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Old 02-27-12, 04:02 PM   #1
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Arrow Kiwi's post your WOF/Compliance questions here

Hi everyone

If you need any help on the WOF (Warrant of Fitness)/Compliance side of things for your car, I'm here to help.

My background: WOF/Compliance inspector for a well known, nationwide company since 2003. I've also owned and modified cars my entire driving life - TA63 Carina, BFMR Familia, Ver. 6 STI Impreza and now an FD (of course) so I know the in's and out's.

Being in the WOF business so long, I've realised that most inspectors really don't know jack when it comes to what's legal on modified cars and what the thresholds are for LVV Certification so if you have any questions, fire away and I'll do my best to help you.

I can also help you with questions regarding requirements in order to get Certified before you start the certification process for things like Rim/Tyre size, Wheel spacers etc...

Please note this is not a place to bash inspector's. They're human like everyone else and human's make mistakes. That's why pencil's have erasers on their ends.

This also isn't restricted to NZer's. If you're from another country browsing this and have a question regarding what's 'safe' for your car, feel free to ask

Hopefully the mods will sticky this so it doesn't become buried.

-Destro
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Old 02-28-12, 12:42 AM   #2
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Thanks Destro76 , my first WOF is due in may since ownership in Dec 2011, i will quiz you if i run into any probs
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Old 03-01-12, 02:07 AM   #3
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fue questions.
half cage can be certed without geting it homoglated? also dose it matter if it is a bolt in cage? it is cusco brand from japan, also dose it have to be padded?
i have racepro seats can i get cert/wof with them bolted to the original frame/floor?
and i have depowerd my stering rack and blocked off all the lines can i get a wof like this?
im not here to find ways to avoid it or any thing i want to at least build the car to cert/wof spec so when that time comes i can fly through
cheers
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Old 03-01-12, 07:10 PM   #4
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Roll cages for WOF/LVV

Quote:
Originally Posted by nvmarx View Post
fue questions.
half cage can be certed without geting it homoglated? also dose it matter if it is a bolt in cage? it is cusco brand from japan, also dose it have to be padded?
i have racepro seats can i get cert/wof with them bolted to the original frame/floor?
and i have depowerd my stering rack and blocked off all the lines can i get a wof like this?
im not here to find ways to avoid it or any thing i want to at least build the car to cert/wof spec so when that time comes i can fly through
cheers
Ok the answers to your Q's will be in 2 posts so bear with me. First, the Half Cage:

Tbh I don't think you can even get a cert with the half roll roll cage. You may need to go a different route (I'll explain at the end of this part of the post).

Homologation does not matter for roll cage LVV Certs but 'reputable brands' may (Cusco/Momo/Recaro are reputable brands). Bolting I believe is ok. It's when you start welding to the body structure (such as strut towers) you run into problems.

Why don't I think you'll get a cert? Because of the following clause in the LVV Standards Guide:

Quote:
A roll-cage may be positioned within the B-Zone (Edit: Don't worry about 'Zones' for now) of a low volume vehicle occupant cell, provided that:

(a) the vehicle is not a modified production Class MA, with unitary body construction, which has a permanent roof structure
Your FC IS an MA (MA Class is basically a passenger car) and IS of unitary (monocoque) body construction. What it means by 'modified' I don't know.

Modified could be modified in body or modified in engine so that's one thing I'd check with the certifier for your area (the wording of all these manuals is very carefully overseen by lawyers to protect Govt Depts and provide fall guys for if/when the **** hits the fan when someone dies - they speak a different language to you and me. Nothing is 'black and white').

In case you're wondering, Monocoque or Unitary means the chassis and strength of the body is incorporated into the frame. The chassis and body is not separate unlike say an HQ Holden or older Pajero where the chassis is separate (bolted) to the body. Easiest way to remember it is if you can separate the chassis from the body, it's 'body over frame', if you can't it's most likely 'Monocoque/Unitary/Spaceframe'.

You know how people always go on about old cars being solid and newer cars just crushing? That they'd rather have a 'solid' old car?

Next time you hear that just mention to them that although it maybe 'solid', all that energy from a crash is going straight through them as the chassis rails on these 'solid' cars tend to go straight through the centreline of the seat. Whilst they may have no outward physical injuries when crashing their 'solid HQ', you can be sure that their neck will be snapped like a toothpick from all that energy going straight through their body.

Think of Monocoque as like bungy jumping with a proper bungy cord and 'body over frame' like bungy jumping with steel wire. Both will stop you but one will rip your body in half.

Monocoque bodies absorb crash energy and direct it away from the passenger cell. Each is designed to direct crash energy in a certain way away from you the occupant in event of a crash through pillars, sills, and chassis rails and their supporting structures (In the latest Holden Commodore's even the spare wheel is designed as an energy absorber in a rear crash).

For example, the next time you happen to be underneath a Mitsi Legnum, look at the transmission tunnel. You'll see 2 rails running the length of it. This is the path crash energy takes in a front on crash - around rather than through the driver/passenger(s).

These 'tunnel rails' came from crash data from older Honda Civics involved in crashes. Honda engineers found that the entire front clip was shearing away at the firewall in a crash because that's where all the crash energy was directed. Can you imagine that? The entire front of the car gone and you're left exposed.

They fixed the problem by incorporating these tunnel rails to direct the crash energy through the proper path. The Civic went from being one of the most unsafe cars to one of the safest in its class from this alone. A lot of other makers went on to incorporate this design into their cars.

The point of all this is that when you put in roll cages and such, you're strengthening the body and affecting the crash energy path (BIG no no). This may be why you're not allowed to fit roll cages to a road going monocoque vehicle.

I'd assume from the clause I quoted that putting a cage in an HQ for example is allowed because it's body over frame but for your FC it's not because it's Monocoque.

So check that clause with the certifier in your area. IF the certifier in your area says 'not allowed' because of that clause I then you will have to go the 'Motorsport Authority Card' route to drive it. This is where 'Homologation' comes into play.

You can find more information here:

http://www.motorsport.org.nz/content...uthority-cards

If he says 'yes' then here are the rest of the rules pertaining to your questions:

Quote:
All sections of a roll-bar or a roll-cage positioned adjacent to any A-Zone (Edit: don't worry about 'Zones' for now) must be covered in a high density energy absorbing material which:

(i) meets SFI specification 45.1 or another equivalent motor-sporting specification; and

(ii) is not less than 15 mm in thickness in the area facing the occupant cell
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Old 03-01-12, 08:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvmarx View Post
i have racepro seats can i get cert/wof with them bolted to the original frame/floor?
IMPORTANT:What I'm saying here is valid ONLY for Nvmarx FC. Other cars may have different rules applying to them depending on year/first registration in NZ and whether it is an Airbag equipped vehicle.

Simple answer is no to the Wof and maybe to the cert.

You won't get a Wof because:

1. It's a requirement that the driver must be able to adjust his/her seating position. You need to have them bolted to the proper rails. If the rails are constructed by welding and/or bolted to the non OE anchorages, you must get the seats certified.

The reason is you may be 6 foot and position the seat for yourself. You may then allow someone to drive the car or you may sell the car to someone who's 5'8" or 6'5". They can't position the seat for their height in order to drive safely.

2. You can't just bolt seat rails to the floorpan. The floorpan is very weak (it's not a structural part of the car and OE seat anchorages are strengthened by nature) and the seats will rip out. You need the proper Doubler Plates (anchorages) attached to the floor. Your area certifier should be able to tell you where to get approved seat anchorages from and how they should be mounted (the one's I've seen in vans with additional seats are riveted) if you have to go this route.

As for LVV Certing, different story. The following applies for your car:

Quote:
General positioning requirements for all retro-fitted seat

- A seat that is adjustable in the longitudinal plane, that is retro-fitted to a
low volume vehicle, must be limited in its range of adjustment so as not
to be able, at any point within its range of adjustment, to cause any
seatbelt anchorage to be outside of its permitted area

- A seat retro-fitted to a low volume vehicle for the use of the driver is not
required to be provided with adjustment in the longitudinal direction,
however, must in all cases be positioned in such a way as to enable the
vehicle to be safely operated by a person within the average range of
height and stature

Leg Space

Leg space must be provided for a retro-fitted seat fitted to a low volume
vehicle forward of each seating position, that:

(a) is not less than 150 mm in width on either side of the longitudinal
centerline of the seat; and

(b) extends forward from the seat not less than 300 mm, measured
from a point at the vehicle floor immediately below the front of
the seat cushio
'Longitudinal direction' means 'forwards and backwards' so while it's a requirement for a WOF, it's not a requirement for an LVV Cert, it just needs to be:

Quote:
positioned in such a way as to enable the vehicle to be safely operated by a person within the average range of height and stature
As you can see, the standards do not make clear whether the seatbelt requirements apply to a non adjustable seat (like a bucket bolted to the floor). They also do not make clear the provisions for a passenger seat. You will need to check with your area certifier if, by fitting the seat, the seatbelt requirements are still maintained.

There are certain measurements to be made for upper and lower seatbelt anchorages which are outside the scope of this post. However if you bolted the seat to within the same area of the OE mounts you should be ok.

Imo though bucket seats (if it is indeed a bucket) don't work well with OE seatbelts as they tend to increase the risk of 'submarining' (going under the seatbelt in a crash) because of the gap between the seat occupant and the seatbelt.

If you intend to run harness belts, put simply, you can't. Harness belts in a road going vehicle can't even be LVV certified. Only scratch built vehicles with single row seats (which yours is not) can be certified for harness belts.

You can however go the 'Motorsport Authority Card' route though.

Not as easy as just bolting down a seat is it? lol

Quote:
and i have depowerd my stering rack and blocked off all the lines can i get a wof like this?
No you can't.

Any modification to a steering system needs to be LVV Certified.

A power steering rack rendered inoperable is not, all of a sudden, a 'manual rack'.

Even if you converted to a proper manual rack, it's still a modification though you could still get away with it if there's no remaining evidence that the car was originally equipped with power steering (pump, lines removed). Most Wof inspector's aren't even looking for this.

However even if you just rendered the rack inoperable and removed everything, inspectors will know that something's going on due to the extreme stiffness in the steering and will have the right to refuse a wof and ask you to provide information from the manufacturer (only a letter from Mazda on a company letterhead with your car details such as chassis number is acceptable, not something like a printout from the internet) that your car did not come with power steering as OE.
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Old 03-01-12, 08:53 PM   #6
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Edit: Disregard the post regarding the Half cage. Sorry but I'm unable to edit that post (time lapse). It is relevant however for a full cage if anyone else is reading and thinking of installing one.

You should be ok so long as the rear seats and belts are removed.

Wof rules state that removing rear seats/belts is allowed and doesn't require LVV Certification. They also state that in your instance you'd be fine getting a wof (no need for a cert) with your half cage and the rear seats/belts removed so long as the cage is behind the front passenger seats.

Come cert time, the inspector will most probably cert for the half cage (they cert all modifications).

My apologies for any confusion. Admin feel free to delete the original post.

Last edited by destro76; 03-01-12 at 09:08 PM.
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Old 03-02-12, 03:03 AM   #7
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wow thank you very much for that man it is a big help. thank god steering racks for fc's are cheap man thats a big weight off my shoulders. the seats however i think i will have to change. there are frame rails that the standard seat rails bolted to i have just drilled holes where my bucket seat mounts sit on these "frame rails" i think i will eather get standard seat rails or mig some 3mm plate on the ''frame rails'' where the seats are going to mount and have the cert guy come have a look. in saying that i think bolting the racepros to the fc rx7 seat rails will be cheaper, quicker and easier. once agian thank you very much!!!
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Old 03-02-12, 05:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvmarx View Post
wow thank you very much for that man it is a big help. thank god steering racks for fc's are cheap man thats a big weight off my shoulders. the seats however i think i will have to change. there are frame rails that the standard seat rails bolted to i have just drilled holes where my bucket seat mounts sit on these "frame rails" i think i will eather get standard seat rails or mig some 3mm plate on the ''frame rails'' where the seats are going to mount and have the cert guy come have a look. in saying that i think bolting the racepros to the fc rx7 seat rails will be cheaper, quicker and easier. once agian thank you very much!!!
I wouldn't advise welding 'strengthening plates' to your rails before discussing with your area certifier first. You may end up weakening the area around the weld due to heat. When certain kinds of steel (high strength, super high strength etc...) are exposed to extreme heat, it weakens the steel. High strength steel for example can only be exposed to a maximum heat (I can't remember the actual temp.) for 3 seconds before it's toast.

Contact your area certifier before you do anything and discuss your options for mounting your seat(s). You may find that fitting a suitable washer to the mounting point will be enough to spread the load. Again, the certifier is the best person to talk to re mounting options.

In saying that though your best option would be to get aftermarket rails. I don't know what brand of bucket's you've got but seat rails (R Magic/Bride/Recaro) can be found here:

R Magic rails: (NZ $402 ea) http://www.rhdjapan.com/r-magic-low-...ail-fc3s-59556

Bride bucket seat rails (NZ $303 ea) http://www.rhdjapan.com/bride-fx-typ...eat-rail-12010

Recaro (NZ $238 ea) http://www.rhdjapan.com/clearance-re...preza-lh-66164

Don't worry about the Recaro's being listed for an Impreza. When ordering you just have to state what model vehicle and which side the rails are for.

Both the Bride/Recaro rails are designed for their respective seats but may fit yours. You'd have to email rhdjapan or look on the manufacturer's respective websites to try to get dimensions of the mounting holes.

What kind of seats R Magic one's are for is unclear.

Last edited by destro76; 03-02-12 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 03-02-12, 06:53 PM   #9
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i had a set of seat rails from sta parts in nz but because the gearbox tunnel on fc rx7 widens on our drivers side the front left bolt in drivers side is bolted through the car on the gear box tunnel. the rails i got from sta parts where the same both sides i had a engineer from work come and make new mounts for the passenger side i painted them the welds where better that what they came with but i sold them not so long ago to fund other things. hence it is hard to find fc rx7 seat rails for bucket seats. this has got me thinking more and more on that the seats are very important i think i will get the cert guy to come around before i do any thing. thanks
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Old 04-06-12, 04:08 AM   #10
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wow you are doing a great job helping ppl! if i need any help with my up coming purchase ill be sure to message you. thanks
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Old 04-27-12, 08:17 PM   #11
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I have a question and i may sound like a retard for asking but if I buy a car that is certed with 19" wheels although they look awesome would I have to get it re certed if I wanted smaller ones like 17 or 18's, what is the cost of certification and is it worth it just to change the wheel size, or should I just avoid a car that i may want to change.

Thanks in advance

Phil
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Old 04-28-12, 06:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cypressphil View Post
I have a question and i may sound like a retard for asking but if I buy a car that is certed with 19" wheels although they look awesome would I have to get it re certed if I wanted smaller ones like 17 or 18's, what is the cost of certification and is it worth it just to change the wheel size, or should I just avoid a car that i may want to change.

Thanks in advance

Phil
Hi Phil.

No question - however small - is retarded.

Retarded is when people dangerously modify the hell out of their cars without seeking advice then complain when they find out it's not legal for the road. It gives us 'enthusiasts' a bad name.

As for your question, yes you'll need to get it re-certed if you change what the vehicle is certed for on the LVV Plate. On the plate there is a space for wheel dimensions where the size of the wheel will be engraved (eg. 19 x 8 etc...).

At WOF inspections the inspector is required to check that the vin engraved on the plate matches the vehicle vin (ie the plate hasn't been taken from another vehicle) and that the modifications on the plate match the modifications done to the car.

So if it says '19x9 f 19 x10 r' and you have changed the wheels to 17x9 all around then you will fail the WOF. The reason being is that the vehicle modifications (ie suspension) were checked to comply with 19 inch wheels not 17 inch wheels.

Ironically wheels themselves, if they're the only modification, don't need certing but because they have been, I'm assuming the vehicle has other mods such as platform suspension. Once the wheels are on that plate then you can't change without re-certing.

As for price, it ranges from $250-$800 depending on the modifications to the vehicle. I'm not sure how much a simple wheel change would cost to get re-certed but I'd presume it'd be at the lower end of the scale. It'd pay to check with your local area LVV Certifier.

Also remember that offset matters when choosing a wheel if you go down this route. Your car will not comply with LVV standards if the offset of the wheel is more than (for rear wheel drive, front engined vehicles) 20% of the total wheel width negative/positive offset.

This means, for example, if you plan on 9 inch fronts and 10 inch rears, the max offset you'd be able to go is approx just over 1.5 inches (45mm) for the 9 inch wheel and just under 2 inches (50mm) for the 10 inch wheel positive/negative. These measurements are taken from the wheel hub flange to the wheel width centre-line including any spacers/adaptors (if fitted). Also remember that wheel width does not mean the total width of the wheel - it's the distance between tyre bead seats.

The reason for this is that it increases track width which can lead to all kinds of problems (increased loads on wheel studs, tramlining etc...)

If running a staggered set up you must have a front wheel track, measured from centre to centre of the tyre treads, that is within 20% of the rear wheel track

So long as you didn't go too crazy with massive negative offset (these maximums allow for pretty aggressive offsets anyway), you should be fine. Just thought I'd throw that out there as a precaution - I've learnt there are no limits to people's craziness.

Personally, if you do buy the car, I'd suggest changing from 19 inch wheels anyway as a matter of course. I had 19's on my FD when I bought it and they were just too big and too heavy. It handled like you were driving a water bed when driving through the twisties. 18's would be the largest I'd go. It depends on what you want - all show, all go or a mix of show and go.

Most importantly though, get compression readings, check for coolant seal leaks and if the owner claims to have had the engine rebuilt, ask for receipts. There's no point worrying about wheels if you can't drive it because it spits an apex/coolant seal.

Hope this helps,
Destro

Last edited by destro76; 04-28-12 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 04-29-12, 05:14 PM   #13
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35% window tints on AS2 glass

Hi There,

Went for a WOF in the weekend to Pitstop, first time getting a WOF since purchasing the 7 (series 8)
Pitstop advise that the windows (drivers ,passengers & rear) with the AS2 stamp is already tinted and needs to be certified if 35% tints needs to be applied to this windows

Certification needs to done by VTNZ or VINZ they advise, they are not sure of cost

The car passed the WOF , they let me off this time...

Any details/ laws on this ?

Thanks
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Old 04-30-12, 02:39 AM   #14
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Hi There,

Went for a WOF in the weekend to Pitstop, first time getting a WOF since purchasing the 7 (series 8)
Pitstop advise that the windows (drivers ,passengers & rear) with the AS2 stamp is already tinted and needs to be certified if 35% tints needs to be applied to this windows

Certification needs to done by VTNZ or VINZ they advise, they are not sure of cost

The car passed the WOF , they let me off this time...

Any details/ laws on this ?

Thanks
Hi x-con.

The inspector is right on one point and wrong on another.

The 'AS stamp' he's referring to stands for 'American Standard' and the number beside it refers to the 'VLT' (Visible Light Transmission - the percentage of light that goes through the glass). A description of AS numbers is as follows:

AS1 - Minimum of 70%+ VLT. Usually laminated. Can be used anywhere on the vehicle but most often used as the front windscreen.

AS2 - Up to 70% VLT but it varies. Tempered/Toughened glass. Can be used anywhere on the vehicle apart from the windscreen (some bonded glass such as that found in vans/station wagons can only be Tempered/Toughened because it's part of the structure of the vehicle).

AS3 - Usually 50% or less. Tempered/Toughened glass. Can only be used anywhere behind the driver's/passenger's doors and for sunroof's. AS3 is the dark 'privacy glass' you see on Subaru Legacy/Mitsi Legnum station wagons from the rear passenger doors back.

The regulations are that passenger cars must have a minimum of 35% VLT on side/rear windows/windscreen and Goods Carrying Vehicles (vans/utes) and 4WD's (eg. Mitsi Pajero) must have a minimum of 35% VLT on the front windows (passenger/driver) and can have any level behind the front windows. No vehicle is allowed to have an overlay on the windscreen whether tinted or clear (sounds self explanatory but I have seen it).

You can probably figure out the problem with putting 35% tint on AS2 glass from the descriptions I gave above. 35% tint means basically 35% VLT when installed on glass with 70% VLT or more.

Because AS2 is already tinted from the factory, when you put 35% tint on it you're automatically going below the 35% threshold. I see this all the time. The actual VLT of AS2 glass with this tint applied is anywhere from 25-30% VLT due to the variances of tinting different manufacturers apply to their AS2 glass. People also put '35%' tint on AS3 glass thinking it's legal whereas in reality, they've just dropped the VLT to 5%. It's not the VLT of the tint that matters, the VLT of the glass once the tint's applied does.

I can't help you with the factory spec VLT because my windows are tinted (VLT is 40%).

Where the inspector is wrong is in certing. You can't certify tint full stop. If it's too dark you have to take it off or make it comply by taking it off then installing lighter tint that makes the glass comply with the 35% threshold. Tint is not one of those areas that's 'allowed' with certing under certain provisions such as platform suspension, exhausts and other modifications - it's either legal or illegal.

In any case VINZ/VTNZ/AA or any other TSD can't certify any modifications. Only LTNZ approved LVV inspectors can.

Did the inspector test it with a tint tester?

If not, what you could do is stop by a VTNZ/VINZ/AA Testing Station and politely ask them to test your tint for you. Most big name testing stations will have an electronic tint tester. You'll then know where you stand on the legality of your tint and can remedy it if need be.

Hope this helps,
Destro

Last edited by destro76; 04-30-12 at 02:51 AM. Reason: I'm a self flagellating grammar nazi
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Old 04-30-12, 03:11 AM   #15
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Re: 35% window tints on AS2 glass

Thanks Destro for your help

No tint meter/gauge was used , just a visual on the tint stamp 35% and the AS2 stamp on the window

On the other hand
My 7 has 19" rims and has not been certified for them, but no query on them from WOF inspector...So not sure deal with these guys
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Old 04-30-12, 03:35 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x-con View Post
Thanks Destro for your help

No tint meter/gauge was used , just a visual on the tint stamp 35% and the AS2 stamp on the window

On the other hand
My 7 has 19" rims and has not been certified for them, but no query on them from WOF inspector...So not sure deal with these guys
No problem x-con, happy to help.

So it has a 35% sticker on the tinted windows?

Shouldn't have been a problem then. Those stickers are applied by the tint installers to let inspectors without tint testers know that the tint/window combination complies with the 35% rule NOT just that 35% tint has been applied.

I usually don't even bother testing windows with those stickers on them unless it looks like they've been taken from a different car (and yes, some idiot has tried that too...and on tint that was clearly 5% lol)

As for your 19's, they don't need certifying. LVV certifiers cert all of a vehicles modifications which include tyres/rims. This will only happen when you have other modifications that require certing such as suspension. If the modifications are within WOF thresholds then no certing is needed.

The poster above regarding his wheels and re-certing them must have other modifications that needed certing in the first place like suspension. That's why he would need to re-cert if changing to a different size.

The only things WOF inspectors need to check aftermarket wheels for are:

1. That the tyre tread doesn't protude beyond the bodywork (low offset wheels would cause this).

2. No spacers are fitted (requires certing).

3. That the entire wheel/tyre combo circumference is not increased by more than 5% from OE. The reason for this is the speedo will under-read (eg. 90 kph when you're really going 110 kph).

Because low profile tyres are used with bigger rims, the circumference wouldn't have changed much by you having 19's. It's usually a problem on 4WD's and utes where the vehicle has 15's as OE and the owner fits 20's/21's.

Destro
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Old 04-30-12, 05:00 PM   #17
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Re: 35% tints on AS2 glass

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No problem x-con, happy to help.

So it has a 35% sticker on the tinted windows?

Destro
Yes , it does have the 35% sticker on the windows

Anyways, i take my other car to this Pitstop for a WOF a week before my 7
So in 6 months time ,i can ask the guy before inspection if he is going to fail me on the 35% tints on AS2 windows as that he doesn't have a tint meter/gauge to check for himself , else i'll take the 7 some were else
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Old 05-02-12, 06:10 AM   #18
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am i able to import a rx7 from 1992-2002 to New Zealand from japan ill most probably import a series 7. would it be able to comply ?
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Old 05-03-12, 01:55 AM   #19
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am i able to import a rx7 from 1992-2002 to New Zealand from japan ill most probably import a series 7. would it be able to comply ?
Probably not but 'maybe'. Bear with me and I'll explain.

The 2 most important standards that have to be met to comply a car to be able to be legally driven on our roads are 'Frontal Impact' and 'Emissions'

People often mistakenly think there is a rolling 20 year rule whereby cars over 20 years old can be complied without meeting these standards. This is false. The '20 year rule' only applies to the frontal impact standard. The emissions standard is a different kettle of fish altogether.

Every Japanese vehicle has what's called an 'Industry Model Code' (IMC) on the Vehicle Identification Plate. This plate is where you'll also find the sub model (Type-R, RS etc...), trim codes, paint codes etc... On FD RX7's this 'plate' comes in the form of a sticker applied to the right b pillar just below the door striker (the bracket the latch locks on).

The format the IMC takes on the FD (and most other Japanese vehicles) is a letter followed by a dash then the model code - 'FD3S' in the RX7's case. The IMC for the 92-approx 98 RX7's is 'E-FD3S' and the IMC for the S8 (99-02) is 'GF-FD3S'.

Why is all this important? Because the letters 'E' and 'GF' denote the emissions standard the vehicle complies with.

Up until 1998 there was no real emissions standard in Japan. After 1998 all new model Japanese cars (the RX7 was still in FD3S guise at this time so would have been exempt - the RX8 wasn't) cars had to comply with what's called the '1998 Japan idle standard' which was what the 'GF' denotes. There were many different combinations of these 2 letter codes that vehicle manufacturers used. This standard was superceded by the '01-02 idle standard' which was then superceded by the '05 idle standard'.

These standards became standards for compliance over here in the early 2000's. Up until January 1st 2008 you could import any 'GF' RX7 (or other Japanese car) and get it complied so long as it also complied with the Frontal Impact Standard. After January 1st 2008 the 01-02 idle standard came into effect for compliance; ie no more 'GF' cars could be complied or RX7's for that matter (the 13b REW although in production until 2002, only complied up to the 98 idle standard even after 1998).

At the beginning of this year the 05 idle standard came into effect. Now only cars that are roughly year 2005+ can legally be complied. That means no (up to 2005/6) STI's, no GTR's, no Altezza's and no Evo 7's. In fact you'll never be able to comply an older STI, any Altezza or Evo 7 for use in NZ ever again. The '05 standard is easy to spot - it consists of any 3 letters at the beginning of the IMC (not 2 as used previously).

These ever increasingly stringent emissions standards are one of the reasons (probably the biggest) why Mazda currently has no model for sale that uses a rotary for the first time since they first started producing rotary powered vehicles. The RX8 ceased production last year. It was no longer allowed for sale in the European Union due to the Renesis engine no longer complying with their tightening emissions rules - the final nail in its coffin.

The 'maybe' part of my answer comes in the form of the 'Special Interest Vehicle' (SIV) exemption which you have to apply for to LTNZ. Turns out the guys who loved their TVR's etc... were a bit pissed off that they could no longer import these vehicles so these respective cars clubs lobbied LTNZ and the SIV was born.

An SIV basically exempts a vehicle from having to comply with frontal impact, emissions and lhd standards. The RX7 'may' fit into this category. There is a limit 500 SIV exemptions in total given out each year. Each standard a vehicle doesn't comply with counts as one SIV. So if you were to get an SIV for an American car that complies with none of the standards and is lhd, that would equal 3 SIV's (that 500 would go down to 497 SIV's left for that year)

To have a vehicle identified as a special interest vehicle, the NZTA must deem it to have historic value or it must meet three of the following four requirements:

- The vehicle (or its make, model and submodel) is identified as being a collector's item in one of the following magazines or their respective websites – Australian classic car, Car and driver (US), Automobile (US), Motor (Australia), Motor trend (US), New Zealand autocar, New Zealand classic car, Road and track (US), Top gear (UK), Top gear NZ, Unique cars (Australia) or Wheels (Australia).

- The vehicle's make and model has been (or was) manufactured in annual volumes of 20,000 units or less.

- The vehicle is, and was manufactured as, a two-door coupe or a convertible.

- The vehicle is, and was manufactured as, a high-performance vehicle.

You will also have to have another car registered in your name (basically proof of a daily driver - SIV exemptions are intended for cars that get driven on a sunny weekend day not every day) and you wont be able to sell the vehicle for 5 years.

You'll probably have a hard time finding the FD in any of the magazines listed as part of the requirements at this time but it is and was manufactured as a 'two door coupe' and a 'high-performance vehicle' so that's 2 out of the 3 needed. Whether it was 'manufactured in annual volumes of 20,000 units or less I don't know but you'd net to get proof from Mazda themselves for this.

The 2 biggest problems with the SIV process regarding RX7's even if it does meet the above requirements are:

1. An SIV is granted only at LTNZ's discretion - they decide at the end of the day and can decline and give no reason for doing so. A Mustang or TVR would have a better chance probably than an RX7 (apart from maybe a Spirit R that they know wont be modified to hell or driven every day in order to retain its value) due to the 'boy racer' stigma attached to Japanese performance cars.

2. You have to supply proof of ownership as part of the application (this will be in the form of a Japanese Dereg. Certificate). In other words you have to buy the car then apply - you can't apply to see if they grant it then buy the car. Pretty big risk if you ask me.

I do know of a few Skyline GTR's that have come in under the SIV scheme though so it seems not all Japanese cars are tarred with the same brush.

The only other option to avoid all these headaches if your heart is set on importing a rotary is to import any pre-1990 RX7 such as an FC3S (S4-5). Any vehicle first registered in Japan prior to January 1st 1990 is exempt from both frontal impact and emissions rules. You don't even need an SIV. They are rare but I've seen a few excellent condition, unmolested, low mileage FC3S 7's imported by people that know the rules so they are out there.

Good luck,
Destro

Last edited by destro76; 05-03-12 at 02:21 AM.
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Old 05-03-12, 03:09 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Probably not but 'maybe'. Bear with me and I'll explain.

The 2 most important standards that have to be met to comply a car to be able to be legally driven on our roads are 'Frontal Impact' and 'Emissions'


Good luck,
Destro
Thanks Destro , that was very informative , a good read
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Old 05-12-12, 11:04 PM   #21
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hey mate do u need driveshaft loop for 270rwkw 13b fd3s with oe gearbox an driveshaft to get a lvv cert
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Old 05-20-12, 01:41 AM   #22
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jarrod why are you gettign a cert for a factory car?
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Old 05-20-12, 01:49 AM   #23
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Destro that was extremely helpful, I thought importing cars was all but gone. I think That one of those Magazines would say the FD was a special vehicle. I would really like to import one of the 200 Roadster Coupes so that opens up possibilities.
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Old 05-20-12, 04:44 PM   #24
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Need cert cause got pink stickered for external wastegate not being certified and noise. Failed cert 113db an certifier says that i need drive shaft loop even though is oe or bringa new dyno to show car is significantly less than 50% power increase. Also putting in ajustables for the cert
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Old 05-21-12, 12:34 AM   #25
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sweet noise is easy steelos from mitre 10 put 5 or so andit should bring it down enough 10 or 15 brings it to 78 at 5000 lol and doesnt sound to good lol get as much on the cert as you can
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Old 05-21-12, 12:34 AM
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