In so many ways, California is the place that birthed hot rodding, right? In so many ways, California seems to be on the bleeding edge of places trying to choke it out, right? Yeah we feel the same way. But the good news is that despite the regulations, rules, red tape, and other badness, hot rodding still prevails when the going gets tough. This video is proof of that and it uses two very different cars to tell this story.
You are going to watch an episode of Hagerty Modified with Matt Farah which profiles a BMW and a Miata. Hang with us for a second. The BMW carries an S54 swap that adds 100hp over the stock engine and the Miata has a GM Connect and Cruise LS3 under the hood. Both of the cars have not only been swapped, but given the state stamp of approval for legality in terms of emissions equipment and all the necessary gear that needs to be hooked to the engine in order to meet the state’s strict (ungh) policies.
Not only are these two great cars, the way they were swapped is awesome and it shows that even though there is very little wiggle room and seemingly an environment that would do anything it could to discourage this type of stuff, it not only goes on, it thrives.
Press play below to see this interesting video about engine swaps in California –
A friend of mine swaps new Hemis into old Dodge Dakota trucks in CA with the blessing of the BAR and CARB. Better mpg and 100+ hp improvement minimum. Strange that they make him install the cruise control as well though. He puts that in the ashtray on trucks that didnt come with it.
Your friend is doing God’s work.
But yeah, CARB wants you to put everything as is from the original setup. If you can find the rules, read it. They had a thick book on all our smog laws back in the 2000s. It’s interesting and a little infuriating. For example; if your car didn’t have an A.I.R. setup and smog pump, but the new engine does, it must go in the car. I think the same thing goes with the type of transmission.