Putting PASM springs on a non-PASM car: not legal without further clarification, but should be.
Unless you do a complete option swap, which would have to include electronic modules, special wiring, etc. during which time you could change the shocks based on shocks being free and disconnect all that stuff. Seems kinda stupid, don't it?
Keeping PASM springs on a PASM car when replacing the dampers: gotta be legal now.
-If you start with a PASM car and replace the dampers based on shocks being free, there is no requirement to remove any other pieces, such as electronic control modules. In fact, I don't think you are allowed to change anything else, unless we get that ruling that those unique pieces are part of the shock, in which case they would all have to come out, hacking up the car!
If non-contiguous pieces were ruled as part of the damper, then a weird thing happens. It creates the effect of a car with PASM springs, aftermarket shocks and no other hardware. If that configuration were legal, then you could take any non-PASM car and just add the stiffer PASM springs to produce an identical configuration, which is, I think, what sjfehr wants. Many would call this an incomplete option swap. But, it should be legal, in my opinion.
With earlier models, you could install the sport suspension option on any car that wasn't optioned with it, as long as you did it completely, but then you wouldn't actually do it completely because you'd use the shock freedom to use different shocks.
The modern sport suspension option is PASM and someday (C7?) might be magnetic ride on Corvettes. These systems may implement stiffer springs for better roll control but use the electronics to deliver a good ride by reducing shock forces. Adding a wire to a shock shouldn't make it impossible to implement the sport suspension mechanical bits for autocross use on a car without that wire.
The SCCA should make it clear that ancillary wiring, sensors, electronics whatever that go along with actively controlled dampers should not have to be added and are illegal to remove. Only this will allow both low-option and high-option cars to be equally competitive as it was in the past with the ability to convert standard to sport suspensions. We want folks to be able to change the shocks in Street class and leave the other bits in so that the car can be restored to the delivered condition. We don't want people to not autocross future cars because they would have to hack it up just to implement the free shock rule. We also want the low-option car to be able to be upgraded to match the performance of the high-option car so more car choices are available within the same class for reasonable money.
What we don't want is that only a high-option car can be competitive in a particular class. That's similar to the old "best of breed" argument that has done so much harm to the sport, only now we are talking about options instead of models, which is even worse.