Modifications to four wheel drives under threat.

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 08:23
ThreadID: 67213 Views:5735 Replies:21 FollowUps:20
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Hi all, have you guys been aware of this?

There have been changes mooted to Australian National Code of Practice for Light Vehicle Construction and Modification or VSB14. If adopted it will create major problems for almost every for wheel drive owner in Oz.

A light vehicle is any licensed vehicle under 4.5 tonnes GVM and includes motor bikes and trikes.

Its seems like mods such as rear wheel carriers, bull bars, long range fuel tanks, dual batteries, raising vehicle height by more than 50 mm, modifying engines and so on will be illegal.

The new NCOP is currently in draft mode and the period for comment closes on April 30 2009.

Will the four wheel drive accessories industry suffer a big hit, because many of the products they manufacture and sell will deemed to not comply and will be illegal? Yes probably.

The draft documents can be viewed at http://www.pharosalex.com.au/pages/33acs4.html or http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/vehicle_regulation/bulletin/vsb_ncop.aspx.

Its available in sections and there are literally hundreds of pages to look through.

Don’t sit back folks, see your local member, agitate and complain saying this new NCOP hasn’t been thought through properly.

I’ll get off my soap box now.

Cheers

Phil
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Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 08:48

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 08:48
Phil,
It might be a slow news week.

If I buy a Patrol and it comes with a "Nissan Bull Bar" is that illegal?
100 Series and 200 Series diesel vehicles have dual batteries as standard, is that going to be outlawed?
My 78 Series has 2 x90lt tanks the same as some Prados, another danger?
When I had a Pathfinder back in 1988 it had a rear wheel carrier as standard. A Pathfinder and a killer rear wheel carrier. :-))

Range Rovers can adjust there air suspension more than 50mm.

I know that there are other vehicle that have the same accessories but they all comply with current ADR. So unless the ADR is changed I can't see how this could happen.

Wayne
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 09:01

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 09:01
Hi Wayne
Some of the items that you mention above are standard for some vehicles from new and is completely different to being fitted as an after market "ADD ON". All new vehicles as standard must comply with Australian Standards, as started on the ADR and compliance plates attached to our vehicles.
Phil is reporting about the "ADD ONS", not the standard on vehicle equipment.

Cheers

Stephen
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 08:53

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 08:53
Hi Phil
Thanks for bringing this to our attention, and like many viewers here on the forum, were not aware of the changes. I would have thought that the large after market manufacturers would be doing all their best to get it stamped out, as this is their bread and butter and with the current economic situation, one would have thought that the government would be looking after the jobs of many workers employed by these after mart companies.

Again thanks for keeping us informed.

Best Regards

Stephen
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Follow Up By: ross - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 09:55

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 09:55
Did you actually read any of it?
It does not apply to accessories fitted by the manufacturer.
AFAIK they already have to comply with current design rules.
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Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 10:18

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 10:18
Ross,
What manufacturer?
The vehicle manufacturer or the manufacturer of the aftermarket product?
It sounds to me they are saying you cant modify the vehicle.......
Which means, like Stephen says a lot of jobs lost?
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 12:49

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 12:49
Ross
I did read what Phil has reported. The way that it reads, is any no genuine fitted accessory to a vehicle could be the issue.

Stephen
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Follow Up By: ross - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 13:00

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 13:00
I was referring the vehicle manufacturer.

I think most of the 4wd owners on this forum would fall into the category below

"Common modifications to production vehicles."
"These represent the majority of Production Vehilce modifications.
These modifications are not excesive and do not generally affect the safety of the Completed Vehicle to any great extent if they are carried out sensibly "You can find it under modified vehicle definitions in NCOP2 section 2.2 page 5.


There are other parts that require manufacturers of aftermarket accessories to keep themselves informed of any alterations to the standards.

Ths kind of thing is nothing new,in fact much of it seems to have been around for a long time.

Other parts talk about suspension lifts up to 150mm if they can meet the requirements.
All the talk on this forum has been about an absolute maximum of 50mm.

They just seem to be making it a national code so all states are the same.

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Follow Up By: Member - Phil B (WA) - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 13:57

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 13:57
Thanks Stephen

You're on the money with your understanding of draft of Australian National Code of Practice Version 2.

i think some readers of the initial post have missed the point. Its not Version 1 but Version 2 of the Australian National Code of Practice I am talking about. What has happened before will be repelced with even tougher rsetrictions.
Will jobs be affected absolutely. I understand that a representative of a large Aust aftermarket supplier whose name starts with A and has three letters in its name say something like "we may as well close down if this gets up".

cheers

Phil
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Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 15:04

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 15:04
Phil,
Not just them closing down.....what about all the companies like Top G and Tuff s and Opposite L???
And what about the people like myself who make there own gear?

Sounds like the only way you will be able to get a vehicle with a bull bar/ roof rack etc will be buy a new one with it fitted by the vehicle manufacturer?

Cheers
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Reply By: hotfishez - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 08:54

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 08:54
I am aware that there has always been restriction in place but never enforced. The basic ones I know are,
Spot lights are to be even numbered, eg two or four not three etc and be mounted no higher than the headlights. 50mm suspension lift and 20mm body lift, roof racks are ok.
Ultimatley you are supposed to get permits for aerials, wheel carriers, bull bars, oversized tyres etc. I am aware of this because a few years ago myself and my old man built a significantly modified 1 tonner. The old boy being as meticulious as he is, went through the correct process and got permits for all the mods. He then went on to tell me how many mods on my Hilux at the time were "Technically" illegal.
It is one of those rules that has been and will always be there but continued responsible driving, behaviour and a general respect for all others will continue to leave this as a minimal priority to the respective concerned.
In the grand scheme of things, the cost of these items alone bleep all over Kevin Dudds stimulus, we are doing a great service to the country!!!!!!!!
AnswerID: 356261

Follow Up By: hotfishez - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 08:56

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 08:56
If the vehicle is fitted with accessories from the factory before rego they are considered legal with no permit required, but really, how do you check.
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Reply By: ddr - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 08:56

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 08:56
"Its seems like mods such as rear wheel carriers, bull bars, long range fuel tanks, dual batteries, raising vehicle height by more than 50 mm, modifying engines and so on will be illegal.
"

This has been reported on other forums also that statement is FALSE.

The only thing in that list is that you would need to get the car certified for is a greater than 50mm increase (Including tyre, body & suspension lifts)

NCOP spefically states that Long range tanks are allowed.
AnswerID: 356262

Follow Up By: Shaker - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 20:46

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 20:46
Wheel carriers should have to be of an approved type, can you imagine the damage if you were following a vehicle with a home made carrier & a weld broke causing the wheel to fall off?
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Reply By: troopyman - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 08:59

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 08:59
Well did you know that currently you cannot have a roofrack that protrudes more than 50mm past the roof gutter .
AnswerID: 356263

Reply By: Mikee5 (Logan QLD) - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 09:30

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 09:30
I read this bit -

Where a conversion has resulted in an increase in tare mass, the modified vehicle shall be weighed at a weighbridge. Individual axle masses and total mass shall be recorded separately.
Where the original GVM of the vehicle is no longer applicable due to the modifications performed, a new GVM must be determined

Which could apply to bull bars, wheel carriers, and even drawer systems as they all add weight.

Interesting.
AnswerID: 356270

Follow Up By: Member - Brenton W (SA) - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 22:36

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 22:36
Hi all
Just for interest sake i remember back in the mid seventies, a frienf of mine bought an ex PMG landcruiser we can all remember the red ones three speed box, but they had a tare weight on the drivers door as i was only 18 and just got my truck licence i looked at the tare weight and realised by law you actualy needed a truck licence to legaly drive it so 2 of my friends went to the polce station booked in for the drivers test and both got there truck licence in the old cruiser, far out!! i wonder if we legaly need a truck licence to drive them now!!
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Reply By: DIO - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 09:41

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 09:41
Many of the items you are referring to already have ADR approval.
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Reply By: Shaker - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 09:46

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 09:46
A National Standard would be an excellent idea, but commonsense needs to prevail to allow necessary modifications, but we do need to get the heavily modified, blatantly illegal vehicles off the roads, both 2 & 4WD.
AnswerID: 356274

Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 10:50

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 10:50
Shaker!!

Now you're talking.. I agree totally. There is a Suzuki around here and you would need a ladder to get into it. It is a hidious looking machine and the only thing that resembles a Suzuki is the body.. Imagine that thing leaving the road on a tight corner and taking out our or someones family.. Im all for a common sense approach to a national standard. Many 4x4s travel across many states so a national standard is a sensible idea.

Michael
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Retired 2016 and now Out and About!

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Reply By: ross - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 09:51

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 09:51
Seems like a lot of it is just common sense or already there under existing state laws and Australian Standards.
The part about taking a vehicle to the weighbridge if the modifications have affected the GVM has always been around.

Eg If you build an icecream van onto a cab chassis,its tare shalll include the weight of the van.
My 6x4 box trailer tare includes its lid weight of 32kg in its 212kg tare

Dual wheel carriers ,bullbars,winches and other mods are often fitted to govt vehicle such as police ,ambulance and fire and rescue.

Yep,slow news week.
AnswerID: 356278

Reply By: Robnicko - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 10:00

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 10:00
Phil,
I guess every Police car, ambulance, SES vechicle and so on will be off the road if this happens. They all have dual batteries, draw systems, bull bars of some type, additional lights and so on.


I think someones might be pulling your leg.



Rob
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Reply By: chisel - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 10:01

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 10:01
I haven't double-checked but I think I saw in the 200 series lcool section that the new NCOP prohibits "modifications" to any vehicle with electronic stability control - which includes a lot of new 4x4s. Exactly what restrictions would be in place (maybe just suspension changes??) I don't know.
AnswerID: 356282

Follow Up By: ddr - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 11:13

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 11:13
Its mostly suspension changes. But read through, it dosent take long.
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Reply By: Member - Mike DID - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 10:15

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 10:15
But it'll remain legal to "modify" the handling of a sedan enormously by attaching a huge caravan to it - without having your driving skills tested for an articulated vehicle at 110km/hr !!!!
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Follow Up By: Lotzi - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 10:27

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 10:27
yup..
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Reply By: The Landy - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 10:31

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 10:31
Something not quite right about all this.

As I understand it ADRs are a Federal responsibility and relate to the design of new vehicles; modifications to vehicles don’t come under any National Authority, but is the responsibility of the Motor Vehicle Authority in each State.

Correct me if I’m wrong?
AnswerID: 356292

Reply By: gbdid - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 12:20

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 12:20
I think that this is the most important section of the NCOP so that if adopted new vehicles will not be able to be modified at all.

2.6 MODIFICATIONS TO VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH ESC NOT PERMITTED
Many modern vehicles are now being equipped with a safety feature known as Electronic Stability Control (ESC). (Also known as Vehicle Stability Control or Dynamic Stability Control).
ESC provides motorists additional safety in terms of vehicle stability and handling, particularly in difficult situations where loss of control could otherwise occur. ESC uses computer technology to assist the driver in maintaining control in emergency situations – particularly when executing avoidance manoeuvres involving sudden swerving and in cases when the vehicle begins to slide and rotate sideways.
Braking is automatically applied to individual wheels, such as the outer front wheel to counter oversteer, or the inner rear wheel to counter understeer. Some ESC systems also reduce engine power until steering control is regained.
ESC is tuned by the vehicle manufacturer for the vehicle to which it is fitted taking into account a number of design parameters such as engine and transmission performance, tyre specifications, steering systems, suspension (type and performance characteristics), mass of the vehicle and weight distribution.
Therefore unless specifically permitted by the vehicle manufacturer, vehicles equipped with ESC as original equipment, cannot be modified under the Modification Codes contained in this Section of the NCOP as the current codes do not posses sufficient scope to account for all the parameters noted above.
Similarly, vehicles equipped with electronic stability control (ESC) must not have the ESC control unit disconnected or modified.
Persons wishing to modify vehicles equipped with ESC must contact their Registration Authority for further information and guidance.
AnswerID: 356309

Follow Up By: ross - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 13:11

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 13:11
The problem is really with the cars features.
You cant do Ma and Pa Kettle conversions to 21st century technology and expect it to still be safe
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Reply By: Von Helga - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 13:24

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 13:24
Sorry i could not get this post under Phil's as it would have saved a whole lot of space on the server.
I would like to suggest that most of us go and find and read version1 of the NCOP that is in place around Aust and then compare it with V2 before we go and annoy anyone (pollies included) about the proposed changes.
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Follow Up By: psproule - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 17:12

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 17:12
NCOP 1 is not actually in place except.... QLD I think?
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Reply By: Member - Mike DID - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 13:34

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 13:34
So does this mean that Glass Shops will not be allowed to fit glass racks that project dangerously out the side of their vans.

Does this mean that Plumbers will not be allowed to fit Rack Supports that attach the front bumper bar and would impact on pedestrians' heads (which are allowed while remote-area travellers are banned from have rubber-mounted autotune antennas on their bullbars)

Does this roofracks will be illegal

AnswerID: 356324

Follow Up By: Member - Phil B (WA) - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 14:00

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 14:00
Mike
Yep the way I read it it does mean what you have listed is illegal.


Phil
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Reply By: Member - Phil B (WA) - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 14:10

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 14:10
Hi guys

I sense in many posts following up my initial post some of you don't seem to have looked at Australian National Code of Practice Version 2 and are still thinking of Version 1.

Version 2 as a draft is out for comment right now and comments close 30 April 2009.

As I said in a response to Stephen L - will jobs be affected if this gets up - absolutely? I understand that a representative of a large Aust aftermarket supplier whose name starts with A and has three letters in its name said something like "we may as well close down if this gets up".

Guys it’s a totally new ball game – please check out version 2!!!

Cheers

Phil
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Follow Up By: gbdid - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 15:27

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 15:27
Phil, in which section does it mention things like bull bars, roof rack, long range fuel tanks and dual batteries.
I have looked at the section on bodies and suspension and have not yet found it.
Can you point me in the right direction pls.
Graham
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil B (WA) - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 17:42

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 17:42
Hi Graham

They aren't specifically mentioned and thats the diffciluty of this piece of daft policy (yep daft not draft).

Go tohttp://www.pharosalex.com.au/pages/33acs4.html and click on NCOP public comment then look for NCOP (P) V2 Introduction scroll down to 3.12 and you will see how meagre the list of whats approved is. How convoluted was that trying to get a bit of info.

The rest of the doc is no simpler to follow.

So the question is if tats all that is approved:
What isn't appproved?
How do I get it approved?
In fact will I ever be able to get it approved?

The draft doc if it stays as it is in my view creates a lot of problems and will leave it up to the bureaucrats to interpret - heaven forbid.

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Follow Up By: gbdid - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 18:52

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 18:52
Yes Phil, I agree there seem to be a lot that is left out.At least tow bars and roof racks can be fitted.
Little else that would be useful, like the dual battery systems, different springs and shock absorbers, long range fuel tanks, and bull bars.
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Reply By: Flywest - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 17:57

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 17:57
If I read it right it only stops NEW vehicles bieng modfied - thus dealers won't be able to sell you a NEW vehicle thats been modified.

Once you bought it - it's then second hand and you can fit what you like!

Simple really!

Cheers
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Reply By: Ciscocat - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 19:13

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 19:13
B.U.L.L.S.H.I.T!!!!!
AnswerID: 356398

Reply By: ross - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 20:32

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 20:32
I think this thread deserves The Chicken Little Award of 09 LOL
AnswerID: 356428

Reply By: briann532 - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 20:47

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 20:47
Oh what the heck...........


Engineering certificate ???????????????????
AnswerID: 356437

Follow Up By: eerfree - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 22:28

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 22:28
Oh what the heck........



Insurance Company lobbying ???????????????



Bob
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