System/Equipment: When swapping in a newer engine from a later-model vehicle, all of the relevant emissions control equipment must be transferred as well. This includes the carbon canister, the catalytic converter(s) and even parts of the on-board diagnostic (OBD) system. Some states have exceptions to this requirement, but the general rule is that as much of the donor vehicle's emissions system as possible should be transferred. The vehicle will likely run more efficiently with a full transfer of the system and shouldn't cause any undue heartache.

Of course, engine switching can be much more complex than described here, but these are good general rules to follow and should keep engine switchers out of trouble in most cases.

Nitrous
The hobby must work with legislators to mitigate legislation that would ban the installation of power booster systems, including nitrous oxide systems intended for off-road (track) use. The SEMA model bill aims to do just that with language that provides for the operation of a vehicle equipped for nitrous oxide, so long as the nitrous oxide is disconnected from the engine when the vehicle is operated on public roadways. Provisions in an acceptable bill may also stipulate that nitrous oxide canisters must be removed while the vehicle is being operated on the road. The SAN has been successful in getting the model bill, or a comparable variation, enacted in Maine, Virginia, Arkansas, Georgia, Nebraska, Tennessee, Mississippi and the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island.

Window Tint
Severe limits on window film light transmission and reflectance percentages continue to surface in a number of states. It is important to constantly remind state legislators to advance the industry standard of not less than 35-percent light transmittance on all windows other than the windshield, and oppose measures that would unreasonably limit the use of window tint materials.

However, not every bill aims to limit the use of window tint. A bill directing the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through a reduction in motor vehicle cabin temperature is currently moving through the California legislature. The cabin temperature of a vehicle can be lowered through the use of window tinting materials. Such a directive by the legislature would signal to regulators that tinting should be considered as a solution to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions created when drivers must idle their cars in California while waiting for them to cool down. Other states have introduced measures to provide exceptions to the limits on vehicle window tinting for drivers with sensitivity to light.

Lighting
Remember the dozens of aftermarket manufacturers a few years back producing headlight amplifiers, plug-n-play HID kits, projector headlight retrofits, and the like? Remember how they all seemed to disappear around the same time? Thank the NHTSA's Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) Number 108; a 24,000-word bureaucratic epic governing the use of "lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment" for road-going vehicles.

There are two basic types of headlight housings: reflective and projector. HID bulbs emit more light than standard halogen bulbs, and were never really intended for use in reflective housings that scatter light and tend to blind other drivers when fitted with HID bulbs. Projector housings that better focus light do a good job of curbing this problem, which is why OEs still include HIDs and projector housings in many newer cars.

In a nutshell, FMVSS 108 establishes requirements for vehicle lighting components, bans the sale and manufacture of non-compliant products, and authorizes federal agents to dish out hefty fines to companies who manufactured, import or sell them for street use. This shouldn't be viewed as a strike against enthusiasts, though. Regulations like FMVSS 108 aims to ensure consumers use products and practices that do not pose a safety threat to operators of publicly driven motor vehicles.

By Staff
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