V8 SWAP-Conversion LAWs -HELP! | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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V8 SWAP-Conversion LAWs -HELP!

4.0L V6 --->5.0L V8 EFI SWAP
I am planning to swap a 91 EFI 5.0 V8 in to my 92 Explorer. Everyone is telling me that doing this swap is not legal. (exhaust shops)
I live in Washington/ Portland, Oregon Metro Area. Does anybody know what the legality is on Engine Swaps??
In the near future I am moving to the Phoniex, Arizona area. I am sure emissions are even stricter in Arizona!
Does anybody have any knowledge of emission laws in this area, or know how to obtain these engine conversion laws for this area?


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Federal emission laws state that the engine in the vehicle must have been originally available in the vehicle for that model year, and of equal or newer vintage. I.E., for you to put a 5.0 in a 92 Explorer, the 5.0 must have been an option for the '92, and, if it was, you are supposed to use only a '92 or newer 5.0.

This has been gone over before; using the BBS search function:

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Gives you a good starting point.

No where can I find anything saying federal limits you to what you can put in your truck. Federal law, however states that if you swap an engine, and want to drive it on the street, you must also swap the emission controls also.

Another place you may want to call up and talk is James Duff, (see http://www.jamesduff.com)

I wonder out of curosity how tightly controled that law is? just curious. it would be hard to pull someone over and ask them to pop their hood to make sure they had the correct engine in. lol:D

V8 Swap - No problem with emissions!

From all the reading and Searching I have done, it seems that a V8 explorer conversion can even be done in Strict California!! For example in California you have to
1.) Use an engine that is the same year or newer as your current vehicle.
2.) Keep original SMOG equipment
3.)Have it checked by a referee/smog station.$$

If a V8 Explorer can be created in California, it should be legal in Washington and Arizona. (the state I live in, and plan to move to)

Regardless, I still constantly hear concerns and disagreements such as
1.) That engine has to offered as an option for your car in the same year. For example, The V8 has to be an option for a 1992 Explorer. (which it isn't)
2.) It not legal to change the exhaust system and cat converters.
3.) You cant do that, it's illegal to do your own engine swap.

Anyway....If what I read is true, I can put a 1992+ V8 in to my 1992 V6 Explorer as long as I retain orignal smog equipment and pass emissions. Right!!?????

Here is a good link that addresses California's engine Change laws.
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!!!!** Anyone who has done a V8 conversion, please reply with your experience with emission laws!!!!!
-What state?
-What problems or extra measures did you take to deal with your states emission laws?? :) :)

Al Seybold

I have run a 5.0 in my '88 Ranger for approx. 9 years in Mass. and have never had a problem with any emmissions. The inspectors have not even looked at the size of the engine just the emmission output.

I have heard that you need the same year or newer eninge if you make the swap but that is all. I do not know the exact laws here in Mass but I have had no problems so far... knock on wood...

Good Luck,

I live in the Vancouver area of B.C. and our emissions laws are close to Califonia's laws. I have had no problems with passing conversion vehicles here. They measure emissions output regardless of engine size. This may not help you directly but is is an example of some emisions laws. I am also finishing up a conversion of an '89 Mustang engine and tranny in a friends '93 2wd Explorer and can let you know how that works in the emissions department. We will be running cats on it for emissions compliance.