lowered suspension

Mark Rosenkrantz speedracer.mark at gmail.com
Fri Jun 5 14:34:46 PDT 2009

I'm sure he can find a "better" inspector.  I've had this discussion with
others in the past.  My (and apparently the courts would agree)
interpretation is thus:

Spring height:  The manufacturer of the spring (if aftermarket) or vehicle
(if OEM) dictates the specification.  I.E. The specification goes with the
part.  This statute is clearly formed to limit unengineered modifications
which may lead to catastrophic failure (i.e. coil cutting, sagging springs,
spacer blocks, etc.).

As for the bumper height, the "bumper" is the federally mandated crash
structure,  On modern cars, this is hidden by the "bumper cover."  To
accurately measure the height on some vehicles, either a fixture would have
to be used or removal of the bumper cover.  With a fixed price inspection
fee... who would do this?  "Eyeballing" it is not measuring and could
subject the inspector to a lawsuit.
Of course, the lawsuit would only hold up if the vehicle was legal but an
overly agressive inspector failed the vehicle due to improper procedures.
This law was clearly written in an attempt to match heights in a collision,
limiting one vehicle being "driven" underneath another.

But state laws are interesting in these regards.

Mark Rosenkrantz
On Fri, Jun 5, 2009 at 4:09 PM, Dan DiBiase <d_dibiase at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Saf-C 3211.07  Steering, Alignment and Suspension.
> (a)  A vehicle shall be rejected if:
> (1)  A spring, strut or torsion-bar height does
> not meet the manufacturer’s specifications or there is a broken spring
> leaf,
> spring shackle, coil, sway bar or any connecting part;
> (2)  On the bounce test, the vehicle continues to
> oscillate for more than 2 cycles, except on vehicles equipped with
> gas-pressurized
> struts or shock absorbers, which show more oscillation than conventional,
> non-pressurized struts or shock absorbers;
> (3)  The suspension has been altered, and the
> bottom edge of the horizontal bumper bar:
> a.  Is less than 16 inches or more than 20 inches
> above level ground on a passenger vehicle;
> b.  Is less than 16 inches or more than 30 inches
> above level ground on a multipurpose passenger vehicle; or
> c.  Is less than 16 inches or more than 30 inches
> to the bottom of the front or rear frame rails of a light-duty truck,
> measured
> where the bumpers would be attached by the manufacturer;
> (4)  The vehicle is misaligned from linkage
> looseness or suspension damage that affects the safe operation of the
> vehicle;
> (5)  The wheel camber, caster or toe-in exceed the
> manufacturer's specifications, that affects the safe operation of the
> vehicle;
> (6)  Steering wheel lash or free-play exceeds 3
> inches of total movement at steering wheel rim or 2 inches on
> power-steering
> equipped vehicles, before the front wheels or the steering wheel moves,
> except
> those designed for handicapped operators, is not circular or equivalent in
> size
> and material strength as approved by the manufacturer;
> (7)  The front wheels cannot be turned from full
> right to full left lock without binding or interference;
> (8)  Shear capsule, if any, on energy-absorbing
> steering column is separated from bracket, there is general looseness of
> the
> steering wheel and column or the steering wheel and column can be moved as
> a
> unit;
> (9)  Steering box is loose, power steering fluid
> level is insufficient, or visual observation reveals obvious defects in a
> belt,
> hose, connection, component part or mounting which could result in failure;
> (10)  Steering linkage free-play exceeds the
> manufacturer’s specifications or is:
> a.  In excess of 1/4 inch, for wheels 16 inches
> or less in diameter;
> b.  In excess of 3/8 inch, for wheels 17 or 18
> inches in diameter; and
> c.  In excess of 1/2 inch, for wheels over 18
> inches in diameter;
> (11)  Any wheel bearing exceeds the manufacturer's
> tolerance for looseness;
> (12)  Any ball joint is broken, cracked or
> separated; or
> (13)  Any ball joint without a wear indicator has
> movement in excess of the manufacturer's specifications. Movement shall be
> measured with a pry bar, using only enough pressure to lift the wheel
> assembly
> to prevent unnecessary ball joint replacement.
> Source.  (See Revision Notes at chapter heading Saf-C 3200) #8915, eff
> 6-22-07
>  Dan D
> Central NJ USA
> '76 MGB Tourer
> '65 MGB Tourer (Project)
> NAMGBR #5-2328
> http://dans65b.blogspot.com/
> http://dans76b.blogspot.com/
> http://dansautoblog.blogspot.com/
> http://mywebpages.comcast.net/dibiase/Working_MG_Gallery.html
> http://dans-life-blog.blogspot.com/
> ________________________________
> From: Kent McLean <kentmclean at comcast.net>
> To: quattro <quattro at audifans.com>; 200 20v List <200q20v at audifans.com>;
> V8-list <v8 at audifans.com>
> Sent: Friday, June 5, 2009 2:47:51 PM
> Subject: lowered suspension
> If you've been following along the "get 3 Audis inspected" game,
> the new score is 1 for 3. :(
> The V8 failed for 2 reasons.
> 1) Back-up lights don't work. I knew this before going in, and I think I
> have
> a solution. I just need to get under the car and  run some wires from the
> back-up light switch to the wires I found in the automatic transmission
> multi-function switch (gizmo) under the hood.
> 2) The car has been lowered. This I also knew, but I didn't know it was a
> point of failure in NH. As Dave (at Steve & Dave's) said, he's seen trucks
> that have been jacked up, but they would fail at his station.
> Me: How high does it have to be?
> Dave: "Stock."
> I'm not sure how he judges that, but my questions now are:
> a) How tough is it to replace the springs on all 4 corners? Remove the
> struts?
> Screw up the alignment?
> b) Can I get away with putting shims/spacers under the springs, to boost
> the
> ride height to normal?  (To be returned to "normal" after the almighty
> sticker
> has been applied.)
> c) Anyone know what ride height is "normal"?
> I'd prefer to keep the lowered suspension, but I don't want to have to do
> this
> every year just to comply. Unless I find a "better" inspector. ;)
> Summary: '91 200 needs rotors, bads, and an exhaust, '90 V8 needs a
> suspension
> and back-up lights. At least the A4 is OK to drive.
> --
> Kent McLean
> 1999 A4 Avant, V6 Tiptronic
> 1991 200 TQA #3, with mods
> 1990 V8 w/5-speed and other mods
> gone: '91 200 TQA x2, '94 100 S Avant, '89 200 TQ "Bad Puppy"
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