75mm lifts now legal in NSW as well as Victoria without certification
The NSW Roads Minister has made changes to the light vehicle modification laws allowing 75mm vehicle lifts.
THE NSW MINISTER FOR ROADS, MARITIME AND FREIGHT, Duncan Gay, has announced changes to the laws regarding light vehicle modifications in NSW, allowing for vehicle lifts of 75mm without certification. This law change brings NSW into line with Victoria and is document is called the “Light Vehicle Modifications Manual – Suspension and Ride Height”. We asked to see a copy and were told we can’t because the gazette notice hasn’t been published.
Minister Gay describes one of his interests as “motor racing”. Maybe that’s why he’s taking an enlightened view towards vehicle modification, and has described some of the rules in VSB14, the National Code of Practice for Light Vehicle Construction and Modification (NCOPLVM) as “onerous, restrictive, impractical apply or simply unsafe”. This writer has to agree, as does the aftermarket industry in general.
So, in response, the Minister has released the “Light Vehicle Modifications Manual – Suspension and Ride Height”. And for 4WD owners and prospective buyers the big news is this: “Allows ride height to be increased by 75mm; comprising 50mm suspension and 25mm wheel/tyre without requiring certification under the Vehicle Safety Compliance Scheme.” A 50mm tyre diameter increase means a 25mm lift.
The current VSB14 requires certification for any lift above 50mm, meaning you could only run stock tyre sizes with your 50mm lift. This brings NSW in line with Victoria, which has this in its VSI 8:
13.3 Raising of Four Wheel Drive Vehicles – Alternative to VSB 14 Modification Code LS
In the case of raising the height of an offroad type 4WD of ADR Category NA, NB1, MC or MD, and only in this case, the following two options apply as alternatives to meeting the requirements of Section LS of VSB 14. (the options are 75mm total lift, tyres and suspension, or 1/3 of suspension travel and restrictions on tyre diameter)
[Source: VSI 8 Guide to Modifications for Motor Vehicles ]
Note the reference to MC categorisation for Victoria. That means owners of Ford Everest, Jeep Cherokee Trailhawks and 2015-onwards Jeep Grand Cherokees miss out as they are all categorised as MA passenger vehicles. Owners of utes are fine as they are categorised NA.
However, NSW is taking a different approach to Victoria, because it’d be too much to expect our two most populous, neighbouring states to be consistent. We asked if the NSW 75mm lift was going to be subject to the same conditions as Victoria, and a Transport for NSW spokeperson told us that “unlike the Victorian exemption, it is not confined to ‘4WD vehicles’. “
They also said “the requirement in the Suspension Manual differs further from the Victorian exemption which does not specify exactly how the 75mm can be obtained.”
So what have NSW done? They told us : “The Manual also states that in all instances, modifications to a vehicle’s suspension must ensure the integrity of the system and not compromise the ride quality. At least two thirds of the original suspension travel should be maintained in both directions- rebound (i.e. extension) and bump (i.e. compression). Rebound must be limited by the same method used by the vehicle manufacturer or if this is not practicable due to the nature of the modification, an equivalent method. If an alternative method is used, evidence must be available that it’s functional performance is equivalent to the original.”
So there you have it. Finally, 75mm tyre/suspension lifts are legal – in NSW and Victoria at least – but we have two different ‘standards’, which both differ from the agreed national code of practice.
Good on NSW for making this change, but please, goverment people of Australia, how about you all work together for a change?
- Law changes to make legal suspension lifts and lowers easier
- The MC Watch – offroad passenger vehicles in Australia
- Where can I legally fit my lightbars?
- Minister Duncan Gay’s Facebook page