MG-Cars.net

Welcome to our resource for MG Car Information.

Recommendations

Parts

MG parts spares and accessories are available for MG T Series (TA, MG TB, MG TC, MG TD, MG TF), Magnette, MGA, Twin cam, MGB, MGBGT, MGC, MGC GT, MG Midget, Sprite and other MG models from British car spares company LBCarCo.

MG MGA - DVLA - Engine Size Change

I finally got round to telling the DVLA that I have an 1800 in my MGA. I thought it would be just a simple exercise of telling them the new engine size and the engine number. Wrong.

This is what they want. Evidence of one of the following:

1. A receipt of purchase on headed paper, from a garage, confirming the engine number, engine size (cc) and the fuel type for a reconditioned or replacement engine, if one has been fitted.

2. An inspection report from an organisation such as the AA or RAC.

3. An inspection report provided for insurance purposes.

4. Written confirmation from the manufacturer showing the engine number and size.

If the existing engine has been converted or the change took place with a previous owner, then one of the following is required:

1. Written confirmation on headed paper from the garage that carried out the conversion.

2. Written confirmation of the change on headed paper from an independent garage.

I can see it is going to be fun for me. I bought a short block with no engine number; built it all internally myself and then hung all the existing 1500 exterior bits on it. So I have the problem of no garage evidence and no number. Also, it's probably about 70% replacement and 30% conversion (front and rear plates; rocker box; tappet plates; carbs; manifold; distributor; generator/dynamo; oil pipes and filter; etc).

I can see the correspondence is going to be fun. What engine number shall I invent...18V******? Interestingly, the old number was never inserted in the log book when I registered the car for the first time in 1998 (USA import). They merely entered 'Not Recorded' from the Heritage certificate.

Anyone else gone through this?


Steve
Steve Gyles

There have been some recent postings on the midget BBS on this subject.

http://www2.mgcars.org.uk/cgi-bin/gen5?runprog=mgbbs&mode=thread&access=&subject=110&source=T&thread=2011011119160016012
Dave O'Neill 2

Steve, the other problem you may find is with your insurance company..if they operate anything like here in Oz, they will find a way NOT to pay, especially if "modifications" like yours have not been approved! This opens up a huge can of worms for those with B engines in their A's.
Gary Lock

Steve,

A friend here built a new 1500 block in his A, using his home phone number for the engine number. He stamped it on himself. Registration accepted it without a query.

Unlikely to clash with a 'genuine' engine number already in their system.
Roger T

Gary and all

My insurance company knows all my modifications and they are happy with them without requiring any additional documentation. I went through this very clearly with them.

I had not been overly concerned with the DVLA as my original number is not recorded and we do not pay any road tax on pre 1972 cars, so it is not a case of defrauding the DVLA of any revenue etc. It seems (from the Midget BBS) that this requirement has only recently been smuggled in.

I did fit an engine number plate, but the numbers are meaningless. Perhaps, at the least I should make one that is consistent with the MGB numbering system. Could someone with an MGB give me the correct sequencing of numbers and letters? Mine will start 18V......

Bob West supplied me with most of the bits for the engine and has also seen the car on many occasions, so I will be speaking with him to see if he can provide an appropriate letter (for insurance purposes), item 3 above.

Cheers

Steve
Steve Gyles

The engine number on my B engine is 18V672Z/L*****

The 672Z relates to the market and specification - in this case North America - 'L' is low compression, then the 5-digit serial number.

HTH
Dave O'Neill 2

Thanks Dave. That makes sense now with the other research I have done - reading the Haynes MGB manual!

I also saw a snippet in a recent Practical Classics magazine about the DVLA's new approach to engine changes. It seems to be causing significant problems right across the classic car fraternity. With cars of our age it can be bit of a problem getting all the right documents together. I suspect many enthusiasts have stocks of spare engines in their garages from 30+ years ago, but with no invoices, provenance, engine numbers, etc. We also do not like, as a rule, letting garages any where near our cars except for MOTs. It all begins to get a bit silly having to ask independent garages or the AA to do inspections.

Steve
Steve Gyles

I know what you mean about stocks of spare engines. Having raced Midgets for many years, I have a collection of Midget engines.

I also have a couple of B engines, and the one I am planning to fit to my B has been in my garage for the last 10 years, at least. I may just swap the number over from the original...which isn't really the original, as my car is a Mk1 and would not have had an 18V in it.
Dave O'Neill 2

Hi Steve,

Did you submit this via your local DVLA office or
Swansea.

I'm very interested in this, as I put my modifications to the local DVLA office just before Christmas and I'm still waiting to hear from them - they are considerably more than yours!


Looks like I'm in for a load of hassle too!

Bl**dy Nanny State!!!

Chris.
Chris Bond

Steve,

May be worthwhile considering the 1800 engine number prefix in the UK, especially if any of the V series engines produced there incorporated pollution control stipulations which might still apply to registration requirements.

Attached are engine numbers and prefix descriptors for the pre V engines.

Two numbers I know of here, so not likely to be duplicated on British registered Bs, are:

GB series 87803

GG series 1047

Good luck with it all.

Regards
Roger



Roger T

Chris, I sent my Merc and MGA docs to Swansea for an address change in the period between Christmas and the New year. I added the engine change to the MGA document. The Merc docs came back on 10 Jan and the letter about the MGA on the 21st. It seems they have a specific department now for engine and, presumably other changes called the 'Central Casework Group'.

Roger, thanks for the info.

Steve
Steve Gyles

Steve,

I may be able to assist. I have a wrecked 18V from a Sherpa which has an official identity. I could "sell" it to you. PM or Email me.

Paddy
P Reardon

I just thought I would update.

I spoke with the DVLA a couple of days ago. A very pleasant lady informed me that the regulations are likely to change again soon. I could not get any details from her, but from experience, regulations usually get more stringent rather than looser. If any of you are mulling over the situation, it may be a case of acting sooner rather than later.

Something at the back of my brain nags me. On originality the DVLA awards points for original equipment when issuing original period number plates. You get so many points for the chassis, engine, body etc. If you don't reach a predetermined number of points you don't qualify. It makes me wonder that if we modify our cars too much on future regulations we will not qualify for our free (pre 1972) road tax and period number plates - just a thought.

I have just sent my documentation to the DVLA for the engine change (one month delay due to having to have an inspection and report prepared). I sent them the inspection report, engine purchase receipt, plus photos of the car and engine bay for their enjoyment. When I got back from posting the documents there was a letter from the DVLA on the door mat. They have issued me with a new V5 (car registration document) with my new address but still stating 1500 as the engine size. I assumed they were withholding the document until I sorted everything out. Makes me wonder why I bothered!

Steve
Steve Gyles

Thanks for the update Steve.

I've had a response from Nicola at the Central Casework Group, with a ' V894 reply slip' asking for basic details, such as modification details and pictures. Also asking if I have carried out a kit conversion.

Assume this is just the beginning...

Now I know the regs are changing again I'll get my info back quickly.

Chris.
Chris Bond

Not entirely relevant to the current discussion, but could be the way things are heading elsewhere. Each State in Oz has its own motor registration system. Here in South Australia we have a very inexpensive registration/personal insurance arrangement for vehicles over 30 years old. Most of the administration is done by authorised clubs, therefore the owner must be a member. The one condition that has to be met is that the vehicle is authentic and over 30 years old. There have been a number of arguments over "authenticity" (for example, tyres and other "consumables") and the authorities have approved prescribed modifications to certain cars, but by and large the vehicle must be as it left the factory (ie hot rods and suchlike are definitely excluded). This system has worked very well for many years, it means that we can use our vehicles for up to 90 days in a year (journeys must be entered in a log book which is an integral part of the system) and the motor registration department gets the fee (a bit over $A100, which includes insurance) for about 20 trips (or less) that our "treasures" do! The police and/or authorities come down heavily on any irregularities and, after the scheme has settled down, there have been none (club members are keen to protect the system!). "Hot-Rodders" may not be happy but they are free to register and insure their cars (after inspection) in the normal way!
Barry Bahnisch

Barry

Good lord. What a nightmare logging each journey. Mine would reach several hundred each year as I use it as a general run about. I suspect Barney would be logging in excess of a 1000 trips!

The road tax here for pre 1972 cars is free. We just have to have an annual MOT test (about 50) which is compulsory for every car over 3 years old. My insurance is 120 a year fully comprehensive. It includes roadside recovery and European travel. The only restriction is that it should normally be garaged except when on a trip. No mileage restriction.

Steve
Steve Gyles

Hi Steve - your insurance sounds a good deal - I pay around the same , but without the Recovery and European travel and I am also restricted to 3000 miles - who are you with? - cheers Cam
Cam Cunningham

Steve,

The system Barry describes is a low cost registration for your hobby (classic) car.
If you use it as your daily driver then you pay the standard rate for all other cars.
Most of us have a modern car as well as our classic. This is mainly to keep the wife from seeking a divorce and finishing up owning half of your classic.
It sure beats having to pay full registration costs for both cars.

Mick
M F Anderson

Cam

I am insured with:

RH Specialist Insurance Division
PO Box 3203
Brentwood
Essex
CM14 4GG
Tel: 01277 206912

My last premium (May 2010) was 119.70. It limits the European travel to 90 days but includes European roadside recovery back to the UK.

Steve
Steve Gyles

Steve
The "Federation of Historic Vehicle Clubs" (FBHVC) looks after our classic car needs for us.
Check out this site - there is a lot of stuff, but check out the content of some of the newsletters on this page...
http://fbhvc.co.uk/category/recent-newsletters/
I'm sure you do have a problem mate, unless they find it impossible to sort out.
Pete
P N Tipping

Sounds like the Beurocrats and University Graduates have been thinking again. They shouldn't do that, its not their strong point. I would have fixed a 1500 (or whatever engine was standard in your car) engine ID plate. (Like the BMC crew did at Le Mans in 1955 when they found they had the spare engine in the car when the car had been registered with the original engine!) In North America only a very select few peolpe could ever tell the difference between a 1500 and an 1800. A little creative Bondo on the number cast in block and a respray of the engine if I was worried someone might see the 1800. Too many laws and you all but guarantee people will find ways to disgegard them.

Ralph
Ralph

Pete

Good link. The following is relevant and would have saved me the effort if I had seen it sooner: http://fbhvc.co.uk/2011/02/18/changes-to-engine-details-for-historic-vehicles/

Steve
Steve Gyles

Well found Steve - I thought you would like to do the leg work. Life returns...
Don't forget to check on the wire wheel balancing thread.
Pete
P N Tipping

Mick, You are quite right! I keep the "Log Books" in each of my cars with a working ball point pen so entries are relatively simple. The registration authority/Government have kept the scheme going (ie "rolling" for cars over 30 years old) because most of us do not get anywhere near the 90 days we are allowed and they are getting the money for very little! Its a sort of "win/win" situation! Obviously everyday cars can (and should) be registered/insured normally.
Barry Bahnisch

Notwithstanding the apparent relaxation in engine change rules I outlined in a previous post above, the DVLA have accepted my documentation for the change. This consisted of a receipt from the engine vendor; a letter of inspection for insurance purposes; and 3 photographs showing the car, original engine bay, and modified engine bay.

It looks good for the classic car (pre 1 Jan 1973) fraternity as a whole that the bureaucracy is easing and we can legally use our stocks of hoarded spares.

Steve
Steve Gyles

Just got my V5C back from the DVLA so I am now officially legal. The FBHVC information in the link I gave above seems correct. My document says the engine size but says engine number not recorded, despite me giving them the number.

A little LESS bureaucracy in the British motoring legislation - now that's different!!

Steve
Steve Gyles

A result!

After many weeks of waiting (and convincing myself that the delay was an very ominous sign - including nightmares about a Q plate reg), the DVLA have come up trumps!

Despite sending the V5c document off with my 'shopping list' of changes (including body change, engine change & colour change), then receiving a letter asking for more details - they have sent me a new document with all the changes listed.

You were spot on with your info Steve, it really looks like they are not concerned about pre 73 vehicles.

All I have to do now is finish it!!


Chris.

Chris Bond

Well done Chris

Good to see that the UK DVLA is beginning to get rid of layers of bureaucracy, unlike some countries that seem to be adding to the list. No mention of brake pipes and plastic screens!

Steve
Steve Gyles

This thread was discussed between 22/01/2011 and 21/04/2011

MG MGA index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG MGA BBS is active now.