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#2799971 - 01/15/14 01:35 PM Thinking of doing a RHD conversion
Lucien Offline
n00b

Registered: 10/27/08
Posts: 22
Loc: Adelaide, SA
So, I miss my 99 Vic I had when I was in the States. I decided to get another one, and get it swapped over to RHD.

Problem is, NOBODY wants to do the job.

So, I figure I will do the work myself. I can source the various components to shops around here (I live in Adelaide, South Australia now), and do all the fitment work myself.

For my list of work that I will need to get done, here's what I am looking at so far:

Custom fabricated dash: Quoted around 3500 AUD
Custom rack and pinion: Quoted around 500 AUD
Door panels (to swap the controls from one side to the other): around 1000 AUD each
Floor pan reshaping: Maybe 100 AUD in materials (I have access to the tools to do it myself, even if I hate cutting and welding)

Migrate all the wiring and controls around (door panel wiring, trunk release, gauge cluster) Maybe 300 AUD in parts and a LOT of work.

I am sure I will have to re-route a few things, like the heater core, and some of the engine bay wiring and hoses.

I will have to get a custom steering column made to put the shift selector on the proper side (though I AM considering installing a console shifter from a Mustang. It would make things easier to deal with and certainly be unique).

So, have I missed anything? Has anyone tried this themselves, or know of a shop that does it? I don't care if it's in the US or Australia TBH. I would honestly rather pay someone else to do the work than try to do it myself with a bad back.

So far, I've been in contact with at least ten shops here and Stateside, and not gotten a single positive or maybe response. All just flat 'no' replies. I even had one tell me to just buy a Ford Falcon (Comparable to the Taurus in the States, but not what I want at all. I like my Vic, and that's what I will get even if I have to do all the work myself).

Also, if this is in the wrong place, please let me know.

Thanks!
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1989 Holden Astra 1.8L (The Albino Cockroach)

Looking for: 2006+ P71 with Kevlar door inserts.

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#2799972 - 01/15/14 01:58 PM Re: Thinking of doing a RHD conversion [Re: Lucien]
Black_Sunshine Offline
Poobah

Registered: 12/09/10
Posts: 9687
Loc: AZ
It's definitely possible.

Some of the things look like they will be easier than you think.

Changing the door panels for example. It's more wiring than fabrication. The fabrication would only have to be done to the switch cover itself. Especially if you get a nice LX/LS car that has power seats on both sides.

You could get a console shifter from an LS Sport, Mercury LSE, or even the Continental or Taurus shifters are the same. Since they're the same it's likely that the Falcon shifter is the same. All you need to know is if the trans are swappable then the shifters should be the same.

There's also a good chance that some kind of Australian rack would work. There really isn't much to a rack and pinion system. So some research will probably yield some RHD compatible parts.

Overall I think it's entirely possible. The biggest part is the research.
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#2799979 - 01/15/14 02:25 PM Re: Thinking of doing a RHD conversion [Re: Lucien]
N4RC Offline
King of necro-threads
Over the Hill

Registered: 01/22/12
Posts: 3526
Loc: Madison, Wisconsin
You should work with Troutman on this. I bet he would love a RHD Vic.
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#2799985 - 01/15/14 02:51 PM Re: Thinking of doing a RHD conversion [Re: Lucien]
Lucien Offline
n00b

Registered: 10/27/08
Posts: 22
Loc: Adelaide, SA
I've checked the vehicles down here, the racks aren't compatible. The cars down here don't have a matching track to the Vic, they're all smaller.

Once I get mine down here and done I might offer to do conversions for other people. Only thing is it'll cost a pretty penny since I have a bad back and really dislike the pain I get put in when I do any automotive work.

I'm expecting it to take around a year to get done once I start the work, simply because of the fact that this will be an exploratory job with no guidework to follow.

First, I gotta get some money coming in, then find the car and get it down here.
_________________________
1989 Holden Astra 1.8L (The Albino Cockroach)

Looking for: 2006+ P71 with Kevlar door inserts.

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#2800076 - 01/15/14 07:14 PM Re: Thinking of doing a RHD conversion [Re: Lucien]
Black_Sunshine Offline
Poobah

Registered: 12/09/10
Posts: 9687
Loc: AZ
The tie rods attached to the rack make the 'track' width. There are only many manufacturers of racks and only but so many models. They're kinda like transmissions in that regard.
_________________________


75mm DBW TB

Click to reveal...

2005 Grand Marquis GS Two Tone Edition

Vibrant White over Arizona Beige

The GS Two Tone Package includes:
� hood ornament
� c-pillar emblems
� LS style body side moldings
� body color mirror caps (the b-pillars are body color too, but I don't know if that is package specific)
� two tone interior (mine is leather and includes embossed logos on the seats)
� front door sill plates that say �Grand Marquis�

CarDomain

Facebook


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#2800081 - 01/15/14 07:24 PM Re: Thinking of doing a RHD conversion [Re: Lucien]
LTDteether Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 07/19/02
Posts: 4471
Loc: Democratic Rep. of Southpaw
Holy crap, this looks like a hobby rather than a project. Good luck and have a barrel of fun!
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#2800114 - 01/15/14 09:07 PM Re: Thinking of doing a RHD conversion [Re: Lucien]
gplayer Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 08/16/12
Posts: 1753
Loc: Atlanta, Georgia
Wow. Major kudos to you if you can pull this off.
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1993 Crown Victoria LX Dead and gone

2003 Acura Cl Type-S, current DD, 140,000 miles. 6 speed manual (One of ~3750). Pioneer single low profile 10 inch, Pioneer GM5100T.

1970 Chevy C20 Project truck, SBC, 4 speed manual. Go-Fast goodies include: 400 crankshaft, bored .030 over, Vortec heads, Comp Cams XR252HR, hardened pushrods, 1.6 roller rockers, Scat Pro Stock forged connecting rods, Edlebrock Air Gap intake, Holley 650 Carb, Mallory Unilite distributor. Suspension: Front disc brakes with 2.5 inch drop spindles, Hotchkiss shocks, 4 inch drop coils in the rear, 3.73 gears, 265/40/R18 rear tires, and American Racing Torque thrust 18's. 13.9 1/4 mile.


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#2800150 - 01/15/14 10:48 PM Re: Thinking of doing a RHD conversion [Re: gplayer]
PerP Offline
Member

Registered: 03/30/13
Posts: 158
Loc: Canadian Prarie
I have a jdm RHD Honda. Don't forget about the pedals and brake booster. And of course the signal/wiper stalk switched to the right side on the column. Then there is the issue of the headlights. Ours kick up light to the right, yours to the left. Some places allow "beam benders" but you may have to replace the headlights with retrofit RHD, or do a hid projector kit. Airbag sensor wiring swap left to right also.
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#2800154 - 01/15/14 11:10 PM Re: Thinking of doing a RHD conversion [Re: Lucien]
Bondfreak13 Offline

Over the Hill

Registered: 12/15/05
Posts: 4611
Loc: Ventura County, CA.
Doesn't Australia have Town Car Limo's that are RHD? Maybe you can find a wreaked one and use it as a Parts car?
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#2800191 - 01/16/14 03:19 AM Re: Thinking of doing a RHD conversion [Re: Lucien]
Lucien Offline
n00b

Registered: 10/27/08
Posts: 22
Loc: Adelaide, SA
I haven't seen any of them, though I will start looking. If I can find one, that would save me a god chunk of money on things, plus give me a good road map to see how they did the placement of things.
_________________________
1989 Holden Astra 1.8L (The Albino Cockroach)

Looking for: 2006+ P71 with Kevlar door inserts.

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#2800194 - 01/16/14 04:23 AM Re: Thinking of doing a RHD conversion [Re: Lucien]
BillyBishop Offline
Expert mechanic
Poobah

Registered: 02/06/11
Posts: 5254
Loc: KY
This company possibly makes a kit? Their website sucks, but there's some interesting stuff here.
http://www.uswd.com/category/rhd-conversions/lincoln/towncar/
https://www.facebook.com/usworlddirect

Their shop seems to be located in NZ and you might have to ship the vehicle there and have them do it. But who knows... maybe they can sell parts too.
Here's some info I found (All their conversions seem to be the same price):

Thank you for your inquiry. Our factory-quality RHD conversion for the current and previous model Ford F-series Superduty truck (F250 to F550, all versions) is US$25,000.00, plus the cost of the vehicle (depending on specs), and the cost to get it to our RHD shop (which is not located in North America), and shipping on to Australia upon completion of the RHD conversion.

It is very important however that you have a full understanding of Australias very challenging vehicle import and compliance regulations. If you are unable get Australian compliance for the vehicle, it cant legally be used on Australian roads. The way Australian vehicle import and compliance laws are written, no shop or vehicle supplier that is physically located outside of Australia, no matter how good the RHD conversion is (and ours is very good indeed), can give you ADR (Full Volume, Low Volume, or RAWS) compliance for your vehicle. Without this, the vehicle is not street-legal for use in Australia. The Australian ADR compliance procedure is very time consuming, and very expensive, which is why Australian vehicle import companies that have gone through this process then have to pass these costs on to their customers, which is why these vehicles are so expensive in Australia. If our company ever decided to go thru with the very expensive and time consuming process of Australian compliance, we would also have to charge much more for our vehicles in order to recoup these extra costs.

We can supply the vehicle, and the best quality RHD conversion available, but the responsibility of importing any vehicle, and making the vehicle street-legal in Australia, will be up to the person or company ordering the vehicle. There are exceptions to the Australian ADR Compliance requirement, but this usually requires overseas residency for at least 1 year, while owning the vehicle registered in your personal name for the entire time. We can also supply you with a brand new or used LHD vehicle, and arrange to have it sent to an Australian conversion and compliance shop of your choice, but the final cost form importing, RHD conversion, and Australian compliance will be between yourself and the RHD shop of your choice.

It is likely that you will have a few additional questions, so please call us at our New Zealand office at 00-64-7-542-0032 (1-714-783-7799 if calling from the U.S. or Canada). Thank you.


Edited by BillyBishop (01/16/14 04:35 AM)
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#2800214 - 01/16/14 08:05 AM Re: Thinking of doing a RHD conversion [Re: Lucien]
p71crownvic Offline

Over the Hill

Registered: 03/12/01
Posts: 1189
Loc: Spartanburg, SC
You could always do it like many rural postal carriers do in the US... Weld a sprocket on the steering shaft at the firewall on the left side and run a chain behind the dash to the right side.

As far as the dash, I would learn how to work with fiberglass before I spent 3500AUD on a custom dash! And as it was said before, the door panels are more wiring than anything else. I would definitely save the 1000AUD for something else.

OTT, I spent 4 months in Adelaide when I was in the military. The best place I've ever been in my life. I would have loved to emmigrate there! I was fortunate enough to watch the Clipsal race, watch the Crows play, visit Victor Harbor and fall in love with Victoria Bitter (sorry, didn't like Coopers). You have a slice of heaven there!
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Adam.
1997 P71 ex-Las Vegas Metro Patrol Car (Sold)
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#2800250 - 01/16/14 10:56 AM Re: Thinking of doing a RHD conversion [Re: Lucien]
Lucien Offline
n00b

Registered: 10/27/08
Posts: 22
Loc: Adelaide, SA
I've worked with fiberglass before....I'm total crap at it to be honest, and I'd rather pay for a professional to do it right the first time than worry about how badly each attempt has come out.

As for the whole chain system...not happening. I prefer to have my vehicle be reliable in case of emergency maneuvers. Plus I doubt that it would pass the rather thorough safety inspection and engineering process required to get it certified.

The cost for the doors is all-new panels. They did say if I bring the old ones in, they should be able to modify the original doors to match up without such a high cost.

Though, even if I do end up paying more for certain things...I won't care too much, so long as I get my money's worth. This is going to be a labor of love for me, a chance to really make the car unique and my own.
_________________________
1989 Holden Astra 1.8L (The Albino Cockroach)

Looking for: 2006+ P71 with Kevlar door inserts.

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#2801196 - 01/19/14 06:15 AM Re: Thinking of doing a RHD conversion [Re: Lucien]
Lucien Offline
n00b

Registered: 10/27/08
Posts: 22
Loc: Adelaide, SA
Well, after talking to the shop and discussing costs and all of that....

I'm not going to get a RHD Vic right now.

I AM going to get a RHD Town Car, looking at 2009-2011.

Then, once the conversion is done, I shall be saving up to tear the motor down and rebuild it with the Kenne Bell supercharger package that was available on some of the Shelby GT500 S/C cars. Why? Well, everyone should own one luxury car that has more horsepower than the combined IQ of a sports team.
_________________________
1989 Holden Astra 1.8L (The Albino Cockroach)

Looking for: 2006+ P71 with Kevlar door inserts.

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#2801546 - 01/20/14 12:08 AM Re: Thinking of doing a RHD conversion [Re: Lucien]
Rainyp71 Offline
Climber

Registered: 04/14/13
Posts: 980
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Originally Posted By: Lucien
Well, after talking to the shop and discussing costs and all of that....

I'm not going to get a RHD Vic right now.

I AM going to get a RHD Town Car, looking at 2009-2011.

Then, once the conversion is done, I shall be saving up to tear the motor down and rebuild it with the Kenne Bell supercharger package that was available on some of the Shelby GT500 S/C cars. Why? Well, everyone should own one luxury car that has more horsepower than the combined IQ of a sports team.


Make it happen!
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