Disclaimer - I wrote this based on research I did after seeing many confused posts in the forum. Certain things may have changed since then, but I will endeavour to keep this article accurate. This remains a guide, although I will try keep it updated. --Philbey 20:45, 26 May 2008 (EST)
Who to talk to
- Department of Transport Energy and Infrastructure
- DTEI Recognised Chartered Engineers
- DTEI Vehicle Modifications Guide. Good read.
SA isn't too black and white when it comes to engineering cars, but in some cases you might get lucky.
First up, call the DTEI and ask them about your particular conversion (Call the vehicle inspectors at regency, there is a number in one of the links). They have a list of approved engine modifications where vehicles "where no major mechanical changes are required". Assume that these a confined within car brands and are all bolt in conversions like a 3k-5k. If they say the change is ok, its just a case of changing the engine number.
Second, if you don't have an approved engine change, you need to lodge an application to modify the car. This will include all the upgrades being made to handle the extra power etc. From here, they will issue you with a Statement of Requirements, a list of items you must comply with in order to get the car registered. Keep in mind that one requirement may be that you need to supply an engineering certificate. More on that later.
Third step, you will need to have an inspection, where the inspectors will go over the car to see that everything complys to the list, etc.
In the case that you need to supply an engineering certificate, you will need to find a Chartered Professional Engineer with relevant experience to investigate the necessary items on the car. This will most likely include any custom fab parts and cut and shut items like modified crossmembers, steering etc. It is likely they will produce a report of some kind that will need to be supplied to the DTEI Inspectors so they are happy that any serious mods will handle the new power
I spoke to the guys at Vehicle Standards inquiring aboutr basic Corolla upgrades. A 5K conversion into a '75 KE30 is as simple as changing the engine number. On the other hand a 5K into a Disc Brake KE1x will require a statement of requirements but no engineering report.
The guys there were very helpful and it would seem like they know their stuff about cars, so its definitely calling them early on in the piece.
Thanks to turbo_rolla's post about the SOR, and to anyone else I have gleaned information from.