+Turbo Registration and Insurance

Hi guys,

Let's say you put a turbo motor into your 200.

What do you need to do to get the thing legally registered? I am talking specifically QLD but surely the process must be somewhat similar in all states? I have researched on the transport website about mod plates and modification codes, but how does the process actually play out?

Also, those who have got their turbo cars registered, did you guys experience any higher insurance premiums?

PS I am also on regular registration, not club etc.


  • Vee_QueVee_Que (@Vee_Que) South Eastern suburbs Melbourne.
    Mod plate is cheap and because you're using factory parts in a older body, not much else is needed to cover yourself.
  • What Alex said.

    Here in NSW if you put a turbo engine into a 240 and use the factory parts then it just requires an engineer to sign off on the work you have done to certify it is safe and compliant.

    In NSW it can be a bit confusing and can lead you to believe that a vehicle will self certify if it meets certain criteria. This is not actually true and I have done further research to find out exactly what I need to do. I went to several blue slip stations here in Newcastle who explained to me that if the car I present to them does not have an identical match to a configuration that is on the RTA "system" then it would need to be certified.

    For example: The 245 turbo I have in my garage. Going by what the RTA documentation says it should self certify and not need engineering. This is because the B23ET that is now in there is not larger than the LARGEST available engine for a 200 wagon which is 2.8 litres. The B23ET uses the same engine mounts as the engine that originally occupied that car. Finally the rated output of the B23ET does not exceed the highest power output engine (B28) by more than 20%.

    However if I were to roll on down to a blue slip station and ask for a blue slip when they go to insert the vehicle details they would get a mismatch in details. On their list they would have something like:

    240 wagon: V6 B28 (NA)
    240 wagon: L4 B21 (NA)
    240 wagon: L4 B23 (NA)

    There would be no option like:

    240 wagon: L4 B23ET (Turbo)

    It is this missing record that would then require you to go down to an engineer and have it certified. That being said the cost will be minimal and will be as simple as just a safety check.

    How you can do it if you dont want to it the "right" way is to use an engine number that does not correspond to a turbo engine. When I had my 240 turbo on the road I used a B230FX block which on the system would come up like L4 B230FX (NA). At which point it was a short conversation with the blue slipper who basically said "when I saw this car there was none of this turbo stuff added" and that I was responsible and effectively uninsured in the event of a crash.

    So at least in NSW if you have made your regular 240 into a 240 turbo then you will need to get it certified for it to be 100% legit.
  • I do want to do it the right way. I don't particularly fancy risking an incident while uninsured.

    So that is all assuming one uses a factory turbo block with factory turbo fuel system all of which already offered in Australia. But what about a fuel system not dealt in Australia, for example @jamesinc 's carb turbo?

    Is it more or less the same because it is still factory supported? Or because it was not offered in Australia, does there need to be further approval's?

    When crunch time comes, do I go to the transport dep. where they will tell me exactly where I need to go to make this happen?
  • Factory supported helps but doesnt exclude you from needing certification. The reason for needing certification is because a turbo 240 was never really offered in Australia. Its long been debated that there are one or two examples floating around but at least in NSW they do not show up on the system.

    If you use factory parts then it makes it easier regardless of the fuel system. For example my B23ET is running on LH2.4. So for this reason I would need to comply with emissions from the release year of the fuel system and not the engine. This means I need to run a cat and retain/add any emissions equipment.

    Also note that you cannot use an engine that is significantly older than the car it is going in if the car is manufactured after 76. So you cannot take a 93 240 and fit a B21 because a B21 was only offered until 81. You can however put a B21 stamped 77 in a car made in 81 because the engine was used throughout those model years.

    But getting back on topic lol. If you have a 240 and you are fitting a factory turbo engine or turboing an NA motor then it will require certification.

    On the opposite side of the spectrum, if you had a 740 NA and fitted a turbo motor then it wouldnt require certification as that engine option was available in Australia and so therefore could be inspected by a blue slip station here as normal as they would be able to process the details correctly.
  • Vee_QueVee_Que (@Vee_Que) South Eastern suburbs Melbourne.
    In Queensland there are heaps of engineers who can mod plate the car easily. Even with a turbo on a non turbo block it's not a huge issue.

    The R sport kit was factory offered on the carbied engine. It's a loophole but still tricky.

    As far as I'm concerned, even in Victoria they should have an engineering cert because I've not seen the documentation that exists from Volvo that says they had factory turbo cars registered here from new.
  • jamesincJames (@jamesinc) Oz Volvo Ice Fortress
    RMS coding doesn't look like that. Go to RMS and have them pull up the 240 model codes on their system, no one understands them, RMS certainly don't. All of the 240s I've had have been entered as a 244-83A model code. On at least two occasions RMS have asked me what model code to use for the car because they don't know what they mean, i.e. 244-83A, 244
    I do want to do it the right way. I don't particularly fancy risking an incident while uninsured.

    So that is all assuming one uses a factory turbo block with factory turbo fuel system all of which already offered in Australia. But what about a fuel system not dealt in Australia, for example @jamesinc 's carb turbo?

    Is it more or less the same because it is still factory supported? Or because it was not offered in Australia, does there need to be further approval's?

    When crunch time comes, do I go to the transport dep. where they will tell me exactly where I need to go to make this happen?

    It uses the original B21A. TBH in my experience no one knows what the codes mean for Volvos. Like mine are all "24483A", and everyone at RMS always asks ME if it's right.
  • Yeah but when your blue slip inspector goes to enter the details it will have an engine descriptor that is linked to the model year of your car. It will list its capacity and induction type.

    Ive seen it myself as I asked him to check what options are registered in the system for a 77 240 wagon and the only option was B21 which had a description of something like 2091 cc NA.
  • jamesincJames (@jamesinc) Oz Volvo Ice Fortress
    Oh okay, I've never had a blue slip done electronically, so I suppose that's why
  • He then showed me a common one he gets which is people putting an LS into a VT and requiring certification. This is because the VT series 1 only came with the 5 litre motor and not the 5.7 LS. The VT series 2 came with the LS so if someone took the 5 litre out and put the LS in then it has a record already in the system so can be blue slipped. If its a series 1 then there is no record so needs to be certified.
  • edited November 2017
    You guys are all waaaaayyyyy to honest. Why pay for engineering paperwork we know doesn't need to be done to be safe on a b230f+t.

    Just get it blue slipped / inpected with the normal engine in it and then add your turbo conversion thereafter. No need for anyone to be the wiser. It's not like your putting a V8 in there.

    If you've already converted be on good terms with your inspection guy and just ask the old engine number to be listed.

    We are talking about old Volvos here..... Worst case after an accident the panel shop / insurer would almost certainly not pick up on it and if your concerned have the salvage towed home and have it assessed by photo.

    I honestly don't see this as dodgy since it's a factory engine. Volvos are mostly invisible to the police anyway.
  • Insurance companies will deny claims if you have done that. If your insurance is fine with dodgy blue slip then go for it.
  • My point is that it's a one in a million chance they'd ever see it - why would they look? Its just not relevant IMO. There would have to be extreme circumstances surrounding an investigation into the blue slip inspection and it'd be impossible to prove anything. These cars are <10K insured value and a relatively minor accident will result in a financial write off and if you've chosen the right Insurance company, salvage rights. Nobody will be doing a mechanical assesment, checking engine numbers etc after an accident. If your worried after an accident just have the salvage kept in your possession - photos will be enough to write it off.<br>
    I believe this is just a common sense MOD nobody needs to know about until you start messing with steering etc. There is one highly modified 242GT out there (that I almost purchased) with engineering certification for the turbo conversion, diff conversion and tranny conversion but the huge turbo involved substantial modification of the steering assembly and there was no certification of that! It just didn't make any sense. It was the only item that really warranted a really good engineer certify the mods but I'd say you'd have a hard time finding anyone who would put their name to a custom modified steering assembly.
  • SpacSpac (@Spac) Canberra-ish.
    edited November 2017
    Insurance can only refuse a claim if the undocumented modification caused or significantly contributed to the crash.

    If you're in a 60 zone, travelling at 58kph and blow through a red light and crash into someone, then your insurer cannot legally refuse your claim.
    If you crash into someone because your bodgy engine mount broke and jammed the motor against the steering column, then you have a problem.

    Obviously there are many scenarios and many grey areas, but the idea that your insurance is automatically null and void if you have any undocumented mods to your car, is false.

    Edit: And if it is something that could be engineered but hasn't, the simple lack of certification is not enough to automatically allow a claim to be refused.

    Also: refusing to pay out on comprehensive insurance is a different kettle of fish than third party claims.
  • In NSW the main reason for getting it done is in the unlikely event your crash results in the death/serious injury of someone else. In the event this happens you may find yourself paying for medical bills and funeral costs if the deceased does not have life insurance/medical insurance.

    My 240 turbo wasnt engineered for the longest time. I got it engineered because I just wanted to do the right thing. I also liked the idea of having a professional look over my work to ensure it was safe and not going to injure myself or others. I will be doing the same for the 245.

    My motivation for this is my ex girlfriend got seriously injured in a car accident when her seat belt failed to work. Her mum's car had been given an over the phone inspection. Had the car been given a real inspection they might have caught the broken seatbelt.

    I wouldn't forgive myself if I assembled a car, gave it to someone I loved and they were hurt or killed because something I did was not safe. It's all well and good to save money but when it concerns safety and human life it shouldn't even be a second thought.

    Assembling a turbo motor seems trivial and easy but there are many things you can do along the way that comprise the original safety of your vehicle.

    Get it engineered
  • Thanks for the helpful info guys. I agree better safe than sorry.
  • In spirit I agree with slowbrick, but for my money I'd be spending the spare $ on new brakes and tyres if all I was doing was adding a hairdryer to the engine bay. There are times where engineering is a no brainer such as custom non factory mods to brakes and steering.... Yet those seem to be overlooked by many.
  • Vee_QueVee_Que (@Vee_Que) South Eastern suburbs Melbourne.
    Adding a turbo normally results in 40% power increase, thats substantial..
  • bgpzfm142bgpzfm142 (@bgpzfm142) near Katoomba NSW / Launceston TAS
    A standard line of fine print in almost every insurance policy is -
    "We can refuse your claim if you fail to disclose something known to you that we should know." Or in more detail as part of the Duty of Disclosure.

    Another line of fine print in nearly every policy is -
    "We may refuse a claim and cancel your policy if: (*) You or someone on your behalf modify a Motor Vehicle, Collector’s Car, Caravan or Trailer insured by this policy.".

    This is why insurance companies make sheetloads of money.
    71 1800E |73 144 |74 142 |74 145 |79 242GT |88 780 |93 945T |2010 S80 V8
  • SpacSpac (@Spac) Canberra-ish.
    "may" and "can".
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