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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: May 28, 2014, 5:02 pm 
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Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Getting it titled is one thing, getting it inspected is another entirely.

I have been trying to find out the best way to title TETANUS here in Texas. Getting this resolved is the last big hurdle to buying it. Fiance has said do it, but she still wants to see one in person first and so far I haven't been able to find one close by.

The inspection stations say they don't have to inspect for 2 years, but after that they use the date of manufacture of the car. Now in Texas all cars are titled as of the date of assembly.

In 2013-2014 that means it requires an OBDII port and the inspectors don't know what to do about the inspection.

The County said there was some provision for the inspection station saying it didn't need an emission or safety equipment check. Inspectors know nothing about this.

The County says if they ever enter into the system it didn't pass the test you can't get license plates ever until it passes so this very first inspection is crucial.

Has anyone on here found the solution to this side of the equation?

The car has a 1978 Toyota engine with carbs and everything - no electronics.

I just found this on the Dept. of Public Safety website.

Vehicles are required to meet the emissions standards for the year the vehicle is assembled. Vehicle manufacturers have to certify that their vehicles meet EPA emissions standards. Many kit car manufacturers comply with this requirement. If you purchase a kit car, follow the instructions on assembly, including the emissions components. The vehicle must pass an emissions test just like any other new vehicle.

Just as the EPA does not allow an individual to reverse engineer a vehicle to defeat emission standards, they do not allow an individual to build a brand new "old" vehicle to bypass emissions standards. It is possible if you actually use old parts (like a 1965 engine, or complete 60s frame and power train) that the vehicle will be registered as that model year (replica), but that is determined by TXDMV. The inspection station will follow the registration classification on the vehicle in determining the inspection criteria.

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PostPosted: May 28, 2014, 6:17 pm 
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UPDATE!!!!!!!!!!

Some success.

According to the main DPS office in Austin this is so new it's not in writing anywhere yet.

Texas has 5, count them FIVE, Waiver Stations for the whole state of Texas that a homebuilt or Kit car can be inspected with a Safety inspection w/emissions waiver. 2 of them are in my area.

They gave me the number to call them in the morning to get all the details. They are closed for the day today.

I’ll keep you posted.

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PostPosted: May 30, 2014, 9:37 pm 
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Location: Houston, TX
Sounds encouraging! Care to share where the five stations are?

I'm sure the problem is that they rarely encounter someone who wants to do something like this. As far as I know, I've seen on the Texas DPS website (but it's the internet, so I guess that doesn't mean much) that there's a provision for newly built cars that are visual replicas of older cars. It's been awhile since I read it, but it even said that you need to submit a picture of the original car you are building a replica of with the application. Good luck, and please do share whatever you learn, I hope to go down this path in the next year. All I need to do is do all the aluminum bodywork and I should be good to go.


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PostPosted: June 18, 2014, 4:11 pm 
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Location: Euless, TX
Any update, Carguy? I'm getting super close to completion of mine.


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PostPosted: June 18, 2014, 5:32 pm 
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Yes.

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PostPosted: June 18, 2014, 5:33 pm 
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:lol:


I'll give you names and phone numbers in a couple of days when I have the time to sit down and go through my notes.

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PostPosted: June 18, 2014, 7:32 pm 
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Ok, thanks.


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PostPosted: July 17, 2014, 3:37 pm 
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carguy,
Have you had a chance to go through those notes?


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PostPosted: August 9, 2014, 12:28 pm 
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I'm very interested in this outcome as well...

I'm about to start on a mid engined car based on a '97 mitsu eclipse donor, and I want to be sure it will make it on the street when I complete it... I'm nearing the point of no return (gutting the donor car).

I can try to track down the inspection stations, but I feel like a visit out there to ask some questions would be good to solidify some answers on the grey area stuff. Please post the locations if you have them handy.

My county (in Texas) does not require emissions, would that exempt me? My guess is no, and I'll have to keep everything up to and including the charcoal canister... which sucks because the engine is full standalone megasquirt EFI.... It might be time to build a "all is good" ECU stand-in that talks OBD-II. Ugh.

I do have the donor titled, registered, insured, and inspected, but I don't want to be pulled over some day and have them say "ummmm, eclipse?" and end up going to jail. Then there is insurance that would be a mess.


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PostPosted: August 9, 2014, 12:42 pm 
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An interesting thought, the scanner accessible emissions portion OBD2 is basically a data logger with a subroutine to turn on a light if conditions aren't met (and to manipulate things for testing).
You would have to define the conditions but all the data is there already.

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PostPosted: August 22, 2014, 3:13 pm 
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EDIT: Read on to page 5 and further for some corrections and details about this stuff from rocktman who is getting is vehicle registered now.

Excellent news folks!

I have not yet started my build, but I had doubts of being able to register, and for me that is a deal breaker.
rI'm in Hays County, Texas, and I just got off the phone with a knowledgeable and nice person at the DMV. Here is what I came up with:

The short version is that as of "a few months ago" some (unknown) law was passed that allows a person to get a VIN on a vehicle WITHOUT an MSO or MCO (see step 3 below).

Here is the TLDR version:

The DMV lady pointed me to the assembled vehicle helper PDF, which I've yet to read through, but it seems like a nicely formated version of
what I gathered on my phone call: http://txdmv.gov/publications-tac/doc_d ... cle-manual




Here is the longer version, I was furiously typing notes, but it should be pretty close:

DMV - Vehicle titles division
8/22/14
512-837-4416

1) Build must be completed before starting any part of the VIN/Title process.

2) If you have an MSO / MCO for the chassis, skip step 3.

3) You must have a Certified ASE Master Technician inspect your WHOLE VEHICLE (not just the chassis)
- Must have all receipts of everything purchased to weld the chassis and build the vehicle.
- Must pass "National Highway and Safety Administration" standards.
- Must get a copy of ASE A1-A8 Certification from the Master Technician.
- The form is: VTR-64.

4) Theft prevention task force checkout of the vehicle
- An officer must check out the vehicle to make sure there are no chassis VIN numbers.
- He/She will check all numbers on Engine/Trans for theft.
- He/She will need to see all recipts from your build book.
- In my County (Hays), The only two dudes who can do this are: Gary Cuttler, Brad Dorning. (Sheriffs and whatnot). Call the number
above for your county's officers.
- The form is: VTR-68-A, which they will have and provide if you pass. If you fail you go to jail for having stolen parts :P

5) You need a certified weight slip, which I'm told you can get from anywhere with a big scale that can make a print out (not hand written).
- She suggested truck stops with scales, and also salvage yards. I think Green Guy in San Marcos, TX could do it for a few bucks but
I have not verified.
- Yes, this probably means trailering your vehicle to the scales, unloading, re-weighing, etc.

6) Off to the DMV for a VIN number (NOT THE TAX ASSESSORS OFFICE!)
- Bring: Photos of completed vehicle
- Certified Weight Slip from step 5.
- VTR-63 filled out
- All Bills of Sale and Recipts.
- VTR-61 Rebuilt Vehicle Statement
- Rubbings of all serial numbers on the car (just a good idea to have just in case they ask, should be in your book already).

7) Get insured using your new VIN.
- No idea who will do this or what it will take, but I did see "assembled vehicle" when I was adding my last car to progressive.

8) Now that you have your VIN number from the DMV (Step 6)...
- Have VIN stamped on your chassis, or maybe on a plate that is non-removable, etc.
- State Safety Inspection: VI-30 after the VIN is on the car.
- IMPORTANT: The car will be titled as the year it was assembled, and must comply with emissions standards for that year!
- This is the standard test that they would do at any normal "sticker station".
- My county (Hays) is a non-emissions county, so my car will be exempt from emissions. Inspecting out of county is typically
not allowed.

9) Now that you have a VIN, insurance, and inspection... Go to the tax assessor/ collector's office.
- Pay your tax. Probably they will use your receipts to collect taxes, though I'm not 100% sure on this
- Apply for title using your VIN.
- Pay registration
- Buy License Plates

10) Pull your car off the trailer and drive it home :)


Last edited by Tired2 on February 13, 2015, 11:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: August 25, 2014, 10:14 pm 
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Posts: 167
Location: Houston, TX
Thanks for that. Really great info you provided.

Reading over the document you linked to, I would think the way to go with a traditional Locost would be to apply as a Custom Vehicle which is defined in section 4.3 as:
Quote:
A custom vehicle is a vehicle that:
• is at least 25 years old and of a model year after 1948; or
• manufactured to resemble a vehicle that is at least 25 years old and of a model year
after 1948, that has been altered from the manufacturer's original design, or has a
body constructed from materials not original to the vehicle.


A traditional Locost would definitely meet the second bullet point. The advantage of that is stated later on in the same section under ASE Safety Inspection:
Quote:
In completing the inspection, the ASE Certified Master Technician
certifies that the vehicle is structurally stable, meets the necessary conditions to be
operated safely on the roadway, and is equipped and operational with all the equipment
required by statute or rule as a condition of sale during the year the vehicle replicas. For
example, an assembled replica vehicle of a 1965 SHELBY applying for Custom Vehicle
plates, must only meet the safety requirements in place in 1965.

Note: If the 1965 SHELBY replica was assembled in 2014 and was NOT applying
for the Custom Vehicle plate, but instead for any other eligible license plate,
the vehicle would be required to meet the safety standards of 2014.


I live in Harris County, so emissions inspection is definitely an issue for me, considering I'm using a motorcycle engine. Also, the safety requirements of 1960 are a lot easier to deal with. Seatbelts weren't compulsory back then, so the inspector shouldn't give you any trouble for fitting non-DOT 5 point harnesses (one of my main concerns) and other stuff like that. If you tried to go at it as not a Custom Vehicle and had to meet the safety standards of 2014, would you need airbags, since they're required for all cars now?

Good stuff though. I hope to embark on this paperwork filled journey in 2015 sometime, so maybe someone will beat me to the punch. If not, I'll document exactly what I had to do and post it here.


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PostPosted: August 29, 2014, 10:17 am 
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I forgot to mention, I was planning a mid engine transverse 4cyl build, not a typical locost 7. I think you are right about emissions and such being relaxed on customs.

As for safety and airbags, I don't think it applies since you don't need them for a state safety inspection (to get the sticker)... At least I've never heard of them checking. I have heard you are not allowed to remove an airbag, but plenty of people do it without any problems.


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PostPosted: February 3, 2015, 1:20 pm 
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Location: Euless, TX
Tired2,
It would seem as though Step 4 would have to be done before Step 3, as the form requires a VIN number that doesn't exist until Step 4.

I'm getting very close here. Pulling together all my forms, and figuring out where to tow the car first. Only thing the car needs is to finish wiring up the gauges/indicators, and to build the nosecone. I don't know that the nosecone is required, but somebody might say the intercooler hanging out is unsafe for pedestrians.

Anybody know of a place in the Euless/Grapevine area that could weigh the car and provide the printout?


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PostPosted: February 3, 2015, 2:09 pm 
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rocktman wrote:
Tired2,
It would seem as though Step 4 would have to be done before Step 3, as the form requires a VIN number that doesn't exist until Step 4.

I'm getting very close here. Pulling together all my forms, and figuring out where to tow the car first. Only thing the car needs is to finish wiring up the gauges/indicators, and to build the nosecone. I don't know that the nosecone is required, but somebody might say the intercooler hanging out is unsafe for pedestrians.

Anybody know of a place in the Euless/Grapevine area that could weigh the car and provide the printout?


Please let me know how you get along... I can still edit that post to fix it if you are correct about the steps, knowing someone has successfully completed them would be amazing information to have.

As for the weight station, look for recyclers around your area, there are a few out by me just south of Austin, they will probably do it for you, just call around. You can weight on a trailer usually, pull the car off in the parking lot, then weight again and have them print the weight that way... or if the car runs and drives, drive it up on the scale, though they are usually not well suited for cars, steep drive ways, etc.

My donor car is still sitting in my garage waiting on disassembly, so you are way ahead of me :P


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