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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, I have wanted a smart car for several years. I recently had the capital and know how to buy one for $700, minus auction fees, some 7 ish states away in Indiana. While being a spur of the moment purchase I rented a U haul and drove from Maine to Indianapolis in my Tahoe. I have wanted a diesel version for almost as long. I was nearly set to import one from Canada fr about $2000 due to exchange rate and the flew that are for sale are all cheap. The national manager of the department of Transportation said in one of out one plus hour phone calls that it could be imported and that it was on the list of vehicles approve for import. DHS said talk to National DOT, EPA said talk to DOT, DOT said get the state police to inspect it, state police said they never herd of a policy saying they had to inspect it. All importers except two ghosted me. One said can't be done. The second one that was the first importer to import the Smart CDI said it was 80 ish parts, and $26,000 ish in work to bring it into compliance. I asked for the parts and that I might be willing to do that. They never responded. Fast forward. I may or may not have the CDI engine already and a list of the rest of the parts to get. I am looking to make this vehicle a thing of beauty. Since it is the Pure model I am going to replace the body panels. Make the glow in the dark or something crazy. Larger fender flares for wider tires. heated mirrors, replacement heated and cooled cloth seats hopefully, the 2" lift kit from smartmadness because I live in Maine, potholes and rocks suck, new fabric interior (previous owner was a smoker), dashboard, maybe a thin stainless skid plate to replace the plastic one (I am a metal worker), kick ass sound system, maybe a proper fancy manual and automatic AWD transmission from Alison or something. I have been tossing around a diesel electric hybrid idea for a bit now as well. A Tesla style motor for the front and back. As much help as I could please. I might take it to a performance shop when all is said and done or before and help me use all that the CDI has to offer. Or get a second and pimp it out.
 

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TWF, I hear your plans and I may be able to ease some of your challenges. I have the finest CDI in the country, like new and titled, that I would sell for $10K. I know where the parts are if you want to peice one together yourself. You have to use all CDI compatible guts in whatever shell you start with. I also have a brand new pure chassis that has never been in the weather that deserves to be something cool. I also smuggled a CDI into the country from Canada for parts, that is a way bigger challenge than one would think. It only worked for me with some tricky thinking in the last hours of the effort. I would not recomend the method I employed to anyone. Let me knwo if your iinterested and I can bring you up to speed. If you search "The project" in this site you will find the story of my CDI build. Dan T.

P.S. All my stuff is the 450 model if that's what your after. T
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Will do 1983JZR3W and thank you. As for the rest. If I had knew you had that at the beginning of the process there is a high chance I would have taken you up on that offer. Unfortunately at this point I have the 451 09 pure and the 451 2010 cdi engine, the 54hp model. And with my tax returns I am likely getting the transmission and all of the parts that are less then $100. That chassis does sound appealing, I will get back to you on that. Assistance with Inspection and registration would be helpful. Last thing I want is it to get confiscated. At what point is this thing a custom vehicle and exempt from certain processes?
 

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"At what point is this thing a custom vehicle and exempt from certain processes? "

That really depends on the State / County you are registering said vehicle in.

In order for me to get a 450 plated in Colorado, I had to overcome a few obstacles.
First, all vehicles must pass the emissions; but when I drove it to the 'rollers', it failed because the 450 'Trust / ESP' kicked in and cut the throttle. The inspector could not complete the emissions test where they accelerate to 30?mph and hold it for a while with the sniffer on the tailpipe.

I was sent to a 'special' state inspector that looks over Grey Market and engine swapped cars.
The primary thing there was the stock exhaust had to be on a list (federal list) of approved emissions equipment (catalytic converters). That's why non stock cats are all labeled 'for offroad use only'.
The other requirement that the state inspector had was the car had to pass their 'OBD2' port standing test.
All this test is a plug into the OBD2 port, and data from the Canbus is used. The car never goes on the rollers.

In the case of the 450, since the ESP cut the throttle when it was on the rollers, it has to be tested through the OBD2 port, coupled with 'no visible smoke' out the exhaust.

Every state is going to have a different way to handle Grey Market and kit cars. It might be an inspection; it might be a special test - I had to do both.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
"At what point is this thing a custom vehicle and exempt from certain processes? "

That really depends on the State / County you are registering said vehicle in.

In order for me to get a 450 plated in Colorado, I had to overcome a few obstacles.
First, all vehicles must pass the emissions; but when I drove it to the 'rollers', it failed because the 450 'Trust / ESP' kicked in and cut the throttle. The inspector could not complete the emissions test where they accelerate to 30?mph and hold it for a while with the sniffer on the tailpipe.

I was sent to a 'special' state inspector that looks over Grey Market and engine swapped cars.
The primary thing there was the stock exhaust had to be on a list (federal list) of approved emissions equipment (catalytic converters). That's why non stock cats are all labeled 'for offroad use only'.
The other requirement that the state inspector had was the car had to pass their 'OBD2' port standing test.
All this test is a plug into the OBD2 port, and data from the Canbus is used. The car never goes on the rollers.

In the case of the 450, since the ESP cut the throttle when it was on the rollers, it has to be tested through the OBD2 port, coupled with 'no visible smoke' out the exhaust.

Every state is going to have a different way to handle Grey Market and kit cars. It might be an inspection; it might be a special test - I had to do both.
Luckily Maine dosen't have emissions tests for passenger vehicles and diesels under 8 or 9 thousand pounds I think. I think the biggest problem is the circle jerk I was led in before. No one seems to know who to go to.
 
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