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MoT Rules UK: Emissions, Engine older than the vehicle?

Content correct on June 25, 2008

If you can prove that the engine fitted in your Mini is OLDER than the body shell you might well be able to get the car MOTed for exhaust gases/emissions based on the requirements for the ENGINE AGE not the CAR AGE!!!!

My own Mini is fitted with a modified 1300 engine out of a 1971 car, and sadly when the block was faced by 80 thou ( to getthe pistons flush with the top of the block) the orginal engine plate got torn up in the machining (poor workshop practice) so I had to get another made up** <supplier details to follow>.

**In the UK at least, expect to be asked to furnish the registration document showing the engine number as the supplier will want you to show some degree of a link with the engine you ae asking to have a plate made up for!

Though the engine plate is not mandaory to possess on the vehicle for the UK MOT, having one which confirms the true provenance of your engine will help you though the process of getting an earlier year gas test.

MOT emission requirements to 31/7/92

#1 First used before 1/8/1975 - Visual test only. Failure for excess idle speed, dense blue or black smoke for 5 seconds at idle or during acceleration up to 2500rpm or half engine max speed whichever lowest.

#2 First used between 1/8/75 and 31/7/86 - meter test CO <=4.5%, HC<=1200ppm.

#3 First used between 1/8/86 and 31/7/92 - meter test CO<=3.5%, HC<=1200ppm.


The MOT manual says:

MOT manual says in 7.3 :- > Vehicles fitted with a different engine > Test according to which is older, engine or vehicle. >

e.g. A 1995 car fitted with a 1991 engine (of whatever make), test to 1991 standards for emission purposes.

Note: The onus is on the vehicle presenter to prove engine age.

The Official (VOSA) Line

===== MY QUESTION =====

22/06/2008 10:34

Subject: Enquiry regarding engine year versus bodyshell year for MOT test

Dear Sir/Madam

I own a SORNed Mini fitted with a 1300 engine out of a 1971 Austin 1300

AS I understand it, the emmissions the vehicle/engine
combination are tested against are with respect to the
year of the ENGINE not the year of the BODYSHELL

I have a letter of confirmation from the trader I bought
the engine from stating its provenance as out of a 1971
vehicle and confirming the engine number

My question is what information does an MOT centre
require to test using the 1971 emmisions regulations
rather than those pursuant to the chassis age

Many Thanks in advance

Dr John C Bullas

==== VOSA'S REPLY =====
date 25 June 2008 12:43
subject Re: Enquiry regarding engine year versus bodyshell year for MOT test

Thank you for your e-mail,

You are correct in saying that the emissions are tested against the year of the engine.

In order to test the vehicle under the correct MOT regulations, the MOT tester has to be satisfied of the year of the engine.

Therefore, if you can prove the engine age (and the letter you described** appears to do this) it will be tested to that standard.


Robert Evans
Customer Service Centre
(Contact Centre) Swansea
Tel:- 0870 60 60 440

** The trader that sold me the engine confirmed its age and stated
the engine number of the short engine I bought AND the vehicle it
came out of in a letter he kindly wrote for me - My V50 was updated
accordingly with the new cubic capacity and engine number

Page last modified: June 26, 2008 8:55 AM

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