The SVA Test, Beverley (2005)
Well we have finally reached the big event, Tomorrow 21st Feb 05 we will be trecking all the way up to Beverley to get the car tested. We feel that we were as ready as we could be. Our biggest worry at the moment was the weather which had been gorgeous up until now ! Here we see Joey locking up the garage after we had loaded the car onto the trailer ready for tomorrows early start.
Well it looks like our worst fears have become true, Dammit!!!!
After a "Very early start" we arrived in good time for the SVA. Joeys "Great Uncle Greg" kindly came to help us on the day, It was nice that he had helped us at the beginning with the collection and now was here at Hopefully the final hurdle.
Here is the start of the test, Do we look nervous or what?
Ian our tester arrived in good time and took the Sierra donor log book off us which was for the proof for "Age of the Engine". He came back shortly and got out the dreaded Sphere which testers use to check for sharp edges, He took it to our RH front wishbone, suspension area then looked at it for a few seconds then said, "Have you done an SVA before?"
The test seemed to go pretty well Ian did point out that the countersunk screws we had holding the passanger dash in place would have failed if I had not filled them with sealant, I asked him if the little plastic screw covers that we had used elswhere in the cockpit would have been OK ? He said they would have been! (Drat I only took them off last night as I thought they may have stuck up too much!!!)
There was mention that the Right rear wheel Hub stuck out past the wheel arch, it was only a few mm though and Ian would be happy for us to stick some rubber trim on the arch to get by this. There was also a water pipe bracket under the bonnet loose, I was really surprised about this but when I saw it right behind the Rocker Cover I realised that it must not have been refitted after our engine tune up, Oh well another problem that would be easily sorted on site.
Right it was time to move on to the ramp, here was the first major problem and that was to do with the Handbrake cable mounting Angle, well actually it was more like "what was attached" to the handbrake cable mounting Angle. If you look at the picture below you will see the Mounting Angle but you will also see that we had attached the Rigid brake pipe "T Piece" to the angle. This was a problem because despite the angle being "Inch steel" it flexed slightly when the handbrake was applied, No problem for the handbrake but could have caused a problem with the rigid brake pipe in years to come. Ian did say it probably would never have happened but it was better to be safe than sorry (Very reasonable in our opinion).
So this was the first inkling that we had that our car was going to fail its first attempt, Joey was really upset about this but I told him he should be proud that he had got his car this far anyway.
Then it was onto the rollers where he tested our Speedo readings all which were fine, then the front brakes which again were fine, then the second problem was an Imbalance on the rear brakes! The left one was not functioning as well as the right one. So there was no chance of a pass today, Doh!!
Outside we went to check the mirrors and exhaust noise both which passed no problems, Our exhaust reading was "92" Decibels which was well within the "101" limit. We have a theory why so many people have problems with this part of the test and end up cutting up their silencers and packing loads of material in them. That is, Get your engine professionally tuned before the test and if your engine is running at the optimum setting then the noise it emits will be less....
Anyway because at this point there was no real point in fixing our little failings now we just got our failure report and once again braved the elements on the way home.
When we got home Joey gave Greg a lift to the garage which cheered him up and we got to work that night.
We decided that we should try and beef up the handbrake angle so it did not move at all then we would not need to move the rigid brake pipes, you can see the extra two pieces of angle that we welded onto the original and bolted to the chassis.
Suprisingly the whole lot still flexed when the handbrake was applied, Only a tiny little bit but enough to make us decide we would be better moving the Rigid pipe.
Our solution was to make a small steel bracket that we could attach to the "Dion Tube" which we could bolt the "T Piece" at one side and a support "P Clip" at the other.
On to the Imbalance problem we took the car to our local garage in Cherry Willingham who kindly put it on their rolling road, they confirmed that there was a small imbalance but he also said that it would not have failed an MOT test, So all those people who said that we should have taken the car for an MOT first, "Boswellox" !
He suggested it could be caused by a siezed "Wheel Cylinder", upon closer inspection we found that was indeed the problem our Wheel Cylinder was only working at one end! We got a new one which only cost £12 with a new bottle of Brake Fluid just in case. The whole process only took 10 mins to carry out and we were ready for the next brake test tomorrow.
Unfortunately the next day Cherry Garage was too busy to help us with the next test, in the end we got a test done at High-Q garage in Lincoln, We got some funny looks driving through Lincoln in the middle of a Blizzard The test went well so we were ready for the retest.
One of the last things Ian "our Tester" said on the test was that because we were putting some extra trim on the wheel arch we might need too look at our front indicators which might be less than the 400mm distance from the cars outer edge.
Just in case we made some serious extensions to our front indicators, Looked silly but at least they were SVA compliant.
Well to cut a long story short our new tester a "Mr Womack" (sorry we did not get his first name) went quickly through our failure list and told us that it all looks OK and went to fill in the paperwork whilst we loaded the car on the trailer.
Very shortly we had our MAC in our hands,
(complete with a photocopy for us to keep as DVLA take it off us!!!Top people at Beverley) and were happily on our way home.
We decided that as the car was on the trailer we would take it directly to DVLA at Lincoln, first we tried to phone them on the number that we were given (We got an answerphone message) so we decided to go for it. When we got there we parked on the double yellows just like the policecar in front of us and joined the long queue to be served. Eventually I got served and was told that we needed to make an appointment!!! I said I had tried to phone up but all I got was an answerphone and that the bloody car was 20 feet away on the trailer! The man again said we would need an appointment and would get the appointment book, when he then said it would be Next Wednesday before we could be seen (4 Bloody days later) I then asked to see the supervisor so "he" spoke to this "Supervisor" for me and they agreed to do the build up check the next day (Friday)
Here is Joey, just "Willing" the hours to pass till the next day!!!
Well now after a sleepless night the big day has arrived, Luckily the weather has improved somewhat and it looks like we might just stay dry on our journey to DVLA.
Here we are at Firth Road DVLA waiting for our build up inspection, in the end this part all went smoothly and we got out age related status so we got our personalised plate "B7 RHE" Top Job!!!
I think it must be much more difficult to get through this stage of the build if you have to do it all by post! The lad doing ours took a good 30 minutes and ended up with reams of paperwork.
One bloody annoying thing was that we paid our £203 for the registration fee and Road tax and bearing in mind this was the 25th of Feb, our "Years Road Tax expires on 31 Jan next year!! If we had waited 3 more days we would have had a "REAL" years worth of road tax!
"Bloody Two Jags and his Robbing Cronies" I wonder if he ever gets ripped off like this ? I Doubt it The Footpad....
Second biggest Annoyance factor of the day was that our friends "Portland Tools" had lost our order for our numberplates which we had paid for 2 weeks ago! Mmmm Not very happy but they promised to get them by half past 3 (And They did!).