In Part One of this series we went through the initial steps of ADR-ing a 15
year old Japanese import vehicle. In this article we’ll continue with the ADR
process – this time it’s the fuel filler, child restraint anchorages, intrusion
bars and vehicle identification...
Fuel Filler Restrictor and Label
The Statement of Requirements issued for our imported Nissan 180SX outlines
the need to fit a fuel filler restrictor together with an unleaded fuel
The purpose of the fuel filler restrictor (which must be 23.6mm diameter or
less) is to prevent somebody inserting a non-unleaded fuel nozzle into the
filler neck. A spring loaded flap – which closes the filler tract when the
nozzle is removed – is also required by ADRs.
Some people have attempted to install the fuel restrictor insert at home but,
unless you have an air compressor and special tools, it’s easier to call upon
the professionals. We enlisted the services of John Verban of YahooMotorsport
(the business from which we purchased the car).
John uses a compressor-driven expansion tool to enlarge the factory fuel
filler neck to accept a new insert. Once the neck has been sufficiently
expanded, the new filler insert is installed with a bead of petrol-resistant
adhesive sealant. This takes a couple of hours to dry, so don’t refit the fuel
cap straight away.
YahooMotorsport charges AUD$65 to supply and fit the filler restrictor. A
surcharge may apply to certain vehicles.
An unleaded fuel label must also be permanently fixed in the area of the fuel
filler. The most elegant and ADR-assured approach is to purchase an OE fuel
label. We used a "Premium unleaded 98 RON fuel only" label from an
Australian-delivered Subaru Liberty B4. The cost for this label is just AUD$2.25
(Part No 10024AA120).
Note that the label must have wording to the effect of "unleaded fuel only"
or "unleaded gasoline only" and its lettering must be at least 6mm tall.
Child Restraint Anchorages
The fitment of child restraint anchorages was the next ADR requirement that
we turned our attention to.
Like many Japanese import vehicles, the 180SX is not factory fitted with
child restraint anchorages. ADRs necessitate a child restraint anchorage for
each of the vehicle’s two rear seating positions.
According to our local traffic authority, child restraint anchorages must be
positioned within 40mm of the centreline of each rear seating position. The
anchorage should be easily accessible and the surrounding metalwork (which takes
the load in the event of a collision) must be structurally sound.
A 5/16th inch UNC anchorage bolt has been adopted as ‘universal
standard’ but note that there are two types of anchorage fittings. This
illustration shows the difference between the early-model and the late-model
type. The late-model fitting is the one that’s required.
Off-the-Shelf Child Restraint Kits
Child restraint anchorage kits can be purchased from a variety of automotive
retailers. These kits contain the late-model anchorage fitting, a circular
backing plate, spacers, washers, 5/16th UNC anchorage bolt and nut.
We initially purchased a pair of these kits expecting them to contain
everything we needed for our 180SX. We were wrong...
In order to meet our necessary ADRs, we also required a threaded backing
plate which is not included in the kit. Note that this threaded backing plate
must also be permanently fastened to the vehicle’s body.
So why is this permanently mounted and threaded backing plate necessary?
Well, it serves to eliminate the scenario where a child restraint anchorage
has been removed and somebody tries to screw in another anchorage bolt – unaware
that the backing plate and securing nut have since fallen to the ground or
inside the boot...
Note that, as far as we are aware, there are no specific size or strength
requirements for the threaded backing plate. However, bigger is better as it
reduces the chance of the restraint anchorage pulling through the body in the
event of a collision.
Threaded backing plates (such as the one photographed above) are available
pre-fabricated from vehicle seat and trim specialists. Each one costs only a few
Note that the threaded backing plate is typically riveted or welded to the
underside of the body. We are told that adhesives are not acceptable.
So, armed with a pair of off-the-shelf anchorage kits and separate threaded
backing plates, we began the task on fitting the child restraints anchorages at
The first step was to identify the centreline of the rear seating positions.
This was derived from the curvature and trim joins of the seat. The centrelines
of each seating position were then extended rearward and marked on the cargo
Sounds easy, eh?
Well, unfortunately, these lines did not match with where we’d seen child
restraints fitted to other ADR’d 180SXs. Hmmm... We could either mount the
anchorages where we thought they were supposed to go, or we could follow
in the footsteps of others.
Our decision was to handball the responsibility of child restraint placement
to the ADR-ing specialist we had enlisted to install the intrusion bars – Best
Enterprises in South Australia. Best Enterprises have ADR’d countless 180SXs -
including later-model examples, which need to meet more stringent ADR
requirements than a 15 year old version.
As seen here, Best Enterprises uses a jig to locate and drill the holes for
the child restraint anchorages. The use of a jig ensures the anchorages are in
the same ADR-approved spot every time. Note that three holes are required for
each restraint – one for the anchorage bolt and two for the rivets that are used
to secure the backing plate to the body. Once drilled, the holes are cleaned up
with a file and underbody sealant is applied from beneath the
In the case of the 180SX, a section of body sound deadening needs to be
scraped away to give the restraint anchorages a solid mounting
The next step is to secure the threaded backing plate to the body. This photo
shows the backing plate being held in position from beneath the vehicle, while
another person rivets it into place from inside the cargo area.
Once the threaded backing plate has been secured, the child restraint fitting
can be bolted into position. The anchorage bolt is tightened to the torque
recommended by the restraint manufacturer. Note that Best Enterprises installs
the anchorage together with a neat, flip-over plastic cover.
Once the child restraint anchorages have
been installed, the cargo floor carpet receives a couple of U-shaped cuts to
allow the fittings to poke through. The chipboard cover for the spare wheel must
also be trimmed to accommodate the passenger side fitting.
And here’s the finished product (seen to the right the factory luggage
That’s the child restraint anchorages done - at last...
Door Intrusion Bars
Most Japanese-market vehicles are not equipped with side intrusion bars that
meet ADR standards - and the Nissan 180SX is no exception.
In the case of the 180SX, we were never going to attempt to design, fabricate
and install the intrusion bars at home – a lack of facilities, equipment and
design knowledge decided this. Instead, we farmed the job out to Best
Best Enterprises take the approach of bolting and riveting the intrusion bars
into place. This eliminates the need to remove and repaint part of the door,
which is normal when the bars are welded into place. This photo shows the
pre-fabricated intrusion bars that Best Enterprises employ.
As seen here, the process begins by removing the door trims and plastic
Next, the ‘guts’ of the door must be removed to make space for the
installation of the intrusion bars. The door lock, top trim, window and its
electric up/down mechanism are removed.
The intrusion bars used by Best Enterprises can be fitted through the gap in
the top of the door (where the glass normally slides through). In this photo,
the bar has been slid down into the door and is being manoeuvred into
The forward end of the intrusion bar is secured using high tensile bolts.
This photo shows the holes being drilled through the end of the door. (A fiddly
Here are the two holes drilled and filed clean ready to accept the leading
end of the intrusion bar.
The leading end of the intrusion bar is aligned with the door holes and a
pair of high tensile bolts is used to secure it into position. Once these bolts
are tightened to Best Enterprises’ torque specification, the trailing end of the
bar can be installed.
When the trailing end of the intrusion bar is in its appropriate position, a
series of three holes are drilled through the door and the intrusion bar’s
trailing mounting flange. These holes are spaced exactly the same distance apart
so that in the event of a side impact, each rivet shares a similar load.
Once the holes are drilled, 3/16 inch rivets are used to secure the
trailing end off the intrusion bar to the door. In this photo, the intrusion bar
is being hold in position while the serious-looking rivet gun is brought into
And here’s the intrusion bar installed.
The same installation process is then applied to the opposite door.
Once the intrusion bars have been fitted, the installation must be inspected
by an accredited engineer. This is to certify that the intrusion bars meet
specific strength requirements.
As seen here, the engineer will typically take photographs of the
intrusion bar fitment. In addition, the engineer will also sign a "Certificate
of Inspection with Respect to Australian Design Rules" that confirms all
intrusion bar related standards are met.
Best Enterprises employs Australian Technology Pty Ltd for the approval of
their intrusion bars. Australian Technology charges a certification fee, which
Best Enterprises includes in the final charge for the intrusion bars.
Total cost is AUD$550.
The final ADR step for our Nissan 180SX was to stamp its VIN into the body.
This is a requirement for all vehicles manufactured after January 1st, 1989.
Again, special tools are required for this job so we left it to Best
Enterprises. This photo shows the 17 digit chassis number being hammered into
the strut tower with an alpha-numeric punch set. Note that the VIN must be
located on a permanent structure of the vehicle and the characters must be at
least 7mm tall.
In Part Three – the final – of this series we’ll perform the necessary
vehicle repairs, go through a roadworthy inspection and (hopefully) emerge with
a new pair of number plates and registration...
Footnote – AutoSpeed was charged AUD$20 for the fitment of the fuel
filler neck and AUD$500 for the fitment and certification of the intrusion bars.
These prices are AUD$45 and AUD$50 (respectively) below the typical charges.
+61 8 8345 0939/ 0416 080462
Best Enterprises +61 8 8262