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-   -   Vin swap - firewall swap (http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/vin-swap-firewall-swap-109499.html)

KenCam 02-20-2007 01:38 PM

Vin swap - firewall swap
 
The car I'm rebuilding is a 77 Camaro. The doner car is a 75 Camaro. The body of the 77 is a mess and little was salvageable except the firewall/dash. My question is how much of the firewall needs to be replaced in order for the car to be legal? I'd hate to warp the car. I could lift the top plate off the firewall but is that enough.
BTW. I also have the front frame with has the other vin# from the 77.

xntrik 02-20-2007 02:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KenCam
The car I'm rebuilding is a 77 Camaro. The doner car is a 75 Camaro. The body of the 77 is a mess and little was salvageable except the firewall/dash. My question is how much of the firewall needs to be replaced in order for the car to be legal? I'd hate to warp the car. I could lift the top plate off the firewall but is that enough. BTW. I also have the front frame with has the other vin# from the 77.

So you are not actually rebuilding the 77, but putting the 77 VIN plate onto the 75. What is wrong with the 75 title?

I'm guessing that if you renumber the 75 as a 77 and you get caught, you are probably going to need the services of a very good lawyer. Especially if you ever sell the car.

KenCam 02-20-2007 02:16 PM

The 77 has sentimental value. It was my sisters car. (found in a field after her death) I salvaged all I could of it and I plan to use every part I possibly can but the cab was a mess. The firewall and some metal in the back was all I could salvage. It would be easy for me to just rebuild the 75. It is relatively rust free and runs pretty well but it wouldn't be my sisters car.

xntrik 02-20-2007 02:16 PM

I suggest calling your local State Trooper Headquarters and telling them that you have 2 wrecked cars and you want to make one car out of them... and ask how to handle the VINs? Write down exactly who you talk to and ask where you can get the information in writing from the state.

It won't really be her car anyway.... will it?

Good luck. :thumbup:

KenCam 02-20-2007 02:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by xntrik

It won't really be her car anyway.... will it?

It will be as close as I can make it.

Thanks for the reply. I will make the call.

joe_padavano 02-20-2007 03:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KenCam
It will be as close as I can make it.

Thanks for the reply. I will make the call.

Contrary to popular belief, it is NOT illegal under Federal law to swap a VIN tag if you are either the owner or a repair shop and the VIN tag movement is reasonably required for a repair (and of course you need to legally own all the parts you're swapping). The applicable federal law is Title 18 of United States Code, Chapter 25, Section 511. You can read it for yourself here:

http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-...Cite:+18USC511

There are a lot of double and triple negatives in the text, but the bottom line is that it is illegal to swap VIN plates with the intent to commit fraud. The legal owner of the vehicle or a designated repair shop IS allowed to remove and replace the VIN tag if such removal and replacement "...is reasonably necessary for the repair...". I had a long talk with the vendor selling the repro Camaro bodies at Carlisle last summer and as a business owner you can bet he has had his lawyer research this in detail.

Think about it this way. Say you own a brand new GM pickup and a tree falls on the cab. You can run down to the GM dealer and buy a brand new body-in-white cab. This new cab does not come with a VIN tag - you must swap the one from your old crushed cab. One caveat is that state law may override federal in this instance, so be sure you know the requirements in your specific state.

KenCam 02-20-2007 03:41 PM

Thanks for the info!
I will still call the KY HP to get more info but you have set my mind at ease.

xntrik 02-20-2007 03:56 PM

QUOTE

....replace the VIN tag if such removal and replacement "...is reasonably necessary for the repair...".

QUOTE

There's the phrase. REASONABLY NECESSARY.

Can you take the plate out of squashed car and weld it into a good car of a different year?........ mmmmmmm?

Please post back on this thread and let us know what you find out. I am curious about KY. :thumbup:

Down here you have to have both titles and submit them to the state for retitling as one vehicle.

poncho62 02-20-2007 04:08 PM

Which body are you using?

That is what I would be going by............the firewall is only a small part of the main body.

paulo 1 02-20-2007 06:07 PM

I just swapped VINs between 2 Camaros.One of those cases where the main body on one was so much better that economically it was the intelligent thing to do.Both cars belonged to the same client.Actually 3 Camaros.We made 1 out of 3.And to tell you the truth,I do not fell bad at all.As a honest and dedicated restorer,to me the main body is just another part.In this particular car the whole dash can be unbolted and transplanted.I am not in the States but it would be illegal here too.And these cars do not have VIN codes stamped elsewhere.

KenCam 02-21-2007 08:16 AM

I know what I'm doing is a bit crazy. The body of the 75 is pretty nice (except around the back glass) and I have the title for it. My sisters 77 is a complete disaster and I don't have the title. The 77's body is way too far gone. If I were to rebuild it (not that I have the knowledge to do so) I would end up with pretty much everything new except the firewall. I thought switching them would be an easier solution. Especially since I was going to have to buy a parts car anyway.

I'll try and call about it today.

Hey paulo1, I was under the impression that there is a vin# on the front frame. I haven't found it yet but mine is covered in undercoat and rust. I could be wrong.

poncho62 02-21-2007 08:47 AM

If the 75 is better and you have a title, it only makes sense to go with it...I know the sentimental attachment is there, but you can put as much of your sisters car on the 75 as you can....Only you will know the difference.

farna 02-21-2007 10:35 AM

I agree with the last statement. Build a replica of your sisters car using the 75 and whatever parts you can from the 77. There isn't much point in transferring the VIN plate if you have the title for the 75. If you did use the 77 VIN plate once you apply for a title it will have your name on it.

You'd be better off to make a plaque with the 77 VIN and title (if you have it -- should still have your sister's name on it?) or a photo of your sister and/or the original car, and a plate saying it's a replica built to honor your sister's memory. The VIN and title won't matter in any case -- no one remembers that the VIN was hers, they remember the car itself. If it looks like her car and people recall it, that's all that matters.

As far as legality... if you own both cars, and you're not doing the swap to circumvent some kind of law (such as emissions -- if 75 is exempt and 77 isn't, you'd have a hard time convincing a cop/judge that wasn't your intent...) or sell a stolen car, I'd do it without saying a word to anyone. Someone has to have reason to complain and bring charges. The only way that might happen is if you're involved in a wreck. The insurance company could claim the car was illegally operated and therefore your policy is invalid. But they would have to know about or have reason to suspect the swap.

OneMoreTime 02-21-2007 11:33 AM

I agree with Ponch and Farna..I woudl build the 75 in honor of my sister..paint it and detail it like the 77 was..and do the dash plaques deal..

In the veterans area we do this to commemorate a fellow that was lost..

Sam

Magnus_Jager 02-21-2007 12:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by paulo 1
As a honest and dedicated restorer,to me the main body is just another part.

Quote:

Originally Posted by paulo 1
I am not in the States but it would be illegal here too.

Wow.....

Reminds me of a discussion on vette motor stamping from a while back...


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