Right Hand Drive Conversion [Archive] - Honda Element Owners Club Forum

: Right Hand Drive Conversion


dutzy
10-08-2007, 02:40 PM
I bought a 2005 Element for use on my mail route.
However, straddling the gear shifter area is proving to be miserable & there is very little space under the glove box for RHD gas & brake pedals. Has anyone tried to convert the pedals? Any ideas how this can be done?

ramblerdan
10-08-2007, 03:30 PM
Welcome, Dutzy.

Routing a cable to a second gas pedal shouldn't be too hard, but a second brake pedal seems pretty daunting. And would your insurance company countenance it?

The thread is titled "right hand drive" but you didn't say you need to move the steering wheel. That would be the biggest problem of all.

You might be better off finding a used RHD Element in Japan or the UK and having it shipped over.

lizzurd
10-08-2007, 03:44 PM
Here is one idea for a brake pedal.

http://www.osbrake.com/disabled-driver-aids/

bh241
10-08-2007, 07:31 PM
I like the solution for the brake pedal that lizzurd posted, it looks like the same concept could be adapted to add an accelerator too.

All you need is a mechanically oriented mod master. :) It certainly looks doo-able.

dutzy
10-08-2007, 08:25 PM
I really don't think I'll need the steering wheel moved, I'm used to reaching the wheel & blinkers and all from closer to the passenger side. I just need to get the pedals moved. I feel like a prisoner of my left leg right now - and it keeps me too far away from the passenger door. I like the brake idea here, too. It looks easier to install than what I've found.
Thanks for the ideas. I have found one place that sells the kits, reasonably priced. decon dual controls, but they will not sell them to me for a Honda Element. They said others have tried and failed. There is a mod master online, at morgan dual controls, with pics of Elements he has converted. The place is too far away from here - I'm in Wisconsin, they are in AR. I can't tell from the pics if he's done anything to the glove box area. Maybe he'd be nice & help us w/ an install.......I think I'll have my mechanic call him.
Good thought about the insurance, too, I hadn't even thought about that. This must be safer than what I'm doing now, tho. Thanks again to all, I really appreciate the help!

biocube
10-09-2007, 07:44 PM
Don't bother. The Element is not a car that can be imported into the USA.

Mabey drive your route in reverse?

why not???

LMntGuy1982
10-10-2007, 12:40 AM
Here's a solution for $9.99...

http://www.asseenontv.com/prod-pages/Gopher.html

Flashbox
10-10-2007, 11:13 AM
Here's a solution for $9.99...

http://www.asseenontv.com/prod-pages/Gopher.html

I like it! I actually bought these for my grandparents one year fro Christmas!

Steelheart
10-11-2007, 08:48 PM
Your thought on using your Element is good, but for mail delivery there are better choices. Both Subaru and Jeep have right hand drive vehicles in this country specifically for letter carriers. They also have special pricing. Contact them.

beaker656
10-12-2007, 12:35 AM
You will have to ask the NHTSA.

The Element isn't on the list of cars allowed to be imported.

http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/import/

Would that be because both the LHD and RHD versions were made at the same plant in the US? So bringing one back may not be classed as importing as you are bringing it back to the point of origin?? Just asking

dutzy
10-12-2007, 05:58 AM
I have been driving a Chevy for the last 15 or so years and I'm sick of my truck being in the shop so much. Thought I'd try to get something w/ a little more reliability. Jeep and Subaru are not up there w/ Honda. I've never used a RHD before, just could always find a bench seat in the front & transmission on the column. I guess those days are over. Unless I go for a pick up. I never even considered a RHD before, but after I realized how hard the E is to use as it is, figured I'd go that route so I could keep it. Maybe the grabby thing would help. I'm going to try the E again today at work to see how it goes. It's just been sitting in the driveway for over a month while I continue to use my old Blazer while trying to figure out how to make it work. Took the Element to a place that converts vans & vehicles for disabled. They cannot put a gas pedal on the right for me. They said there is just not enough room where they attach it to the existing throttle.

proteus9119
10-12-2007, 10:35 AM
I would think there must be some sort of program to provide mail carriers a right hand conversion for thier vehicles.

Maybe that's naive of me.

Any way, you might look into a JDM/ EDM dash and steering rack. It is likely to be nearly immpossible to find but you never know. AND you can be the envy of all JMDers and EOCers at the same time!

dutzy
10-15-2007, 06:20 AM
That would be nice. Our union isn't what it used to be. Generally speaking, these days our vehicle expenses always exceed our reimbursements as it is. We are pretty close to the lowest form of life in the Post Office. There are no rebates, incentives, nothing. Last year it seems like every week they would give us a service talk on safe driving & give us the news of a carrier who died on the route that week. All the while, telling us how we will not get overtime, so don't think about going over hours, so of course everyone is in serious hurry up mode. You would think that they would help out with the RHD.
On a lighter note, I used the Element Friday & it wasn't as bad. Maybe it just takes a little practice. I've put all kinds of organizers and holders in the truck, so everything is pretty much where I need it. I'm thinking I will still pick up one of those gophers someone on here mentioned for winter. Now all I have to do is wait for the ice & snow to see how the E handles.
Thanks to all for your advice - I really didn't expect so many of you to respond. I really appreciate it! What a great group of people on this forum!

slimerdogs
10-24-2007, 06:44 AM
The mail carrier out here uses a Jeep that was left hand drive and they got a kit that put a pulley and belt system right behind the stock wheel and ran a belt over to another wheel on the right and has pedals going over to the stock ones mounted to the firewall. It seems to work good.

spdrcr5
10-24-2007, 07:57 AM
You will have to ask the NHTSA.

The Element isn't on the list of cars allowed to be imported.

http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/import/

Not being on the list doesn't matter. That list of vehicles is only a list of vehicles that have been imported and have a cert/import number attached to them. It just makes it easier for an importer to bypass getting a vehicle certified, etc. There are literally hundreds of makes and models not included on that list.

You can bring in just about any vehicle you choose to bring into the country so long as it passes certain requirements. The RHD Element would probably be fairly simple actually since it was manufactured to the same safety standards as the one sold here. That's what NHTSA cares about.

E-Bob
01-10-2008, 04:03 PM
I believe you need something like this:
http://www.postalthings.com/images/righthand/Subaru%20Conversion.JPG
Its on a Subaru, unfortunately. Saw a picture of an Element converted in the same way...
but I lost the website of the company that did it! :-(

Here's a a website for a company that converts OTHER vehicles...
Postal Things Incorporated (http://http://www.postalthings.com/right_hand.htm)

If the USPS would actually help with some $$, you could be cruising in one of these!
Quigley right hand drive Postal Van (http://www.quigley4x4.com/pages/index.cfm?fuseAction=page&upID=44)
Or these:
RHD Jeep Liberty by Leisure Equipment (http://www.leisureequipmentinc.com/rhd/)

E-Bob
01-10-2008, 06:05 PM
Found it!

http://morgandualcontrols.com/Honda_Element.JPG

http://morgandualcontrols.com/Honda_Element_3_op_800x600.jpg

http://morgandualcontrols.com/Honda_Element_5_op_800x600.jpg

Morgan Dual Controls (http://morgandualcontrols.com/)

ramblerdan
01-10-2008, 09:00 PM
Looks kinda cobby. Notice how in low gear, the belt would rub against the shifter lever. From a safety viewpoint, there's the protruding bolts near the driver's legs, no airbag, restricted instrument visibility ... anyone considering this mod should check their state's vehicle laws first.

E-Bob
01-10-2008, 10:31 PM
That thing that looks like a wire comming out of the vent is actually a stiff metal lever attached to the turn signal stalk. You can see it a bit better in the other photos.

Yes, it is definately a little.. um... 1/2 @55ed! Consider, though, the other options for a Rural Carrier often involve sitting between the front seats and operating the car with just the left hand and foot. :-o Without seatbelts. :shock:

Unfortunately, the Postal Service does not provide much help to Rural Carriers looking for a right hand drive vehicle. The newer postal vehicles, the LLV and FFV, are not sold to the public (or Rural Carriers) at the end of their use by the USPS the way the old postal Jeeps were. Subaru and Jeep used to make/import RHD versions just for postal carriers (and parking enforcement) but have discontinued the practice, I believe.

I suspect that dual drive conversions like these are pretty common in this line of work. Its probably not as bad as it looks.

I took the exam for, and nearly became a Rural Carrier myself... but didn't feel like making an investment in something like this for the job. And I sure didn't want to try the acrobatics involved in using a left-hand only car for mail delivery!

mkh
01-11-2008, 09:50 AM
That looks like the standard driving school setup from High School.

You can pick up a variety of right-hand drive vehicles on ebay. Just did a search and no less than 38 right-hand'ers came up, half of them Jeeps of one kind or another.

maxine
01-09-2010, 04:26 PM
I am glad to see that we are not the only Element Postal drivers out there:-D. My husband and I bought ours hoping to be able to get it changed to a right hand. It is almost the only car that we could find that you can sit in the right side and still drive. You can also use Mini Vans but hubby liked the Element better.

Speaking from a womans point of veiw, I would find it easier to have a right hand or use a Mini Van. I am shorter and my arms are not as long so it makes it really hard to have to stretch. If the passanger seat was able to be raised like the drivers seat that would also help.

We are not actual Postal Employees, we are contractors. We were in a position of finding a car that was 5 years or newer when we found our Element. I do have to say that when it snowed we were the only ones that were able to deliver to all our route. I love my Element.

If one of you finds a SAFE way to change to right hand make sure to post so we can also. :twisted:

TonyS
01-09-2010, 07:07 PM
Hi Ebob and Mrs. maxine! Welcome to the club!

maxine
01-09-2010, 08:37 PM
:-D Thank you. Any of you know how to contact Honda to let them know we want a kit for the Element?

TonyS
01-10-2010, 08:23 AM
.....hmmm, try to google their main number/email - maybe H&A Accessories has an 'in' with Honda........

lizzurd
01-10-2010, 10:22 AM
:-D Thank you. Any of you know how to contact Honda to let them know we want a kit for the Element?


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