John Brett

John is a professional engineer with 50 years experience.

John has designed and built many cars, trucks, and vehicle assembly facilities.

John has worked on design of roads, bridges, cranes, transmission towers, and buildings, and operation, maintenance and upgrade of hydro and gas turbine power stations.

John was a LVV Certifier for 13 years. John has long been a whistle-blower, expressing the view that the LVV system is dangerously deficient. John's authority was revoked in December 2012.

John rides a 1992 Yamaha FJ1200ABS, and is also a keen road and off road cyclist.

APOLOGY

“The LVVTA has brought it to my attention that statements I have made in relation to it and its employees may have been perceived as defamatory.

I sincerely regret that and apologise for any harm caused. I have taken down the statements identified by the LVVTA of concern to it.

I have strong views about the low volume vehicle certification process and intend in the future to direct my energies into the public inquiry now being held in relation to it.”

John Brett 7th October 2015

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Classic Nissan

The rear wheel drive Nissans are absolute classics in their own right, and a gold-mine for anyone wanting to build a fast, reliable, good-handling car, either for road, track or drifting.

Nissan RB25DET

Nissan RB25DET


Nissan SR20DET

Nissan SR20DET

There are the six cylinder cars- Skyline, Laurel and Cefiro, and the four cylinder cars – Sylvia, 200SX, 180 SX, all available with and without turbo.
The sixes (the RB’s) come on 2 litre 2.5 litre, 2.6 litre (the Godzilla) and 3 litre (Aussie Nissans and Holdens) It is possible to build a RB30DET by taking an aussie 3 litre block and fitting an RB25DET head. It is common to fir bigger turbos, and some phenomenal power outputs can be achieved.
The fours (SR’s) are no slouches either- conversions of a DE to a DET by fitting a turbo are common, as is fitting bigger turbos.

The suspensions on all of these cars is basically sound from the get-go, and respond well to fitment of adjustable platform struts (coil-overs), adjustable camber arms, caster bars, etc.

The braking systems can generally be interchanged- the bigger brakes come with 5 stud hubs.

Front Intercoolers are commonly fitted, and often holes cut in the inner guards for Intercooler ducts.
There is a problem with later, “frontal impact” cars- no LVV Certifier can test the crash performance of a car, so cannot approve anything that affects frontal impact. We heard of a man who bought an intercooler kit from Japan, and followed the instructions to modify the front siderails to make it fit. He ended up having to have the whole front of his car re-built with new side-rails. If your car is fitted with airbags, or is later than about 1997, check FIRST with your LVV Certifier

John Brett Technology Ltd. Ph 0800 LOWVOLUME (0800 569865)

171 comments to Classic Nissan

  • kharlos R

    hi there i have a 1998 Nissan skyline R34 i have put my front mount intercooler on but i also cut a hole big enough for the piping below the batterie box i was wondering if i need a cert for this as i read on couple forums of where to do it ??

    but when i came up for a warrent they are not sure if i need a cert or not so the question been is do i need one or not and will it pss where i have cut it ??doesnot look like it will effect anything

  • johnbrett

    Hi Kharlos- I assume it is a Turbo car in the first place. For the WOF (and for LVV) it is not allowed to alter any frontal impact structure. Cutting a hole of say 100 to 150mm dia in the side panel is normally considered not to affect frontal impact, because the standard car has a similar hole on the other side. (Hint- make sure the hole is nice and neat, no bare metal or sharp edges)

  • kharlos R

    hi john thanks for the reply it was a non turbo that had been converted professionally before i brought it but had standard side mount so i cut a hole only big enough to get the pipe in and have little bit of room to play i dont think it will be more the 150MM due to it only been 2.5 inch piping ill tidy up the hole and see what the say anyway if worse comes to worse ill jsut get it repaired

  • johnbrett

    OK Kharlos- a change from non turbo to turbo needs a LVV Cert. The previous owner should have got this done. The WOF people probably missed this. The Nissan plate for the car should say ‘Engine RB20 DE” or “RB25 DE” if it was built as a non turbo, and “DET” if built as turbo. You WILL need a Cert!

  • kharlos R

    is there anyway of telling if the car has been certed as the previous owner claimed he had the cert done as i was interested in the car i didnt really check it out to confirm if it was or not so basically went of they guys word ….went for a warrent today and they didnt say anything about the engine just the intercooler piping they said if i could find someone to say that it was ok to cut the hole as wont effect it to much the will note it in there system for the next wareent and pass my car

  • johnbrett

    If the WOF agent can access the IVCERT screen, they will see if a LVV Cert was done. If it was, the LVV PLATE should be on the car, but possibly was not fitted, removed or something. If you can’t get the IVCERT screen checked, you can phone the LVVTA on 04 2384343. Cheers John

  • Zeb

    Hey,
    Looking at turboing my 2003 350z first registered in Nz 03/06.
    Any issues with;
    *Removal of front intrusion bar to fit the intercooler?
    *Removal of catalytic converters
    *ECU reprogramming
    *Driveshaft loops?

    Just wondering what will need to be done for cert and approximate price. Thanks.

  • johnbrett

    Hi Zeb
    Removal of front intrusion bar is a definite NO.
    Not sure about removal of Cat- could depend on the Certifier
    Engine Mods WILL require driveshaft loops, one for each section, within 50 mm of front universal joint.

    We can’t quote for the Cert, there are NO LVV Certifiers available in Auckland, sorry. I suggest you phone NZTA on 0800 108 809.

    Hope this helps

    John

  • Brook

    Hey. So I’m currently doing up my r32 coupe. I understand that I need a cert for the following
    -Turbo engine swap
    -front and rear camber arms
    -adjustable suspension
    -front mount Intercooler

    Do I need a cert for aftermarket caster, tie rod, traction rod, toe arms. The brand would be “hard race” and if they do require a cert my question is why?? aren’t they factory adjustable for wheel alignments??

  • johnbrett

    Hi Brook
    LVV Certifiers are required to list all modifications and make sure they meet requirements. Imagine, say, if an caster arm was fitted which was for some reason unsafe. The LVV Certifier would be expected to fail it just the same as he would if say an unsafe tyre was fitted.
    Hope this helps
    Regards John

  • Brook

    Thanks for the reply

    Just another question

    If I have adjustable suspension in but with factory wheels

    Will the factory wheels be added to cert plate or not??

    As I would like the option of adding mags to my car later on

    Thanks

  • johnbrett

    Hi Brook- If the wheels were standard when Certified, that’s what the LVV Plate would show. According to the WOF requirements, a new Cert is not required if you later change the wheels- see http://vehicleinspection.nzta.govt.nz/virms/in-service-wof-and-cof and http://vehicleinspection.nzta.govt.nz/virms/in-service-wof-and-cof/general/tyres,-wheels-and-hubs/tyres-and-wheels
    The rules used by the LVVTA are different, and they expect you to get a new LVV Cert if you change wheels.
    If you fit wheels which meet the WOF requirements after the LVV Cert, I don’t think you should have any problem from the WOF people.
    Hope this helps

    Regards

    John

  • brad

    hi john
    quick questions
    have an r32 1990 skyline coupe with standard mpec 4pot big brakes
    following mods:

    rb25det + rb20det manual gearbox (from rb20det)
    intercooler + piping (all cut nicely and small holes) with aftermarket bov fitted on intercooler piping
    rb25det side plenum (greddy copy)
    pod filter
    4″ exhaust (with silencer bolt on tip at the end to reduce noise)
    wastespark coil set

    here is a link of a photo of the engine bay
    http://s31.photobucket.com/user/bax_nz/media/100_2307_zps79b93d25.jpg.html

    which of these mods will need low volume cert and how much are we talking?
    thanks for your time

  • johnbrett

    This sound like a pretty nice conversion.
    Essentially, ALL modifications need to be LVV Certified.
    Exhaust noise- the best approach is to run the vehicle through a WOF inspection to see if they fail it. If they do fail it, then so will the LVV Certifier.
    Cost- now around $670.00 inclusive of GST

    Hope this helps

    Regards

    John

  • brad

    thanks, will be in touch

  • Fraser

    I am looking to buy an r32 gts25 that has been converted to an mspec gtst. It doesn’t have a cert, I know about needing the drive shaft hoops, is there anything else I will need? It also has front mount, 3″ turbo back exhaust and bov etc. The guy will cert it for me if I want (obviously a higher price) but I’m wondering if I should just do it myself. Any advice would be appreciated.

  • johnbrett

    This looks like a very certifiable car. Depending on where you are, it can be difficult to find a LVV Certifier now, as so many have left the system. Prices will be around $600 in Auckland. Certainly you will need two driveshaft loops, but it is best if you get a Certifier out to go over the car to give you a list of what you need to do. Regards

    john

  • alex

    HI John i have fitted a rb20det into a a31 cefiro that had a factory rb20de and have fitted the driveshaft hoops but have been told that i will need a turbo drive shaft can you please confirm this.

    cheers

  • johnbrett

    Hi Alex- Who told you this? Was it a Certifier? There is no rule as such, it is up to the judgement of the Certifier. I personally think that using the turbo drive-shaft is a good idea, it’s what the manufacturer thought was needed.
    Cheers John

  • regans

    hi john how much to cert a datsun 620 ute with air suspension all 4 wheels a vg30de conversion? cheers

  • johnbrett

    Hi Regan
    I am sorry I cannot quote for this, I no longer do LVV Certification
    You will have to find a Certifier prepared to do this

    Regards

    John

  • regans

    dam. whos easy est to get it done?

  • johnbrett

    Try phoning NZTA on 0800 108 809

  • ryan.d

    Hi John

    I have a nissan laurel c33 with rb20det and very basic modifications (adjustable suspension, intercooler etc). I was told by a certifier that i have to have a 5 stud conversion with bigger brakes for him to even look at the car. I have new discs and pads all round and has passed vtnz warrants twice. Have you certified any A31, C33 or s13 etc with a turbo motor and four stud standard brake set up? I realise factory A31 and c33 turbos have a larger disc but i was hoping the DE brakes would be enough. Thanks in advance

  • johnbrett

    Hi Ryan- Yes I have certified many similar conversions. I have found that usually the standard brake set-up will pass the 5 stop requirement that the LVV Certification requires. That said, it should be noted that:
    1 VTNZ have no way of evaluating this, their roller-test does not tell if brakes are wrong for the car-
    e.g might fade, or imbalanced front to rear,etc, and
    2 Nissan models have a range of brakes available, even on the same stud pattern-
    e.g. I have had customers fit bigger brakes still on 4 stud hubs.

    Further, the LVVTA is now making Certification decisions over the Certifier’s head. So, talk to your certifier a bit more, he might have good reason to fail it, or he might have been over-ruled by LVVTA.

    Best wishes
    John

  • jorgi

    Hi john I am about to take my skyline rb25det conversion for a cert but I do not have a pcv valve on the covers. What do I do in this case. Will it still pass

  • Morgan

    Hi mate. I have a 94 r33 skyline gts (factory rb20e) and the previous owner has fitted a rb25de. It passed a vtnz warrant check with no cert. Does that mean I don’t have to get a cert?

  • johnbrett

    No, unfortunately, it needs a Cert. VTNZ must have missed it.
    Cheers

    John

  • johnbrett

    Yep- it needs a Cert. Perhaps you could make a complaint about the faulty warrant- but hey- it’s hard for an inspector to know what’s standard for a particular vehicle. He might not have known to look at the plate that said “RB20DE” or understood that it needed to say “RB25DET”
    Cheers

    John

  • Robert koops

    Hi there john, i have an 04 ford courier im wanting to get certed for no front inner guards as they were cut out to allow for the vehicle to be lowered and also for mags 245/35 20″ to fit and wanting to know if this is able to be certed please…

  • johnbrett

    Hi Robert- I no longer do LVV Certs. There is no LVV standard or rule covering this- the LVVTA would now decide over their desks if this is OK. You should ask them.
    Cheers

    John

  • samir

    Hi John i am wanting to run 15 x 7.0 ET+24 and 15 x 7.5 ET+18 wheels on my factory gts-t which is 5 stud, will i need a cert for spacers as the wheels arent going to go over the bigger brakes without them and will it need a cert for the wheel size being smaller than factory? also i know the chassis will drop with the smaller wheels so im guessing ill need a cert for ride height? any advice ?

    cheers

  • johnbrett

    Hi Samir- You can change the wheels and tyres without a Cert (within the limits of the WOF requirements), but WOULD need a cert for any sort of spacer or adaptor.
    You say that the chassis will drop- but haven’t said what tyres you would fit.
    I can’t understand why you would do this, as a Cert will cost you around $600.00. Wouldn’t it be easier, cheaper, and better to fit some 16’s or 17’s as standard?

  • samir

    am going to run 195/50/15 up front an 195/55/15 rears, fronts will probably be semi slicks, more just for looks and something different to the everyday skyline on 17s/18s but yea it is cheaper to run 17s as i am at the moment

  • chris

    Hi, I am currently in the process of certifying my r32 gts to a 5 stud and rb30det. I failed on a “no engine check light” issue as I have kept the factory ecu (Im emulating a tune into it as i drive so i can alter it with my laptop ie chip tuning) as i stated to my certifier that the cat over temp light is the light that flashes if the ecu throws an error code, however, it isn’t amber but red. He wasnt sold on this and still sent me away with a failed comment. after digging into the manuals I was able to find a section that says the light acts as a ecu fault light, same as an engine check light aswell as many forums stating the same about r32s and 33s(not sure on r34s). My question is, with supported documents and photos of rear of dash etc will this need to be sent to HQ to prove that that light acts as an ECL. Im very confused and surely my certifier will be able to make a decision on the spot? What happens when you have a r32 come through you? Thanks.

  • johnbrett

    Hi Chris
    I know that the engine check light is a requirement now, and sometimes causes problems. I can only suggest that you talk more to your Certifier, and ask him to involve the LVVTA if neccessary.

    Regards

    John

  • Jacob rust

    Hi I’m I have a c33 Nissan laurel I just blew the factory 25de up and want to put a 25det coversion in it.it is all ready certed for hight and wheels spacers &factory engine camber arms what would I have to do to get it to cert standards like do I have to go 5stud bigger brakes bigger wheels all new bushers etc

  • johnbrett

    Hi Jacob- I am unable to advise you at this time. When I was doing LVV Certs, I would have relied on the road test to determine if the brakes met the standard- every similar car I did was fine, so long as the brakes were in good nick, and had decent pads. There is nothing in any LVV Standard about bushes- people replace them just to firm it all up, or because they had the fluid filled bushes that were leaking. Have you found a Certifier who will do it? Cheers John

  • Shamir

    Hi i have a r34 sedan with factory 25det.however the previous owner put a 26dett in it will this need a cert..

  • johnbrett

    Hi Shamir
    Yes it certainly will need a LVV Cert. You will need driveshaft hoops, but brakes should pass without any trouble

    Regards

    John

  • Cody

    Hey, im looking at taking my 1993 r32 gte sedan for a cert in the near future. I currently have put an rb25det in other that drive shaft hoops what els will it need done for cert from your knowledge? Also wanted to get it certed adjustable suspension. Iv been told ill need aftermarket camber arms and caster arms to get out the camber? (Word of mouth not told by a certifyer) also im putting a custom a31 front on it. Any idea if this will be a problem for cert? Because nothing structal needs changed iv got custom r32 guards with the front section of an a31 making it a “cefline”

  • Zac

    Hi I have recently installed coil-overs / adjustable suspension in my ’06 350Z. Before certification I’m going to need aftermarket rear camber arms and rear toe arms to bring the camber/toe back within legal limit. I’m worried that only certain brands will comply with NZ standards and because I’m buying from overseas I was hoping you could help shed some light on this. Thanks in advance.

  • johnbrett

    Hi Zac- there are no “legal limits” for wheel alignment- they just have to make a safe car. Excessive negative camber will be failed, usually at the 1 degree more than manufacturers spec. which happens when lowered too much. Camber and Toe arms- the LVVTA need to approve whatever is fitted now, better you talk to them or to a local LVV Certifier.
    Regards

    John

  • Richard Hollywood

    I have a customer that has a ’74 260z, and I have fitted an XYZ coil over kit, it required weld which was done by a ticketed Marine engineering company, does this need an NDT crack test ?? original struts were factory welded ??
    Thanks Richard

  • johnbrett

    Hi Richard
    I’m sorry I can’t give a reply on this now, all the decisions on items such as this are now made by the LVVTA on a case by case basis. I suggest you phone them. Sorry I can’t help. Regards John

  • Matt ward

    Hey was the deal with driveshalf loops on s14 some say one some say two which is it? They have the hanger in the place and the rear factory loop so should only need one is this right?

  • johnbrett

    Hi Matt
    They need a loop on the FRONT of EACH section of driveshaft- The center hanger bearing does not count as a a driveshaft loop.
    Thanks for your query

    John

  • Randy Re

    Hello,

    I am just wondering if you know of any other chassis that share strut tower bars with C35 Laurels?

  • johnbrett

    Hi Randy
    By strut tower bars I assume you mean the brace across the top. I always thought that the Laurel and the Cefiro were very similar, even the Silvia. Without putting a tape measure across I couldn’t be sure though
    Thanks for your query
    Regards

    John

  • Conor

    Hey there, I have built a turbocharged s15 from a bare shell. I want a cert, but I’m stuck with a few questions. First off, I have a full set of adjustable arms for front and rear and I have heard that these might not pass cert depending on the brand. How can I tell if my arms will pass cert? Also is it alright to cut a hole in the battery tray for intercooler piping? Cheers.

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