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Steering wheel change from right to left side.

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Hi there

Have been looking for an Lotus Esprit S1 or S2 project car for years.

Know I wonder how much it will take to convert an Esprit for UK with its right side driving to a left side driving for use in Denmark.

Anyone in this forum who knows, or have experience, about how much that will have to be changed or replaced?

Thanks

Lars

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Hi Lars,

I was thinking at the same question some time ago as my car is from Uk and I'm living in Italy.

I have emailed the factory about that and I must say that is not an easy job.

The biggest problem is that the pedal box is bolted on the chassis and the LHD cars have a different mounting points.

You need to cut away the pedal box mounting structure, (welded) take a very precise measurements and then you need to weld (with a jig...) the assembly on the other side.

Obviously you need to modify a lot of body sections (servo/brake master cylinder, heater assembly etc..) so you need a lot of work with fibreglass/resin in the front boot.

Also all the dash/instruments section needs to be changed and again a lot of work...

The steering rack are different, the wiper assembly, the switch, and if I recall correctly also the gearchange linkage.

In my opinion it's not a worth proposite, also because the valure of the car will be much less than an original LHD car. Bearing in mind that a lot of parts needed are no more available...so you will end searching for months for some spares...

Just my opinion.

Good luck.

Ciao

PS:driving on the "wrong" side is cool!!!! :)

Giorgio

Edited by ghe67

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Hi Giorgio

Thanks for your reply.

Since I most probably would opt for a project guy it might be a car for frame off restoration anyway, -and I do have the facilities.

You mention that LHD cars have different mounting points. Is that for the pedal box, or is it for the body shell?

To me the instrument clusters seems to be the same, and assume that it just have to be relocated and not altered.

I noted that the handbrake have to be relocated as well.

Still just a thought, but something I do consider.

Did you ever receive a written response from Lotus?

Thanks

Lars

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Hi,

this is the response from Lotus, the others thoughs are just mine.

Dear Mr. Taricco,

It is of course possible to convert the drive hand of any car, it is simply

a question of economics. The Esprit chassis is drive handed due to the

pedal box mountings on the chassis front crossmember. The chassis is

galvanised, and Lotus does not approve any welding or modification of the

chassis. You would therefore need to replace the chassis, or carry out

unapproved modifications. You would then need to consult a dealer who would

review the parts catalogue to identify and cost the relevent handed parts

you would require. There is no published list of this type. The cost and

availability of these parts would likely be prohibitive, and render the

excercise unrealistic. A far better proposition is to buy a car factory

built to the desired drive hand, especially as a converted car would almost

certainly be devalued when re-sold.

I am sorry if this reply is less positive than that for which you had hoped.

Yours sincerely,

Dave Massey - Technical Service

Senior Technical Author

Lotus Cars Ltd., Hethel, Norwich, Norfolk. NR14 8EZ.

Tel: +44 (0)1953 608247

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Hi Giorgio

Thanks for a valuable reply.

Lars

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Does anyone in here know of a renovation project that has done this? Or perhaps even better know a link to see how much trouble it would be?

Thanks Rasmus

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Check this out, I have plenty of pictures body on/off of the chassis.

http://www.lotusespritforum.com/forums/ind...showtopic=19291

I don't suspect it would be too difficult, peddle box mounting, steering rack, brake hoses etc.

Edited by markjonesx

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I believe the chassis's are different meaning more work than you think. Its been discussed before and the general consensus was its uneconomic to do.

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The thing is I am very close to buying a right hand steer E Turbo and have no intention of driving it on the right side unless I absolutley have to. I can see that it would be cheaper, time wise and economically perhaps to buy one with the steering on the left to begin with . But I have found an object that will ned TLC anyway so the extra blood, sweat, and tears won't make that much of a difference anyhow. Unless it is absolutly impossible to do. A little cutting and fiberglassing is no real issue to me. Some expert advice is really what I am after.

This site is gold, I will probably spend all of the winter reading and rereading old posts.

Thanks Rasmus

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If you are happy to do the work it's possible, but yo need to consider it based on the knowledge it's not going to be easy or quick, and possibly not documented elsewhere.

Chassis, attach fitting points

Body, cut holes, make holes, make pedal box fit, make handbrake fit

Make brake and clutch master cylinders fit

Interior, make dash panels / get second hand ones, possibly adjust dash beam

Steering rack- obtain one, it's not a readily available one. Second hand availability?

Wiring loom, some bits may not reach as it may come in to the right of the chassis.

Ditto any cables / pipes (accelerator, brakes, clutch) to the engine

And I'm sure the list will go on.

If you're doing a complete nut and bolt restoration it may add quite a bit of work, if you're doing a partial restoration it will be even more additional work.

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Hi,

just started doing this on my 88 esprit. Well i definately think this is a body off issue if you want to do it right, so it is a lot of work. For me the final reason doing the lhd conversion is that i am also doing a complete restoration so i am stripping the complete car and engine anyway.

Regards Cor

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Outstanding! Maybe we could share some information down the road. I will pull the chassi off for sure as I am going to have the whole thing repainted anyway. I am about four months away from starting however and I don't think I will be able to play catch up! :baby:

I will send you a PM once I start pulling pieces of the car!

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Hi,

this is the response from Lotus, the others thoughs are just mine.

Dear Mr. Taricco,

It is of course possible to convert the drive hand of any car, it is simply

a question of economics. The Esprit chassis is drive handed due to the

pedal box mountings on the chassis front crossmember. The chassis is

galvanised, and Lotus does not approve any welding or modification of the

chassis. You would therefore need to replace the chassis, or carry out

unapproved modifications. You would then need to consult a dealer who would

review the parts catalogue to identify and cost the relevent handed parts

you would require. There is no published list of this type. The cost and

availability of these parts would likely be prohibitive, and render the

excercise unrealistic. A far better proposition is to buy a car factory

built to the desired drive hand, especially as a converted car would almost

certainly be devalued when re-sold.

I am sorry if this reply is less positive than that for which you had hoped.

Yours sincerely,

Dave Massey - Technical Service

Senior Technical Author

Lotus Cars Ltd., Hethel, Norwich, Norfolk. NR14 8EZ.

Tel: +44 (0)1953 608247

Oh man that seems to seal the deal for Sweden then as only "company" approved changes will go through the Swedish "mot" check. Oh well right side it is then! (I guess that is a lot of worked saved!)

/Rasmus

Edited by Scoville

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It is not a problem to do rhd lhd modifications to the chassis apart from legal issues.

On my chassis i will make a pretty large plate on which the new mountings for the pedal box are welded. Later on this plate is bonded and pop riveted to the chassis. In this way i do not need to weld. Welding is difficult as the chassis is galvanised inside and out,and it is not possible to remove the galvanisation on the inside of the chassis wich is nescesary for a good weld.

Cor

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Hello, Rasmus,

my restoration will not be the quickest, want to do a good and thorough job.In a few weeks i will starting working on my exige (highly tuned audi tfsi engine) again so the esprit will have slow progress.

Regards Cor

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Hello, Rasmus,

my restoration will not be the quickest, want to do a good and thorough job.In a few weeks i will starting working on my exige (highly tuned audi tfsi engine) again so the esprit will have slow progress.

Regards Cor

What about the steering column? Does the offset it has into the "cockpit" make it impossible to shift sides on?

Cheerio Rasmus

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Anyone who knows the maker of the steering column?

Lars

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S3 was the vauhall Viva, I think it was Delco, not much use to you, but if I've got the firm name wrong it was the same firm that used to supply Vauhall and had a factory in Dunstable.

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