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The 'Single Vehicle Assessment' Test  - 10th May 2001

The weather forecast was perfect for the trip to Norwich for the appointment at 08:30, so why was it, with the Cobra loaded onto a borrowed trailer in the back garden on Wednesday evening, we had massive thunder storms and rain overnight?! - Oh well, good job I had a Tarpaulin over the cockpit area.

The day before the test, various 'adjustments' had to be made to meet the requirements of the test, as shown..........

Pilgrim supplied

Pilgrim supplied

Pilgrim supplied

The Lead flashing screen pillar SVA mod and all the sticky tape is a bit obvious and the tester must realise that it is coming off straight after the test!

Pilgrim supplied

Pilgrim supplied

Pilgrim supplied

We left at 05:30 to give us plenty of time and were at the Norwich test centre by 07:20. He began the test early at 08:10 and we were finished about 2 hours later, so we were lucky. The SVA test lane was all very new looking and full of computerised aids, like the brake roller, which he sat in the car and operated by remote control, following instructions on the screen. This also weighed the front and back axles. He took a few measurements i.e. wheelbase and centre of the seat in relation too them. He used these measurements in a calculation later when he had all the results of the brake test.

Emissions check

Chassis, steering, suspension etc. check

I was slightly concerned when he put it on the rolling road to check the Speedo, I thought I was just going to show him a bit of paper from ETB via Pilgrim, stating that the Speedo was within limits for the given set up. On the roller my Speedo over read - ind.30mph is 27 then he did 10mph increments up to 70mph, which is 60. This is within limits - would fail if it under read.

To test the wipers he just sat in the car, did a quick squirt and a couple of wipes then got me to stick my finger over the washer nozzle for 5 sec's approx. and checked it still worked. To think, there was me in my garage getting all stressed about sweep angles and blades parking against the screen edge etc etc.

Headlamp aim check

One of my headlamps was slightly out of alignment and he let me adjust it on his alignment tester.

A Pass !

Then the noise test was done outside..My exhaust pipes passed at 93 and 89 dB, I think due to a bit of extra wadding wrapped in steel mesh in front of the main baffle.
The examiner pointed out that the heater control knob on the dash, protruded more than 15mm  from the dash and that there was a bolt head in the foot well that needed some padding. This he allowed me to sort out while he went and did the brake calculations. Out with the hacksaw and some more sticky tape!

Quick modifications!

All I can say is that I was amazed at how easily the test went, I almost feel guilty. It's all down to getting the right test center on the right day and getting the right bloke to test it.

If you can get your car to Norwich, you can't go far wrong. The guy was pro. kit cars and knew a bit about them (he has had several sumos through)


We brought the car back home and then drove it to Peterborough legally (without number plates) to get the DVLA office to check the paperwork and Chassis numbers etc. so they could issue an age related number plate.

I had wound up my front suspension to max for the indicator heights to be ok and he never checked them. It made the front end a bit jumpy on the road and I have now wound them down 1/2" which has improved the handling considerably.

I've clocked up 200 miles now and have discovered that with the Pilgrim ali. Radiator grill, hardly any air gets through and I was overheating. I have replaced it with a more open mesh grill and temps are down by about 15 degrees and the electric fans are having a well-earned rest.