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How difficult is it to keep a custom made buggy street leagal. im Talking from the frame up. Would it be smart to get a pre smog title and just do whatever i want. i know i will need a windsheild, wipers, fenders, guages, and what else? For those of you that have a custome buggy that is street legal can u send pics and specs. by the way it is for california. and the only reason i dont want to tow it is i live close to a lot of good little trails and i dont want to hassle with towing all the time. Thanks a lot.
 

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pre smog helps a ton, escpecially if its already in teh books so you dont need an inspection. other than that just registration, insurance and not to flashy for the fix it ticket hassels. jiMMy
 

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This might be BEGGING for clarification, but I think some states have a registration for stuff like Kit Cars, that allow you to drive 'em on the street... but w/ limited annual mileage. That might be worth looking into if you just want to street it enough to get to the trail or something...
 

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By far the easyest way is pick up a "scooby doo " type for $500.00 or less that has curent tags and a plate and you are set. You will still need all you mentioned and more but it is real simple. What I do that works great is go the the CHP and tell them you got Grand dads old street legal rail and want to know what should be on it so it is safe and legal. I found they will help you how ever they can and get all info for your vehical. This way you know just what you will be poped for or not. Then you can try and get away with what you want and most of the time it is minor stuff they want. Also I think it is like 15-1800 lbs and you need fenders?
 

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Can't you guys title and insure them as hot rods or something???

I saw the bass guy from Van Halen cruising a licensed hot rod with Cali plates, no fender coverage, etc, on TV :D
 

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Here in MO it more or less falls under the rules of the dune buggies. Hi/Lo beam, wipers (if you run glass), signals, seatbelts, etc.
 

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If you are building a Jeep with a Jeep CJ5/CJ7 body, I'd find the oldest title and VIN tag you can. If you have the acual vin plate riveted to the firewall where it should be and it matches your registration you should be fine, regardless of the actual year of the tub.

Here in Virginia we have "antique motor vehicle" registrations which are for vehicles 25 years and older that are for recreational use only. You can't drive to and from work and there are some other stipulations on when you can drive them. No problem for a buggy. With this registration you don't need state inspections so it works well.

CJ
 

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I keep getting comflicting information on this stuff. My sort-of CJ-5 has no VIN plate. I have no pink slip. Basically, the body tub was given to me, and I've been buggifing around it. A couple of options I have heard:

1. Tell the DMV that you lost all of the above stuff, but oh guess what, I have the VIN number written down. This assumes you have done some homework and found a clean VIN number, and coincidently is pre-1974, thereby making it smog exempt (not sure how to get this info). DMV issues a new VIN.

2. The vehicle was on my property when I bought the land, it was missing all of the above, can you issue me a new VIN? This sounds pretty specious, and may get you laughed out of the office, but I've heard of people making it work. Oh, coincidently, it's a pre-1974.

Does any of this sound remotely plausible?

Andy

3.
 

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CJ Lagos said:
If you are building a Jeep with a Jeep CJ5/CJ7 body, I'd find the oldest title and VIN tag you can. If you have the acual vin plate riveted to the firewall where it should be and it matches your registration you should be fine, regardless of the actual year of the tub...
CJ
I believe it is a federal felony to tamper with VIN tags.
 

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Here in washington... if you build a trailer you can tell the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) that it is a home-made trailer... they want some reciepts for the major parts (axles, steel, etc) but they will issue a vin tag. It's a stretch, but they just might do the same for a buggy... although they would inspect it when you do it this way.
 

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the biggest problem with buggys is registration

if you register it as a real vehicle, with a title, your ok.

if you register it as a "specially constructed vehicle", then its near impossible to insure, and to get a title, it gets run through the ringer, at least hear in missouri.

i built 3-4 dune buggys from scratch, and got them titled this way, before i got smart and started buying up VW titles/vins for $100 each. same with jeep buggys... mine is titled as a '75 jeep truck. eliminates all problems.
 

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So I wonder if I can go to a junkyard like PIck and Pull and buy myself a title for a 1971 pickup or something. Does it really matter if it's a Jeep? I think not.....

Are their problems associated with getting a "salvage" title?

DMV Noob,

Andy
 

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salvaged title usually means highway patrol inspection of matching vins, and all the working doo dads, ie.. lights, parking brake, seat belts, etc...

jiMMy
 

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Toyman said:


I believe it is a federal felony to tamper with VIN tags.
I'm not talking about tampering. If you have a 1972 CJ-5 with a rusty tub, and you put a 1979 CJ-5 tub on it, you can transfer the vin plate from the 72 to the 79, that is legal. That's what I'm talking about doing.

CJ
 

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afecko said:
Are their problems associated with getting a "salvage" title?

DMV Noob,

Andy
YES. There are "problems". To list what is on the paper work from CA DMV in front of me:
"Verification of vehicle identification number by a peace officer, an authorized employee of the DMV or a licensed vehicle verifier"
"Official brake and light adjustment certificate issued by a licensed inspection station"
 

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In CA the vehicle is based on the frame VIN#, so you can put a later body on an earlier frame legally. to do the other, legally, the vehicle must be registered to the frame. To get a new VIN, or Vin verified (if it's ground off,missing, or whatever), you must make an appt. with a CHP VIN officer and you better make sure everything is legit. If you have a brand new custom frame buggy and try to get a VIN for it, It must pass 2003 standards(smog, equip, fuel economy,ect.,ect.). I believe there is a new law, or law pending reguarding new kit cars where they only have to meet the requirments of the year car being replicated???But I'm not 100% sure on that one. A CA state vehicle code book can be bought at the DMV for $3. It has more laws and info than you ever wanted to know.
 

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i know a guy that built one from scratch, new frame, tub etc.. he wound up having to have it inspected as a new vehical. this was in '98 so it had to pass smog for 98, safety for a new 98 etc. major pain in the ass..

but! if you can " start" with a existing vehical (title) then show proof of new frame, body etc, over time then you could prob pass it off as a 72 or what ever the title said.

my 72 cj5 had a 82 body, and was registered in ohio as a 92.. lol any one ever seen a title for a 92 cj-5? lol..
 

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I was looking into getting my buggy "street legal" in AZ. Technically, driving my buggy on forestry service and BLM dirt roads to the trail head without a tag could get me a ticket. That and short hops from trail to trail are all I am concerned about, a trailer is used for any real road trips. Anyway, I didn't want to register it as using the CUCV plates because that opens up a ton of smog crap, plus there is the diesel to gas conversion... I checked around and found out that here you can register it as a "reconstruct" (the name they use for any custom fabricated vehicle which does not have recognizable body panels). A "reconstruct" title requires you to take a sniff test only, no visual inspection, no cats, no smog pump, etc. As long as you pass the sniff test, you good. And, from what I've been told, the requirements on the sniff for reconstructs are easily passed by a properly tuned engine without all the garbage (I left the EGR and pump on mine anyway, I mainly wanted to avoid the cat and vapor canister). The only other thing required is a "Level 3 inspection" where they check for glaring safety issues and verify things like head/brake lights, mirrors, etc...
 
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