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Lets Convert a Fiero to Right Hand Drive by AusFiero
Started on: 12-16-2005 06:46 PM
Replies: 205 (20085 views)
Last post by: northeastfiero on 04-12-2012 07:39 PM
AusFiero
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Report this Post12-16-2005 06:46 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 my new 88 GT is in the country so now the fun starts. It has to be RHD to be complianced and registered. The aim here is to also keep the conversion cost under $2000. If I sent it off to be done it would cost about $6000 to $8000.
First I will post some pics of the victim, oops car, an 88 GT with 60K miles on the clock and a lot of mods I was suprised to discover upon its arrival in the country.

Here it is hiding amongst the other toys. The white GT in the driveway is now sold as is my parts car. Leaving me with 1 Fiero instead of 3 GTs.

Sitting in the garage ready to be torn down.

It is a really nice condition GT.

Ever wondered what 245/60/15s look like on a GT? Huge.


Next post I will start the conversion. Apparently I have to go out and buy a new washing machine now as the repair guy just left and it is FUBAR.


------------------

[This message has been edited by AusFiero (edited 12-23-2005).]

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The Aura
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Report this Post12-16-2005 07:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for The AuraClick Here to Email The AuraSend a Private Message to The AuraEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Looks to be a pretty sweet start.


Is that commmodore a clubsport?

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3.8 SC
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Report this Post12-16-2005 10:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 3.8 SCSend a Private Message to 3.8 SCEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I will be watching this! I always thought it would be cool to have RHD car here in the states. Take lots of pics!
I like what you did to your driveway, nice house too.

------------------
WWW.CLEVELANDFIEROS.COM

http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum1/HTML/052322.html#lastpost
My rear defuser

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jscott1
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Report this Post12-16-2005 10:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by The Aura:

Is that commmodore a clubsport?

It looks like a GTO.... maybe a cousin.

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AusFiero
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Report this Post12-17-2005 12:22 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

The Holden is a Monaro. The father of the GTO

Anyway back to the RHD conversion. First we strip out the interior of the Fiero. I am sure most people here know how to do that so I wont devote a lot of time to that.

A pic of the partially stripped interior.

After the interior is out we start the conversion to the dashboard, as it is the piece all other pieces need to line up to.
These pics are of the stripped down dash marked out read to cut the dash.

After the dash is all marked out we cut out the areas that need swapping over. I did all my cutting with a hacksaw blade.

Note on this shot that the dash area around the steering colum has been cut into 2 pieces? Well that is so the colum can be centered into an exact mirror position on the RH side of the dash.

[This message has been edited by AusFiero (edited 12-23-2005).]

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AusFiero
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Report this Post12-17-2005 12:32 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

Next we tape all the peices back together using plain old masking tape and small straight edge guides made form broken up hacksaw blades taped in as well to keep things straight. At this point you will notice things don't line up along the bottom of the dash. We align with the recess in the top of the dash to keep the glove compartment area and the gauge panel straight. We don't worry about the bottom not lining up. We will get to that soon.

Here is what the back looks like all ground up ready for joining.

[This message has been edited by AusFiero (edited 12-23-2005).]

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AusFiero
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Report this Post12-17-2005 12:41 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

As the back of the dash wont be seen I wasn't concerned too much with looks on the join. Just strength. So here I applied a liberal coating of 2 part epoxy glue.

After the glue has dried we take all the tape off and then prepare for the next stage. Making the bottom of the dash line up. Here is the bottom section cut out.

After lining up the bottom section you end up with a V shaped gap and on the drivers side a piuece cut off the bottom of the dash. You use the same tape method to line it all up and apply more epoxy glue. The glue also fills the V shaped gap.

After removing the tape again you end up with a 1 piece dash which looks like this.

[This message has been edited by AusFiero (edited 12-23-2005).]

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2000RagTop
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Report this Post12-17-2005 12:44 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 2000RagTopClick Here to Email 2000RagTopSend a Private Message to 2000RagTopEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Hi AusFiero

I apologize for jumping in here. Could I ask you a big favor while you have the dash pulled? Could you snap me
a couple of pictures of the Power Window-Power Door Lock harness? I only need the ends “where they plug in”
I’m installing this upgrade on my Formula, and it would be nice if I could see the ends of the harness where they
are attached/plugged in.

Also, if you’re able to get a picture of the “white block” near the fuse panel?
I know you’re busy with your own work, but I haven’t been able to find anyone that has their dash apart.

Thank,
Michael

p.s. good luck with the conversion!

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AusFiero
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Report this Post12-17-2005 12:44 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

The next stage seems strange but works well and will definately save Money without having to pay $550 to reskin the dashboard.
At this point you fill all gaps in the dash with plain old Bondo. Yes it flexes different to the standard dash finish but we will get to that problem next.
Here are some pics of the dash all bondoed nice and smooth and in a perfect shape.

Almost looks like a dash again right.

[This message has been edited by AusFiero (edited 12-23-2005).]

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AusFiero
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Report this Post12-17-2005 12:55 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

 
quote
Originally posted by 2000RagTop:

Hi AusFiero

I apologize for jumping in here. Could I ask you a big favor while you have the dash pulled? Could you snap me
a couple of pictures of the Power Window-Power Door Lock harness? I only need the ends “where they plug in”
I’m installing this upgrade on my Formula, and it would be nice if I could see the ends of the harness where they
are attached/plugged in.

Also, if you’re able to get a picture of the “white block” near the fuse panel?

I know you’re busy with your own work, but I haven’t been able to find anyone that has their dash apart.

Thank,
Michael

p.s. good luck with the conversion!

I can do that for you tomorrow when I take more pics.
Cheers
Jim

[This message has been edited by AusFiero (edited 12-17-2005).]

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2000RagTop
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Report this Post12-17-2005 01:02 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 2000RagTopClick Here to Email 2000RagTopSend a Private Message to 2000RagTopEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by AusFiero:


I can do that for you tomorrow when I take more pics.
Cheers
Jim

Jim, Thank you very much !!

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lurker
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Report this Post12-17-2005 02:05 AM Click Here to See the Profile for lurkerClick Here to Email lurkerSend a Private Message to lurkerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

i hope the red stuff on the dropcloth isnt blood.

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yons
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Report this Post12-17-2005 06:10 AM Click Here to See the Profile for yonsClick Here to Email yonsSend a Private Message to yonsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

keep them coming AUS..

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Gokart Mozart
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Report this Post12-17-2005 11:05 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Gokart MozartClick Here to visit Gokart Mozart's HomePageSend a Private Message to Gokart MozartEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Have you thought of an aftermarket A/C unit to open the space under the dash?

Here's a conversion for a 59 Caddy. Dash was cut in 5 places and cost about $10,000 in 1996 and some history on conversions.

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Report this Post12-17-2005 11:44 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Awesome build up. I never knew exactly how the conversion was done. I can see why it would be expensive to have it done professionally.

Maybe someday this won't be required as I read about a prototype that has drive by wire controls and they can be easily placed in front of any of the three front seat passengers.

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PK
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Report this Post12-17-2005 12:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PKSend a Private Message to PKEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Neat work Aus. Now I can point our lot to this thread if they ask about RHD conversion, rather than sending them to pester you direct Are you using the Volvo steering rack? I have also heard that a Ford Sierra rack will fit?!

Think you said it was law to have RHD in Aus, we are lucky enough to have the option to leave as LHD.

Cheers
PK
Edited for spelling and general incompetence!

[This message has been edited by PK (edited 12-17-2005).]

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Report this Post12-17-2005 12:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SourmugSend a Private Message to SourmugEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Excellent thread! This would be very helpful for those of us who want to modify the existing dash for a more updated look. keep the pictures coming.

Nolan

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Report this Post12-17-2005 01:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FieroMontrealClick Here to Email FieroMontrealSend a Private Message to FieroMontrealEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Great work Aus! Don't give up!

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AusFiero
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Report this Post12-17-2005 04:53 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 PK:
Neat work Aus. Now I can point our lot to this thread if they ask about RHD conversion, rather than sending them to pester you direct Are you using the Volvo steering rack? I have also heard that a Ford Sierra rack will fit?!

I am actually using an underdash chain drive conversion. From past experience and FIeros I have foudn this to be a better system as the steering configuration stays as per factory. Also the heater doesn't need to be moved nor does the brake master cylinder. Fieros I have driven with a full RHD conversion never seem to feel as nice as one which is essentially still LHD.

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Report this Post12-17-2005 05:02 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FieroMontrealClick Here to Email FieroMontrealSend a Private Message to FieroMontrealEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

How does that system work Aus?

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AusFiero
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Report this Post12-17-2005 05:12 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 FieroMontreal:

How does that system work Aus?

I will have pictures during the week when the unit arrives that will show it better but the basic principle is the steering column gets cut in half. The lower half stays on the left side of the car and the upper part gets mounted on the right side of the car. Joining the 2 is a chain drive unit which is basically a multi chain unit enclosed inside a metal casing. They are very strong and precise and have been engineered to do the job on any LHD car. All states of Austraia allow them as they are often the better alternative to chopping up too much of the original car.

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Custom2M4
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Report this Post12-17-2005 06:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Custom2M4Click Here to Email Custom2M4Send a Private Message to Custom2M4Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Looks good Aus! I've always liked the wingless GT's!

------------------

Custom Fiero Fiberglass

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FieroGTdude
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Report this Post12-17-2005 11:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FieroGTdudeClick Here to Email FieroGTdudeSend a Private Message to FieroGTdudeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Very nice!
Keep up the good work.

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Report this Post12-18-2005 12:45 AM Click Here to See the Profile for FrizlefrakClick Here to Email FrizlefrakSend a Private Message to FrizlefrakEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

This is, by far, one of the coolest build threads ever. Keep up the good work Aus....you've got us on the edge of our seats.

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AusFiero
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Report this Post12-19-2005 04:19 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

Previously I mentioned the dash would crach between the bondo and original dash section so now we move onto the solution.
We take fibreglass tissue and lay 1 to 2 layers over the entire lower dashboard section. After first masking off the upper dash section at the recess along the top of the dash. Not shown in these pics but very self explanatory.

For those who do not know what fibreglass tissue is well it is basically fibreglass matt but so light it is like tissue paper with fibres. Light, flexible and strong. This will stop the joins in the outter dash cracking before we move onto the next stage.

The following pictures show the now fibreglassed dash.

Next we will move onto smoothing the dashboard skin out ready to paint, Beechwood of course.

[This message has been edited by AusFiero (edited 12-23-2005).]

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jscott1
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Report this Post12-19-2005 11:22 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

So when you are done the entire dash will have the texture of solid fiberglass? Not that that is a bad thing I'm just wondering if that's the way it turns out. I'm lousy at upholstering, so I'm considering the same method for my next dash.

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AusFiero
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Report this Post12-19-2005 04:55 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 jscott1:

So when you are done the entire dash will have the texture of solid fiberglass? Not that that is a bad thing I'm just wondering if that's the way it turns out. I'm lousy at upholstering, so I'm considering the same method for my next dash.

Nope next stage is a quick going over with the sander and then high fill primer to get rid of the glass pattern. After that I am going to experiment (on something else) with duplicating a vinyl texture. If that fails I will be doing a smooth finish. The smooth finish is only on the face of the dash as the top of the dash has not been touched.

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Report this Post12-19-2005 05:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for GordoSend a Private Message to GordoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Impressive!

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timmer
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Report this Post12-19-2005 11:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for timmerSend a Private Message to timmerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

very nice work aus

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agrabo85fiero
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Report this Post12-20-2005 08:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for agrabo85fieroSend a Private Message to agrabo85fieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

allways wondered how they converted fiero to RHD . it would be real cool to have a fiero with two steering wheels

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Report this Post12-20-2005 11:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Old LarSend a Private Message to Old LarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Some really nice dash work. How does the steering rack hook up to the steeing column now that the steering is on the right side? Can you just flip the rack over? It can not be that simple.

[This message has been edited by Old Lar (edited 12-20-2005).]

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dguy
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Report this Post12-21-2005 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 Old Lar:

Some really nice dash work. How does the steering rack hook up to the steeing column now that the steering is on the right side? Can you just flip the rack over? It can not be that simple.

Aus answered that 12 or 13 posts above this one. The relocated column is linked up via an under-dash chain drive. Looking forward to seeing it, Aus!

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MinnGreenGT
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Report this Post12-21-2005 11:14 AM 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

Cool topic... I too have always wondered & contemplated doing something like this! What is the cost for the chain/steering system? Also, does it take care of the brake & throttle connections too?

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yellowstone
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Report this Post12-21-2005 02:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for yellowstoneSend a Private Message to yellowstoneEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Just something I thought of then reading this: the Unimog truck made by Mercedes-Benz has a steering column that can slide from LHD to RHD:

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AusFiero
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Report this Post12-21-2005 05:48 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 MinnGreenGT:

Cool topic... I too have always wondered & contemplated doing something like this! What is the cost for the chain/steering system? Also, does it take care of the brake & throttle connections too?


The chain drive unit (the most expensive part of the conversion) costs $1100 AU, or about $800 US.

The throttle connection will probably just be handled by a custom made cable. That may change along the way if I come up with a cheaper alternative. Unlike my first Fiero though that had a bike brake cable tied, yes tied to the lever of the original setup and routed out into the front of the car and back into the interior. Real quality job that was when I got it.

The brake pedal is handled by fabricating a cross shaft setup . Basically the pedal is depressed on the right side and a shaft twists inside a custom made tube to an attachment on the left side which operates the master cylinder. I will probably have to set up a clutch setup while I am doing that because I have my 3800SC setup with a manual trans to put in later. More worried about just getting it RHD and registered for this summer though.

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jscott1
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Report this Post12-21-2005 09:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Do they inspect for the quality of the conversion or just look in the window to see what side the steering wheel is on? It sounds like some of the conversions could be dangerous.

When I was in the Bahamas years ago nearly all the cars were American LHD cars and they drove on the left. That would terrify me. Good thing they don't allow that in Australia.

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AusFiero
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Report this Post12-21-2005 09:46 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 jscott1:

Do they inspect for the quality of the conversion or just look in the window to see what side the steering wheel is on? It sounds like some of the conversions could be dangerous.

When I was in the Bahamas years ago nearly all the cars were American LHD cars and they drove on the left. That would terrify me. Good thing they don't allow that in Australia.

They are very fussy about the quality of the conversion. It has to be inspected by a mechanical engineer.
Cars over 30 years old are allowed to be driven without conversion.

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fieromadman
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Report this Post12-22-2005 01:54 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fieromadmanClick Here to visit fieromadman's HomePageClick Here to Email fieromadmanSend a Private Message to fieromadmanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

darn, getting close to 30 years with some fieros now though!

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Report this Post12-22-2005 10:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 2000RagTopClick Here to Email 2000RagTopSend a Private Message to 2000RagTopEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by 2000RagTop:

Hi AusFiero

I apologize for jumping in here. Could I ask you a big favor while you have the dash pulled? Could you snap me
a couple of pictures of the Power Window-Power Door Lock harness? I only need the ends “where they plug in”
I’m installing this upgrade on my Formula, and it would be nice if I could see the ends of the harness where they
are attached/plugged in.

Also, if you’re able to get a picture of the “white block” near the fuse panel?
I know you’re busy with your own work, but I haven’t been able to find anyone that has their dash apart.

Thank,
Michael

p.s. good luck with the conversion!

I know your busy with this........

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Report this Post12-22-2005 11:01 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 2000RagTop:


I know your busy with this........

They are in the camera. Tonight is the next upload

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