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  #1  
Old 11-22-2007, 06:34 PM
Justfacts
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What are the Regs to bringing an Overseas Diesel to the US?

I saw a 3 cylinder diesel with a 6 speed manual that was getting 60 mpg. I wanted to buy it on the spot before practicality ruled--what are the applicable regulations to just bringing "one" to the US--I dont plan on importing a 1000 of them, I just want one...but I think the red tape/process msut be monumental..the other idea I had was to just grap the powertrain and engine and mate it to say a Fiesta here...
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  #2  
Old 11-22-2007, 08:15 PM
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Figure it costs a couple of grand to get a car 25yrs or older in. Newer cars and cars that were never imported to the USA, well, let's just say that you'd better be prepared many thousands of dollars.
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  #3  
Old 11-22-2007, 08:21 PM
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Engine and emissions aside, you'd better bring in a half dozen or so if the body/chassis hasn't been crash tested.

After all that cost, you'll be lucky to find an insurance carrier who will cover more than third-party liability.

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  #4  
Old 11-23-2007, 01:07 AM
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Damn near impossible unless you have a ton of money, some political influence and a couple of shady companies.


If you remember that Enzo that was crashed in CA a few months ago, wasn't even registered in this country...pretty much just flown over, random CA plate stuck on, and thats that.
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  #5  
Old 11-23-2007, 02:35 AM
ForcedInduction
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One or 1000 does not make a difference.

Let's put it this way- After the amount of money it would cost to make it safety/emissions legal and get it registered, it would probably be cheaper to buy an H2 and pay the fuel costs for the next several years.

Best bet is to buy a VW TDI and settle for 45-50mpg instead of 60.
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  #6  
Old 11-23-2007, 04:13 AM
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The way it works best is to take the power train and engine and stick it in another car. Not the Fiesta, unless you have it registered as a diesel, because of emissions testing. Find a fitting body that was originally a diesel, and stick your new power train and engine in that.

On the other hand, that's a lot of work... the VW Jetta TDI is probably cheaper.
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  #7  
Old 11-23-2007, 10:42 AM
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Why is it so difficult to import cars into the US? Is it market protection?

Over here you can bring in pretty much any car you want, from anywhere. It only requires minor changes, headlamp direction that sort of thing. Nobody cares about emissions or crash safety, as long as it passes an annual MOT test its fine.
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  #8  
Old 11-23-2007, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parrot of Doom View Post
Why is it so difficult to import cars into the US? Is it market protection?

Over here you can bring in pretty much any car you want, from anywhere. It only requires minor changes, headlamp direction that sort of thing. Nobody cares about emissions or crash safety, as long as it passes an annual MOT test its fine.
It's difficult because when it comes to diesel vehicles our government is a pain in the ass.

That's why Citroen and Peugeot got out of the U.S. market in the early 80's. That's also why, aside from American-made trucks, the only authorized diesels here in the U.S. from the mid-80's on were made by Mercedes and VW. They were the only companies willing to put up with the EPA's BS and stay in the market.
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  #9  
Old 11-23-2007, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ForcedInduction View Post
Best bet is to buy a VW TDI and settle for 45-50mpg instead of 60.
I would have to second that. I drove a TDI to the Fla. GTG, and on the way back, averaged 52mpg
It would take a few miles to make up the money you would spend on shipping from overseas. I don't know what kind of toys the 60mpg car has, but this TDI has plenty, except for full power seats (back rest is power), but it does have a lumbar adjustment.
The TDI that I drove, has less than 2k miles. They say that the TDI's aren't broken in, until about 50k miles...so mpg ought to improve even more over the next few years.
I should actually shut up about that car....next thing you know, everybody is going to want one, and drive prices up.
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  #10  
Old 11-23-2007, 12:38 PM
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a while back, perhaps on another forum, I saw the .gov page full of import regulations - its a pretty in-depth thing - they were written for buisness-level importers, with only a few loopholes for people like the OP (original Poster).

What I've heard (like the rest of this thread - conjecture =) is that a better idea is to have someone remove the engine (or just ship the engine) as parts - no different than shipping a box of toys from one country to another. Then, install that engine in that US-legal car of your choice. perhaps not what you are looking for- but avoids the legal funhouse of importing a non-US spec car.

Somewhere there is someone that has done this, or looked into it, that can be more specific.

-John
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  #11  
Old 11-23-2007, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parrot of Doom View Post
Why is it so difficult to import cars into the US? Is it market protection?

Over here you can bring in pretty much any car you want, from anywhere. It only requires minor changes, headlamp direction that sort of thing. Nobody cares about emissions or crash safety, as long as it passes an annual MOT test its fine.
Because the US government pretty much wants to outlaw diesels. They can't but they could if they would.
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  #12  
Old 11-23-2007, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel View Post
a while back, perhaps on another forum, I saw the .gov page full of import regulations - its a pretty in-depth thing - they were written for buisness-level importers, with only a few loopholes for people like the OP (original Poster).

What I've heard (like the rest of this thread - conjecture =) is that a better idea is to have someone remove the engine (or just ship the engine) as parts - no different than shipping a box of toys from one country to another. Then, install that engine in that US-legal car of your choice. perhaps not what you are looking for- but avoids the legal funhouse of importing a non-US spec car.

Somewhere there is someone that has done this, or looked into it, that can be more specific.

-John
Noble does this to get around DOT regs, but they are essential "kit cars". You would have to see how you can insure a kit car.
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  #13  
Old 11-23-2007, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatterasguy View Post
Noble does this to get around DOT regs, but they are essential "kit cars"
Doesn't the Noble as sold in the US use a DOT certified Ford engine? Even Noble doesn't want to mess with the EPA.

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  #14  
Old 11-23-2007, 06:11 PM
compress ignite's Avatar
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Your own Diesel

1.Buy new Toyota Landcruiser
2.Remove gasoline V-8 and sell on flea-bay.
3.Buy Yanmar 6lp series turbodiesel (U.S. EPA compliant) [Toyota I-6 block
with Yanmar 24 valve head and larger turbo] 315 H.P.
4.Remove heat exchanger and move turbo to side of engine.
5.Install in Landcruiser (you might have to fiddle with the flywheel setup)
BUT, remember, Toyota has already installed this same block in the
Landcruiser for Non-U.S. distribution. 204 H.P.
6.Enjoy not only outrageous fuel economy (25 MPG in town may be possible)
but the ability to "smoke" any other diesel in the U.S. (except the E class)!
6a.You might have to approach Lloyds about insurance...none of the domestic
carriers will touch this.
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  #15  
Old 11-23-2007, 08:52 PM
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Insurance

Quote:
Originally Posted by compress ignite View Post
... 6a.You might have to approach Lloyds about insurance...none of the domestic carriers will touch this.
The insurance company can be told that the vehicle to be insured is a new Land Cruiser and no more. Most I've ever had an insurance company do (on a used car) is to take a picture of the vehicle. None have ever asked to look under the hood.

A friend of mine imported a Deux Chevaux about 20 years ago and Federalized it. He had to make and install side-door beams and lots of irritating stuff like that. It was a long project but he did eventually get it done. I don't know whether that could be done today -- retrofitting air bags doesn't sound like a DIY job.

Jeremy
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