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Rob Bell

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  1. Absolutely no idea - particularly for vehicles that have never been homologated in the EU. You'd have thought that they would not automatically be exempted from the charge? BTW still working on this "project" that I appear to have set myself, but am still working to see whether we can get a reasonable and workable solution through Millbrook - who happen to undertake emissions compliance work for TfL...
  2. Likely to be two rings of cameras - one for the ULEZ current zone, and another for the extended ULEZ. If you had three cars parked in strategic positions, that'd work, but I fear parking charges might be a bit excessive (unless you have a cunning rouse to get past that one). Some good news - friend of friend who used to work for MG Rover before the company's collapse can help with an entry to Millbrook. One part of the jigsaw. If they're agreeable, I'll take my pscan diagnostic gear and a later-spec catalyst with me and see whether I can get the car to pass the NOx test without changing the ECU - but if I need to convert to a later specification, it won't be the end of the world
  3. That's kind of fine as a solution, but it is also a massive disincentive to drive the car at all - I want the freedom to jump in the car any time, and then not worry about paying the tax - which at £12.50 a pop, would soon mount up. Let's say that this is my plan of last resort.
  4. Dave, that's exactly what I think - someone in TfL is a scooterboi and left a two-stroke sized loop-hole in the regulations to allow him to ride to work... But who knows? A bit of a slow-down over the Christmas period, but Charlie at CCW is running a larger piece on the ULEZ and its implications for modern classics. That may produce some movement (hopefully not in a negative direction!) Oh, and through a friend, we may have a contact that can pull some strings at Millbrook that can definitely do the necessary NOx emissions tests. Early days yet, but I suspect that my best bet could be to convert my MGF to MEMS3 which is EU3 compliant (I'd conveniently forgotten I have ported the head on mine and used warmer R140 cams - which I am sure will mess up emissions even though it still passes MoT without difficulty). Of course, to get to EU3 specification could mean that I fit the 1.8 K-series turbo from a Rover 75 that I have sitting in the garage, but hey, there has to be a silver lining somewhere! Happy new year everyone - hopefully I'll make some more progress on this over the next year
  5. Finally I managed to get a response from MyCarImport - the only privately owned IVA test centre in the UK. The news is not encouraging. £3000? I am not hugely keen on paying 10 times the value of my car just to get an emissions test! That is a lot of journeys to make before recouping the investment. Plus this is likely just one part of a process. Something is not quite right here: how is it that Riverbank Motorcycles can do NOx emission exemptions and we can get the same for older "clean" cars? @angle did you have any luck with your contact at TfL?
  6. PS - I had this back from the Federation of historic and veteran vehicles. Executive summary: if its modern shite, they're not interested and won't help (but you knew that already ;))
  7. Coolant leak could be many things - but the bad bit is that the coolant tank is empty and has likely been driven like this for a period of time. This can quickly = scrap head - but fingers crossed this isn't the case.
  8. Yes. Any 4-cylinder K-series from 2001 is ULEZ compliant. If TfL ever gets antsy and demands Eu4, then the Chinese built TF was Eu4 compliant and the hardware is essentially the same. Just need to re-flash the EU with the later calibration. Of course the problem could prove to be getting the DVLA to accept the changes? Sit Rep on the current ULEZ situation: Been discussing things with Charlie at CCW - he's going to run some more articles on the ULEZ situation that could lead to some clarification on how to move things forward in terms of retrospective exemption. (That may not be for the better to be honest - this is officialdom we're talking about here, but who knows?) I've finally had a reply from the federation of vintage and historic vehicles. They're not really interested in modern classics that are less than 30 years old, but at least they did give a detailed response - albeit one that tells me what I knew already... I'll let them know when I make progress (in one direction or other!) I've still not heard from the private IVA testing centre. This may be an "email thing" - when I get a chance I'll pick up the phone in office hours and corner them that way. However, there is a chance they don't have NOx analysis equipment. This is available, but I guess not cheap - but since they certify import vehicles under IVA rules, I would have thought that they would have the kit necessary? Basically, I am still chipping away. As things stand, I've nothing to lose and everything to gain *if* retrospective exemption can be extended to cars as well as motorcycles. [PS is it me, or does anyone else thing that there is someone in TfL who is a classic motorcycle nut and as engineered a loop hole for two-wheeled motor vehicles? Question is, how rigid is this hole and can it be enlarged to include cars?]
  9. The early ones with the chrome bumpers are definitely prettier - and offer even more astonishing colours from the decade of real colour: the 1970s!
  10. KGB standard issue? I thought that Bond's DB5 had a choice of 4 different plates?
  11. My MGF is EU2, so no post-cat Lambda sensor - but the function of that sensor is to confirm that the catalyst is working correctly and has no bearing on the emissions the vehicle emits (that's the function of the pre-catalyst sensor). The K16 engine was actually homologated in both EU3 and EU4 form (the latter work undertaken by Riccardo, paid for by the Chinese) - there's next to no hardware difference between the two. For my EU2 engine, I have absolutely no idea what its NOx emissions are like. My hunch is that there is little material difference between the early and later catalyst - the principle difference being the later one has a boss for the post-cat Lambda. Interestingly, on the earlier car's ECU, fuel and timing advance trim can be set through software, which is why I am speculating whether the engine could be made to duck under the 0.08g/km NOx threshold? The engine was designed to learn burn and run without a catalyst (before the German manufacturers lobbied for compulsory cat fitment). NOx goes up with a lean burn, down when you enrich. Might be worth a punt to see whether the standard or slightly altered fuel/ignition could get it through. Otherwise, I'd be happy to convert over to the later ECU (and different fuel injectors etc.) - not a too difficult task if you take the necessary parts from a later, scrapped car
  12. Wow... not sure I'd have bought one new in 1982, but in 2019 that starts to look interesting! Full of tango-goodness
  13. Awesome, that'd be handy! Thanks @angle, that would be really helpful. Thanks for all the suggestions chaps. You'll not be surprised if I hadn't already thought of a few of them I've looked into hiring a lock up on the other side of the north circular (I'm not that far from this road, which makes the charge feel particularly punitive), and I have a hunch that there may be gaps in camera coverage, but I don't know until they're installed. Heck, I've even thought about rotating number plates! A little sit rep. I've had a few conversations and some great ideas. Unfortunately Riverbank Motorcycles were not able to provide me with contacts with TfL with whom they collaborate with to get the TfL database updated for retrograde compliance on older 'bikes. Slightly disappointing, but I can understand the various reasons why they can't do that, but at least they took the trouble of responding to me! Where I am now is waiting for a response from one of the privately owned IVA test centres - this could be a potentially nice little earner for them. My feeling is that we shouldn't be trying to change the V5 details, as I get the impression that the DVLA will not be interested in retrospectively altering homologation details of older cars - but since the London ULEZ (and other proposed ULEZ) are not directly controlled by the DVLA and are only using a 0.08g/km NOx threshold, this could meet the green credentials required (and not require more carbon in the manufacture of a new car in Asia).
  14. I've dropped you a PM about the ZTT Dan As I have two MGFs, and one goes racing, spewing CO2s and HCs into the hedgerows, I will be paying the ULEZ charge when I drive that as strangling it with emissions tune won't be making it any faster. For my other MGF, if I can find someone who can do the same as Riverbank Motorcycles (who definitely are not VCA) and can do the test on smelly 35 year old two-strokes for £175. then that's my preference: that's little over 10 days' usage. But it may cost more for cars. Let's see. I've contacted a privately run IVA approved test centre to see whether I can get them to bite
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