Sunday, 29 March 2015

IVA Test

IVA Test March 2015 at Southampton

I spent the day before going over the car, tightening bolts, checking the lights/electrics and checking all the projections. I didn't sleep well the night before and was extremely nervous.

In summary it was a good day, but a very stressful drive to the test centre as it was only the 2nd time I had driven it and I was worried it would breakdown even before I got to the test :-)

It passed on everything expect:
 - Front indicators were too low - they should beat least 350mm from the ground to the BOTTOM of the lens. I measured mine from the middle of the lens
 - No self-centring

Hopefully the detail below will give you an idea of what happens on the day; this is the order of tests at my IVA:

Under-car inspection
8am and I drove straight onto the car lift and sat there performing various tasks like turning the wheel, pressing the brake and pulling the handbrake. He checked all the wiring, brake/fuel pipes, etc. from underneath. He also checked the VIN number on the chassis and VIN plate. He checked the engine number and prove of engine age.

Next all the lights were tested, including the fog light which confuses a lot of people. Basically the fog light must not be on, when the lights are off or on side lights. It can only come on when the lights are dipped or full beam - this in the Pilgrim is achieved by a separate relay for the fog lights which is
powered by dipped lights. So no dipped lights, no fog lights!

Thankfully he let me adjust the headlights as while they passed the MOT, I had jacked up the suspension to ensure the front indicators were above 350mm from the grouns.

Failure No. 1: The indicators were less than 350mm from ground to BOTTOM of lens. I had been measuring them from the middle of the lens.

Wheel nut removal
He asked me to remove one wheel nut from the front and back wheels as the nuts were enclosed.

He looked in boot, but since it was all carpeted, nothing to see there. He had a good wiggle of steering column, thankfully I had re-enforced it with a steel plate.

Seat belts. He spend a long time on these which is a good thing. I showed him pictures of how it was constructed, including the mod I made (see earlier post) and the Pilgrim EU approval. I don't know if he had reviewed it on their database as I had mentioned it in my IVA application, but my explanation and pictured satisfied him. He spent lots of time spent measuring seat belt position, headrest and shoulder height. He then had to get a spy-style camera on a stalk to feed behind the seat to see the seat belt bolts

Next I drove onto the grid for the mirror check where he aligned various red and green magnets on the wall behind him. All fine, phew

Outside in the car park
Then outside for a skid test - this I wasn't expecting as it wasn't part of my SVA for my 1st kit car. Basically in the car park I had to drive up to 20mph and do an emergency stop next to him. He was checking the front locked up before the rear and I guess other things too. I quite enjoyed that test!

Then the exhaust sound test which I was really worried about as I had no way to know what it was
going to be. I had put 4500 rpm for max power for my v8 which meant I was measured at 3750rpm, and it came up at 95dB. 99dB being the pass line. He said he was surprised as he said he could hear me arriving 5 minutes before I arrived :-)

Next he drove it around the car park to check general steering and self centring.

Failure No. 2: On 3/4 lock the car turned into full lock rather than self centring which he considered to be dangerous - which I guess it is if you are not expecting it. There was no self centring evident.

Speed test on rollers
I was confident this would pass as I had calibrated the speedo with my Sat Nav on the way to the MOT and knew it was reading nicely over the "real" speed.

Again, I knew this would pass as it had already pass the MOT. Key point with this was prove of engine age. The first engine I bought of ebay turned out to be a 1992 engine and would have needed a CAT, so I made sure next one I bought was 1991.

Brake test on rollers
This was a little worrying as it is quite a long test. He had to measure front and back brakes at 5 different rates, and then again with the engine off, i.e. without the servo assist. While I watched he kept pulling strange faces and tutting. In the end I realised he was getting frustrated with the rollers and the infra red controls, and there was nothing wrong with my brakes. He then took all the calculations and said he was going to feed them in to the computer and he would be back shortly. I just sat there staring into space and trying not to hold my breath :-) It passed the brake test!

Next was projections test where he wandered around the car with the 100mm ball to see if all the projections had the right radius. Again I was prepared for this one and was confident it would pass. This part of the test also included the check of wheels being outside the plan of the car. The test of my first kit car (back in the SVA days) failed on this by 1mm! Thankfully they have a proper tool/template which they hold up against the side of the car to ensure the wheels (not tyres) are not outside the plan of the car. Thankfully the Pilgrim with Image Halibrands doesn't have any problems here.

Overall a good day and he was very friendly and fair. I'm kicking myself for not spotting the self
centring issue, but it is a difficult one to test as you need to be doing over 10 mph. I should have
tested it on the way to the MOT, but had so many other things on my mind - speedo cailbration been the main one.

2 failures now fixed and IVA re-test of the 2 failures is now booked and I'm confident it will pass.

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