dp
  •  dp
  • Regular Topic Starter
2006-12-01T00:28:14Z
Hi,

I've a LHD July 1952 export bought from mainland Europe and I am contemplating a RHD conversion. The part that would stop me from doing this to most cars would be to have to chop out the dash and weld in another - this is obviously not an issue here, though I understand that the following would still need to be done (please let me know if I’ve missed anything):
- move steering box mount on front beam
- obtain RHD pedal cluster - are these the same right up to 1957?
- move the master cylinder (I'm going to replace the brake pipes anyway)
- move the light dipper switch
- move the steering column (the right hand side already has all the pressings ready to accept this - I'd obviously need to weld up the resulting holes on the left hand side)
- swap the speedo and clock pods over, extend the speedo cable tube and replace the cable with a longer one (I assume the speedo cable still runs to the left front?)
- should the keyed lock be on the drivers door – I seem to remember reading somewhere that on original RHD split beetles the drivers door had no keyed lock, it remained on the left as no other parts were available – is this correct?

I understand that to most countries this will devalue the car and that the car will always be a type 113 converted to RHD and not an original type 114. However I would have thought that the conversion would have little effect on value in this country (not that I plan to sell the car). I've owned a LHD Karmann Ghia for the last 8 years but would rather a RHD car.

I’d be grateful if anyone would share their opinion with me on whether to carry out the conversion. Alternatively, if anyone has done this themselves and could offer any advice, that would be much appreciated?

While I'm asking for people’s advice / help, I’ve also got a couple of MOT questions:
- Does everyone run windscreen washers? I know strictly it’s an MOT requirement but are the testers hot on this for such an old car?
- I assume that I can’t simply adjust the headlights to point to the left – do I need to get the headlight units from a pre 57 RHD car to maintain the correct type of headlight for a 1952 car?

Sorry to bombard you with questions, and thanks in advance for any input you can give.

Dan.
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Rich Oakley
2006-12-01T08:58:18Z
"dp" wrote:

Hi,

(please let me know if I’ve missed anything):
- move steering box mount on front beam
You'll need to obtain an early (pre-61) RHD Pitman arm for the steering box
- obtain RHD pedal cluster - are these the same right up to 1957?
Pretty much the same. I think all pre-65 ones should fit
- move the master cylinder (I'm going to replace the brake pipes anyway)
- move the light dipper switch
- move the steering column (the right hand side already has all the pressings ready to accept this - I'd obviously need to weld up the resulting holes on the left hand side)
- swap the speedo and clock pods over, extend the speedo cable tube and replace the cable with a longer one (I assume the speedo cable still runs to the left front?)
- should the keyed lock be on the drivers door – I seem to remember reading somewhere that on original RHD split beetles the drivers door had no keyed lock, it remained on the left as no other parts were available – is this correct?
I think this was correct for special order 'Wolfsburg' produced RHD pre-52 cars. I think the CKD cars from Ireland and South Africa probably had the lock on the correct side

- Does everyone run windscreen washers? I know strictly it’s an MOT requirement but are the testers hot on this for such an old car?
As you say, by law you need them, but some MoT testers are not as savvy as others. I have got away with it in the past.
- I assume that I can’t simply adjust the headlights to point to the left – do I need to get the headlight units from a pre 57 RHD car to maintain the correct type of headlight for a 1952 car?
All pre-60 Euro spec Beetles should have symmetrical lenses, so yes- you can just adjust them.

Sorry to bombard you with questions, and thanks in advance for any input you can give.

Dan.



Please post some pics of your car 🙂
47 Beetle, 56 UK Karmann Cabriolet, 56 UK Beetle, 57 UK Type 2, 59 UK Beetle, 66 UK Fastback.
Jules
2006-12-01T16:00:48Z
"dp" wrote:



While I'm asking for people’s advice / help, I’ve also got a couple of MOT questions:
- Does everyone run windscreen washers? I know strictly it’s an MOT requirement but are the testers hot on this for such an old car?
- I assume that I can’t simply adjust the headlights to point to the left – do I need to get the headlight units from a pre 57 RHD car to maintain the correct type of headlight for a 1952 car?




Hi,
Mot wise, I think you will need washers. The only exception to this is that if a vehicle has opening windshields they are not needed so Safari's fitted to a Split Screen would get around the problem. Bear in mind that all the Mot man needs to see is water squirted on to your screen, I have herd many stories of people rigging up a Fairy Up liquid bottle and some pipe as a make shift washer system... woth a go if you don't want to start drilling holes in your car.

Any headlamp lens before 1961 is symetrical, therefore they are the same for traffic driving on the left, or the right, you will not need to worry about changing anything!
six-o-one
2006-12-01T16:13:17Z
If you find an MOT station who are used to testing classic cars, you might get away with just having a squeeze bottle full of water in your car!

If there's a classic car club or a garage who work on old cars near you, find out where they go for their MOTs and you should be okay.
2006-12-01T16:44:15Z
I have a 1955 standard with no washers. It has been MOT tested four times in the UK and because the washers were not fitted from new it has never been commented on by the test station, I have never even needed to show them a bottle of water!
six-o-one
2006-12-01T16:50:11Z
"Beetle_Mania" wrote:

I have a 1955 standard with no washers. It has been MOT tested four times in the UK and because the washers were not fitted from new it has never been commented on by the test station, I have never even needed to show them a bottle of water!



Hi, welcome to the forum!
I'm in Bucks too. Where abouts are you and where's this MOT station?

😃
pre67vw
2006-12-01T17:14:53Z
"six-o-one" wrote:


Hi, welcome to the forum!
I'm in Bucks too. Where abouts are you and where's this MOT station?

😃



I think you might know Beetle_Mania :wink:
Rob Amos
Happiness is a stock VW
Kev
2006-12-01T18:10:09Z
As already stated the window washers are an MOT requirement and some places will fail your car without, the place I get my car MOT'd at the moment does let me get away with it but he always points out I should have them.

Just a case of finding a classic friendly place I guess.

Cheers
Kev
six-o-one
2006-12-01T18:44:05Z
"pre67vw" wrote:

"six-o-one" wrote:


Hi, welcome to the forum!
I'm in Bucks too. Where abouts are you and where's this MOT station?

😃



I think you might know Beetle_Mania :wink:



Should have guessed being a 55 std! :oops:
dp
  •  dp
  • Regular Topic Starter
2006-12-02T17:22:57Z
Cheers for all the answers everyone.

"Rich Oakley" wrote:


Please post some pics of your car :)


I'll have to try and get some photos in the readers cars area when I figure out what I'm doing.

As for the conversion, I'm still not 100% sure but it seems too easy not to do it while I'm messing with alot of the areas anyway.
mrsherbie
2006-12-03T12:12:54Z
"dp" wrote:

As for the conversion, I'm still not 100% sure but it seems too easy not to do it while I'm messing with alot of the areas anyway.



It is easy on a split, but personally I dont see the point unless it is deliberately to deceive in the future and pass the car off as a rhd, or uk car.
But if you prefer driving rhd then thats a fair enough reason I guess.
I actually enjoy driving lhd, changing gear using your right hand seems far more natural ( if you're right handed of course!)

I think its like changing your name, you kind of become someone else, so part of your true identity is forever lost.
"it'll wreck the patina you haven't worked so hard to create" - 50Karmann
2splits
2006-12-03T14:59:14Z
"mrsherbie" wrote:

"dp" wrote:

As for the conversion, I'm still not 100% sure but it seems too easy not to do it while I'm messing with alot of the areas anyway.



It is easy on a split, but personally I dont see the point unless it is deliberately to deceive in the future and pass the car off as a rhd, or uk car.
But if you prefer driving rhd then thats a fair enough reason I guess.
I actually enjoy driving lhd, changing gear using your right hand seems far more natural ( if you're right handed of course!)

I think its like changing your name, you kind of become someone else, so part of your true identity is forever lost.



I totally agree. I wouldn't touch a thing. Leave it LHD. Anybody that looks at the plate, or gets a certificate, will know immediately it was modified.
Kevin

-51 Split Rag
-58 Ghia Cab with Okrasa
-57 356
dp
  •  dp
  • Regular Topic Starter
2006-12-04T13:42:45Z
"mrsherbie" wrote:

..part of your true identity is forever lost.



It's the one thing that's making me uncertain about doing it. I don't mind bolting on different parts to the car knowing that the original parts are being preserved in my garage, but this is a little more than just a simple bolt on conversion. On the other hand, the amount of welding involved to the body is so minimal compared to what most splits will have had anyway, and it is as easy to undo as it is to do.

I'm certainly not considering doing it to pass it off as an original RHD - if I ever did sell the car it would come with the complete history. It's a case of prefering a RHD car in a country that drives on the left (my other half especially so).
mrsherbie
2006-12-04T16:46:33Z
"dp" wrote:

"mrsherbie" wrote:

..part of your true identity is forever lost.



It's the one thing that's making me uncertain about doing it. I don't mind bolting on different parts to the car knowing that the original parts are being preserved in my garage, but this is a little more than just a simple bolt on conversion. On the other hand, the amount of welding involved to the body is so minimal compared to what most splits will have had anyway, and it is as easy to undo as it is to do.



I do agree with you totally, repairing that indent in the footwell is nothing compared to many cars of this age having new floors, heater channels, quarters etc. etc. So go for it if you really want to.
In fact I have done something 'worse'.. but I shall get slapped for that when the time comes I am sure! :lol:
I was going to 'early' my car but decided recently that I will just get fed up with people 'asking me if, and why' ! And they would be right! So she's staying well and truly 50. Albeit with a new party frock.. :shock: :lol:
"it'll wreck the patina you haven't worked so hard to create" - 50Karmann
GKL 7
2006-12-04T19:03:11Z
Only my opinion but i wouldn't do it.
Keep the car as original as you possibly can.
I've had about a dozen LHD cars,it's not that much of a problem,you drive accordingly.
My friend drove my '47 250 miles and adapted immediately.
IMO these cars must be left as they were made, too many are becoming modified.
2006-12-05T08:12:44Z
You certainly do know me, just thought it was high time i joined rather than just reading! Will call you later this week, I have something for you......
2006-12-05T08:20:15Z
The only real downside to LHD in my experience is the overtaking, and let's face it, we all know that will not be happening much.