Oh dear we failed the IVA :-( on a positive note the fail was only on two items which I couldn't test beforehand.

As for the test itself a very good mate offered to transport the Speedster on his car trailer to Exeter for me , (Thanks Steve), we arrived in plenty of time and had our lunch in the car while waiting for the 1:30 p.m. appointment.

On the dot, the tester introduced himself, and immediately helped to calm my nerves down with his very relaxed and cheerful approach. He was very familiar with the Speedster as he does all the Chesil builds and thought mine was one of Chesils !.

He explained the routine and after offering us a cup of tea ! we started the test. He could see I had followed Chesils instructions for the preparation and commented on the quality of the build.

First thing he looked at was everything under the bonnet, including the wiring, then the chassis plate, (he commented on my uneven letters), but he was happy he could read it.

Next he got out the radius gauge and checked everything inside the cockpit and dashboard, he also checks under the dash !, checked the seat belts and noted I had appropriately raised the top mounting point.

Next.. another cup of tea !

Now he looked in the engine compartment and checked the wiring, fuel pipes etc, at his point he commented the fuel pipe was not 'marked' as I has used stainless braided pipe. I explained I had a certificate from the supplier confirming this was fuel pipe, 'that's' great he said, no problem as long as you can show me documentation. The same applied to the fuel filler hose as well.

Next he tested all the lights, then asked me to drive onto the ramps. I had to do the usual moving the steering and pressing the brake etc, then he popped out from under the car and announced there was a problem... the beetle heating system was connected by the two plastic heater mufflers , even though I had disconnected the heater levers, it was still deemed as 'connected' a fail.. he then suggested I 'had a look' whilst he went for a toilet break and 'suggested' the tubes had been removed by the time he came back :-)

Now I had to drive over to the braking area , at which point he got out the headlight tester and showed me how to adjust the lights to within limits. Next he drove onto the brake tester and although the brakes were very good and well balanced he could see the rear brakes were too powerful.. oh dear... the brake bias needs to be such that the front brakes lock first at all 5 settings.

To confirm his suspicions he asked me to hop in while we went for a spin round the complex.. as he has to 'test' the car for derivability and general handling, and check the self centering. It took me by surprise when he floored the pedal and shot round the complex , swerving from left to right and braking suddenly. he also stopped and checked the mirrors. The next test was an emergency stop to confirm his braking theory, and sure enough the back brakes locked first and the back end started to swing round... not good.

So I now new there was at least one failure

The noise test was next, and no matter how hard he tried the sound level kept creeping up over the 98 dba limit at 3075 rpm, (3/4 of max stated power/revs). Another fail, but everything else had passed and the retest would only be for these two items.

He did explained the problem with the beetle was the 'noisy' air cooled engine right behind the exhaust, and Chesil's stainless exhaust is always 'right on the limit'

The noise test was next, and no matter how hard he tried the sound level kept creeping up over the 98 dba limit at 3075 rpm, (3/4 of max stated power/revs). Another fail, but everything else had passed and the retest would only be for these two items.

So in summary:

1) Exhaust Noise level 102.5 , max allowed is 98 dba

2) Brake bias incorrect, the back brakes lock before the front brakes.

Chesil was very surprised by the fails and has offered me another silencer to try as they do have some variations, also very surprised about the brake bias.

So not too bad really I suspect the master cylinder as the pedal did start to go a bit soft, and this is the only item I did not replace with new..

I am borrowing a sound meter from a mate to check the sound levels after fitting the replacement silencer, I will also fit a couple of the 'db killers' as used by motor cyclists to be sure.

At least the weather stayed fine .


Well after a good Xmas, I decided to look at fixing the two fail items. Decided to look at the sound emissions first, so borrowed a sound meter, (thanks Mike), to take a 'before' and after figure.

Initial reading taken , (not as high as the testers reading but the ambient is a lot lower outside my house), I noticed the tappets seem quite noisy , a quick inspection showed they were WAY out , so promptly adjusted as per the VW specs.

Next I had purchased inserts for the silencer 'can', very simple to fit. Right so start here up again and it was quite obvious everything was MUCh quieter now, the sound meter showed a drop of 10dba, result !!

So now onto the brakes ..Peter Bailey at Chesil could not think of a reason why the bias should be wrong, so I double checked I had the correct size front Disks/Pads and rear shoes/cylinders. It appears VW used several combinations of Shoes/cylinders and disks. I could drop the shoes down to 30mm or reduce the rear cylinder size to 17mm, I opted for the latter. I was also suspicious of the Master Cylinder and was the only item I had re-used , so I replaced with a new one.

Once bled , (easy job with the Gunsons Easybleed system), the pedal and brakes seemed a lot better.

The only way to really check the brakes was to find a quiet, private road and slam the brakes on and seeing if the fronts lock first.

So for the first test I used our gravel drive to test at low speeds (20mph), Slammed the brakes on and it certainly felt like the fronts came on first. An examination of the 'skid' marks showed the front skids to be longer than the rear skid marks, meaning the fronts must have locked up first.. looking good.

The same result at higher speeds on the tarmac, so looks like another result !!

Next job .. book the retest !


Again my mate offered to take me in on his trailer.. and what a miserable day, absolutely pi**ing down with rain, on the way, my car cover completely ripped to shreds , so we arrived with a very wet Speedster, not a good start. The tester (Byron), immediately put on the kettle whilst I mopped up the water and dried the seats the best I could.

During our cup of tea, he asked what I had done and explained he would only test the two failed items. So first thing ont the brake tester. He could see the figures were better but was not convinced they would pass, so he asked if the brakes pads/shoes were all new, which they were, so he said they probably just need bedding in , go and have a cup of tea whilst I take the car round the yard a few times. I could see he was driving with the brakes slight on, and kept jabbing the brakes, and it was still pi**ing down.

At one point the offside hub cap fell off, great I thought , not only is it going to fail again, but it's falling apart as well !!!

When he came back he went straight to the brake tester and took new readings which were different.

Next he backed out into the yard and got the sound tester out, it did pass but was only just in !!

So now back into his office, yes another cup of tea whilst he put the figures into the computer.. and finally he looked up and said, you brakes are fine, so you have passed !!

Wow what a relief , brilliant..

And it has stopped raining.


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