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Thread: Requirements to pass MA inspection

  1. #1
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    Requirements to pass MA inspection

    Doing my homework before jumping in on a Mk4 kit.

    I live in MA and have been a Fox Mustang enthusiast for many years. I have many parts that I've stockpiled from previous projects and my current car. I have a spare 302 on a stand, as well as a spare rear axle, a couple spare T5's (with astro performance gearsets for additional torque capacity) as well as a few spare brake setups as well. In other words, I have a lot of what I need to build a base Mk4 kit without even needing a donor.

    From what I understand, none of this will fly in MA as I need a paper trail for all of the major components and receipts to prove none of these parts were off a stolen car. What are my best options here? Locate a dirt cheap donor fox and then use my good parts vs the junk on the donor?

    As for the engine and trans, I know that Ford typically stamped a partial VIN on the rear china wall of the engine, and the pass side of the T5 transmission. Do these stampings need to match the donor vehicle? What if the donor had an engine/trans replaced at some point during it's 30 year history? Are these partial vin stamps physically checked?

    Another possibility is to forgo the pushrod route, sell off everything I have and pick up a wrecked 96-98 Cobra as a donor.

    What components typically need a paper trail? Engine, trans, axle (which may not be an issue if I go with the IRS option?). If I stick a pair of Cobra 13" calipers and rotors on the car that I've had sitting in a box for years, will that raise a red flag because I don't have a receipt?

    Thanks for the replies. Just looking to make sure I start off on the right foot and have the proper documentation down the road so I don't have any issues as well as understand my total cost for the project.
    Last edited by Mustang5L5; 06-19-2019 at 11:14 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member cnutting's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, you need a paper trail for major components. The inspector will check the numbers on the engine block and transmission installed in the vehicle. They need to match the donor. I bought my rear end with the kit so it showed up on the factory five invoice. They don't check calipers, etc.
    FFR #8833 289 FIA 3-link
    1965 289, TKO600 from Forte's Parts Connection
    Body and Paint by Mike's Auto Restoration
    Picked up 3/5/2016, First start 4/22/2017, MA legal 7/11/2018
    Build Thread http://thefactoryfiveforum.com/showt...FIA-build-8833
    "Insanity is contagious" - Joseph Heller

  3. #3
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    Thanks. I assumed that would be the case. I guess step #1 will be getting a donor with matching numbers. Might be easier if I go with a 96-98 cobra, but every fox body around here for cheap has had parts swapped in and out of it so much I can't guarantee i'll find something with matching numbers. Nicer cars have gone up in value.

    If I bought a transmission brand new, would that receipt for the NEW trans be adequate? If so, then I only need to worry about the engine mainly. Obviously no crate motor I assume.

    Can I buy the donor, strip it, and then junk it right away? What do I need to retain as proof? Paperwork from the junkyard? Copy of the title? How do I prove to the state police I owned it before I junked it?

  4. #4
    Senior Member cnutting's Avatar
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    Yes, a receipt for a new transmission will work. I bought mine from Mike Forte. Not sure about the donor route. My engine also came from Mike, so I had the paperwork.
    FFR #8833 289 FIA 3-link
    1965 289, TKO600 from Forte's Parts Connection
    Body and Paint by Mike's Auto Restoration
    Picked up 3/5/2016, First start 4/22/2017, MA legal 7/11/2018
    Build Thread http://thefactoryfiveforum.com/showt...FIA-build-8833
    "Insanity is contagious" - Joseph Heller

  5. #5
    Senior Member Gromit's Avatar
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    When you get to ordering the kit don't forget we need Defroster and windshield wipers in Mass

  6. #6
    Senior Member cnutting's Avatar
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    While I think those are a good idea, apparently they aren't required. Mine has neither and the list of required features I got from the state didn't list them.
    I am considering ordering at least the wipers at some point to clear early morning condensation.
    FFR #8833 289 FIA 3-link
    1965 289, TKO600 from Forte's Parts Connection
    Body and Paint by Mike's Auto Restoration
    Picked up 3/5/2016, First start 4/22/2017, MA legal 7/11/2018
    Build Thread http://thefactoryfiveforum.com/showt...FIA-build-8833
    "Insanity is contagious" - Joseph Heller

  7. #7
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    I was planning on doing heater and wipers anyway. I've gotten dinged on wipers before on my "sunny day only" Mustang so I don't feel like going through that again.

    Can I do a crate motor in MA? I thought I couldnt, making the idea of a coyote install very difficult.

    My initial idea was a 96/98 Cobra, with the FFR catted pipe and all the emissions stuff. Would have the obd2 plug setup and I can probably make that work pretty easily. Swap motor and trans from the donor, probably get the FFR IRS setup and do SN95 spindles up front with GM brembos and SN95 steering rack and supporting parts.

    But, could i order a 302-based crate motor and throw all the factory emissions stuff on, cats, and get it to pass?

    EDIT: nevermind, I see the other thread discussing crate motors and crushing a pre-74 car.
    Last edited by Mustang5L5; 06-20-2019 at 08:32 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gromit View Post
    When you get to ordering the kit don't forget we need Defroster and windshield wipers in Mass

    Not required.

    PM sent.
    Last edited by FFinisher; 06-21-2019 at 07:36 AM.
    FFinisher/AKA RE63

  9. #9

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    Crusher is the way to go.
    “Privateer”
    289 USRRC Chassis #9188 p/u 9/11/2017 Go kart 3/18/2018, road legal 6/16/2018
    Ford full roller 306 built by my son and me Holley Sniper EFI
    TKO600 2015 IRS 3:55. 17” FFR Hallibrand replicas, Power steering
    FFR Vintage instruments, Wipers and Heat/defrost
    Lots of parts and advice from Mike Forte & Mark Reynolds (Breeze Automotive)

  10. #10
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    Here is some info for the folks that are building in Mass. I received my VIN number from the DOT yesterday. The whole story goes that I knew you have to take the vehicle ( in this case its a 33 hot rod) and paperwork to the DOT for inspection. A couple of weeks ago I had to have the airbag in my daily driver replaced, on the way home I decided to find the DOT location, I stopped in to find the right building ( its where they do the salvage inspections) walked in unannounced and a trooper asked if he could help, I explained that I built the hotrod and what do I need to do. The trooper could not have been more helpful, he was great! The first step is you have to get the form MassDOT Application for replacement of vehicle Identification Number ,( he gave me the form), fill it out and take it to the RMV and pay $50, have them stamp it and get the receipt. Be prepared when you got to the RMV that they will have no idea what you are talking about ( I was lucky that when I was explaining to the girl her supervisor was walking by and she knew what I was asking for). Once you have this you can make an appointment with the DOT. The trooper told me that if I wanted before making the appointment if I would bring my paper work by he would review quickly and let me know if I was on the right track (again he was great). I had made a spread sheet index listing , product, supplier, part number, date of purchase, price, shipping, tax if paid, total cost, tab number and tax owed. All my receipts where tabbed so easy reverence to the index. He was impressed so I made the appointment. You need all originals and 2 copies of everything ( one copy gets summited to the RMV and the DOT keeps the other copy).
    Brought the hot rod up yesterday on a trailer, walked in, he was expecting me, we walked outside and he asked me to drive the truck and trailer up in the shade ( hot rod still on the trailer), he then asked for the paperwork so I gave him a notebook with the originals an two folders with the copies, he said great, wait here, and took the paperwork inside, he would come out and ask if he had any questions. About 20 minutes later he came out and asked for my license, he took that back inside, about 10 minutes later he came out, handed me the originals, checked everything over, opened the door of the hot rod and applied the VIN number.
    Last edited by duff33; 07-27-2019 at 08:15 AM.

  11. #11

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    Your description of the helpful trooper makes it sound like Leo at the DOT in Bridgewater.
    “Privateer”
    289 USRRC Chassis #9188 p/u 9/11/2017 Go kart 3/18/2018, road legal 6/16/2018
    Ford full roller 306 built by my son and me Holley Sniper EFI
    TKO600 2015 IRS 3:55. 17” FFR Hallibrand replicas, Power steering
    FFR Vintage instruments, Wipers and Heat/defrost
    Lots of parts and advice from Mike Forte & Mark Reynolds (Breeze Automotive)

  12. #12
    Senior Member cnutting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckster View Post
    Your description of the helpful trooper makes it sound like Leo at the DOT in Bridgewater.
    My thought exactly!
    Super helpful.
    FFR #8833 289 FIA 3-link
    1965 289, TKO600 from Forte's Parts Connection
    Body and Paint by Mike's Auto Restoration
    Picked up 3/5/2016, First start 4/22/2017, MA legal 7/11/2018
    Build Thread http://thefactoryfiveforum.com/showt...FIA-build-8833
    "Insanity is contagious" - Joseph Heller

  13. #13
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    It was Bridgewater, very very helpful

  14. #14
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    Just to build upon my initial question. I'm still a little ways out from being able to order my build. Currently wrapping up another project vehicle but looking forward to the next.

    Anyway, I think I want to use a 96-98 Cobra as a donor vehicle. Any sort of watch-outs to keep in mind if I pursue this route in terms of initial inspection and the yearly MA inspection?

    Would it require an OBD2 test during the inspection? I believe vehicles after 2003 are still required to take it. I just don't know what year the vehicle would be titled as? They year of the donor? 1965? 2019? I only ask because I dabble in aftermarket ECU tuning and would like to wire the engine with a MS3 system. It would retain all the emissions devices and o2 sensors, but would no longer have the OBD2 port. Wonder if that would bite me in the rear or if I'll need to stick to the factory wiring and keep the OBD function readable.

    Sorry about the questions, but it's a lot of money to invest in this project and I want to make sure i'm able to drive the vehicle with least amount of hassle when done.

  15. #15
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    I'm not sure on the donor vehicle route. I just went through the process last November on my F5 roadster with a Coyote engine, (OBD2, O2 sensors, headers with CC) . Once you have the VIN#, you go to the RMV to get your license plates. They will ask for the paperwork, receipts etc. In my case they registered the car as 2018 Cobra, you pay your taxes based on the value in the receipts. I went to the inspection station, they run the emission test and provided a sticker. I was ready to go through the crusher route but it seems that it was not required.
    Everyone was really helpful in the process, the state police troppers and the folks at the RMV. I hope this helps.

  16. #16
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    Anybody building in Mass do your self a favor and go to the Motorist Assistance Center and tell them what your plans are. Couple of phases apply, "wish I had known then what I know now" and "learn by other peoples mistakes". If using a create motor you are going the crusher route. ( which I have too) If you are using a donor you have to have all the original pollution equipment installed. The crusher route will get the car emissions exempt for the life of the car even if you sell it. The donor route will have to have the car inspected by the Assistance center if it is sold ( by the new owner) to make sure no modifications were made. Assistance Center will even guide you on the proper wording on the registration and title, which will save you another trip to the RMV and insurance company.

  17. #17
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    Hi,

    I'm new to the forum and am doing my research before diving into an electric build.

    Does anyone know how an electric motor affects the MA registration process? Does it matter if its a replica (Roadster) or kit (818)?

  18. #18
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    Thank a very good question, give the Motorist assistance Center a call, I believe they are the ones who can give you the correct answer

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by duff33 View Post
    Thank a very good question, give the Motorist assistance Center a call, I believe they are the ones who can give you the correct answer
    Well, that was surprisingly easy. I gave them a call and they answered the phone very quickly. According to the person on the phone, electric vehicles have a blanket exemption from all emissions issues, so there should be no issue. He stressed I should check the RMV website for their registration rules, but for inspection he said there'd be no problem. I'm not 100% convinced, but that's what I got.

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