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Replacing a Chassis - I don't want to be a ringer!
bi22le - 2/12/21 at 08:40 PM

I had a quick search on here and couldn't find much but I know I have read bits and bobs on this topic.

My striker is starting to show it's age. As a strip down and rebuild project it's perfect. Everything works fine and on the button but powder coat is flaking off, built up dirt in hard to reach places etc means it needs a full strip down, check over and rebuild.

I'm not that guy though. I have a tiny garage and reall enjoy modifications and driving not massive building from scrath jobs.

So I am thinking of buying a rolling Chassis which is currently up for sale. Not completed and not registered. I'm half thinking of taking my Chassis plate off of my car and putting it on this one. New Chassis, better condition etc. This is ringing though and I am an honest person.

Trigger broom come to mind. Especially with my car.

What would you lot do?

There is always the option of just selling my whole car and buying something completely different. I like strikers though and they don't come around that often.

Mr Whippy - 2/12/21 at 08:57 PM

No just swap the chassis and restamp the number. Was it stolen? No. Is it a dangerous dodgy insurance job? No... What's the problem.

Just do it and enjoy the car. You might even have it ready for the summer.

An alternative that might be cheaper would be to get the chassis blasted and repaired, I can't see much needing replaced.

ReMan - 2/12/21 at 10:40 PM

No its not ringing, but I dont get how if your not the guy to strip your car to refresh/blast/ paint the chassis, how replacing it completely is any different?

Charlie_Zetec - 2/12/21 at 11:07 PM

Big thing in the Land Rover world, especially when it comes to Defenders - I should know, I've done one! I purchased a new galvanised chassis, as a direct (but new) replacement for the rotten item residing underneath my TDi 90. The new one didn't come with any chassis numbers stamped on it, so I took the approach of stamping my existing number on, and then cutting the outrigger off the old chassis (where the VIN is stamped) before cutting the rest of it up and weighing it in as scrap.

Some might argue that this makes it a new vehicle, but I'd argue it's no different than changing any other worn part out. I feel, and this is only my opinion, that "ringing" is where you're trying to disguise, alter or amend the original identification of a vehicle - which I'm not.

In your case the replacement rolling chassis is second hand, but I'd take the view of cleaning it up and refreshing it to an "as new" condition, and stamping your ID onto it. As long as the original is destroyed so there's no chance of it being re-used or re-surfacing at any point, I don't see an issue.

The IVA manual or DVSA registration guidelines might state differently, so I'd also have a quick read up before making any firm decisions....

snapper - 3/12/21 at 07:33 AM

You can buy heritage body shells for MGB’s, chassis for Triumph Herald and Spitfire etc so not an issue as you are replacing like for like IMHO.
Legally you have not scammed anybody, not put a Dutton back on the road, I wouldn’t loose sleep over it.

russbost - 3/12/21 at 11:16 AM

I think it depends on EXACTLY what the OP is proposing.

If he buys another chassis, does a full strip & rebuilds onto the other chassis I think it is probably OK, tho' a grey area as this is presumably NOT a new chassis

However, if you take an existing rolling chassis & simply swap engine & box then when you swap the VIN you're effectively ringing it - tho' would agree not in any normal sense of the word

In either case, unless this is a VERY complete rolling chassis you are beack to the scenario of pretty much a full rebuild which is exactly what you wanted to avoid

Stripping an existing car into manageable "lumps" ie suspension, complete corners, engine/gearbox as one, steering rack & column, wiring all left attached to engine if possible etc. isn't actually THAT much work, a w/e to strip, a w/e to strip/repair chassis & another to repaint as required & probs 2 w/e's to put it all back together, refurb'ing a few bits along the way. I guess alot depends on how easily you can allocate half a dozen w/e' within a reasonable timeframe

Xmas is coming, if you have a couple of weeks off, easy peasy, job's a good 'un!

cliftyhanger - 3/12/21 at 11:23 AM

To be "corect" you should only replace a chassis with a brand new replacement, which shouldn't be different. Eg the landrovers, 2CVs etc etc.

Spitfire and herald chassis have not been generally available for 30 years or more. A few turn up, along with some college demo chassis. And they get used to rebuild cars. Throughout the 90's and early 2000's a few specialists could supply reconditioned chassis on exchange. Technically naughty, but not breaking teh spirit of the rules.
When I built my spitfire, I dismantled a coupe of cars. When it came to building, I honestly could not tell which chassis was which. Did I worry? of course not. I only had a registration of one of the cars, which I have used. (the earliest mkIV spitfire commission number in the UK, as it trns out. Built with no regard for originality! St170, T9 box, Subaru diff. But eb=nough parts to scrape the 8 point rule)

SteveWalker - 3/12/21 at 01:55 PM

Originally posted by russbost
If he buys another chassis, does a full strip & rebuilds onto the other chassis I think it is probably OK, tho' a grey area as this is presumably NOT a new chassis

A rolling chassis could be anything from a part-built car (new chassis that has never been on the road), so should be fine, to a heavily used car, ready to be stripped for spares, so definitely not. A grey area would be a chassis that had never been registered for the road, but maybe used on a few track days.

bi22le - 4/12/21 at 12:53 PM

Thanks for everyone's thoughts.

I'm currently talking to someone to buy their brand new unused rolling chassis. So it will be fully fitted with all new bits (essentially the same as a full on refurb) and never seen daylight.

For me, and seeing the general opinion on here, is that this is a full on refurb and ok. The new chassis is unstamped and not registered.

My old Chassis will have the VIN ground off and sold without any documentation, so it can't be reused on the road. Not with MY registration anyway.

bi22le - 4/12/21 at 03:40 PM

Well that offer fell through so now I'm back to reconditioning my chassis for now untill a decent spec striker chassis or complete car comes along.

nick205 - 4/12/21 at 05:29 PM

Interesting thread.

To the OP:

If you're going to strip the car you've got back to a bare chasis could you find someone to do the "chasis reconditioning" bit for you and then you rebuild the car?

No idea how much reconditioning work you need doing, but there may be people out there to do the work to a good standard for you. That way you've got the strip and rebuild part and not the grubby back-ache part.

bi22le - 5/12/21 at 10:58 PM

I'm half hoping I can drop it off somewhere to get blast back and repowdercoated. Is this what you mean?

nick205 - 6/12/21 at 08:26 AM

Originally posted by bi22le
I'm half hoping I can drop it off somewhere to get blast back and repowdercoated. Is this what you mean?

More or less yes.

You do the strip and rebuild of the actual car, but someone else (or company) does the chasis refurb bit. Paint stripping is a PITA to do effectively at home. It's best entrusted to a company with suitable kit to do it quickly and effectively. Then get it re-painted/powder coated quickly so no surface corrosoin takes hold (amazing how quick it grabs fresh metal).

Sanzomat - 6/12/21 at 10:33 AM

Just a thought, if a fair few track days have been done there may be a bit of fatigue developing in some of the highly stressed areas. Not sure how Striker chassis compare in this respect but a good friend's Westfield chassis has cracked in a few places. He does lots of trackdays and doesn't hang around so puts it under a lot of stress. The cracks are clearly fatigue. After welding/plating over the cracks and then having cracks form a year or two later at the edge of the plate the next step is cutting out whole sections and replacing. Not sure how/if fatigue can be spotted, even if blasted back to the metal. I guess any early stage cracks will be visible at least. If you are going to the trouble of stripping it back to the chassis something to keep in mind?

bi22le - 6/12/21 at 01:27 PM

This is something to keep in mind and after reading someone else's striker rip a rear wishbone mount off I need to have a good look over my Chassis.

This is why I would prefer a replacement over reconditioning mine.

loggyboy - 6/12/21 at 01:37 PM

Not read all replies, but my 2p.
To reshell car and retain reg it needs a new chassis.
I understand a reshell (Monocoque) to be the same as a rechassis.

If an old chassis is used you would need an iVA and it would end up on a Q if its not already.

Also where is this new rolling chassis?

[Edited on 6-12-21 by loggyboy]

sdh2903 - 6/12/21 at 07:40 PM

Originally posted by loggyboy

If an old chassis is used you would need an iVA and it would end up on a Q if its not already.

[Edited on 6-12-21 by loggyboy]

As long as its not been registered its still classed as 'new' in the eyes of vosa/dvla

pigeondave - 7/12/21 at 01:09 PM

Regarding the blasting.

I've been watching the Retropower uncut videos and they have a hot zinc spray treatment which they offer.
I believe that this is also a favourite of the TVR boys. Could be better than powder coating and worth some investigation.

You could paint it and be able to touch it up after.

Mike Wood - 8/12/21 at 08:05 AM

Apparently it used to be traditional to paint space framed tube steel racing car chassis that were bronze welded in light grey so cracks would be more visible.

One of the advantages of a bronze welded chassis is the relative easy to remove and replace tubes, noting the lower temperature that the joints were formed compared to MIG. I wonder what the limits are to repairing a MIG welded chassis and how to cut back to what to make a repair. Must be some knowledgeable welders/engineers/metallurgists on here who can comment.


[Edited on 8/12/21 by Mike Wood]

chillis - 12/12/21 at 01:56 PM

So long as its a like for like chassis swap and all the other running gear is carried over from old to new then its just the same as a 'shell swap' that is done with an insurance rebuild. If you start using other running gear or there are obvious differences between the old and new then it could cause problems.

CosKev3 - 13/12/21 at 09:27 AM

IMO ringing is stealing a car and putting on the ID of another car,usaully a write off bought cheaply.

If you own the car that's damaged and you replace the chassis with a new one that's not ringing.