LocostUSA.com

Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
It is currently October 1, 2022, 12:11 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 81 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: August 21, 2013, 9:36 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: August 7, 2013, 11:30 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Sugar Land, TX
Well, maybe I am making progress. Now I am just confused as opposed to discouraged. . .

This brings up a couple of more questions;

- If the MSO is the only sticking point for getting registered, how much of a "kit" do I need to purchase to get the MSO? I know Kinetic Vehicles offers a soup to nuts kit, but would they sell me a bare frame with a MSO document? Would a nosecone count for the body?

- I have been reading up on this forum about members using the complete Miata subframe for the rear suspension. If there is a serial number on that component, and I have a title for the original donor would that make the requirement for an MSO not applicable?

hmmmmm, more research required.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: August 21, 2013, 10:08 pm 
Offline

Joined: January 30, 2013, 9:19 pm
Posts: 13
Location: DFW
wigwambam wrote:
would they sell me a bare frame with a MSO document? Would a nosecone count for the body?


Precisely my line of thinking as well. rx7locost is likely correct on the MSO/MCO being equivalent (here in Texas at least, given the documentation). In light of that, I think it really does come down to the question of "what actually distinguishes a homebuilt from a kit car, in the eyes of Texas". Something tells me that if you asked a DMV clerk, a police officer responsible for inspecting the car for issuance of an ID number, and a legislator, you'd probably get three different answers (which is fundamentally the crux of the registration "issue" across the country).

The only manufacturer I can find that explicitly lists a bare chassis for sale is MK Sportscars:
http://www.mksportscars.com/parts-chassis.html
Haven't yet checked with them to determine if they'll issue an MCO for just buying the frame, though.

_________________
There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: August 22, 2013, 2:16 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: August 7, 2013, 11:30 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Sugar Land, TX
357 wrote:
The only manufacturer I can find that explicitly lists a bare chassis for sale is MK Sportscars:
http://www.mksportscars.com/parts-chassis.html
Haven't yet checked with them to determine if they'll issue an MCO for just buying the frame, though.


Pretty chassis! All powder coated and ready to go. One thousand pounds is what, about $1,600? That's a lot cheaper than the other full kits I have found from looking around the web.

I think you are right that the key is homemade vs. kit and which particular DMV employee or county clerk is doing that interpretation. Here in Fort Bend there are three county tax registration offices - up in Tarrant I'm sure you have even more choices. Keep shopping till you find the right one?

If I was going to frame this a "What's my worst risk moving forward?" I could locate a manufacturer willing to sell me a bare chassis with a MSO/MCO and get a quote. Then I could proceed on my merry way building my own chassis however I want. If fortune smiles and I finish in the next three to four years I will see what happens. If the DMV is intractable about the MSO being the key document, buy the chassis and adapt it as required. I would be out the ~$2000 for the chassis and my time to rebuild and re-engineer. That seems a horrible waste of time and dollars, but at least it is a boundary constraint.

Part of the big appeal to me in building a locost is the incremental approach. The initial equipment setup (I don't have all the fabrication equipment - welder, metal saw, fab. table, etc. . .) is looking to be around $1000. Then I don't need a significant outlay until the frame is done and I find the donor car. Then I can proceed as funds and time allow. Re-reading the preceding paragraph I see a lot of "if" statements. Maybe I should go back to getting my design straight in my head and a plan on paper? Keep the registration problem in sight but focus on the build?

By the way if I am wandering down a useless avenue where others have been burned I would welcome any feedback or constructive criticism. The discussion so far has been very helpful and I really appreciate it.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: August 22, 2013, 3:03 pm 
Offline
Mid-Engined Maniac

Joined: April 23, 2006, 8:26 pm
Posts: 6260
Location: SoCal
wigwambam wrote:
...Part of the big appeal to me in building a locost is the incremental approach...

Yes... and no.

Unless you're using only known-good parts (proven to already fit) it can all go wrong if your seats, axle, differential, engine, pedals, steering rack, or transmission don't fit a frame already built.

_________________
Midlana book: Build this mid-engine Locost!, http://www.midlana.com/
Kimini book: Designing mid-engine cars using FWD drivetrains, http://www.kimini.com/book_info/


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: September 5, 2013, 4:07 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: August 7, 2013, 11:30 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Sugar Land, TX
I don't know that this will get me anywhere, but I thought I would send a note to both my state senator and state representative (had to look them up, had no idea who they were!) Below is the text;

Quote:
The Honorable (your senator here)

I am writing to ask your help in clarifying recent regulations issued by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, specifically the Motor Vehicle Title Manual dated April 2013 (available at https://ftp.txdmv.gov/pub/txdot-info/vtr/title_manual_book_451.pdf)

To provide some background, I am a car enthusiast and general hobbyist. I have long been interested in classic cars and “resto-mods”, or classic cars with modern running equipment. In 2011, the Texas Legislature passed laws modifying Section 504.501 of the Transportation Code to allow for “Custom Vehicles” and “Street Rods”. The law provides a clear path for registering, titling, and confirming the road-worthiness of these vehicles. This eminently sensible legislation perfectly meets my needs as I plan on building a replica of 1960’s era Lotus 7 based on a proven design and commonly available parts from a donor S-10 pickup.

The difficulty I am running into is that it appears Chapter 25 of TxDMV Title Manual has made a hash of the Legislature’s intent. It broadly proscribes homemade vehicles as being ineligible for titling. It focuses heavily on “pre-manufactured” frames as being the only vehicles eligible for titling which is nowhere mentioned in the legislation. If I am reading it correctly, it would also seem to proscribe kit cars and makes something as simple as an engine swap a bureaucratic nightmare. It even goes so far as to ban trikes. While I am not a trike fan, this seems like an excessive regulatory overreach by the TxDMV.

I would appreciate any help you could lend in clarifying what is, and what is not allowable. My experience asking questions of the DMV and researching on their website has been uneven at best. I would hate to invest the 2,000 hours which is typical for one of these builds only to get stymied at the last minute by TxDMV offices.

Thank you for your support.


Sincerely,


If I get a response I will post it. Until then, I will keep on researching. . .


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: September 5, 2013, 4:28 pm 
Offline

Joined: January 30, 2013, 9:19 pm
Posts: 13
Location: DFW
wigwambam wrote:
I don't know that this will get me anywhere, but I thought I would send a note to both my state senator and state representative


Awesome; mind if I borrow/paraphrase your letter in writing to my own state congressmen as well? I think the more visibility we bring to the DMV's hack job, the more luck we'll have!

Fred

_________________
There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: September 5, 2013, 4:31 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: August 7, 2013, 11:30 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Sugar Land, TX
Fred -

Cut and paste away! I will have to admit a shocking ignorance on the Texas Legislature - I know they only convene every other year and I have no idea where we are in the cycle now. What happens in an "off" year?

- Robert


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: September 5, 2013, 8:36 pm 
Offline

Joined: January 30, 2013, 9:19 pm
Posts: 13
Location: DFW
wigwambam wrote:
Cut and paste away!


Thanks! I'm not really familiar with how the state legislature works here either, having just moved here a few months ago. I've contacted both my state senator and state representative, so we'll see what comes of it!

_________________
There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: September 6, 2013, 1:48 pm 
Offline

Joined: February 16, 2006, 3:56 pm
Posts: 139
Location: Austin, TX
You are in for a wait. Legislature ended last month and has now concluded its two year cycle.

The mean IQ of Austin increased as the elected officials returned to their respective counties.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: September 7, 2013, 12:08 am 
Offline

Joined: January 30, 2013, 9:19 pm
Posts: 13
Location: DFW
gregaustex wrote:
The mean IQ of Austin increased as the elected officials returned to their respective counties.


Haha, sounds about right. Reminds me of this:
http://www.theonion.com/articles/poll-majority-of-americans-approve-of-sending-cong,33752/

_________________
There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: September 27, 2013, 8:52 am 
Offline

Joined: September 19, 2013, 9:17 am
Posts: 6
Hey guys,

I'm trying to start a build here in Sugarland also. Would like to know how many other sugarland builders are around. The biggest issue whether to start or not would be this registration hurdle everyone is facing. I would be willing to apply for a commercial license of some type to certify these frames so we can somehow legally meet the requirements. I'm thinking if we get enough people together, we can figure a way around it.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: September 28, 2013, 9:00 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: July 17, 2008, 9:11 am
Posts: 6240
Location: West Chicago,IL
Quote:
if we get enough people together, we can figure a way around it.


If you can get enough people together, you can petition your legislators to change that law. Don't just think of Locost guys, think of the whole car-building hobby community. Cobra guys, Buggy guys, reverse trike guys, custom 1-off guys et.al. There is strength in numbers.

_________________
Chuck.

“Any suspension will work if you don’t let it.” - Colin Chapman

Visit my ongoing MGB Rustoration log: over HERE

Or my Wankel powered Locost log : over HERE

And don't forget my Cushman Truckster resto Locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=17766


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: September 28, 2013, 10:40 pm 
Offline

Joined: September 19, 2013, 9:17 am
Posts: 6
rx7locost wrote:
Quote:
if we get enough people together, we can figure a way around it.


If you can get enough people together, you can petition your legislators to change that law. Don't just think of Locost guys, think of the whole car-building hobby community. Cobra guys, Buggy guys, reverse trike guys, custom 1-off guys et.al. There is strength in numbers.


I don't think the problem is our legislators. It looks more like the way TX DMV is interpreting the law. I don't plan to take more than 6 months to build mine and in that short amount of time, I don't think we can change how the DMV looks at things. From my past experience, it's easier to just to make your paper work fit what they think is "safe" and "legal". Sometimes what they think doesn't make sense but most of the employees there really don't want to think. They just want to follow guidelines blindly. They say they don't allow "homemade" vehicles. Just say it was built in a shop. I consider my garage a shop ... lol.

Btw .. the way it is written, it only affects the Locost guys. The rules does allow for custom vehicles, replicas , etc .. as long as the frame is made by a manufacturer and then assembled at home. It specifically allows "assembled" vehicles because they believed the frame is engineered.

The trick is to show that your build qualifies for the "replica" case. They allow replica because they think that replicas are exactly built like the originals so have already been engineered. So you just need to show that what you built exist out there and has been proven to be safe to drive. Not saying that it would work at all DMV but that's what I'm gonna try.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: September 30, 2013, 2:33 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: August 7, 2013, 11:30 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Sugar Land, TX
So good news / bad news. The good news, I wrote to my representative and actually got a response! A polite response that shows the Rep. Miller and his staff took more than two seconds to think about the question. The civic minded part of me is very impressed by this and I do think it's very cool. The bad news is that even the representative is stuck on the "manufactured prefabricated" language for the chassis which means that all of us, the Manx crowd, the trike guys, etc. are still frakked. I wrote a thank you note to Mr. Miller for his diligent response that noted that I was disappointed in the answer and that "manufactured prefabricated" is not a phrase used in the legislation, but still highly appreciative of his efforts. I don't know if repr. around the state will be as responsive (still haven't heard from my state senator) but I would encourage folks to write in. Letter shown below if I can get the files to attach properly
Attachment:
Response from Rep Miller page 1.jpg
Attachment:
Response from Rep Miller page 2.jpg


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: September 30, 2013, 4:08 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: August 7, 2013, 11:30 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Sugar Land, TX
Quote:
Hey guys,

I'm trying to start a build here in Sugarland also. Would like to know how many other sugarland builders are around. The biggest issue whether to start or not would be this registration hurdle everyone is facing. I would be willing to apply for a commercial license of some type to certify these frames so we can somehow legally meet the requirements. I'm thinking if we get enough people together, we can figure a way around it.



Van - apologies for not replying to your email. Busy couple of weeks at work and back at the house. I don't have a good sense of the best path forward at this point. Reading around the forum it seems the chassis build is actually a pretty small part of the overall build process. I have read a couple of posters state the main purpose of welding your own frame seems to be to get proficient enough at welding so you are ready for the rest of the build! Plus, it is a cost savings given that pre-welded frames seems to range around $3000 - $9000. Maybe I should wait to save up the funds to buy a Brunton style chassis - don't have a good sense if that's the way I want to go.

Given that 2000 hours seems like an appropriate estimate for how long a build takes to complete, and that 500 hours a year seems like a best case for a nights and weekends build, do we start our builds and work in the intervening four years to get the law changed? Do we wait the two years it is going to take for the Texas legislature to come back in session and maybe possibly hopefully take up this law and get it fixed? Do I shift my attention to fixing up a Miata or retromodding an old Willys Jeep? (my next two favorite "cars projects I would like to tackle")

Anyway, lots to think about. . .


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 81 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
POWERED_BY