MD safety Inspection 1964 Imperial rant

jollyjoker

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When I went to register my "new" 65 Dodge here in Ohio, the lady who was checking the numbers couldn't find the VIN (looking thru the windshield). I explained that it was on the inner door post, and she refused to even look! She stated: "the regulations say that the VIN must be visible by looking thru the windshield". She had me take it to the State Police. The officer completed the paperwork (reluctantly) - he was okay with the VIN riveted to the door post - but was highly concerned that the first two digits were stamped IN to the tag, and the remainder of the digits were stamped OUT. He said that the tag looked like it was "altered". I explained that ALL of the 65 Chrysler VINs were stamped that way - don't know if he believed me, but he signed off on it, and I was outta there, before he changed his mind . . .
 

413

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I hear these stories constantly. Empowered government employees won’t hear of anything different. They don’t want the job they have, it’s a stepping stone to something better. So they could care less about your classic car.

it’s a crock of ****!
 

patrick66

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The Feds required VINs to be on the dash in cars, beginning in 1968. It was later on with trucks. Since the drones working for these testing facilities generally have no working knowledge of anything before 2020, they have to be held by the hand (apparently) and shown everything, step-by-step. It's outside of their knowledge/comfort zone, so they refuse to acknowledge their limited knowledge - hurts their self-esteem, ya know! - and we just can't have that!
 

MrMoparCHP

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I don't know the "procedure" for starting the car but if one doesn't follow the procedure and can start it in gear, it is a safety problem procedure or not.

and people complain about California.


Alan
 

MetalManiacAZ

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Don't get me started on the chaos that ensues when you try to register a vehicle with less than 17 digits in the VIN. Thank God Arizona doesn't have these "safety" inspections. One of the perks of living outside of Maricopa county (where Phoenix is for you non-AZ folks) is not having to deal with the absolute morons at the emissions testing facilities.
 

Knebel

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Ok so if you showed him the manual and he just walked off:

Make a copy of the section in the manual, make a copy of the report (assume they gave you one? Dunno how it works there) and send a letter to the higher highs with all that outlining clearly what you expect to be done. Money back for the false failed and a pass is what I'd go for.
 

MrMoparCHP

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Axe the inspector how he would repair it.
They are inspectors not mechanics.

Where I may agree that this should not be an issue, I am also not failure with the car or the rules.
If it can be demonstrated that the parking brake engages and holds then that should be ok.
The neutral safety, may be an issue depending on the rule, that is if it can actually be started in gear.

You then need to ask if this is even necessary, is the car being driven outside the vintage regulation? can they prove it?

Pick your battles.


Alan
 

Imperialist67

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I'm just throwing this out there but I wanted to get regular tags on my 1964 Imperial because the state cops around my town are really cracking down on people driving their cars with historic tags...

In what way are they "cracking down on people" for driving historic cars? First I have heard of this in MD, people I know in MD haven't talked of any trouble, but I think theirs are all registered historic.

As far as the safety inspection goes, I'd say find a different shop. Especially with younger ones, mechanics are only familiar with certain things, and rather than bother to understand/learn about them, they say there's a problem with them. I know some shops in MD, but they're quite far from you.

Good luck.
 

Imperialist67

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I hear these stories constantly. Empowered government employees won’t hear of anything different. They don’t want the job they have, it’s a stepping stone to something better. So they could care less about your classic car.

MD inspections aren't done in a government facility, so it's actually the guys working at a shop he's dealing with, not govt. employees...……. not that the mechanics care either...……….
 

CBODY67

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As far as the inspectors go, they are just following their rules and regulations . . . which were most probably written for newer cars with normal automatic transmission gear shifts and such. Their reaction to a displeased customer is to leave the customer fuming, which is not good. You think of them as being dumb and they perceive you as being somebody that wants an allegedly unsafe vehicle approved for use.

BUT with documentation of the correct operations of a push-buttom Chrysler product (which they probably have very little knowledge of how it all works), THAT should have been proof of correct operation which they should have acknowledged. BUT their observed fear is of passing something that did not operate as their operating manual said it should (also "their boss" in this case). So they were not going to risk their job just to please somebody they perceived to be a dissatified customer. No more, no less.

Respectfully ask to see their superior, present him with the factory documentation of correct operation, and a repair order which indicates that a new neutral safety switch was installed, and then ask the superior to do the inspection of correct operation. The repair order with a new neutral safety switch might not have changed anything, but it can indicate a "good faith" effort to ensure the vehicle is "operating sas designed".

Remember, too, that the pushbutton-shift Chryslers were designed and built before many of the inspectors, or their parents, were paying attention to such things. Which can be an issue for ANY vintage vehicle repair/inspection situation.

Just some thoughts,
CBODY67
 

CBODY67

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Back before TX went to centralized emissions testing, they had a trial period so the people at the stations could learn how to do things. One guy in a Dallas car club took his '72 Ramcharger to get it checked. He went to one station and it failed. When he asked "Why?", he was reportedly told "It needs a new catalytic converter". He then took it to another station and it passed the emissions for a '72 light truck vehicle. Another guy took in a vehicle with the normal "shorter" VIN, which meant they had to figure out what emissions standards it should meet . . . FWIW

Enjoy!
CBODY67
 

patrick66

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I registered a 1955 Trailer that had 6 digits. The drone at the tag office said "wat...?" She was the new kid, so I explained why pre-1980 vehicles could have anywhere from three to 14 digits. She had no idea at all, and her training was less than adequate, IMO. Typical, unfortunately.
 

Imperial dude

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I have to agree with CBODY67, most of them have probably never heard of a pushbutton automatic, not to mention, never seen one, or know how they operate

Go in armed with a smile, and the FSM book marked on the appropriate pages, and a little trivia, if they have a name tag or badge, call them by their name
Example:
Good afternoon Janet, how are you today? I've got an oldie but a goodie here, she was made before you were even born, and she's got a pushbutton automatic transmission, that operates a little different than what you're used to seeing
1964 was the last year for the pushbutton, the federal govt mandated that all cars in 1965 had a standard PRNDL, gear pattern, and since chrysler was never able to figure out how to have a park button instead of a lever, in 65 all chrysler went to a standard column shift like we have today, which is a shame cause they're really cool, and most people today have never even seen one, the 59 Edsel had the buttons in the middle of the steering wheel where the horn usually is now

Draw them in, get them interested in the uniqueness of the pushbutton, then bring out the FSM bookmarked to the page that explains it, highlight the instructions if you want
Let them understand how it operates before you even try to show them
I know it seems like you're kissing their ***, and it may leave a bad taste in your mouth, but as the saying goes, "you catch more flies with honey" applies here
My girlfriend is a graphic designer, and if she suddenly started talking about bleeds,kearning, CSS,, desktop vs mobile mode, legibility, flash I'd bet your eyes would start to glaze over, just like that inspectors eyes do when they see those buttons
But, its just a thought
 

ayilar

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@64Imperial -- based on my own experience, following the suggestions of @bronze turbine , @CBODY67 , and @Imperial dude should solve your problem.

Do you have any relatives in a less complicated state? I’ve known others to register the car with a family member’s address in less complicated states that are friendly to classic cars.

I am not sure how driving locally with a plate from another state would solve the OP's original problem (which is that the local constabulary has been cracking down on "inappropriate" registrations). Besides, if ownership and registration do not match (i.e., reality differs from statements), good luck in case of (God forbid) an accident -- regardless of whose fault it is.

Ask around at car shows and cruise-ins and see where other people are taking their cars.
When I went to register my "new" 65 Dodge here in Ohio, the lady who was checking the numbers couldn't find the VIN (looking thru the windshield). I explained that it was on the inner door post, and she refused to even look! She stated: "the regulations say that the VIN must be visible by looking thru the windshield". She had me take it to the State Police. The officer completed the paperwork (reluctantly) - he was okay with the VIN riveted to the door post - but was highly concerned that the first two digits were stamped IN to the tag, and the remainder of the digits were stamped OUT. He said that the tag looked like it was "altered". I explained that ALL of the 65 Chrysler VINs were stamped that way - don't know if he believed me, but he signed off on it, and I was outta there, before he changed his mind . . .
In the same vein, not all DOT or SoS offices are run the same way. When I moved to my current state, I was told by locals that the "big city" title & registration desks were a pain to deal with, but that a small town 20 minutes away had no-nonsense, competent employees who actually provide service. I went there from the get go, and am glad I did.

This said, even in a well-run office, I would not expect all employees to be equally knowledgeable on all topics. For example, I found out that one employee at the small-town office I just mentioned was particularly versed in older vehicles. While she is tough as nails, she indeed knows her stuff -- and, since the office works like clockwork and has employees who get along and work well together, the other employees have no misplaced pride and steer me her way when she knows more than they do.

In all cases, one should be prepared (that is key) ahead of time: have one's stories straight, any document one might need lined up, and have a good cup of coffee. Then, on the spot, be nice (as @MrMoparCHP pointed out, it is not the employees' job to certify unsafe vehicles for road service), polite (without being obsequious -- if the employees are any good, sucking up will almost surely backfire), and patient (put oneself in their shoes), and one should be good to go. As the OP's experience shows, though, the conditional is the correct tense: one may still be unlucky.
 

watchfatha

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In the 64 Imperial the Park lever operates totally independent of the Parking (foot) brake. They have nothing to do with each other. The parking brake is released when any of the following buttons are pushed: R,D,1,2. Only when the N button is pushed will the brake stay down. If yours does not operate this way, something is wrong. The only thing you may notice with the Park LEVER is if you pull it down while the car is in R,D,1,2 it will push that button out and go in to neutral. That's the way it has worked on all 5 of the 64's I've had. Good luck!
 
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