Driving with no bumpers - is it legal?
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    Default Driving with no bumpers - is it legal?

    As per the title, I've seen quite a few photos of Renault R8's/R10's without the bumpers fitted and I really like the way it looks, most of these seem to be track cars though.

    Is it legal to drive without the chrome bumbers fitted?

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    got pulled up in the states once for not having a rear bumper, seems they want to be able to shove you off the road if you break down ,just fitted a hunk of pine between the brackets .PUGS

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    I do remember reading somewhere a very long time ago that any modifications to your car need to not undermine it's safety. Basically each car meets the crash safety requirements when it's sold, and shouldn't be modified in such a way that alters that. I'd expect that removing the bumpers would affect the crash safety (well, what there is on an R8/R10).

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    My line of thinking is that they're mostly there to prevent damage to the car from car park fender benders, and from what I've seen, research has shown that protruding bumpers such as fitted to the R8/R10 are more dangerous to pedestrians than smooth surfaces (non bumpers, or modern car mouled bumpers). It was suggested on other forums that it may require an engineers sign off to clear it as being ok!?

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    I have no front bumper on my TR3A and have for a few years.......no rego problems and no police hassles.

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    We've had issures registering R12 Gordini's without bumpers. Luckily I was prepared and had a new car sales brochure with me showing the car without bumpers.
    We had to remove the roll bar even though it was factory. We told them it was a waste of time because its going back in 5 minutes after rego.

    We've never been hassled by the police for not having them.

    You wouldn't get away with it with an R8, even the R8G had bumpers so I'd fit them for rego but remove as soon as its registered.
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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    This may not necessarily be illegal but you may lose your insurance cover.

    The advice I have received was that if the modification was found for instance to cause any problem that would have been avoided if the bumper was there, the position of insurance companies would be that you are not covered.

    The car was a Honda Civic and I had to take the headlights and indicators off to get the front end trim panel painted. This exposed a pointy corner of the mudguard/wing which was projecting forward. I was told if I hit someone and they were hurt by the pointy end, I would get in trouble.
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    VIP Sponsor David Cavanagh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlitzaugen View Post
    This may not necessarily be illegal but you may lose your insurance cover.

    The advice I have received was that if the modification was found for instance to cause any problem that would have been avoided if the bumper was there, the position of insurance companies would be that you are not covered.

    The car was a Honda Civic and I had to take the headlights and indicators off to get the front end trim panel painted. This exposed a pointy corner of the mudguard/wing which was projecting forward. I was told if I hit someone and they were hurt by the pointy end, I would get in trouble.
    If you got agreed insurance with someone like Shannons and listed all the modifications you wouldn't have a problem.

    For example we've insured R12G replicas without bumpers without a problem. Including 1647cc engine (over the 10% legel limit) with twin carbies, 5 speed (with the floor cut out and a hump welded in) suspension and brakes all up to "G" specs and full roll cage.
    The cage being the only thing engineered.
    Mind you the shell was strengthened and welded up to 12G spec but it wasn't engineered. It's on club plates and Shannons never had a problem.

    I once hit a roo with my original 12G and did about 6k damage. Probably would have been a lot less damage had it had a bumper but the insurance company didn't say a word.
    The only funny part was the assessor who couldn't believe someone would have a 1971 Renault 12 in this condition and when he saw what the agreed value was he just told the beater to fix it, what it needs just do it.
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    I don't believe there would have been any formal government sanctioned crash safety tests done on R8/10 etc anyway. But having said that I can see that insurance companies these days might object. In the case of the R12G it is different because that is how it was sold and registered in its day, and it can be proved by parts books, photo's, brochures etc.

    I am going to try it on with my R12G replica anyhow when the time comes. I would also like to do my 4CV with out bumpers as per the Le mans R1063. But I imagine that will be a big ask. I do have photos of 4CV's being rallied in France sans bumpers but was it legal there at the time, who would know, and as they were sold with bumpers probably not here. I do think it would be best if it was sorted for your car officially, for insurance purposes and with a proper engineering certificate for registration. My guess is it'll be a struggle to get it approved.

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    I had a Volvo 142 insured with no bumpers with Shannons, never had to claim though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanielBendigo View Post
    I do remember reading somewhere a very long time ago that any modifications to your car need to not undermine it's safety. Basically each car meets the crash safety requirements when it's sold, and shouldn't be modified in such a way that alters that. I'd expect that removing the bumpers would affect the crash safety (well, what there is on an R8/R10).
    Wash your mouth out Daniel. Renault 8's were one of the first (if not the first) that had pre determined crumple rates front and rear. I once saw a Renault 8 smashed in the front up to the windscreen, and the front doors still opened & closed properly.

    They were also the first mass produced car to have 4 wheel disc brakes, and also had a pressure limiting valve on the rear brake line to prevent rear wheel lock up. This was on a car with a rear engine!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selekta View Post
    I had a Volvo 142 insured with no bumpers with Shannons, never had to claim though.
    Interesting you should say... As well as wanting to do this with my R10, I've just picked up a mint condition Volvo 145S (wagon) and I was mainly enquiring for the purpose of removing the bumpers on that when it arrives.

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    Were they the first to have 4 wheel disc brakes. I always remember the slogan "first in their class" to have 4 wheel discs, not the first ever. I wonder why Renault never used THE first, if it was true?

    I'm not sure that is correct.
    KB


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    What year R8 are we talking about ? Mercedes 300SE of 1963 had 4 wheel disc brakes and 1960 220Sb had crumple zones .

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    Quote Originally Posted by renault8&10 View Post
    Were they the first to have 4 wheel disc brakes. I always remember the slogan "first in their class" to have 4 wheel discs, not the first ever. I wonder why Renault never used THE first, if it was true?

    I'm not sure that is correct.

    From mid 1949 to mid 1950, all Crosleys used the Goodyear-Hawley Hydra-Disc airplane type brakes, on all four wheels. The first American auto company to use modern Disc Brakes. On all 4 wheels and on cars that sold for less than $1000. The disc brakes were short lived due to corrosion problems in parts of the country that used salt. Since they were adapted from airplane use the alloy used was not appropriate for road use.


    [see attached pic below of Crosley Motors disc brake]

    Quote taken from Richard Langworth: "
    The Complete History of Chrysler Corporation 1924 - 1985"

    "The 1950 Town & Country and Crown Imperials featured a novel innovation: four-wheel disc brakes, built by Auto Specialists Manufacturing Company (Ausco) of St. Joseph, Michigan, under the patent of inventor H. L. Lambert./...Because of its high production cost, the all-disc system was standard only on the 1950 Town and Country and on Crown Imperials through 1954. It was a $400 option on other Chryslers, and thus rarely ordered. "
    http://www.imperialclub.com/Repair/Brakes/lambert.htm
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Driving with no bumpers - is it legal?-discbrakes-sm.jpg  

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgtpeps View Post
    Wash your mouth out Daniel. Renault 8's were one of the first (if not the first) that had pre determined crumple rates front and rear. I once saw a Renault 8 smashed in the front up to the windscreen, and the front doors still opened & closed properly.

    They were also the first mass produced car to have 4 wheel disc brakes, and also had a pressure limiting valve on the rear brake line to prevent rear wheel lock up. This was on a car with a rear engine!!
    I'm not so sure the R8 was the first production car to have 4 wheel disc brakes. My 1961 Jaguar MK2 has vacuum assisted 4 wheel disc brakes. The first Jaguar MK2 came out in late 1959 and it had the same Dunlop disc brake set up as the later models. (The earlier MK1 had drums all round).

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    My brother-in-law modified his VW Beetle so that it had no bumpers. He told me at the time, that as long as there are no sharp protruding bits it was legal. He filled in the holes, which gave it a nice smooth finish, took it for a rego inspection and it passed first go.
    A mate of mine had his ex-Australia Post Transit van fail rego, because the plastic covers on the end of the bumper were missing and this left a sharp edge. He got some of that rubber stuff that you find in older cars, that clamps around the door jams and put it over the sharp edge of the bumper and the RTA were happy with that!
    Cheers Renomad

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    Quote Originally Posted by Renomad View Post
    My brother-in-law modified his VW Beetle so that it had no bumpers. He told me at the time, that as long as there are no sharp protruding bits it was legal. He filled in the holes, which gave it a nice smooth finish, took it for a rego inspection and it passed first go.
    A mate of mine had his ex-Australia Post Transit van fail rego, because the plastic covers on the end of the bumper were missing and this left a sharp edge. He got some of that rubber stuff that you find in older cars, that clamps around the door jams and put it over the sharp edge of the bumper and the RTA were happy with that!

    Yes I remember now, my brother-in-law registered his Escort the same way, without anything protruding and no worries at all.

    From memory there thinking was that a bumper bar back in those days was exactly that, a bumper bar and if you were prepared to risk damageing your bodywork in a low speed collision thats your problem.

    From memory a mates 10S passed RWC without them either, as long as nothing protroded.

    But this was back in the good old days before all the Nanny's started running things.
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    1000+ Posts bowie's Avatar
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    Sorry to pump an historic thread, but this variation is all very interesting.

    I'll be putting the bumper bars back on my 12 to get it rego'd I turned up without them and he shook his head.

    "Whatcha-tryin-a-do-here? Go get ya bumpers!"

    Oh alright

    Looking up the paragraph published by VicRoads. in regards to requirements however.. (VSI 26. Roadworthiness Requirements, DEC 2012)

    https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&r..._Z-NHZUCKsXemA

    PG 8.
    Bumper bars and bull bars, where fitted, must be secure and designed to eliminate sharp corners and protrusions, which might cause injury to other road users. They must not obscure any lamps, unless additional lamps are fitter, and must not substantially exceed the normal width of the vehicle body... Ends of bumper bars must turn towards the body to a sufficient extent to avoid any risk of hooking or grazing.


    That doesn't say they have to be fitted however! I'd like to argue it, but since I have them I'll make life easier for myself and go along with the Dance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgtpeps View Post
    <snip>

    and also had a pressure limiting valve on the rear brake line to prevent rear wheel lock up. This was on a car with a rear engine!!
    And what a dumb idea that was. Welcome to premature front brake lock-up, especially in the wet (not helped by the appalling Michelin tyres usually fitted).

    As most AFers would know, the best thing that one can (simply) do for braking on these vehicles is eliminate that valve. The fronts will still lock first but, especially with decent tyres, that behaviour is well postponed & more easily managed.

    cheers! Peter

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    Peter,

    You are recommending the limiting valve be removed on R8/R10s with a rear engine.

    Are you also recommending it be removed on a front engine R12?


    I have experienced rear wheel lockup in the wet and it is not easy to catch.
    An emergency brake on a long curve in the wet.
    I caught it and everything was ok.
    i have the limiting valve in place but not sure how effective it is working.
    From my experience (which is limited) i would recommend it in an R12.

    others thoughts?

    ps Ironicly it was a Renault Megan comming out of a side road that i nearly hit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IThompson View Post
    Peter,

    You are recommending the limiting valve be removed on R8/R10s with a rear engine.

    Are you also recommending it be removed on a front engine R12?


    I have experienced rear wheel lockup in the wet and it is not easy to catch.
    An emergency brake on a long curve in the wet.
    I caught it and everything was ok.
    i have the limiting valve in place but not sure how effective it is working.
    From my experience (which is limited) i would recommend it in an R12.

    others thoughts?

    ps Ironicly it was a Renault Megan comming out of a side road that i nearly hit.
    Never remove it from an R12/15/17.

    If you are getting rear wheel lock up in these cars there is something wrong with your compensation valve.

    The valve is mechanically linked to the rear suspension and is adjustable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowie View Post
    Sorry to pump an historic thread, but this variation is all very interesting.

    I'll be putting the bumper bars back on my 12 to get it rego'd I turned up without them and he shook his head.

    "Whatcha-tryin-a-do-here? Go get ya bumpers!"

    Oh alright

    Looking up the paragraph published by VicRoads. in regards to requirements however.. (VSI 26. Roadworthiness Requirements, DEC 2012)

    https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&r..._Z-NHZUCKsXemA

    PG 8.
    Bumper bars and bull bars, where fitted, must be secure and designed to eliminate sharp corners and protrusions, which might cause injury to other road users. They must not obscure any lamps, unless additional lamps are fitter, and must not substantially exceed the normal width of the vehicle body... Ends of bumper bars must turn towards the body to a sufficient extent to avoid any risk of hooking or grazing.


    That doesn't say they have to be fitted however! I'd like to argue it, but since I have them I'll make life easier for myself and go along with the Dance.
    Depends why you took them off? As a G replica you don't need them and just show them an official picture and they can't argue.
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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by COL View Post
    Never remove it from an R12/15/17.

    If you are getting rear wheel lock up in these cars there is something wrong with your compensation valve.

    The valve is mechanically linked to the rear suspension and is adjustable.
    This is something I thought about for a long time. The anti-lockup valve is controlled by a rod linked to the rear central wishbone (or whatever that is). That thing is going to deflect differently when braking in a straight line and when braking in a corner. Our friend says he was going around a corner (in the wet, emergency brake, who knows what tires/pressures, loading, etc), so the body roll could have been considerable (or enough to unload the inside wheel to the point where it locked up easily) yet the wishbone would not deflect enough to prevent lockup.

    I don‘t think it is a good idea to remove the valve on any car (don‘t understand why it caused premature front wheel lockup on rear engined cars - properly adjusted should have worked, with a double circuit it would have certainly worked - yes, I know the R8/10 didn‘t have it), but I would suggest the 12 needed independent valves, especially given how much it rolls around corners. Or stiffer suspension.

    That said, the BMW 2002 doesn‘t have an anti-lockup device yet I never managed to lock up the rears. It doesn‘t roll or pitch much though.
    Last edited by schlitzaugen; 30th March 2016 at 10:12 AM.
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    Renault may not have produced the first passenger car with 4 wheel disc brakes but they can claim their brakes were the first ito be used on an interplanetary all-terrain vehicle. Now THATS hard to beat !!!
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