View Full Version : are our modifications road leagal

23rd June 2007, 09:51 AM
noticed on the rego forms etc any modifications maid to the vehicle must be reported within 14 days
also when you insure your car one of the qu. is are there any modifications
Now if i overlook to explain that i run on WCO, and any mods, do i risk voiding all insurance, and when they examine my wreck, decide that i am liable for the cost of the semi that i forced off the road and into the derailed train [trains are expensive]
So leagaly do we have to report all mods

23rd June 2007, 12:15 PM
I think they are referring to performance and safety modifications. SVO isn't really a performance modification and would be classed as an improvement for safety, because of the lower ignition points

23rd June 2007, 02:03 PM
That actually is irrelevant. Technically any modification you make to a vehicle has to be declared (possibly with the exception of internal cosmetic changes).

At least in W.A. we need to fill out a modification form (which is supposed to be done before the modification) and this form is submitted to the licensing dept. guys, who tell you if you need an engineers cert. or not, and then you take your vehicle over the pits.

That said, a lot of people don't do this with things like wheels etc, and generally speaking if you are within ADR's you are probably ok, just know that you can potentially get yellow stickered (in wa at least) for any non OEM addition.

That is my understanding of the current regulations based on my hobby of modifying motorcycles.

Why don't you ring your local licensing dept. or jump on their website, the information is generally there.

23rd June 2007, 02:59 PM
I looked into this the other week in regards to 2 tank WVO conversions.
There is no problem with these Modifications in NSW under the current rules because these mods do not affect the strength, controlability or reliability of saftey systems.

PDF from the RTA. (http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/registration/downloads/vsi/vsi06.pdf)

23rd June 2007, 03:47 PM
It's probably best to contact your licensing centre, as it seems it is quite different from state to state.

In W.A. the permit form (for anyone wishing to use it) is here :

The Vehicle Safety Branch is required to assess applications from people wishing to
perform a modification on a vehicle that requires the approval of the Director General of
the Department for Planning and Infrastructure (DPI). As part of this process applicants
are required to complete this form, unless the modification is one that has been gazetted
as a modification not requiring formal approval. This only applies to minor modifications
such as fitting roof-racks and alarm systems.
A list of modifications that can be performed without receiving prior approval from DPI can
be found on the DPI website:
Modifications that don't require approval (http://www.dpi.wa.gov.au/licensing/1882.asp)

From the Modifications that don't require approval link.

What can I modify without approval ?

Many minor vehicle modifications can be carried out without specific approval. However, they are still subject to compliance with the Road Traffic (Vehicle Standards) Regulations 2002, Road Traffic (Vehicle Standards) Rules 2002 and the Australian Design Rules (for date of manufacture and vehicle category).
These include:

Tyre size and aspect ratio (http://www.dpi.wa.gov.au/licensing/1884.asp)
Additional lighting
Single tone air horns
Air conditioners
Air shock absorbers
Alarm systems
Badge bars
Gearbox (pre 1976)
Mud spats and pebble guards
mesh stone shields for wind screens and lamps
Body markings and speed striping
Rear-view mirrors
Roof racks
Radio and stereo systems
Optional manufacturer seating (http://www.dpi.wa.gov.au/licensing/1888.asp)
seat belts for pre 1969 cars (no full harness types)
Stabilise bars
Torque rods and traction bars (not semi-tramp types)
Venetian blinds and other internal screening systems are allowed subject to a clear view to the rear Remember, generally, no modification may be carried out if it :

reduces the strength of the vehicle body
reduces the controllability of the vehicle
reduces the safety of the vehicle
causes a nuisance to other people When Is Approval Required ? (http://www.dpi.wa.gov.au/licensing/1883.asp)

23rd June 2007, 07:48 PM
Good luck to anyone brave enough to try and explain a WVO conversion to the approprate rego authourity.
I can only imagine the red tape your going to have to go through and how frustrating the experience is likely to be! :rolleyes:

Tony From West Oz
23rd June 2007, 09:48 PM
2 WARFA members have had their SVO converted vehicles inspected and the modifications to the fuel systems were passed with no changes necessary. In fact, a large number of inspectors were assembled to view the conversions as this was new to them. If anything had been amiss, it would have been identified and a re-inspection required once the defect had been remedied.

I have not had the SVO modifications to my vehicles inspected.

Captain Echidna
24th June 2007, 01:03 AM
I guess it depends on how the modification is done. With a landcruiser with two tanks already, the only modification is heated fuel and an extra fuel filter. I dont believe this would make the car illegal.
With a merc for instance, things may be different. The extra fuel tank would need to be appropriate for the fuel, and securely mounted, both which may need to be engineered. The laws do wierd things, for instance if you are taking a spare wheel for a trailer home it is legal to put in in the boot. If you are doing a gas conversion and need to shift the spare it must be mounted in such a way it cannot come loose in the event of an accident.
I have asked 2 "boys in blue" if they thought my conversion was legal on the merc. (jerry can in boot) They addmited not to know.

Tony From West Oz
24th June 2007, 03:07 AM
One of the 2 conversions which have been inspected and passed, had a jerry vacan in the boot for diesel. It had a sight tube as fuel gauge, protected by some angle iron. The tank and angle were solidly mounted. They considered the filler in the boot to be a bit "iffy", but with the low flashpoint of diesel they accepted that the risk was very low and approved the modification without delay.


24th June 2007, 01:55 PM
Perhaps a lot of legailties could be bypassed if one stated or convinced the relevant people that the additional tank was to hold a food substance rather than a fuel?
Everyone seems to have their own standards as to what veg oil actually comes under in automotive use and it could be hard to have them accept it as anything but fuel although if there isn't a precedent or it came under alternative fuel, it could be worth a shot if it makes things easier.

I'm pretty sure the concern of most rego departments is only saftey and as this makes no difference to that aspect of a vehicle, I would think that for the most part commonsense would prevail and there would be minimal hassels. Unfortunately some gestapo inspector will make life hard for someone sooner or later though. :mad:

I am in the process of making up some tanks for a wvo conversion. I have decided not to re-install the original tank and have fitted valves and the fuel gauge sender to 25L plastic Drums I have been using. I will use 3 drums, 2 for wvo, 1 for Bio, which will all fit where the original tank went and I won't loose any boot space. I am going to hinge the original metal panel that seperates the tank from the boot (And cover it in that grey carpet type stuff ) and hinge it so that everything in the boot looks completely stock when the panel is closed but I can fold it down to easily get at the tanks. This will also keep the drums secured in place.

Interesting what you say about the spare tyre Chris and typical in my experience. I often wonder why it is illegal to hand hold a Phone in a car, but you can eat, drink, change a CD or smoke which would seem as much or more of a distraction to me. :rolleyes:

24th June 2007, 03:47 PM
David, if the modifications are safe, and within the ADR's (australian design rules) you won't have a problem, so long as it is approved.

My understanding of the W.A. regs, is as follows:

It doesn't matter if you have a modification that is within the design rules or not, if it isn't approved by the licensing department, it is not legal.
The inspection is simply to ensure that it does in fact meet the design specs.
If you do not get them approved, then you may be in violation of your insurance contract, you're vehicle license (most certainly) and technically are driving what is considered an "unroadworthy vehicle". Not unroadworthy in that it is unsafe, but unroadworthy in that it is not approved for use on a public road.

You will not be able to get this changed to allow veggie users to avoid inspections, as everyone in all areas of vehicle modification go through it. I can swap one set of forks from my motorcycle, with a set from another, and it needs to be certified.

It's personal choice if you have it inspected or not, and I know in my circles not many people do unless they have obvious changes made, but it's still what is required by law.

If unsure, ring and ask the people who know. Just remember that technically you are supposed to get the permit BEFORE you make the modifications, otherwise you are breaching the regulations.

24th June 2007, 10:37 PM
Perhaps a lot of legailties could be bypassed if one stated or convinced the relevant people that the additional tank was to hold a food substance rather than a fuel?

Hehe, nice try David. You might have a hard time explaining why you're "feeding" your car human food by tube:D

25th June 2007, 08:49 PM
Both of my vehicles have been converted to be able to run diesel fuel in either tank, to make sure that they would pass a local roadworthy. I have had advise from VicRoads that a plastic tank in the vehicle is OK only if there is no mineral fuel entering it, but you would need that in writing from somebody.......

The bigger issue is insurability, because these guys will tell you that your not insured if they can find any reason.

I did have some trouble getting insurance through most insurers accept RACV, who even did an article on my vehicle in their RoyalAuto Magazine in May (http://www.vegiecars.com/LatestNews/) which was unrelated to us insuring with them.

When gaining insurance, the modification was a fuel heater (http://www.vegiecars.com/Single_Tank/). The fuel really doesn't make a difference because the fuel itself is not a modification.