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IVA Advise for Project


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Hi All,

I'm considering some modifications to my project vehicle that would require an IVA. I'm begining to get some idea of the level of work that would be required to get it through but would like to hear from anyone who's been involved in getting a landrover based project through an IVA since the change from SVA. I'm not looking for ways to avoid the IVA, I know how to structure my project to do that if I choose to go that way.

I've seen the manuals, and I've seen this guide:


I'm regually seaching the topic online but fresh view points are always appreicated!

~ Out of curiosity are there significant areas a standard Defender would struggle with?

~ Do people generally leave the winch off because it falls foul of the radius checks or are there other reasons?

~ Could my upper seat belt mounts be on a bracket which is welded along one edge to the roll cage or does it need to be bolted in to a threaded sleave that is welded at both sided throught the cage?

~ Could the cage that is holding the upper seat belt mounts be bolted to the chassis via the body mounts or would it need to be welded?

~ I'm assuming emmissions would be age related to the engine?

~ When doing the points system to establish identity does the engine number just have to match or does it need to be the same spec as when it left the factory? I've a serpentine 3.9V8 (needs an overhaul compression below 150psi for high comp engine) that I was considering tophat liners, drilling for cross bolts, and perhaps increasing capacity.

That'll do for now. If anyone has links to any internet blogs etc detailing peoples experience of (eventually?) passing the IVA test please share them.

I've pretty much convinced myself that keeping the LPG on would be asking for trouble. Can't see how the wing tank would be deemed adiquately protected and there so much more hoses and wires to look after!

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Make things simple for yourself: submit it to the IVA with a standard bumper fitted; then when it's passed fit the winch-bumper as a subsequent modification.

Bolted-in cages are OK [well, if the cage is made to recognised test-standards not cobbled together from old scaffold-pipe and "Stevie Wonder" grade stick-welding]. Same goes for belt-attachment-points. The RAC MSA yearbook is a good place to start here.

The IVAs I've been involved with have failed on silly things like "rear indicators/marker-lamps cannot be viewed over the required angle when rear door is opened fully" because of a swing-away spare wheel carrier, and "Speedometer calibration inaccurate - underreads" [don't fit non-standard-rolling-radius wheels/tyres unless you have an adjustable speedo].

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This is my understanding and nothing else, so on your head be it if you decide to take advice from me -it is clear though, that you need to read the manual again....

1) They only test the modifications in a 'radically altered' vehicle as it is based on a production vehicle, so they don't tend to re-test most of the vehicle. This is in the manual.

2) Personally, given the cost of a retest, I would unbolt anything you don't need and cover any sharp edges.

3) This is in the manual, and pretty clear.

4) Vehicle or engine, whichever is older.

5) Same spec, again, this is in the manual.

150PSI isn't that bad for a RV8, even high comp.

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I've a serpentine 3.9V8 (needs an overhaul compression below 150psi for high comp engine) that I was considering tophat liners, drilling for cross bolts, and perhaps increasing capacity.

Um, why bother doing that lot when you could buy a 4.6 P38 and top-hat that with far less farting around?

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Big question is whether you go for a commercial test or a normal car test; if it is a commercial, you dont need the sharp projections regulations, and the 200 page manual becomes a 10 page manual. Commercial cars have 2 or 3 front seats and a flat floor in the back.

In my opinion, the 'taking bits of for the test' thing is a bit flawed, as your car only complies on the day of the test, and you wont be driving the car that VOSA agreed to be legal.

Out of interest, which modifications are you doing to need an IVA test?


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Project is a Sahara. As this is a re-body it doesn't need an IVA. I'm considering shortening the chassis to reduce the overhang out the back of the body, giving me the benefit of better approach/depart angles. As I said in my original post I do understand the scope of what I can and can't do before I fall into requiring an IVA. Commercial is a thought, although I'm currently aming for a four seat version of the Sahara.

150psi is ok? Haynes had minimum compression for the high compression engine as 170 and low compression was 150. I understand a newer engine would top 200? Readings jumped 10psi with oiling the bores indicating this is at least in part ring/bore wear. Engine was warm (ran for 1/2 hour and neadle was in range, throttle was wide open and all plugs out) The engine struggled through it's last emissions test needs lots of new seals. Just about everything that could leak does leak!

I appreciate alot of it is in the manual. Much of it is in words and they can be interpreted many ways. Those who have been through it or worked with/known people who have gone through the IVA will have a much better interpretation of what they deem aceptable.

Thanks for your responses.

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If you cut the chassis then in this instance you will as you say fall into kit car therefore full iva. I have no experience of iva but have done an sva. I'm currently building an ibex the main difference between car and commercial iva as far as I can see is internal projections are less stringent on commercial. Following this with interest as I've not decided car or commercial yet I have 5 seats and a load bay and I can't see anything the states seat number in commercial test load bay yes but not seats.


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Interesting! I'll have another look. Thought there was something about % of vehicle length for the load area?

For the Sahara kit I think I would have to do mods on the bumpers as currently they are tube section with a 45 degree chamfer on the end. The ends of the bumper must 'turn in on themselves' not sure if the chamfer sorts this or if I would need a 90 degree bent on the tube section to point the ends to the back of the car.

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If commercial is anything like in Belgium (used for tax reasons here), it's 50% of the wheelbase that must be load area with a fixed divider 20cm high, or fully separate (eg. pick-up) without size restrictions.

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Having a search for the distinction between M1 (passenger vehicle, upto 8 passenger seats) and N1 (light goods upto 3500kg)

IVA Guide:


As far as I can see the benefits of the N1 (assuming a basic IVa test in both cases) are:

~ No 'Interior Fittings' check

~ Protective steering test only applies upto 1500kg gross vehicle mass.

~ No 'Exterior projection' check

~ No wheel guards check

The manual is vague "N1 Light Goods Vehicles - A Light Goods Vehicle (LGV) - Motor vehicle with at least four wheels designed and constructed for the carriage of goods and having a maximum mass not exceeding 3500 kg"

The approval manuals are here:


Foot note to consider if your trying to get through as N1. I think this would put you under the "Goods vehicles (not more than 7.5 tonnes maximum laden weight)" class in the highway code. Therefore you are limited to 50mph on a single carridgeway, and 60 on a dual carridgeway. Motorway is normal.

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I was told all ibex have gone through as N1 however I have a brother in law that lives in London and don't like the idea of £100 a day when we visit so I'm thinking M1. I don't know if you can do an N1 test then register it as PLG under 3ton thus putting you back in car MOT and out of "van" territory.


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From the M1 IVA manual:

"At the request of the applicant a vehicle with at least 4 seats and a load area not exceeding 40% of the length of the vehicle and a weight limit of 6500kg max mass may be classed as an M1 vehicle for the purpose of this manual"

This implies there is a grey area between M1 and N1 but over 40% load area for the length of the vehicle and I guess it's definately N1. Looks like N1 rating will effect the legal speed limits while your driving, the sort of insurance you may need, and congestion charges etc.

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in the 90/110 parts books for German market vehicles any sharp edges on the bench seat frames for example are covered with a push on plastic edging strip, sort of U shaped stuff that would go around a kit car boot lid opening for instance.

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Going back to the N1/M1 classification and speed limits. I'm under the impression that car derived vans are exempt from the speed restrictions on 'pure' commercial vehicles in the N1 class. Surely some form of commercial land rover would be considered a car derived van?

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Where does the 2000kg MAM come from? I could find a reference to 2040kg unlaiden weight. As far as I'm aware this is no passengers, fuel, or payload.

If your vehicle can get through the following you can class it as an M1: "At the request of the applicant a vehicle with at least 4 seats and a load area not exceeding 40% of the length of the vehicle and a weight limit of 6500kg max mass may be classed as an M1 vehicle for the purpose of this manual"

However the above implies a grey area as it's 'At the request of the applicant'. After much hunting around I've found someone else on a cycling forum discussing being caught speeding at 60 on a national speed limit single carridgeway road.


The original poster said these were quotes from the construction and use 1986.

Here they talk about trying to get a currently N1 classifiaction re-classified as an M1. To do this their van would have to be classed as dual use. I think the key things here for me are:
~ Unladen weight is less than 2040kg
~ the distance between the rearmost part of the steering wheel and the back-rests of the row of transverse seats satisfying the requirements specified in head ... (or, if there is more than one such row of seats, the distance between the rearmost part of the steering wheel and the back-rests of the rearmost such row) must, when the seats are ready for use, be not less than one-third of the distance between the rearmost part of the steering wheel and the rearmost part of the floor of the vehicle.

So in a nut shell if the distance from my steering wheel to the back of my back seats is more than one third of the distance from the steering wheel to the back of the car I'm fine as M1. If I were having the back seats in permanently then the load area would also have to be less than 40% of the vehicle length, but given the length of the bonnet I dont think that's an issue! ;-)

Having said that though the following bit gives me a little concern:
~ (i) be permanently fitted with at least one row of transverse seats (fixed or folding) for two or more passengers
So I may need to check the third rule to the back of the front seats as I plan to be able to remove the back seats to be able to carry larger loads.

Finally since the vehicle is pre 2001 I think it can still be a PLG if it is M1 or N1. I think the light goods taxation class came in after then?

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I've missread it. The row of seat behid the driver are a requirement for getting M1 using the dual purpose vehicle approach. So if I plan to ever take the seats out I'm knackered on that clause.

Need to look at the car derived vans again...

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