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  1. #1
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    Member No: 110014 nzmoko is an unknown quantity at this point nzmoko's Avatar
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    LHD-RHD Conversion (to do or not to do)

    My Aussie wife and I will be moving to Australia for good. Problem (for me) is they drive on the wrong side of the road ;-)
    I can't bear to part with my CSi. Australia will allow me to import it but it must be converted to RHD.

    I thought of picking up a RHD CSi from the UK (I would have to own it for a year before I could import it to Aus), but they are rare. Also, I know my car so well - all of its quirks and idiosyncracies - so feel uncomfortable having to get to know another car all over again.

    Apart from interior components (seats, door trim, dash, console), what mechanical parts would I have to consider for a conversion and are perts simply swappable or would there be 'welding' involved.

    Any help appreciated.
    ps. my wife thinks I'm stark raving mad... and she's right!

    1994 850CSi (Euro spec)
    1974 3.0CSi
    1974 Datsun 260z 2+2
    2001 Landrover Freelander


  2. #2
    Laszlo
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    don't do it. too much trouble and money

    a new dash with new evrything incl wiper mechanism, etc.
    buy a UK one and sell me your euro csi. simple is that :-)
    seriously, too much trouble to go through that conversion
    and prices are expensive for the RHD parts - hardly any used !

  3. #3
    NWA850
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    Re: LHD-RHD Conversion (to do or not to do)

    sell it and buy yourself something cool when you get there!

    -JR

  4. #4
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    Just got a rough estimate from the UK...

    ...it can be done for around 10,000 pounds and that would be to factory spec.

    Everyone is advising me the same thing - sell - I guess I should listen. It will be a sad day :-(


    1994 850CSi (Euro spec)
    1974 3.0CSi
    1974 Datsun 260z 2+2
    2001 Landrover Freelander

  5. #5
    Laszlo
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    10,000 pounds ? are you mad ? that is like 15kusd?

    way too much money ! you simply can not loose that much on the CSI nowdays. sell and buy one in UK and ship that.
    I have an idea for that 1 year ban also.
    take the car as a temporary import, as a tourist. You are legal to do that for 6months. Then get an extension for 6months also legal but only once ! then the year has passed and at the end you tell them I'm ready to import it permanently. so with this you don't need to store it. The money they need is usually small amount, hundreds max. You will enjoy the car while waiting - drive with a UK or German plates and get insurance from the home country. All the added cost is still less then storage.
    Also if you ever want to sell it in AUS, you will get the money back easily ! Just ask around how many CSI's are down under ?

  6. #6
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    Member No: 83917 alfredov is an unknown quantity at this point alfredov's Avatar
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    Is this a feasible idea? I would think they though

    t about people doing this to skirt the regs. The conversion can be done here to meet DOT requirements, but has any1 done it this way?

    '95 840Cia, Cosmos Black
    Midwest, Chicago

  7. #7
    Laszlo
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    been there done that.

    if you have a foreign passport (I do) then you can bring a car to a country for temporary visit. They issue a passport to a car. It is valid for 6 months. Then you can get an extension for an another 6months. Once that passed they ask you to leave the car on the lot and they destroy it or you have to import it in a legal way or send it back to the origin country.
    For him the catch was that he can not import a car w/o paying duty and etc unless he owned it for a full year. In some countries this is only 6 months some it is 3 years some none. Anyway instead of buying it and storing it to wait till the year has passed, the temporary status is great.
    We did a few cars, Alfa 156, Alfa 166, my Z1, an M5, etc. I almost bought a 1997 E38 735 manual transmission a few months ago. The german couple who used it here left the country and they knew the value in germany is worse then here plus the expenses, etc.
    They wanted 10k usd for it, I offered 7500 we never met. The car is green with black leather/cloth and has a manual transmission.
    Remember the TRANSPORTER -1 , same identical car but in green.
    plus the 7 should be our family car and my wife wanted to shoot me when she heard I was loooking a manual transmission car for her.
    so I never pushed the envelope. Had it been a 740 with manual, I would have pushed it... or a E34 M5 Wagon...

  8. #8
    Ian840
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    Re: don't do it. too much trouble and money

    I agree with laszlo, import a UK one - less headaches. Just be sure to get clear title, there were a few stolen UK 8's impounded here a couple of years ago.

    Ian

  9. #9
    KennyG
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    Re: LHD-RHD Conversion (to do or not to do)

    The conversion thing is VERY expensive especially if you source parts over here in Australia. Used parts are very rare here although Theo in Melbourne does have some.LHD cars can only be registered over here for normal road usage if they are over 15 years old ( at least that is the rule here in Queensland) but in The Northern Territory LHD cars can be registered and I believe this is still current ( because of the U.S base in Pine Gap). You may also be able to register in Western Australia as they do sell a lot of LHD imports over there ( particularly Porsche). But, New South Wales,Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania..........forget it. It's the RHD conversion or nothing. This driving on "The Other Side of The Road" issue is a constant PIA over here as we are such a small country in terms of Market share yet our "Australian Design Rules" demand special attention, the LHD/RHD thing being one.Aussie's will welcome you here with open arms and especially BMW enthusiasts like me.(BMW is a BIG enthusiasts market over here ). We only ever saw 1 X 850Csi delivered here to my knowledge and it was at BMW HQ in Melbourne ( Victoria).No doubt an insider there is covetting it as we speak! Good Luck SwissCarl.

  10. #10
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    Can't import into Australia anymore

    Can no longer import newer (ie post 1988) into Australia. Feds are only accepting older classic cars and cars that ahve been imported via specialist dealers (Ie Japanese grey market imports) into the country.

  11. #11
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    CSi for sale


  12. #12
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    was the 850csi sold in aus ? how about 850 ?


  13. #13
    EDBSO
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    Re: been there done that.

    Lazlo;

    Tempt me, with any car of "interest" 15 years or older and I can import it legally into Canada.

    Enjoy an exotic for a year then export it to me. Might even let you re-import it after I enjoy it for a year, as long as you have another car of interest, EDBSO, Ottawa, Ontario Canada [email protected]

  14. #14
    Theo
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    Re: LHD-RHD Conversion (to do or not to do)

    Hey Lazlo/KennyG

    just a small correction. There were 3 CSI's bought in by BMW Sydney (Rushcutters Bay) as special customer orders.

    They were sold at $304,oooAUD. One is currently on market at $99,000 (CARSALES.COM.AU). It is the third owner and a nice example. Took a ride in it a few weeks ago and wil have drive next week or two with a view to buying.

    There is ine which has been turned into a cross betweena hot rod and a pimp car. White and has had some fancy pimp style leather work etc so that one is a write off. The third is rumoured to belong to Lindsay Fox, Melbourne trucking magnte who buys cars and stores them in his personal museum. He was a part owner of a BMW dealership and rumour has it he ordered it for himself way back but hwo knows. It will bob up sometime.

    And finally we just had the annual BMW club show and shine. Five eights side by side OOOOOOOOOHHHHHE what a sight. First time in Oz I believe and one of them took ouy tghe peoples choice. An 840 that has been showroom restored and even though the b%%@^&RD beat me, he desrevd it and I congratulate him.

    Cheers
    Theo

  15. #15
    Laszlo
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    not canada, USA


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