I have a 1980 Corvette that I've done a pretty complete restoration on,
but the engine is basically original and pretty beat. I really don't
want to stay with a 190 hp stock engine, but I live in California and so
I don't have a lot of choice about that. However, I've heard that it is
possible to put newer engines into this car and still comply with CA EPA
regs. Does anybody have any ideas about that?
Thanks for any information you can give me.
First off, thanks for sending some rain down our way. Until today we
only had 1.64 inches for the whole winter season! Right now the cars
are hiding indoors and outdoors we have a nice soaking rain.
To the best of my knowledge you are correct. I believe that you will
be tested to the specs for the newer of either of the VIN or engine. It
would be best to make an appointment and go to the nearest BAR Referee
Station and ask there. Get Xerox copies of any California ARB/BAR
regulations that they cite and ask if there are any forthcoming changes
that they know of -- so you don't get the job done and get caught in a
Catch-22. Most BAR people I've met are pretty closed mouth about what
might pass and what might not. If you find the right person, his or her
advice can be a real help. ("Bureau" is the operative word here.) But,
it never hurts to ask. Ask particularly about the differences in the
Catalytic Converter on the '80 (if it's a California car) and what might
be needed on the engine you choose.
Looks like you're in the Bay area. In SoCal the phone book listing is:
State of Califonia, Automotive Repair, Bureau of 1-800-952-5210. You
might check the SBC blue pages in SFRAN or San Jose for a local number.
There's probably a sweet spot between electronic complexity,
transmission compatibility, HP and what will physically fit without
significant body work. It's probably been done before so there should
be some experience here or on Corvette Forum.
I've had one friend do this with a Pontiac and he had SMOG problems due
to the rear end ratio. He changed the gears and and it passed. Usually
there's enough "free play" in the required numbers that passing the
actual test is no strain. The tough part is usually the visual
inspection and BAR might advise you on what they will be checking for.
Another resource is a local speed shop; however, their help might not
include advising you on the virtues of an L98 versus LT-1 versus LT-4,
particularly if you are using an automatic instead of the 4-speed.
Best of luck with the swap-out.
There is more and more of that. However, as a simple bolt in, it is easier
to drop in the traditional small block Chevy. Less hassles on emissions,
when the emissions test guy looks under the hood and it all looks stock.
'There is more and more of that. However, as a simple bolt in, it is
easier to drop in the traditional small block Chevy. Less hassles on
emissions, when the emissions test guy looks under the hood and it all
REPLY: Agree. But now is the time to determine how much power he wants
to have in his Mill ; for a few more thousand, he could have a huge
amount of additional power and hi tech engineering , over that of a
common sb crate motor drop-in .
I know of someone who put an LS1 motor in his C3 ; he took me for a ride
in it. I could not tell the difference in power as compared to a 454 BB
; he got the motor off of ebay cheap then stroked it.
All well and good if he's willing to trailer it to shows and off-road
endeavors. Having 'been there' with blower mods on both a 911 and a
914-6, I can say that having a current legal license plate is a good
deal and a string of 30-day road permits got old real quick! After the
fact discussions with the BAR's referees are time consuming and take the
fun out of this hobby, real quick.
Suggestion is to find that good Corvette mechanic, decide up front what
you want and agree to have him/her take it through SMOG once the engine
is installed and the mods are in place. In other words -- the owner
should avoid getting involved with any SMOG station or the BAR.
You're preaching to the choir with that last one. I've also got an XJ220
that I've been trying to get past the smog folks for about 4 years now.
It looks really good sitting in that shop waiting for someone to hit it
with some sort of magic wand.
Thanks all for the advice.
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