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Old 2nd July 2009, 17:52   #1
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Default Engine Change in Vintage cars - LEGAL ?

I happened to see a Vintage car on NH 47, black colour , with fresh chrome grills and decals. According to my dad, it was a modified morris minor.
It had a nice engine note and wide rubbers, and was doing 80+kmph. Iam pretty sure that it got a new generation engine.

Are such transplants legal?

Is there any leagal provisions (special G.Os) that permits engine change in Vintage vehicles?
I've been told that such a G.O exits. Expecting a clear cut advice from Vintage Gurujis

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Old 2nd July 2009, 17:54   #2
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You can change the engine provided you have it endorsed at the RTO.
I am not sure on any claims against insurance though.
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Old 2nd July 2009, 17:55   #3
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The rules are no different for a modern day car. A change of engine is legal if it is endorsed in the book, no exceptions.
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Old 2nd July 2009, 18:41   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MexXxentric View Post
I happened to see a Vintage car on NH 47, black colour , with fresh chrome grills and decals. According to my dad, it was a modified morris minor.
It had a nice engine note and wide rubbers, and was doing 80+kmph. Iam pretty sure that it got a new generation engine.

Are such transplants legal?

Is there any leagal provisions (special G.Os) that permits engine change in Vintage vehicles?
I've been told that such a G.O exits. Expecting a clear cut advice from Vintage Gurujis
no special GO, for all cars the rules are the same,
you cant change the fuel type.
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Old 4th July 2009, 19:37   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajay99 View Post
no special GO, for all cars the rules are the same,
you cant change the fuel type.
Just out of curiosity. You cannot dieselise a car, RTO will not enter a diesel engine changed into an originally petrol driven car. But what is the rule for a conversion the other way round?
Not many would do that, but curious.

Cheers harit
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Old 4th July 2009, 20:01   #6
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the actual Motor vehicle act says you need permission to change the colour of the car which is in the R C book but almost all rc in karnataka doesent mention the colour thats left blank also to mentionthere is an standard converted to to a jag S TYPE done by mehboob jan with special permission from the transport authorties registered as A D JAYRAM SPECIAL the old racer with the best of his standard cars unfortunate he is no more
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Old 4th July 2009, 20:21   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harit View Post
Just out of curiosity. You cannot dieselise a car, RTO will not enter a diesel engine changed into an originally petrol driven car. But what is the rule for a conversion the other way round?
Not many would do that, but curious.

Cheers harit
the act seems silent on that aspect.
maybe a matter of discretion for the motor vehicle authorities.
you will have to convince them that you are getting the original engine(petrol) back.will require a special order/permission fom the Transport Commissioner....
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Old 4th July 2009, 20:41   #8
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I think engine changes can be recorded in the RC, problems arise only when fuel type is changed. As Ajay has stated, changing a dieselised car, back to petrol can be done with a lil difficulty. Petrol to diesel is not permitted now though.
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Old 4th July 2009, 21:21   #9
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Engine changes in any car vintage or modern, needs endorsement and permission from the respective RTA office.There are no special laws for vintage and modern cars.Its the same for any motor vehicle.
After the permission is accorded, its perfectly legal to go for the conversion.However, as many friends have already said the fuel type used viz. diesel or petrol needs to be the same. Especially conversion from petrol to diesel is not permissible in many states under yet to be amended laws. Thats because diesel used to be a highly subsidised fuel and till the late 1970's diesel private cars (only Indian) could not be registered. Only vehicles with commercial number plates (incl taxis) could be diesel powered.Ambassador with the BMC diesel and Mahindra with the MD 2350 diesel got the first break, after the law was amended by the Union government, permitting private ownership of diesel cars. Imported private diesel cars have been plying on our roads for decades eversince the Merc diesels came along.
Back to the topic, I have seen cars (especially Ambassadors) belonging to friends and acquaintances being dieselised in Maharashtra and then being taken to Madhya Pradesh and getting registered there with a new MP number plate.I believe the MP govt permits such engine changes.But not yet in Maharashtra and many other states.Maybe , Andhra Pradesh too permits dieselisation as many Ambys were bought second hand and taken away from Maharashtra and dieselised in A.P to ply there.
Common engine changes that have taken place are the older side valves in Landmasters that have been fitted with either BMC diesels/Matador OM616 diesels or even the second hand Ambassador 1489cc BMC /OHV petrol engines.These were available dirt cheap (some 2.5K or lesser) in the 1980's when lots of folks changed Amby engines to diesels and swapped the petrol engine.
And the Mumbai taxis -thousands fitted rotten, second hand, imported outboard motor diesels of Japanese makes on the Premiers in the 1990's, changing over from petrol legally, with some specific amendment in Mah govt laws for only Mumbai taxis.The black malodorous exhausts were irritants and so were the crude and noisy clatters. One cartoon from R.K. Laxman was fantastic- it showed a housewife trying to put clothes for drying on her terrace in Mumbai. Her husband (THE COMMON MAN) came by and said "see those black clouds". The lady quipped "there are no clouds, its a taxi that has come nearby."
But lately the Mumbai taxis have changed over to petrol engines with CNG as the fuel type.Thats a change again.
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Old 6th July 2009, 00:41   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anjan_c2007 View Post
And the Mumbai taxis -thousands fitted rotten, second hand, imported outboard motor diesels of Japanese makes on the Premiers in the 1990's, changing over from petrol legally, with some specific amendment in Mah govt laws for only Mumbai taxis.The black malodorous exhausts were irritants and so were the crude and noisy clatters. One cartoon from R.K. Laxman was fantastic- it showed a housewife trying to put clothes for drying on her terrace in Mumbai. Her husband (THE COMMON MAN) came by and said "see those black clouds". The lady quipped "there are no clouds, its a taxi that has come nearby."
But lately the Mumbai taxis have changed over to petrol engines with CNG as the fuel type.Thats a change again.
The Mumbai taxi's were retrofitted with old used and chewed out 3 cylinder Japanese diesel engines like Dahaitsu which were brought from the gulf. The cabbies paid around 80K to have them fitted. The pollution was so bad, black soot came upto my house on the 16th floor on a hill. Someone from Chembur fought against this, the matter went to court and the court ordered the taxis to revert to petrol engines and convert to CNG. Of course it did not help that there were not enough CNG filling stations and filling up could take half a day. The big losers were the cabbies, they had shelled out for the diesel engine and again had to shell out for the petrol engine and CNG installation. But that move was a relief for Mumbaikars and their guests.
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Old 10th July 2009, 23:23   #11
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Got some info. from a friend, who has done Motor vehicle Inspector Course.

- Engine change is possible if we are replacing it with engine of same specifications ( no change in cubic capacity). Also there has to be proof of purchase for the new engine.
-Any other engine swaps will take away the "road worthy" tag from ARAI

Disapointing info.

This is a straightforward answer.
there should be loop holes. ( hope so)
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Old 11th July 2009, 17:11   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MexXxentric View Post
Got some info. from a friend, who has done Motor vehicle Inspector Course.

- Engine change is possible if we are replacing it with engine of same specifications ( no change in cubic capacity). Also there has to be proof of purchase for the new engine.
-Any other engine swaps will take away the "road worthy" tag from ARAI

Disapointing info.

This is a straightforward answer.
there should be loop holes. ( hope so)
Thanks. But then how were diesel engines fitted into original petrol engined cars which till a few years ago were officially endorsed in the registration book? This not very clear. But nevertheless, the procedure mentioned by you is correct.
Even in the case of CNG kits, you cannot just install a kit in a V8 engined car. That is illegal. Even here type approval is required.
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Old 12th July 2009, 17:59   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harit View Post
Thanks. But then how were diesel engines fitted into original petrol engined cars which till a few years ago were officially endorsed in the registration book? This not very clear. But nevertheless, the procedure mentioned by you is correct.
Even in the case of CNG kits, you cannot just install a kit in a V8 engined car. That is illegal. Even here type approval is required.
The rule position as explained by MexXxentric is true and very logical.I too have a friend who installed a Isuzu 2000DSL in his petrol BMC engined Amby.So there's a difference of 509cc (1998cc - 1489cc).
As regards LPG and CNG for private cars the Maharashtra Govt rules say the car must not be older than five years to undergo such a bypass surgery.There may be similar rules in other states.
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Old 12th July 2009, 18:51   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anjan_c2007 View Post
The rule position as explained by MexXxentric is true and very logical.I too have a friend who installed a Isuzu 2000DSL in his petrol BMC engined Amby.So there's a difference of 509cc (1998cc - 1489cc).
As regards LPG and CNG for private cars the Maharashtra Govt rules say the car must not be older than five years to undergo such a bypass surgery.There may be similar rules in other states.

in kerala, till 2004, you could dieselise any car,but after that they amended the rules so that you cannot change the type of fuel(1-petrol,2-diesel) mentioned in the RC, exception being what I mentioned a few posts ago in this thread
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Old 22nd April 2010, 11:22   #15
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On checking Google for any material regarding engine/vehicle mods, this is what I found:

Forbes India - There's No Car Like My Car


Quote:
Things you should know to modify the vehicles are:

Street Legal
• Regional Transport Office (RTO) rules: body work requires the written permission of the manufacturer.
• Engine modification that changes the specifications of the stock engine needs RTO permission. The vehicle must clear all regular pollution checks and safety standards.
• An engine swap must be certified by the RTO.
• Use of Nitrous Oxide (a chemical that increases the power of an engine, usually used for performance racing), on roads is illegal.
• Turbo-charging and supercharging is, surprisingly, permitted. Because it is an add-on to the internal combustion engine.
• Loud exhausts are not allowed. Decibel levels must remain within prescribed limits.
For any street car, you cannot change anything which will be in conflict with:

1. The manufacturer's specifications (this should cover the engine size, fuel type, vehicle dimensions, laden/unladen weight or capacity and so on)
2. Whatever has been recorded in the Registration Certificate (including colour of the vehicle, also covering #1 above)
3. Laws regarding noise/air pollution and other rules

You could apply to the RTO/manufacturer, obtain a written permission from them and only then carry out the mods. And I guess after carrying out the mods, you would have to re-present your car to the RTO for inspection and certification.

Also my impression of engine swaps is where you take the same spec engine from another vehicle and put it in yours. For e.g. sourcing the 1.8 L petrol engine of the Amby from a totalled/scrapped Amby and fitting it in your Amby (which has been registered as a 1.8 L petrol engine), or purchasing it from HM, in case your original engine has conked off somehow. For bigger size engine swaps, point #1 would apply before point #2. So first your manufacturer has to approve the mod and then the RTO has to approve the mod. Without all this, the mods are not street legal.

Anyone know if clear lens tail lamps are allowed? I read on a thread on the Motor Vehicles Act that a vehicle may have a reversing light, which must be diffused and not very bright. Clear lens tail lamps essentially act as blinders to the drivers in the rear when driving in night, and are next to useless in daylight because it's hard to see the lamp lit in harsh sunlight. The older cars with diffused tail lamps give off a soft glow, whereas the modern stock/modded cars with clear lens tail lamps give out a very harsh light. Made worse by LEDs which are directional.

Last edited by honeybee : 22nd April 2010 at 11:29.
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