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Old 11-26-2010, 03:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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How I almost didn't pass inspection

Last weekend my car was due for a registration inspection, first time since we bought it. Since they are supposed to check the wheels and suspension, I decided I'd go right after having the tires replaced for the winter, so no wheel skirts and only 2.5bar (36psi) tire pressure instead of my usual 3.5bar (51psi). Of course, on the way to the inspection station I noticed that the car coasts as if it was tied to a tree. In other words, it coasts like any other normal car. Thankfully, I still had the Kammback, so I actually drove the 5km in less than a full tank of fuel

The first thing that the inspector did when he saw my car was to say that the trailing edge of my Kammback is too sharp, then he ran his finger along that edge. I ran my finger and said it doesn't seem sharp at all. So he tries again, then again pushing even harder, looks at his finger and doesn't see any scratches or cuts, thinks for a minute, and says: "But what it that edge hit a child in the face? What would happen then?" I wanted to ask "What would happen if my car hit a child in the face?", but I bit my tongue. I only asked if I could glue some rubber or foam to that edge, but he said it would still be too sharp(!).

Then the sermon about homologation, to which I replied that the Kammback may be counted as temporary cargo, since it can be easily taken off, does not change the car's chassis in any way, allows rearward visability, and doesn't even stick out beyond the bumper or into the airstream. "But it should be tested, it may potentially be a hazard." The only way to not have homologation papers is if I am conducting research, which I immediately said I'm doing. But in that case I'd have to show documents which would prove that, so I quietly said that it's private research. He told me that if the authorities stop me then they may take my car's registration license away (which I doubt, since if I remove my aeromods while with the authorities, then the car will be stock and they won't have any reason to keep me from driving it). I remarked that policemen have been interested in the car more than once, but only to take pictures of it. "Of course, one hundred police patrols won't care, but the 101st patrol..." Some more blahblahblah and I finally asked if I should take it off right now, or can I do it at home? He said that he'll let me go, but "You should take it off immediately when you get home. If you want to, you can put it back on in two weeks, but if you get caught then you're to say that you didn't have it at the inspection."

Then the tests: he only checked my brakes and headlights, but didn't check many other things I was counting on: suspension, emissions and toe among them. But I got a stamp, so I'm OK until next year. Until then I'll get in contact with the Institute of Automotive Transportation (ITS, the Polish equivalent of Germany's TÜV) and ask about the details of making my aeromods legal.

Before I left the guy told me to fit a legal accessory from some other car. I told him that it's not just about slapping something on the back of the car, it's about reducing the wake area at the rear. The Kammback was precisely made with the correct angles, lots of research, etc. He said that maybe a spoiler that increases downforce would be better. I started to correct him, but stopped after 3 words since a big flashing red light came on in my brain. I just nodded, thanked him and left.

Two comments:
  • This inspection station is known for passing cars which usually wouldn't pass inspection. It doesn't do many or most of the tests, either because they are lazy, or because they don't want to pay for the extra wear and electrical consumption of the testing devices. That particular guy, as I later found out, is the worst in that station, and takes every chance he can get to recieve some extra $$$. As long as inspection stations like this are functioning there will be polluting, and even hazardous, clunkers on the roads.
  • Getting in touch with the ITS and finding out what how to legalize aeromods will be a tedious, but hopefully fruitful, experience. I don't know if the whole ordeal will be worth it, maybe I'll just stick to being an eco guerrilla (like Home Power's solar guerrilla), but maybe I'll get insights into how make my next version of the Kammy, wheelskirts and/or bellypan more (if not totally) legal. I'll start a thread here for other Europeans to know what to keep in mind when aeromodding. Yeah, it'd be nice to just pull out of the driveway with a cardboard boattail, but it just ain't gonna happen in Europe.

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Piwoslaw's Peugeot 307sw modding thread

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Old 11-26-2010, 04:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Piwoslaw, I'm sorry to read that. But since you mentioned that other Europeans may have similar problems, I'd like to share that here in Bulgaria it's even harder -- we still don't have a way to make even an electric conversion legal. Our equivalent to your ITS has procedures for testing only ICEs -- no EVs, no aeromods

I wish you good luck with the ITS! And to all the people here from Central and Eastern Europe -- please keep trying to make the legal and tax changes in your countries, it will help us all in time
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Old 11-26-2010, 05:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hello, Turin, and welcome to EcoModder

Quote:
Originally Posted by turin View Post
I'd like to share that here in Bulgaria it's even harder -- we still don't have a way to make even an electric conversion legal. Our equivalent to your ITS has procedures for testing only ICEs -- no EVs, no aeromods
I'm sure you could easily get away with small mods. What car do you have?

Sometimes I wish that anything that isn't accounted for in a law system shouldn't be illegal, but I know that would get out of hand pretty quickly. I understand the reasons why any vehicle mods should be branded as safe before hitting the streets, and I even want those laws to be enforced more than they are at the moment. On the other hand, I also wish that legalizing aeromods wasn't so bureaucratized. Of course, while I'll be trying to legalize my mods I'll still have them on. If I have problems, then I just take them off. So far, 15 months of use (in all sorts of weather and at all legal speeds) has shown no problems, so I'm not worried about being the cause of any problems. Rubberneckers and picturetakers - now that's a different story.
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e·co·mod·ding: the art of turning vehicles into what they should be

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Piwoslaw's Peugeot 307sw modding thread

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Old 11-26-2010, 07:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piwoslaw View Post
Hello, Turin, and welcome to EcoModder
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Piwoslaw View Post
I'm sure you could easily get away with small mods. What car do you have?
That's what I intend to do, smaller mods. I drive a Rover 200RF "bubble shape" 1.4l. A small kammback, wheel covers and grill-block is what I'm thinking of. I was planning an EV conversion, but will probably cost me a great part ot the price of conversion to make it legal (including eventual bribes) so I'm postponing it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Piwoslaw View Post
On the other hand, I also wish that legalizing aeromods wasn't so bureaucratized. Of course, while I'll be trying to legalize my mods I'll still have them on. If I have problems, then I just take them off.
That's right, there should be rules, but at least in my country the bureaucracy takes over and one just gives up. I guess in Poland it may be OK to just drive with the removable aeromods and I hope you'll find how to register them and make them legal and stay untroubled on the road. In Bulgaria we still have problems with police corruption and bribes on the road (I haven't been giving any and I don't intend to, but the problem exists). So it's really sad to have the enthusiasm and knowledge to make the car run better, use less fuel and even be safer to drive and then one day to face the question "So-o-o what are we gonna do 'bout it?" (the "secret" keyword for "I want some money in cash or you'll have problems")...

But enough about me -- keep us posted if (when) you have success with legalizing your mods
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Old 11-26-2010, 08:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Its this sort of thing in the MOT test over here that would cause issues...

If I added a Kammback i'd be pulled by the police every day..

Not to mention trying to explain that to the insurance company..
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Old 11-26-2010, 08:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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It would be very frustrating to live where aero mods are a problem in the eyes of the officials.
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Old 11-26-2010, 09:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piwoslaw View Post
Sometimes I wish that anything that isn't accounted for in a law system shouldn't be illegal, but I know that would get out of hand pretty quickly.
The law is generally like that.
But regarding vehicles, their particular governing laws usually state that a vehicle cannot be modified without approval.

To allow for bling-bling tuning, every country has drawn up a set of rules as to what is allowed, and under what conditions (like prior testing of the parts involved).

Nobody's been bothered with eco-tuning thus far.
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Old 11-26-2010, 09:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Yikes! I thought the US auto regulations were bad..... In my area you can pretty much get away with anything that isn't blatantly dangerous. I would have thought that most European governments would appreciate rather than punish something that makes your car use less fuel. But then again, governments aren't in the business of efficiency. Good luck with future inspections!
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Old 11-26-2010, 09:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 320touring View Post
Its this sort of thing in the MOT test over here that would cause issues...
How do those London Chop-Shop lads get away with their mods then ?

They're far more extensive (and at times far more dubious !) than most ecomods.
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Old 11-26-2010, 03:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by euromodder View Post
how do those london chop-shop lads get away with their mods then ?

They're far more extensive (and at times far more dubious !) than most ecomods.
How hard can it be to get your mods certified when you see cars like these on the road?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turin View Post
But enough about me
Please feel free to start a thread in the Introductions section.

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e·co·mod·ding: the art of turning vehicles into what they should be

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Piwoslaw's Peugeot 307sw modding thread


Last edited by Piwoslaw; 11-26-2010 at 05:04 PM..
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