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I have had a response form VOSA see below

Dear Tim, Many thanks for your enquiry, I have been asked to respond. Please accept my apologies for the late reply, the department is very busy at this time. The situation as it stands with regards to these vehicles is as follows; Following an examination of one of these vehicles at Southampton SVA testing station, the examiner identified areas of the vehicle that caused concerns with regards to its basic design. The areas of concern being those of the seat belt anchorage points, the suspension mounting points and the ability of the structure to withstand the forces and vibrations to which it is likely to be subjected to. I know of one other Lightweight that has been presented for test at Nottingham and passed. I made enquiries with the station and was informed that the vehicle presented had initially failed its inspection for similar problems but was re-presented "heavily modified" in these areas. It would suggest therefore that the vehicle is capable of meeting the standards required of SVA but only after being modified from its original design. I can understand and indeed sympathise with your members with regards to the situation that they now find themselves in. I have indeed spoken to quite a few of them this week after my name and contact details were left on your RHOCaR site. Regarding this, I do not object to my details being made available however, you will appreciate that we are all very busy people and work load and resources do not allow me to speak to everyone concerned. I note with interest that Mr Bennett, who's vehicle failed the test at Southampton had negotiated a replacement 2B kit in exchange for his Lightweight from Robin Hood. I am not fully aware of the circumstances here but it must send out all kinds of alarm bells to your members in the process of building a Lightweight. However, we must not judge this without all of the facts. Quite a few people I speak to who are embarking on a "self-build" project (or have indeed just finished building such) are naive when it comes to SVA. Indeed, the majority are unaware of our publication "The Single Vehicle Inspection Manual". This manual is a detailed guide on the inspection of vehicles that are submitted to an official testing station under the SVA scheme. It is produced for the examiners who carry out the inspections and for vehicle presenters and other interested parties who wish to familiarise themselves with the technical requirements and inspection procedures. I always recommend that anyone embarking on a project like this to take a look at this publication (£37.00 to purchase) as a lot of answers to potential problems can be found in here. I hope that I have provided you with sufficient answers. If I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me. Kind regards, Steve Bardsley Technical Officer Single Vehicle Approval VOSA.

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Interesting! The only other Lightweights to have been passed at Nottingham are Robin Hood's

and Simon Goodall's (diyer). I've seen build pictures of Simon's car and it isn't "heavily" modified,

although I think he strengthened up the seat belt mounts. As for Robin Hood's car, that was copied

by Trevor Bennett for submission to Southampton. Again, that wasn't much different to the

original construction shown on the build DVDs. All I can think is that the Nottingham centre are

more or less happy with the basic design and described the car as "heavily modified" to Steve



Pete B)

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hi well that told us a lot !not!


i have a propsal


lightweight owners after all it is our problem, not the entire rhocar community,could we as a group purchace a lightweight add the required strengthening prior to complete build up ,submit the not completed car for appraisal by vosa i understand this may need negoiation as this is not the accepted course of action.


it would then be a benchmark for us all vosa may be persuaded to perform this inspection in light of this problem involving so many builders and it would make their job so much easier if we are all tackling this in the same way


i as many others do not want to strip my car add what i or we think is correct ,re assemble only to have missed something and have to start again .


i am willing to put my money where my mouth is,my workshop, and my time.and ihave a trailor .

local test centre is only 6 miles away .but i dont feel compitent enough to do this alone .


10 owners £100 each = £1000 i think we could sorce a lightweight for this and then spread the cost of bits test fee ect after all the cost of one failed test is £170 and i do not want to handle the money!! this is not a scam!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


rhocar community i am not trying to split the community far from it we need all the help and advice

we can get i just feel that the ony help resolving this we are going to get is from ourselves.

rhsc i dont think so!!!

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WOA! wait on there!


We've always found that the examiners at the various SVA stations have been most helpful in advising builders, prior to the actual SVA with what they expect to see, and will or won't pass.


I would suggest that lightweight builders first of all phone their local SVA station, explain that they're building a Lightweight, know that there's now a problem or two with it, but because RHSC (due to the situation,) are of little or no use in resolving it, they would like some guidance please.


Ask if it would be OK, to bring the part built kit on a trailer for them to spend just a couple of minutes to explain just what is required.


Be non-confrontational, don't say "That Ba.......d down Plymouth!" or such, and I'm farely confident that they will point you in the right direction.



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jim my problem is i dont have a part built , mine as are others 99% finnished and trimmed

im trying to avoid more than 1 strip down ta



so you want to buy another kit, part build it, pay for an SVA to find out where it'll fail. :(


If you try it that way, you'll not get past the first door for SVA, as it won't deemed to be ready!


99% of the SVA examiners are good guys, they'll tell you how best to tackle the problems with your car at the stage you're at, if you'll ask their advice.

What's it going to cost? a phone call, half a day off work to take it, I'd say it's a bloody site cheaper and quicker than your solution, plus you'll know just what is wanted, and won't be guessing!


But, It's your car, do as you wish!

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looks like i will have to go it alone then i will purchace a lightweight from e bay and streagthen it to a stage that will pass then transfer my engine box ect . so that the work i have done will not be waststed then sort my tub the same way and sell it on, good luck to all lightweight builders in passing sva all the best.



i'mgoing it alone cos nobody has the conviction to see this through to its logical end. ie sort it fix the prob and enjoy the end result


good luck to all graham

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looks like i will have to go it alone then i will purchace a lightweight from e bay and streagthen it to a stage that will pass then transfer my engine box ect . so that the work i have done will not be waststed then sort my tub the same way and sell it on, good luck to all lightweight builders in passing sva all the best.

i'mgoing it alone cos nobody has the conviction to see this through to its logical end. ie sort it fix the prob and enjoy the end result


good luck to all graham

What a waist of time and effort when you have a car that is almost complete just do as Jim says and strengthen up the places that are known to be the weak points. Buying one part built would have to be striped completely as you wouldn’t know to what standard it had been assembled and what had been used to bond the panels

Instead of buying another one why not spend the cash on a TIG welder then you could make it into a true monocock. :D :D

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Why not take your car to SVA knowing its a fail and have a good long chat with the examiner to find out what strengthening he would like to see?


That way you only have 1 strip down and you won't have to buy another lightweight.


I found the SVA examiner to be very helpful when it came to giving advice on fail points and how he would like to see them corrected.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Good luck with it Graham (and any other lightweighters), whatever way you decide to tackle it. I can't help agreeing with Jim and Chris that you'd be far better off stripping your own car rather than buying another one that you're not aware of how well or badly the tub was assembled, also the complexity of getting a group of members assembled from all parts of the country would be more effort than doing it all yourself.

I thought the original letter from VOSA seemed quite well reasoned, but it seemed to imply that there is only one lightweight on the road. I thought there were at least two from this forum and at least one RH demonstrator.

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it seems to me that nobody has actually questioned the decision by trying to sva another standard leightweight! that tester is well known for being overzealous (as far as i am aware)

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I think that now it's gone to VOSA then all stations have been told to look out for lightweights.

I agree with Grim I think providing most of the points that were picked up on Trev's car have been addressed - I know some especially the lack of a separate chassis can’t easily be addressed - then submitting it for test seems a sensible thing to do. Most testers are keen to see the car pass and on the road the chap who tested mine at Norwich could have failed it on lots of small items instead he went for a very long coffee brake while I "fixed" them. Even if all VOSA stations have been informed, at the end of the day its up to the tester to pass or fail it in the same way he would a scratch build.

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hi all

i have taken the view that 2 have passed sva. therfore the basic concept is sound,i have embarked on a a mission to streagthen the car to hopefully achieve sva standard ,there is a meeting of some of the lightweight builders and the owner of the only sva passed lightweight out side rhsc next sat the 28 ,

to try to thrash out the issues,hopefully simon can get here ,

if rs still has any time to view the site pherhaps his design prowesscould be harnessed to help resolve the problem,.gbsc take the view that 2 have passed so no problem their input would also be valued,it also wouldnt hurt their image or credibility.

i am happy for mine to be the test bed for ideas not cos i want mine finnished first! but if it goes wrong then i am in a position to scrap mine and move on to another project others are not in that position ,

as most of you are aware these cars are riveted and bonded together, drilling out the rivvets no prob breaking the bond without damaging the panals a different animal altogether,

so the alterations as far as poss have to be done to a completed tub sympathetically.

and with a lot of brain hurt!!!!!!!!

ohh by the way 5mm alloy ant cheap,

by the way i was told by a mate today that a yellow lightweight traveling through france smashed its sump

on some bricks,as read in

a car mag.???can only be the rhsc car i think?


babble finnished regards graham

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