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California approved engine swaps.

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I've ready several posts but have never seen one of an approved engine swap in the state of California. I recently purchased a 1979 Datsun 620, the L20B engine needs work and I'd rather just do a swap. At first I wanted to swap it with an SR20DET but I've learned that the refs won't approve it. I have now considered dropping the KA24DE into my truck. I guess my question is, has anyone ever gone through the process? And if so which engine is the best to use? I have some $$ that I know I will spending but also would get the labor don't for really cheap. My ideal goal is performance and reliability. Please help! IM A SUPER NEWB!!

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As I understand it you will need to do a complete swap including all emissions equipment and you will end up smogging for whichever year of motor you swap in. There are a few hoops to jump through but it can be done. 

 

I'm sure some local guys will be along shortly with more info. 

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get L20 running correctly will be EZer

 

Do a SWAP?add 4K for the swap, otherwise  just junk the truck esp if you know nothing about automotive work. as best to learn the L20B 1st

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I do a lot of engine swaps here at my business and the one piece of advice I can give is to buy a whole donor vehicle. The ref will want to see all of the emissions equipment and sourcing all those bits and pieces individually from the dealer, or wrecking yard, or whatever, will take a long time and cost a lot more than just buying a complete donor.

 

Plus there's the added benefit of seeing the vehicle complete so you know where things are located and how they connect.

 

On fuel and EVAP systems, it is a lot simpler to use the parts from a donor tank and fit them onto the tank you will be using.

 

Also, most refs won't allow smog legal aftermarket parts like cold air intakes and even legal headers so use all original parts. They also like to see clean work as that's an indicator of your ability to do thorough work.

 

Here's an example of a fuel tank mod. This one is for a 3RZ swap into a 1983 Toyota pickup.

 

Fuel_Tank_Small_015_zpsd5aa1684.jpg

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I have a $5,000-$7,000 budget. 

I can do all the body work and restoration.

The only investment I would be making would be in the mechanical functions of the car.

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That's why I don't buy anything thats 76 and above in Ca.

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They do come up for sale, but generally speaking, you get what you pay for. Cheap is cheap.

 

CA emissions laws suck. I wish we could just have a "pass the pipe" test.

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I've ready several posts but have never seen one of an approved engine swap in the state of California. I recently purchased a 1979 Datsun 620, the L20B engine needs work and I'd rather just do a swap. At first I wanted to swap it with an SR20DET but I've learned that the refs won't approve it. I have now considered dropping the KA24DE into my truck. I guess my question is, has anyone ever gone through the process? And if so which engine is the best to use? I have some $$ that I know I will spending but also would get the labor don't for really cheap. My ideal goal is performance and reliability. Please help! IM A SUPER NEWB!!

The best one is the one that will pass smog. What's the possibility of selling it and search a 75 and below w a KA motor? With your budget, I think you will find one. No smog and performance you want!

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Buy a '73 or '74 620 and there are no checks, although it's illegal to swap a newer than the trucks year engine into it. As there are no checks, who's to know.

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I've already started working on the body of my 1979 and wouldn't want to sell it and buy a new one at this point. I just want to know which engines are legal to swap?

Can I install a car engine into a truck and still be legal?

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Buy a '73 or '74 620 and there are no checks, although it's illegal to swap a newer than the trucks year engine into it. As there are no checks, who's to know.

...even a 75 no smog needed in ca. Or you can pay someone like $250 not legit.

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And if you cannot get it licenced you will wish you had a 75 or older, it's just not worth dealing with them folks.

In the end your best avenue is to move out of California, just don't bring the cancerous politics with you when you move, your state needs a heavy duty round of chemotherapy.

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I've already started working on the body of my 1979 and wouldn't want to sell it and buy a new one at this point. I just want to know which engines are legal to swap?

Can I install a car engine into a truck and still be legal?

 

It is easiest if you use a truck motor with a truck, this is more due to the oil pan than anything else though. 

 

 

Your best bet for more detailed answers is talking with an actual ref and maybe making a friend of them. It will be a lot easier process if the guy signing it off is on your side from the beginning. 

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I know your saying you wanna do a swap but why not build the l20 you have?

L series motors are definately reliable and can make some good horsepower...

Will probably be quicker to do than a swap, less hoops to just through..

Plus it already fits....

Bore it with some flat top pistons, get a cam and some head work done, and a carb and have fun...

But that's just me...

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I've already started working on the body of my 1979 and wouldn't want to sell it and buy a new one at this point. I just want to know which engines are legal to swap?

Can I install a car engine into a truck and still be legal?

Sometimes its better to cut your losses or as they say water over the bridge. See quiet a few 75 Datsun trucks and below with KA motor on Craig's or offer up. If you go to a Datsun car show, you may find one.

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I've already started working on the body of my 1979 and wouldn't want to sell it and buy a new one at this point. I just want to know which engines are legal to swap?

Can I install a car engine into a truck and still be legal?

 

A '79 body will fit on a '73 or '74 too.

 

Only the A10 and S10 had same year L20Bs. Also only the block and head. Everything 620 like the carb, distributor and pollution equipment must be for a '79 620.

 

I know your saying you wanna do a swap but why not build the l20 you have?

L series motors are definately reliable and can make some good horsepower...

Will probably be quicker to do than a swap, less hoops to just through..

Plus it already fits....

Bore it with some flat top pistons, get a cam and some head work done, and a carb and have fun...

But that's just me...

 

 

You can't modify any engine unless approved OEM parts. .. and it still needs to be smogged (and pass) and pass a visual inspection.

 

 

What? By your links nothing can be done to it but the same engine exactly or any newer engine but must pass all emissions test and visual for the new engine. This technically applies to any and all pre '74 vehicles too but as they don't get tested they are not inspected so no one knows what you've done to them.

 

Build an engine but keep the stock one and swap it in for the inspection.

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A '79 body will fit on a '73 or '74 too.

 

Only the A10 and S10 had same year L20Bs. Also only the block and head. Everything 620 like the carb, distributor and pollution equipment must be for a '79 620.

 

 

You can't modify any engine unless approved OEM parts. .. and it still needs to be smogged (and pass) and pass a visual inspection.

 

 

What? By your links nothing can be done to it but the same engine exactly or any newer engine but must pass all emissions test and visual for the new engine. This technically applies to any and all pre '74 vehicles too but as they don't get tested they are not inspected so no one knows what you've done to them.

 

Build an engine but keep the stock one and swap it in for the inspection.

Yeh but cars in ca have to be smog every 2 years, so every 2 years, he has to take the ka motor out and install the L20 back, too much work, eh.

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That whole smog thing is a pain in the ass... I just read through those two links.... are they kidding? Are those seriously the rules to follow?

So glad I got the hell out with my datsun...

I guess I get it, if you gotta smog it regaurdless, you may as well smog something with more power that they except.... good luck ...

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Yes, those are the rules. In the last 20 year's or so my cars have mainly been 1975 and below. One time I had a 91 gt mustang and failed visual because i had a cold air k and n filter, luckily I kept the old filter set up and passed. Some guys i know here will find a shop that will pass it for $250 if your car does not pass.

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I've already started working on the body of my 1979 and wouldn't want to sell it and buy a new one at this point. I just want to know which engines are legal to swap?

Can I install a car engine into a truck and still be legal?

I'll be the asshole here and say it:

 

You are working under the "sunk cost fallacy". Look several people have already said if you want to do a swap go 75 or older. It will be cheaper. 

My suggestion fix up the 1979, fix the L20b and BUY a 75 or older 620 to do the swap. IT WILL BE CHEAPER in the the long run. 

 

Or buy a 75 already swapped. For the same money you would spend you could get a VERY NICE truck already swapped and ready to drive...without the time or work involved!

 

Otherwise you will chase your tail trying to do this total pain in the ass engine swap to CARB standards and spend way more money.

 

The likelihood is VERY HIGH you will fail and the truck will sit as parts until it goes to the junkyard. We have seen this exact scenario play out several times.

 

Once again. Do NOT work on engine swapping this truck! Get it running under the L20B or buy a 75 or older and swap it.

 

Enjoy driving the truck first. Having a vehicle in parts you can't drive for years takes all the fun out and is a very large reason for not finishing the vehicle as circumstances change.

 

But you probably won't listen and will keep going forward with the engine swap against all advice.... good luck.

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Yeh but cars in ca have to be smog every 2 years, so every 2 years, he has to take the ka motor out and install the L20 back, too much work, eh.

 

He has a '79 620 truck and I suggested an '79 A10 or S10 block and head.... but if you did swap to KA, get a truck KA engine for the swap.

 

A car L20B block and head wound be indistinguishable from the original 620 L20B which is the intent of the regulations. If you swap the 620 emissions package, carb and distributor. You would have to anyway to remain completely legal.

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I just talked to my cousin who is a smog tech and basically he said that the technician will know if its a swapped engine because the stocked is carbed and the KA will be efi. He can swapped it but has to go through BAR.

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