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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi All,

I live in the Republik of California where the bar is like a wall and on the other side of the wall is this plethora of fun cars to build and drive.
Been doing some research regarding 2zz and k20 swaps. I recently spoke with a ref and apparently back in April 2019 there was a big meeting for all the CA BAR refs. One of the things discussed in the meeting was about our car. If you are smogging your 2zz swapped mr2 with the 2zz ECU and that has flown you under the radar you may get red-flagged this year. Maybe the ref was trying to scare me but he said and I quote/paraphrase as many as 200 MR2s have been noted to pass smog with a 2zz ECU and will be flagged when they are brought to smog. Unless you're smogging it illegally in which case this is not for you and I am trying to avoid that. If the shop you go to gets caught every car there gets sent to the BAR. I have no luck, so I am trying to get that BAR sticker.

Additionally, the ref told me the below of what is required to pass the BAR with 2zz.

No modification is allowed for the intake manifold.
No modification is allowed for the throttle body.
No modification is allowed for the engine.
No modification is allowed for the header.
No modification is allowed for the mid-pipe which contains the catalytic converter (correct me if I'm wrong).
Furthermore, all emission equipment must still be there.
The only light they care about is the Check Engine light. The rest of the dash doesn't need to be working.

When you apply all the above:

the INTAKE not intake manifold for the stock Celica GTS has a U-bend which means when placed in the Spyder's engine bay it doesn't fit or the firewall needs to be cut. Apparently, no carb legal intake allows it to fit either?
The stock 2zz header in the way of the cross member/subframe so that will need to be cut/notched in order to fit. Ruining the integrity of the chassis unless you weld to reinforce it.
If no modification is allowed on mid-pipe then isnt it sticking halfway out of the car?

Current solutions the bar is aware of and looking for:
(illegal will fail)

Modifying 1zz intake to fit the 2zz engine
welding 2zz flange to the 1zz oem header
using the 1zz cat with 1zz header

Additionally, the ref told me the below of what is required to pass the BAR with acura rsx type s 2002-2004 k20a2 swap:

This part probably belongs in the k series swap thread but I'm on page 23 of the thread... I'm not sure if this is covered in there. What I have read when it comes to emissions is the common response seems to be just get k-pro and remove the emission testing blah blah blah... TLDR doesn't pass bar or smog

Same as above

No modification is allowed for the intake manifold.
No modification is allowed for the throttle body.
No modification is allowed for the engine.
No modification is allowed for the header.
No modification is allowed for the mid-pipe which contains the catalytic converter (correct me if I'm wrong).
Furthermore, all emission equipment must still be there.
The only light they care about is the Check Engine light. The rest of the dash doesn't need to be working.

REF said the biggest problem you would run into is the RSX has the EVAP module inside the fuel tank apparently the spyder does not? Someone, please confirm this for me.

Furthermore, you're not allowed to mix and match spyder and RSX emissions equipment.

Current solutions from research on spyderchat indicate that to fix the EVAP they just hook up the spyder EVAP to RSX ecu?

Thoughts? Answers? Experiences?
 

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OK summary of what it should take (also one of my local group is working on a BAR 2zz):

No modification is allowed for the intake manifold.
  • (distinction here: manifold and intake are separate.the intake manifold will fit fine. the CARB Legal intakes out of a matrix or vibe may fit as they are a more forgiving shape and will carry the same EO number as the same brand intake CARB gave EO to for the celica EO numbers reference Executive Order docs with a long list of cars on them. if both the celica and matrix show up on the list, both CARB intakes are OK, just have to match up the engine vin and ecu to the right model of car. it may need to be rotated a certain way. needs experimentation)
No modification is allowed for the throttle body. it also works fine as is.

No modification is allowed for the engine. needs to be from the same vin number as the ECU you are using or the same model year with the same emissions certification (california cert)
  • as a side note though, even though the BAR is more thorough than a star station, they won't be opening up the head of the engine or dismantling the whole thing, so mild things that don't throw codes on the stock 2zz ecu like upgraded valvesprings, upgraded oil pump, ported heads, mild cams (only profile changes are on the Lift lobe), forged rods and pistons, crank scrapers, and (possibly) 1.93L stroker cranks may still go right on through.
No modification is allowed for the header.
  • do the swap with the stock 2zz header and 2zz ecu from your model year or newer donor car
  • notch the subframe and reinforce with steel plates welded on to box up the open cuts and add a bit of additional reinforcement
  • measure the downstream length of the 2zz oem cat from the header flange (can be changed within +/- 12 inches)
  • measure the length from cat to the two o2 sensors (can be changed within +/- 1 inches)
  • cut the piping of the 2z oem cat pipe to get the oem cat
  • get a new cat pipe made (with the oem 2zz cat and o2 sensor bungs with oem pipe diameter) to fit so that you can bolt the mk3 catback to it or a full custom catback (you have the above mentioned leeway for cat and o2 sensor placement, but don't get too close to the limits in case of measurement error). any catback is OK
Modification is allowed for the mid-pipe which contains the catalytic converter as long as the path length is within some tolerance (+/- 12 inches of stock distance), o2 sensors must be within 1 inch of stock distance relative to cat.
Emissions equipment will all hook up.
  • plumb up the evap, the pcv, iac, etc. and anything else you need to make a 2zz ecu happy.
Those are the steps.

Additionally:
If you want to run a fresher 2zz but the only BAR-legal 2zz/ECU donor car available is real beat up mechanically, as long as it runs without throwing any codes, you can use that donor car's 2zz and ECU for BAR and then afterwards, swap a fresher, maybe Federal Cert or JDM 2zz into it after you have the sticker, as an OEM engine part replacement. since STAR stations don't have the same level of 'find everything wrong with it' as the BAR does, it will be fine because now you have the BAR sticker protecting your efforts.

I would probably prefer to take the matching vin BAR-legal 2zz and ECU and have it rebuilt/refreshed/upgraded internally (up to a point) so that there's no more swapping involved.
 

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^ All that is accurate. I have the only CARB legal kswap MRS. I made sure to keep the O2's and cat at the exact same linear distance from the exhaust manifold flange.

I highly suggest you call BAR and have them put you in contact with a knowledgeable state ref to go through exactly what you need. There is photo documentation and documentation on paper from dealership regarding the ecu and the tune flashed to it which is necessary.

I have researched the 2ZZ swap. For Celica GTS to work you would have to use an aftermarket carb legal intake tube which is u-shaped and cut the firewall so that the intake points forward into the cubby behind the driver seat. You cannot rotate it backwards because it will hit the head.

As refirendum said, the Vibe/Matrix swap may work because the intake tube is s-shaped. I never looked into this. You can rotate the intake tube, but you cannot cut or modify it at all. You CAN modify the mounting brackets attached to it.

For anyone in CA who has swapped their MRS, unless you modify it to be legal and get a BAR sticker the car is only good for parts.
 

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Couple of things.

1. You can modify the midpipe. The linear distances must match that of the donor vehicle. (o2 sensors and catalytic converter distances to the front flange). Make sure it is the correct diameter pipe as well. The downpipe is NOT 2.5" or bigger.

2. If you're planning on using a Matrix intake, then you have to configure the entire engine change as a Matrix. You cannot mix and match parts from different year and models. It is normal practice to check and verify the corresponding part number in the E.O. matches what is installed.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I will try the ref again and specifically state the mid-pipe. I don't think the BAR is not very good when it comes to this kind of information. I don't doubt that other forum members have heard this information but it seems so ref specific. In my case, all three refs told me don't do an engine swap on this car it is very hard if not impossible to pass. They've also all stated the mr2 is a rear-engine car so "knowledgeable". I will report back with updates. Hopefully, I find a ref who is knowledgable.

Also, from

Codename Bil Doe

"For Celica GTS to work you would have to use an aftermarket carb legal intake tube which is u-shaped and cut the firewall so that the intake points forward into the cubby behind the driver seat. You cannot rotate it backwards because it will hit the head."

Almost word for word exactly what the ref said.
 

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I was told the same thing initially, but the ref and I worked through each individual issue to accomplish the swap legally. BAR is extremely helpful with doing the swap.

FYI there may be an intake tube option I was made aware of just today. Look up the following intake tube made by Weapon R:

•Dragon aluminum polished short ram intake
•P/N 805-121-101
•D-489-1

This is listed as CARB legal for Celicas. This may not fit a Celica GTS, but it may fit a Celica GTS swap into an MRS because it's a 90° elbow.

Something you will want to discuss with the ref, but this may make the swap legal as you won't have to use the u-shaped intake tube.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I was told the same thing initially, but the ref and I worked through each individual issue to accomplish the swap legally. BAR is extremely helpful with doing the swap.

Something you will want to discuss with the ref, but this may make the swap legal as you won't have to use the u-shaped intake tube.
Were you able to communicate with the same ref over the phone appointments? Did you just request a specific ref or did you book an in-person appointment at a local college and worked with the ref there that would later inspect/pass your car?
 

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When I called BAR through their contact # on asktheref.org I was referred to a ref who was very knowledgeable with the platform. From there, he helped me with the specifics to satisfy all of the requirements listed in appendix E for engine swaps.

My inspection was performed by a different ref but to the same standards and requirements.
 

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Here are the Engine Change guidelines. Under Exhaust Systems, it gives the allowance and description that the o2 sensors must be in the correct location, distance wise from the flange. The catalyst has a variance of 12 inches, but since you can't move the o2 sensors, it's best to install the cat in the correct location.
 

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This may be a silly question, but what do they think about crate engines purchased new rather than engines acquired from a donor car? For example, Ford sells their 2018 2.3L Ecoboost as a crate engine. I assume you would need to have an intake and exhaust fabricated based on the engine manufacturer’s measurements to the sensors, but that seems a sight better than trying to cram an engine from a front-engine donor into a rear-engine car.
 

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It's mind-boggling how much effort, research, and money the state of California does to keep a few thousand people from swapping engines. All they get is an ever slightly cleaner emissions per swapped engine. Most engine swaps use another car's emissions-approved engine, and the ECU, intake, and exhaust are the only serious potential increase in emissions when swapping. Why it's not good enough to just weld in some cats, and test to see if the engine is running too rich is beyond me.

All that effort to keep a few thousand recreational vehicles from being slightly more emissive than the car the engine came from is laughable in the face of the larger issues actually affecting air quality and the environment.
 

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Touge I think you underestimate just how effective and wide reaching smog laws are. It doesn't keep "a few thousand people from swapping engines." It changed the entire countries auto manufacturing standards and emission standards despite just being one state, and changed most of the long haul trucking emission standards. The entire country is cleaner for CA's laws, even if they are often overcomplicated and overbearing.
 

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Glad Trump personally came to california to put a stop to Idiots in CA creating their own auto emission rules.
 

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You don't have to live in California. There are a lot of places to move to.

I personally like clean air. I remember in the 1980s when the air here was barely breathable. Every other day was a smog alert. The air didn't magically clean itself in the last 20 years.

I own 7 cars but my daily drivers is a electric car.

It's not that hard to do a Carb legal swap. It just takes proper planning. I'm doing a Carb legal 2zz swap right now.

After that I'm planning on a Carb legal K20 in another spyder.
 

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here a question, I did call the bar before i bought my 2zz spyder, he said it will not be legal to put a front wheel drive engine in a mid engine car. but I think it a round about way it was more about not messing with the exhaust manifold and the mid pipe that will not necessarily fit. so why not use lotus elise stuff? it should be easier and repinning the ecu?
 
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