Police querying 2" lift

Submitted: Sunday, Jul 24, 2011 at 23:27
ThreadID: 87769 Views:5751 Replies:12 FollowUps:20
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My 120 series Prado T/D GX 2003 has had a 2" lift by way of Bilstein shockers, Lovells springs and Polyairs. The "cheese cutter" wheels/tyres are replaced by the wider alloys that the GXL, VX & Grande have and are fitted with BFG TA's. All this to improve ride and handling and better ground clearance in 4WD situations where it used to "drag its belly" a bit before then. Anyway, a police officer told me I need an Engineering Certificate to prove it's roadworthy and to carry it in the glove box in case I'm stopped over it by the police. As far as I was aware, a 2" lift was the maximum allowable and still be legal. The officer said something about side intrusion in an accident due to various cross/members and other things in the side of the vehicle now not being able to do their job effectively in an accident. My Insurer, NRMA know of the mods and haven't batted an eyelid! The officer was quite insistent. For a moment, I thought he was going to give me a "Canary" for it!! Anyway, where do I and others stand in these circumstances, and what, if anything, should we do about it?
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Reply By: The_Chad - Sunday, Jul 24, 2011 at 23:58

Sunday, Jul 24, 2011 at 23:58
I hate to say it but you're best bet is going to your local RTA for definitive answer. From a Victorian perspective, if the police believe vehicle modification is an issue ultimately it goes to our RTA (Vicroads) to determine roadworthiness.

Ultimately that police officer appears to have done nothing than offer advice as they didn't issue any paperwork, however for your own peace of mind there would be no harm checking it out so you know if questioned again you are sure of your position.
AnswerID: 460834

Follow Up By: Member - warren G (VIC) - Wednesday, Jul 27, 2011 at 17:18

Wednesday, Jul 27, 2011 at 17:18
that's not right chad vic pol can un roadworthy a vehicle and a licensed roadworthy tester nor vic roads can over turn his interpretation of what he or she may think is unroadworthy,cheers warren
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Follow Up By: The_Chad - Friday, Jul 29, 2011 at 20:22

Friday, Jul 29, 2011 at 20:22
Yes, police in Victoria can issue a notice of unroadworthiness to any vehicle they want to for whatever reason, and they're cleared at Vicroads when vehicle is up to standard. So yes, the police on the road can interpret what they like, that doesn't mean they are correct. Police don't check they're up to registration standard, ultimately Vicroads determine whether to register a vehicle.
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Reply By: The Landy - Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 05:00

Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 05:00
The insurance company will rely on you to make sure it complies with all regulations. The fact that they are aware of it and haven't commented is not an endorsement from them that it is okay. Essentially the onus is on you, not them.
AnswerID: 460835

Reply By: Nickywoop - Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 07:14

Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 07:14
Lozza,

Do not really know the regulations in regard to lifting vehicles legally.

I do think Mr. Plods side intrusion thoughts in regards to an accident do not seem to stack up to me. I think the side intrusion situation would be a lot different in the type of accident it was, ie. "Whether you were T-boned with a Mack or a mini minor" !!.

Regards Nick
AnswerID: 460838

Follow Up By: Crackles - Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 17:16

Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 17:16
I would have suggested to the officer that the position of the side intruison beams have not changed in relation to the seating position of the occupants therefore the height of the car is totally irrelavant as you have said Nick as who knows what size car or tree you may hit.
Cheers Craig.............
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Reply By: Member - Richard W (NSW) - Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 07:19

Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 07:19
Lozza,

That's a worry and the first time I have heard of a 2" lift in NSW being queried.
I have a 2" lift and 285X75X16 muddies and the rear looks more like 3" when there is no load.
The police in both NSW and Qld a few years ago have run their eye over my rig with no problems.
There was a proposal about 18 months ago for 2" lifts to be engineered but I understand it was put on hold pending negotiations with the industry and association.
There was some confusion as to whether it had been passed into regulation.
Maybe this policeman thinks it has.

What profile AT's are you running?
AnswerID: 460839

Follow Up By: mikehzz - Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 08:28

Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 08:28
Correct, oversize BFG's could knock it out of the legality park quite easily. It's not wheel size but tyre size. Mike
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Follow Up By: rags - Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 10:16

Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 10:16
If the tyres fitted are the 265/65/17 then this is not an issue as your prado sounds the same as mine [gx 03 with the larger gxl wheels and tyres] as the prado has the dual placard for tyre size attached to car driver door pillar which states that the car can be fitted with the option of 2 different tyre sizes.
The 50mm lift then would also be ok as lifts up to 50mm did not need the engineering permit [which was also part of the recent govt push for reform but fell over discussed on this forum] .There is some rule that the combo of lift plus larger tyre size can cause issue but in your case you should be ok as you have the dual placard that approves your tyre use ,as it would apply to my GX.
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Follow Up By: Lozza - NSW - Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 12:09

Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 12:09
The new rims are shown on the receipt as 17X7.5 Grande 6/139.7 and the tyres are shown as BF Goodrich 265/70R17 AT/KO
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Follow Up By: George_M - Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 14:07

Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 14:07
Lozza

If you are running BF Goodrich 265/70R17 AT/KO on a 120 series Prado in NSW then that may be your challenge.

My understanding is that this profile of tyre is legal in Victoria (and some other States), but illegal in NSW.

George
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 14:12

Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 14:12
Hi Lozza

The standard tyre size on the GLX is 265/65R17, so with the 70 series tyres, that will give you over an extra 1" height increase alone.


Cheers


Stephen
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Follow Up By: Member - Richard W (NSW) - Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 17:28

Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 17:28
Stephen,
Agree and first time I have heard of anyone being warned for it in NSW.
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Reply By: Echucan Bob - Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 07:22

Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 07:22
The real advantage of the lift is the improvement in "rollover abilty " The raised COG means that lower speeds are required on any given corner to lift the inside wheels, and fewr degrees of slope are required to tip vehicle A over T. Other than that its all good.
AnswerID: 460840

Follow Up By: mikehzz - Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 08:30

Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 08:30
:-)
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Reply By: Member - Serendipity(WA) - Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 08:30

Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 08:30
This has already been discussed here on expolorOZ and someone came back with some good info. Basically 2 in lift kit is legal.

Check this thread.

Laws Changing on 2" lifts in NSW

Cheers

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Reply By: Hairy (WA) - Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 12:37

Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 12:37
Gday,
Just email the RTA in your state so you get a reply in writting. If they say its ok, keep a copy in your glove box........cheapest and safest way out.
Not too many coppers know all the rules....they are just there to police them.

Cheers
AnswerID: 460867

Reply By: patsproule - Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 12:51

Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 12:51
50mm is definitely the legal lift in most states before a mod plate / certificate is needed. There is some grey area viz vehicles with ABS / EBD / ASC / ESC etc with some documentation stating that vehicles fitted with such can not be modified.

Anything bigger than 15mm increase in tyres in NSW is over the limit though.

Pat
AnswerID: 460868

Reply By: The Landy - Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 13:42

Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 13:42
This sort of issue is a real dilemma for owners of modified vehicles, and especially if the police have flagged that the vehicle may not be road-worthy. If they perceive it is unroadworthy they can direct you to prove it isn’t in any case.

It also has insurance and other implications as the overriding requirement is that the vehicle is roadworthy in its modified state, not whether a 2 inch lift is legal or not. And to be clear, you don’t necessarily need to seek approval or get an engineering certificate for a two inch lift, but a two inch lift on the vehicle may still make it ‘unroadworthy’.

You need to be confident that it is roadworthy (as per a legal definition) and if you are then do nothing, bit if you aren’t and perhaps that is the case given you have raised the issue, it would be better to seek clarification from the RTA as the forum can only provide guidance (all care, no responsibility), you’re the guy in the hot seat if something goes wrong...
AnswerID: 460877

Reply By: Member - Christopher P (NSW) - Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 15:52

Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 15:52
Mate basically 2"inch lift is legal. with wheels, you are allowed to go up to 2" inches bigger than stock and no more thean an inch wider. supposedly. your tyre fitter knows what you can and can't do as they are govened by rules and reg's. the copper thinks you are unroad worthy. keep a certified copy of your reciept's in glove box and next time he pulls you up show him the reciept's to prove your not illegal. and if he does give you a canary, it will cost your about 80 bucks, which if you take to court (time and expense) and you can prove that its not illegal they will leave you alone. ALso show him your insurance papers as they will have the issured accessories listed on it!

oh and play nice as they can get vicious, if provoked. if ypou supply all of the papers to prove your case he will leave you alone.
AnswerID: 460884

Follow Up By: mikehzz - Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 16:20

Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 16:20
I've seen 15mm bigger written in official documents and had it told to me by tyre fitters but I have never seen 2" (50mm). I have seen it mentioned on this forum a few times, does anyone know a link that officially confirms it? Cheers, Mike
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Follow Up By: Member - Christopher P (NSW) - Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 16:39

Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 16:39
vehicles standardsrta modifcation standards compliance pages

this is direct from the pdf:

Suspension
Besides assuring a comfortable ride, a vehicle’s suspension system controls wheel movement for handling and road
holding. Manufacturers conduct extensive test programs to develop suitable suspension settings. Adjustments, such
as lowering the vehicle, can upset the suspension characteristics and cause unpredictable handling. Generally, roll
stabilizer bars, axle locating rods, upgraded shock absorbers or upgraded springs may be used provided they are
suitable for the vehicle and are properly fitted. However, the following suspension modifications are not acceptable:
?? Welding forged components such as stub axles or control arms.
?? Fitting longer, non-standard shackles to leaf springs.
?? Fitting any additional components or altering the suspension so that the wheels or tyres may contact any
component under the full range of suspension and steering travel.
?? Fitting any additional components or altering the suspension ride height so that any part of the vehicle other
than a wheel or tyre can contact the road in the event of a tyre deflation.
If major changes to the suspension (such as substitution of a non standard front cross member) are carried out, they
should be done under the strict guidance of an engineering signatory.
Vehicle standards information / No. 6 / Rev. 2.1 / Published 1 November 2007 4
Wheels and tyres
Refer to VSI No.9 Guidelines for alternative wheels and tyres.
Steering
As with suspension systems, a vehicle’s steering system is vital for safety and vehicle manufacturers make considerable
efforts to develop suitable steering geometry. Where any non standard part is used, owners are advised to seek the
assistance of an engineering signatory to assess the structural integrity of the steering system and the adequacy of the
steering geometry under all conditions of steering and suspension movement.
Steering components are fundamental to vehicle safety. Always avoid cutting, welding (or otherwise hot working) any
forged steering components such as pitman arms, drag links or steering knuckles.
Where ADRs 10A, 10B, 10/00 or 10/01 apply, the vehicle’s steering column and steering wheel are designed to
minimise injury to the driver during a crash. In the case of replacement steering wheels (including aftermarket steering
wheels fitted with airbags), owners should seek assurance from the supplier or an engineering signatory that the
vehicle continues to comply with these requirements.
The diameter of the steering wheel affects the driver’s control of the vehicle. A reduction in the steering wheel
diameter will result in increased steering effort and ‘kick back’ from road bumps.
Vehicle Standards Bulletin No. 4 issued by the Department of Transport & Regional Services (DOTARS) covers
conversion requirements for left hand to right hand drive. This publication is available from DOTARS, PO Box 594,
Canberra ACT 2601, T (02) 6274 7111.


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Follow Up By: Member - Christopher P (NSW) - Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 16:41

Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 16:41
there's two links at top that will give you info scroll acrss them
i thought i had seperated them enough when i did it.
sorry
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Follow Up By: George_M - Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 17:01

Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 17:01
Hi Christopher.

Your first link points to VSI 9 (2003) for the NSW approach to increasing the diameter of a standard tyre.

VSI 9 specifies that "The outside diameter of the wheel and tyre combination must be no more than 15mm over the largest diameter wheel and tyre combination specified for the vehicle and not more than 15mm below the smallest diameter wheel and tyre combination specified for the vehicle."

For some reason NSW has not adopted the national standard. Victoria (and some other States, I think, have).

This means that a 265/70 R17 tyre on a 120 series Prado in NSW does not comply with the NSW standard.

George_M

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Follow Up By: Lozza - NSW - Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 20:20

Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 20:20
Now that I have the 265/70 R17 tyres, I'm at a loss what to do here. I could sell them as "near new" for tyres of the correct size, or simply use them up, then replace them with ones of the correct size.
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FollowupID: 734599

Follow Up By: Member - Christopher P (NSW) - Tuesday, Jul 26, 2011 at 11:43

Tuesday, Jul 26, 2011 at 11:43
Mate don't worry about it. keep the tyres on and if you get harassed, then go to the cheese cutters. The insurance company wouldn't let you put hugely oversized rubber on your vehicle and still let you run around.

the police officer is being a tosser and trying to give you a hard time. ring the rta if you live in nsw or go and chat to your local rta approve inspection station, they know.

I can tell you now, if from experience with rego checks, as i help my mechanic and have assisted in many, like over 50 of them that your "LEGAL".

the stuff i sent you is just a guideline. and is dated 2007.

you have improved the safety of your vehicle by increased tyres and better suspension. you haven't raised you COG by that much. rememeber once you put all your gear in and a full tank/s of fuel in your vehicle will be around the stock height.
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FollowupID: 734645

Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, Jul 26, 2011 at 12:55

Tuesday, Jul 26, 2011 at 12:55
Christopher

Possibly all good advice, but I think it is worth highlighting that insurance companies do not check to ensure modifications you have made comply with the relevant regulations, they’ll assume they do comply and place the onus on you to confirm they do.

The fact they have accepted a list of modifications on the policy is not an endorsement from them that they are acceptable and could lead to them refusing a claim if they are outside the manufacturer’s guidelines or it doesn’t comply for registration purposes...especially if it is a contributing factor in an accident.

You’ve mentioned it a couple of times...so I think it is worth clarifying. Check your policy, it will be in there somewhere for sure.
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FollowupID: 734652

Follow Up By: Member - Christopher P (NSW) - Tuesday, Jul 26, 2011 at 14:41

Tuesday, Jul 26, 2011 at 14:41
vehicle modshere is the list of approved mods regarding tyres


on page three it says a vehicle over 1201kg is allowed to go 2 inches or 51mm over standard with adr24.
(below taken from rta website)

Suspension
Besides assuring a comfortable ride, a vehicle’s suspension system controls wheel movement for handling and road
holding. Manufacturers conduct extensive test programs to develop suitable suspension settings. Adjustments, such
as lowering the vehicle, can upset the suspension characteristics and cause unpredictable handling. Generally, roll
stabilizer bars, axle locating rods, upgraded shock absorbers or upgraded springs may be used provided they are
suitable for the vehicle and are properly fitted. However, the following suspension modifications are not acceptable:
?? Welding forged components such as stub axles or control arms.
?? Fitting longer, non-standard shackles to leaf springs.
?? Fitting any additional components or altering the suspension so that the wheels or tyres may contact any
component under the full range of suspension and steering travel.
?? Fitting any additional components or altering the suspension ride height so that any part of the vehicle other
than a wheel or tyre can contact the road in the event of a tyre deflation.
If major changes to the suspension (such as substitution of a non standard front cross member) are carried out, they
should be done under the strict guidance of an engineering signatory.


this says to me ANY EXTREME MODIFICATION IS ENGINEERED REQUIRED"

what it doesn't say is how far the "extreme" mod's can be. So as far as i know a 2" 51mm lift is legal.

With tyres your allowed a maximum of 8 " or 204 mm in width and no more than 2 " 51 mm in height, as the standard tyre from memory is either 15 " or 16" then a 17" tyre is legal. it's on the two links above.

i suggest that you keep a copy of said rta documents in your vehicle with a copy of reciepts, so you can show the cop next time he pulls you over that you a within maximum legal specifications.

Also this little gem "?? Fitting any additional components or altering the suspension ride height so that any part of the vehicle other
than a wheel or tyre can contact the road in the event of a tyre deflation" as the vehicle does not have a great amount of lift and the tyres will allow it to contact ground ( a simple check would be to let one down on flat ground and see if any lift off also take photo's) if no tyre lifts off ground you should be safe.

A toyota nearly always looks as thou it's part of the mile high club after a fresh suspension lift! after a few weeks it will settle down.

I hope my research has helped you
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FollowupID: 734659

Follow Up By: mikehzz - Tuesday, Jul 26, 2011 at 14:47

Tuesday, Jul 26, 2011 at 14:47
Thank you very much Christopher P. Cheers, Mike
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FollowupID: 734660

Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 17:12

Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 17:12
The problem with NSW Police is that many of them dont know the laws. Michael
Patrol 4.2TDi 2003

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AnswerID: 460895

Follow Up By: Member - Mark G Gulmarrad - Tuesday, Jul 26, 2011 at 00:00

Tuesday, Jul 26, 2011 at 00:00
Micheal.

your dead right there.....have some of them check our log books ,only to return to the truck and ask us questions regarding how,what ,when & why about the book.
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FollowupID: 734628

Reply By: OzTroopy - Saturday, Jul 30, 2011 at 01:26

Saturday, Jul 30, 2011 at 01:26
Perhaps in all this .... how high is my vehicle off the ground, concerns .... one should consider .....

1/. Wheel Diameters .... Are the limits imposed to prevent a driver having to step up an extra distance of over 15mm into the cab ???

..... or to ensure oversize wheel / tyres combos arent fitted which might rub on panels / control arms / inner guards etc .... affecting steering and control ??


2/. Suspension Heights .... If a vehicle has 100mm of suspension travel with its factory suspension ....

.... and the same vehicle is fitted with a 50mm / 75mm "lift kit" which still has only 100mm of suspension travel .....

.... How is the vehicle made more unstable ??? ...


Id be getting rather concerned if state traffic authorities are now just basing these "suspension height" measurements on aestetics / height from the ground .... or whether they tower over good old harold scrubbys beemer ....

.... Instead of proper engineering principles as ADRs used to specify.


Good point on the side intrusion being relevant to occupants .... not the striking object Crackles.

.... and IMHO .... anybody lumbered with an unnescessary, veh inspection - because of a police officer overstepping their bounds / knowledge - ought to seek reimbursement of any costs ... from the police - or the individual officer.


This is Lovells Suspension info using ADRs .... might pay to verify against any possible changes since 2010.

Suspension Mods / Hts
.
AnswerID: 461308

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