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Old 04-22-2003, 05:50 PM
Posts: n/a
Changing a LHD to RHD (right hand drive)

Would anyone hazzard to guess at what it would
cost to convert a 1988 300e to right hand drive?

I would hate to ask the dealer to do it because the
cost is usually considerabley more than an independant
Benz Mechanic.



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Old 04-22-2003, 06:06 PM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Eastern TN
Posts: 20,812
Probably more than it's worth if you do it yourself, definitely more than it's worth if you pay someone by the hour to do it.

You'll need a RHD car for all its parts. I understand it's much easier or at least possible to bring a European or Asian market car into Canada than into the US. There might be a cheap hulk of an ex-taxi 124 in Malaysia or Indonesia that you can bring in for parts.

See if one of the shops that imports surplus Japanese engines can bring in a W124 front clip for you.

91 300SE
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Old 04-23-2003, 02:43 AM
Posts: n/a
I would guess that it's cheaper to sell your existing LHD and get a RHD imported from Hong Kong or other places like that. You could prolly travel over and pick one out yourself and still come in under what it would cost to convert a car.

If you convert your LHD to RHD it will need to be certified and the resell will be nil. This is obviously not an issue if you are going to keep it forever but to do a conversion properly will cost a lot and is quite involved, I can't imagine many people looking at a second hand 80's 300e that has been converted and thinking it's worth much.

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Old 04-23-2003, 03:25 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 147
Its a HUGE job Blue ,, I was involved in just such a conversion some years ago , when the car in question was still worth plenty . It still cost over $8000 . So much to replace .
And all to make the LHD car saleable here as a RHD car .
Cheaper and easier to find a RHD version if that is what you really want .
I agree with Matt's opinion on this .
'72 240D
'76 300D
'88 300sel
'40 Chev pickup , the shop hack.
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Old 04-23-2003, 11:43 AM
Posts: n/a
Thanks guys,

I was afraid the figure was around the $8k to $10k mark.
But I had to ask just to confirm.

My reason is that I was looking at coming to South Australia
and I've gotten attached to this 1988 300e. I would have
liked to bring it with me, but it sound like it's more trouble
than what it's worth.

Thanks for everyone's input.

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Old 04-23-2003, 07:35 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 18,350
This is a bit off-topic, but did you know Mercedes makes a truck that is simple to switch back and forth from RHD to LHD in a few seconds. It's used to drive on both sides of the English Channel.
1977 300d 70k--sold 08
1985 300TD 185k+
1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
1979 300SD 122k--sold 2/11
1999 Fuso FG Expedition Camper
1993 GMC Sierra 6.5 TD 4x4
1982 Bluebird Wanderlodge CAT 3208--Sold 2/13
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Old 04-23-2003, 10:54 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 627
LHD & RHD differences

Speaking as both an Oz citizen and long term MB owner, I would not consider the conversion from LHD to RHD. I use MB North America service manuals and it is amazing the differences between LHD and RHD cars. Many things under the bonnet (get used to that, its what we call a hood here) except the engine and items directly attached to it are mirror reversed (eg. brake master cylinder/booster, battery, fuse box, wiring harness, ECU and other electronics, steering box and hydraulic lines. Some models require different exhaust manifolds (and engine pipes), and bell housing (with reversed starter motor location). The steering geometry settings are often different. Headlight lenses are different. Inside the cabin there is the steering column, pedals (incl parking brake), instruments, dashboard, control stalks, wiring harness, etc.

Then there are all the issues with Australian design rules (ADRs) and local roadworthy and registration requirements. Oz cars must meet certain emission requirements and have anti-intrusion bars in doors and glass complying with ADRs etc. The list goes on. There are a few grey imports here. They are usually easy to spot. Most are from RHD countries but a small number are converted (often poorly and not completely). They are often problem cars and even if they are not rusty they can be difficult to get through registration and roadworthy inspections. They attract very low resale prices here.

The W124 is considered a "buyers" car here at present. Their prices have dropped in recent times and they are good buying. Yes they will seem expensive compared to other markets but remember they were very expensive here new and our climate is very kind to cars. A rusty W124 (or W126, W201, or newer) is almost unheard of here. Despite being a large country (similar in size to the US) most cars here cover around 15,000km annually (most people work close to home and only travel long distances when holidaying). Mercedes often travel even less. Our 1990 300TE is typical at around 175,000km and my 1990 190E is high at 215,000km.

As a price guide for W124s, talking in Australian dollars, $10,000 buys an early 230E or high kilometre early 300E. $15,000 gets you into good early 300E or a 230TE or late 230E. $20,000 buys update (post 1989) 300Es. $25,000 and you're talking 220E, E220, E220T, 300TE, 300E-24 or low km update 300E and early 300CE. $30 - 40k gets into the late multi-valves (300CE-24, E280, E280T, 320E, E320). Over $40k and your talking 320CE and E320C.

The W124 was popular here and you should have no trouble finding a good one. We have MB clubs here based in the capital city in each state that you may also find helpful.

I hope your move down under goes well and good luck finding a nice Mercedes-Benz.
107.023: 350SLC, 3-speed auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold 2012 after 29 years ownership).
107.026: 500SLC, 4-speed auto, thistle green, green velour.
124.090: 300TE, 4-speed auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex.
201.028: 190E 2.3 Sportline, 5-speed manual, arctic white, blue leather.
201.028: 190E 2.3, 4-speed auto, blue-black, grey MBtex.
201.034: 190E 2.3-16, 5-speed manual, blue-black, black leather.
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Old 04-24-2003, 09:56 AM
Posts: n/a
Thanks Greg,

Oz is beautiful country. I rescently spent six weeks there
visiting family and doing some vacationing. I enjoyed the
climate and the people were friendly and hospitable.

Your right about the weather being very good to vehicles
down under. I saw cars that were 25 years and older
without a mark of rust on them. That's quite a difference
from the Canadian climate. The temperature in Toronto
can go from 32C(summer) to -25C(winter). That coupled
with the fact that salt is used to de-ice the roads makes
for corrosive conditions 5-6 months out of the year.

I hope to make it to Oz soon. I'll look up the club depending
on where I settle.


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Old 05-03-2003, 06:02 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 47
If you want to buy a 300E (or similar) in RHD, let me know. I live in Hong Kong and should be able to find you a reasonable car for around 1.5 - 2.5K.

The shipping and import costs are yours to arrange.


92 MB 600SEL
92 MB 500SL
93 BMW 740i

(All bought in HK and still being driven)
Vince Alfonso (in Hong Kong)

92 MB 600 SEL
94 MB 600 SL
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93 BMW 740i
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Old 05-06-2003, 04:44 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Watkins Glen, NY
Posts: 42
An idea...

I used to be heavily into Volkswagens years ago.

Yes, Beetles.

Now, keeping in mind that they are two entirely different animals, someone several years ago, sometime in the 1980's, had published a ridiculously detailed book on their conversion of a LH convertible to a RH, with all sorts of text and photos. There was also some heavy rust on it, of which all is completely addressed as well.

I would imagine it's still available someplace, reasonably priced, and while it's still just a rear engine VW convertible, it gives you a decent idea of the changeover process.

Of course, things have changed, I have moved on to the MB's, and I can't for the life of me remember the name of the book, but I would venture a guess that someone in a VW forum would know what one you are talking about.

Just an idea, really.

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