So I thought I'd post some pics from the IVA Test the buggy recently went through, these pics are from Carlisle Test Center, the final few pics are the bits I had to fix prior to the resit which was last Friday, so far I've done over 360 miles and I don't have a registration yet!!
This first pic is in the IVA test building (separate from the main VOSA station, as you can see its a tight fit on the ramps! - The chap stood next to me in the yellow overalls is Andrew who runs all the IVA tests, the other guy was there as an observer really. so the first hiccup was that the buggy would not fit on the speed rollers which are built into the floor behind the ramps, so due to this the buggy would have to be driven and a GPS speed reading used to gauge if the vehicle speedo was off and needed adjusting (it was ok )
It was also at this point on he ramps that ANdrew wanted to know if the fuel tank had been correctly earthed, if you dont have photographic evidence to show the earthing point then you need to show him by removing panels, luckily as this is documented in the IVA manual i took multiple photos of the tank be re-fitted after paint showing the earth point and the route of the earth cable - so all was good and we got through that bit!
Bonnet was also removed here to allow access for Andrew to visually inspect the brake cylinders, battery box, standard of wiring etc
Still up on the ramps (Note look on my face "Is this good or bad or what??") and the buggy is being very closely inspected, checking joints, suspension mounts position of components and verifying nothing fouls - also checked that I had the "do not adjust the bias bar" text as per the manual, printed and stuck near the master cylinders, along with the correct identification sticker for the brake fluid near the reservoir, this was also the point that the VIN number was checked to ensure its in the correct place (Drivers side - Front) and was correctly marked into the frame (I had originally stamped this into the frame but I was concerned that it was not as clear as it could be due to the fact it was stamped into round tube - so i had a local jeweler engrave a bit of 5mm flat bar and then welded that into the frame - with a continuous weld seam all the way around.
Almost done on the ramps now, rear suspension was checked, all cable locations and mounting checked, filler to fuel tank etc, then the buggy went up into the air with me in it and all the brake pipes were inspected, how they were mounted and then i depressed the brake pedal several times to make sure there were no leaks, hand brake was also operated here to verify a mechanical operation at the hub end, general build quality was inspected underneath the vehicle to ensure nothing was loose etc.
Seat mounts were also inspected from under the vehicle whilst it was up in the air - all was good so we continued on!!
At this point I must point out I had no idea if I was failing everything, both Andrew and the Observer were not saying much! (That was soon to change)
With the buggy back on the ground the odd plywood cone thing came out to work out where the floor line was so that the external projections could be done, this took a really long time and every area was covered including above the roofline (so the air intake was tested) - this is where we hit an issue with the rear edge of the air filter which did not have a 2.5mm radius, and the clips holding it and the upper silicone tube in place also failed - not a major issue the clips just needed rotating and some rubber edging needed applying to the rear edge of the air filter, by the time we got to the rear of the buggy there were acouple of points that needed edging applying mostly the rear hub adapters and also the adjusters for the rear shocks
with the external projections completed and only a couple of minor fixes needed it was time to check the wheel arches, this involved the massive clear plastic guide shown here, checking the arches stop and start at the correct positions and that they dont terminate more than 100mm above the wheel center, all passed so on we went to the next stage
Next it was the turn of the internal projections to be verified, and we hit an issue straight off with the little plastic fog light switch which didnt have a 2.5mm radius on the rocker itself, so that was a fail - not an issue just needed to change the switch to a flush mounted one, if the fog light switch was closer to the steering wheel by about 50mm it would of passed as it would of been in the steering wheel exclusion zone
Continuing the internal projections the next issue was the steering wheel, I had made a pad for the center which was stuck in place and also had cable ties hidden at the outer edges, I had done this as I had heard that the steering wheel must be padded to pass the test - this is total rubbish! - Andrew was not happy with the pad as it was not classed as a permanent addition to the steering wheel, after removing the padding as shown in this picture the wheel was tested for contact with a 165mm ball (Head form test tool) the edges of the steering wheel were all fine so the steering wheel was ok without anything added to it, however it did not have the horn symbol on it anywhere so that was another fix to do (just a horn sticker on it would do)the only other thing to cause a problem were the harness belt top mount edges which again were not 2.5mm radius, even though they were mounted behind the seats it was still within the test area.
Next up it was a very intensive brake test, I was talking to Andrew throughout the brake test and firstly they test front and back to allow the computer to weigh the vehicle then the brakes are tested at 4 or more brake load levels, each time the vehicle is tested the computer works out the bias between front and rear brakes if at any point the bias shifts the wrong way under any load its a fail, with a brake bias bar setup this can be adjusted but not with a normal dual circuit setup running from a single master cylinder, during the test andrew had a pressure sensor on his foot whilst pressing the brake pedal - this was attached to a small handheld computer which in turn fed its data back to the main computer in the test area and displayed the output on the main screen. overall no issues with any of the brakes including the handbrake!
Once the brake test was complete Andrew got the tape measure out again and did the lighting measurements to ensure the lamps were in the correct place, so height off the ground and distance from the edge of the vehicle, all was good apart from the side repeaters which didnt pass the angles of visibility, so they needed to move but I didnt want them on the wheel arches so we did a bit of measuring and worked out that we could get the right angles of visibility if the side repeaters were moved to the guards behind the seats, so one more thing on the list
Finally it was the engine emissions test - which I already knew it wouldnt pass as I had tested it a couple of days before and it had failed then and I wasn't sure why (I had also purchased a new O2 sensor on the off chance that was the problem but it wasnt - or so i thought) anyway on the run up to Carlisle the exhaust had got so hot it had destroyed the silicone exhaust sealant so it was blowing like mad!! - needless to say it failed the emissions but I now had a better idea what the problem was!!
So that was it for the test I had my list of failure points and knew what i needed to do to rectify all of them (not that any of them were big issues)
So a couple of weeks later having sorted all the issues out over the weekends and rebuilding the exhaust - had to put a new cat in the system as the old one was making a hell of a noise as the central mesh had broken free and was rattling around inside, I also due to the heat issue moved the o2 sensor further around the exhaust and removed all the heat wrap on the manifold that was moving the heat right onto the sensor!
Dropped the buggy back into my local garage for another emissions test and this time is was a VERY easy pass, so dropped the test center an email and very quickly got (3 days) a resit date and this time it flew through all the emissions and Andrew was happy with all the small modifications so I finally got the IVA certificate!!!!!
Air filter fix, rotate the clips and add rubber edging to the rear edge of the air filter to give it a 2.5mm radius
Fog Light fix - replace the small plastic rocker switch with a rather nice ally flush fitting push button version (only protrudes from the dash by 1.5mm)
Top harness clips fix - edges of harness clips were not 2.5mm radius so added rubber edging to comply
Identification of controls fix - apply a horn symbol sticker to the horn push
Licence plate fix - although i had a legal licence plate dummy attached (correct size) the mounting plate behind was 10mm smaller all round so it could not be seen so that meant the edges of the plate (just the 10mm) were not supported and this was an issue, so a larger mounting plate (10mm larger all round) was made and fitted complete with rubber edging to ensure edge 2.5mm radius, this new mounting is larger than the VOSA TEST PLATE - and that the important bit you have to have all the yellow area on the test plate fully supported or it fails
Radiator fan motor mounting lugs not 2.5mm radius so made a drilled panel that covered the whole fan assembly, however had to remove it on the way home from the resit as the engine started to overheat as the fan couldnt get the heat away with the panel in place, removed it and for the rest of the run hoe it never got above the normal operating temp!!
hub adaptors at the rear protruded from the wheel slightly so needed a 2.5mm radius - applied rubber edging
shock adjuster knob didnt have 2.5mm radius so fitted domed nut covers !
side repeater location - repeaters not visible from rear so moved them to the guards behind the driver and passenger seats
track rod end nut - although I had fitted rubber covers over the track ends the lock nut could still be felt under the rubber so slipped the cover back and wrapped the lock nut with a section of bike inner tube and fastened in place and re-fitted the rubber cover - all good
And thats it - I now have a IVA pass certificate and ive ordered the registration pack from the DVLA (Andrew gave me the number its a V55/5) so just got to wait for the DVLA to send it then send it completed back and get the registration and log book!!!!!