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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
For discussion....

I am interested in people's thoughts on "illegal" modifications to vehicles.

By that, I mean modifications which either are outright illegal (deem the vehicle unroadworthy), are for "off road use only", or require engineering approval but for which the owner of the vehicle has never sought engineering approval (therefore the vehicle is technically unroadworthy).

And I am talking about road registered vehicles only.

Now, my thoughts on this subject are crystal clear. If it's not legit, it has no place on the same roads that I drive on. The law is the same for everyone, and I see no reason why my life, the lives of my family members, and the lives of my friends and loved ones should possibly be endangered because someone chooses to modify their vehicle in such a way that it possibly becomes a danger to others.

But in the 4wd community, it appears to becoming more common for people to modify their vehicles in such a way that they are knowingly making them unroadworthy (in one form or another) but choose to do so anyway.

So I'm interested in your thoughts on the subject. I'm not asking anyone to incriminate themselves or anything like that, just a general discussion (and wonder) why some people think the rules don't apply to them.

Now, I know that a perfectly standard vehicle can be DRIVEN in such a way as to cause a danger to others - however I would like to keep driver behaviour out of this discussion entirely. I've heard plenty of people try to defend their illegal/unroadworthy mods with statements such as "But I'm a great driver so it's okay". Whatever... Driver behaviour is another discussion entirely.

I'll be very interested to see the outcome of this thread.

Edit - whether or not "the rules" are sensible is irrelevant - the law is the law, and if someone doesn't agree with a law, they have the right in a democracy to lobby for it to be changed - they do not, however, have the right to flagrantly break the law and expect to not be held to account for such actions. This thread is about why 4wd'ers are, in increasing numbers, breaking the law with vehicle mods that go too far.
 

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What’s one example of a "illegal" mod that causes danger to anybody on the road? Maybe lifting a vehicle too much? I cant think of any. I think most of the laws pertaining to automobiles are communistic and just another way for the local government to make a buck. I don’t think there is any mod you can do that is more dangerous than a 16yo with a drivers license. :thatswck:
 

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What’s one example of a "illegal" mod that causes danger to anybody on the road? Maybe lifting a vehicle too much? I cant think of any. I think most of the laws pertaining to automobiles are communistic and just another way for the local government to make a buck. I don’t think there is any mod you can do that is more dangerous than a 16yo with a drivers license. :thatswck:
Note your in the Navara forum.

The laws in Australia are pretty strict on it, like no more then 50MM of lift (like 2 inches) etc etc etc.

Honestly, I'm driving a truck with over 5 inches of lift...tires that are like 5 sizes too big (also a no no down there) with no sway bar (also a no no) and it handles perfectly safely.

You guys are seriously over regulated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You're raising a philosophical point. I'm talking legal or illegal. Black and white.
 

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LOL! even then...legal versus illegal...depends on who's interpreting the law! a shrewd lawyer will find a loophole somewhere!!!

besides, many of the modifcation laws are designed with some sort of clean air act when it comes to motor modifications.

I also don't doubt the theory of certain fixit tickets being used for revenue generation either!

Scott
 

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LOL! even then...legal versus illegal...depends on who's interpreting the law! a shrewd lawyer will find a loophole somewhere!!!

besides, many of the modifcation laws are designed with some sort of clean air act when it comes to motor modifications.

I also don't doubt the theory of certain fixit tickets being used for revenue generation either!

Scott
lol the very thing i'm violating.....:laugh:
 

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this truck is actually the only thing i've ever owned that is legal.... atleast i think its still legal.... wait nevermind i have 20% tint on the driver and passenger front windows which is illegal where i live. pretty much every vehicle i've ever owned hasn't had cats on it which is a pretty big no no but i've never thought twice about it. all my sports cars have been been lowered below the legal limit...i really probably can't count the number of non legal or "off-road" things i've done to cars. when it comes down to it for me, an incompetent driver in a road legal vehicle will cause a wreck much more likely than a driver in a "non legal" vehicle. i have no shame in any modification that i've done to a vehicle and will continue to do these modifications. but thats just me.
 

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okay in alot of states you have to have mudflaps or a certain percent of your tire covered making it legal for you to drive on the road now how is not having mudflaps or your tire sticking out farther than your body going to cause anyone danger? oh by flingin a rock at your windshield? my dad got a cracked windshield from driving behind a full dump truck and one small stone fell out resulting in a new windshield.

same goes for removing your cats. how is removing your cats causing anyone harm? but you still need them to be considered legal or street capable.
 

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haven't seen a response yet. what is an example of mods that endanger some one?
 

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from my line of work, I come to one conclusion. 99% of vehicles on the road are violating a Vehicle Traffic Law of some sort. From tinted windows down to items hanging from the rear view mirror to loud exhaust. Now with that said. There are only a hand few of occasions that this stuff gets you in trouble. The most prevalent one is if you get into an accident and the modification you made is illegal then you may encounter resistance with your insurance company not paying out and you have to pay out of your own pocket for things to get fixed, medical bills. And even if your insurance does pay. They wont pay for the modifications unless you have that as riders in your insurance policy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I should have been clear up front. I intended this thread to generate discussion amongst Australian members.

I know, and claim to know, nothing about the registration systems etc in other countries. Similarly, and with all due respect, what other people in other countries drive doesn't concern me one little bit. I drive the roads of Australia.

So I'm not going to enter into discussion about whether something is legal or otherwise in the USA, because frankly I don't know, and don't care what is legal or not there.
 

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haven't seen a response yet. what is an example of mods that endanger some one?
:crikey:
what forum are you on? if i got into a wreck with someone they will die.
im lifted. so point of impact is higher. so if they are say any car. my plate steel bumper will be crashing through either there side windows (hitting them in the head and killing or decapitating them). the rear (rolling up and over and crushing them)
or the front (same as the rear)
with off road bumpers, sliders, winches, ect. its armor. armor for off road. but not for it. the truck you ride in is designed to not only keep you safe, but to keep whoever you wreck into safe. vehicles are designed to crumple and crush. with all the armor, they wont as easily. giving you major body problems(hope you dont like your neck and or back, because after a 50mph wreck with you suddenly stopping and your truck not crumbling like its supposed to, who do you think is taking ALL of the force of the wreck?). and killing whoever you wreck into.

there is a lot more but thats just a few foot notes. not to mention the height to weight ratio, that i can almost bet that maybe 50% of people on the forum are in compliance with. which will cause very high center of gravity. the brakes wont be able to stop your brick of a truck fast enough. and the weight of your truck will act like a dually into a 240sx instead of what it would have if you were stock.
 

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Hey Anthony

I share a similar opinion to you. Yes the law is the law and things are pretty strict here in Australia, but the some other countries are even stricter ( I heard that in NZ if its not factory fitted, it's not legal?). While I don't agree with some of the regulations they are trying to enforce, I can see why we are where we are.

My personal opinion is that a number of illegal modifications are encouraged by a certain magazine publisher who fails to clearly spell out the legalities of the modifications being done in their mags. Therefore while some people knowingly make their vehicles unroadworthy, others don't.
When I started modifyng the Navara, if it weren't for the various 4x4 forums around, I wouldn't have known that I couldn't fit extended shackles and the thing is, the shop willingly sold them to me without advising they aren't street legal.

Yes I would like to like lift my Navara another 50mm to stop the belly dragging when im out in the high country, but I know I can't without getting an engineers report/certificate and thats hard to obtain at the moment because they are all holding back witing for the NCOP to be sorted out.

This thread is about why 4wd'ers are, in increasing numbers, breaking the law with vehicle mods that go too far.
Its the ones that go too far that are making it increasingly difficult for the 4WDing bodies to reason with the authorities.
 

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:crikey:
what forum are you on? if i got into a wreck with someone they will die.
im lifted. so point of impact is higher. so if they are say any car. my plate steel bumper will be crashing through either there side windows (hitting them in the head and killing or decapitating them). the rear (rolling up and over and crushing them)
or the front (same as the rear)
with off road bumpers, sliders, winches, ect. its armor. armor for off road. but not for it. the truck you ride in is designed to not only keep you safe, but to keep whoever you wreck into safe. vehicles are designed to crumple and crush. with all the armor, they wont as easily. giving you major body problems(hope you dont like your neck and or back, because after a 50mph wreck with you suddenly stopping and your truck not crumbling like its supposed to, who do you think is taking ALL of the force of the wreck?). and killing whoever you wreck into.

there is a lot more but thats just a few foot notes. not to mention the height to weight ratio, that i can almost bet that maybe 50% of people on the forum are in compliance with. which will cause very high center of gravity. the brakes wont be able to stop your brick of a truck fast enough. and the weight of your truck will act like a dually into a 240sx instead of what it would have if you were stock.
that came out wrong....
we already drive trucks/ SUV's that many safety groups have complained about for years, for exactly the points you mention. there are scary videos on youtube and elsewhere of STOCK trucks/SUV's hitting civics, sentras, and the like, often with deadly consequences.
I happen to believe there are alot more inattentive, inexperienced, or unskilled folks driving expedition xlts that will do the same damage to a civic as you will, even lifted 5". i agreed with a couple earlier comments that poor drivers are a much bigger issue than who has done what mod to their vehicle.
 

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My biggest gripe is that even though we run on 1 set of guidelines they are taken differently in different states. Things like extended shackles are apparently legal in some states and not others.
Bottom line is even though there are major inconsistencies across borders they are the rules.
At the end of the day if you wish to make major changes then there is the engineers report to make it legal. If its not legal then shouldnt be on the road.
Things like window tint are just too weird to work out. Some cars appear way darker than others and yet apparently legal.
Cars can now , so Im told, can be picked up for excessive noise from car sound systems .
Rules like no lights above 1500mm dont appear to have any founding but they are still there. I will install my extra lights on the sports bar from time to time if am doing country driving and yes they are illegal.If caught I wear the fine.
Things like steering suspension or braking have to be 110% spot on at all times.
Too dark a tint makes it hard to see at night.
My rear driving lights up under the tub are illegal as far as the Regs go but the cops have seen them a few times and agree they are ok as they cant be seen from behind the truck.
When I see cars with HID fitted to front fog lights I feel like taking them out with a baseball bat. Just painful for everyone else.
Some rules like no front fogs unless the weather is bad seems a bit over the top as long as people have them set right as far as height and globes type goes. I got pulled up one night with them on as I forgot to turn em off lol. cop said can only have them on when in dangerous road conditions like rain or fog. I said its night and the roads are full of public servants , how much worse could it get .

At the end of the day the rules are there for everyone and we should try to follow them or face the consequences.
Not legally registered means no insurance
way too much risk these days .

rant over
 

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In my job I conduct annual road worthy/rego inspections in NSW. I am not allowed to make my own judgment on anything as there are rules I must follow. And the rules I follow are mostly biased (with exemptions) on various car parts wearing out to the point of being dangerous, as opposed to being modified to the point of being dangerous. For example suspension, if a car is lowered to the point that I can't put a trolley jack under it then thats not a reason for a fail, however if a ball joint is worn to the point that it is loose then that is a reason for failure. Another example is if you swap out a N/A motor for a turbo charged one, then thats not a reason for failure, however if the motor leaks oil/exhaust/fuel then that is a reason for failure. Because of that people can mod their cars as they like and can go on happily until they get pulled over or are involved in a serious accident. Again this is NSW only, I'm not sure of rules in other states.
 
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