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German Reimport
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm going to be moving back to Germany by the end of the year and will definitely take my car with me.
Therefore I will need to convert my instrument dial from mph to km/h.
I've been searching on here for a while and couldn't come up with any good ideas, and Lotus only sells the entire instrument but not the dial itself:shrug:

Two weeks back I contacted a company in Germany that makes custom dials for a lot of cars.
They did not have anything off the shelf for the Lotus, but they are willing to do a custom made dial for me.

I sent them a few pictures of my current dial, and this is what they came back with as a first proposal:

Elise MK2.jpg

I wanted to keep it as stock as possible because I like the looks of the current dial.

Now we are just figuring out the details on how the symbols are lit.
I assume that the symbols on the right (check engine, seatbelt etc.) are lit by LED's from the back.
The tank and coolant temp symbols look like they are either clear or even cut out of the dial and are just lit by the LCD display (can someone who has taken theirs apart confirm that?)
I will have them change the font color from blue to black, but it sound like they can make any custom color I want.

The entire dial including designing it is going to cost me 35 Euros plus 10.50 for shipping it to the US, which I think is a very good deal.

I just wanted to share this since I know that there are a few folks on here who have imported a car to Europe, and they all seem to run into the issue of getting a km/h dial...

The name of the company that is going to make this for me is Tacho-Cartuning (Tacho - Cartuning ~ Hochwertige Tachoscheiben für Ihr Auto im Exklusiv-Design)
Teh web site is all in German, but I'm sure they speak english as well...
 

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I am amazed that they can make one at that price.
 

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German Reimport
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Discussion Starter #4
I am amazed that they can make one at that price.
Yes, I was also very positively surprised when they told me what its going to cost.
They said that they usually charge 45 Euros, but for me its only going to be 35 for whatever reason...:shrug:
Maybe the discount is for going thru the hoops of figuring out the design with them so they can add it to their inventory.
But that's just a guess since they weren't clear about it and I didn't ask any further...
 

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Very interested, will need the same thing when I move back next year to the Netherlands. I will contact these guys, and refer to this design.
Looks good!
Thx for effort!
 

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This reminds me of a question that I've always had:

Is the RPM gauge REALLY non-linear, or does lotus just fudge it below 3000 RPMs?
 

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This reminds me of a question that I've always had:

Is the RPM gauge REALLY non-linear, or does lotus just fudge it below 3000 RPMs?
I've wondered that too. My brain wanders when I'm cruising 90mpg.

I've also wondered why it seemed you were about to take one exit, then zoomed back past me to take the following one instead. Damn TroubleMaker.

xtn
 

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German Reimport
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Discussion Starter #9
This reminds me of a question that I've always had:

Is the RPM gauge REALLY non-linear, or does lotus just fudge it below 3000 RPMs?
I don't know about the non-linearity of the display.
But I don't really care too much, and I think it looks cool ;)

We got all the details figured out (I hope), and I just sent them the money this morning.
Should take 4 to 5 days and then however long it's going to take to ship it across the pond...

I'll keep you guys updated.
 

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This reminds me of a question that I've always had:

Is the RPM gauge REALLY non-linear, or does lotus just fudge it below 3000 RPMs?
Based on the RPM lights on my Shift-i unit, I'm thinking it is really non-linear.

I set the lights to come on at 1,000RPM, 2,000RPM, 3,000RPM, etc. and they do light up in sync with the indicated RPMs on the tach.

The RPM signal for the shift light is coming off the #1 plug, so it is measuring actual engine RPMs.

Regards,
Wayne
 

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That is awesome! Amazing price for custom work also.
I have no idea what materials / process they are using, however, I've had good luck getting custom work done inexpensively. There are 'inkjet' printers now that allow you to print to any surface. Unlike silk-screening there is no mask to be made, and since it's digitally mastered, setup costs are essentially non-existent. I developed a system that was to be installed in a Volvo long-haul truck. To make it as seamless as possible we took a blank Volvo piece of plastic, drilled the necessary holes and had the logo / other info printed directly to the plastic. It turned out extremely well and looked as good as the OEM parts. I think they did the first one for free. It took the guy all of 5 minutes to make it. In quantities it was around $5 each for the printing.

It may be that they are using a similar technique to simply print to an opaque sheet. Who knows, I could be completely wrong. Looking forward to seeing the final version as well.

Here's a lousy picture of it installed. It's the bottom device that says 'AssistWare' and 'Lane Departure Warning System'. It looks 1000x better in person.
safetrac_din.JPG
 

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How is this project going? Did you receive the part from Germany yet? Did it work out?

I went to get through inspection today and at the last minute they said the "KPH" sticker I placed over the "MPH" on the speedometer dial would not be acceptable, and that they'll use a pace car to verify accuracy.

So if your option works, I think I'll go that route. Otherwise I'll need to pay EUR 500+ for a whole new gauge unit.
 

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i could probably convert your cluster for the needle to report in KPH (decals upto you), but shipping it back and forth to the usa might be costly.

if you leave the mph decal in, your car is going to be pretty slow ;)

I suppose i could do an ecu program that reported a massaged KPH that when its converted to MPH is actually KPH, but you'd still have to ship me your ecu. (or to the UK, cluster would have to go to me)
 

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i could probably convert your cluster for the needle to report in KPH (decals upto you), but shipping it back and forth to the usa might be costly.

if you leave the mph decal in, your car is going to be pretty slow ;)

I suppose i could do an ecu program that reported a massaged KPH that when its converted to MPH is actually KPH, but you'd still have to ship me your ecu. (or to the UK, cluster would have to go to me)
Have you done this before? Yeah, the shipping might be expensive. Is there any way to get it done only in the UK? Then I can avoid import duty charges since the item will remain in the EU the entire time.

The Lotus dealer here quoted 530 EUR for a new instrument pack, and said they aren't able to just install the new speedometer overlay (but maybe I can find someone else to do it.. assuming it's possible).

I guess another option is to find a wrecked Federal Elise that has both kph/mph on the dial and buy the instrument pack. I believe that is model year 2006 and beyond?
 

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German Reimport
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Discussion Starter #17
How is this project going? Did you receive the part from Germany yet? Did it work out?

I went to get through inspection today and at the last minute they said the "KPH" sticker I placed over the "MPH" on the speedometer dial would not be acceptable, and that they'll use a pace car to verify accuracy.

So if your option works, I think I'll go that route. Otherwise I'll need to pay EUR 500+ for a whole new gauge unit.
It's on order, but it didn't arrive yet...

I'll post an update as soon as it gets in.
 

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It's on order, but it didn't arrive yet...

I'll post an update as soon as it gets in.
Thanks. Right now I'm trying to see if I can find an instrument pack from a wrecked Elise in the EU that I can buy. They may have found one in Munich with the instrument pack in tact -- should hear back by Monday.

Any idea how hard it would be to put in the insert that you are having designed? The Lotus dealer here said they will not install an insert since they asked Lotus about how to convert to KPH, and the "official" answer was that replacing the instrument pack is the only solution, so I guess they won't do unofficial fixes. I'm not so mechanically-inclined, so I'm not sure if I trust myself to be able to do the work.
 

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