What is Second Stage Manufacturing?

December 14, 2021

Making alterations to your diesel is an effective way to get more power out of it and to improve its performance. But what many diesel owners don’t know is that second stage manufacturing (SSM) entails far more than merely making changes to your engine. By altering the base vehicle, you are essentially creating a ‘new’ vehicle – and it may need to be approved and registered all over again!

If you are considering performance upgrades and modifications for your diesel, you need to be aware of what second stage manufacturing is and how it affects your options.

What is Second Stage Manufacturing? - close up of the underside of a car on a jack

What is Second Stage Manufacturing in the Motor Industry?

Second stage manufacturing (SSM) is the process of making changes to a diesel engine after it has been registered. This can involve adding new parts, or modifying existing ones. The aim of second stage manufacturing is to improve the performance of the engine.

However, second stage manufacturing can also affect post-registration modifications. If you make changes to your engine after it has been registered, you may need to get approval from the authorities first. This is because second stage manufacturing can affect the emissions and performance of the engine.

If you are thinking about making diesel performance upgrades, it is important to understand how second stage manufacturing works. It is also important to know what modifications are allowed, and which ones require approval from the authorities. Failure to comply with second stage manufacturing laws can result in fines, or even imprisonment.

Read More: What is Stage Tuning?

What are the Benefits of Second Stage Manufacturing?

Second stage manufacturing offers a number of benefits to diesel owners. These include:

  • improved performance
  • increased fuel economy
  • reduced emissions
  • compliance with government regulations
  • peace of mind knowing that your vehicle is safe and legal.

What is Second Stage Manufacturing? - obscure shot of cars parked in a line

What is Considered to be Second Stage Manufacturing?

The laws governing second stage manufacturing are not black and white. The term ‘second stage manufacturing’ is broad, so it can encompass a wide range of modifications. It all depends on how far you go with your diesel performance upgrades – if you buy new parts to install in the engine, second stage manufacturing should not apply.

However, second stage manufacturing does come into play when you start cutting away or drilling into existing components. If you cut the air filter housing to allow more air into the combustion chamber, for example, this would count as second-stage modification.

Read More: What is a Diesel Engine Tune Up?

What is Prohibited in SSM?

There are second stage modifications that are prohibited, as they can affect the emissions and performance of the engine in an unacceptable way. Some examples of prohibited second stage modifications include:

  • fitting a non-original engine
  • fitting high lift camshafts
  • fitting larger than standard injectors
  • fitting modified or aftermarket turbochargers or superchargers
  • modifying the air intake system
  • fitting a nitrous oxide system
  • fitting a water injection system.

What is Second Stage Manufacturing? - auto mechanic underneath car

Need Help with Second Stage Manufacturing?

SSM can be a tricky thing to navigate and understand yourself, especially if you have not made performance alterations to your vehicle before.

Fortunately, Just Autos are experienced diesel performance specialists with vast knowledge in second stage manufacturing. Our team can help you achieve the power you want from your car without infringing on state regulations and requirements. Book your diesel into our workshop for a full assessment!

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