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    RHD swap writeup.

    I recently wrapped up my RHD swap on the rice30 (well, sort of), and have gotten a lot of questions on the details of the swap.


    When I started the swap, as badly as I wanted to, I didn't take pictures for a full writeup because I mainly wanted to focus on the swap itself to ensure I did everything correctly. BUT, a lot of the work I had to do is still exposed so I am going to do my best to go back and try to give as detailed a guide as possible. Hopefully this helps out those who have thought about the swap but were too nervous to take it on.


    Remember, this is not a full write up, I will not go into depth about parts of the process that are already well documented elsewhere. I guess i'll just go step by step and only include links to said writeups.



    1. Remove dash. If you have never removed the dash, don't be intimidated, its not difficult.
    http://www.rtsauto.com/45/



    2. Drill out the bracket that holds in the glovebox, you will need to weld in the rhd steering column bracket here. They look similar but are slightly different, obviously. I used a drill I had lying around and some fresh bits I bought from Home Depot. Get XXX size or slightly larger. This is because you remove the bracket by drilling into the spots where the bracket is pinch welded. If the bit is too small you will not drill the spot out completely and it will be a pita. Once all the spots are drilled, get a screwdriver and a hammer and tap the bracket apart from the body. I also had a dremel with a cutting disc to help separate the bracket from the body if I didn't drill out the spots completely.







    3. Remove steering rack. If you have never removed the rack, don't be intimidated, its not difficult. (just as an fyi, up until this point your car would have still been drivable. It wont look pretty with the wires exposed, but you can still dd your car while in the middle of step 1 & 2)
    http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=66247


    4. Install rhd steering rack (without knuckle). Opposite of removal. Swap out tie rod ends if yours are newer. I recommend replacing them if you haven't. Especially since you most likely ripped the boots when you removed them lol.


    5. remove lhd headers and install the rhd headers as it'll be hard to do so once this area is filled up with the knuckle, column, etc.



    6. Mock up the steering column. This is a little tricky but doable. There is a prestamped area in the firewall where the column goes but iirc its not exact. However its a good start. Start a hole in the center of the area, and then increase the size of it until the splined end of the column can fit through. I attached the lhd cutout to give you an idea of the shape you're looking for.




    7. Install the knuckle onto the rack. MAKE SURE YOU SHOVE THE KNUCKLE ALL THE WAY DOWN ONTO THE SPLINE IF YOU WANT TO LIVE.



    8. Connect the steering column to the knuckle. AGAIN, MAKE SURE YOU SHOVE THE KNUCKLE ALL THE WAY DOWN ONTO THE SPLINE IF YOU WANT TO LIVE. I cannot stress this enough. This is an exciting step because your steering is now officially converted to rhd (mechanically. theres still lots left to do)! Begin steering as much as you want, its fun... okay moving on.





    9. Once the steering components are all hooked up, weld in pedal box, base for gas pedal, and steering column bracket. If you're welding it yourself, make sure when you're welding tabs for the column to bolt into that the steering knuckle isn't binding up at the position you're mounting it. This is where I reached a step in the swap beyond my capabilities. I don't know how to weld (yet) and was forced to take my car to a shop to get it done. I took it to Excel Motorsports here in SoCal, they're located in Rancho Cucamonga out in the IE. Once they were done with the welding the car went back to my driveway to be finished up.





    10. Swap out the brackets for the brake linkage. Its just a few bolts iirc. Once the new piece is in, attach the brake rod to the piece behind the brake pedal first. Be sure to thread it all the way down. Once its all the way in, thread the other side into the piece behind the brake booster that you just installed. Voila, you have working brakes now.





    11. Next up is the clutch. iirc I used the same bit from step 2 to drill the hole for the clutch line. you're gonna be real short on room now, so do what you can to make an indents on the firewall where you need to drill and drill it out from inside the bay. Once the hole is big enough attache the line



    12. Remove the old clutch lines, both the metal line from the slave cylinder and the hose to the clutch/brake reservoir. While you're right there, cap off the spout on the reservoir as the clutch will no longer share a reservoir with the brake system.


    13. Connect the new clutch lines. Route the new metal clutch line from the slave cylinder to the new master cylinder. Its a tight fit but wiggle some things around and it falls in line with everything else that's right in that same path. Next connect the hose from the new clutch reservoir to the master cylinder. The reservoir bolts into the same spot as the reservoir in front of the battery, I'm blanking on which one goes right there right now though. You can do it now or at the end of the swap, but remember you'll need to bleed your clutch.




    14. Connect the new throttle cable. Now, I cant be too much help here as I never received that part of the swap. I just ran a cable directly from the the gas pedal to the throttle body. BUT, what you're going to have to do is exactly what you did for the brake and clutch pedals. Mark the firewall, drill a hole, connect it. Nothing crazy here.


    Now, for me, this is where my swap finished. I'm leaving my car gutted so installing the dash wasn't a step for me, all that's left for my swap is to clean up the wiring. However I've been dd'ing it for about three weeks now.

    its not the prettiest interior as of now, but I've been cleaning it up every chance I get. for now i'm enjoying my swap being completed.


    I know most people don't plan on leaving their car gutted, so I'll list whats left on your to-do list if you haven't already figured it out:


    - Extend wires for:


    __stalks to steering wheel. blinkers, wipers, & cc.

    __light switches.

    __cluster.

    __brake switch (behind the brake pedal).

    __ignition switch.

    __power mirrors.

    -Swap ignition to rhd column.

    -Relocate ECU, etc.? (not sure if this needs to be done or if they'll just tuck up away).

    - Install rhd dash.


    And bam, you will be done. Hope this is of use to someone one day.
    Last edited by J.Rizo; 11-16-2015, 01:53 PM.
    sigpic
    @joshua.j.rizo

    Originally posted by SpasticDwarf
    Just remember next time you hear "late night when you need my love" I'm gonna be sitting somewhere way more bitchin' than you, driving or not.

    BUY MY BUGATTI WHEELS:
    http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=377693

    WRITEUP TO MY RHD SWAP:

    http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=371904

    #2
    Wait so ur driving around with no dash, why?

    29 Model A // 55 GMC 100 // 66 C10 // 72 BMW 2002 2.7 M20 Turbo // 75 CB500T Custom // 04 BMW M3 // 13 BMW 328i Sport

    72 BMW 2002 2.7 M20 Turbo Build Thread // INSTAGRAM
    Gewerkschaft der Polizei Sticker/Clings For Sale $8

    Comment


      #3
      Why would you do that? RHD is the shittiest thing ever in an E30. RB25 swap coming?

      Also, left turns in traffic must be pretty "interesting" now too?
      Last edited by Hooffenstein HD; 11-18-2015, 09:55 PM.

      Comment


        #4
        mind. blown. i can see the cool factor for the swap, but man what a pain in the ass. i imagine it would best to buy the front half of a jap e30 and have that shipped over so you would have the correct harness and dash and ect.
        WTB:m60b40 in PNW
        Zachary Ripley

        85 318i M50B25tu.
        92 525it 5 speed.
        80 244gl (m60 prepping).

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by semaj4712 View Post
          Wait so ur driving around with no dash, why?

          gonna paint the inside and leave it all gutted. think it would look cool once I finish my other plans, plus i'm trying to rid as much weight as possible (future track plans).
          sigpic
          @joshua.j.rizo

          Originally posted by SpasticDwarf
          Just remember next time you hear "late night when you need my love" I'm gonna be sitting somewhere way more bitchin' than you, driving or not.

          BUY MY BUGATTI WHEELS:
          http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=377693

          WRITEUP TO MY RHD SWAP:

          http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=371904

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Hooffenstein HD View Post
            Why would you do that? RHD is the shittiest thing ever in an E30. RB25 swap coming?

            Also, left turns in traffic must be pretty "interesting" now too?
            I love the way Japanese car culture is, so I want to emulate their ways in my car. Not sure what you think is so shitty...

            No not really, I'm about three feet over from where I was before, really not a big deal.
            sigpic
            @joshua.j.rizo

            Originally posted by SpasticDwarf
            Just remember next time you hear "late night when you need my love" I'm gonna be sitting somewhere way more bitchin' than you, driving or not.

            BUY MY BUGATTI WHEELS:
            http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=377693

            WRITEUP TO MY RHD SWAP:

            http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=371904

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by FireFight View Post
              mind. blown. i can see the cool factor for the swap, but man what a pain in the ass. i imagine it would best to buy the front half of a jap e30 and have that shipped over so you would have the correct harness and dash and ect.

              yeah it was a pita, but because of the Japanese theme I'm doing with my car, it was something I really wanted to do. not only that, but I wanted to challenge myself. coming from no professional experience like most guys here, its always fun to keep yourself on your toes and see what projects you're capable of tackling by yourself.
              sigpic
              @joshua.j.rizo

              Originally posted by SpasticDwarf
              Just remember next time you hear "late night when you need my love" I'm gonna be sitting somewhere way more bitchin' than you, driving or not.

              BUY MY BUGATTI WHEELS:
              http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=377693

              WRITEUP TO MY RHD SWAP:

              http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=371904

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by J.Rizo View Post
                I love the way Japanese car culture is, so I want to emulate their ways in my car. Not sure what you think is so shitty...

                No not really, I'm about three feet over from where I was before, really not a big deal.
                Japanese E30's are LHD.

                Why RHD sucks. Because the cars were designed to be LHD. Exhaust/Steering column issues, less availability of steering racks, or faster ratio steering racks, brake linkage across the firewall is a crap set up, worse balance with the driver on the right since the engine and battery are on the right.

                There's a bloody good reason why, even in my RHD predominant country, E30's were raced in LHD.


                This would make sense if you were doing an engine swap with reversed intake/exhaust and not driving it on the road. That's why I mentioned the RB25 swap, but those things are so incredibly heavy you would want to mount it further back and now you have a brake linkage across the firewall.
                Last edited by Hooffenstein HD; 11-19-2015, 04:49 PM.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Hooffenstein HD View Post
                  Japanese E30's are LHD.

                  Why RHD sucks. Because the cars were designed to be LHD. Exhaust/Steering column issues, less availability of steering racks, or faster ratio steering racks, brake linkage across the firewall is a crap set up, worse balance with the driver on the right since the engine and battery are on the right.

                  There's a bloody good reason why, even in my RHD predominant country, E30's were raced in LHD.


                  This would make sense if you were doing an engine swap with reversed intake/exhaust and not driving it on the road. That's why I mentioned the RB25 swap, but those things are so incredibly heavy you would want to mount it further back and now you have a brake linkage across the firewall.

                  yes, but cars FROM japan are rhd, I said emulate, not replicate.

                  and yeah, I figured those were your reasons. and yeah you're right about all those things, those are all issues with rhd e30s, BUT none of them apply to me, my e30 isn't a race car. I plan on tracking it, but its not going to get to the point where any of those reasons become serious issues for me. my car is just meant to be fun, I'm not trying to set records at local tracks or anything.
                  sigpic
                  @joshua.j.rizo

                  Originally posted by SpasticDwarf
                  Just remember next time you hear "late night when you need my love" I'm gonna be sitting somewhere way more bitchin' than you, driving or not.

                  BUY MY BUGATTI WHEELS:
                  http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=377693

                  WRITEUP TO MY RHD SWAP:

                  http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=371904

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by J.Rizo View Post
                    yes, but cars FROM japan are rhd, I said emulate, not replicate.

                    and yeah, I figured those were your reasons. and yeah you're right about all those things, those are all issues with rhd e30s, BUT none of them apply to me, my e30 isn't a race car. I plan on tracking it, but its not going to get to the point where any of those reasons become serious issues for me. my car is just meant to be fun, I'm not trying to set records at local tracks or anything.
                    It's definitely different. Your thread has me thinking about doing the exact opposite. Looks like the hardest part is getting the angle of the column correct?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Hooffenstein HD View Post
                      It's definitely different. Your thread has me thinking about doing the exact opposite. Looks like the hardest part is getting the angle of the column correct?
                      actually no, I've tried a few different setups and all have worked fine, no binding. guess it doesn't have to be exact.

                      the hardest part, at least for me, is dealing with all the wiring. electrical is not my specialty haha.
                      sigpic
                      @joshua.j.rizo

                      Originally posted by SpasticDwarf
                      Just remember next time you hear "late night when you need my love" I'm gonna be sitting somewhere way more bitchin' than you, driving or not.

                      BUY MY BUGATTI WHEELS:
                      http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=377693

                      WRITEUP TO MY RHD SWAP:

                      http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=371904

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by J.Rizo View Post
                        actually no, I've tried a few different setups and all have worked fine, no binding. guess it doesn't have to be exact.

                        the hardest part, at least for me, is dealing with all the wiring. electrical is not my specialty haha.
                        I've got a RHD loom but it's for early, early model. Square C101. Trade looms?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Just did this last year to my e30 m3. Not fun and would not choose to do this, I needed to to get the car registered in my state in Australia. The wiring is time consuming! Good luck.
                          Pulling my hair out with all these friggin BMW's:
                          2000 M5 Winter beater
                          1984 318i Coupe 2.5 S14 going in the car below.
                          1988 M3 Lachssilber: I'm the second owner, currently recommissioning.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by clarkson View Post
                            Just did this last year to my e30 m3. Not fun and would not choose to do this, I needed to to get the car registered in my state in Australia. The wiring is time consuming! Good luck.
                            I was told that they don't allow lhd cars in the OZ or is it state specific?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Coupelx View Post
                              I was told that they don't allow lhd cars in the OZ or is it state specific?
                              Yes and no. You can have a LHD car but it has to be over 25 years old and registered as a classic. Classic registration has some pretty stringent requirements. Like needing to have another registered daily and you're only allowed to drive it 90 log booked day out of the year etc.

                              Comment

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