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Due to the weak dollar, I plan to buy a 2005 Elise in the US in the next 2 weeks, and have it imported to Europe (to Estonia, to be exact).

Has anyone done this? I've already made arrangements with a local importer to handle the single-type certification (which is expected to cost 1500 EUR).

I spoke to the Lotus dealer here and they said a change in headlights may be required, which will cost approximately 600 USD. They also said the immobilizer transponder may need to be changed, along with the car stereo, as those operate on some frequencies not used in the EU. He said the motor vehicle bureau here is generally not aware of the immo and radio issues, but they do check the lights. In the country I live in, daytime running lights are mandatory, and I believe these were added to the US Elise only in 2006. The dealer here has never converted a US Elise to work in the EU, so he wasn't sure about the exact details.

My guess is the parts are cheaper in the US, but I'd need to know exactly what is required. Has anyone done this before and can advise on the exact parts required? If so, I'll buy them when I'm in the US and take them with me.

Also, what should I do about the license plates? Front and rear license plates are required. They will give me US-sized plates if I can't fit Euro-plates on the car. It looks like Euro-plates might go better on the front of an Elise, but can I make them fit on the rear also or would I need to buy more parts? They only give 1 pair of the same size, so I can't do a Euro plate in the front and US-sized plate in the rear.

Is there a computer mod to switch the Elise from mph to kph?

Now for the fun part -- there are around 10 Lotuses in the entire Baltic region, and 6 of those are Elises (the rest are Esprits). There is one benefit to living in a country that was part of the former Soviet Union but also next to an EU country (Finland). There are lots of abandoned airstrips here where they used to keep their MIG fighters. Great place to give the Elise a proper workout. I also plan to ferry over to Germany at some point for a little road trip, unless I get think the Elise can handle the crappy roads in Poland in which case I'll drive. I think driving the Elise on the autobahn will really showcase its talents :D
 

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Well, for sure, the headlight part needs to be bought in Estonia since if the current one won't work, then there is no point to buy another one in the USA. I don't know how to turn on DRL for 05 Elise, but I would assume it's just some ECU mods to control that.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, for sure, the headlight part needs to be bought in Estonia since if the current one won't work, then there is no point to buy another one in the USA. I don't know how to turn on DRL for 05 Elise, but I would assume it's just some ECU mods to control that.
I saw some helpful posts on the forum about how to turn DRLs off (it involves cutting a wire I believe) but nothing about turning them on. Maybe a Canadian can help with that :)
 

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I think driving the Elise on the autobahn will really showcase its talents :D
Wrong. :rolleyes:

Elises aren't about top speed and Autobhans, they are about handling and winding mountain roads.


As for the DRL's it should just be a case of connecting a live feed from the ignition circuit to the light switch, negating the light switch.

A for shipping from the US, could you not get an Elise in Europe?

Good luck though.

Oh, and it will live outside happily if you use it at least once a week, and make sure the roof is fitted properly and doesn't leak.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wrong. :rolleyes:

Elises aren't about top speed and Autobhans, they are about handling and winding mountain roads.

As for the DRL's it should just be a case of connecting a live feed from the ignition circuit to the light switch, negating the light switch.

A for shipping from the US, could you not get an Elise in Europe?

Good luck though.

Oh, and it will live outside happily if you use it at least once a week, and make sure the roof is fitted properly and doesn't leak.
The roads here are flat, straight, and not good quality (hard to keep smooth roads given the climate), and the highest point in the country would be the freeway overpass... if there were freeways :D There's only one road in the entire country that is a dual-lane carriageway of decent standard (the road to Russia -- thanks to EU money). Estonia has the second-highest traffic fatality rate in the EU.

I drove a Europa S last week on the roads and it seemed to handle it decently well even with all the bumps. Most secondary roads are fairly deserted, so it will be nice to have spirited drives through the forest.

I looked at buying one here or in Germany, but they are much more expensive given the state of the USD versus the Euro (I have USD). I've worked the numbers and I expect I'll save around $10k by buying in the US, even with all expenses factored in.

Thanks for the feedback on the DRL item -- sounds like it won't be too difficult.
 

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You may want to contact Robert who posts on here as wallabyguy. He works for HRM or used too and has stated that he has shipped cars to places outside of the US before so he may be able to give you some good ideas.
 

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The headlights on '05 and '06 Elises are Euro spec and hopefully wouldn't need to be changed. The '07 cars changed to US spec sealed beams and might need to be changed.

Someone else posted that they had moved a US spec car to Europe and had to change the rear tail lights to Euro spec - they were required to have yellow/amber turn signals whereas we use a red one.

The '06 and later cars are equipped with DRLs. The wiring isn't in place on the '05s some something else would have to be rigged up.

I believe that there is a different rear panel used on cars with the Euro style license plates. That could be changed if you couldn't just attach the plate over the existing panel.

The US cars do not have the rear fog lights - I don't know if they are required or not in your case.

As for buying the parts, it would probably be cheaper for you to order the parts from England. Buying the parts in the US would cost more as they would have to be imported here from England in the first place. Besides, the parts that you need to convert the car to Euro spec are not radially available here in the US (may not be available at all) so that probably wouldn't work for you anyway.
 

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That's good news if the headlights won't need to be changed. That will save me quite some $$$, or better said: quite some euro's when I take my car back to The Netherlands.

I'm not sure is Estonia is an EU country: if so --> I'm 100% sure that the rear lights need to be changed so they will light up amber when the turning signal is on (that's EU safety regulation). You will also need a rear fog light (again EU safety regulation).
Lastly your car will be tested I guess on emissions, technical state etc. Since the Elise here is the same as the Elise 111R in Europe, that should be no problem.
 

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It indeed contains that metal plate, I had it in my hands last weekend. I didn't know that simply removing that plate makes it EU compliant.
Only thing I know that head lights in the US are different than in the EU, but wat these differences are...:shrug:
 

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Not removing the plate. MOVING the plate.

It already meets Euro specs. You leave the beam pattern up/right for drive-on-the-right-side countries, and MOVE the plate (it has two detent positions) to censor the beam pattern for drive-on-the-left-side countries.

xtn
 

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please someone correct me if Im wrong but inside headlamp assy there is metal plate. You can adjust it in 2 positions and just simply convert lights to Euro regulations.


as you rear amber turn signals you can do this mod
That's the dipped beam cutoff setting for changing which side of the road the car is to be used on.
 

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Not removing the plate. MOVING the plate.

It already meets Euro specs. You leave the beam pattern up/right for drive-on-the-right-side countries, and MOVE the plate (it has two detent positions) to censor the beam pattern for drive-on-the-left-side countries.

xtn

OK, gotcha!
Except for UK, all countries drive on the right side of the road (they were half a year ago when i was in europe for last time), so I don't need to move the plate?:shrug:
I guess I'll see when i go back and need to get the car inspected.
 

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OK, gotcha!
Except for UK, all countries drive on the right side of the road (they were half a year ago when i was in europe for last time), so I don't need to move the plate?:shrug:
I guess I'll see when i go back and need to get the car inspected.
Dagen H in Sweden (the day they switched to right drive) - one of my favorite photos.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
As of last night, I'm the proud owner of an 05 Elise :nanner2:

I'm working on having it shipped to Estonia next week, in which case it will arrive 3-4 weeks later.

I have been in touch with the company that will do the single-type certification so that it can be registered. They have not done this for an Elise before, but based on our discussions and this thread, it looks like there are 3 issues:

1. The rear turn signals need to be yellow. I was told by a Lotus dealer in the US that I should just be able to buy new lenses for this in Europe.

2. The speedometer needs to be converted to kmh, and I assume the digital odometer as well. For the speedometer, what do I need to buy? I'm hoping not to have to buy an entire dash assembly. For the digital odometer, is that just a matter of flipping some type of switch?

3. A rear fog light must be installed. This one I'm not sure how to get this done. On a US Elise, is the housing and bulb already in place? Will I need to have another switch installed in the dash?

I didn't mention the headlights as that seems to be an easy fix based on some other posts in this thread.

Any advice would be much appreciated.
 

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As of last night, I'm the proud owner of an 05 Elise
1. The rear turn signals need to be yellow. I was told by a Lotus dealer in the US that I should just be able to buy new lenses for this in Europe.
You just need to rewire it and install the right bulbs.

The center piece in the rear light should already ahve the yellow filter. US cars simply don't use that, but 'blink' the entire rear light.

2. The speedometer needs to be converted to kmh, and I assume the digital odometer as well. For the speedometer, what do I need to buy? I'm hoping not to have to buy an entire dash assembly. For the digital odometer, is that just a matter of flipping some type of switch?
You will need a replacement gauge unit. Either a used one (check on SELOC | Lotus Enthusiasts Club) from an european 111R/Exige2 or buy one from Lotus.

3. A rear fog light must be installed. This one I'm not sure how to get this done. On a US Elise, is the housing and bulb already in place? Will I need to have another switch installed in the dash?
You'll need to do some rewiring again. Put in a switch and enable the use of the rear lights as foglights.

With the normal rear lights (not LED ones) the european layout is like this:

(o) (o) (o) (o)

And they are laid out like:

LEFT:
(brake+rear(indicator)rear) (not used(reversing light)fog)

RIGHT:
(fog(reversing light)not used) (rear(indicator)rear+brake)

The fog and brake+rear light use dual filament (20+5W) bulbs.
The rear lights are single 5W bulbs
The indicators and reversing lights use small 20W halogen bulbs

Yellow for the indicators is created by a plastic insert in the light. The bulb itself is normal white.

I didn't mention the headlights as that seems to be an easy fix based on some other posts in this thread.
AFAIK lotus does not fit any different headlights for US cars compared to European ones. Should need no changes.

Bye, Arno.
 

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The headlights on '05 and '06 Elises are Euro spec and hopefully wouldn't need to be changed. The '07 cars changed to US spec sealed beams and might need to be changed.

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exactly ...

I have already done it twice ..
From LA to Greece my Elise
and from NY to Greece my Exige ..

In order to be safe on transportation i suggest to use RINKENS.COM and to use for shipping 20ft container and not Roll and Road transportation in vessel`s open deck ...

Good luck and be patient .

It will be a 3-4 months procedure ...
 

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WHAT?? 3-4 months!! Why does it take so long? I thought the boat trip was max. 1 month? And then the administrative procedures which will vary per country: the more bureacratic, the longer it takes.
 

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Here is a picture of the Euro dial with part number on it:

Instruments 150dpi.jpg

I called Robert at Lotusgarage, but he said this can not be purchased seperatley here in the US, and that you need to change the entire cluster :shrug:
I was thinking that maybe I could get this dail from a salvaged Canadian car, but so far I haven't started looking around yet.

My information on the odometer is that it is required to be in km instead of miles in Europe (same goes for the temperature gauge, Celsius instead of Fahrenheit). But at least in Germany you can apply for an "exemption" for 50 Euros to get the US odometer certified.

Let me know what you find out about the dial since I'm going to face the same issues you do...
 

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Can cars not run an overlay in the EU?
:shrug:

I know grey bikes in the UK can simply affix a sticker overlay to the speedo lens to do the kph -> mph conversion. It would be dead simple to get someone with a plotter to cut a sticker to get it approved while you sort out another solution.
 
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