46. The IVA (failed)

Finishing off the old to do list was pretty quick and involved lining up the headlights in the garage and adjusting them slightly to calibrate correctly; pinning a few more tonneau clips on to the body; and fitting the ID plates. An enormous thanks to John at all-blank-vin-chassis-plates (find them on ebay) who picked up my order on Sunday and which was delivered on Tuesday with the correct information stamped on the plate

The weather forecast for Thursday remained consistently wet and so the tonneau cover was going to be necessary. I left the passenger seat headrest off so as to fit that side of the cover. It proved to be very useful – driving at a constant 50 mph kept the rain off anyway, in traffic jams it kept the rain out. Small hiccup when the wiper switch came loose and I drove the last few miles with a very fuzzy windscreen; a few minutes and with a spanner under cover at a filling station fixed that problem

Met Roy at the garage and then off to the test centre close by. Waited 25 minutes and then the examiner appeared in the bay, and the test started. We decided to use our well know interpersonal skills and we all chatted away while he went over the car. The actual examination and could probably have been done in a couple of hours, but he was off from 2:30 and had no other tests on the day, and he was obviously enjoying the chat. So the exam took quite a lot longer.

He was actually incredibly pleasant, thorough, and gave good explanations where he found problems. In the end the problems came down to the following (in no order of importance)

Fuel tank brackets underneath – need tightening and washers
Replace leaking master cylinder
Secure loose pedal assembly
Change steering wheel – temporarily use the Dyane but I need to look at steering column and boss connnections
Remove unnecessary id plate (ECAS) on chassis
Fit side repeaters s23 Manual – still don’t understand why!
Fit shim to rear fog/reversing light to angle beam horizontally
Reverse seatbelt catches with button outward facing
Fix fuel pipe and temp guage wires – loose and potentially chafing – secure to fan housing at bottom
Grommet/silicone for wire underside of boot to number plate lamp

So not too much to do.  Of more interest to me were the items I was worried about….

The examiner introduced us to Nigel.  I wish I had taken a photo; Nigel is a bundle of bits of wood and wires and is intended to represent the occupant of a seat, to be protected in any accident, by appropriate seat height, angle, and headrest.  Nigel approved of my seat mods (which will of course shortly be replaced!)

Headlights seem to have been spot on.  My very rough settings seem to have done the trick.  Basically, all I had done was to measure the height and distance between the headlights (main beam)  with the car close to a wall;  marking the centre spots on the wall.  Moving the car back about two metres and comparing the widths and heights and resetting by turning the headlights, and ensuring that the dipped beams were more to the left.   The only real adjustment was to set one of the lamps a bit higher so that they were both at the same height – simple adjustment on the lamp bracket/body.

The brakes, suspension, steering self centring, all passed off without concern.

My concerns about the two speed wipers were amplified when he took out his stop watch – appropriate because the slow speed virtually stopped as well!   But he accepted them.

The front bumper, may not have been necessary!  It is all to do with the floor line and what sits above and below – but he did agree that it might have been a marginal call, so I am happy that it is in place.

All of the wiring (with the minor exception above) seemed to satisfy him as to care in having no bare connections; my putting as much of the wiring into the bellows type of hosing obviously provided a lot of the support and insulation required.

I was concerned that he would want to see a lot of the wiring and kit that was under the dashboard and held in place with my under dash cover, but he was merely concerned about there being no sharp contact.  Heater control and handbrake and gear lever all conformed.

Self installed immobiliser passed without comment or request to see installation or certification (self certified!)

Reconditioned engine (even with bore increased) did not disqualify it from being an original 1980’s engine and therefore low emissions requirement.  It may also help me with a points based assessment for an age related plate – although I suspect the “Q” plates will be awarded.

One of the first things he said when he started looking at the car was that it looked to have been prepared well.  He also thought that Burton had done a really good design job which did account for a lot of the requirements being covered by the design.  From that I think in general terms it is good to demonstrate that the work has been thought through and care taken.   Early impressions count.

Overall the trip was not, for me, unsuccessful.  Relatively simple to make good the unmet required standards, and the first opportunity for a long run in the car.  Making sure my SatNav set me a route avoiding the M25 and M4, it promptly took me off onto the motorways – not recommended for running in purposes by Burton.  Coming back a similar problem, except this time the M25 was stop/go for a long distance.  The engine did not behave too well (overheating?) and stalled on those occasions when I was not “heel and toing”  to keep the revs up.  Got back without any real problems and opened up the garage to put the car away.  Total electrical failure!  So I pushed the car in, and then as though it was laughing at me, the electrics all reappeared;  an investigation for another time…

So for those of you who thought the blog was finished, thank you for staying with me but I am afraid that the story continues!   The work will all be done over the next month or so and the car re-offered for assessment, which should finally produce the IVA.

And then the blog will be finished!!!   Until the next project.