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Approvals

Before you start building...

The first thing is to decide whether or not to make use of the design approval process specified in the NZ Car Construction Manual ‘Chapter 4 – Build Approval Process’. Although this isn’t a mandatory process, it’s highly recommended for the novice builder, or a builder that is departing from conventional or traditional ideas, and is building something radically different to the norm.

Even more important than deciding whether or not to make use of the build approval process,
any hobby car builder - whether novice or experienced, conventional build methods or radical - needs to form a relationship with the LVV Certifier that he or she will use throughout the vehicle’s construction process, at the earliest stage possible....."

 

NZ Car Construction Manual
'About the CCM'

About LVVTA Approvals

LVVTA approvals perform a range of functions, from a hobby based build approval process for the person scratch-building a car at home, through to individual component approvals for manufacturers and importers from within the automotive industry. Due to this diversity in the range of approvals, it is important that the correct approval type is selected before proceeding. It is also important to understand that none of these LVVTA approvals waive any legal requirement for a vehicle to be LVV Certified; rather they provide a means of simplifying the certification process through assurance of design and quality. Items approved under the LVVTA Approval system must be manufactured and supplied exactly as described on the Approval Certificate. Any variation to the design of any approved item must be reassessed and approved by the TAC, or the original approval is deemed null and void.

All LVVTA approvals are assessed and approved by the LVVTA Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). The TAC is a sub-committee of LVVTA, established to provide LVVTA with expert technical direction on all technical matters relevant to the LVV certification system. TAC Members are nominated by the LVVTA Chief Executive Officer, and are appointed by the LVVTA Council. Members are selected for their high level of experience and knowledge in certain areas of vehicle design and construction. One of LVVTA’s objectives is to have as wide a range of experience, knowledge and skills as possible covered by the TAC at all times, including welding, materials, fabrication, formal and practical engineering, along with knowledge in a diverse range of vehicle types and construction methods. Some members are professional car builders, and all members have been in the vehicle modification and construction industry or hobby for at least 30 years. Click here to learn more about the TAC.

Decision Review: If you disagree with a decision the TAC make, and believe you have provided sufficient information or justification for approval, you should, in the first instance, contact LVVTA to discuss the outcome. If you want to have an independent review of the decision, you can email the NZ Transport Agency at lvreview@nzta.govt.nz, and they will contact you within five working days.

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Design Approval

The Design Approval falls in the 'Build Approval Process', which is voluntary, or as required by the CCM where it states a specific 'item' in a low volume vehicle must be individually approved in writing by the Technical Advisory Committee of the Low Volume Vehicle Technical Association (Inc), through the build approval process in ‘Chapter 4 - Build Approval Process’ This is an approval process which assesses the main critical function components of a vehicle, for example chassis, steering, suspension, and brakes. It also covers a range of additional items to assist a person who is building or extensively modifying their vehicle. A design approval is valid for one vehicle only. Use all relevant sections of the application form, and delete any irrelevant sections.

Common examples: custom space-frame chassis, custom independent front or rear suspension system, composite chassis, seatbelt anchorages into composite structure, custom hub carriers, approval to weld a casting or forging, custom spindles or uprights, cast a critical component, custom steering wheel, weld a steering component, steering quickener, offset or bell-crank brake pedal, custom plastic fuel tank, custom wheels.

Cost for submitting design approval: $150.00 NZD. NOTE: This fee increase is effective for any design approval application received from 1 April 2017.

Download Application form - CLICK HERE to download. Note: this redirects you to our online shop, where you can download Chapter 4 of the NZ Car Construction Manual (Build Approval Process), which contains Form 4B. This is a FREE download.

Instructions:
- If you need approval for a custom independent front or rear suspension, click here for application details:
download
- For details about all approval types see the LVVTA Approval Application Guide here: download
- Additional details are provided within the application form 4B (above).

- Also see additional background information below
.

Valid for: One vehicle only

Background information: The Design Approval Process is aimed at builders of all scratch-built or substantially modified vehicles. Unless specified in the NZ Car Construction Manual (CCM), the Build Approval Process is a voluntary one, and is not a mandatory part of the LVV process. It’s here to help you, if you want help or peace of mind. The system has been developed to enable assistance to be provided to hobbyists, by experienced specialists within the car-building hobby who have a good understanding of vehicle construction, and the complex regime of new regulatory requirements progressively introduced by the New Zealand Government since 1990. Blindly forging ahead and building a low volume vehicle in this regulated age can result in costly and time-consuming consequences. The purpose of this Build Approval Process is to assist hobbyist motor vehicle builders and modifiers in achieving their aims and objectives in relation to hobby car construction, and to get them through the low volume vehicle certification process as painlessly as possible.

The system for which this document is provided, has been established to help builders and modifiers, not to hinder them. This may look at first glance like more bureaucracy, but in fact, it is quite the opposite. By providing the Technical Advisory Committee with information on what you want to do, these experts can help you by pointing out any potential areas of concern, ideas which could save you time, or processes which could produce better results. The main objective of this process is to provide you with the best possible chances of building a vehicle that will meet the requirements of the LVV certification process when, inevitably, you reach that critical point. Note that there is no charge for this service; the Technical Advisory Committee members are volunteers. The fee is just to cover the cost of copying, collating, and postage of your application to the committee members.

The essential ingredient in achieving this aim successfully is the information provided by you, the builder. The process can only advise based on the information supplied to it, and that’s the purpose of the forms contained within this application. The better the information the builder can provide, the more detailed advice and protection the system can provide back to the builder. In addition to using this Build Approval Process, the best advice available to a hobby vehicle builder is to make contact with an LVV Certifier at an early stage so that he can guide you down the right path. It’s important to use an LVV Certifier who has lots of hands-on practical experience in car
building, such as hot rod or sports car construction, so that you can benefit from the combination of that LVV Certifier’s practical car building expertise, plus his knowledge of the Low Volume Vehicle Certification system.

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LVV RECOGNISED IFS & IRS MANUFACTURERS

A requirement within the LVV certification system since 1992 is that any custom- built independent front or rear suspension system (IFS or IRS) or any production IFS that has had it's pivot-points changed or relocated during the modification process, is required to be approved in writing by the LVVTA Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). Over a period of time, once the TAC has developed a high level of confidence in a specific aftermarket suspension assembly manufacturer (usually through a combination of having reviewed a number of applications and also through having confidence that the manufacturer maintains a high level of quality control within their design and manufacturing processes), a manufacturer can be added by the TAC to the list of ‘LVVTA Recognised IFS Manufacturers .The advantage in choosing an LVVTA Recognised Manufacturer is that the individual TAC approval process is not required, and non-destructive testing of critical function welds within the suspension assembly is not required for LVV Certification. The LVV Certifier will still need to ensure that the IFS is appropriate for the weight and power output of the vehicle, and that all geometry (including bump-steer) is within specification. Only unmodified IFS or IRS assemblies supplied by the manufacturer as a complete assembly or within a vehicle supplied by them are included in this recognised manufacturer status.

The list of LVV Recognised IFS/IRS Manufacturers is as follows, and is current as of 11 April 2017:
- Rods by Reid
- Total Cost Involved (TCI)
- Alston’s Chassis Works
- Art Morrison
- Heidts
- Kugel
- Factory Five
- Caterham

This list may be reviewed and updated from time to time without notice.

 

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Concept Approval

The Concept Approval falls in the 'Build Approval Process', which is a voluntary approval process to be used when the project is just a concept, and you want confirmation that the ideas you have in mind can be legally built. This is generally intended for projects that are out of the ordinary, or are particularly unique in some manner of their construction.

Common examples: Composite unibody structured vehicle, one-off vehicle of unique design, reverse trike, V8 trike, stainless steel spaceframe, or an all-alloy chassis.

Cost for submitting this approval: $95 NZD. NOTE: This fee increase is effective for any concept approval application received from 1 April 2017.

Download Application form - CLICK HERE to download. Note: this redirects you to our online shop, where you can download Chapter 4 of the NZ Car Construction Manual (Build Approval Process), which contains Form 4A. This is a FREE download.

Instructions:
- Details provided in application form (download Form 4A below)
- See additional background information above
- LVVTA Approval Application Guide (PDF document):
download

Valid for: One vehicle only

 

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Type Approval

A Type Approval Application is to be used where a business or organisation wish to provide for sale or supply, a product or assembly which is required by the CCM to have an ‘Individual approval in writing from the LVVTA Technical Advisory Committee’, but where for the purpose of providing a more streamlined certification process for purchasers of these products, an approval is required to cover numerous identical items or assemblies. This is predominantly for independent front and rear suspension system approval, but can also be used for all other items which require individual approval in writing from the LVVTA Technical Advisory Committee. This process is by no means an ‘easy work around’ of the legal requirements; successful applications will only comprise items or assemblies of the absolute highest quality and caliber.

Common examples: Custom independent front or rear suspension system, cast components, custom hub carriers, welded a casting or forging, custom spindles or uprights, cast a critical component, custom steering wheel, welded steering component, steering quickener, offset or bell-crank brake pedal, custom plastic fuel tank, custom wheels.

Cost for submitting this approval: Prices start from $360 NZD. Please contact us for more details.

Instructions: LVVTA Approval Application Guide (PDF document): download

Valid for: Unlimited versions of the approved component or system

Sample: Click to see an example of a Type Approval Certificate (coming soon): download

 

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    Component Approval

  • A Component Approval Application is to be used where a business or organisation wish to provide for sale or supply, a product or assembly which does not meet one or more low volume vehicle technical requirements. This approval can be applied to any item, providing the TAC give their approval. Any items found to be sub-standard will not be approved. For more information regarding this process, please call an LVVTA Technical Team member for details.

  • Common examples: Menox Hand Control (disability adaptive control), Probar (window spanning seatbelt anchorage).

    • Is this approval required? Yes. A component approval allows a non-compliant component or system to deviate from mandatory LVV technical requirements, and is in place for the vehicle modification industry.

      Cost for submitting this approval: Prices start from $360 NZD. Please contact us for more details.

      Instructions: LVVTA Approval Application Guide (PDF document): download

    • Valid for: Unlimited versions of the approved component or system

    • Sample: Click to see an example of a Component Approval Certificate (coming soon): download

    •  

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      • LVVTA Product Endorsement

        • An LVVTA endorsement is a verification from the TAC, that a component, assembly or system is of a high quality, and that the TAC has confidence in the manufacturer to consistently supply items of a high quality. This endorsement is primarily offered as a marketing tool to the vehicle modification industry, to give their customers extra confidence that the item will pass LVV Certification, and that the item is of high quality.

        • Common examples: Juniors steering box, Juniors diff head, Jonesy's Garage steel framed T bodies, Juniors Brake pedal assembly, Juniors hairpin radius rods. Click here for examples.

        • Is this approval is required? No. It's a voluntary endorsement specifically for the vehicle modification industry

          Cost for submitting this approval: Prices start from $360 NZD. Please contact us for more details.

          Instructions: LVVTA Approval Application Guide (PDF document): download

        • Sample: Click to see an example of an LVVTA Endorsement Certificate (coming soon): download

           

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        • aftermarket I-BEAM AXLE TESTING & APPROVAL

        • Following the failure of an aftermarket I-beam axle in 2012, LVVTA has put in place a mandatory non-destructive testing process, designed to determine whether an aftermarket I-beam axle made using an 'SG-iron' casting process has been correctly manufactured, by way of a 'nodularity test'. Any aftermarket axle which is manufactured by a casting process, or which cannot be positively identified as having been manufactured using a forging process, must undergo testing to confirm either that the nodularity rating meets or exceeds international standards, or that the axle is made using a forging process. This requires a specific inspection process that looks into the micro-structure of the casting using a high-powered metallurgical microscope. The axle inspection and preparation process involves precision metallurgical sample preparation. This is a specific polishing process that takes place on an already machined section of the axle. The inspection takes place in-house at LVVTA's head office, and all results are reviewed and verified by a qualified Metallurgist prior to any axle being approved or rejected. For more information relating to the 2012 axle failure, please refer to LVVTA Information Sheet 06-2012 - click here to download.

        • Having an axle tested:
          Cost: The cost of testing is $180.00 including GST. Either post a cheque with the axle, or we will email an invoice to you (ensure you advise us of your email address).
          Shipping: The cost for shipping both ways is the responsibility of the owner. Click HERE for shipping address.
          Required Information: We require the following information to be supplied with your axle: Name, Address, Telephone number, email address, brand of axle (if known).
          Turn-around Times: We will aim to have your test completed within 5 working days, however delays are possible.
          What happens if your axle fails its testing? If your axle doesn't pass its testing, LVVTA will assist you either by supplying you with a replacement axle (supplied by the manufacturer), or by putting you in touch with a NZ-based distributor.
          Can I get my axle tested by someone else? You can have the axle tested by any qualified metallurgist, however only LVVTA can apply the approval stamp to the axle, and issue the official axle approval certificate. LVVTA has developed the testing process as a service to hobbyists, and is done on a cost recovery basis. LVVTA expects that the cost of a nodularity test by a Metallurgist would cost roughly double that of the LVVTA test.

          For more information on axle testing, please contact the LVVTA office. Click here for contact details.

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        • VARIATION FROM TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS

          • The LVV Standards, Information Sheets and the NZ Car Construction Manual cover the majority of LVV certification needs.

          • However, because there are many, often innovative, ways a vehicle can be modified, it is not possible to cover every situation in a workable set of documents. The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) therefore considers designs that are not included in the existing code documentation.

          • The LVVTA Operating Requirements Schedule (subsection 4.6) outlines the process by which LVV Certifiers identify the need for a TAC application. Variations from technical requirements are approved or rejected by the TAC based on their merits on a case-by-case basis.

          • Common examples: Approval of seatbelt anchorages in a fibreglass body-structure, approval of hydraulically operated tiller steering for use as disability adaptive controls, approving multi-piece fabricated brake pedals.

          • Application Form: COMING SOON.

          • Notification of variation from a technical requirements: Whether an application for variation from technical requirements is approved or declined by the TAC, it will be notified. This notification is intended to help vehicle owners determine if their idea is worth pursuing. If you have a similar modification and wish to apply for a variation from technical requirement, you should first contact your LVV Certifier. Click here to view a list of variations from technical requirements.

 

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