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Thread: Advice on Tube Chassis or Fiero

  1. #1
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    Advice on Tube Chassis or Fiero

    Im really at a crossroads of what to do for a build. I know the fiero would be the easiest way and I already have a Fiero lined up for the build. But Im really starting to wonder if I'd be making a mistake by not going with the tube chassis. I'm sure it helps value of the car, performance and Insurable value.

    BUT....I am concerned about using a Tube chassis because of Registration issues in California. I would plan to use a Chassis and a donor Corvette so I could get the computer and all that with it. But Since I've never done this before I would not want to spend all this time and money building a chassis only to find out I cant register it.
    I read up on the Specially Built Vehicles on the DMV site but they make it sound like a special smog inspection and CHP inspection are all thats needed. I have to imagine its more of an issue than this.
    Can anyone comment who has gone thru the process?

  2. #2
    Senior Member ITALIANKNIGHTRIDER's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on Tube Chassis or Fiero

    Quote Originally Posted by vonjet
    Im really at a crossroads of what to do for a build. I know the fiero would be the easiest way and I already have a Fiero lined up for the build. But Im really starting to wonder if I'd be making a mistake by not going with the tube chassis. I'm sure it helps value of the car, performance and Insurable value.

    BUT....I am concerned about using a Tube chassis because of Registration issues in California. I would plan to use a Chassis and a donor Corvette so I could get the computer and all that with it. But Since I've never done this before I would not want to spend all this time and money building a chassis only to find out I cant register it.
    I read up on the Specially Built Vehicles on the DMV site but they make it sound like a special smog inspection and CHP inspection are all thats needed. I have to imagine its more of an issue than this.
    Can anyone comment who has gone thru the process?
    THIS IS WHAT I HAVE AN THE FIERO TUBE SIT IN IT
    MY ECONO SUB-FRAME CHASSIS 50%fiero/50%tube chassis keeping the fiero front susp. CROSS MEMBER with Z06 14" ROTOR upgrades FRONT AN BACK

    not my pic ,just used it to show how it fit together

    What i like most about the ECONO SUB-FRAME CHASSIS 50%fiero/50%tube chassis an the fiero Vin No. an its VERY easy to register
    In the USA if you pay a company / person to start a plug, then it,s your plug and work ,it is not theirs to sell or trade !!

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Re: Advice on Tube Chassis or Fiero

    If you are going to register it as a Special Construction vehicle, you get into some judgement calls by the folks at BAR. The statute allows the owner to decide whether the smog rules apply to the engine OR the body. If you are building say, a Diablo, which was around in the 90's, then you could elect to have the smog rules for a 90's car. The LS1's came out in the early 90's I think, so you could declare that you want the smog rules to apply to the first year the LS1 came out.

    The judgement calls come during the physical inspection part of the process. When you are dealing with BAR people, they will probably be strict on the smog equipment. You will need to have everything just as it came in the year you declare - closed fuel system, stock ECU and ALL sensors, switches, and wiring, charcoal cannister, Air pump, catalytic converters, O2 sensors - e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.

    These are the reasons most builders start with something with a Vin # already. Now all they have to do is find someone to overlook some of the missing pieces during the biannual smog test.

    The only real way to go the Special Construction (SB-100) route is to use a pre-1974 block. You can do whatever you want with the engine - just as long as it is a pre-1974 block and has an EGR valve. In fact, you can buy brand new aluminum small block Fords as well as aluminum side-oiler 427 blocks that have the old casting nos. - no problem for SB-100.

    I have registered two this way and have my sequence no. for a third. Lifetime smog exemptions .

    Good luck

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