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I am considering taking a US spec Elise overseas. I need to convert the car to RHD to import it. Any ideas what is involved with doing this?
I can guess steering rack, dashboard, possibly dash wiring harness, but there will be more to it.
Done this before but with a Mini and that is a pretty basic car :)
 

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I am considering taking a US spec Elise overseas. I need to convert the car to RHD to import it. Any ideas what is involved with doing this?
I can guess steering rack, dashboard, possibly dash wiring harness, but there will be more to it.
Done this before but with a Mini and that is a pretty basic car :)
Any reason not to simply get a RHD one to start with?

But if you want to do it add the centre console to your purchase list then I imagine shed loads of work :)


PS: The VIN actually identifies the chassis as LHD or RHD so there is probably a bit to it!
 

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Guys in the UK sometimes convert their cars to LHD. Find a guy on a UK Lotus board and do a swap for all the parts needed?

gm
 

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I am considering taking a US spec Elise overseas. I need to convert the car to RHD to import it. Any ideas what is involved with doing this?
I can guess steering rack, dashboard, possibly dash wiring harness, but there will be more to it.
Done this before but with a Mini and that is a pretty basic car :)
Assuming you're importing to the pacific (HK / Macau) , not the UK? Do a search for the official Lotus parts book. You will discover there are quite a few little parts that are different between RHD and LHD that may not be obvious. However, you could probably 'do' without most of them on a car that isn't daily driven..

Things like wheel arch liners, seat rails, pedal box, footrests, carpet, wiper assembly, many HVAC lines and parts.

Two of the major parts that are different but you MAY be able to get away with depending on the level of inspection and your moral mettle are the headlights...

One thing I would not want to do without and would be hard to fudge would be the ABS lines and mounting, which could be a major pain - all new hardlines and mounting...
 

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Unless you are deeply attached to your particular car, I would have to think the cost to sell your LHD and buy an RHD (even factoring in various losses, etc) will be less money and far less heartache.

Other things to consider:

* if you've modified your car (aside from the conversion to RHD) make sure it will in fact be importable. In some countries you might have an issue if you've added a turbo, etc.

* if you ever plan on selling your car on, I suspect that a converted car will be worth less just because of residual concerns about how well the conversion was done. Especially if you skimp on various "small ticket" items as another post mentioned above.

* don't forget the basic mantra: figure out what it will cost, double it, add 20% and you'll hopefully be close :)

Steve
 

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Don't even think about it. It is a lot less hassle and a lot cheaper to sell your LHD and buy a RHD.
 

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What for? Most of the Lotus cars are RHD, so if you could get one from UK, perhaps? I have RHD Elise to convert to LHD in future..
Elise-shop.com are selling needed parts for conversation.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi,

Thanks for all the information.

The reason behind this is the tax situation for importation into Hong Kong. Taxes start at 35% and after about $18,000 in value rise to 65%. Above about $38,000 the import tax rises to 85% so a lower price Elise has some big advantages for import. The work done after it arrives does not get taxed.

The UK was appealing when the Sterling was down around $1.45 but it has been rising of late and is around $1.65 now. Also the car has to have Air Con for Asia, too hot here to do without.

If it all works out I hope to find somebody in the EU who will do a parts swap or to sell the LHD drive conversion to somebody later.

Got more work to do but the information has been very helpful.
 
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