August 10, 2018
I begin process for applying for a Specially Constructed Vehicle title. PennDot mandates any vehicle applying for a reconstructed, modified, special construction etc title first be inspected as road worthy by an "Enhanced Inspection Station". They have a list on their website and i called around trying to determine where i should go based on the guy on the phones understanding of the vehicle code. Since most vehicles using this process are applying for reconstructed titles (cars that may have been totaled hitting a deer and have been bought back and repaired), the mechanics dont really know whats required to be road legal, they just assume it should look like a car again. Well we arent building Nissan Altimas so I had to find an "open minded" type of guy.
My search landed me at Schneider's Trucks in McKees Rocks. Jim was an experienced mechanic and was never pessimistic. We went over the construction, lights, and safety without getting into all tiniest details. We agreed it was well built and road worthy, he even mentioned it road nicer than a lot of production cars. We then sat down and filled out an MV-426B, this is the form he's responsible for in letting Penndot know the vehicle was inspected to meet code. I passed his inspection but doesnt mean I'm in the clear. PennDot reviews the photos that he takes, signs, and dates submitted with the MV-426B to see if he "missed" anything. There was some confusion on the MV426, we didnt really know what to check in the repaired/replaced section so he only checked off suspension? And for GRVW, we entered 3000 pounds. The truck empty was 2400 pounds.
I trailered Exotruck back home since it was raining here and there and i didnt want stuck in it. Then I took my paper work to the notary Jim recommended, Frags Tags in Coraopolis Pa.
new completed MV-426B, the Photos, a weight slip (needed because mines a "truck") i got at ABC Recycling next door, My Subaru forester clean title, my build cost recap sheet with parts cost broken out showing what i have and have not paid taxes on, and all the receipts for the parts. And a copy of my drivers licence and current vehicle insurance card.
At the notary we went over the papers, briefly. I think this process went quickly because i had a broken down recap sheet of all my parts (over $20) and how tax was paid. At the bottom was totals and stapled behind the recap sheet was all my receipts. Mostly internet sheets form Summit Racing and other on line retails. I also included the orders for steel from Alro showing I purchased them and i paid tax. I could have either chosen "passenger car" or "truck". We chose truck because the penndot lady asked for a weight slip because i mentioned it looked like a truck, and it sorta says Exotruck on the tailgate. He then filled out the paper MV-1, this is the actual application form to apply for a title. This same form applies for a registration. The registration is what gets you a license plate and one year worth the street rental. He added up my build cost, applied 7% tax, gave me a tax credit for what i already paid in tax, tacked on the truck registration fee $62 and some other fees and $401.40 later he took all my papers and mailed them, in to Penndot. Then said have a nice day if theres an issuer ill call you, if not expect your plate in the mail in 3 weeks.
IF the plate comes, i still have to get my window sticker on, this is the standard PA inspection sticker showing cars been road worthy tested at a inspection station. This is a separate but very similar inspection to the Enhance inspection.
Got a call from garage. They said PennDOT called him with lots of questions.
They have issues with my glass. They want it to say AS1
They have issues with my polycarbonate panels. They think they offer little protection. I guess leather chaps on a bike are better.
They cant see my license plate lights
They want to know how i calculated my GVWR
And she said it sounds like a motorcycle, so apparently they are look me up online.
I'm less than happy right now.
I spoke to PennDOT yesterday. At this point they are only requesting a cert from the glass cutter. He sent me a cert for the AS1 ANSI Z26.1 but it wasnt signed. This morning I'm going to walk over and ask him to sign it. After that i will take it up to my local State Rep and have them deliver it to the address the PennDOT woman gave me.
She mentioned yesterday that the supervisor has the rest of my papers and is reviewing them with an engineer.
Got a call from the man himself. The supervisor and an engineer/quality official are going to drive out to Pittsburgh on September 7th to take a personal look at the truck. I'm actually looking forward to it, I feel like I did a quality job and I would like them to see that. Just gotta fix my horn lol. I only know of one other build that got a personal visit and that was the ShopperChopper giant grocery cart. The DMV guy said it was somewhat common though, so there must be a lot of off grid builds out there.
Met at shop again with a PennDOT QOA guy. The head guy from Harrisburg did not come like I had thought. This guy had a very detailed secret check list. My decision to throw a window washer in paid off since that was on his list. I don't think I missed anything. His only concern was my big hose clamp type battery hold down, and that he thought a heat sheild between tail pipe and fuel fill may be a good idea. He also asked again for the AS1 window cert. He took lots of photos of brakes, wiring, engine, dot markings on lights. Overall he said he liked it and it was much better built that a rat rod. But he also said his opinion means nothing.
He'll do his report and then someone in Harrisburg will review it and either title it or let me know if I need to change anything.
To be continued.....
Letter received from PennDOT with the recap from QOA inspection. Items to address:
-I need a cover over battery cable that runs by passengers foot. Easy fix. Done
-I need a heat shield on tailpipe as it runs past fuel fill tube. Easy fix.
-I need better visibility to side markers and reflectors. Going to just buy 4 more markers with built in reflectors and mount them on each side corner.
-Need an approved battery hold down. Hose clamp aint going to cut it. Easy fix, i have one just need to install it.
-Fender rubbed on tire at full lock over curb. Easy fix, increase ride height. Done. I have coilover suspension.
I'll go get lights here shortly and install them tonight along with battery mount and heat shield. I pretty much begged him not to make me trailer my car back to garage and im waiting to hear what he has to say about that.
to be continued...
Met again at shop. QOA Inspector please with updates. Commented that i should be getting something very soon. I assumed he meant title.
Got an email this morning
Got home last night from vacation and everything was there. No longer waiting on the state to drive my creation. Now im waiting on Grundy lol.
Got the VIN plate, Title, and Registration and Plate came in same envelope. ISC also sent my a congrats package too.