Lotus Elan

RHD to LHD

PostPost by: Janus » Thu Oct 20, 2005 6:46 am

Hello,

I'm new to this forum :shock: currently I own an Elise S2 MY02 and a '92 Saab 900i16v :D

I had been reading all magazine reports and I have even tried the search engine on this forum...but I couldn't find the answer if it is possible to convert a RHD Elan to a LHD one.... :?:

and approx the costs :?: :?:

kind regards

Janus
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PostPost by: trw99 » Thu Oct 20, 2005 12:11 pm

Welcome Janus

Yes it is possible to convert Elan's from RHD to LHD. I believe that it is a reasonably straightforward proceedure, though I have no experience of it myself. I assume it would be a little easier on an Elan than a +2.

It would probably be worthwhile speaking to Paul Matty's if you wanted more information. They must have carried out a few conversions.

HTH
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PostPost by: Janus » Thu Oct 20, 2005 1:02 pm

:D thank you for your quick answer!!

I wrote an e-mail a few days ago to Mr Matty, but I have still no reply :cry:

do you know of somebody who had done this conversion?
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Thu Oct 20, 2005 6:32 pm

The short answer is you need a LHD rack, LHD pedal assembly,
LHD dashboard and LHD throttle cable. lots of patients and some time. I have done it before and everything else is the same. the early cars (S1 and S2) are easier because thgere is no under dash trim to mess with, you will need to cut one of the trim pieces and there will be a small hole in the trim where the steering column was.

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PostPost by: Janus » Fri Oct 21, 2005 7:57 am

:P great so I presume even my local dealer could do this job?!

I'm quite interested in the Sprint with the Gold Leaf colours Mr Matty has on offer....
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PostPost by: bs982367 » Fri Oct 21, 2005 1:58 pm

I did this job in the eighties when I purchased my S4SE from UK to Belgium.
The main issue is the time spent to make this modification (unnecessary according to me !).
Few bits are needed: LHD rack (from Triumph Spitfire or Herald with Elan rods) - dashboard which can be turned back and recovered by another wood layer - LHD pedal box - new hydraulic clutch line - new throttle cable.
You have also to accommodate holes to support the pedal box (and to reinforce the fiberclass !).
The boring step is the wiring loom which has to be extended (especially on S4SE and Sprints).
In conclusion, the RHD on the continent is not a problem , our roads are so wide and the car so tiny !.
My next one will be one RHD for track days and leisure walks.
Good luck !
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PostPost by: ppnelan » Fri Oct 21, 2005 9:19 pm

Janus,

You'll also need a LHD glove box to go with the new dashboard...

I did the opposite - converted a LHD US import to RHD, during a body-off rebuild.

In fact, I may still have a LHD glove box (taken apart & folded flat so I could use it as a pattern to make a RHD one!) and a LHD pedal box (complete, but a little rusty & in need of some slight straightening as the car had been accident damaged long ago) if you're interested...?

Matthew
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PostPost by: twincamman » Tue Oct 25, 2005 6:44 pm

Janus-----my super 7 is r h d ---the only problem is remembering that when things get frantic that 3 rd is straight up not up and to the left ----rhd cars in north America are a neat diversion to the normal lotus --and to take a look down the road before passing --but that is true in a lhd car too -----I would leave it rhd --it only takes about 20 m minutes And it feels normal-----[ unless you have no left hand] :shock: ed
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PostPost by: tonycharente » Tue Oct 25, 2005 9:06 pm

I am running a RHD Elan and also a RHD Excel in France - I would PREFER they were LHD, especially the Excel as it is wider, but cannot think it worth the huge time and significant expense to change either of them. However as a matter of interest there is currently an ex-RHD converted Elan featured in the November edition of the French magazine Autoretro, and this actual car is up for sale right now on eBay (eBay reference 4584444495) - the conversion was done by a Paris classic Lotus specialist that you therefore might like to talk to (Tony Kilburn of Garage Kilburn tel 00 33 1 46 30 95 96). Hope this helps, Tony Parfitt (no connection with either the above car or the above garage).
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PostPost by: DJThom » Wed Oct 26, 2005 4:58 pm

I am putting together a RHD Elan in Canada that was originally from the UK and decided to keep it that way. RHD is more of a novelty over here and the car is narrow.

One more thing to consider is the winshield wipers. You'll want them rotating up the windshield counter clockwise in a LHD car and clockwise in a RHD car. May not be that much of an issue for you if you can skirt the rain... I made it all summer without puting the top up on my MGB
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PostPost by: tonycharente » Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:54 pm

Not so sure about the direction of the windscreen wipers, (see previous post)........ If you look at photos of the cars in period, it seems to be fairly random as to which side the wipers park. Tony
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PostPost by: chrishewett » Wed Oct 26, 2005 9:54 pm

Personally I enjoy driving a RHD car on the continent. As long as you are aware of the drawbacks the plus side can more than make up for it.
By the way Tony, sorry you didn't win my handbrake pads on ebay, I may have some more available soon and will let you know first.
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PostPost by: bill308 » Wed Oct 26, 2005 11:51 pm

Janus,

Are you sure you want to convert to LHD?

The reason I ask is because I've been driving a RHD S2 elan for a long time in the US and find it kind of fun and certainly a novelty. In reality, it's not much of a burden. It took me about an hour to get used to it and I found driving it that way a lot of fun. It gives you a different perspective on things.

I find a RHD car great for carrying on conversations at a stop light when in the right hand lane and one can even make chit-chat with people walking on the side walks. One tends to pass slower cars in different places, like on right hand curves, because the veiw ahead can be good in this situation. The down side is that paying tolls becomes a challange. The car is narrow enough so that one can reach over and flip a left handed coin in the basket or develope a good hook shot over the top, with the right hand - hehe!.

Anyway, both I and my friend Tim, drive RHD Elans in the US and find it a lot hoot.

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PostPost by: fasterbyelan » Thu Oct 27, 2005 9:32 am

Janus,

Having lived in Germany for 3 years in the 1980's and driving two RHD cars, one being the Elan, I concur with the above comments - there is not a problem with being on the wrong side of the road. You will be driving one of the smallest cars about and as such will be able to see ahead much more than the driver of a larger RHD car, without being a danger on the road. And it does add to the fun!

Karl

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PostPost by: twincamman » Thu Oct 27, 2005 12:39 pm

btw Karl its not the wrong side ----its the right side --- backing through the drive thru at Tim Horton's for coffee creates some consternation with the staff though :lol: ed
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