Disclaimer - I wrote this based on research I did into the topic and the experience I gained engineering my car in Victoria. Certain things may have changed since then, but I will endeavour to keep this article accurate. This remains a guide, although I will try keep it update. --Philbey 20:10, 26 May 2008 (EST)
Who to talk to:
-VASS Approved Engineers (Link to list from this page)
Take a look at the Modification Guide on Vicroads. Most questions should be answered in here:
Also, for some of the more esoteric questions, from bonnet scoops to baby seats, this list of bulletins should have you covered:
Cut to the chase, if your engine upgrade isn't a factory option for that car, it needs engineering. Although I'm not certain, I believe a 5k needs engineering into a corolla, given that it was never an option. 4k's into early models dont seem to be a problem.
So, you more than likely need to have it engineered. In order to do this, you need to see a VASS engineer from the link above. There's a few around so you should be able to find one nearby.
When I engineered my car, (CA18 Turbo Bluebird) the engineering process was fairly straightforward. I left the car with him for a few hours and he did a comprehensive look over the car and gave me a list of items that needed fixing or upgrading on the car. It was a bolt in upgrade so no in depth investigations had to be made on cut and shut items or custom fabbed parts.
I then went and fixed/upgraded all these items and brought it back. There were a few things I did wrong and a bit of back and forth, and the car was engineered.
Main items were to do with roadworthiness. Bushes, brake cylinder leaks, frayed seatbelts. Exhaust had to meet the noise requirement (92dBa) and the brakes had to be tested.
The brake test consisted of 8 stops from 60kmh and 2 stops from 100kmh. I had a bolt in brake upgrade so these were passed with no issues. They use and accelerometer to measure deceleration and a pressure sensor on the pedal. The values have to be fairly close across all 10 braking stops for it to pass, but I am unsure if they require a certain Gforce.
The engineering cost ~$600 not including the work I had to do to fix it. Once again, I was fortunate that it was a straightforward bolt in item. The engineer also mentioned I was lucky it wasn't a slightly older car because it would have had to conform with much stricter emissions laws.
Once again, I need to highlight the fact that the car had to be roadworthy, and most of my time was spent fixing niggly little roadworthy items. The engineer gave me a roadworthy certificate as well as the engineering certificate so that I could register it. Vicroads keeps a copy of the Eng Cert, the Engineer keeps a copy and I got a copy. You have 30 days to register once you get the certificate.
Once again, this is my experience with the system. Custom mods will require the engineer to inspect welds and custom fab parts to make sure they conform to the required standards.