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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Australia (Whyalla)
Posts: 57
Conversion LHD to RHD

Good to see a couple of other Aussies on this site and I was wondering if you could give some advise.
I have two LHD cars, 72 911 and 78 930, both being LHD.
Anyone know how difficult it is to convert from LHD to RHD and where the parts needed to do so can be bought, any advise welcome.
Regards
Alec.
Old 07-04-2010, 07:19 PM
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Hi Alec

Yes it's a slow process restoring... There's an AU forum on the board if you're after help closer to home Also check out Australian Typ901 Register for early Aussie 911s

First thing I'll ask is "Why?" You have a pair of cars that aren't required to be converted to register and enjoy as they're over 30 years, and they're not such a large car that you have difficulty driving them from the left side.

I've helped with a couple of conversions in the past... a bigger job than you'd imagine, but not actually hard. Completely gut the front, 300 odd spot welds to drill out and replace scuttle and dash with rhd versions (best to buy a rhd cut), remake a rhd wiring loom, make up/locate a rhd pedal box.

The other down side to converting - particularly with the '72 - is that it'll be a "converted LHD" over here and not really worth much more than it would be as an 'original LHD'; and if it ever goes back to the US or Europe, its lost its value after being 'cut up' for the Antipodeans

I reckon keep 'em lhd...
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John Forcier
Current: 68L 2.0 Hotrod - build underway
Old 07-05-2010, 01:50 AM
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I've been stripping the black asphalt deadener from the interior - it's a bastard of a job (as everyone notes). I tackled it using a heat gun, butane torch and wire wheels. I also found chemical stripper to be effective, if messy. Followed up with steel wool to give a pretty clean finish. I will have to carefully consider sound deadening now the asphalt is gone. You can certainly tell which panels 'drum', so I want to avoid excess noise.











You can see that even though the asphalt was left intact for the past 40 years, moisture still got under there and the beginnings of nasty rust was forming. This will clean up really quickly withs some sandpaper and Picklex. I don't know what to tell you guys with original cars, but I'm finding little patches of rust in areas that have never been tampered with before

Floor section arrived from the US this week and it's a pretty good reproduction (Restoration Design). The pressings aren't as sharp as original, but the fit seems fine. The rear reproduction will be mated to the original front floor section I removed from my parts wreck to complete a rust free floor section.

It's the Antipodean winter and I'm battling the flu... Maybe I'll get some more done tomorrow...
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Current: 68L 2.0 Hotrod - build underway
Old 07-10-2010, 02:21 PM
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So in between hacking up a lung, I made some progress on the left sill.

I began by removing the lower portion of the rear arch - you have to do this to get to the wheel case/kidney bowl support. Which as you can see had to be replaced! Once again the "superb" autobody craftsmanship displayed by the previous owner can be seen in the remains of the "veneered" outer sill and what's left of the original quietly rusting underneath.

There was enough soil to grow tomatoes caked onto the inner portion of the wheel arch - make sure you wash this area well fellas!













I also finished off the rear deck and seat stripping with a 3M scuff wheel in the drill. Does a great job of cleaning up the remaining asphalt. The area got a coat of Picklex which will keep it sweet until I pull the sandblaster and spray gun out again.



Things will be a little slow for a week or two as I'm Mr Mum for a couple of weekends...
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Old 07-11-2010, 03:53 AM
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Mad skilz there John. It's really cool to see the step by step.

(I had the google Antipodean)
Old 07-11-2010, 07:23 AM
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Thanks Mark

The good thing about these repairs is most of it is a case of removing the cancerous metal and replacing it with available reproduction or original pressings. There hasn't been too much fabrication from scratch required so far.

Glad I got a little geography lesson in there for ya
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John Forcier
Current: 68L 2.0 Hotrod - build underway
Old 07-11-2010, 04:02 PM
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John - Really surprised with all that rust that one of the main places you would normally find problems would be the rear window tray and rear seats. Anyway, good project. Yours seem t obe in excellent shape. I'm sure you have found out that those $15 1/4 angle grinders from Harbor Freight are a god send for cutting out rusted patches and grinding down welds. Anf Yes, the folks at Autobody Forum (Len and gang) can really help.
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Bob Williams
70' 911T
Old 07-13-2010, 11:04 AM
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Hi Bob

Yeah it is a little odd where the majority of the rust set in... The front and rear windows are rust free as is the parcel shelf, seats and the exposed areas of the floor pan. It really seemed to be centred around the internal structures which remain out of sight.

I am spending a lot of time on the Autobody Forum
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Current: 68L 2.0 Hotrod - build underway
Old 07-13-2010, 06:27 PM
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I made my first "tricky" replacement being the foot of the door hinge post... It's a really common rust location made more complicated by the fact that it's a double layer. The first part of the repair is pretty straight forward with a flat repair section. The second component is the tricky compound curved hinge post base.

I've borrowed a set of air shears and a flange/plug weld punch - these are very handy tools and I think I'll definitely buy a set of shears. I started by cutting the old section of the door hinge post at each bend and hammering it flat to make a stencil, then I cut out as close a replica of the shape as I could in flat steel. I bent it up in the bench vice and punched some plug weld holes before painting the inner in weld-through primer.





Overall I'm quite pleased with the results... It's a spot you can't see, which I'm glad of as my welds weren't as pretty as I've achieved before. I think I upset the welder with some minor changes. But is is strong and sans rust!







I'll try and do a better job on the left side tomorrow...
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Current: 68L 2.0 Hotrod - build underway
Old 07-16-2010, 11:43 PM
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A little update...

I sandblasted the rear interior and filled an assortment of random holes drilled for various wiring atrocities. Just in case no one has ever given you the tip - back the hole with a bit of copper plate held with a magnet and you can fill a pretty big diameter and won't blow through

Then I went and punched a whole lot of other holes around the various flanges for plug welding the floor in.

I also did some trial fitting of the rear floor section. I still don't know whether to join the front and rear halves together before fitting it as one piece or set them up individually... I'm keen on some advice here.

Finally I laid a couple of coats of epoxy over the finished metal to keep the rust away. Unfortunately I won't meet the time window to lay a coat of primer-filler so this will get scuffed up later for a primer coat. I'm working in sections as I just can't strip the car in one go. Once the monocoque, doors and fenders are stripped and clean, and covered in epoxy; I can then work back around the car doing the filler and final rust repairs without worrying about flash rust.











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Old 07-21-2010, 04:05 AM
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Did you get your pan from Restoration Design? That is where I got mine and for some reason it does not fit width wise. It is about 3/8-1/2" too narrow. About 1/4" per side. I know my car did not move in width as it was brace welded so not sure what is up. I will be calling RD. As for welding two halves together, I have read that you should do it in halves, just easier. I would do rear first and then either overlap front and weld of cut tight and do but weld. However, I don't think the seam will be very noticeable if ground down and seam sealed prior to Schutzing.
Old 07-21-2010, 08:04 AM
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Hi Merbesfield, I've been watching your resto closely

Yes it is a RD piece - cost me $510 to get it to Australia! Thanks for the heads up on the width issue, I haven't put fitted inner rockers on yet, so can't gauge it. I cut a floor from a wreck in anticipation of this repair, but I couldn't save the rear section; hence buying the RD rear.

You've confirmed my thinking that I'll set the rear half first and then mate it to the front section. I have a flanging tool, so I think I'll do an overlapped weld rather than butt weld. Unless anyone else has an opinion?
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Old 07-21-2010, 04:42 PM
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I spoke to RD today, very nice and helpful. They measured several of the pans they have in stock and no big surprise the measure the same as the one I have, approximately 51.5" wide. So I am not sure what the deal is, but my car is definitely wider and the rockers do not appear to be bowed out or willing to move in much more than a very small amount. Once I confirm that the my dimensions are correct for my car then I will just have to customize the pan. No big deal, just more welding and grinding right. I just don't understand why the difference. I need to rotate my car back over to right side up and do some checking, but I need the help of a few strong guys to make the complete roll over. Will post my findings.
Old 07-21-2010, 05:40 PM
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I look forward to your results. I'll measure up my stuff when I flip the car over next. I only have metric tools though
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:53 PM
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Okay, I pulled out my pans...

Original (cut from a SC) -1320mm wide


RD pressing - 1310mm wide


So there is a difference, but I suspect the 5mm created either side can be pulled from the narrow edge swage... There's certainly enough metal.




Please excuse the toes


My front and rear pan halves
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:13 AM
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Thanks John for the great shots, other than the toes. At least now I know I am not crazy and my car has not moved. I had a couple of fellow P car nuts to the shop today and they convinced me to break out the BFH to move the sides of the pan over. I knew my car was very straight and original. I will just work the meat over and weld her home.
Old 07-22-2010, 06:15 PM
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Rear floor pan in...

A bit of an epic day I started by double checking all was good with the octisserrie, and then flipped the car on to the roof and then started working the metal to the various edges, seams and flanges - lots of work with the air hammer and a heavy dead-blow hammer. The Restoration Design pan is pretty good but does need to be worked in several places - mainly the outer edges and a particularly at the rear under the tunnel.



Once I was happy with a rough fit of the pan I clamped it in place and flipped the car back over. Next I used a floor jack and various bits of timber and pressed the pan up to meet the centre tunnel flanges and plug welded it in place. I proceeded to work the jack all the way around and welded the floor into place.

I haven't welded in the inner rockers yet, and the reason for that is so I still have access to the inner seat support flange. I welded these to the floor pan also before calling it a day. I trial fitted the inner rockers several times and am happy they'll stitch in fine...









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Current: 68L 2.0 Hotrod - build underway
Old 07-23-2010, 03:35 AM
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I just wanted to say I'm really enjoying following your tread . Your doing a great job.
Its so good to watch these cars get restored . It reminds me of days past . I keep saying I want to do another myself , but the years keep going forward . And taking me away from what I love to do . Good luck and I cant wait to see yours and others im following get done !
Old 07-23-2010, 06:26 AM
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Thanks for the kind words Vrod.

Got a bit done this weekend

Front half of the pan is now in and mostly welded up. For any of you masochists having to do this job on a right hooker, the RHD footwell metal is NLA, so be careful - you really have to salvage it and that means some careful measuring and cutting of the replacement (LHD) floor. The factory pressing which is spot welded in to create a RHD is spotwelded in and needs to be left in situ. Happily enough the metal in my footwell was quite sound and really good around the master cylinder area. I ran the sand blaster around the tricky areas and will manually clean up the rest.

Lots of turning the car over and over, and a bit of hammer and dolly work got it in quite nicely I even found my rhythm and was getting some really nice beads. But it is true... the difference between and good welder and a great one is how quick they are on the grinder

I now have to use a jack and press the floor up to the centre tunnel flanges for welding and then the outer flanges where the floor meets the inner rocker panel will hopefully see the majority of the hardcore stuff done. The final chore will be a couple of coats of epoxy primer over the bare metal and seam sealer over every flange. Photos should tell the story













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John Forcier
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Old 08-08-2010, 03:02 AM
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Nice work John. Newly welded floor pans bring back such happy memories. I was where you are just about a year ago. Of course I was lying underneath my car on a cart the whole time. I am very jealous of your octisserie!

Mike
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Michael Caterino
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Old 08-08-2010, 06:01 AM
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