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Hot Rods Challenges of getting your ride road worthy?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ziggster, Apr 19, 2019.

  1. Ziggster
    Joined: Aug 27, 2018
    Posts: 168


    I will be building a vehicle from scratch and know it will be very challenging to obtain a road worthy certificate if I build it the way I want. Where I live, they actually have very good documentation on the process and what they will check. A while back I was in touch with an engineer from the government he he mentioned a few things that my vehicle had to comply with. A few are listed below:

    1. Exterior lighting must comply with modern standards (e.g. Two headlights, signal lights front and rear, etc.).
    2. Dash must comply with modern standards (speedo, idiot lights?, SAE symbols for signals, etc)
    3. Windshield with wiper system
    4. Interior heater
    5. Adjustable seat with proper seat belt and anchors
    6. Exhaust must not be exposed and must exit rear passenger door
    7. Gas tank must be located in a "protected" area
    8. Wheels must covered by fenders

    If I followed all of the above, there is no way my vehicle would be true to the design. What I don't understand is that there are plenty of vehicles out there that don't meet some or any of the specs above. I understand that there are likely huge variations across Canada and USA, but locally I've seen vehicles that have exposed/open headers, wheels with no fenders, non-compliant lighting/signals, etc. I would really like to get mine road certified, but will likely still go ahead with the build if I can't. Just curious what others have experienced getting their vehicles certified for the road where they live.
  2. NAES
    Joined: Dec 24, 2008
    Posts: 421


    My first thought is you get a frame and title from something pre-smog era and build around that. Then you have a 1965 Ford "whatever" with custom everything around it.

    Sent from my SM-N910V using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  3. fullhouse296
    Joined: Jan 30, 2009
    Posts: 354

    from Australia

    From Australians point of view , Ive often wondered about that , given also the litigation that would erupt in a accident situation .seems to me that any half good lawyer could have a field day with rat rods .
    Sandgroper likes this.
  4. Casey Riley
    Joined: Jun 27, 2018
    Posts: 264

    Casey Riley

    First you must comply. Once you have plates... then you customize.
    Sandgroper, kmrumedy, waxhead and 2 others like this.
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  5. OLSKOOL57
    Joined: Feb 14, 2019
    Posts: 173


    Not to downplay your concerns, they can present problems. But,build it,build it safe,build it reliable,drive it,enjoy it.
  6. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 1,121


    Does it need a "road worthy certificate" to be able to legally drive it or get insurance on it, or is that something the local government likes to see?

    If its not a requirement, do without it if it won't pass, but be prepared that should something bad happen, some lawyer will be willing to use you as an example of what not to do, and that may be very costly.

    Rules are in place to provide a safe environment for all the local citizens, should you choose to ignore the rules and get caught, there may be consequences to pay. Its part of the "game", break all the rules you want, just understand what the results of your choices may be and play accordingly. Gene
  7. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 3,572


    Car doesnt have to be 100% for cert? can it still be in primer to allow you to undo whatever you need to do for cert?

    1. Exterior lighting must comply with modern standards (e.g. Two headlights, signal lights front and rear, etc.).

    Bracket that mounts to the frame and curves up toward the body, can be unbolted later.
    2. Dash must comply with modern standards (speedo, idiot lights?, SAE symbols for signals, etc)

    Speedo is handy. How are they gonna check idiot lights for function, Panel with some leds mounted in it and a clump of wiring out the back for idiot lights. Unbolt it later.
    3. Windshield with wiper system

    These are nice to have
    4. Interior heater

    Any heater core and blower, doesnt have to be permanent, see if defrost is required.
    5. Adjustable seat with proper seat belt and anchors

    Bolt in a late model integrated seatbelt whatever for the inspection, yes it will look horrible
    6. Exhaust must not be exposed and must exit rear passenger door

    This may cramp your style.
    7. Gas tank must be located in a "protected" area

    Good idea
    8. Wheels must covered by fenders

    Cycle or trailer fenders that unbolt
  8. Pfffft.
    Texas Webb and mgtstumpy like this.
  9. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 7,202


    Most of you guys would have most likely heard us whinging Ozzies previously mention the strict rules and regulations here that we're stuck with. We have no other options and don't have the luxury of being given a free slate or be cavalier in the way we approach a build. He's some history, I know you guys would scream and revolt if you had to go through what we do to get a car on the road. :D:D
    Down here ever state / territory has different procedures and processes however there are now uniform National guidelines to adhere to however not every state DoT has adopted them to date. The National Streetrod Manual wase based on those introduced in this state eons ago and adopted over time in some way, shape or form by other jurisdictions.
    There are a few cars that got through and got registered by circumventing the legislation or taking advantage of loopholes, many US built cars were imported that were deficient in many areas, this led to the government changing the vehicle import rules. Almost all of the imported cars required extensive modifications to comply with the rules here. Some states require annual vehicle safety inspections, others require it only at the time of registration and/or when registration is transferred. We don't use titles here, bills of sale suffice.
    Today, each state has it's own Technical advisory Committee (TAC), sub-committees of the National body (ADRF) that work with local DoT. However there is a push for every state to adopt the National Guidelines for consistency as some states require builders to use qualified [Mechanical] engineers who are purportedly qualified to assess, overview and monitor the construction of hot rods all the way through from conception to registration. Before we commence a build in this state we are required to submit detailed [Engineering type] build plans of your proposal, body style, engine, frame, transmission, wheels, brakes, suspension etc in advance, of course there is a nominal (Exorbitant) fee then and more similar fees at each build inspection stage (3), rolling frame, body on frame and final. Certain things need to be done in a specific order to pass each inspection stage.
    Here we need to adhere to stringent guidelines if you want to play despite some inspectors not knowing the difference between a gas or radiator cap, let alone have they ever built a car. One intellectual giant [Engineer] took exception to parallel 4-bar front suspension citing that the geometry was all wrong and shouldn't work. I even know what a parallelogram is, yet this individual now signs off on cars at inspection stage(s). He's been questioned on numerous occasions by [us] unqualified individuals on some of his ill-founded assertions, then gone away to do some research, later swallowing his words. He recently put some ridiculous proposition to a hot-rodder building a car, which to us is basic knowledge, just goes to show where the hobby here is headed. It's been turned into big business for some [Engineers] and might I add, very lucrative financially as well. Like doctors and lawyers everyone has a different point of view on what is correct and what isn't etc. Individual interpretation is some what ambiguous from what I've seen. Yes qualified professional require indemnity insurance however it's not a bad cash cow given that they possess a Bachelor's degree, know the theory however they lack the necessary practicable skills and experience and often need guidance themselves. I've seen cars passed by them that are substandard and don't meet the rules either. Do as I say, not as I do. :rolleyes::rolleyes:
    I'm one of a growing number of dissenting rodders in this state who are frustrated with flawed national / state bodies, processes and not using private engineers not connected directly to the hobby. This only applies to original steel bodied cars and not reproduction bodies. We'd prefer to use those in the know with actual real world knowledge, experience and skills who have actually got their hands dirty at some time.
    Who wants to move down here now, a great place to live and none of that white stuff. Fantastic climate plus we're a friendly bunch of people who drive on the wrong side of the road. :D:D
    Off my soapbox now.
    Sandgroper, Ziggster and Texas Webb like this.
  10. Not wanting to get political, but reading all of that and seeing what nanny state politicians can do to your freedom, I am once again glad to live in the USA. All of those restrictions may be a good thing in the end, but mandating them stifles creativity and freedom in my redneck opinion.
  11. rusty rocket
    Joined: Oct 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,233

    rusty rocket

    I am in the process of building my totally from scratch single seater, it's not a Ford,Dodge, Mercury, Chevy or Farmall tractor but made up from all the above. I,m in the search mode for a twenties era title and the the car will be what ever the title says it is. Here in rural South Dakota I will not be bugged with all the restrictions being it will be a car from the twenties. image.jpg
    mgtstumpy and Ziggster like this.
  12. RICK R 44
    Joined: Dec 13, 2009
    Posts: 441

    RICK R 44

    Live in Ontario, have been driving a fenderless roadster for 20 years(see avitar) You need to find a M O T certified shop that will certify a hot rod. Discuss minimums with that shop. Talk to other hot rod owners. If you want more info, e mail me your phone number.
    loudbang, mgtstumpy and egads like this.
  13. Ziggster
    Joined: Aug 27, 2018
    Posts: 168


    I do off-roading and am somewhat familiar with what the Aussie's have had to go through if they modify their off-road vehicles just as @mgtstumpy mentioned. I actually live in Quebec, just north of Ottawa and that is where it will to be plated. I know this is a touchy subject as many have had issues I'm sure getting rods plated. I found a thread on the factory five forum about a Quebecer who went through hell trying to get his 818 kit plated in Quebec. He finally managed but he strongly encouraged anyone wanting to do the same to get in touch with the provincial body/ engineer as early on as you can. The other issue is that you have to go to the police with invoices showing VINs/ serial numbers of all major components you purchased. This is parts of the process here, and if they don't sign off you're screwed. This is supposedly to ensure nothing you have is stolen. My engine, trans, drive train were all purchased on kijiji (Craig's List in Canada) and I have no documentation, so I'll now have to go back and get what I can.
    mgtstumpy likes this.
  14. jazz1
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,395


    The vehicle can be built and licensed as it was when original. No seat belts or even tail lights if they were not stock. Never had a problem getting a safety.
    First get your vehicle registered even if as UNFIT, before you spend a dime. Ontario is by far the easiest place to get a registration/title if there is not one existing.
    For the safety inspection best to talk to shop first. I had one tell me I needed bumpers..BULLSHIT, bumpers were a option on my truck,they just don't know. Talk to local car guys see which inspection station is knowledgeable on doing inspections on older vehicles.
  15. bonneville bones
    Joined: May 17, 2006
    Posts: 63

    bonneville bones

    Buy a title and use that as your registration

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
  16. There are quicker ways to get ones car confiscated but I cannot think of one just now.
    loudbang likes this.
  17. Ziggster
    Joined: Aug 27, 2018
    Posts: 168


    I'm not sure how titles work here on Ontario and Quebec, but the guy I purchased my axles from in Ontario was trying to sell just a title for an old car for CAN$400. Rules here in Quebec about hand built vehicles and modifying an existing car are quite strict
  18. nrgwizard
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,038

    from Minn. uSA

    Out of curiosity, can you have the car built (or build it) in another province, title n tag it there, & then transfer it to home w/o issue? Not circumventing rules, but using existing rules to your advantage. May have to have a temp residence in that province, or know/trust/contract w/someone who does. Or even import the basic build/pile-of-parts/titled from the states? I get you have some parts already, but... :) .
  19. Ziggster
    Joined: Aug 27, 2018
    Posts: 168


    I'll likely be looking at all options to see if there is an "easy" route. I remember years back I purchased a 73 Ford Bronco from Ontario, and when I was having it inspected in Quebec they refused my safety because one of the seat belt buckles was missing the plastic cover and one of the sun visors was missing or busted, but yet they didn't check my brakes which were marginal. A few weeks later after getting it safetied, I was pulley over by the provincial police for having a non-compliant rotating/flashing blue light on the roof. The previous owner had mounted a plow with the blue light, but in Quebec, blue lights were not allowed and were reserved for police/ emergency vehicles. Luckily he gave me a warning and a few days to remove it.

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