Blue slip station Northern Beaches. GDL Automotive services is a licensed blue slip station located in Warriewood.
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After driving out to Granville TAFE three days in a row, at a time before the sparrows fart, completing three days of training and testing, two of our team are now certified Blue slip inspectors which is something we have had on the cards for a long time. However based off our existing client base and the defective vehicles we have seen through our shop in recent times we thought it would be wise to clear up a few things relating to this in order save some of you the hassle of going back and forth from a blue slip inspectors station.
The biggest problem surrounding this is basically ignorance on the owners behalf as to what is and isn’t covered by a blue slip/ AUVIS inspection. As a general guideline for this; if the car is not in the same condition and state as when it left the factory then it probably won’t pass inspection.
Modifying and customising a vehicle is not illegal and you’re welcome to do anything to your vehicle provided the vehicle and modifications are deemed safe and they comply with Australian Design Rules. There are two ways to legally modify your vehicle and have it road legal in the eyes of the law; the first is the easiest and that is to take upgrades for your vehicle that were released by the manufacturer E.g, fitting Holden Calais tail lights, trim or headlights to an executive model.
This then opens up windows for the easiest level of modification, engine and running gear transplants from the same chassis. Taking your drift missile CA powered automatic S13 and dropping an SR20 in and converting it to manual is totally ok, likewise with taking a VT Commodore V6 and dropping a 5.7Lt V8 into it.
However there is a trap for young players surrounding this; once a running gear transplant is done you need to get a Blue slip station to do an adjustment of records (this is not a full inspection.) Be mindful however that even though the V8 came factory in the VT Commodore in the form of an SS Commodore, it also had upgraded brakes and suspension to cater for the increased horse power. If you were to do the engine transplant the various other upgrades released from factory are also required for that vehicle to comply. This is the best and easiest form of modification, fitting factory released type R components to your base line Civic, WRX factory bonnet scoops on your non turbo Impreza is fine and manual conversions all comply.
The next level of customisation is by far the most fun. Putting an RB25 in a R32, any RB engine in a S chassis, 5.7lt in anything manufactured in the land of the rising sun (Japan). These transplants are all able to be street registered but require the vehicle to pass an engineers certificate.
In this same category is the fitting of components other than running gear that is not factory released, that is to say, coil over suspension, Brembo brake upgrades, exhaust systems etc. All this stuff needs to be certified and cleared by an engineer.
To do this the RMS (previously RTA) have appointed engineers to inspect and certify vehicles with modifications and sign off on them. There are lots of differences in vehicles that we have sent through the engineers, but there are some things you should take into account. If power is increased significantly, a high speed brake test needs to be done (which requires the hiring of a race track.) Emissions are super important, catch cans that don’t plumb back, screamer pipes, the lack of a catalytic converter, lack of charcoal canisters and removal of mufflers will never pass. With this new found knowledge, make sure that when you’re stripping your mates VX SS, in your mums carport, which he rolled whilst “just driving normally,” to dump it all in a S13, for which you paid twice as much as you should have – don’t throw out the charcoal canister.
It is a very widely spread belief that its near impossible to get a car through an engineers certificate. Our experience with this, is that this is not the case, we have sent and had two cars passed in the last twelve months and at the time of writing have the AE86 Sprinter currently going through this, as well as our RB25 powered 180SX. We have experienced engineers who are very reasonable, provided your vehicle is built safely and has no backyard short cuts. In all four cases the vehicles have not passed on first inspection, we were given a list of items to either rectify or prove specifications for and were required to return. However, the process was relatively pain free given the level of modifications involved. The previous two vehicles complied were our RB26TT Powered 180SX and the 1JZ powered E30 BMW.
A common carry-on by car builders and wannabe backyard customisers is the RB in VL Commodores. The RB20, RB25 and RB26 never came out of the factory fitted in a VL Commodore or any other model Commodore for that matter so in any Commodore this would require an engineers certificate. The RMS know full well the RB30 came factory in a VL, they’re also not as dense as to leave a loophole open to allow you to put an RB25 in it and not have it need engineering.
Here is a list of stuff that will never comply no matter how many cousins you threaten to bring down to the blue slip station;
- blow off valves (that are not plumbed back in)
- screamer pipes
- lack of box around pod filter
- no catalytic converter
- noisy exhaust
- engine and gearbox mounting direct to chassis or subframe (no absorbing component fitted)
- Speedo not working
- welded or mini spool diffs
- gauges above the dash line
- neon lights
- full roll cages
- hand brake button
- wheel spacers.
1. Once your car is engineered you then are required to have a blue slip inspection where the inspector takes into account the items listed on an engineers report. The Engineer and the company that issues a blue slip CAN NOT be the same company. When undergoing the blue slip inspection the inspector can overule anything in the engineer report, I.e. if the blue slip inspector feels something that an engineer has certified is illegal then he or she can knock it back.
2. “Having an engineers certificate means I won’t/can’t be defected by the Police”. Wrong! Mr Plod is no mechanic, this is apparent to all who have dealt with defects. All a defect notice basically is, is a cop stating I am unsure about the modifications done to this vehicle and want it checked by a professional who knows about such things. Of course no police member will ever word it like that but thats basically the gist of it. Waving a document in front of him full of mechanical mumbo jumbo would be the same as asking your bong smoking mates to give you open heart surgery using a medical textbook. The Police don’t need to know nor understand the contents of a engineers report, the blue slipper does, so our policeman friend says “take this car to someone who is knowledgeable in this”. He can and will issue a defect notice even with an engineers report if he feels the vehicle needs to be double checked.
3. Rims and wheel laws are a hazy one at the best of times, but here is where the buck stops. You may go two inches larger in rolling diameter than the largest size that came fitted to that vehicle from factory, this includes the tyre. When doing the maths you will need to take into account your tyre, simply stating year two maths of 19 inches is two more then 17 inches does not class you as a genius. A car with 17s on it can have 19s, but you will have to have a very low-profile tyre to comply, once you go to 20’s your most probably out.
4. Ride height; Rolling coke cans under cars or jamming one of your hands into a wheel arch is no gauge of a legal ride height. We all know the law surrounding ride height; 100 mm from the vehicles lowest point. If that’s a fibre glass bumper or an exhaust tip, it doesn’t matter , its measured from the lowest point. Here’s one that you all missed, 100 mm or not, there is a secondary height requirement that Mr Plod never checks but will most likely cause most lowered cars to fail Blue slip inspections even if the lowest point is above the dreaded 100 mm;
- Design Check standards Rule 318: The measurement from centre beam of the headlight to the ground must be greater then 500 mm if your vehicle was manufactured after 1/1/89. If it was made before then it must be 600 mm, more than likely any car even remotely lowered will probably not comply with this.
5. An Unmodified vehicle will pass a Blue slip no worries. Again this is incorrect. We recently had issues over a client believing that an unmodified VL Commodore manufactured in 1988 should pass a blue slip almost instantly. A blue slip requires the vehicle to pass a very in-depth safety check, ID check (vin, compliance and engine numbers) and a design check. Basically if a vehicle is not in the condition it was when it left the show room floor it will struggle to pass. A vehicle that has been on the road for 25 years (such as our friends VL Commodore) will almost definitely have some issues.