Technical panda 4x4 LHD to RHD conversion

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Technical panda 4x4 LHD to RHD conversion

Nov 29, 2014
i have a LHD 4x4 and a RHD front wheel drive donor panda i am wondering about the possibility of converting the 4x4 to RHD i can see 2 problems.
The LHD has brake servo that wont fit behind the engine in a RHD configuration. do i need the servo? i asume RHD pandas dont need it. maybe they use different brake calipers.
As fiat designed the car to be RHD the LHD version is an afterthought for this reson i think it is easier to convert a RHD to LHD than visa versa.
I have not explored the fuse box and wiring changes but if i was going to take the engine out, as i may to replace the clutch, then it dose not seam hard to make a few holes in the bulk head and fit the pedals and steering rack to the other side.
Any one tried this? any complications i have overlooked?
I suspect the sensible answer is don't bother. but don't sensible people drive ford Mondeos.
From looking at the differences between my RHD and LHD 4x4s recently I'd say the simplest way to do it is to swap the whole bulk head over from the RHD vehicle. All of the pedal box mounting, spaces for the heater controls, steering rack mounts, steering column holes, brake servo mountings etc. are all specific to the position of the driver. You could start cutting out holes and mountings in the LHD bulkhead but I think you'd have a struggle to get everything sitting right due to the curves and linings in the steel. If you are a competent welder it would be quicker and simpler to swap the whole section.

But there is the other question, the money saver; is it really worth all the work to have a RHD car?

Edit: I drive a Ford Mondeo.
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As Andy has said the biggest issue is that the bulkhead is not symmetrical in either a LHD or RHD car, each have their own specific panel which means the necessary pressings that allow the components to fit correctly are not there. It is unfortunately not as easy as drilling a few holes and bolting everything in.

It would be a case of cutting the required parts out of a RHD bulkhead and welding them into the LHD car, not a small job, the fabrication of a jig to accurately align the panel would be required in my opinion.

RHD cars with a servo have them mounted in the same place as a LHD with a bar running along the inside of the car from the pedal to the servo. Non servo RHD did have the master cylinder mounted behind the engine so you could use that setup if needed.
Thanks for you opinions, Modeo drivers or not. my RHD car has a blanked off cut-out in the bulkhead. I had supposed that was for the brake cylinder if the car was built LHD. It must be where the servo goes, if I had one. I don’t but will have to source one if I go ahead with this conversion. i do have a bulkhead and a MIG welder though.
lots of good reading there alixcompo. thanks for the pointer some times its a bit difficult to find the right info on this forum via the search. Did you say you had experience registering an imported vehicle? perhaps i am going about this project the wrong way and i should be converting my 2wd uk registered panda to 4x4 instead or converting a an imported car which I have no paperwork for to RHD.
very litle progress with my pandas due to hectic summer schedule but i did buy a new ignition advance servo. and remove the fuel tank from the 4x4 it was badly rusted and the pump is seized. Today i mucked out the carb on the panda lipstick so i got the engine runing on petrol for the first time couldnt drive any where cause i only have 2 wheels and the gear stick linkage is broken. clutch seems to work but engine wouldn’t idle striped of intake manafold and fited carb to 4x4 ie after a lot of messing i get it runing but it wont idle, tends to run flat out or stall, only runs for about 30 seconds be fore stopping, and backfires. think next i will try to run the engine with the simper (carb) ignition coil and points
looked at the feasibility of converting the lipstick to 4x4 and i am reminded that its a mk2 and doesn’t have rear leaf springs.
think i will have to have a conversation with the dva.
Is the LHD a 1.1i.e?

Surprising how much difference that set up makes on power compared to the 999cc set up.

My ex-selecta can get up hills in a higher gear and doesn't get bogged down, whereas all the 999cc's do.
i haven’t summoned up the courage to ring the dva yet but i did strip and set my points and fit them to the 4x4 ie. the engine dose not run any better but the process did remind me of motor bikes in my youth. it seems most people like to use the ecu ignition and not points even when they do fit a carb. the engine runs for a few seconds then stops i have decided the problem is fuel starvation so will have to strip the carb again, i am not using a fuel pump just gravity feeding the carb of an old lawnmower tank.
i think the lhd is a 999 ie but i know very little about the cars history would the difference be obvious
my RHD car has a blanked off cut-out in the bulkhead. I had supposed that was for the brake cylinder if the car was built LHD.

Nope, the RHD bulkhead is different to the LHD, what you're looking at is the blank for the master cylinder, which will be NS if it has a servo or OS if not.
according to an on line vin info sevice my panda 4x4 ie was built in 1989 the cc is listed as both 999 and 1108cc ?

my panda lipstick has the reg j23670 dva said it doesn't exist turns out its from jersey. wonder what that means?
so the steering rack is slipping in the 4x4 the rhd lipstick steering rack looks just the same but left handed. i wonder can i fix a lhd rack with parts from a rhd rack? or do i have to change the car to suit the rack?
I found a 10 franc coin under the seat to day so I have decided my car is from France.
i have a broken tooth on the rack part of my steering rack, turns out the pinion is the same lhd and rhd but the rack is diferent.
as i don't have good lhd rack ill have to convert to rhd.
now i need a rhd brake pedal for servo.
jury is still out on which hand drive the car will be, brakes and steering looks easy but dash electrics and heater will be pain in the arse to shift to the right. Removed the engine gearbox dash seats and carpet today found 20.10 French francs and 0.11 Irish punts the youngest franc is 1991 so it must have come to Ireland after 91 and before the Euro in 2002.
i need to find or make a link rod to connect off side mounted brake servo with a near side mounted brake pedal. as i have never seen one and cant find one for sale i am stumped. has any got a decent picture of one? I have atached an image of a seicento brake pedal assembly dose it look similar? could it be bodged?


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