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Devil's Advocate. Just to cheese you off.
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You know how most of those Lamborghini, porsche, and ferrari replicas are just Fieros or MR-2's under the sheetmetal? I know that most of the time you register them with the state and insurance as the donor car. are there any major inspections that need to be made on these?

My real question is this: How are dune buggies and sandrails registered, licensed, and insured if they're built off a donor platform? I know I see plenty of them with actual kansas plates out here. I'm thinking of taking a vehicle and stripping it of the majority of it's body, and building a TIG welded tube frame for it, dune buggy style. What all safety equipment is needed? I plan on putting racing seats in it, and probably 5-point harnesses, but there may be more than 2 seats on it. I know I'll need headlights, tail lights, a horn, turn signals, brake lights, and I will probably need to keep the airbag (driver side only on the donor), is that all I need to be concerned about? will it still be licensed and insured as if it were the original vehicle as long as most of the VIN plates are still present?
 

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You shouldn't need an airbag w 5pt harness, and it'd be hell, not to mention DANGEROUS, to "rig" an airbag. Generally, in custom-built cases, most people register as the donor motor. Do you live in an area which actually does safety inspections? They don't in my corner of WI, thank God, and I'm planning on moving to the Free State (www.freestateproject.org) to permanently get away from gov't interference.

For a completely scratchbuilt car, there are kit car registrations.

Generally, I'd try to find a donor VIN that's completely impenetrable by government watchdogs. Anything you can do to get this thing registered without government intervention is in your best interest. Diesels are exempt from emissions testing, for example, and a clean title and VIN off an old diesel Rabbit, for example, would allow you to register the car as a diesel and you'd never get sniffed. That is, if you have emissions testing, which, I hope, you don't. Freakin' **** plot, what that is.

Check your local laws and look up a resource like Kit Car Magazine. There's lots of people who go about this sort of thing.
 

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Devil's Advocate. Just to cheese you off.
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Discussion Starter #4
there's no sniffy sniff test, but I think there is a test of safety systems when you register the vehicle.

okay I give in. The vehicle in question is my 1989 ford Aerostar. It's registered right now. Would gutting it be legal?!? Some have told me it needs a front windshield, and head protection, i.e. a rollcage, which I planned on doing. I would leave the stock exhaust alone. I would re-position the radiator the the rear of the vehicle, but the floorpan, suspension, frame, drivetrain, engine, intake and exhaust should remain stock (except for some lowering of the suspension) on this thing if I do it the way I want to.
 

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Originally posted by ax0n:
there's no sniffy sniff test, but I think there is a test of safety systems when you register the vehicle.

okay I give in. The vehicle in question is my 1989 ford Aerostar. It's registered right now. Would gutting it be legal?!? Some have told me it needs a front windshield, and head protection, i.e. a rollcage, which I planned on doing. I would leave the stock exhaust alone. I would re-position the radiator the the rear of the vehicle, but the floorpan, suspension, frame, drivetrain, engine, intake and exhaust should remain stock (except for some lowering of the suspension) on this thing if I do it the way I want to.
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">a VAN?!?!?!!?

OMG

iunno man
 

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Dude, you're crazy.
But yeah, it does vary state to state, so I don't know the rules in your neck of the woods.

Once, I'd actually thought of buying a Ford Ka, shipping it here in pieces, and then reassembling it and putting on the VIN of a wrecked Ford Festiva and registering it as a salvage title Festiva.


Would have been fun, but in the end it would have been a lot more hassle than it'd have been worth.

Ed
 

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Devil's Advocate. Just to cheese you off.
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Discussion Starter #7
Well the windows don't roll down, the A/C doesn't hold a charge, the doors don't lock, the back door doesn't like to open or close too easily, it's got a REALLY good engine in it (160,000 original miles, never had to do ANYTHING wierd to it ever except spark plugs), a decent tranny (recently re-built), new alternator, plugs and wires, and u-joints on the driveshaft. It gets okay gas mileage and it pulls like a mutha. I hate to see it go, but I can't help but think how fun it would be to lose that heat-trap of a body and make some sort of buggy contraption out of it. I might be able to still pull a trailer with it too. That'd be funny to see a buggy pulling a trailer with something on it, instead of seeing a truck pulling a buggy on a trailer.

[ 04-27-2003, 11:31 PM: Message edited by: ax0n ]
 

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Contact the Kansas Highway Patrol offices and ask for their package on licensing a "kit" car. The information is geared more for someone building a brand-new vehicle but is quite helpful as to what Kansas laws are to necessary items for the street...head/taillights, brake lights, turn signals, windshield and wipers, etc.

As mentioned before, as long as you maintain the VIN numbers on the dashboard plate then licensing as a Ford Aerostar mini-van should remain intact even after modifications.

One option is to shed the body after the driver and passenger seats and make it a pick-up or cut the top off behind the front windshield and remove the side windows behind the driver's compartment.

Good luck!

Regards,
Gerry
 

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the only glass you legally need to have is the winsheild, you do need a complete floorpan, radiator can go anywhere, engine can go anywhere as long as it is seperated from the passenger compartment by a firewall. You only need to maintain the airbag if the car was originally equipped with one, but it doesnt hve to be connected.

As for the 5 pt harness. That must be mounted in an original mounting location, or on a support which can hold a minimum of 3000 lbs. and be no more than the hieght of your shoulders or 4 inches less.
 

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Isn't it already registered? I mean, if you have plates on it, and keep sending in the renewals, there's no reason the state should ever have to see the car. In fact, here in WI, I can register and title a car without them ever inspecting it.

The only time it could become an issue is if you get pulled over and the cop whips out his authoritarian scrutiny on you.

I like older Aerostars (the '92-forward dash is hideous) and have thought of picking one up. Here's the thing w/ Aerostars. Underneath that "heat trap" of a body is a Ford Ranger frame. That's right, the Aerostar is body-on-frame, and that makes your job considerably easier. Now, an Aerostar has a sort of "basket-handle" B-pillar. You could concieveably keep the windshield and A-pillar frame, cut out the roof Targa-top style over the front, chop down the doors low enough to step over and weld them in like a Jeep Wrangler or IH Scout and then chop the whole roof off the back, essentially making it an Aerostar Jeep-like convertible with a roll hoop over the front (for safety purposes- seatbelts remain in stock location). For fun you could even put big chrome off-road lights on the hoop.

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">code:</font><hr /><pre style="font-size:x-small; font-family: monospace;"> D_
/ | \
/| | \
/_| | \____________
/ | | E]
|\ __\____/ O __ E]
[__/ \_______________/ \____]
O O</pre><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Forgive the horrible ASCII art, but you get the idea. If you don't, I could do a rendering, but it's basically an open-air Aerostar, registered as an Aerostar, and completely street legal.

[ 04-28-2003, 11:51 AM: Message edited by: NationwideClyde ]
 
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