State Inspection of Ellie Mae

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Tom Hicks
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State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by Tom Hicks » Thu Mar 28, 2019 3:33 pm

I am building a TT with the intent of it being a Beverly Hillbilly's type of vehicle. I took her in for a Virginia State Inspection today and the Service Manager asked if it would be OK to wait until we can have a State Trooper present. It seems that the rules can get a bit complicated for some of these older vehicles. I told him, "No problem, just let me know when". I had an inspection in the past on another vehicle which caused a few problems so I want to make sure this is done correctly.

I think Ellie Mae will pass no problem, she has everything the original had when it came out of the factory, plus extras like front disc brakes, turn signals, and brake lights. It is about 5 miles to the inspection station and she ran great all the way, and back. It was my first time to take her on the open road, I am going to guess we ran a top speed of 35 mph, and she was very happy at that speed.

I did find that I definitely need a rear view mirror to be safe, I don't think they had that when they came out of the factory.

And does anyone know the top speed of a TT with 5:1 rear and Warford overdrive. I only had her up to 35, but I suspect she will go a lot faster! She stopped well at 35 with front disc brakes, but I didn't want to test any faster speeds, YET! I saw a chart a few years ago which showed RPM at different speeds using a Warford and TT 5:1 rear. I can not find it now and would appreciate it if someone would post it.


I am now waiting on the inspection station to call so we can make an appointment with the police officer. Any guesses on whether she will pass on the first try?
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Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by George Andreasen » Thu Mar 28, 2019 4:14 pm

I don't think you'll have much of a problem as long as you're there to answer any questions, but you forgot something in your build..........

Where's the small sofa/loveseat perched up behind the driver's seat? I mean, where's Granny and Ellie May gonna sit????

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Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by Ruxstel24 » Thu Mar 28, 2019 4:19 pm

Will no windshield not be an issue ?


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Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by Tom Hicks » Thu Mar 28, 2019 4:19 pm

[quote="George Andreasen" post_id=19698 time=1553804085 user_id=360]
I don't think you'll have much of a problem as long as you're there to answer any questions, but you forgot something in your build..........

Where's the small sofa/loveseat perched up behind the driver's seat? I mean, where's Granny and Ellie May gonna sit????
[/quote]

I will be "building" this vehicle for years, I might never finish it! I just want to get it licensed and inspected so I can road test it mechanically, then I will proceed with the build when I am happy with how she rides. But you are absolutely correct, it must have a rocking chair in the back!!! And a bucket marked "road kill" hanging from the underside along with a pitch fork to pick up the road kill attached to the side. And some wooden barrels, wow this is going to take some time to finish!
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Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by Tom Hicks » Thu Mar 28, 2019 4:21 pm

[quote=Ruxstel24 post_id=19699 time=1553804346 user_id=116]
Will no windshield not be an issue ?
[/quote]

I have no idea. When they came off the assembly line they had no windshield, but I will just go with whatever the officer decides, no complaints.

I probably might put a windshield on it at some time anyway, but I would like to drive it first before I decide.
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Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by Loftfield » Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:11 am

Move to North Carolina. Vehicles over 35 years of age require NO annual inspection! Well, if you moved to North Carolina your vehicle(s) would require one initial inspection to ensure that the VIN matches the title, to ensure the car is what it claims to be, done by an inspector who comes to your door. I did not see the required rocking chair in the truck bed!


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Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by Tom Hicks » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:20 am

Loftfield wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:11 am
Move to North Carolina. Vehicles over 35 years of age require NO annual inspection! Well, if you moved to North Carolina your vehicle(s) would require one initial inspection to ensure that the VIN matches the title, to ensure the car is what it claims to be, done by an inspector who comes to your door. I did not see the required rocking chair in the truck bed!
It seems every state is different. None of my cars have engine numbers that match the Title. If in NC I guess I would have to pull out the grinder and stamping tools.

I like State Inspections. I go to a local shop which is through, but they do not rip owners off by trying to do work that does not need to be done which is very common with many of the franchises in the area.


I put the engine, Warford, and rear in Ellie Mae. Not too difficult, but I am not a mechanic. Did I make any mistakes? I rebuilt and adjusted the parking brakes on each side along with replacing the pawl, they work, but are they correct? The front disc brakes were done by a guy from NC although I put the replacement brake pedal in, installed the master cylinder, ran the lines and bled them. They seem to work great to me, but what will an inspector say? I have done all the wiring, is it right?

Before I proceed with the build I want to know everything so far is right and I can drive her for serious road testing. She ran at around 35 mph for some of the drive to the inspection station, and ran smoothly, and will run a lot faster. But I don't want to test speed/braking until I know the steering has been professionally inspected.


VA State inspection is only $16. That is a deal to get a licensed inspector under the supervision of a State Police Officer to go over my work. If it needs more work, good, I am glad we found it and I will fix it. If I get questioned about Ellie's condition by an officer in the future I will give them the number of the officer who inspected it. If I am involved in an accident and accused of driving an old, dangerous piece of junk I can point out that it was not only inspected, it was inspected by a State Police Officer.

A tight inspection gives me piece of mind. The State Police and the inspection station are working with me on this, and I appreciate it.


I think the rocking chair was an accessory, so it is not necessary for the inspection. I feel that I have far exceeded the minimum requirements for inspection which would be a running chassis like it came out of the factory with a guy sitting on the gas tank.
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Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by Jugster » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:52 am

I guess it depends on where you go for your state inspection. My local mechanic watches as I demonstrate that all the lights work, that the horn works, that there's plenty of lining on my Rocky Mountain brake bands, that the steering system is nice and tight, that the tires have plenty of tread, and the rest of the normal, common sense, safety stuff. I get a new sticker and am good for another year. While I'm there, I drop off a couple of gallons of dirty, used motor oil. I can't complain.


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Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by George Andreasen » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:57 am

A "road kill" bucket........LOLOLOLOL! Perfect!


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Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by Tom Hicks » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:26 am

There should be a pitch fork on the side of the truck for road kill retrieval.

There were many versions of this truck, the one for coming 'cross county had the rocking chair in the back, the one shown here was for cruising the streets of Beverly. At a minimum I must have the RKB, pitchfork, and big sofa or rocker. I don't think any of these were standard equipment from the dealer, they were special order items. The frying pan is a nice touch too.
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Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by vwgary » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:39 am

Probably a good idea to bring along a copy of what a bare TT chassis looks like as they were sold before they started with the closed bodies.
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Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by Tom Hicks » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:01 am

vwgary wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:39 am
Probably a good idea to bring along a copy of what a bare TT chassis looks like as they were sold before they started with the closed bodies.
Good idea!
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Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by fliverfan » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:32 am

"If I am involved in an accident and accused of driving an old, dangerous piece of junk I can point out that it was not only inspected, it was inspected by a State Police Officer."

Which is why it will most likely fail. I doubt many inspection stations or state troopers are going to put their reputations on the line for Bill & Ted's most excellent brake job even if the truck is equipped with a reproduction Mr. Haney seat belt.


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Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by Tom Hicks » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:52 am

fliverfan wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:32 am
"If I am involved in an accident and accused of driving an old, dangerous piece of junk I can point out that it was not only inspected, it was inspected by a State Police Officer."

Which is why it will most likely fail. I doubt many inspection stations or state troopers are going to put their reputations on the line for Bill & Ted's most excellent brake job even if the truck is equipped with a reproduction Mr. Haney seat belt.
If it won't pass, they are required to tell me what won't pass and why. I will get it fixed correctly! Then it will pass on re-inspection.
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Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by James_B_NC » Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:22 pm

If I recall correctly, Jed Clampet had an Oldsmobile truck
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Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by fliverfan » Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:35 pm

"It seems every state is different. None of my cars have engine numbers that match the Title. If in NC I guess I would have to pull out the grinder and stamping tools."

Then, in your dedication to correctness, you'll be sure to mention this fact to the trooper. I'm pretty sure stamping tools work just as well and ethically in the state of VA.


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Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by Tom Hicks » Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:21 pm

James_b_nc wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:22 pm
If I recall correctly, Jed Clampet had an Oldsmobile truck
I think it was a 1919 Olds converted to a truck. Lots of different configurations over the years. I figure I need a large rear seat, RKB with pitchfork, swinging lantern, and wooden barrel to look the part.
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Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by Tom Hicks » Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:26 pm

fliverfan wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:35 pm
"It seems every state is different. None of my cars have engine numbers that match the Title. If in NC I guess I would have to pull out the grinder and stamping tools."

Then, in your dedication to correctness, you'll be sure to mention this fact to the trooper. I'm pretty sure stamping tools work just as well and ethically in the state of VA.
I am going to guess that part of the first inspection of the vehicle will involve the Trooper checking the VIN number on the title. I don't think that VIN number has to match the engine number in VA, I suspect that few do with all the replacement engines that most T's have had. But I will do whatever I have do in order to be compliant with the law.
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Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by Tom Hicks » Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:00 am

Last Thursday I called the inspection station and the State Trooper had still not set up a time for the inspection despite three phone calls to him. So I figured I would just do like everyone told me at first, I turned in the standard plates and bought antique plates. Friday I got a call from the inspection station, the Trooper had been busy, but will find the time to do the inspection. And, the Trooper wants me to email him pictures of the vehicle.


So I emailed him pictures of the original chassis and the modifications I have made. I told him I want to be compliant with the law. If the vehicle needs an annual inspection I want to get the correct license plates and get it inspected. If the antique tags are sufficient I want to keep it like I now have it.


That was last Friday, I haven't heard back from him. No doubt he is busy, and I suspect I will not get a reply.
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Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by James_B_NC » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:15 am

Well, wish you luck Tom. I’m sure it will all work out in the end.
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Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by John kuehn » Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:12 am

It will depend on how the inspector understands what the car is. It might wind up being classed as a parade only or hobby car. Lots of variables here.
A ‘go by the book’ inspector might have a hard time passing it. MHO of course. Good luck!


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Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by Hal » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:13 pm

Tom,

In regard to the question in your original post, if you will give me the ratio of your Warford overdrive and the outer diameter of your rear tires (I would assume 32", but please verify), I can give you your speed at a given engine RPM or engine RPM at a given speed.

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Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by Mark Gregush » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:28 pm

What I am going to say here may ruffle a few feathers but is well intended.
Tom I know you put a lot of work into this, but I am going to make some suggestions looking at it from another persons outside prospective. I think it needs; hood, seats mounted on a platform not springs (?), rear fenders and a windshield. (these may be required to drive on the street anyway) I would suggest getting rid of that box on the running board and the wings on the cowl. The fire extinguisher is a good idea but I think it is in the wrong place, I would put it on the passenger side, inside the cowl where it can be reached without walking all the way around car to get it.
I know it is hard sometimes to look at your own work, but I think you need to look at it thru the eyes of a professional law enforcement person. What I see (maybe them too) is something to plow the back 40 not something to be driven on the road, which could be why you are getting stone walled.
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Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by Tom Hicks » Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:35 pm

Hal wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:13 pm
Tom,

In regard to the question in your original post, if you will give me the ratio of your Warford overdrive and the outer diameter of your rear tires (I would assume 32", but please verify), I can give you your speed at a given engine RPM or engine RPM at a given speed.
That would really be appreciated!

Yes, the rear wheels are 32" OD. I don't know the ratio of the Warford. It is the old unsynchronized type, didn't they have a standard overdrive ratio?
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Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by Tom Hicks » Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:45 pm

Mark Gregush wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:28 pm
What I am going to say here may ruffle a few feathers but is well intended.
Tom I know you put a lot of work into this, but I am going to make some suggestions looking at it from another persons outside prospective. I think it needs; hood, seats mounted on a platform not springs (?), rear fenders and a windshield. (these may be required to drive on the street anyway) I would suggest getting rid of that box on the running board and the wings on the cowl. The fire extinguisher is a good idea but I think it is in the wrong place, I would put it on the passenger side, inside the cowl where it can be reached without walking all the way around car to get it.
I know it is hard sometimes to look at your own work, but I think you need to look at it thru the eyes of a professional law enforcement person. What I see (maybe them too) is something to plow the back 40 not something to be driven on the road, which could be why you are getting stone walled.
It does, in fact, drive very much like a tractor!

I will be interested to see what Law Enforcement says. I have built it the way I want and designed as I have gone along. It will have a hood eventually, I love the seat with buckboard springs, real comfy, the bed will cover the top of the rear wheels like a fender, the cowl wings can be easily removed with a skillsaw, they are there because that happened to be the board's length, but I might leave them. I like your idea for the fire extinguisher except that puts it right above the exhaust pipe and above/behind the carburetor, a likely place for a fire to start.

Actually, I think that as long as I have everything that the original chassis had when it came out of the factory it should pass inspection. Everything else I added for safety or comfort.

And I can't imagine anyone getting their feathers ruffled by your suggestions.
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Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by Will_Vanderburg » Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:53 pm

The Beverly Hillbillies truck was based on a 1921 Oldsmobile Model 43-A touring car. The Model 43-A was powered by a 43-horsepower 4-cylinder engine and rode on a 115-inch wheelbase
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Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by Hal » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:58 pm

Tom,

A little digging turned up a 1:1.363 on a Warford Overdrive. I can't say they are all that, but it's what I found. Assuming yours is that, and you have a 5.167:1 rear end and 32" OD rear tires, I get the following:

800 rpm = 20 mph
1000 rpm = 25 mph
1200 rpm = 30 mph
1300 rpm = 33 mph
1400 rpm = 35 mph
1500 rpm = 38 mph
1600 rpm = 40 mph
1700 rpm = 43 mph
1800 rpm = 45 mph

Not sure how far you want to go. If there are other speeds you'd like, just let me know. I put it all in an Excel spreadsheet, so it's no big deal to enter the numbers.


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Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by Tom Hicks » Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:38 pm

Hal wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:58 pm
Tom,

A little digging turned up a 1:1.363 on a Warford Overdrive. I can't say they are all that, but it's what I found. Assuming yours is that, and you have a 5.167:1 rear end and 32" OD rear tires, I get the following:

800 rpm = 20 mph
1000 rpm = 25 mph
1200 rpm = 30 mph
1300 rpm = 33 mph
1400 rpm = 35 mph
1500 rpm = 38 mph
1600 rpm = 40 mph
1700 rpm = 43 mph
1800 rpm = 45 mph

Not sure how far you want to go. If there are other speeds you'd like, just let me know. I put it all in an Excel spreadsheet, so it's no big deal to enter the numbers.
Thank you for posting that, it is exactly what I need! Most of my driving will be at 35 or below and 1400 rpm should not hurt the engine. It is well built, but it has an EE crank and I don't want to push her too hard. And if I occasionally get up to 40 mph that should be OK too. I bought a marine GPS speedometer which goes up to 40 mph, so this is all good news.

I need to do a lot more testing on the open road to determine her happy speed and her limits, along with mine.
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Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by gcomo » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:42 pm

Road testing is the best part of the research.

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Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by Ruxstel24 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:18 pm

Nice chart, that's pretty good speed for a TT :)


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Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by Hal » Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:38 am

Those speeds are very much like a stock T.

My TT has 7.25:1 gears in the rear and no auxiliary transmission. Last weekend, using a speedometer app on my phone, I had my wife show me the speed after I got it to what felt about right. It was 22 mph. Best I can remember, 24 mph on it was 1800 rpm on the engine, so 22 would be less.


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Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by Tom Hicks » Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:12 am

Hal wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:38 am
Those speeds are very much like a stock T.

My TT has 7.25:1 gears in the rear and no auxiliary transmission. Last weekend, using a speedometer app on my phone, I had my wife show me the speed after I got it to what felt about right. It was 22 mph. Best I can remember, 24 mph on it was 1800 rpm on the engine, so 22 would be less.
I think my TT with the 7:1 which only runs 15 mph might be suffering from the driveshaft whip. Do you have a carrier bushing in the torque tube?
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Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by Hal » Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:27 am

No, I don't. I've heard of people drilling and tapping the torque tube in 3 places 120 degrees apart near the center and screwing in brass bolts with jam nuts until they just touch the drive shaft. I couldnt bear to do that. When i swapped engines, it got better. New 4th main helped i expect. I may have replaced the u joint then too. I don't remember. Either way, it is better now, but wasn't real bad before except in that one little speed range for maybe a couple of miles per hour somewhere between 15 and 20. I just quickly accelerate through that speed range. It has a minor vibration for a second or two as I pass that point then it smooths right out. Kinda like buffeting at mach 1. It goes away as you pass the point where it occurs.

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Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by Bob McDaniel » Thu Apr 18, 2019 11:43 am

Hal wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:27 am
It has a minor vibration for a second or two as I pass that point then it smooths right out. Kinda like buffeting at mach 1. It goes away as you pass the point where it occurs.
I will try to keep this info in mind for the next time I have my T at mach 1. Just goose it a little more and all is well. :D :lol:
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Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by Tom Hicks » Thu Apr 18, 2019 11:51 am

Bob McDaniel wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 11:43 am
Hal wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:27 am
It has a minor vibration for a second or two as I pass that point then it smooths right out. Kinda like buffeting at mach 1. It goes away as you pass the point where it occurs.
I will try to keep this info in mind for the next time I have my T at mach 1. Just goose it a little more and all is well. :D :lol:
Careful, might not work for a T. We are talking TT's here, a different animal. TT and Mach 1 don't sound right in the same sentence, but some TT's are time machines which will hit light speed and take you back. Unfortunately, mine won't break 15 without excessive vibration, but that is OK. 15 mph is fine at 2:00 a.m. and you don't have to hit light speed to go back to the future. She is LOADED with many LED lights and marker lights, she looks like a transport vehicle picking up passengers to take back to the mother ship.


But that is my Limo Model TT, not Ellie Mae. Ellie Mae, well she may, then again, she may not...
Technology, the solution to all of our problems... and the cause of most of them.


Hal
Posts: 184
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:08 pm
First Name: Hal
Last Name: Davis
Location: SE Georgia
Board Member Since: 2005

Re: State Inspection of Ellie Mae

Post by Hal » Thu Apr 18, 2019 4:21 pm

Something else that falls into that narrow range of frequencies is steering shimmy. I am convinced this phenomenon is more prevalent on TT's than T's, and I believe the reason is they are more prone to be operated in the range of speeds that produce the frequency needed to keep the system vibrating. Everything has a natural resonate frequency at which it will vibrate. T front ends and TT drive shafts are no different. Now, don't get me wrong. A good tight front end certainly helps and it most certainly happens on T's as well as TT's, but having both and fighting this problem on both, I believe the TT is more prone to it. There is a RR track I cross that will make my TT do it nearly every time I cross it. When this happens, some panic and come to a halt. When it happens to me, I accelerate. Like the TT drive shaft thing, it goes away after you speed up.

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