Hey guys, I might be moving to San Diego (currently in Vegas). I’ve got a 1997 LHD NA to JDM motor TT (converted to single turbo) stock US spec ECU (I believe from a 95). Here in Vegas we can get away with registering the car as a classic rod with only a 5k mileage per year requirement. No smog requirement. How does everyone in SoCal get away with their modified cars?
In order to pass SMOG you will need a US spec 2JZ-GTE on 100% stock turbos, injectors, and OBD-II ECU, along with stock cats, stock EGR, and a correctly installed charcoal canister/evap etc setup. Then you will need to get that swap certified as 'correct' by the California BAR and get a BAR label indicating the TT swap is authorized and has been inspected because they'll know your car is an NA from the VIN.
Alternatively, returning your car to 100% stock OBD-II US spec 2JZ-GE complete with all original emissions equipment would also pass.
There's currently no 'classic car' status or anything like that to exempt 90's cars from Cali requirements. Basically anything newer than 1976 will need to pass a full inspection regardless of 'collector car' status.
There's ways around any regulatory requirement as we all know, but I strongly doubt you'll see anyone publicly posting that information. Perhaps you might get a PM or two from sympathetic folks but all my Supra buddies in Cali tell me it's a constant battle.
Personally I would recommend maintaining registration in Nevada or establishing a Montana LLC for a plate but Cali LE is cracking down on those practices.