LAC Pollution Musings, was Massachusetts 4KTQ owner question

auditude at auditude at
Tue Dec 17 15:16:21 EST 2002

Mark L. Chang mchang at wrote:
> I think what would be fair would be to require that the final result of
> an engine swap should meet the requirements of the emissions-producing
> part of the car. Additionally, I kind of agree with CA law that says you
> can't swap older engines into newer cars. This would prevent me getting
> around emissions laws entirely by putting readily available old Hemis
> into newer cars (why I'd do that is beyond me, but hey). So if you put a
> 2002 V6tt from an S4 into your 4kq, you need to meet 2002 V6tt S4
> emissions standards. It only seems fair, and it seems a decent way to
> put a value on what your acceptable emissions should be.

I disagree with that and similar laws that do not base their rules on the actual facts.  For example, what would be wrong with putting an '86 MC-1 motor in an '88 90q?  Let's say if the '86 and '88 MC-1 motors are the same, why should the actual year of the donor car make the earlier motors illegal to install?

Better yet, it should be based on the actual allowable limits for the year of the chassis.  If you could get a old Hemi to put out less emissions of a stock 4kq, then what would be wrong with that?  It wouldn't be up to the state to make it happen, that challenge would be on the consumer that wanted the motor in the car.

I'll concede that it should maybe be the stricter of either the engine or chassis, but it should be based on the tailpipe emissions put out, not what year it was produced.

This is in the same ballpark as one-size-fits-all, lowest-common-denominator laws such as speed limits.  HOWEVER, since cars need to be smogged anyhow, it would not have the same enforcement problems as speed laws based on conditions/skill/performance/etc.  The allowable emissions limits for a given car are in black and white, not the judgement of law enforcement or even a judge.

But I guess that's why I'm a Libertarian.  I believe my freedom ends at the end my fist, where someone else's nose begins, and that to have liberty you must tolerate the freedom of others.  IMO, too bad that's not reality.



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