Falcon XR6 Turbo
Legalities 
 


 

 

"it feels mighty strong, mighty pumped and totally together"

Motor Magazine

 

Tyre frying horsepower, fast quarter mile times and all road legal. What is involved in having your cake and eating it too?

Any modifications aimed at improving the engine performance of the XR6 Turbo engine will automatically come under close scrutiny of the relevant authorities such as the Police, EPA, RTA etc. The reason is that there are many rules and regulations that specify exactly what is and is not legal on our public roads - as well as what is required to make a modified vehicle legal. In recent times, these regulations have been and continue to be enforced vigorously. To complicate matters further, some regulations apply on an individual vehicle basis and others to the combination of components used to improve engine performance.

Briefly, Ford as a primary vehicle manufacturer has shown compliance to the relevant legal requirements for the exact specification that the XR6 Turbo is manufactured to. As a primary manufacturer, Ford has gained blanket approval for all vehicles manufactured to that same specification; hence individual owners need not prove compliance for each vehicle.

After first registration, control of compliance passes from a federal level to State or Territory control – where blanket approval is essentially no longer possible. This leaves the performance enthusiast with the expensive and demanding task of satisfying the relevant State authorities that the vehicle is still legal – on an individual vehicle basis.

When the engine is modified, be it a cold air intake or the whole works, the relevant authorities automatically deem that that vehicle no longer complies and it is illegal for the owner to drive that vehicle on public roads. Whether technically the vehicle does or does not comply, the authorities still deem it to not comply unless the vehicle owner can produce relevant documentation.

In practice, two authorities need to be satisfied for approval of modifications – namely the EPA and road traffic governing body such as the RTA in NSW, VicRoads in Victoria or their equivalent in other States or Territories.

The EPA is responsible for continued compliance with emissions and noise. To satisfy the EPA, one needs to prove continued compliance with Australian Design Rule 79/00 (ADR 79/00 - emissions) and the stationary 90 dB exhaust noise test. ADR 79/00 compliance process is very demanding and enormously expensive. It involves surrendering the vehicle to an accredited laboratory where stringent tests are conducted. These include cold start emissions through to demanding road simulation on a dynamometer where exhaust emissions are “bagged” and later analysed. In excess of $15,000 can be spent particularly if the vehicle does not pass the stringent laboratory tests the first time.

Even though laboratory tests that show continued compliance with ADR 79/00 may satisfy the EPA, the RTA and their equivalent departments in other States and Territories may still require you to obtain further certification in the form of a registered Engineer's report. This is certainly the case in Victoria and NSW with other States and Territories moving to a similar model in the near future.

A registered Engineer is required to perform a number of tests in order to be satisfied that the vehicle modifications are in accordance with the requirements of the relevant traffic authority. The tests also include those required by the EPA and in fact, the ADR 79/00 laboratory test results form an integral part of the Engineer’s approval process. An important point to be aware of is that an Engineer’s report is required on an individual vehicle basis. It is not possible to obtain a blanket Engineer’s report that covers more than one vehicle.

In a nutshell, engine enhancements are automatically deemed to be illegal and regulatory authorities insist that each individual owner proves continued compliance of their vehicle.

So what happens if you are pulled over for an inspection?

Firstly, when an inspecting officer or a member of the Police Force detects modifications, a defect notice will be placed on the vehicle. Unless of course the owner can produce documentation that proves not only that the vehicle continues to comply with EPA requirements, but also that the relevant road traffic authorities are satisfied with the level of compliance.

If relevant documentation cannot be produced, the vehicle owner will be forced to return the vehicle to a specification where it had previously been approved. That invariably will be back to standard - necessitating the removal of all modifications and reinstallation of all standard components prior to re-inspection for removal of the defect notice. There may also be penalties to pay even for your first offence.

If however you again make modifications without correct approval and you are subject to another inspection, then significant penalties will apply. This situation whilst on the face of it may seem harsh, the rules and regulations are things that we all have to abide by if we are to enjoy the XR6 Turbo on public roads.

So where does all this leave you, the XR6 Turbo enthusiast?

APS has traditionally gone to great effort and considerable expense to ensure that the legal process is as simple as possible for our High Output Systems customers - and our PHASED Adrenalin systems for the XR6 Turbo are no exception. Mean and Green!

In order to assist our customers in avoiding the inconvenience of removing equipment to return your vehicle back to standard - as well as possible fines - APS holds documentation that proves continued compliance with ADR 79/00 and the mandatory 90 dB stationary exhaust noise test. The documentation applies for the APS PHASE II and PAHSE III systems and covers all XR6 Turbos fitted with either system.

The ADR 79/00 laboratory tests also happen to be the most expensive part of the testing process. As stated previously, these test results are required not only by the EPA, but also by registered Engineers who must then certify the vehicle with the PHASE II or III system. Registered engineers supply what is known as an Engineer’s Report - which is required by the relevant road authorities.

Whilst ADR 79/00 documentation that APS now holds is applicable to all XR6 Turbo vehicles fitted with the PHASE II or PHASE III System, an Engineer’s Report is required on an individual vehicle basis.

APS will supply registered Engineers with the relevant documentation to save our customers from the grief and huge expense of ADR 79/00 testing. APS will also offer advice on how to go about obtaining an Engineers Report to further simplify the process.

Whilst it's no secret that producing road legal high power systems is technically demanding, APS design philosophy mandates that this must always be achieved. Right from an exhaust system that is 3 to 4 decibels under the 90 dB legal limit yet has the capacity to produce in excess of 450 kW and deliver a silky smooth exhaust note under cruise conditions, through to precisely tuned engine management for crisp throttle response and sensational fuel economy.

Mean and Green is not just a promise, it's fact.


Exhaust Noise Testing
Many statutory bodies around the world currently mandate that vehicles comply with stationary exhaust noise tests specifications - Generally based upon the "SAE J1169 Measurement of Light Vehicle Exhaust Sound Level under Stationary Conditions"

In Australia the test requirements are ADR 28/01 stationary noise test and based upon SAE J1169. In fact, the above tests have identical test procedures and only the required limit varies:

SAE J1169 USA 95 dB
ADR 28/01 Australia 90 dB

The test involves positioning a type 1, SIA compliant ANSI S1.4 - 1983 noise level meter, specifically as illustrated in the diagram below. No other positioning is relevant! Noise tests are extremely specific in their scope and must be conducted very carefully!


Diagram from SAEJ1169 Testing Procedures

Engine RPM must be held steady at 75% of rated peak horsepower RPM.

Given the latter figure is 5,200 RPM for the XR6T, the test engine speed is 3,900 RPM for these vehicles.

Again, it must be emphasised, all facets of a noise test must be specifically followed for the test to have any meaning.