Regulating paint has been a balancing act, making sure hobbyists and commercial entities have access to affordable, quality paints while protecting health and environment. It has also been a moving target, since there is always the chance rules put in place today may not be deemed adequate upon further review. One of the best sources for further info is http://www.CCAR-GreenLink.org/paintrule.html.
Engine Swaps Made Easier
There's nothing more at the core of hot rodding than swapping an engine, but swaps are bound by specific state laws that may vary from state to state. Having said that, there are some general guidelines for swapping engines in production vehicles (not specially constructed vehicles, street rods, kit cars, and the like) that can keep rodders out of trouble. The basic rule of engine swapping is that the change must do no harm. This means that the engine being installed must theoretically be at least as "clean" as the one taken out.
Model Year: The engine being swapped in must be the same age or newer than the one being replaced. Crate engines can be used if they are configured to resemble an engine that was certified by the EPA and/or CARB. This essentially means that the required emissions parts must be present on the engine.
Certification Level: The engine being swapped must come from a vehicle certified to meet the same or more stringent emissions standards than the one replaced.
Vehicle Class: An engine from a vehicle class such as a motor home, medium-duty truck or marine application can't be used in a passenger car since these engines were certified to different types of emissions standards using different tests.
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.
Still have questions? The EPA and many states have enforceable policies and guidelines on how to perform legal engine changes. For further information, check out EPA and California Bureau of Automotive Repair at: www.EPA.gov/compliance/resources/policies/civil/caa/mobile/engswitch.pdf or www.BAR.ca.gov/80_BARResources/07_AutoRepair/Engine_Change_Guidelines.html.
What Can You Do?
So can they kill hot rodding? Only if we let them. Is the hobby doomed? Not by a long shot, but they can legislate it nearly out of existence if we stand idly by and just assume someone else will watch out for our rights.
Much like the lobbyists that, for better or worse, watch out for the interests of other large industries in Washington, the best possible way for hot rodders to ensure that we're given fair and equal treatment is to gather together and stand behind our own watchdog group. SAN is a partnership among enthusiasts, vehicle clubs, and members of the specialty automotive parts industry in the United States and Canada who have joined forces to promote hobby-friendly legislation and oppose unfair laws. With nearly 40,000 members, 3 million contacts, and an ability to reach 30 million enthusiasts through print and press, SAN has the experience, resources, and the dedicated network of enthusiasts to stop unreasonable bills in their tracks and keep the hobby free from overly restrictive government regulation. You can, and should, be a part of it.