Re: [DML] Front Ride Height Intentions - Documented Proof
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Re: [DML] Front Ride Height Intentions - Documented Proof

Hi All

It has always been quite a talking point on this side of the 'pond' 
too, a number of documents i have sourced clearly show the 
regulations in the US for bumper heights and damage caused by 
impacts to these at the time of the production of the DeLorean. This 
particular info is taken from:-

Whilst i could have posted the exact sections relating to our 
subject i think its important to read the whole document and 
understand the changes that were going on at the time of design 
through to manufacture

I read with interest the bumper height stated at the end of 
paragraph 5 


5) When did the bumper standard first come into effect and how has 
it changed over the years?

On April 9, 1971, the agency issued its first passenger car bumper 
standard -- Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 
215, "Exterior Protection," which became effective on September 1, 
1972. This standard called for passenger cars, beginning with model 
year (MY) 1973, to withstand 5 mph front and 2 ½ mph rear impacts 
against a perpendicular barrier without damage to certain safety-
related components such as headlamps and fuel systems.

In October 1972, Congress enacted the Motor Vehicle Information and 
Cost Saving Act (MVICS Act) which mandated that the agency issue a 
bumper standard that yields the maximum feasible reduction of costs 
to the public, taking into account the cost and benefits of 
implementation, the standard's effect on insurance costs and legal 
fees, savings in consumer time and inconvenience, and health and 
safety considerations.

The new requirements under the MVICS Act were then consolidated with 
existing requirements in FMVSS 215 and promulgated in March 1976 as 
a new bumper standard, which was added to NHTSA's regulations at 49 
CFR Part 581. The new standard which applied to passenger cars 
beginning with MY 1979, was referred to as the Phase I Standard. At 
the same time, a "no damage" requirement (Phase II) was placed on 
bumper systems for model year 1980 and subsequent years. (See 
question 6 for more information on Phase I and II requirements.)

The most recent revisions to the bumper standard took place in May 
14, 1982, effective for MY 1983 and subsequent model year passenger 
cars. This amendment reduced test impact speeds from 5 mph to 2.5 
mph for longitudinal front and rear barrier and pendulum impacts and 
from 3 mph to 1.5 mph for corner pendulum impacts. In addition, 
Phase I damage resistance criteria were substituted for Phase II 
criteria and a bumper height requirements of 16 to 20 inches was 
established for passenger cars.

6) What do Phase I and Phase II mean? How do they differ and how 
much damage does the standard allow?

Phase I and II refer to a two-phased rulemaking action on bumper 
requirements. Phase I of the standard became effective on September 
1, 1978 for passenger cars beginning with MY 1979. It incorporated 
the FMVSS 215 safety criteria, and added new performance criteria 
which prohibited damage to all exterior vehicle surfaces. For MY 
1979, the standard required that there be no damage to safety-
related parts and exterior surfaces not involving the bumper system
(e.g., sheet metal; lamps; and fuel, exhaust and cooling systems) 
with damage to the facebar and its fasteners at impact test speed of 
5 mph front and rear impacts with barrier and pendulum; 3 mph corner 
impact with pendulum.

More stringent damage resistance criteria known as Phase II became 
effective one year later, on September 1 1979, for MYs 1980 to 1982, 
and consisted of 5 mph longitudinal front and rear impacts with 
barrier and pendulum; 3 mph corner impact pendulum, all with no 
damage to the bumper itself beyond a 3/8 inch dent and 3/4 inch set 
or displacement from original position.

Two cars i have measured witth 'euro height' springs now fitted are 
between 15" and 15.5 " to the bottom of the 'black' part of the 

What is the standard height on a non lowered d  to the bottom of the 
black part of the bumper?

Kind Regards

Yorkshire UK

--- In dmcnews@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Shannon Yocom <ssdelorean@...> wrote:
> I have heard that too. Among other reasons like: 
> 1. bumper height requirements
> 2. headlight height requirements
> 3. cheep springs were used to save money
> 4. they just screwed up & made up the reasons in #1 & #2 above
> (
> 5. better handling that the Lotus so Chaplan mucked it up (like 
mentioned in my
> prior email and here:
> and more here
> )
> What I want to know may be trivial to some but I just want to know 
the truth as
> the "why" the height was raised. And this is the first physical 
proof I have seen
> that the intent was for the car to be lower than the stock high 
> Has anyone seen any proof as to the "why"?
> I hope this doesn't screw up you concours competitors. Are the 
rules based on how
> they actually left the factory or how they should have left the 
factory? Because
> it is obviously not the creators intent to be nose high.
> Shannon Y
> 16506
> ------------------
> From: mike.griese@
> Date: Mon Mar 20, 2006  2:07 pm
> Subject: Re: [DML] Front Ride Height Intentions - Documented Proof 
> They did it to meet US headlamp positioning requirements.  The 
lights would
> have been out of spec without raising the front end.  The Esprit 
did not
> have this problem, as it has pop-up headlamps that raise to an 
> height.
> --
> Mike
> __________________________________________________
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