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Old 23.03.2015, 10:20
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Car modifications and MFK

I've read some good threads on this topic from 2012 but have some extra questions and instead of waking an old thread I figure its better to start anew.

I have an American car (Dodge) that was imported by a Swiss garage and has passed the MFK in its current condition. I want to fit some official OEM Dodge aftermarket parts to the car soon, but I want the changes to be legitimate and to pass the relevant local checks.

As for the modifications, they are not major changes like increasing power or changing wheel base etc: for example buying winter wheels (that are less wide than the summer wheels), installing a bolt-on trailer hitch and fitting a new hood/bonnet.

As the particular car is not sold here the local Dodge dealers are unable to help, so I'm bringing the parts in myself which means I do not have an importer who can supply a declaration to say the products meet Swiss standards. I should be able to get a manufacturers certificate stating the specifications. As it's a US built part it may have DOT standards but I assume unlikely TUV.

Any suggestions? I'm used to a world where fitting OEM parts to a car would be no problem.
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Old 23.03.2015, 10:30
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Re: Car modifications and MFK

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I've read some good threads on this topic from 2012 but have some extra questions and instead of waking an old thread I figure its better to start anew.

I have an American car (Dodge) that was imported by a Swiss garage and has passed the MFK in its current condition. I want to fit some official OEM Dodge aftermarket parts to the car soon, but I want the changes to be legitimate and to pass the relevant local checks.

As for the modifications, they are not major changes like increasing power or changing wheel base etc: for example buying winter wheels (that are less wide than the summer wheels), installing a bolt-on trailer hitch and fitting a new hood/bonnet.

As the particular car is not sold here the local Dodge dealers are unable to help, so I'm bringing the parts in myself which means I do not have an importer who can supply a declaration to say the products meet Swiss standards. I should be able to get a manufacturers certificate stating the specifications. As it's a US built part it may have DOT standards but I assume unlikely TUV.

Any suggestions? I'm used to a world where fitting OEM parts to a car would be no problem.
Towbar: stick with Westfalia or another recognised brand here. Have it fitted properly and then it has to go and be checked at the STVA. IIRC this is on a Wednesday at 11:20 (one slot per week in Zurich).

Wheels: You'll need a certificate from an importer they are approved for your car. Of course you could have the MFK done with the summer wheels and then use the winter wheels without a certificate BUT that is a bit naughty.

IIRC the restrictions on body-work changes aren't too bad.
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Old 23.03.2015, 10:53
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Re: Car modifications and MFK

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Towbar: stick with Westfalia or another recognised brand here. Have it fitted properly and then it has to go and be checked at the STVA. IIRC this is on a Wednesday at 11:20 (one slot per week in Zurich).
Thanks for the reply. Hmm, just as I suspected, this is going to be tricky. I want to buy the OEM one from Dodge as it bolts-up to the chassis rails via existing holes and is completely invisible when looking from behind when the brackets and tongue are not installed, which is a visual requirement from me here. Is it possible to find out what the Swiss requirements / specifications are?


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Wheels: You'll need a certificate from an importer they are approved for your car. Of course you could have the MFK done with the summer wheels and then use the winter wheels without a certificate BUT that is a bit naughty.
Yeah I've read threads about this, that no one really checks... unless of course you're in a big accident etc. I wouldn't want the insurance to have a way to get out of it, so I'd like to go the official route if possible. I guess if I can get a letter stating that a particular part number (stamped on the wheel) is suitable for my VIN I should be OK. Given the amount of snow we have here maybe I will just have to fit winter tyres onto the wide summer rims and live width the width (the summer tyres are 275mm wide).

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IIRC the restrictions on body-work changes aren't too bad.
Thanks for confirming. The new hood would have an air vent that have an extra pipe onto the air box, although this wouldn't change performance, do you think this would be an issue?

Cheers
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Old 23.03.2015, 11:18
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Re: Car modifications and MFK

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IIRC the restrictions on body-work changes aren't too bad.
May depend on the canton, but with my bikes, bodywork, seat, tank, bars, pegs, etc. have all not needed any extra paperwork.

Tom
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Old 23.03.2015, 11:24
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Re: Car modifications and MFK

The MFK most certainly do check I had fitted an OEM catalytic converter in the uk, the mfk guys ran the numbers and computer said no, that wasn't the EXACT model number the swiss version of the car came with, oddly they where fine with the uk fitted tow bar, and didn't notice a couple of other mods.

As I understand it with wheels (could be wrong here, but never had an issue) as long as they are OEM wheels you are fine, we have several sets of wheels (all OEM) and the MFK have never said a word the have the car manufacturer mark stamped on them.

they also made a song and dance about a spoiler on the car, it was standard on the uk version (its an import) but the swiss version didn't have one, we had to prove that's how the car came.

Oh they also noticed and rejected my OEM (in the uk) braided brake hoses, swiss car didn't come with them, computer said no
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Old 23.03.2015, 11:29
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Re: Car modifications and MFK

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blah blah

Wheels: You'll need a certificate from an importer they are approved for your car. Of course you could have the MFK done with the summer wheels and then use the winter wheels without a certificate BUT that is a bit naughty.

blah blah
I'd know nothing about this in the opposite direction (winter wheels MFK, summer switch <cough>,) but I'd say buy the winter wheels in CH they will provide a cert with them = no problems.

In most cases winter tyres without tinkering with the sizes will be better than no winters unless you drive to a ski resort then you'll need chains anyway. yes I know smaller sizes are cheaper.

My COC states that I can reduce the rears from 275 to 265 officially for winter and I pointed this out to the strassenvekehrsamt without issues.

Again don't create hassle for yourself buy the rims in CH collect the correct papers and keep the tyre sizes standard.
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Old 23.03.2015, 11:35
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Re: Car modifications and MFK

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May depend on the canton, but with my bikes, bodywork, seat, tank, bars, pegs, etc. have all not needed any extra paperwork.

Tom
Bikes are tricky since changes in pegs and bars (and seat maybe?) change ergonomics. I've definitely seen the different bars on a friend's Hornet to be on the grey card, I suspect something similar for the pegs.

Bummer since I wanted to CNC some on my own and tidy up the side of the bike... I'll ask at my next visit in the STVA to make sure though.


Car bodywork I think has some restrictions on curvature, protruding length and maybe ground clearence but again that should be canton-dependent.

For wheels:
Since you imported it here, you should have a certificate of conformity or something. In there check if the specific size of your fitted wheels is there, or if there is more than one entry specifying the different sizes that can be fitted to your car. My car was only optioned with one set of wheels, so I can't tell from my CoC. If there are more than one there, you're good to go since your car should conform to the CoC and any change from that would go to the grey card.

For tow bar, I have no idea.


Speaking of the matter though, I'd really like to know how are custom modifications (not sold from a manufacturer) being registered here? I've seen a lot of cars with custom work. Would a certification signed by an engineer that some specifications are being met or something be enough?
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Old 23.03.2015, 11:35
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Re: Car modifications and MFK

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Thanks for the reply. Hmm, just as I suspected, this is going to be tricky. I want to buy the OEM one from Dodge as it bolts-up to the chassis rails via existing holes and is completely invisible when looking from behind when the brackets and tongue are not installed, which is a visual requirement from me here. Is it possible to find out what the Swiss requirements / specifications are?
Go to your local trailer place and ask.

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I guess if I can get a letter stating that a particular part number (stamped on the wheel) is suitable for my VIN I should be OK. Given the amount of snow we have here maybe I will just have to fit winter tyres onto the wide summer rims and live width the width (the summer tyres are 275mm wide).
Just go to a rim dealer and have them fit you up with a homologated set, they don't have to be the same size as OEM, in fact they usually aren't.

Tom
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Old 23.03.2015, 12:43
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Re: Car modifications and MFK

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Go to your local trailer place and ask.



Just go to a rim dealer and have them fit you up with a homologated set, they don't have to be the same size as OEM, in fact they usually aren't.

Tom
About " fit you up with a homologated set" The OP said the "the particular car is not sold here" so the chances of finding a homologated set are not great.

I never really understood the situation about car parts here. On 1 July 2010 the "Cassis de Dijon" principle was introduced autonomously in Switzerland. Thus, as of this day, products that are lawfully produced in the EU may, in principle, be imported into Switzerland without any further authorization or certification. Although the implementation of the "Cassis de Dijon" principle in Switzerland provides for a number of exceptions.....

I have read the list of exceptions and it is not clearly stated that car parts are one of the exceptions but it does say for autos "Typengenehmigungspflicht/Einzelzulassung" which I suppose covers this?
Why the Swiss extra protect the auto market when there are no auto manufacturers here I have no clue.
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Old 23.03.2015, 12:46
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Re: Car modifications and MFK

so amag and emilfrey etc can continue to sell spares at stupidly high prices
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Old 24.03.2015, 21:22
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Re: Car modifications and MFK

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Bikes are tricky since changes in pegs and bars (and seat maybe?) change ergonomics. I've definitely seen the different bars on a friend's Hornet to be on the grey card, I suspect something similar for the pegs.
Obviously they change the ergonomics, that's the point.

The OEM clipons on most of my bikes are adjustable for height and angle, as well as the OEM pegs on one. Been taking my Guzzis with non-OEM pegs, clip-ons, seats, brake pumps, and fuel tank to MFK for 25 years, no problems.

One also has eccentric steering head bearings to increase the steering angle (and I've got a set to install in one of the Ducatis when I have the time, another has adjustable head angle, of course set to steep), and most have dropped forks and the rear ride height jacked up.

Tom
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Old 24.03.2015, 21:39
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Re: Car modifications and MFK

I had a Mopar 383, and an air scoop made an immense difference in performance. A decent intake system is one of the best performance mods you can make, no real downside (except visibility iof you go crazy).

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The new hood would have an air vent that have an extra pipe onto the air box, although this wouldn't change performance, do you think this would be an issue?
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Old 24.03.2015, 21:56
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Re: Car modifications and MFK

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The MFK most certainly do check I had fitted an OEM catalytic converter in the uk, the mfk guys ran the numbers and computer said no, that wasn't the EXACT model number the swiss version of the car came with, oddly they where fine with the uk fitted tow bar, and didn't notice a couple of other mods.

As I understand it with wheels (could be wrong here, but never had an issue) as long as they are OEM wheels you are fine, we have several sets of wheels (all OEM) and the MFK have never said a word the have the car manufacturer mark stamped on them.

they also made a song and dance about a spoiler on the car, it was standard on the uk version (its an import) but the swiss version didn't have one, we had to prove that's how the car came.

Oh they also noticed and rejected my OEM (in the uk) braided brake hoses, swiss car didn't come with them, computer said no
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I'd know nothing about this in the opposite direction (winter wheels MFK, summer switch <cough>,) but I'd say buy the winter wheels in CH they will provide a cert with them = no problems.

In most cases winter tyres without tinkering with the sizes will be better than no winters unless you drive to a ski resort then you'll need chains anyway. yes I know smaller sizes are cheaper.

My COC states that I can reduce the rears from 275 to 265 officially for winter and I pointed this out to the strassenvekehrsamt without issues.

Again don't create hassle for yourself buy the rims in CH collect the correct papers and keep the tyre sizes standard.
Thanks for the info fellas. Getting OEM rims in the US is a bit hard as they're so bulky so I guess I'll just swap the winter rubber (same width) onto the standard rims. I did find some OEM rims from the same model but 2012 in Germany though, complete with rubber, for a reasonable amount so that could be an option. It has Dodge part numbers written on them at least! The reason for thinner rubber was that I thought it was meant to cut through the snow better versus plowing/pushing it, but I googled this more and it seems not much of an issue.

The difference I guess with these mods versus some of the above (import check) is that I want to make the mods like the tow bar and then purposely visit the MFK with the change, versus being told to go there by the police, but I guess that doesn't make them any more lenient with changes

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Go to your local trailer place and ask.
I'm positive the local trailer place isn't going to give me a technical specification sheet on tow bars when I walk in, especially once they know why I want the sheet - not to buy from them!


So, the rim situation is clarified but not so the other items.

The car hasn't arrived yet in Switzerland and hasn't gone through the MFK with the dealer,.. I'm not sure if it helps but perhaps if there were documents stating that a bolt-on Dodge towbar was a standard option as well as a hood with different holes it might make things easier in the future when I install them. Just an idea. It wouldn't be on the COC and so I'm not sure how it would be fabricated.

Given the rules vary by canton what is the best way to get some of these answers - visit the MFK and ask?

Cheers
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Old 24.03.2015, 22:11
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Re: Car modifications and MFK

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I had a Mopar 383, and an air scoop made an immense difference in performance. A decent intake system is one of the best performance mods you can make, no real downside (except visibility iof you go crazy).
Yeah some extra air on a classic can have a drastic effect (especially at speed with some minor amounts of 'forced' induction), but on the modern cars I don't think it's quite as much. Even switching to a K&N from paper can help a lot on an oldtimer! Some people have done before and after dyno's on a 392 hemi (new) with a standard airbox and with a shaker kit (which this is) and realistically no measurable HP or torque increases. I just like how it looks.
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Old 25.03.2015, 10:44
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Re: Car modifications and MFK

This may be a dumb question but given there are Dodge dealers in Switzerland why not just go and ask them?? You would hope they would know what is and isn't legal for their cars in Switzerland
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Old 25.03.2015, 10:47
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Re: Car modifications and MFK

As the particular model isn't sold here I'm not sure how much information they would have available, but I think it is worth a shot.
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Old 25.03.2015, 11:20
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Re: Car modifications and MFK

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This may be a dumb question but given there are Dodge dealers in Switzerland why not just go and ask them?? You would hope they would know what is and isn't legal for their cars in Switzerland
Along similar lines would be to join the Dodge/Mopar whatever owners club in Switzerland. Yours probably isn't the only one in Switzerland. If someone else has had a particular wheel added into their grey book, then my understanding is that there is some mechanism for you to inherit it.
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Old 25.03.2015, 11:25
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Re: Car modifications and MFK

Yeah I've been searching, but there doesn't appear to be much of an enthusiast grouping here for this sort of stuff. Will keep searching..
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Old 25.03.2015, 13:47
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Re: Car modifications and MFK

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This may be a dumb question but given there are Dodge dealers in Switzerland why not just go and ask them?? You would hope they would know what is and isn't legal for their cars in Switzerland
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As the particular model isn't sold here I'm not sure how much information they would have available, but I think it is worth a shot.
The OP wrote in his first post "As the particular car is not sold here the local Dodge dealers are unable to help"
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Old 25.03.2015, 14:05
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Re: Car modifications and MFK

Hi there,

Is your Dodge registered under a type-approval or as a non-type-approval vehicle?

See vehicles grey card item 24. Look into it and please state the number/letter.

Then we can plan the next steps.
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