converting RHD to LHD

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the edmundator
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converting RHD to LHD

Post by the edmundator » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:06 am

Can anyone shed any light on the complexity of turning a RHD mk1 into LHD?

I appreciate that I would need a dashboard, pedal and brake assembly, different cables etc. The big question is probably what would need to be done to the shell?


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Re: converting RHD to LHD

Post by ianaudia4 » Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:57 pm

The big question Ed, is why would you want to, unless you are planning to move to a country that drives on the right?
You have already stated the obvious but you would need a steering rack as well. Bodywork wise, a left hand mirror would be an advantage!


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Re: converting RHD to LHD

Post by Nate » Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:06 pm

Headlights would need to be swapped for lhd pattern, assuming you're doing it for a move abroad

Bracketry for steering column, pedals, master cylinder and servo would need to be removed and swapped to the other side or replaced with lhd versions as applicable.

Lhd rack

If twin wipers, they should be swapped to lhd (but I bet most people wouldn't bother). Single wiper would need tweeking to park the other side

Dash and possibly centre console would need swapping. Don't know if the fusebox is on the opposite side for lhd


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the edmundator
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Re: converting RHD to LHD

Post by the edmundator » Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:17 pm

ianaudia4 wrote:The big question Ed, is why would you want to, unless you are planning to move to a country that drives on the right?
Well, you'd get better brakes. But that might not be the only/a good enough reason. I assume swapping sides isn't too tricky (provided you have the parts) as it was cost-effective enough for some of the mk2 16v cars that came over here.


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Re: converting RHD to LHD

Post by ianaudia4 » Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:45 pm

My first 6 cars were all LHD VW's, 2 of them Sciroccos, as I lived in Germany.
True, the brakes are a little better but to be honest not that significant, and definately not worth the trouble of converting to LHD, a bigger brake set up would be easier and cheaper! I think finding a LHD crack free dash would be a mission, I believe the UK was the Sciroccos best market!

The fusebox is on the same side, the brake servo and master cylinder are in the same place, the centre consol is the same.

The MK2 16v's that were converted by Bell and Colville were done on the cheap, such as using scotch locks and just cutting out the dash pod and moved it to the right and recovered the hole so they didn't even have a glovebox, I think JBO on here bought one of these a few years ago and discovered the horrors beneath the skin!


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Re: converting RHD to LHD

Post by shavhead » Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:44 pm

HI Ed,
Just wondered which year Mk 1 you are thinking of converting, and which model?
Just brought in a '77 which I am thinking of converting left to right, it's an injection model, so maybe can help you out with pedals, dash, clocks, accelerator, clutch and accelerator cable, headlights, steering rack (Wrack - Mrs S, not sure!) dash wiring loom.
Fuse-box is same side, not sure if wiper motor is different, but have the other side if it is.



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Re: converting RHD to LHD

Post by the edmundator » Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:54 pm

Hi Marshall, that would be great. Ant is having a look to see how easy he thinks it will be. Mine is also injection.


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Re: converting RHD to LHD

Post by dingorocco » Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:27 pm

Ed I have a LHD car here which is almost a bare shell, LMK if your needing the bulkhead holes location and sizes.
I do know the steering column, pedals and how they hang is different from the RHD version.


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Re: converting RHD to LHD

Post by mr.brown » Fri Jul 18, 2014 5:48 pm

The RHD shell might already have the cut-out marked for the steering UJ.

Of the parts needed, don;t forget you can substitute mk1 Golf/cabby, mk2 Scirocco bits - i.e. rack/column/pedals (not acc) - all easily found on ebay.de

The hardest bits to locate (and the US might be your best bet) will be the steering UJ and the brake servo bracket.

Brakes are definitely a lot more "instant" on LHD cars but the biggest difference is in handling - due to the left/right weight balance being as the car was designed. No more left hander understeer :-D