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Diy Usa To Uk Import

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Hiya There All,

This is my first post, and would like to thank you all in advance for any help you can give.

I thought I would be able to do it all by myself....but am now a little stuck. (I am desperately trying to get this sorted so am asking everyone I know.)

I am importing a Grey 996 Cabrio 2002 facelift from the US and have managed to get everything done, but now I have given it to a garage to SVA and MOT to save time and trouble ("mistake") but they are a little stuck. This is the note from the garage :

Hi Michal,

Ok, went for the MOT yesterday, failed on lights basically, the front amber sidelights need to be converted to indicators and the rear fog needs to be switched to the RHS rather than the left.

Headlight beam pattern is also the wrong way round so he said he would have a go and changing this, unless you know of a way to swap it over?

Kindest Regards,.........

I heard that it is possible to switch the headlights over to a flat beam pattern...Is this true? (Litronic Lights Fitted)

Front Amber Sidelights ? (is that just a relay change)

Fog swapping over..(is that a case of a quick rewire)

I am a Very DIY person so any help would be greatly appreciated.

Many Thanks Michal.

HELP !!!!!!

p.s. I owned three VW Polo's Mk1 for the last 10 years!!!


Edited by michalmarzec
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  • Moderators

Change from sidemarkers to turn signals. http://wa4ekg.home.att.net/996mods/sidemarkermod.html Don't know if these instructions work on a 2002.

Run a jumper wire from the working fog light bulb socket to the socket on the other side that does not work, then swap the bulb over.

ROW litronics have a lever in the back of the headlight to convert from LHD to RHD. US litronics do not.

2002 is bi-xenon. Don't know if the ROW cars have a lever. US cars don't.

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Hiya Tool+Midlifez,

Thanks for your help..I have paid for a "PORSHE 996 PORSHE 911 CARRERA SERVICE MANUAL" and downloaded it already.(well worth $20!)

It says that both fog lights are fed +12V :) so just need to swap the bulb over !

Also side lights and front indicators go to the same connection-block...So a simple Cut and Re terminate onto indicators will do ! :)

Lights are a problem.........IF there is not swap over switch it is going to be BIG £££££££££ !!!!!!!!

However I have heard of people taking out the Actual Metal Light Cut-Off Plate (inside the projector housing) and grinding it to the Reverse profile...( ie LHD into RHD )

Coool for your help though...I really do appreciate it. Michal :)

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On a US car only the left side fog light works, but not the right side. On a US car the right side bulb holder for a fog light is empty. On a RHD car the opposite is true, but sometimes there is a bulb in the non-working socket. No clue why Porsche puts a bulb in a socket on a ROW car when there is no power to the socket. So, ROW people treat this bulb as a spare.

To confuse you more, if you put a bulb on the right side it will not light up. The wiring diagrams are misleading because they show a wire running to that socket. And, if you pull out the bulb holder for the right side you will see a wire running to the empty fog light socket. If you put a bulb in that socket it will not light light up because there is no power to the wire. That is why you have to run a jumper wire from the wire to the functioning socket to the wire to the non functioning socket.

At least this is the way it is on my 1997 Boxster. As you can see I ran a jumper wire from the left bulb holder wire to the right bulb holder wire, put a bulb. So there is now power to both sockets and both bulbs light up. You would do the same except remove the left side bulb, so that only the right side would light up.

Also, now that I think about it, there is a local 996 owner, Kirby, who made the sidemarkers blink. If forget the year of his car but it is newer than a 2002.

What is going to happen with the wide rear UK plate on a US car?


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There was a post just a week or two ago about rear foglamps, someone taking a RHD UK car to continental Europe requiring LHD rear fog lamp conversion. May be useful.

The UK also has a largish rectangular plate used for vehicles where rear long plates are not suitable (say, for a Toyota or Mitsubishi SUV where long plates would stick out from the rear door's edge. The letters are on two lines therefore. I've seen it used in photos of US vehicles in the UK.

I hope you find a cost-effective answer to the headlamps. For normal cars, you just cover a certain portion of the glass with a decal.

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Stickshiftz !!! thats a top idea..stickers ! Cheap / instant / cheerful.

I have seen them on 996 coupe before. Im sure I can sort the lights out later on...its just that I have been living this whole import thing for about 11weeks now....And

as you can imagine...."I want to DRIVE my car !"

As for the FogLamps..I didnt expect them both to be fed. But that is what the Schematics said. Anyways, a new wire..not a big deal.

Indicators are easy.

Fingers crossed, It will be enough for the MOT man...and then the SVA man.

Thanks all, Michal

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  • 4 months later...

Hey Guys,

Lets take the Mystery out the SVA test once and for all!

I have 2003 996 Cab USA versiion in the UK converted with SVA pass!

My total cost to get the work done professionally by Zentrum (Nottinghan) was ( ...get ready) £145.

I dropped th car off went out for coffee came back just over later and it was done. The mechanics are ex-Porsche Nottingham and factory trained, without dealer pricing!

But before I bought and brought my USA car over to the UK. I looked into the costs. To start with RHD Porsche of Nottinghim told me it would cost £7000+ to prepare a USA car to pass the UK SVA. They tried to persuade me not to do it because of the costs. I kept looking for anwers I gots lots of ridiculous quotes and was told tons of rubbish that really put me off. I had a very hard time finding anyone who knew exactly what was required bring a Porsche into the UK.

This goes to show that there are many people with vested interests in keeping this process a mystery and making profits and a living from Joe Bloggs who wants a car passed through the SVA and does not have a clue what is required and full of fear from misinformation. This website comes closest but even these helpful threads have conflicting and confusing information.

Here is what is required to pass the SVA.

1) Running lights were converted to indicators (repeaters) 2) Rear Fog light was wired to the the otherside, Now both fogs work. Why not have both? There is socket on both sides its just not wired on one side 3) Then you need amber bulbs in the rear indicator lenses, not red which is allowed in the USA. Earlier cars with red turn indicator lenses, need to get the EU (amber)replacements. Luckily the 996 has clear indicator lenses, so only the bulb need so be changed if it is not amber.

4) USA Bi-Xenon Lithtronics to UK. Nothing needs to be purchased! You just 'flatten' the low beam. Regardless of what is said elsewhere, there is a switch inside the light housing when removed from the car to 'flatten' the beam of the lights. It does not turn it into a RHD flare to the left, but it flatten right flare. That is ALL that is required. Its 100% verified and SVA test is passed! My headlight are not ROW but definetely USA DOT approved OEM Lithtronics and there is a switch! SVA test will check the beams with machine and also to see that headlight washers are installed and that they are self leveling, as they are.

They will check lights all to see that they work, and they will check the low beam aim. They check seatbelts, (all) even those kiddy seats in back. They weigh the car. They put it up an lift and look underneath to make sure everything is in tact and have the wheels tuirned full both directions. They will check the tire/wheel sizes to see if they match OEM spec.

The only thing holding me up from pass was the window tint film on the driver and passenger door windows that was installed in Florida where the car came from. The tester quickly helped me remove it!

All the BS about needing new headlights and changing my USA Lithronics, and Key Fob Transmitter frequency needing to be changed etc is complete rubbish. Cars from USA do not need more testing as long as the USA DOT ID sticker remains inside on the lower panel of the driver door. The SVA tester will photograph this. This means no other testing is required. Cars that do not have this or come other countries need s Type approval or complete testing, which can be very involved, unless there is paperwork from a previous complete test. Porche owners need not worry about this.

The dreaded SVA was an enjoyable experience after all. I learned a lot from the tester as we chatted away while he checked everything out. Nobody should fear the SVA test. Its just all the paperwork that sucks. C388 for Customs and V55/5 for the DVLA etc.

Drop a message if perhaps I can help with any more information.


Edited by Jas III
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Did either of you convert to RHD? That would be my main concern in bringing a LHD car over. I personnally would not want a LHD over there because of lack of visibility when passing. I imagine it would be big bucks (or pounds) to convert. The electrical stuff seems trivial by comparison.

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I am a little bit off-topic, but may I ask what taxes (if any) you have to pay to import a US car into the UK? Say I buy a car 50,000 USD (or 25,000 gbp) and spend another 1000 USD to ship to the UK. What other costs are involved to get the car on the road?

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