Changes to the MOT Testing Regulations
Regarding the use of HID & LED Headlights to replace H4 Halogen Units.
By Steve Everest
In the midst of all things Covid related, some legislation has been quietly brought in by Gov.uk regarding the conversion of standard halogen H4 headlights to updated to HID (high intensity discharge) or LED (light emitting diode) headlights. On January 11th, 2021 the MOT regulations regarding the retro fitting of LED lighting systems were changed to effectively ban the use of HID or LED converted headlights on all older cars. The full text can be read here, under section 4
The reason being cited for these changes is that poorly set HID or LED retro fitted headlights can dazzle oncoming motorists. In my humble opinion ANY poorly set headlights can do the same thing. This totally unnecessary and ludicrous change was no doubt dreamed up by some mandarin flying a desk around in Whitehall with nothing better to do and who might just have been dazzled by an oncoming older car!
Thankfully, after some serious lobbying by Gil Keane, (who runs Better Car Lighting https://www.bettercarlighting.co.uk/), his local MP, and Baroness Vere of Norbiton, who is a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in DfT - Minister for Roads, Buses and Places, UK, some common sense has prevailed. From 22nd March 2021 all vehicles built before 1st April 1986 CAN have HID or LED headlights fitted and as long as they comply to the MOT testing station headlight beam setter test, they will pass the MOT test.
However, dear members, we aren’t out of the woods yet! I’ve no idea, and nor does anyone else know why this arbitrary date was chosen. I can’t see what the difference is between a car registered in March 1986 and one registered after April 1st1986. So, for those of you who own a car built after this date and if you’ve converted your headlights to HID or LED’s, how we take this forward will be up for a short discussion at our next meeting on Tuesday 13th April. Please do try and find time before the meeting to have a look at the legislation on the website shown above.
The suggested replacement for H4 headlights are shown in this Youtube video produced by Holden Vintage & Classic. Ignore the dates mentioned as these have now been updated
They are quite frankly, an abomination and not a suitable aesthetic replacement for the originals.
See you on Tuesday 13th April.
You're probably aware of YouTubers who specialise in talking about cars; their history, what they're like to own and drive, what makes them interesting, why they are important to the classic car world, etc.
I have been in contact with a young chap called Ed, who is one such YouTuber. He runs a channel called "Twin-Cam". He would like to do a feature on my Stag. You are some examples of what he does :-
I like Ed because he respects the car, its history, its importance, the story it paints, and what makes it so great. He is not one of those that thrashes a car around for laughs. In fact he rarely drives the car; he just appreciates them.
I thought that there may be others in the club (unfortunately not those who also have Stags - although a group photo would be good I suppose), who might like the opportunity to work with Ed whilst he's with us. If we can collate a list of interested parties and their cars, then I'll see which ones Ed would be interested in.
Do you think that might be of interest? It would mean bringing the car to a central location within Burgess Hill, letting him do a walk-around, talk about the car in a video, and publish it to YouTube for the benefit of others to see and appreciate. Obviously, the owners would need to be happy for their cars to appear on YouTube (I plan to cover my plates with a blank (or remove them) to hide the registration number).
Timing and contact arrangements will be considerate of whatever situation and guidelines we find ourselves in at the time we get to organise this. Probably April at the earliest.
A little information from member David Wilson.
I have recently discovered that the Power Petroleum petrol station at Bolney ( they have others across Sussex) sells ethanol free diesel and petrol. Their fuel is generally competitively priced. As I own a classic that is not used that much this is a god send to have fuel that should not go off. This may be general knowledge amongst club members but thought I would pass this on in case it isn't.
Classic car lockdown
I can’t remember a time when I’ve been at home for so long and had so much time on my hands. The restrictions have created a strange situation where nearly all of the summer events have been cancelled or postponed.
With nowhere to go it has meant I’ve been able to spend a lot more time working on, rather than driving the cars. Normally a majority of this activity would happen in the winter when you don’t want to venture out on salty roads. Having long warm summer days to work on my cars has been quite unique.
This extra time has meant tackling the jobs that I’d been putting off, or making necessary/unnecessary upgrades. It’s nice to have the time to perform these extra tasks on top of the usual maintenance. I certainly enjoy these tasks more because the change is noticeable, unlike regular maintenance.
Here are a few of the things I’ve been up to during lockdown;
Alfa Romeo Spider
Refurbish the wheels and fit the correct period tyres
Restore the original hub caps
Fit inertia seat belts
Upgrade original Grundig radio so it will connect via Bluetooth to my phone
Fit TDF horns so I can get through the roundabout at McDonalds
Fit trumpets to the Weber carbs to see if they make any difference
3D printed velocity stacks. It’s now almost loud enough to drown out all the other rattles.
Fit an original 1970’s Unipart Radio with hidden Bluetooth Amplifier
Refit musical horns as I was too embarrassed to leave them on for the MOT
Add original Lucas LR8 driving lamps
Attempt to stop the various oil leaks
Fit a new hidden spoiler to aid cooling in the summer
Squeeze in an oversized Battery with new clamp to cure the “Stag click”
Trial fit of the Unipart Radio. Only receives Radio Luxembourg.
Suits you sir. Lucas LR8 spotlights to add a bit of dash to the Stag.
Repair seat split. Which failed shortly after (is the car trying to tell me something)
Restore and repaint the wiper arms
Fix annoying boot leak and fit new carpet
Added rear parking sensors that don’t damage the bumper
Resolve rusted and bodged front indicators
Number plate mounted parking sensors.
Many of these jobs were made possible because I’ve been stuck in night after night and the TV schedule has been appalling so I spent more time searching the internet for those hard to come by parts. I guess people have been clearing out their garages like me and lots of those parts that have been sitting on shelves and in boxes have been listed on eBay and Facebook.
Another unexpected benefit of the lockdown has been the empty roads. It was really enjoyable to take the cars out once we could and use them in the equivalent of 1970’s traffic levels. I was using them for shopping runs and not having to worry about them getting dented in the car park.
The final thing that has been less of a chore in lockdown has been cleaning. With the cars getting so little use and the weather being so good they rarely require a proper wash. Initially I was just dusting them and then I saw my local garage using waterless car wash. It requires a bit more elbow grease, but is fantastic if the car isn’t that dirty.
Hopefully as things begin to ease this month we can all start to meetup again and see what 4 months of garage time has made to all our cars. I for one will be trying out our new home at the Woolpack Inn when it reopens.
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