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In the United States, with regard to automobiles, a glider is a vehicle without a powertrain (especially without an engine). Gliders are generally sold as unused car bodies, but a second-hand car may also be stripped of its powertrain and sold as a glider. The purpose of such a vehicle is to be used as a base to for a non-standard powertrain in the after market, to create novel variations of conventional or exotic vehicles. The term is analogous to an aircraft with no engine being a glider.
A glider kit is a term for a kit used to restore or reconstruct a wrecked or dismantled truck cab (tractor). All glider kits include a frame, front axle, and body (cab). The kit may also contain other optional components.
A motor vehicle constructed from a glider kit is titled as a new vehicle in the United States. An exception to this is the state of Georgia where, when issued, for a tractor cab restored with a glider kit will always be branded "Rebuilt".
A glider truck is manufactured in the United States using a new frame from an original equipment manufacturer and a glider kit. A "pre-emissions" engine which does not meet current EPA emissions standards for a new tractor trailer is installed. The required exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) technology is replaced by an older engine which doesn't have it, called a "pre-EGR engine."
Production of heavy duty glider trucks was estimated to be 10,000 in 2015, 4% of all sales. An Obama-era limit on production of 300 units yearly was lifted by the Trump administration. This change by the EPA was widely condemned by envionmental groups and was withdrawn by Scott Pruitt's interim replacement facing the prospect of a likely loss in court.
One can obtain a glider by modifying a used car. Parts removed from the vehicle include:
- A/C & A/C condenser
- Air intake/cleaner
- Brakes/Master cylinder
- Gas tank, with fuel pipe and pumps and sensors
- Heat panels
- Heater core
- Mount brackets
- Muffler system
- Power steering
- Radiator fan
- Radiator reservoirs
- Spare tire
- Warning lights, gauges
- Wiper fluid reservoir
- "ABOUT FITZGERALD GLIDER KITS". fitzgeraldgliderkits.com. Fitzgerald Truck Sales. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
We offer Peterbilt, Kenworth, Freightliner and Western Star Glider Kits with pre-emission Detroit, Cummins and Caterpillar engine options. This process creates a reliable, more fuel efficient truck that requires less maintenance, yields less downtime and has the safety features and amenities owners have come to expect in trucks on the road today
- Eric Lipton (July 6, 2018). "'Super Polluting' Trucks Receive Loophole on Pruitt's Last Day". The New York Times. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
glider trucks, which use old engines built before new technologies significantly reduced emissions of particulates and nitrogen oxide
- Juliet Eileperin (July 26, 2018). "'EPA reverses course, says it will enforce stricter pollution limits for glider trucks'". Retrieved July 27, 2018.