Modify tyres and suspension legally Part 2

In a previous post, I discussed my experience when trying to modify tyres and suspension legally to raise the height of my car by less than 50mm… As you’ll read, I didn’t have much joy.

It’s important to make sure you do keep within the legal boundaries of modifications. If you don’t then you may end up with a yellow sticker, but also your insurance company may have a way out of making payments should anything terrible happen. Although you may find some insurance companies say that they’ll insure your 4×4 modifications, call them up and ask them if they’ll insure something that’s effectively illegal. I’m sure you already know what the answer will be.

My vehicle is fitted with Electronic Stability Control. Most cars have it nowadays but it may be called something slightly different (perhaps Active Stability Control or ASC). So this post and the previous one focus on modifying the height of a vehicle that is fitted with this technology.

So lets get to it…

VSB14 and the NCOP

VSB stands for Vehicle Standards Bulletin. It’s basically a design guide to make sure all vehicles in Australia comply to a bunch of safety regulations. These regulations are outlined in NCOPs.

NCOP is the National Code of Practice. Each NCOP relates to a particular item.

We’re interested in VSB14 and NCOP11 – Section LS Suspension and Steering V2.1 last edited on 15 November 2015.

Since my last post there have been some changes that relate to vehicles fitted with ASC. The previous version of this document basically said that if your vehicle has ASC, then to raise the height of your vehicle in any way, you’d need to ensure that there is no impact on the ASC by one of the below methods:

  • Get vehicle manufacturer signoff – Never going to happen… Trust me. I tried…
  • Modify the ASC code to allow for the change – Yeah right…
  • Prove it through testing – You can read my previous post to see how much luck I had there.

Now, however, the NCOP clearly states what you need to comply with, and what you need to do if you don’t. And there are 3 different stages. Well 4, if you count lowering your car… Note that raising your vehicle height includes all methods of raising the height. So it’s a total height increase taking into account suspension, body lifts, tyre diameter, spacers… everything.

Raising your car by more than 150mm

The short of it is “Don’t do it”. It’s not legal in any way.

Raising your car by more than 50mm but no more than 150mm

You can do this, but you need to pass a lane change test.

Raising your car by 50mm or less

You can do this without any kind of certification. It’s legal. Go ahead and do it. Have fun. Enjoy the ride.

Lowering your car by any amount

Go for it, but you have to comply with other things. But who really wants to lower their 4×4 anyway?

Now this is my interpretation of the rules so please read the NCOP and make your own judgement. Don’t just trust the stuff you read on some random page on the Internet…

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