standards. But section 2. provides an exception saying that if the kit
does not provide the motor and or drive train that when the kit is
assembled it is be considered to be covered by that configurations
original EPA certificate of conformity. Thus the motor would in
essence determine the year of the car.

I also pointed to that section because in our earlier correspondence
you indicated that the frame was key to registering and titling the
car. I am trying to assign logic here which is always dangerous with
the law but if EPA says a car is not a car until you put the motor in
why would the frame dictate the year of the assembled vehicle? Also
why would NJ use the frame of a donor car which is not used to
determine the year when the motor is what is used?

I have also found some more info; I am now going thru the New Jersey
Administrative Code. There appears to be an exception for what is
called a "low utilization modified performance vehicle" in section

I will advise as I find out more.


Clarification of Answer by alienintelligence-ga on 08 Sep 2002 03:08 PDT
This makes mention of the 'Low Utilization
Modified Performance Vehicles'

Posted by Ben Deutschman on November 10, 1999 at 21:34:23:
"In simpler terms, these are the vehicles that would be
covered under the "Modified Performance Vehicle"
registration category that COVA/CVAG had been pushing to
have implemented. Such vehicles would be subject to a
biannual mileage limitation of 10,000 miles, would have to
pass a safety inspection, and have legitimate "Collector
Car Insurance" on them. Fairly simple to comply with I

I think the sticking points there would be "Collector Car
Insurance" Where you and I and any other sane person would
agree that a car after being built holding its value so
well over time and having great desirability would in fact
make it a "Collector Car", the gentleman at the test center
said this only pertains to production cars.

Next it would be underhood "tampering" Who knows which way
they would judge that if it had to be based on current year

Which brings me back to the EPA's Kit Car Policy.
Maybe I'm confused but are they referring to the
importation of motor vehicles... or are they referring
to the subsequent conformity when you have assembled it.

[ ]
"Kit vehicles are understood by EPA to typically involve
new bodies, used drivetrains and new or used chassis. Used
components may or may not be refurbished. This policy
applies to kits or assembled kit cars only."

** Drivetrain is key there. But is this just for importation?
   They mention production... is that overseas production
   or your production?

"1.Fully-assembled kit cars are "motor vehicles" under the
Clean Air Act. Complete kit car packages are also "motor
vehicles" under the Clean Air Act. These are packages which
contain all of the major components needed for assembly
(i.e., body, chassis, engine and transmission). As "motor
vehicles" they are subject to all applicable emission

** Once again it specifies all components inclusive of
   engine or "major components" Is this before or after
   your assemblage that is pointing to?

"3.The production, sale and importation of automotive bodies
alone (i.e., no chassis, engine or transmission) are not
regulated by EPA since such units are not considered "motor
vehicles" under the Clean Air Act. EPA form 3520-1 is not
required for imported automotive bodies."

** Your kit has no engine or transmission but has a chassis.
   This should make it 'not a motor vehicle'. Once again 'til
   you assemble it.
I need a government official for this one. Someone that
can be attached to a name and held accountable for their
statements. Now if he will just call me.

- AI

Clarification of Answer by alienintelligence-ga on 08 Sep 2002 17:19 PDT
A recent reply from Ultima themselves.
I wrote them back, thanke them for the 
quick reply and then of course asked more
questions. ;-)



No the Ultima when registered as amateur built 
does not need one. We use a six point harness.

----- Original Message -----
> From: AI
> To:
> Sent: Saturday, September 07, 2002 10:45 AM
> Subject: Can-am info
> Regarding use of the Can-Am in the US,
> does it come with an airbag SRS?
> thanks,
> -AI

Request for Answer Clarification by ray59-ga on 09 Sep 2002 12:43 PDT
Did you mean to supply the response form Ultima?? I did not see in above?

Clarification of Answer by alienintelligence-ga on 09 Sep 2002 23:05 PDT
Sorry, I didn't format it very well...
Posting again. My message is at the top,
their reply after. The order was backwards
on the other post. I'm used to reading it
that way, so I just cut and paste it in.

----- Original Message ----- 
> From: AlienIntelligence 
> To: 
> Sent: Saturday, September 07, 2002 10:45 AM 
> Subject: Can-am info 
> Regarding use of the Can-Am in the US, 
> does it come with an airbag SRS? 
> thanks, 
> -AlienIntelligence 

No, the Ultima, when registered as amateur built  
does not need one. We use a six-point harness. 

Clarification of Answer by alienintelligence-ga on 13 Sep 2002 07:14 PDT
Hello again Ray...

I just tried again unsuccessfully to
get hold of Mr Dittmore. His phone
seems to be on permanent voicemail,
and he is doing a good job of ignoring
the messages I have left. 

I then called the EPA REGIONAL LIBRARY
voice: 212-637-3185

A nice lady gave me the websites I had
been to already:
[ ]
[ ]

and a phone # 202-564-9240

That number goes to the EPA in DC, division of
importation's. I had to leave another voicemail.

I will keep you posted.


Clarification of Answer by alienintelligence-ga on 13 Sep 2002 08:21 PDT
I just got a call back from the
EPA. They requested I send them
an email with all of the information
so they can make a determination.

The person I spoke with said her
supervisor will be back in next
week and will be the one looking
over it.

I will get that written up and 
send it in to them.


Request for Answer Clarification by ray59-ga on 14 Sep 2002 07:00 PDT
I spent the entirety of last weekend going thru the New Jersey
Administrative Code and Federal Regulations. This search did not prove
to be fruitful. However I did receive the “Reconstructed Vehicle
Packet” from the NJ DMV. The information in the packet indicates in
Section 7 that:

	Reconstructed motor vehicles equipped with a new engine and chassis
will be treated as a new motor vehicle and must comply with all
emission requirements applicable to the model year in which the
vehicle is initially titled.

	Reconstructed motor vehicles equipped with a used or older model
engines shall comply with all emission requirements applicable to the
model year of the engine. Documentation from the manufacturer of the
engine or a dealer authorized by the manufacturer will be necessary to
establish proof of the year of the engine.

	Exception: All model year 1975 or later vehicles which have been
produced by a manufacturer recognized by the Federal Government for
on-road use. The year of the body and/or the frame (if different year
models, whichever is the latest), shall be the determining factor used
on these vehicles for all emission standards. When an engine is
replaced, it is illegal to install an earlier year engine. The
replacement engine must be the same year or newer, and be equipped
with all emission control devices as originally equipped on the
vehicle, including the fuel inlet restrictor and catalytic converter.

So if I am interpreting the information correctly I come to the
following conclusions:

	The configuration we have been researching does not include a
chassis ever produced or manufactured by a manufacturer recognized by
the “Federal Government” and therefore the chassis should not qualify
as a new chassis. Additionally, the engine will not be a new model.
Accordingly, the vehicle should not qualify under bullet one above.
	With proof of engine year the vehicle should qualify under bullet
two above.
	The engine switching guidance under bullet three should not apply
because both the frame and body were not manufactured by a
manufacturer recognized by the Federal Government
	Regarding bullet three above the car cant qualify, as the chassis
and body have never been produced by a manufacturer recognized by the
Federal Government.

So it appears that the motor should govern not only the year of title
for the vehicle but also the inspection and related emissions
standards to be meet.

Of course this is to clear so on the last page of the Packet the
following is included:

Reconstructed Vehicle Requirements
A reconstructed vehicle must conform to all of the safety inspection
requirements of a standard motor vehicle. In addition, there are
special requirements.

I don’t know if the special requirements are in addition to those I
have listed above. There is an address to write to with questions and
this is my next step.

Clarification of Answer by alienintelligence-ga on 19 Sep 2002 03:35 PDT
I'm still waiting on my latest correspondence
from the EPA. The lady I spoke with was helpful
and I followed up with a detailed email. She
said she would try to answer my questions and 
will pass it on to her supervisor also.

Any news back on your side?


Request for Answer Clarification by ray59-ga on 09 Oct 2002 13:12 PDT
I have not written this up yet to send to nj to ask them what the
actual ruling is. Have you gotten an answer from EPA?

Clarification of Answer by alienintelligence-ga on 10 Oct 2002 16:29 PDT
Hi ray...

No I haven't had a final comment or a 
referral to a law/rule that pertains to 
this situation. Everyone I have talked 
to in the EPA, from the regional New 
York branch for your area all the way up
to the DC branch, has always listened
to me thoughtfully and has taken my 
questions down (supposedly) each time
with promises for a followup. No one
ever calls me back. They have my cell#
which is always on and on my person. 
It has voicemail. I have not yet seen
one call from any of their offices. 
Nor any voicemail. It doesn't even
seem like I could complain to anyone
about the treatment because no one
would follow-up. 

I even have questions of my own I 
would like someone down there to
answer. (At least the national office)

I will try a new barrage of calls this
morning (Friday) starting with when
they open. That's 5:30a for us on the
California coast. That should give
them yet another day to form a reply
for me finally. 

I did get my registration pack from
the NJ-DMV. A very interesting 
read. I wish there was something as
straightforward as that from the EPA.


Clarification of Answer by alienintelligence-ga on 18 Oct 2002 06:39 PDT
Hello ray!

I have gotten final word from Richard Dittmore,
the gentleman I cited in my initial answer. He
is the supervisor for the specialty vehicles 
section of the Motor Vehicles department.

His official words on a "reconstructed vehicle"
(in your case a 'kit car') are these.

If the manufacturer of the kit car provides you
with a frame they have constructed from scratch
you may put any engine of your choice in the
vehicle. You have to have some proof or receipt
stating the year, make, displacement, etc. of
the engine you decide to use. You will submit 
this proof with the package and application for 
a reconstructed vehicle. When it is approved you 
will be sent a letter that certifies what year & 
quality of emissions you need to meet to be able
to pass testing.

If the kit car's manufacturer provides a frame
that came from a production vehicle as their
chassis for the kit car, then you will be thus
limited to only engines of that year/make frame
or newer. So, if the frame came from a 95 Chevy
b-body, then a 95 or newer Chevy engine must be 
used. The emissions would then be based on the 
95 frame and standards that were current at that 

As we both know since the Can-Am is truly the 
exotic, it has a newly fabricated chassis. This 
means, from what Mr. Dittmore stated, you seem 
to have a nice palette of engines to choose from. 
I'm sure you're happy to hear that.

Mr. Richard Dittmore can be reached at:

-=#=- -=#=- -=#=- -=#=- -=#=- -=#=- -=#=- -=#=- 

Hopefully this means you will be going forward
with your project. I hope it goes well. Putting
them together is definitely fun but running em,
that's REALLY fun. Maybe I'll see you at a show
sometime. My baby is still in the tuning phase
but will hopefully be dialed-in for the spring 
[ ]
"Yeah... it's stock" *grin*

thanks for your question,

Request for Answer Clarification by ray59-ga on 31 Oct 2002 15:22 PST
thanks for the great research and conclusion to this issue. hope to
deal with you again someday. by the way your car looks great and
pretty stock I might add.

Clarification of Answer by alienintelligence-ga on 02 Nov 2002 17:49 PST
Thank you very much Ray...

I hope to hear about your vehicle
in the future.

There are no comments at this time.

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