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brettd

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Hi all,

 

Another first time failure :-(

 

Despite failing I found the SVA test to be quite enjoyable actually, and the tester was really quite helpful - apart from putting a big spanner in the works on a couple of points (see below)!!! I failed on a number of little points, like edges and clipping on engine wiring, but he gave me some time to tidy all those bits up and then passed them before I left the station.

 

There were some more major points that I failed on that I couldn't just fix there and then though...

  1. Front indicators position - they were not far enough away from the centerline, as I'd stupidly measured their distance from the outside edge of the front wheel, rather than the rear wheel arch. Doh! Not a major problem to fix though.
  2. My rear fog light did not have a proper fog light lens on it. Easily fixed.
  3. The inspector said that there had to be an indication on the dashboard to indicate if the brake fluid level was low. I challenged this and said that the fluid level was visible through the reservoir, but he said that wasn't enough and there had to be a light on the dashboard and a "press to test" function as well! My copy of the SVA manual doesn't make any reference to this, but it is quite old now. Does anyone know if the regulation has been updated? I wasn't thinking straight at the SVA and didn't think to get him to show the regulation in his manual at the time. It's actually not too diificult to put the system in, but it seems to be a bit over the top to me. Anyone else heard this before?
  4. The strangest one however, was about the emissions. My engine has has proven really difficult to set up properly for smooth running and emissions, and following the test I finally found out why....the tapered valve on the end of one of the the idle mixture screws was actually broken off, so it wasn't really adjusting the mixture at all. So I should be to fix that, but there was a more difficult problem with the test itself. The inspector was not happy with my letter from Ford which stated that the engine is from June 1994 - he said that the age wasn't enough by itself to determine which emissions level to test for, and that he would have to assume the levels for an engine with a CAT unless I could get a letter stating that the engine was designed to be run without a CAT!!!! Somehow I can't see Ford telling me that the Zetec was designed to run without a CAT (although obviously it does!), but without that the inspector won't pass the car at the pre-CAT levels. Just to add insult to injury, he said that if he has to test at CAT levels then I'll also have to change the fuel filler to a type that is too small to allow a 4-star nozzle to be put in!!! Has anyone else had such bueraucratic problems with evidence for emission levels?

Any advice gratefully received, especially for the last two points!

 

Thanks,

Dave

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aboardman

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Reply with quote  #2 

unlucky on the first 2 points easy sorted.

3) yes a warning light is required section 16.4 c. easy fix just connect one of the terminals on top of the master cylinder to the handbrake light and the other terminal to earth, i think that it is the 2 outside terminals.

4) I would of thought a letter stating the age would do and the test sould be done on that, if a cat is required a device is required on the filler to stop anything other than unleaded been used.

but in the first instance i would quey this under regulation 18 note 1.

" the effective date of the manufacture of the vechicle it shall be jan 1 immediatley  preceding the date of manufacture of the vechicles engine, evidence of date of manufacture could be a letter from the manufacture confirming date of manufacture. if the effictive date cannot be determined a test with car will be required, you can prove the date so should be a none cat test.

 

regards

 

Andrew

 

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timnuttuk

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Reply with quote  #3 

Ditto on the brake warning light. Obviously the idea is to be able to see when the brake fluid has all gone from 'inside' the car - as said, fairly easy to fix.

 

On the letter I'm as surprised as you are. My SVA and all others I've heard of said that the letter was sufficient proof of age. Might be worth a call to Tiger, but they probably can't do much. Hearing of other contentious issues with SVA inspectors, they tend to roll out their manual, and dig in - i.e. unless the manual is crystal clear (which in many cases it isn't) you may find you're arguing until you are blue in th face. Tricky one!

 

Try sending a letter to ford's technical department and ask if they will cnofirm that the engine 'could' be run without a cat - bit of a compromise that SVA man might be happy with.

 

I know from experience that some of these picky SVA inspection leave you with a feeling of "I'll never get it on the road now" - mine did with some nasty/picky failures. However, on the road now....well not this weekend as it is p1ssing down!

 

Good luck

 

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ibrown

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Reply with quote  #4 

David,

 

There are two issues associated with your emissions.

 

Firstly, a reluctance on the inspectors part to take as evidence of your engine age, a formal letter issued by Fort Technical.

 

Secondly, the emmissions that apply to an engine manufactured in any particular year.

 

On the first point, I had no problem. and neither should you. The Inspector asked for proof of engine age. I had a similar letter from Ford. I presented it to him and he verified the Engine No. by actually reading it from where it was stamped on the engine Block against the number written in the letter.

 

On the second point, I seem to recollect that there is a page in the SVA manual on emmission testing that relates to engine age. Those emmissions apply regardless of whether a CAT is fitted or not. Pre 95 Zetecs can make the emmisions shown without a CAT (Even though the engine was designed to run with one fitted) but I think that the emmission test parameters change post 95 and they cannot be achieved without the CAT fitted.

 

If you can overcome the first point the second can be achieved by your 1994 vintage engine if it is set up properly.

 

My 93 Zetec (with DCOE45's fitted) was emmission tested at its last MOT even though I protested that it should not be. It still passed, and I have no CAT fitted.

 

Good luck on your re-test.

 

Ian Brown

Tiger R6

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brettd

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Reply with quote  #5 

Thanks to all for the responses.

I have written to the Ford Tech Info centre, and they've already responded. That's a much better service than I usually expect from Ford, but unfortunately their response was not as helpful as the efficiency of their reply!

 

I asked them to confirm that the Zetec could run without a CAT, as obvioulsy it can, but they won't confirm that in writing! Probably some nervousness on their part about emissions regulations, even though it's only a theoretical question. Their statement is "We can confirm that the Zetec engine became available in approximately 1992 and was designed and developed to be operated in conjunction with a catalytic converter to meet the stringent emission legislation. We have not operated or had need to test this unit without a catalyst; therefore, we are unable to assist you, as we have no test data to refer to." Great.

 

So, I'm back to having to convince the SVA man about the proper levels based on age only. I think I'll call into see him,  discuss the point and study the SVA manual that he's using to see what can be done. I wonder if he was just nervous because the car failed the emissions test quite spectacularly (as expected now that I know it had a broken idle mixture screw on one cylinder!!), so he might be more amicable once the emissions come down to a more sensible level.

 

He was very good about the other points, so I hope he'll be the same about the emissions.

 

Thanks again for the advice.

 

Dave

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Antony

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Reply with quote  #6 

I would suggest the SVA inspector is just plain wrong regarding the emissions.

 

I was always under the impression that there were three bands for emissions testing and these bands were solely based on the age of the engine. I have yet to hear of anyone who has been told that the 'standard' Ford engine age letter was insufficient documentation to enable him to carry out the appropriate test.

 

 

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timnuttuk

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Reply with quote  #7 

Isn't there an appeal process for SVA failures...? I seem to remember reading that somewhere. Obviously a last resort as you'll be going head-to-head with the inspector - best go for the friendly chat first.

 

Good luck!

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