||06-22-2010 11:39 PM
Hawaii Recon Information, Q&A Thread
i think this would be a good sticky to have, since most people don't know much about this rediculous law. this would be a good place to share info and tips on passing.
Thread on ForumsHawaii with topics regarding Recon: http://forumshawaii.net/vbb/forumdisplay.php?f=241
this is some basic information on the Reconstruction Permit
recon # 733-2542
the recon fee is $15, exact change! no credit cards
M-F by APPOINTMENT ONLY
alignment --you need an alignment printout, dated within 30 days of recon appt. and must be within manufacturers' specs.
yes, they will test your tint (BE LEGAL 35% +/- 6% )
tint on windshield--illegal
SUVs, trucks, vans, can have as dark tint as they want rearward of the driver's and passenger's front side windows, as long as it is NOT opaque
affidavits for rims and exhaust no longer required
recon required for rim sized 1-1/2" over stock.
body kits are not a recon item
spoilers are not a recon item
no recon required for EXHAUST ONLY
battery must be secured
air intake must be secured
timing gears must be covered
the decal plates for safety check stickers and recon stickers are illegal if mounted on or attached to the license plate
no clear-corner lenses, blue lights, or license plate covers allowed
while this is outdated, this is the only online document available regarding recon:
there have been many many changes since this was printed so it is best to call 733-2542 during business hours if you have questions. or post questions here.
Originally Posted by crj341
I've heard a lot of contradictory information from friends, etc, so I decided to go to the source and call the recon office. I talked to Kevin down at the recon office about what mods you can and cant do, and of those which ones require recon. I hope this will clear up the misinformation that you might have heard and help you plan your next or current project and not be dissappointed cuz you didn't pass.
Do I need to get recon for a turbo/supercharger?
No. Whether it comes as a kit or you put it together yourself, you can legally put a turbo/supercharger on your car and DO NOT have to get recon. However if you have to get recon for one of the reasons below, just make a note of the turbo/supercharger.
Are engine swaps legal, and do I need to get recon for it?
That depends. Yes engine swaps are legal, but that does not necessessarily mean you have to get recon. If the engine you are swapping in has the same number of cylinders as the one it is replacing, recon is NOT required. It doesn't matter if the engine you are swapping in is turbocharged. For instance, you want to swap a SR20DET into your 240sx. This does not require recon. However, if you want to swap a RB26DETT into your 240sx, you WILL need recon.
Can I put on rims bigger than 1.5" compared with stock?
Yes, but you will have to get recon. You can go as big as you want to, but the wheels have to be able to turn and not rub the fenders or wheel well when turned.
Do I have to get recon for my headers/exhaust/intake?
No. These are not recon items. And even if you did, any intake/exhaust will likely pass as long as the exhaust isn't too loud (they don't have any DB meters down there, they just listen to it). If your car is fitted with a catalytic converter, you will still need a cat, but you can use an aftermarket high flow type and still not need recon.
Can body kits/panels/hoods be installed?
Yes, and you don't need recon. One caveat here though, if your fiberglass/carbon fiber hood does not have provisions for windshield washer nozzels and you don't put them in, you would not pass safety, let alone recon.
Are coilovers/lowering springs legal?
That depends. Any time you have suspension work done to your car, you will have to get recon. You will need to have an alignment done within 30 days prior to your recon inspection. Make sure you bring a copy of the alignment sheet with you. Your suspension must be able to be aligned within stock specifications. Your car will also be subjected to a "bounce test" to check for adequate suspension travel. They typically test this at a front corner by pushing down on the bumper. You need to have VISIBLE (not necessarily 2 inches) of suspension travel. If your springs are too stiff, you will likely not pass.
Are headlight/tail light swaps/conversions legal?
Yes, as long as it says DOT on them. Simply doing a headlight/tail light swap does not require you to get recon. If you modify the donor headlight, then it is no longer DOT legal. Aftermarket HID's are also legal, though you may need recon for this. They have a light meter to make sure it's not too bright.
Are clear corner lights legal?
No. The lights MUST have an orange reflector at the front corners and corresponding red reflectors at the rear. This is a FEDERAL LAW. Simply putting in an orange bulb DOES NOT make it legal. Most of these aftermarket lights do not have DOT on them, and therefore would not pass anyway. If you modify a DOT corner light by taking the orange reflector out, it is NO LONGER DOT legal.
Can I run nitrous?
No, and it can't be made legal by going through recon. If you did have to get recon for suspension mods, and they happened to find a nitrous line or bottle, you will fail.
Can I change my car from front wheel drive to rear wheel drive?
Yes, but you will need to go through recon as this will require modification of the vehicle's suspension. If you did a hack job with the conversion and the inspector deems your car unsafe, then you won't pass.
If there's a version of the car with a different drivetrain, can I use it?
Yes. If the car came from the factory with the option of a manual or automatic transmission, you can swap one for the other without getting recon. You could also do a 4 wheel drive conversion on your 2 wheel drive truck if there was a 4 wheel drive version of your truck from the factory, provided the parts bolt in without requiring custom fabrication. If custom suspension mounts need to be made, or you use aftermarket suspension components, then you need recon.
Are intake manifolds/cams, pistons, etc legal?
Yes, and you don't need recon. There's no smog testing in Hawaii, so you don't need an affadavit showing that the part is 50 state legal. But be aware that if it says "off road use only" on any of the parts, and the inspector sees it, you will likely not pass recon even if you were trying to get it for something else.
Do I need an affadavit for all of my modifications?
No. Affadavits are no longer required.
Is there a headlight/liscense plate height requirement?
Yes. Headlights must be at least 22" off the ground to the center of the headlight housings. You must have a front liscense plate which must be at least 12" off the ground.
Do I have to get a recon inspection every year?
No. It's a one time only thing UNLESS you mod your car again. If you do, then you need to get another inspection. If you return your car to stock again, you no longer need the recon sticker.
If a cop pulls me over saying I need to get recon even though I don't have any recon items on my car, what happens?
If you got pulled over for a non recon item, you can contest the ticket in court and you will win. Kevin says many of the cops don't have a good handle on the recon law themselves. Keep in mind though, if you already have recon and do another mod to your car that requires recon, then you need to get another recon inspection. If the cop nails you on something you just installed, then you're SOL.
Hopefully this will clear up a lot of the BS that has been floating around. If anyone has any questions about a modification, it is in your best interest to call the recon office (733-2542) and speak to an inspector BEFORE you spend the time and money. As you can see, you can do a lot of mods to your car and not need recon. But if your mod requires it, make sure your mod will be able to pass by reading the thread.