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 John’s authority was revoked in December 2012.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.


“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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Low Volume Vehicle Certification- Your Queries

We have been answering queries about LVV Certification ever since this website was started.
The queries and the replies are spread around a number of posts.

So just to make things easier to find- here are some of the pages which might already have the answer you are looking for, or where you can post a new query.

Classic Nissan (and good stuff on other makes)
Aarons Holden Ute
What a Maloo!
Wheels and Spacer
Seats and Seatbelts in a Van
Aftermarket Seats and Seatbelt Buckles
Road Test Requirements for LVV Certification
Motor Homes and Motor Caravans
Motor Home Warning
Disability Adaptions
Disability Adaptions 2
Electric Rav 4 (and other electric Vehicles)
Stretch Limousines
VW Kombi Stunt Van (don’t try this at home)
Vehicle Crash performance- Don’t try this either!
Police get red Card for Pink Stickers

Some PAGES which might be relevent- (note that pages do not allow comment)
About LVV Certification
Resource Page
Vehicle Design Consultancy

Some good sites which also might be of help are:

If none of the pages seem relevent to what you want-
Post your query here on this Post-
Just click on the heading “Low Volume Vehicle Certification- Your Queries” and you will see the box below for “Leave a Reply”
No need to sign in- just solve the ‘recaptcha’ puzzle which stops robot spammers.
Posts are moderated, so keep it decent, and keep on topic, or it won’t appear.

NOTE- ANYONE CAN ANSWER A QUERY!- We don’t pretend to know everything-

if you know what you are talking about, and can answer a query, jump right in!
Comments from other LVV Certifiers are MOST welcome.
If you are in business, and can help an enquirer, feel free to use the opportunity to promote what you do.



Posted by John Brett

39 comments to Low Volume Vehicle Certification- Your Queries

  • I definitely like your weblog and find nearly all of your post’s to be specifically what I’m searching for. Does 1 present guest writers to write content material offered for you? I wouldn’t thoughts writing a post or elaborating on the majority of the subjects you write concerning here. Once more, amazing weblog! Shop Pin

  • Andrew H

    Good Afternoon John;

    Was very impressed with your website.

    I am half way through restoring a 1969 Series 2A Landrover… and im up to the breaks. To convert to disk breaks I have replaced both front and rear complete hub to hub diff housings and put in ones out of a 1988 Ranger Rover. To do this I had to cut off all the old coil spring stuff, and weld on leaf spring mounting points. I got someone to professionally weld it and have a certificate of strength. The diffs are a slightly higer ratio, but still have the same mounting points and type as the old diffs so no changes to the drive shafts required. They are also slightly wider than the older diffs. The front one is also slightly offset (about an inch) to the left (ie the left wheel is a slightly different distance away from the center of the car compared to the right wheel). Do you think there would be any issues with certing all of that?

    My plan now is to self install a new break booster and master cylinder, and get new lines run professionally. What are the certifcation issues regarding running of the new lines any hiccups I should know about? There are two inputs on each of the front callipers so plan to run just one fixed line to each side with a T junction at the chassy to accommodate this.

    • johnbrett

      Hi Andrew
      This sounds like quite a complex conversion. What you have done sounds fine, and I can’t see any problem so far. Fitting a new master cylinder and booster seems straight forward, but
      1 Make sure the they are of a suitable size- e.g. similar to what the Range Rover would have had.
      2 Look into how the dual circuit system was set up on the Range Rover, and try to copy this. Some vehicles had two seperate circuits to both front brakes so that if one circuit failed, you still had two front and one rear brakes. If this is how the Range Rover Brakes were meant to be, better to keep them that way.
      3 Front to rear balance- I don’t think that there would be a proportioning valve on either vehicle, but check anyway. There MIGHT be a load proportioning valve on the Range Rover, this would be good to have if you can.

      Hope this helps


  • Chris Hyman

    hi, was wondering if anyone knows what the nz stardards are for building a motorbike frame from scratch? i’m a qualified welder so that shouldn’t be an issue just needto know if there are any guidelines i need to follow. Thanks

  • Al B

    Hey, a query on engine swaps. If my car was cat-equipped when it left the factory, is a cat required for certification if the engine that’s being swapped in was produced cat-less in the UK in 1989? If not, is the engine code enough to prove this, or will I need the rego plate of the donor car? Thanks.

    • johnbrett

      The LVV Rules say- Cat required if original car and the new engine had a cat. If one of them didn’t, you don’t need to have a Cat. Some NZ new japanese cars did NOT have a Cat, whereas same model used import DID. What car? What Engine?

  • Thomas Matthews

    Hi, I want to make a carbon fiber hardtop with some sort of poly carbonate window for my Mazda MX-5, am I going to run into any certification issues.

    • johnbrett

      Hi Thomas- I don’t think there is any need to Certify this- the only issue I can think of is making sure there is a label on a polycarbonate window for the benefit of the WOF inspector. Most suppliers will be able to cut the piece, and fit a label. Cheers John

  • Steve

    Hi, in the process of changing my power steering pump, can I use aeroquip power steering braided hoses, they are a ptfe hose listed only for power steering, however they are not a crimp design. I see Brake hoses are not permitted in the threaded nut design, thanks for your time, Steve.

    • johnbrett

      I do not believe that there is any specific rule for PS hoses, except ‘fit for purpose’. The hose you mention would seem to meet that requirement I think


  • Max

    Hi, I’ve just put some lowering springs in my prelude which brought some structural components below the 100mm threshold. I was wanting to know if there is anything I can do to raise it up approximately 20mm without requiring certing. I have read the lvvt threshold document which looks like it rules out spring spacers and remachining custom tophats, it that correct? I was also looking into making some shock spacers to sit between the top of the shock and the body of the car, would that require certifying? (similar to what is described on this site:


  • Max

    Thanks for the quick reply John. I would rather make a shock spacer for this as I have the resources to make a nice job of it and by doing it that way I can tune it to get the right amount of lift; I worry that resetting the spring might be a bit hit and miss. Are you saying that using a shock spacer would need certifying?
    Thanks again,

  • johnbrett

    Hi Max
    I wouldn’t have thought a spacer would need Certification
    The problem now is that LVVTA make all the decisions, and could disagree with me
    Note that I am no longer a LVV Certifier
    Your call, sorry

  • Peter

    Hi I own a Nissan Terrano R50. I have been given a dickie seat originally fitted in a Toyota Camry. Is it possible to fit this seat to my truck? Thanks

    • johnbrett

      If this is a seat made by “RETRO” you need to talk to them. Otherwise it would need to be LVV Certified, and that could be a problem for you.


  • Eric

    Hi John, maybe a little outside the scope but thought you’d be the man to ask, I have a truck with a modification declaration for a Chevy 350ci&th350, however this has been replaced with a 253 & trimatic. Will my vehicle require certification as a result? Thanks

    • johnbrett

      I believe that “Declarations” expired years ago, and were all replaced with Low Volume Vehicle Certifications. As far as I know, you will have to go through another Low Volume Vehicle Certification for this vehicle.
      Note that I am no longer a Low Volume Vehicle Certifier.



  • Yes, this is a good post without any doubt. You are actually doing a great job. I am inspired from you. So keep it up!

  • nino grahonja

    Hello John, I have a sidecar attached to a motorcycle, the sidecar is a velorex, The frame is tubular with a fibreglass body. I am in a wheelchair and need some funding from ACC to enable me to return to motorcycle. I need to cut the back of the fibreglass body to enable a wheelchair access. ACC require these modifications to be certified in order to get me financial support. Can you give me some advice on this project and circumstance?

    • johnbrett

      Hi Nino

      The legislation around Motorcycles and sidecars is vague to non-existent
      The best person to help is Alex Gee, who is a LVV Certifier specializing in motorbikes

      His phone No is 027 2647282 and email

      Best wishes


  • Hi John

    I have a 1966 VW Beetle, I have recently bought some new shocks for it, these shocks have Coil over springs on them, will I need a certification for these (I am already booked in for a cert for my 1600cc engine and Disc Brake conversion) but just wondering if the engineer will charge extra for the fact that the shocks have springs on them?

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    • johnbrett

      Hi Alex- I cannot tell you how your certifier will charge, its entirely up to him.
      The VW Beetles had torsion bar springs, the shocks (dampers) mounts were made to take the damping loads, not the weight of the car through a spring.
      I see a problem there.

      Best of luck


      • Alex Proctor

        Hi John, just to make it a bit clearer, I have not removed the torsion bars, they are still set at the same height as before I put the shocks in, I added the shocks to assist with the torsion bars, allowing me to potentially lower the load on the torsion bars putting more of it onto the springs of the shocks. The shocks also are adjustable so allow a bit finer adjustment in height instead of taking off the entire torsion bar assembly to lower the car.

        So again, the shocks are not taking all the load, more of an assist to the existing configuration. The shocks are of similar design as to what you would find on a motorcycle.

        Thanks, Alex.

        • johnbrett

          Hi again Alex-
          It is up to your certifier what he accepts in additional loading on the damper mounts- I would be very cautious, as they were never made to carry any weight.
          Do you know about VW Beetle “Camber Compensators” These are a transverse leaf spring that carries some of the vertical load but REDUCES the rear roll-stiffness. When fitted, you REDUCE the tension on the torsion bars, so that weight is transferred to the Camber Compensator. The affect of this is to REDUCE rear roll stiffness, and weight transfer, so reducing / eliminating rear end sliding and reducing /eliminating the risk of axle jacking which flipped many Beetles, (and killed a few friends). Your plan goes the opposite way and will make the handling worse I think.

          • Alex Proctor

            Hi John,

            Ok good to know, ill email the guy I purchased these from, as they are being sold for the beetle. I will take them off and go back to normal shocks, I am keen to find out further about this subject.

            I am aware that increased tension on the torsion bars create positive camber which creates poor handling, whereas lowering the car (by decreasing tension on the rear torsion bars create negative camber, and improving handling, this is the reason why a good friend said that if you feel you are going to lose it in a corner you don’t take the foot off the gas and brake, you accelerate as this puts more pressure on the rear keeping the negative camber. I noticed this first hand with my coil-overs as the car was bunnyhopping when turning a tight corner at speed, so I will be removing these from the rear immediately, as with your explanation and my previous driving with them on it highlights a safety concern.

            In regards to the front beam, what are your thoughts on this, is it the same here also?

            Thanks, Alex.

          • johnbrett

            Hi again Alex
            Front end- you need the front end to keep its roll stiffness. The theory of this is if you INCREASE roll stiffness at one end- LESS GRIP- you get more weight transfer to the outer wheel, possibly even lifting of the inner wheel- the effect of more weight on less tyre causes less grip. FOR EXAMPLE If you add a sway bar on the front of an old Holden or similar, you will get more understeer (front end ploughing out) in the corners- better plan on those cars to add a sway bar at the rear to get the back end out. On the VW beetle you need to do the opposite, reduce the rear roll stiffness to get it gripping, leave the front as it is, so you get less OVERSTEER and axle jacking. I would look for a Camber Compensator kit, and have a play round with that. I wonder if there are still any VW Beetle performance experts still out there?

          • Alex Proctor

            Hi John, me again.

            Thanks for the info on the beetle I’ll change some of what I have done to reflect this and am looking into buying a camber compensator for the rear.

            I’ve been talking to my beetle parts supplier today who just noticed that my front beam has a welded adjuster installed (this is where the beam has a 2″ section chopped out and another section welded in with adjusters) I am not sure who installed on my car, probably many previous owners ago, and this is not certed for.

            I’ve been alerted that if this is discovered during the certification process I may fail as a modification to the beam like that would potentially require the welds x-rayed, now this has been on the car from my best guess about 7 years. But I’m guessing I have to either get this x-rayed or have a different front beam.

            What are your thoughts on this, as I could leave it as is, if it’s noticed then I’m guessing I don’t get a cert and still have to pay(?) Or I could get it x-rayed and get the front adjusters certified too.

            I find it frustrating that something that hasn’t given up the ghost for 7 years can come up now because certification is required, I’m almost wishing I didn’t convert to discs so I didn’t need to go through this process. But I’m more interested in the safety of my car, so I’ll give in and get it done.

  • Johan

    Hi John,

    On a suspension lift using spacers, will a cert be required? The suspension of the Prado is still standard, just lifted with spacers?

    • johnbrett

      Hi Johan
      I cannot find where body blocks are mentioned- (I presume this is what you mean). On the Prado, the steering needs an extension piece where the column connects to the rack. (In say a Surf, the steering column goes to a front mounted steering box, and can just angle a bit more) So you are going to need a Cert just because of this.
      Hope this helps



  • Simon

    Hi John,

    What is the general process with getting certified, does the certifier work with me to make sure my car is complaint and can be certified? Or is it payment of the full amount requested by the certifier regardless of getting the certification or not? Basically not wanting to have my car “Fail”/Not pass a cert all to do it all again to try and meet certification requirements.

    Thanks John, really appreciate you having open information here!

    Thanks, Simon.

    • johnbrett

      Hi Simon- I have not been certifying for a number of years, and the good certifiers that I knew have all left-
      My practice was to try to avoid having to fail vehicles by talking it through first. For a Pink stickered car, I would expect them to get a Pink sticker inspection first- If it is an import, then do the entry certification. if the car is a disaster, I don’t need to waste my time. If it comes back all good except the Cert- then it looks hopeful. I might ask for a wheel alignment first. If it is something like seat-belts, seats, body reconstruction, I want to talk it through before they start.
      I cannot say what current certifiers do, perhaps ask one
      Hope this helps



  • Jarrod

    Morning John, am just trying to find any information regrading caged and street legal.
    As I’ve removed my abs ( due to cage entering the struts )
    Also have removed my entire airbag system.
    Any help is muchly appreciated

  • Allie

    Hello i have a FD3S 1996 can i remove my front bumper bar to install a larger intercooler?

    • johnbrett

      Hi Allie
      If you remove the front plastic panel, you will get pinged for “External projections” on a WOF. If you mean the steel beam behind the front plastic panel, (Can’t remember if the FD3s has one) that will contravene “Frontal Impact” and both a WOF inspector and a LVV inspector will not be able to pass that.

      Better to ask first!



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