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Cert Questions - RWD conversion, Steering set up, Welding


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Hey Guys


First time posting, long time Subaru owner.


I've got a 1989 BC5, which I have spent the last 2 and half years building with the intention of being a street legal drifter. Due to lockdowns (and life) I haven't been able to take it to a track day and so it just sits in the garden no being used. I really want to get out and enjoy the car especially after spending 2 years, and a stack of cash, sorting it out. 


I have done some of my own research and I know the basics of certs, adjusties, power, seats etc, but I find the LVVTA website difficult to understand. I need advice more around RWD conversions, steering set up and general welding rules. I have kept the car pretty basic with the aim of seat time over time in the shed. I have also  included a full list of specs and mods below. "???" for mods i am unsure about.


Are there any cert guru's out there that have done something like this before and could tell me if I'm dreaming, or is it possible without costing my a fortune??


1989 legacy VZ - shell has current rego (on hold) and cert but certed for EZ30 and adjusties.

V4 STI EJ20K - completely stock

Link plug in ECU @ 195kw

V4 STI gear box - welded center diff - ???

Drive shaft loops

Tein adjusties

STI 4pot front brakes

30mm front spacers

Redrilled front knuckles - ???

Spaced alloy lower arms

2.5" turbo back exhaust with Apexi rear muffler

V4 STI strut brace

BC5 RS steering wheel

NZKW bucket seats

4 point harnesses - still have factory seat belts

Home seat rails - ???

Rear half cage - ??? (welded by a fabricator not me)

Welded BH5 rear diff - Obviously needs to be removed for cert. 

Stripped rear interior and boot lining. 

RS front and rear bumper and bonnet - yes, im that guy. 


Apologies - Lots of info!


ANY ADVICE IS GREATLY APPRECIATED. I just want to drive the bloody thing!





Edited by WideRS
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Probably not the answer you're looking for, but your best bet might be to just call up a certifier that you might want to use and talk specifically to them. They are the ones who will end up making the say on your car (i.e. their neck on the line if it all goes to $h!t) and presumably they will be able to tell you a) what they won't accept and b) what they would need you to do in addition in order to pass the cert. A bit of a google and you'll find a few local cert guys i would imagine. i had a mate do exactly the same thing with a v8 hilux conversion he's currently doing. If you do it this way at least it becomes a joint process to get you to the cert by the end.


I just got my RS certed as well and there were a bunch of annoying/small things the guy had me do but got there in the end.

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yeah that & oh Rails, Knuckles & 1/2 a cage


I think you've identified your biggest issues already eh


cage will need MSNZ membership, along with recent events (to prove gets used or at least passes inspections) 


and an Authority card (also MSNZ) : some will argue one of these tops the Cert card eg : lets you get away with a few extra 'allowances'


we have a few racers here that drive their cars but doubt that a half cage will even get close to being accepted eh


they are worse than bolt in's for most motorsports (as in, just don't)


also means Seats, Belts and airbags (if any) will need to be sorted too


eg FIA approved etc

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@blitzd808 - yes I was thinking about calling certifier, I live in Cambridge I think the closest ones to me are in Te Awamutu and Hamilton, and seeing what they have to say. I thought id try my luck on here first to see if anyone had done this kind of thing before, to see if there was any little specific hoops that need to be jumped through, like your RS with its small bits and pieces. 


@Joker - I see...the idea behind the half cage was to be able to take my old man and mates out on track at Meremere/Taupo. Half cage, harnesses and buckets seat were the most cost effective way of doing that for me. I've heard that half cages need a cert for the change in passenger capacity, i.e. 5 seater to a 2 seater. with no need for authority cards or MSNZ membership but perhaps I got my facts wrong.


Thanks for advice guys, much appreciated 

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Just call LVVTA certifier if that fails call LVVTA  tech department directly to get a recommendation. Most cert people are pretty good provided you don’t try and bulls*** them.

The sooner you call the cheaper things are since you won’t get s*** internet advise and buy the wrong things.


Your old cert work may get looked at again as the standards change over time. And now EJ20 again so any old changes need to be rechecked. You can’t just undo cert changes and go back to stock when you want you have to go do more paperwork and spend $.


I’d be pretty upfront about that old cert to the certifier and you’ll have to trailer it around to them. Driving an illegal car to a cert place is a quick way to have a bad day.

from past dumb s*** I’ve done.


half cages are drag approved only, at race track they are counted the same as no cage, so no passengers. Drifting is likely full cage required anyway.

You can get half cage road legal under LVVTA but it won’t help much other than chassis flex on a track. With half cage you have to unclip and remove harnesses when on the road. Only MSNZ approval works for harnesses on the road.


Don’t get a bolt in harness bar they are dangerous. Even running real harnesses to the rear seat belt bolts works but the angles are very steep and a bit risky.

harness rule change and HANS neck device rules made belt go back to 2” and cost way more. 


without a cage you can’t always strip the rear as it has to many sharp bits. Though you used to be able to certify the car as 2 seater and then you could.

seats can’t be on home made rails etc recaro are an option as they are OEM crash tested and double lock. These and harnesses are part of MSNZ assessment. The issue is seat belt clip mount is attached to the rails. If it is chassis mounted then you have more options with rails.


Same with seats likely need new ones that are safety rated.

anything that is not MSNZ or LVVTA still needs to be WOF standards.

things I have some vague idea of


you may have to resize the rear brakes as they are now having to stop 100% of the driveline power.


I think redrilling cast knuckles isn’t allowed. 

drive shaft may have to be 1 piece to get rid of center bearing depending on power etc. then you may need 2 drive shaft loops.

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@Gripless Thanks for that, very helpful. I think calling the certifier is sounding like the best and easiest option. it sounds like I need to reread track rules and see if the car actually still meets the standards it was built for, nearly 2.5/3 years ago now. lets hope they have changed too drastically!! I am aware they they differ form track to track, lets hope not by too much. 

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For MSNZ the rules on cages are pretty much the same over time as it’s pretty well designed. Worst I had to do was swap belts and first cage needed a bar added. But that was over built by rally shop from day 1.

Get a good cage that goes to strut towers and has x braces for front doors and rear from lower b pillar to rear cage c pillar or rear strut tower. adding bars later is a pig of a job.
Good thing is since Subaru are used for rally heaps of places have old templates for them.

don’t be afraid to splash out on safety gear and cage padding it’s worth it. Ive had a couple of close calls and that gear not only saves your life but reduces damage massively. HANS device are awesome! 

Classes are where the rules can change, All tracks use MSNZ rules so if you have a cage with the stickers and matching documentation you’re good.


You need to get a Motorsport licence so join a approved club and then apply for MSNZ licence. You have to sit a test but it’s pretty simple.

Also clubs have so many people that can help with contacts and questions.

read this https://www.motorsport.org.nz/licences/

if you just want a cage and do club events and track days them get M

if you want to go drifting or compete then getting C covers you for up to national events.

I haven’t kept up with rules in ages


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2 hours ago, Loren said:


@Gripless You can make you own seats mounts, you don't need sliding rails. Also his brake bias has not been altered at all, so the rear brakes don't need changing.



Yeah but stated rails.  you could use the recaro ones for LVVTA. 
I had homemade brackets all welded in place for mine once it had full cage. But fixed seats are a pain if you share the car with different height people.

That all goes into the cage design as well as padding. If the seat goes to far back then cage changes. That’s a whole other bit to deal with.

bias is one thing power is another.
Being awd likely no change required but never assume that stuff always ask the certifier.

plus the drifting you may need a extra set of callipers for handbrake so all goes on the list to ask.

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7 minutes ago, Gripless said:

bias is one thing power is another.


Yes, but firstly he has a standard sti motor... with 195 kw, so won't need bigger brakes just because of that.

But you specifically mentioned he would need bigger rear brakes, cause it's rear wheel drive. It doesn't work like that.


Hydraulic handbrakes are a separate issue... and would not warrant bigger rear brakes or even seperate callipers necessarily.



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Main Cage Hoop "Wall thickness" was the most recent update I can see another stumble on too


ie yours might have been right when started but unless previously homologated "as is" slim chance it'll pass now if not 'right'


sorry to be the fun police picking on things here!

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34 minutes ago, boon said:

redrilling the knuckles


drift car things : eg more "Lock"


this guy wen with RX7 parts apparently (though I am unsure of current legality status) 


[searching for facebook or IG link now)




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@boon @Joker yep drift car things, if you redrill (and reamed to correct taper) the track rod pick up point about 20mm-ish inwards towards the hub you can pick up a noticeable amount of steering lock, nothing too crazy but definitely helpful when sideways. I assumed so, they help on the track but I still have some spare untouched knuckles for the road. 


That BF is owned by a guy called Wes, he has FabicationWorx in Tuakau, he's using FC rx7 front knuckles, which pick up even more lock than redrilled subaru knuckles, he has even made his own nissan rear end conversion kit (diff and hub carriers). The wagon isn't currently legal, I think its just waiting until he has the time to get it done. He actually welded my cage for me, really great guy. 


I have spoken to him about this briefly before, he was very helpful, I just haven't had a chance to catch up with him properly recently (life, work, university work, lockdown etc). Like I said, I'm just after any little bits of advice anyone out their may have. Just so I have a better idea of what I need to ask about before I get on the blower to a certifier. 


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