Legal Height for Suspension and Tyres on a GU Patrol...

Submitted: Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 12:58
ThreadID: 13971 Views:7709 Replies:4 FollowUps:12
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Howdy dudes and dudettes,

Had an interesting conversation with a sales director of mine in a 4WD and bullbar store here in QLD regarding upgrading suspension and tyres on a new Patrol.

As you may or may not be aware, my new TDI GU Patrol comes in mid august and I'm pricing up suspension etc for it now.

From our conversation, it appears that you can only put a 285 (32 inch) tyre on a GU and/or GQ Patrol and a maximum lift of 3 inches. I currently shake in my boots when driving past QLD Transport with my turbo spooling, the 33 MTR's humming and bouncing around on the 4 inch lift. The turbos engineered, but nothing else is.

I want to subside that shaky feeling by ensuring everything is installed by my mates company and receiving an engineers certificate for all mods ie. suspension.

What has everyone heard regarding our friendly foes in the transport department? There are alot of trucks out there running 33's and 4 inches and above not knowing the proper rules. If you crash, I'd reckon the old insurance wouldn't cover you!

Any info etc would be great! Personal experience with this would be even better!

cheers

Chris.
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Reply By: MrBitchi - Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 13:36

Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 13:36
Chris,
This may be somewhere to start.

Vehicle Mods

John
AnswerID: 64196

Follow Up By: Member - Chris M (QLD) - Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 13:39

Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 13:39
Mr Bitchi,

Just been on that site, this is what started the confusion...Ridiculous I reckon!

thanks for your input!

Chris.
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FollowupID: 325334

Reply By: Rosscoe - Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 13:37

Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 13:37
I keep hearing that you can only go 15 mm larger diameter than the largest diameter tyre which appears on the vehicle's tyre placard or as stipulated in the manufactures hand book.
So theoretically, you need to look at the tyres sizes that can go on it, pick the largest and then you can go 15 mm bigger... I think!
Re height I thought it was 50 mm (2") but there are lots and lots of cars running around the streets with much more lifts. So I don't know if you can go higher and be street leagal with an engineer's certificate or the law hasn't decided to chase this yet.
The other issue to consider is your friendly insurance company. Mine says "As long as it meets the appropriate ADR - no worries otherwise no way.
Also not sure how you would stand if you were in an accident as far as CTP is concerned. I would hate to have defend a claim by another party who sights that your modification contributed to the accident/injury.
AnswerID: 64197

Follow Up By: Member - Chris M (QLD) - Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 13:48

Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 13:48
Rosscoe,

Thanks for your reply. 15mm is nothing really...nor is 50mm. The current 4 inch lift in my GQ is perfect, doesn't scrub etc and is a perfect match to my 33's...anywho.

However, your raise exactly the issues I'm concerned with. CTP, being liable for personal injury and property damage, especially if the mods were a contribution.

I'm assuming if an approved inspection took place, your insurer agreed with such an inspection and agreed to insure that you would be protected from any possible litigation...It's such a grey area!

Chris.
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FollowupID: 325337

Follow Up By: Rosscoe - Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 14:09

Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 14:09
Chris
The issue seems similar to work place safety. You can "engineer the mods" correctly - (technicaly that is, from an engineer's stand point) but who says it's "safe" in the normal urban environment. What the current trend seems to be is rely on the manufacturers to set specifications.

In the work place they don't tell you how to do it they just say it has to be safe. If there's an accident and you are not able to show any form of risk assesment and documentation you'd be in hot water. If you can demonstrate due diligence you're not off the hook but I think in a lot better position.
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FollowupID: 325339

Follow Up By: flappan - Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 14:11

Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 14:11
It is actually quite black and white.

ALL insurance companies had a "Roadworth" clause in their policies.

To be "roadworthy" it must met all the states relevant Rego requirements in regards to mods. That may require an engineers cert for those mods.

The insurance co will then agree (or not agree as the case may be) to cover those mods. Get it agreed in writing.

Where it becomes Grey is.

Different States have different rules. What may be legal in QLD , may not be legal in NSW. If your vehicle meets ALL the QLD requirements , then is it insured EVERYWHERE in Aus ?

2ndly, An engineers cert ISN'T a get out of jail free card. The RTA (and their respective state counterparts) CAN request a 2nd opinion.

Therefore , if you have a dodgie Mod , with a dodgie cert , you can still be done for being unroadworthy.
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FollowupID: 325340

Follow Up By: Rosscoe - Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 14:25

Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 14:25
flappan,

Does the engineer certify it without any guidelines or can he/she say, on the riducuous side, I've lifted it six inches but I've done it well?
Who determise if the 6" lift on one car is unsafe but on another it isn't?
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FollowupID: 325342

Follow Up By: Member - Chris M (QLD) - Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 14:49

Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 14:49
Rosscoe and Flappan,

Seems to me that although some requirements are black and white, travel around oz and it becomes very grey, if not quite misty.

Obviously, we're all aware that 6inches, although great for hardcore offroad, is not entirely safe even if fitted by a reputable company. Basic laws of physics plainly state (this is definitely black and white) that if the vehicle is lifted beyond it's designed centre of gravity, it will become unstable.

Now if I have abided by QLD law, with the 1/3 rule for bumpstop measurement, surely that law would stand in all states. From memory, I'm sure that spring-overs are legal in one or more states. Does that mean that you cannot drive in any states forbidding that modification???

It seems to me that as long as an approved engineer (who ain't dodgy) has provided you with the certificates and your insurer has sited such certificates, and has agreed in writing, what more can you do???
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FollowupID: 325344

Follow Up By: flappan - Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 15:19

Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 15:19
"It seems to me that as long as an approved engineer (who ain't dodgy) has provided you with the certificates and your insurer has sited such certificates, and has agreed in writing, what more can you do???"

Basically . . . Yes.

Although. Insurance Co's aren't interested in the Certs . . . The Rego guys are. As far as the Ins Co's are concerned "Roadworthy" is what they are interested in. As long as RTA is happy that the vehicle is roadworthy , then so are the Ins Co's.

You DO have to get approval for those mods though from the Insurance Co.

Some . like AAMI I believe only allow 3 mods. Others like NRMA , wont allow more then 50mm lift , or greater then 1 inch wheel width increase .They wont touch 10 inch wheels with a barge pole.
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FollowupID: 325345

Follow Up By: Member - Chris M (QLD) - Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 15:39

Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 15:39
I'm insured with AAMI and I have listed everything as per specs in my rig pic for my current GQ. They have not had a problem. However, I did not specify height of lift and was not queried. I informed that officer that I had 33 inch tyres and 15 x 8 blade chrome rims without a problem. So whether or not it is a problem, to date, no queries have been made. Obviously I haven't had an accident yet so it's not tried nor tested.

There's so many rules. I don't want a big foot, just a capable 4wd with enough clearance for a play at landcruiser and tripping round this great country, got my 2nd cape trip next year in August and don't want stock suspension nor stock tyres for that adventure...
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FollowupID: 325347

Follow Up By: flappan - Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 15:55

Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 15:55
Have they acknowledged your mods in writing. If so , 3/4 of the way there.

Are the 33's legal ? ie , If questioned by RTA , are they roadworthy. If so great.

If they are in fact illegal , then it doesn't matter what AAMI say , even in writing , its not roadworthy.
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FollowupID: 325349

Follow Up By: Member - Chris M (QLD) - Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 16:08

Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 16:08
Flappan,

Your right!

All mods have been included in my policy confirmed in writing.

Hopefully some others respond because it would be interesting to hear from others and their experiences to really set in stone some issues that haven't been resolved to date.

It's obvious that although we purport to be a nation of unity, we still can't agree on simple things like transport regulations. Each state even has it's on spin on road rules...

Bloody hell!
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FollowupID: 325351

Follow Up By: Rosscoe - Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 16:23

Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 16:23
So here you're talking comprehensive or third party property damage, right?
So it's those little clauses that cover your duty of disclosure etc. The fact, Chris, that you weren't queried re the height might not be enough to prevent them declining a claim.

But what about CTP and mods, I think this is where the real danger lies. If it's not "roadworthy" and there is an injury, the insurance companies and their lawyers will walk all over you to avoid a payout.

Like it or not, right or wrong this is the world in which we live today, so in the end you have to evaluate the risk and then decide what you want to do.
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FollowupID: 325354

Reply By: Utemad - Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 15:16

Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 15:16
My brother has a 45 series Cruiser and fitted 33in tyres on 15x10in wheels. Just after fitting them he was pulled over by the Police and told to be legal he needed to fit flares. He did this and was going to anyway. About two weeks later he was pulled over by the RTA and told they were illegal so get rid of them. The reason being was that he had extended his wheel track by more than 50mm. He had gone to 125mm. This was done to clear the steering box on the front right.

Anyway the tyres were sold and fitted by a reputable company and never even once did they even suggest that what he was doing would make his vehicle unroadworthy.

I have had similar problems with my Rodeo when I got new tyres. Everywhere I went told me different things about what was and wasn't legal. I ended up putting 225/75 16 tyres on the standard rims to replace the 205/75 16 stockers. An increase of about 15mm in diameter.

Really who knows for sure in this world of legal mumbo jumbo. The only way to play it safe is to leave your vehicle 100% factory standard. But who wants to do that???

Utemad

AnswerID: 64210

Reply By: James M - Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 20:40

Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 20:40
Hi I'm thinking of a four inch lift and 33inch tyres on my GQ. NRMA won't touch me with that lift. So I rang AAMI and they don't have a problem as long as its legal.
So I rang the RTA (in NSW) They said I would need an engineers cert.
Any suspension lift that only involves the springs and shocks (2inches or under) is fine without an engineers cert.
I have yet to speak to an engineer.
AnswerID: 64275

Follow Up By: Member - Chris M (QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 22, 2004 at 08:55

Tuesday, Jun 22, 2004 at 08:55
Hi James,

Interesting...I should follow it up a bit more with QLD Transport, maybe I should move to NSW...

Cheers.
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FollowupID: 325443

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