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Old 07-25-2010, 11:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Hey fellow Michigander. Thankfully we don't have vehicle inspections and all that. I've been pulled over twice for my tailpiece. (Gotta link to a pic for ya, but dialup is just killing me and it's gonna take me over an hour just to check this forum). Once was after dark and I didn't have my license plate light on yet. He said no problem and was more interested in the mod and the mpg difference. 2nd time was Memorial day weekend, there were cops galore out, they looked bored, and they said it was because I didn't have a rear bumper. I think they were more interested in the mod and the mpg increase too. I showed them I had a factory rear bumper and it was just an extension for gas mileage. Both times they were reasonable, they weren't nasty. I said it was solid and they pushed it around a bit to confirm. And I did offer to remove it once I got home if it was really a problem, that probably helped too. There was another one the other day that followed me as I was going to work, I pulled into the gas station to get some snacks for the day, then got out and went into the store. I expected him to stick around and say something, but I saw him drive off after about 10 seconds. So out of the 2 stops I've had, I've been passed by at least 50 that never said anything so I guess that's a pretty good track record. None of them ever said anything about when I drove around with the snowplow I built for my 6000 wagon either. After all this is Michigan, 2x4 rear bumpers, crumbled front ends held together with ratchet straps, pickups with homemade boxes, cars cobbled onto 4x4 truck frames.... Considering a lot of stuff I see, mine is quite a bit better.

So I'd just make something with all legal lights, license plate, make it removable without too much effort and don't remove any factory structure from the car. Maybe put a bumper on it so they don't have a reason to inspect further for that. And make it SOLID. I think the main thing when they see a homemade job is they don't want something that's going to come loose and kill someone. At least that's what I'd be looking for anyway.

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Old 07-26-2010, 01:46 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurentiu View Post
It depends from country to country I think there's no general regulation in the EU regarding cars except having high taxes on fuel / emission standards
Europe sure does have a general regulation on cars, which then gets translated into national laws.

At least in Belgium, just about all the mods you lads can do stateside are forbidden.

Except for a list changes that one is allowed to make, it is basicly forbidden to mod a car without the consent of its manufacturer - and they won't let you.

With the exception of stripping off logos, keyholes, chromestrips and the like , all these allowed changes are merely optical tuning, with none of them having any relevance regarding fuel economy.

Getting rid of exterior mirrors : forbidden.
Streamlined underbelly trays : forbidden.
Changing gear ratios : forbidden.
Engine (de)tuning : forbidden.

Changing parts for non e- or E-approved parts, requires a (costly) validating procedure.
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Old 07-26-2010, 01:58 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by euromodder View Post
Europe sure does have a general regulation on cars, which then gets translated into national laws.

At least in Belgium, just about all the mods you lads can do stateside are forbidden.

Except for a list changes that one is allowed to make, it is basicly forbidden to mod a car without the consent of its manufacturer - and they won't let you.

With the exception of stripping off logos, keyholes, chromestrips and the like , all these allowed changes are merely optical tuning, with none of them having any relevance regarding fuel economy.

Getting rid of exterior mirrors : forbidden.
Streamlined underbelly trays : forbidden.
Changing gear ratios : forbidden.
Engine (de)tuning : forbidden.

Changing parts for non e- or E-approved parts, requires a (costly) validating procedure.
Well, maybe recently they've started to do more about it. Because I've been to quite a few countries, Spain, UK, Germany, I'm in Cyprus now and I'm Romanian born so all those countries I've mentioned and been to within the last 3-5 years I've seen plenty of tuned up cars and I'm not talking about missing logos...I'm talking fully-fledged rockets on the road, from things like engine swaps/engine tuning/race cars etc. The main concern in England to give an example is not the fact that they won't allow you to do those modifications but when you try to get insured, you'll pay thru your nose and ears !! Maybe Belgium is more strict...I mean Bruxelles is right in your back-yard...so I guess legislation starts there and slowly creeps into all the nooks and crannies of the EU "territories".

If you come to Cyprus anytime soon, you will find yourself teleported back in time. Eu legislation travels veeery slowly to arrive here..
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Old 07-26-2010, 02:36 PM   #14 (permalink)
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The British and German attitude towards car mods is far less restricting.

Creations like those made in the London Chop Shop on Discovery Channel, simply wouldn't be road-legal here.
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Old 07-27-2010, 08:51 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by euromodder View Post
Europe sure does have a general regulation on cars, which then gets translated into national laws.

At least in Belgium, just about all the mods you lads can do stateside are forbidden.

Except for a list changes that one is allowed to make, it is basicly forbidden to mod a car without the consent of its manufacturer - and they won't let you.

With the exception of stripping off logos, keyholes, chromestrips and the like , all these allowed changes are merely optical tuning, with none of them having any relevance regarding fuel economy.

Getting rid of exterior mirrors : forbidden.
Streamlined underbelly trays : forbidden.
Changing gear ratios : forbidden.
Engine (de)tuning : forbidden.

Changing parts for non e- or E-approved parts, requires a (costly) validating procedure.
Europe hasn't integrated its local laws enough yet, unfortunately, so you have to do a lot of reading before driving to another country. Speed limits, blood alcohol level, even things like whether a first aid kit is mandatory, depends on national, not European, legislation. I've heard stories about the police of a certain country knowing exactly what to look for when they stop a car on foreign plates: They don't care about whether you're insured, or what's in your fuel tank, or how bad your emissions are, they check to see if you have a reflective vest or whether you fire extinguisher is expired.

Thankfully directives from higher up are trickling down, though slowly. For example there is an EU directive which allows the use of running lights instead of normal headlights during the day, but a Hungarian officer reached into my car and turned my headlights on anyway...
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:22 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I did a scan of the Michigan Motor Vehicle Code and found some interesting info:

Michigan Legislature - Emailable Link

257.225 Registration plate; attachment to vehicle; legibility; color; distinctive registration plates; name plate, insignia, or advertising device prohibited; violation as civil infraction.
Sec. 225. (1) A registration plate issued for a vehicle shall be attached to the rear of the vehicle. Except that a registration plate issued for a truck tractor or road tractor shall be attached to the front of that vehicle.
(2) A registration plate shall at all times be securely fastened in a horizontal position to the vehicle for which the plate is issued so as to prevent the plate from swinging. The plate shall be attached at a height of not less than 12 inches from the ground, measured from the bottom of the plate, in a place and position which is clearly visible. The plate shall be maintained free from foreign materials that obscure or partially obscure the registration information, and in a clearly legible condition.


257.678 Coasting prohibited; violation as civil infraction.
Sec. 678. (1) The driver of a motor vehicle when traveling upon a down grade shall not coast with the gears of the vehicle in neutral.
(2) The driver of a commercial motor vehicle when traveling upon a down grade shall not coast with the clutch disengaged.
(3) A person who violates this section is responsible for a civil infraction.

257.686 Rear lamps; exemption; requirements for implement of husbandry; pickup camper.
Sec. 686. (1) A motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, pole trailer, or vehicle which is being drawn in a train of vehicles shall be equipped with at least 1 rear lamp mounted on the rear, which, when lighted as required by this act, shall emit a red light plainly visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear.
(2) Either a tail lamp or a separate lamp shall be constructed and placed so as to illuminate with a white light the rear registration plate and render it clearly legible from a distance of 50 feet to the rear. A tail lamp or tail lamps, together with any separate lamp for illuminating the rear registration plate, shall be wired so as to be lighted whenever the head lamps or auxiliary driving lamps are lighted.

257.693 Lamp or flag on projecting load.
Sec. 693. Whenever the load upon any vehicle extends to the rear 4 feet or more beyond the bed or body of such vehicle there shall be displayed at the extreme rear end of the load, at the times specified in section 684 hereof, a red light or lantern plainly visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the sides and rear. The red
light or lantern required under this section shall be in addition to the red rear light required upon every vehicle. At any other time there shall be displayed at the extreme rear end of such load a red flag or cloth not less than 12 inches square and so hung that the entire area is visible to the driver of a vehicle approaching from the rear.

257.710c Bumpers; height limitations; lift blocks; prohibited modifications; construction of section; applicability; definitions.
Sec. 710c. (1) A person shall not operate a motor vehicle on a public highway or street of this state unless the vehicle is equipped with a bumper or other energy absorption system with an analogous function which bumper or system is securely bolted or permanently attached on both the front and rear of the vehicle. The
bumper or energy absorption system shall be maintained in good operational condition, except as provided in subsection (5). Notwithstanding subsection (6), a person shall not drive a vehicle having a raised or lifted body height unless the vehicle is equipped with bumpers that comply with this subsection and subsection (2).
(2) A person shall not operate a motor vehicle of a type defined in subsection (8) that exceeds either of the following limits:
Vehicle Type Frame Height Bumper Height
Passenger vehicle............. 12 inches 22 inches
Other motor vehicle:
Less than 4,501 pounds GVWR... 24 inches 26 inches
4,501 to 7,500 pounds GVWR.... 24 inches 28 inches
7,501 to 10,000 pounds GVWR... 26 inches 30 inches

257.715 Maintenance of equipment on vehicles; stopping and inspecting vehicles; citation for defects in equipment; inspection of vehicles involved in accident; temporary vehicle check lanes.
Sec. 715. (1) Equipment on motor vehicles as required under this act shall be maintained as provided in this act. A uniformed police officer may on reasonable grounds shown stop a motor vehicle to inspect the vehicle, and if any defects in equipment are found, issue an appropriate citation under section 728 or 742 to
the driver and order the driver to have the defect or defects repaired immediately. In case of an accident a police officer may make an inspection of the vehicles involved in the accident.
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:41 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Thanks Wagonman76. I don't think I can live in a state that requires vehicle inspections. I would hate to remove all my mods and pray my car passes emissions testing.

Skyl4rk, its going to take me a few more passes over the legal mumbo jumbo to make sense of it.
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:06 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Bumpers at the rear of the vehicle are required, and they must not be higher than 22" for a passenger car. The bottom of the license plate must be at least 12" above the ground.

I understand that, but what is the "12 inch Frame Height" they mention? Is that the largest permissible lift block between body and frame? :-P

It sounds to me like you have two reasonable options with aerodynamic devices. Say that they are part of the car and include a bumper and lamps at the rear, or say they are cargo and keep them under 48" long. I doubt you could squeeze the latter past the courts unless it was attached in an obviously temporary manner.

But I have a philosophy: If there's an unenforced or unenforcable law that you can break without hurting anyone, go right ahead.

The law requires a "...bumper or other energy absorption system with an analogous function which bumper or system is securely bolted or permanently attached on both the front and rear of the vehicle. The bumper or energy absorption system shall be maintained in good operational condition...". I propose an energy-absorbing matrix: Four feet of aluminium frame horns, then three inches of aluminium bumper, then three feet of fiberglass and foam.
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:27 PM   #19 (permalink)
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What do you guys think of the attached picture. I know it looks horrible ... I used MS paint. Basically, I would attach my spare bumper and extend the rear end.
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Old 07-29-2010, 11:00 AM   #20 (permalink)
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You have the right shape, although the closer you can get to a knife edge, the better. I would not use a bumper, too heavy.

My next tail is going to be based on a trailer hitch receiver, with a tee shaped square tube insert, probably a plywood body, although there might be some coroplast used on it too.

If you build it right, i would guess that you can expect a 20% to 30% improvement in FE.

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