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RHD To LHD Conversion - The Facts. - Autos - Nairaland

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Car Conversion (rhd To Lhd) / Rhd To Lhd Conversion. / Rhd To Lhd Enquiry. (1) (2) (3) (4)

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RHD To LHD Conversion - The Facts. by Siena(m): 6:54pm On Feb 28, 2009
I'm starting this thread, in response to the RHD to LHD debates that have been popping up quite frequently.

For starters, a lot of people wishing to convert their cars tend to post wanted ads for just the steering rack and dashboard / fascia.
There's more to it than that!
I'll give a list here, some models may require more, or less, but generally, you shopping list should look like this:

1) Steering rack.
2) Dash / fascia (some recent models have a massive steel frame that supports the dash, pedal box, aircon / heater assembly and steering column).
3) Pedal box (very critical).
4) Steering column (very critical).
5) Instrument cluster (some models have a symmetrical cluster, so will fit both LHD and RHD cars).
6) Complete aircon / heater assembly (runs the width of the car, behind the dash, critical).
7) Aircon high-pressure hoses.
8] Wiper assembly / mechanism + arms.
9) Centre console (some models have console angled towards the driver).
10) Gear shift knob with release button (auto only).
11) Dash wiring harness (or RHD harness can be extended, if the technician knows his onions, retaining OBD / OBDII / EOBD capability).
12) Heater / aircon air ducting.
13) Glovebox (some models have a symmetrical glove box lid, so will fit both LHD and RHD cars).
14) Handbrake lever (if it's unique to LHD and RHD models).

I'll go through the critical parts now.

3) Pedal box: Generally, the pedals are angled to make the best use of space in the footwell. Transferring a RHD set-up to a LHD layout is dangerous! "Technicians" will usually bend them into shape, to allow them to operate within the confines of the LHD footwell. Unfortunately, 2 things happen - the pedals get shorter, and worse still, the spaces between them get tighter, especially on manual cars. It's not uncommon to find these bodged cars with pedals so close, in an emergency situation, where one may intend to stamp on the brake pedal, will jam on the gas pedal, and perhaps slam into the car in front, or whatever they were trying to avoid in the first instance. It could be a child! The alien configuration also hinders the free movement of the gas pedal cable, and the pedal may appear "stiff", and often the revs will be higher than normal, as the pedal often doesn't fully return to the idle position.

4) Steering column: The steering column on LHD and RHD cars are different. The bracketry that supports them is also different, and when a RHD column is used in a LHD car, the "technician" will attempt to weld on a crude bracket to support the mid and upper part of the column / bearing housing. These brackets will weaken, due to the fact the steering shaft is operating at an angle it wasn't designed to. Of course, it will bear greater load on the crude bracket that supports it, causing it to flex. Several cycles later, stress crack can appear, and the welds could break off. I need no say what happens, if the steering column suddenly detached at a critical moment, perhaps when overtaking a fuel tanker. . .

6) Complete aircon / heater assembly: This is an item that's commonly overlooked. LHD and RHD assemblies should NOT be adapted to work on the wrong side! The pipes that come from the compressor / condenser / receiver drier via the firewall, into the evaporator that sits behind the dash are extremely high pressure. If the aluminium pipes are forced / bent into place, the chances are they will fracture, and whilst R134-A refrigerant isn't flammable, it is poisonous, and will cause instant frostbite if it comes into contact with skin / flesh. Also, if the heater pipes split, at best, you'll end up with your feet scalded by boiling coolant.

Cars that have had the RHD heater / aircon assembly "modified" to work in a LHD layout seldom work properly. Oh, the cold air will come out all right, but sometimes not via the vents in the dash, as the ducting that directs air to the vents is either missing, or don't line up with the LHD dash. So, the air ends up coming from places they shouldn't - ashtray, stereo aperture, onto your feet only etc.

Of course the wiring is also an issue - I've had emails with pictures, where the cars have been so poorly converted, it's a wonder they haven't set the cars alight! Most recent was a lady client of mine, who exported her 2006 Mercedes CLK 230 Kompressor last March, and after the 3-day conversion by some shop in Lagos, the whole car shut down. The entire dash harness, which is the central electronic distribution point, melted. Luckily, the battery didn't have enough reserve, else the car would have caught fire.

I had to send her a new LHD dash harness, (the original was too far gone to salvage) a new ECU, and heater / aircon assembly, as besides the fact it was an "adapted" RHD unit, the melted wiring harness had burnt holes in it. She ended up with a bill from myself of just under £5,800. That was at cost price too, then add to that the labour incurred at a Mercedes Benz main dealer, it was an expensive lesson.

So guys, please, when going for a LHD conversion, don't limit your shopping list to just the immediate obvious - steering rack and dash / fascia, there's more to the conversion than that. Some of these items, like steering, pedals etc could put your lives at risk, not to mention your family and other road users / pedestrians. Do your homework, when you find a competent engineer to carry out the conversion, be it in Nigeria or the UK, please, please do your own research into the shop you're using, ask them questions - you can draw on this thread, if you feel you need to know more, I'm only too happy to give advice.

I always take pictures as I progress in a RHD to LHD conversion, so the customer at least has an idea what behind the dash looks like. Once it's all bolted in place, it's very unlikely you'll ever get to see what's hidden there, short of removing the dash / fascia yourself.

Moderator / Monitor_1, I'd appreciate it if this thread could be stickied, a lot of Nigerians at home, and abroad, can benefit from this. And use it as a checklist when considering a conversion.

Whatever you decide to do, please be vigilant, and stay safe!

3 Likes

Re: RHD To LHD Conversion - The Facts. by Busybody2(f): 7:13pm On Feb 28, 2009
Siena, what is the price range for these conversions and what discount could your wifey me of course expect kiss
Re: RHD To LHD Conversion - The Facts. by kablooee: 7:14pm On Feb 28, 2009
Beautiful! gained alot of information. thanks siena
Re: RHD To LHD Conversion - The Facts. by Siena(m): 7:46pm On Feb 28, 2009
Busy_body:

Siena, what is the price range for these conversions and what discount could your wifey me of course expect kiss

Discount? Does that word truly exist?? shocked

Lol. Shoot me an email, with car make / model, prices vary. cool
Re: RHD To LHD Conversion - The Facts. by Nobody: 7:49pm On Feb 28, 2009
shocked shocked shocked shocked shocked Iyalode, dnt go into the lion's den o shocked shocked shocked
Re: RHD To LHD Conversion - The Facts. by Busybody2(f): 8:21pm On Feb 28, 2009
Siena:

Discount? Does that word truly exist?? shocked

Lol. Shoot me an email, with car make / model, prices vary. cool


Glad you recognise and acknowledge that I am a model, My vital statistics are 38JJ-24-32, and I am a size 0, anything else you need to know darling


HeatFusion:

shocked shocked shocked shocked shocked Iyalode, dnt go into the lion's den o shocked shocked shocked

Professional Thread Derailers grin cool cool cool
Re: RHD To LHD Conversion - The Facts. by Nobody: 8:41pm On Feb 28, 2009
LOL, we learned from the best, you na tongue
Re: RHD To LHD Conversion - The Facts. by promise72(m): 7:51am On Mar 01, 2009
If you ask me. I say contact any US Based dealer (Jenju, Babeisme, et al ) and get ur car trouble free. undecided
Re: RHD To LHD Conversion - The Facts. by Siena(m): 9:26am On Mar 01, 2009
promise72:

If you ask me. I say contact any US Based dealer (Jenju, Babeisme, et al ) and get ur car trouble free. undecided

I agree.

I guess those that have RHD cars they wish to convert, are those who are / were living in the UK, and already happen to have quite a new car, (up to 6 years old and are either relocating, on on a short visit to Nigeria.

Of course if the car is new, then it's perfectly understandable they'll want to keep it. A LHD conversion is not an issue, as long as it's done properly.
Re: RHD To LHD Conversion - The Facts. by kablooee: 9:33am On Mar 01, 2009
but seriously siena, what is the average cost of converting a car from RHD to LHD. just an estimation pls
Re: RHD To LHD Conversion - The Facts. by Siena(m): 10:02am On Mar 01, 2009
kablooee:

but seriously siena, what is the average cost of converting a car from RHD to LHD. just an estimation pls

Prices I give are the real prices. I know what the parts cost, so don't give estimates.
The prices I give are what's payable, no more, no less.

But I need a make / model to price up a conversion, there are hundreds of models out there, and cost of conversion for all will vary.
Re: RHD To LHD Conversion - The Facts. by mastro: 10:37am On Mar 01, 2009
But I need a make / model to price up a conversion, there are hundreds of models out there, and cost of conversion for all will vary.

Could you use the above example of a CLK to give us an estimate.

My thinking is that a 2006 CLK will be worth maybe £17k in the UK, a 350 clk Conv in America (they don't have a 230komp) will cost maybe $25k (£18k)

Assuming Clearing and shipping costs are the same for simplicity and using figures from www.autotrader.co.uk and www.cars.com respectively

There is of course a sentimental value in a car you've owned from new, you know how it's been used and there is a cost involved in either going to America yourself or commissioning someone to get it for you.

So we need to weight the cost of above against the conversion costs.


I personally think people are looking at the original cost of the cars, in above case maybe £35k as opposed to the replacement cost.
Re: RHD To LHD Conversion - The Facts. by Siena(m): 12:15pm On Mar 01, 2009
Mercedes Benz CLK is £1,850 inclusive of parts and labour.
Re: RHD To LHD Conversion - The Facts. by youngmill(m): 3:36pm On Mar 01, 2009
promise72:

If you ask me. I say contact any US Based dealer (Jenju, Babeisme, et al ) and get ur car trouble free. undecided

The topic is Rhd to Lhd conversion. Why don't you let people that will benefit from it do so instead of derailing the thread.
Re: RHD To LHD Conversion - The Facts. by mastro: 4:36pm On Mar 01, 2009
Mercedes Benz CLK is £1,850 inclusive of parts and labour.

That is a lot less than I expected.
Re: RHD To LHD Conversion - The Facts. by promise72(m): 5:37pm On Mar 01, 2009
@ youngmill,

This is not an issue of derailing the thread. The Pro, Siena has given a quote of 1,850 pound. Knowing Nigerian factor really well, very few dealers will chose to go down the route of getting it done properly. Even owners/end users might sometimes balk at the cost (as Mastro indicated). So the question is: Are you prepared to put ur life on the line in hope that its properly done?

There's always an advantage anywhere you live. People in Europe have advantage to in electric appliances (you can buy things and take it home and just use it) We cant do much of that from here. We worry about step down etc. And sometimes it doesnt always work right. But we can ship cars and take it home and start driving the next day, our advantage.  wink

So if you can do it properly, does it worth the gamble.? And for those who say i stand to benefit if recommend US dealers, how about going to other European countries (Germany, France, Belgium) at least they are closer and get ur car there. Do it properly or else  undecided

Shortcuts can sometimes be a bia##  grin

1 Like

Re: RHD To LHD Conversion - The Facts. by youngmill(m): 6:33pm On Mar 01, 2009
promise72:

@ youngmill,

This is not an issue of derailing the thread. The Pro, Siena has given a quote of 1,850 pound. Knowing Nigerian factor really well, very few dealers will chose to go down the route of getting it done properly. Even owners/end users might sometimes balk at the cost (as Mastro indicated). So the question is: Are you prepared to put ur life on the line in hope that its properly done?

There's always an advantage anywhere you live. People in Europe have advantage to in electric appliances (you can buy things and take it home and just use it) We cant do much of that from here. We worry about step down etc. And sometimes it doesnt always work right. But we can ship cars and take it home and start driving the next day, our advantage.  wink

So if you can do it properly, does it worth the gamble.? And for those who say i stand to benefit if recommend US dealers, how about going to other European countries (Germany, France, Belgium) at least they are closer and get ur car there. Do it properly or else  undecided

Shortcuts can sometimes be a bia##  grin

@ Siena,
Sorry for derailing your thread again.

@Promise72,
And if you ask me i think the quote for £1,850 is quite good considering the good work you will get form Siena. And back to your question if i will risk my live on a converted car, well, if it done properly then it not a gamble or risk.
Re: RHD To LHD Conversion - The Facts. by keyremotes(m): 6:55pm On Mar 01, 2009
@Siena
What really is the wisdom behind converting RHD vehicles to LHD?

My personal belief is, since officially RH Drive was abolished in Nigeria over 3 decades ago. Why do Nigerian not just do the right thing and import what is lawfully accepted here?

I have personally come across some one who almost lost her life on the 3rd Mainland bridge in Lagos, Nigeria when the steering wheel of her converted bus came of in motion from the rack.

I had the opportunity of driving the bus and I had to be extra careful. Just as you explained about the pedals getting too close.

Na wah for Naija people sha.

As for me I will go for a LHD any day o. I NO LIKE WAHALA.
Re: RHD To LHD Conversion - The Facts. by promise72(m): 7:21pm On Mar 01, 2009
youngmill:


@Promise72,
And if you ask me i think the quote for £1,850 is quite good considering the good work you will get form Siena. And back to your question if i will risk my live on a converted car, well, if it done properly then it not a gamble or risk.



I think the quote is good also. Its an excellent price, its on par with some quotes i've seen from companies in Japan. But i bet you, people who bring in cars from UK to sell will probably not want to spend that much cos it will eat into the profit. Hence the shortcut. Even people who bring in cars for personal use may be tempted to go for the cheap N150,000 conversion in Ladipo or Oshodi.

If its done well by a pro like Siena, then its no problem. "No shaking" like the saying goes.

The moral of the story is simple: If you gonna do it, then get it done right from a Pro. Otherwise its your A## on the line  grin
Re: RHD To LHD Conversion - The Facts. by Siena(m): 10:22pm On Mar 01, 2009
gestapo:


@ Siena
Wow Siena this is really cheap, i wanted to send a car to UK from Stutggart here and was told to bring Euro 5200 to change the car from LHD to RHD, the guy said it was more difficult to do that than the reverse, hence the high price he was charging, can you confirm prices changing LHD to RHD as compared to RHD to LHD


It's no harder to do the reverse conversion.
What car are you thinking off? Please tell me it's German!
Re: RHD To LHD Conversion - The Facts. by ikeyman00(m): 10:23pm On Mar 01, 2009
quote cheap? not necessary! thats is the right price! simple science

but for those that lives in belgium,germany and co, thats should or must be less than UK cuz the parts comes easily from those countries

2 many basket smelly mouth in here!  shocked brush ur teeth plz

mind u there are good mechanics back home nigeria as well; just make sure u pay for the complete required parts!

and for those that have wittness an accident that involves L HD conversion, well welllu accident aint just limits to LHD conversion u know

so what next?
Re: RHD To LHD Conversion - The Facts. by Busybody2(f): 10:27pm On Mar 01, 2009
If he said he did it for £2750, peeps would have no choice than to patronise him because he is good at what he does, IT IS CHEAP, carry ya bad belle commot for hia superman WANNABEcheesy

@ Siena

Don't mind him jare, at least you will be saving me a lot of money, converting the buggy into a CLK, I no longer need to spend N750,000 purchasing a Toyota from Cashmoni or N550,000 on Smallmoney's golf again grin
Re: RHD To LHD Conversion - The Facts. by gestapo(f): 10:29pm On Mar 01, 2009
Siena:

It's no harder to do the reverse conversion.
What car are you thinking off? Please tell me it's German!

Im not so into cars just heard my hubby saying it in passing to his friend in the UK, I will ask him now im not sure if its Audi anyway  wink

what are German and Japanese cars i get confused sometimes.
Re: RHD To LHD Conversion - The Facts. by Busybody2(f): 10:34pm On Mar 01, 2009
gestapo:

Im not so into cars just heard my hubby saying it in passing to his friend in the UK, I will ask him now im not sure if its Audi anyway wink
what are German and Japanese cars i get confused sometimes.


He doesn't only do Audi conversion, I think undecided

Siena, see why you have to dump all those trifling h*s for me, I gat your back anyday, I am the only one who deserves you, I am meek and gentle as they come tongue
Re: RHD To LHD Conversion - The Facts. by promise72(m): 11:46pm On Mar 01, 2009
Busy_body:




Already told you America is not it, never was never will tongue


The last time i checked i haven't heard of people falling over themselves for "U.K Specs". Guys pay top $$$ for U.S Sh#t!. What do a U.K Benz looks like? Cloth interior, Manual gear, Manual Window, Sometimes no A/C, Lil bitty 2.0L engine  embarassed  Yikes i need a tissue to wipe my tears.

Even people in the U.K are looking for U.S Spec cars all day long (At least the smart ones) Sure wasn't talking 'bou u.  wink

gestapo:

Im not so into cars just heard my hubby saying it in passing to his friend in the UK, I will ask him now im not sure if its Audi anyway  wink

what are German and Japanese cars i get confused sometimes.

   Here's ur sign   grin
Re: RHD To LHD Conversion - The Facts. by gestapo(f): 11:50pm On Mar 01, 2009
:-x :-x :-x :-x
Re: RHD To LHD Conversion - The Facts. by ikeyman00(m): 2:42am On Mar 02, 2009
If he said he did it for £2750, peeps would have no choice than to patronise him because he is good at what he does, IT IS CHEAP, carry ya bad belle commot for hia superman WANNABE

busy body

i m not superman wanbe, can only proof my point if them bosoms? hahha aint fake

u feel me haha
Re: RHD To LHD Conversion - The Facts. by Busybody2(f): 2:46am On Mar 02, 2009
ikeyman00:

busy body

i m not superman wanbe, can only proof my point if them bosoms? hahha aint fake

u feel me haha


Sorry cry Is it Ikeyman00 or ikeyman00 that is the impersonator cheesy Both of you should just book a date at the registry and get married and become one, you have so much love for each other I dey jealous u tongue

So how do you know its done at around the same price and can you recommend somewhere in Nigeria where it can be done properly?
Re: RHD To LHD Conversion - The Facts. by ikeyman00(m): 2:49am On Mar 02, 2009
well like i always say those maggots cant fake me; they tried they fail.

now for those doubters, tell me why someone will use my username ikeymanoOO

im the real superman u talkin about love ha, the sucker better know.

i got family friend, my sisters hubby, etc that done theirs in nigeria u know, and i got some connection in naija u can send someone around lagos tp go and check them out. u dnt have to listen to all these bull crap here, yes it can be done in nigeria for real, but will cost u just little cheaper than here in uk
Re: RHD To LHD Conversion - The Facts. by Busybody2(f): 2:52am On Mar 02, 2009
^^^ Me I put both your names down in Osisi and Earthmama's wedding register 2 months ago, what God has joined together grin grin grin
Re: RHD To LHD Conversion - The Facts. by ikeyman00(m): 3:02am On Mar 02, 2009
and again,

1 thing i know is u can get peug 406 done with ease in less than a week in naija, 1 of the cheapest u know #250,000 i would say at least u lookin like just over a thousand pounds like

so for uk folks that wana send car to nigeria for their personal use, hey take good advantage of credit crunch right, buy 406 peug cuz the demand in uk is less hence cheaper, u will be lookin like emm £500, 600 700 with the dealer right, 500 shippin right, cle\arin say like a 1000 right then u got total expenditure roundin emm car 500+, 600+,   shiippin 500   clearin 1000  conversion 1000+ =====3000 + right

k so emm £3000+ or less ===== em #less than #700,000 for a 10 years car wooooooooooooooo it aint doomed yet

yes Uk it can be done oooooooooo

me don yarn finisss walahi opppp im not a vampire ooooo 1 of them hah

alternatively, u can buy and parked it i n naija, so when u got money for conversion in ur convienence, u go for it
Re: RHD To LHD Conversion - The Facts. by Busybody2(f): 3:13am On Mar 02, 2009
ikeyman you are so right, thanks for that information kiss

Whereabout are you in UK? Do you know what the current rate of the pound is to Naira now, I nearly went bonkers when it started dropping and fell as low as N184/£1 shocked My £1000 savings nearly wan turn into N1,000 before my two korokoro eyes shocked shocked shocked

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