Registerning A Diesel Conversion


Not Lost, Exploring!
Let me start by saying I realize regulations vary by state, and even within a state, but I am looking to hear what people have done to overcome the problem with registering a diesel conversion. I have a 1999 D1 with a 1998 300TDI from a UK D1. The initial conversion was done by someone else, and attention to detail was lacking. I have put 100s of hours into cleaning it up and making sure everything is just right. I currently have it titled and registered in CO. I have been driving it for almost three years as a daily driver, and have put nearly 20K miles on the conversion. I have to say I love it!

Here's a quick run down of the current configuration:

1999 D1 with a 1998 300TDI engine and automatic transmission
1.5" Terra Firma Lift
Tactical Rovers front bumper
Warn 10K winch with synthetic line
245-75-16 BFG Mud Terrain Tires
Full SD rack
Hella Lights on SD rack and winch bumper

Now, here is the rub, I have moved into Denver proper, where I need emissions to register my Disco. It passed emissions, BUT, it doesn't meet Denver's regulations for a diesel conversion :mad: So currently, I can't register it anywhere where emissions is required. Not a huge problem, because I have a ranch property where it is now registered, but I would like to see what other people have done to overcome certification/registration hurdles.

In checking with the EPA, it sounds like most everyone that has done a diesel conversion technically has an illegal vehicle. There is a very, very narrow range of acceptable conversions, and they estimate less than 1% of conversions actually meet all the requirements........

What have you done, and how did you get your vehicle through the bureaucratic jungle?


Expedition Leader
No idea if it's the same in CO as GA, but here you can convert an OBD1 vehicle to diesel, get a letter from a dealer (in this case a Land Rover dealer) saying it's actually a diesel, and you're good to go.
Obviously 96+ are OBDII so not eligible, but you might check with the Denver DMV and just ask them. Or better yet, have a friend ask them so you can remain under the radar just in case.


Climbing Nerd
Texas just has safety inspection on Diesels. So it was easy here. Unless you live in the Denver Boulder area I think colorado is the same.

Just re read you first post. Guess this isn't helpful. You could always register it at a friends address who lives outside the Denver area.


I agree, keep it registered at the ranch. TN is easy. I have done a few in different states w/o issue and always go front channel with the DMV. I don't have the money to pay lawyers. My last conversion I went to the DMV and told them when I wanted to do. They said no problem. Just let us know when it done and they even changed the title to reflect the new diesel and emission test it as a diesel. 300 tdi will passed w/o issue.

The 1% are the older than 1969 vehicles. They do not need to meet any current emission or safety rules. At least in TN.
Hot Rod, Classic Car or Vintage

I recommend looking into Hot Rod, Classic, Vintage or Custom Build if possible. We have laws like that here in Hawaii and even California. Therefore, it may take a title change to one of these classifications but due to the age I would suggest it meets Classic or Vintage (Over 20 years). Many states are different on these laws but look into those areas and I bet you can find a loop hole to jump you and your D1 thru.

I have a 64 Corvair Truck and it registers legally here in Hawaii. Since I want to airbag it, it will not pass the safety inspection due to non-factory options. I spoke to a hot rod guy and he gave me the laws. I reclassified the truck as a Hot Rod and therefore all aftermarket mods are now legal as long as it meets DoT requirements of lights, brakes, etc.... Boom!

Same goes as Salvage laws and custom motorcycle and such. Not saying you would want to look into a salvage title, but ******** if it was me and I had a diesel D1 there is not a chance I'm transferring it anyway so I could care less what my title says as long as I can drive it legally wherever I want.

That is my suggestion. I think then, maybe the emissions will not be required in this aspect. Just my two cents, hope it helps and I would love to hear the outcome.

Forum statistics

Latest member