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PA state inspection


aspevacek

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So I took my 97 ranger to state inspection the other day. I have a JD 5.5 stage II under it with 35's. It is the wife daily driver. I got to the inspection station and they tried to explain to me my rear bumper has to be between 13 and 20" off the ground. Mine is at 30". They then proceeded to tell me swapping to stock tires would most likely lower the truck to bring it with in the height requirement. Now a little back history ( the truck had a skyjacker Class III 6" on it since 98') In 2011 I decided to pull the sky jacker and go with a James Duff. How was I able to get right thru inspection each year with out an issue but this year it seems to be a problem?

Something else that is very funny is I have a 2007 Wrangler Rubicon that is bone stock and my bumpers on that set at 22" which means jeep sold me something that does not meet PA's inspection standards.
 


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bmerr98

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I wonder if it's a new inspector? Sometimes the laws/rules/regulations say something that maybe doesn't get enforced too well depending on who's checking them (think US Border with Mexico...). Or maybe the wrong person complained and the inspectors are keying in on bumper height this year. Hard to say, but with as many laws/rules/regulations as are ours to comply with, everyone's a criminal...
 

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Try a different inspector... or be belligerent and drop the bumper for inspection.
 

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Try a different inspector... or be belligerent and drop the bumper for inspection.
That doesn't help either, it needs to be between 13-20 not at 0

So the obvious thing to do is to hang it with zip ties or bungee cords
 

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different inspector or duck tape something to the bumper that lowers it to that distance and try again. Guys with ATV's have been duck taping pool noodles to youth quads making them wider to bypass similar BS regs.
 

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Call and check with your local D.M.V. about the regulations.


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I am going to weigh in as a licensed PA state safety inspector.

They are right. PENDOT has been changing bumper height rules, along with a slew of other annoying changes in the last few years.

The bumper height rules, which used to be absolute values (I think it was no more than 36" off the ground) are now bracketed based on the vehicle. If it was (using made up numbers here because I don't have the chart on hand) 16" stock you can't go lower than 13" or above 20". If stock was 20" you can't go below 16 or above 25". The idea is to bring bumpers back into the area where the manufacturer intended them to be, because they are considered a safety device, since the bumper is what is supposed to absorb most of the impact force in a crash.

Also, for the record, EVERY rule about what is or is not legal in the inspection manual ends with something to the effect of "unless it came from the factory that way". So your Jeep was legal because that was the stock height of the bumper. Interstate commerce laws say that state safety laws cannot make an FEDDOT approved design illegal in that state.

Now I am not at all endorsing this, but I am bringing it up because it has already been talked about in this thread. Going to another shop may get you a sticker. Many smaller shops, especially local, family owned businesses are less than vigilante about the finer details of inspection rules. Chain stores and dealerships usually have sticklers like me.

That being said, your failure and the reason should have been documented by the first shop. If you get caught with a sticker and the issue not corrected both you and the shop who passes you can get in trouble. Not likely to happen, but it is possible.
 
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So I took my 97 ranger to state inspection the other day. I have a JD 5.5 stage II under it with 35's. It is the wife daily driver. I got to the inspection station and they tried to explain to me my rear bumper has to be between 13 and 20" off the ground. Mine is at 30". They then proceeded to tell me swapping to stock tires would most likely lower the truck to bring it with in the height requirement. Now a little back history ( the truck had a skyjacker Class III 6" on it since 98') In 2011 I decided to pull the sky jacker and go with a James Duff. How was I able to get right thru inspection each year with out an issue but this year it seems to be a problem?

Something else that is very funny is I have a 2007 Wrangler Rubicon that is bone stock and my bumpers on that set at 22" which means jeep sold me something that does not meet PA's inspection standards.
Is it 2wd?

I am pretty sure my 4x4 was never that low to start with. I don't have the truck here and have never cared enough to measure it but with only Explorer rear springs and 31's... judging off the 31's in pics I am going to guess mine is at a pretty easy 25".

Also their math is kind of funny... Despite Ford's fondness for stuffing tiny tires in huge wheel wells in the 90's I am almost positive no Ranger ever shipped on 15" OD tires. :icon_rofl:

If it is 2wd it is pretty freaking stupid to hobble it to the 2wd standard when the 4x4 gets a pass on the same basic chassis with the same bumpers and the same bumper supports. That isn't a safety issue, it is a stupidity issue... if that is what they are doing.
 
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If it is 2wd it is pretty freaking stupid to hobble it to the 2wd standard when the 4x4 gets a pass on the same basic chassis with the same bumpers and the same bumper supports. That isn't a safety issue, it is a stupidity issue... if that is what they are doing.
Like I said, the ranges that are allowed are figured off the original height for the vehicle.

But yes, many of our inspection laws are pretty stupid. I tend to enforce the ones that make sense, like the tires and brakes can't be worn out and on the verge of failure.

I tend to ignore somewhat less sensible rules like "the parking brake has to work". I agree that a working parking brake is important, and I hate not having mine working, but the people who use it won't wait for inspection, they will bring the car in to get it fixed when they realize it isn't working. The people who don't use it, well first they will be mad at you for failing them for something they don't use. Second, what does it matter if it works if they don't use it?
 

aspevacek

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Is it 2wd?

I am pretty sure my 4x4 was never that low to start with. I don't have the truck here and have never cared enough to measure it but with only Explorer rear springs and 31's... judging off the 31's in pics I am going to guess mine is at a pretty easy 25".

Also their math is kind of funny... Despite Ford's fondness for stuffing tiny tires in huge wheel wells in the 90's I am almost positive no Ranger ever shipped on 15" OD tires. :icon_rofl:

If it is 2wd it is pretty freaking stupid to hobble it to the 2wd standard when the 4x4 gets a pass on the same basic chassis with the same bumpers and the same bumper supports. That isn't a safety issue, it is a stupidity issue... if that is what they are doing.
My Ranger is a 97 Splash 4X4. I am pretty sure it shipped with the bumper over 20 inches off the ground. My brothers friend has a shop knows I keep my vehicle in very good repair( the truck only has 86k miles on it as a 97) said there is a section in the inspection regulation that states passenger vehicles 13 to 20 inches and then there is a section that states 16 to 30" for multi purpose vehicles. He stated he would claim my vehicle as a multi purpose vehicle as the regulation is written. He put it through inspection for me so I now have new stickers. It is emission exempt because the wife drives it less then 1k miles per year. About every 4 years we slap a new set of BFG Mud Terrains on it and it gets a fresh oil change once a year with Castrol Syntec 5w30. I do a coolant swap every other year and flush the hydraulics every year.
 

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I tend to ignore somewhat less sensible rules like "the parking brake has to work". I agree that a working parking brake is important, and I hate not having mine working, but the people who use it won't wait for inspection, they will bring the car in to get it fixed when they realize it isn't working. The people who don't use it, well first they will be mad at you for failing them for something they don't use. Second, what does it matter if it works if they don't use it?
The parking brake is nice to have in case something happens to the main brakes. Granted in theory if properly maintained there shouldn't be anything to go wrong... but it would be nice to have something to fall back on if you did need it.
 


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