LHD to RHD conversion specialists | The Z Club of Great Britain
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LHD to RHD conversion specialists

Discussion in 'Rebuilds and restorations' started by andyg, Oct 1, 2017.

  1. andyg

    andyg New Forum User

    Hi there, I'm new to Z ownership and I have looked all around this forum trying to find info about conversions but can't. Sorry if this has been asked many times before but:

    Who in the UK (preferably north but will go anywhere for good job) specialises in doing LHD to RHD conversions complete with all the bits like dashboard etc.?

    Thanks in adavnce.
  2. franky

    Z Club Member

    a member on here makes all the panels, you could drop him a pm to see if he'd do it.
  3. toopy

    Z Club Member

    In short, no one

    The parts for the conversion are not easy to come by these days, and it takes time to do properly, read expensive!

    People can spend many months amassing the right parts, its not as simple as it might first appear :unsure:

    That said, as Franky mentioned, there is someone re-manufacturing some of the panels which helps enormously, but you need more than that, for example...

    steering rack, wiper linkage, scuttle panel, throttle linkage/parts etc etc
  4. uk66fastback

    Z Club Member

    Any competent classic garage 'should' be able to do it ... but how deep are your pockets? They won't have a clue where to start though ... but plenty are doing it now and plenty have done it before ... not sure there's a comprehensive write-up though anywhere on what it all entails.

    MZR in Bradford (that's oop north) work on Zs, but whether they'd do it I have no idea - not sure whether their restored cars are originally RHD or LHD. But again, it's second mortgage time. After after you've done it all and paid for it, you might as well have bought a RHD one in the first place!
  5. franky

    Z Club Member

    After he's done it he should have left it LHD.

    If you're yorkshire way, MZR would be the best place by far.
  6. IbanezDan51

    IbanezDan51 Forum User

    I'd be willing to help after I've finished my restoration. Probably in a month or so?

    Not done one before but know what needs to be done and would be a fun project. Plus I'm tempted to do another in the future for myself.

  7. Mr.G

    Z Club Member

    If you're not familiar with the current talks in the pipeline with respects to how modified classics will be treated in the UK it may be worth waiting to see what transpires in the coming months with respects to the new BIVA rules...it may be fine but worth keeping an eye on before you commence your project.
  8. Rob Gaskin

    Rob Gaskin Membership Secretary Staff Member Committee Member

    Good point.

    However if conversions like 'left to right' are of concern then a lot of people in the Classic world are going to be affected and it will be a nightmare for the authorities.
  9. johnymd

    Z Club Member

    I'm in the process of converting a LHD 280z to RHD and I don't consider it that difficult. I have just started though and I'm sure I come up against numerous little issues. So far I've installed a new plate for the brakes and steering colum, fitted the pedal box and steering then test fitted the dash to make sure everything is in the right position. As my car will be quite modified I'm not concerned at all about originality or it looking factory it has simplified the job. I'm planning to do another car shortly but this will be more factory looking. I must add that this is certainly not a job I would do on someone else's car as there are too many decisions to make on how to things are done. I can see this job being very time consuming and expensive for a customer that want everything finished to look factory.
  10. monsween

    monsween New Forum User

    Would it be possible to list what you can move and what you need to aquire?
  11. richiep

    Z Club Member

    I would also suggest that there's a good argument to say that the conversion of a Z is non-structural as it can be done without chopping the bulkhead about; most of the changes involve removing and adding/shifting spot-welded components (with the exception of drilling the steering and master cylinder holes and welding up their LHD equivalents), rather than interfering with the structural integrity of the bulkhead, which is what sets off the DVLA.

    Alternatively, Woody's complete bulkheads offer another solution that retains total structural integrity and factory correct look. Any DVLA entanglements (in the rare likelihood that it got flagged, which could only be through self-incrimination as it would look original) can be rationalised by the fact that repairs are allowed to shells. As it happens, my project, which will be RHD converted, has rust damage to the bulkhead in the battery tray area (unfortunately I discovered evidence of perforations yesterday), so if I went down the route of bulkhead replacement, there is a demonstrable justification. Under the points system, you might lose 2 for switching left to right; the aim is to not lose the 5 for the body shell.

    Some cars require much more chopping and reshaping and run a risk of being flagged IF caught (Porsche 911 guys are worried for a start). And that is the thing - as with all British bureaucracy, volunteer the bare minimum of information to them and certainly don't proactively ask questions, lest you bring a world of unnecessary hurt down upon yourself and other owners!

    I continue to obsess and read over this whole MOT change issue, and tbh, I can see a good likelihood (hopefully) that what will happen will be that for the majority it will just be a case of requiring an MOT to tax if you declared your car modified. There will be so many owners ticking that option that it will not be viable for the DVLA to pursue everyone for clarification. They don't have the time and resources. Thus, it will become a non-issue, unless someone is really obviously taking the pi55 or they engage in random spot checks.
  12. SeanDezart

    Z Club Member
    Official Trader

    Except that an original UK market car will have been patched over the years.
  13. status

    status Active Forum User

    Not all,still a few about but as some people are hell bent on originality it shouldn't matter,but then where do you draw the line on that one
  14. Albrecht

    Albrecht Well-Known Forum User

    Largest RHD market? Japan.

    If you really *must* have an original RHD S30-series Z, at some point Japan becomes a potential source.
  15. SeanDezart

    Z Club Member
    Official Trader

    At some point, cost must also become a factor - purchase*, shipping and customs.

    *those that come up in auctions you have previously stated can be dogs so needs to be a referred and confirmed good quality purchase.
  16. Albrecht

    Albrecht Well-Known Forum User

    Obviously it's the high average values in Japan that are the key point in preventing them being a potential source - exacerbated by the current exchange rate. There are a lot - and I mean a lot - more S30-series Zs still extant in Japan than in any other original RHD market (and probably more than all the original RHD markets combined), and a real lot of good ones, and in my opinion - all things being equal - an original RHD car should probably be worth more in terms of insurance valuation/re-sale value than an LHD car converted to RHD. And you can end up spending a lot on properly converting an LHD car to RHD if you do it properly, and/or you pay to have it done professionally.

    Caveat: Individual cases should be viewed on a case-by-case basis...
  17. SeanDezart

    Z Club Member
    Official Trader

    a) not to be confused with S31s that we frequently see leaving the Star Road etc workshops - very nice cars.

    b) My opinion differs from yours in that I don't believe a damp-environment S30 can compare to a dry-state car converted-to RHD. All things being equal is easy to say but not (imho) realistic and so irrelevant in this discussion. Some 'dry' cars have been imported from SA and Aus but I haven't seen them at higher prices than some clean conversions. I think the market judges a car upon it's overall condition and then wot's it got mister spec level...no further ! There might even be some reverse scepticism against anything but an original UK market car which obviously includes conversions.

    b-bis) we've heard a similar thing here that My Y's 240Z is worth more than Mr X's because Y's is an original French market car.....yet it remains unsold whilst buyers look for clean USA imports...obviously a cost factor here and we're talking €10k difference but with the following to add on top : paint, interior, uprated to at least euro spec mechanics.

    Restoring a RHD import might prove costly too - no ?

    Case by case - agreed
  18. franky

    Z Club Member

    Alan, what would a guide price be for a good useable car from Japan?
  19. Albrecht

    Albrecht Well-Known Forum User

    Most of the Star Road 'show' cars are (very much...) not to my taste, and I think will date very quickly indeed. Modern design applied to 40+ year old cars with little reference to historical precedent usually has a limited shelf life.

    But what's wrong with an S31? If we are including late production north American market RLS30 '260Z' and HLS30 '280Z' models which are being modified to look older (especially with Federal bumper deletes) then the equivalent period Japanese market S31 models qualify as potential starting points, with a number of great advantages.

    As the owner of a 4/70 production "dry state" (California) HLS30U project car, I'd have to point out that they sometimes need a fair amount of rectification. UV damage and ossification of plastics/rubbers, jack damage (those are floor supports, not chassis rails!), light accident damage and years of make-do-and-mend style maintenance are all factors in the typical car bought as a resto project, and prices are going UP too.

    The great majority of Japanese market cars have been through years of very strict roadworthiness testing - the Japanese 'shakken' being far stricter than an MOT test - and are therefore in very sound nick. Judging them all by the cheapest stuff going through the bulk auctions in Japan is mistaken.

    IF (and it's a big if at this point) the Japanese Yen devalued and Sterling strengthened somewhat then the possibility of buying some very good cars from Japan would start to become a little more feasible, and could be weighed up realistically against the cost of embarking on an LHD-based resto/conversion/custom.
  20. Albrecht

    Albrecht Well-Known Forum User

    Hard to say just how long that string is, but you can buy a good mid-production (say 1974/5) Fairlady Z-L, already lightly modified to current tastes, for about 4 million JPY if you keep tabs on the market.

    That's less than 30k GBP for an original RHD market car with a 5-speed, a decent diff ratio, suitable suspension and steering and - quite often - a bit of extra engine pep already done. It will usually be wearing a decent set of wheels and tyres and might well have uprated brakes too.

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