Monte Carlo engine swap . .emissions?


Heres the deal, I bought an 87 Monte Carlo SS with a 350. The 350 in it was bad so im going to buy another one, and im looking into custom exhaust. My question is, will this engine, a 350 bored 30 over from a 1976 C-10 pickup, have to pass emission inspection because my cars model year is 87? I live in Rhode Island




That will depend on your local DMV laws. Here in Maryland, you can register any car 20 years old or more as a Historic vehicle, which exempts it from safety and emissions inspections. You also have to agree not to use the car as “general daily transportation”, meaning not as a daily driver.

Not knowing RI’s laws for this sort of thing, check with your DMV. I can’t imagine it would be a huge difference given that 350’s didn’t really change a whole lot in that timeframe, but see what they say.


The Monte Carlo should be carbed like the 76, but it’s going to take some work to get it to pass IMHO.

The 76 was pretty much air pumped and thermovalved to death and the 87 has electronic controls with O2s.
I think (?) there was a cylinder head/intake change somewhere in between those years and it’s possible the 87 heads/intake will not work on the 76 block.

There were also distributor changes along with camshaft and camshaft timing changes so this could be a real sticky deal since emissions are involved.

It’s doable IMHO, but won’t be a simple drop-in.
Will dig around and see if I can find something out about the head/intake/camshaft differences and be back later.


Typically if your location requires emissions, the rules probably state that you cannot replace a engine with an earlier model. This is because of changes to accomodate upgraded emissions. You may get it to work, but I’ll doubt it will pass emissions. Good luck.


You can’t do it unless you pass an emissions test for a regular license plate. Exemptions exist for cars with regular passenger plates over 25 years old and those registered as antiques.