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  Lets Convert a Fiero to Right Hand Drive (Page 3)

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Lets Convert a Fiero to Right Hand Drive by AusFiero
Started on: 12-16-2005 06:46 PM
Replies: 205 (20087 views)
Last post by: northeastfiero on 04-12-2012 07:39 PM
AusFiero
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Report this Post04-25-2006 08:29 AM Click Here to See the Profile for AusFieroClick Here to visit AusFiero's HomePageClick Here to Email AusFieroSend a Private Message to AusFieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Well I have finally had time to get back into this project. (Seeing I have sold the house and have to get it out of the garage pretty fast.)
Now it is time to disassemble and modify the steering column.

When you lack the proper GM compressor tool, compromise to get the locking ring off.


I will skip the rest of the steering column disassembly as I am sure there are threads about that.

Once the column is disassembled It is time to shorten the main steering shaft. Here is a pic of the shaft and the steering conversion unit to show how they match up, shape wise.


Here is the shaft masked and ready to cut to length.


The shaft cut to length.


Next we cut the steering column housing. It is double walled near the collapse point so it takes a little to get through. I have also ground off the mounting lug on the column.

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AusFiero
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Report this Post04-25-2006 08:44 AM Click Here to See the Profile for AusFieroClick Here to visit AusFiero's HomePageClick Here to Email AusFieroSend a Private Message to AusFieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Well I doubled up a bit above but here we go.

This shot shows the column housing ready to weld to the bracket on the chain drive steering unit.


Here is the housing now welded to the bracket, ready for reassembly of the column.


Next I used part of the old steering column collapsible section to make the joiner for the column to chain drive unit. I have bolted this with low tensile bolts so in an extreme case of frontal collision they can still snap. These bolts replace the original plastic ones on the now discarded column section.


And here is the finished column. Note the inspection hatch. That is where the column shaft will be bolted to the chain drive shaft. Through the mounting sleeve for strength.


Next thing to do is to mount the column in the car to work out new mounting points for the headlight dipper unit and the neutral safety lock mechanism.

[This message has been edited by AusFiero (edited 04-25-2006).]

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Fiero1Fan
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Report this Post04-25-2006 08:52 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Fiero1FanClick Here to visit Fiero1Fan's HomePageClick Here to Email Fiero1FanSend a Private Message to Fiero1FanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Wonderful work. I really enjoy watching you make this conversion.
Will you be changing the shifting pattern also? So that 1st gear is up-right instead of up-left?

[This message has been edited by Fiero1Fan (edited 04-25-2006).]

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AusFiero
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Report this Post04-25-2006 09:50 AM Click Here to See the Profile for AusFieroClick Here to visit AusFiero's HomePageClick Here to Email AusFieroSend a Private Message to AusFieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Fiero1Fan:

Wonderful work. I really enjoy watching you make this conversion.
Will you be changing the shifting pattern also? So that 1st gear is up-right instead of up-left?


This Fiero is an automatic, which is actually harder to convert thanks to the neutral safety switch. But on manuals we have the same shift pattern as the rest of the world. Up left for first.

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cire36
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Report this Post04-25-2006 12:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for cire36Click Here to Email cire36Send a Private Message to cire36Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

AusFiero,

Where did you get the knowledge to do this? Have you done this before or is it best educated quess?

I would never be brave enough to even attempt somthing like this (or a home chop top).

Great work.

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AusFiero
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Report this Post04-25-2006 07:09 PM Click Here to See the Profile for AusFieroClick Here to visit AusFiero's HomePageClick Here to Email AusFieroSend a Private Message to AusFieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by cire36:

AusFiero,

Where did you get the knowledge to do this? Have you done this before or is it best educated quess?

I would never be brave enough to even attempt somthing like this (or a home chop top).

Great work.

I am basically winging it and solving each problem as it arises. The current problem is where to mount the headlight dimmer switch and the neutrral safety switch as they no longer fit in the standard location. I may take a trip to the wrecking yard yet to see if I can find some smaller units out of another car to adapt them instead. That or mount them on the underside of the column. It will mean modding the cover over the bottom of the steering column if I do that though.

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proff
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Report this Post04-25-2006 10:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for proffClick Here to visit proff's HomePageClick Here to Email proffSend a Private Message to proffEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Mine wasn't done this way
This would make life alot easier

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AusFiero
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Report this Post04-25-2006 10:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for AusFieroClick Here to visit AusFiero's HomePageClick Here to Email AusFieroSend a Private Message to AusFieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by proff:

Mine wasn't done this way
This would make life alot easier


I too have had the ones with full conversions using the Volvo or Gemini rack but found they never drive just like a factory car. With this method they feel so much better on the road. One to consider in the future if you ever get another Fiero and it is LHD.

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AusFiero
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Report this Post04-26-2006 12:42 AM Click Here to See the Profile for AusFieroClick Here to visit AusFiero's HomePageClick Here to Email AusFieroSend a Private Message to AusFieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Now it is time to bolt the chain drive unit and the modified column together, permanently.

Here is a picture of my inspection hatch that I need to make a cover for yet. The sleeve inside connects the steering column with the chain drive unit conector shaft.


The next 2 pictures shwo the completed unit ready to fit to the car. All painted up and ready to make mounting brackets for. As much as possible I am making this a reversable conversion too so if LHD t-top 88s actually get worth lots of money some day it could be easily converted back.


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proff
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Report this Post04-26-2006 03:08 AM Click Here to See the Profile for proffClick Here to visit proff's HomePageClick Here to Email proffSend a Private Message to proffEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

At what price would the chain driven unit be?

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AusFiero
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Report this Post04-26-2006 03:24 AM Click Here to See the Profile for AusFieroClick Here to visit AusFiero's HomePageClick Here to Email AusFieroSend a Private Message to AusFieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by proff:

At what price would the chain driven unit be?


$1100. Not cheap, but effective.

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avengador1
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Report this Post04-28-2006 02:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for avengador1Click Here to Email avengador1Send a Private Message to avengador1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Aus, I have a question about this conversion. How are you going to relocate the parking brake or are you?

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AusFiero
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Report this Post04-28-2006 06:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for AusFieroClick Here to visit AusFiero's HomePageClick Here to Email AusFieroSend a Private Message to AusFieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by avengador1:

Aus, I have a question about this conversion. How are you going to relocate the parking brake or are you?


It has to be relocated. The plan is to move the handle to the right hand side and then basically flip the whole assemble over to mirror it. Oh, and solve any problems that may cause along the way. The interior trim has to be cut and plastic welded, and painted. A hole needs to be drilled for the cable to run through. The handle has to be bent to face away from the seat. A new boot has to be made. Probably some new bracketry along the way as well.

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AusFiero
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Report this Post04-30-2006 06:37 AM Click Here to See the Profile for AusFieroClick Here to visit AusFiero's HomePageClick Here to Email AusFieroSend a Private Message to AusFieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Ok to contiune the conversion.

Next is a trial fit of the dash after the left hand side mounts for the column have been removed.
A perfect fit.


After liberating the steering column mount from the car I bolted up the mount and gauge pod to it, set the right height off the floor.


Slightly off track but even the gauge pod back is designed for the slope of the LHD dash. This has to change.


So here it is trimmed to suit a RHD application.


Here is the pod, steering colum mount and dash all roughed into the car. This is so I can locate the correct spot to mount the steering column mount and keep everything in line.

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AusFiero
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Report this Post04-30-2006 06:43 AM Click Here to See the Profile for AusFieroClick Here to visit AusFiero's HomePageClick Here to Email AusFieroSend a Private Message to AusFieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Here is the mount all lined up read to make barwork to locate it permanently.


Now I have made up most of the barwork to hold the mount in place and to also hold the chain drive unit in place. I still have 2 bars to run from the cross bars up to the file wall to make it all more rigid.


Trial fitting the dash again. At this point I discovered the left side of the dash is hitting some of the brackets on the chain drive mounts. The guy that makes these should have made it 1.5" shorter on the left and 1.5" longer on the right and it would have been a beautifull fit. I will be telling him this as he has sold quite a few to a guy doing Fiero conversions. I am assuming the guy isnt using Fiero dashes. So it isn't a big problem, but just inconvenient. I also had to trim the bottom of the dash to fit.


More to come very soon.

Oh and WOOHOOO, the car now steers from the right hand side.

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HellYes
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Report this Post04-30-2006 11:27 AM Click Here to See the Profile for HellYesSend a Private Message to HellYesEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by AusFiero:


$1100. Not cheap, but effective.


Looking at the parts used in the chain drive assembly, you could build this thing for less than $200. Something to look into for people on a budget. it's very simple really, and it seems to be all off the shelf components. Stuff you could get done with tractor parts.

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82-T/A [At Work]
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Report this Post04-30-2006 11:52 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 82-T/A [At Work]Send a Private Message to 82-T/A [At Work]Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by jscott1:


I've never seen anything like that before in life. There isn't much demand for converting RHD cars to LHD in this country. The handfull of RHD cars that exist, (mostly JDM imports) just drive along with the RHD.

I'm really interested to see how you change the structure under the dash and mount up that chain drive. Are you working from an example or making this up as you go along?



Actually, those are really common in the US.

A large portion of Driver's Ed vehicles have these installed. That way, the teacher in the passenger seat can get the student out of danger if he / she needs to.

------------------
Todd,
2006 Pontiac Solstice
2004 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible (Wife's Car)
2002 Ford Crown Victoria LX
1987 Pontiac Fiero SE / V6 5-Speed
1987 Pontiac Fiero SE / V6 (3.2L) Auto
1984 Pontiac Fiero 2m4 SE
1981 Pontiac TransAm (Olds 455BB)
1973 Volkswagen Type-2 Transporter

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Report this Post04-30-2006 12:36 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I've still never seen one Maybe because I've never taken driver's ed

Aus aren't you a little worried that you have lost the collapsing feature of the column? In a collision that steering wheel could be lethal.

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Custom88
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Report this Post04-30-2006 01:02 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Custom88Send a Private Message to Custom88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

The reason they collapse is when in a collision the front of the car crushes then pushes on the steering column. When the column crushes it does so at the bottom to keep this force from shoving it into you. It has nothing to do with your body hitting it. If the crush zone of the column has been effected then it will be pushed towards the passenger but it apears over a foot of column has been removed so this shouldn't be a problem. Great work AUZ. $1100 is quite steep after working with the chain drive how difficult would it be to duplicate?

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AusFiero
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Report this Post04-30-2006 07:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for AusFieroClick Here to visit AusFiero's HomePageClick Here to Email AusFieroSend a Private Message to AusFieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

It would not take much to make one if you had the right machinery. It isn't something I could make at home. You would need a lathe for a start. Although even farming out the machine work it could probably be made cheaper. At this point I wasn't after cheaper though. Part of the $1100 price is these units are already engineer inspected and passed. That costs $$$.

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AusFiero
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Report this Post05-03-2006 11:01 AM Click Here to See the Profile for AusFieroClick Here to visit AusFiero's HomePageClick Here to Email AusFieroSend a Private Message to AusFieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Well I put the last of the barwork in today to strengthen the steering mounts. It is totally rigid now.


After I finished that and painted the barwork it was off to the motorwreckers to find some pedals to use in the next stage of the conversion.
I got these out of a 1985 Holden Gemini. $30 is probably a bit steep but this yard is the only one you can just wander around in these days.



Next I get to work on the wiring (ugh) and the pedals. The pedals will be a crosstubed setup operating the master cylinder and accellerator on the left side of the car. Of course the passenger wont be able to operate them as well as the pedals will be cut off on the left side.

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AusFiero
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Report this Post05-07-2006 07:55 AM Click Here to See the Profile for AusFieroClick Here to visit AusFiero's HomePageClick Here to Email AusFieroSend a Private Message to AusFieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Here is the pedals welded to the cross tunbe setups. This is the early stage of making the assemblies.
I had a local machine shop make some ends for the tubes with brass bushings in them for the pedals to rotate freely on the shafts.
The brake pedal has to be tig welded and x-rayed for integrity to pass the engineering requirements. Probably a good move being the brakes.


Tonight I decided to get back to the dash so I cut up the ducting system to what is needed to be used in the RHD conversion. The rest has been discarded as it will be in the way.


Here is a back view of the dash with the ducts sitting in place. I will make up new ducting to join everything together while avoiding items in the way. I will probably make enclosed boxes as well to use 6X9" speakers in the dash instead of the factory 4X10"s. A lot will depend on available space.

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AusFiero
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Report this Post05-08-2006 06:45 AM Click Here to See the Profile for AusFieroClick Here to visit AusFiero's HomePageClick Here to Email AusFieroSend a Private Message to AusFieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Is anyone actually reading this?

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ltlfrari
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Report this Post05-08-2006 07:16 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ltlfrariClick Here to visit ltlfrari's HomePageClick Here to Email ltlfrariSend a Private Message to ltlfrariEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Yup, me at least, keep it coming, it's really interesting.

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Report this Post05-08-2006 07:46 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Rodrv6Click Here to Email Rodrv6Send a Private Message to Rodrv6Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by AusFiero:

Is anyone actually reading this?


Me too! This is very interesting stuff

------------------
Rod Schneider, Woodstock, Ga.
"You can't have too many toys!"
1988 Fiero GT
1966 Porsche 911
Van's RV-6 airplane-under construction

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Report this Post05-08-2006 08:41 AM Click Here to See the Profile for avengador1Click Here to Email avengador1Send a Private Message to avengador1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I'm following it too. It makes for very interesting reading.

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Report this Post05-08-2006 08:43 AM Click Here to See the Profile for topcatClick Here to Email topcatSend a Private Message to topcatEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by avengador1:

I'm following it too. It makes for very interesting reading.


Ditto!

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Report this Post05-08-2006 10:03 AM Click Here to See the Profile for dguyClick Here to visit dguy's HomePageSend a Private Message to dguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by AusFiero:

The pedals will be a crosstubed setup operating the master cylinder and accellerator on the left side of the car. Of course the passenger wont be able to operate them as well as the pedals will be cut off on the left side.


Spoilsport.

Enjoying the write-up over here, Aus. Looking forward to future installments!

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ltlfrari
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Report this Post05-08-2006 12:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ltlfrariClick Here to visit ltlfrari's HomePageClick Here to Email ltlfrariSend a Private Message to ltlfrariEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Wouldn't it be simpler (and cheaper probably) to move to a country were they drive on the wrong side of the road (I did). good stuff though, keep it up.

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MinnGreenGT
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Report this Post05-08-2006 06:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MinnGreenGTClick Here to visit MinnGreenGT's HomePageClick Here to Email MinnGreenGTSend a Private Message to MinnGreenGTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by AusFiero:

Is anyone actually reading this?


Yes... still watching (patiently)

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Report this Post05-08-2006 10:09 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tomsfieroClick Here to Email tomsfieroSend a Private Message to tomsfieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

yeah, I've been following this thread for a while, since I found it a few months ago..sweet

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AusFiero
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Report this Post05-08-2006 10:29 PM Click Here to See the Profile for AusFieroClick Here to visit AusFiero's HomePageClick Here to Email AusFieroSend a Private Message to AusFieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Well I found out of my mechanical engineer I am dealign with the shaft I used for the brake is too thin. So back to the metal store today and back to the machine shop. Getting a whole new shaft and tube made up. D'oh.

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Ultimate
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Report this Post05-09-2006 04:26 AM Click Here to See the Profile for UltimateClick Here to visit Ultimate's HomePageSend a Private Message to UltimateEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I'm reading this too. Very interesting and great thread!

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Report this Post05-14-2006 11:21 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Fiero_FreakClick Here to Email Fiero_FreakSend a Private Message to Fiero_FreakEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

This is FREAKIN COOL. I'm definately adding a sticky to this one. Very interesting. I just read the whole thing for the first time. This is good to see for doing custom dash work, not just flipping the controls.

------------------
Dana Mitchell
Member of the Gateway Fiero Club
95 Impala SS
95 Roadmaster Estate Wagon
87 GT Maroon w/ Silver Auto
86 SE Red w/ Black 3.2L w/ T-440

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Boosted2003
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Report this Post05-14-2006 08:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Boosted2003Click Here to Email Boosted2003Send a Private Message to Boosted2003Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Very cool thread.

Personally, I could have just moved all the brake, clutch, gas pedal setup to the right side. You would just have to take he a/c setup out and make firewall. Then get a RHD corvette rack. I am not sure which was is cheaper.

Keep us informed on everything though.

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Wht&BluGT
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Report this Post05-14-2006 10:12 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Wht&BluGTSend a Private Message to Wht&BluGTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by 82-T/A [At Work]:
Actually, those are really common in the US.

A large portion of Driver's Ed vehicles have these installed. That way, the teacher in the passenger seat can get the student out of danger if he / she needs to.




we just had the idiot brake pedal

very cool thread btw

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agrabo85fiero
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Report this Post05-15-2006 04:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for agrabo85fieroSend a Private Message to agrabo85fieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

looking good

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AusFiero
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Report this Post05-18-2006 08:17 AM Click Here to See the Profile for AusFieroClick Here to visit AusFiero's HomePageClick Here to Email AusFieroSend a Private Message to AusFieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Fiero_Freak:

This is FREAKIN COOL. I'm definately adding a sticky to this one. Very interesting. I just read the whole thing for the first time. This is good to see for doing custom dash work, not just flipping the controls.



I have owned 2 Fieros with (proper) RHD conversions and I was never impressed with how they drove. My last one was a chain drive also and I was sold on it from then. This way i salso cheaper to convert. And easier. The last thing I want to do is fabricate a new firewall.

I will be back on the job soon. Just spent a week moving house
Amazing how much crap you accumulate over the years.

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Report this Post05-18-2006 08:57 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Fiero_FreakClick Here to Email Fiero_FreakSend a Private Message to Fiero_FreakEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Well hurry up... we're all waiting!

J/K

I am picking up a car in a couple days with a custom dash that needs to be finished. Some of this stuff is still really helpful as well.

Thanks again for the documentation.

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Cliff Pennock
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Report this Post06-05-2006 08:26 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageClick Here to Email Cliff PennockSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Any progress?

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