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sam in france
09-17-2011, 10:25 AM
Hi All

As a follow on from my earlier request about putting my 4x4 running gear onto a 2 wheel drive minibus for my Chalet in France, thanks to the info found on this site it now appears to be an over optomistic solution to a problem

So not wanting to give up on using my Sprinter 4x4 as our chalet vehicle, i have another idea

So a bit of background info, my van is a RHD ex Police 4x4 with 9 passenger seats, Great for what we do, however it has proved to be imposible to register it in France, because the sliding door for the passengers is on the wrong side, which is what we need

So can anyone advise me as to how difficult it would be to fit a sliding door on the other side of the van, i have looked at it and it does not look that difficult, but i thought that about the 4x4 conversion

I did contact a French company but they were stupidly expensive

So any advise would be appreciated

Also does anyone know of a sensible body shop in the Uk

Regards

Sam

Aqua Puttana
09-17-2011, 12:32 PM
I cannot answer your specific question. I have no idea how strict they are in France when it comes to modifying vehicles and then carrying paying passengers. I do have a caution for you anyway. Some of our laws over here related to commercial motor vehicle modification can be quite complex and hard to comply with. Before going too far in this project I would contact the equivalent of your Department of Motor Vehicles (commonly known as the DMV here in the States) for specific information about design documentation required and whether your vehicle will actually qualify for use if modified. Something in writing would be best. There may be other details out there to bite you.

My van was in commercial wheelchair transport service for a few years before a detail oriented inspector noted it was a modified cargo van. Because it could no longer qualify for service after that was documented it was put up for sale. FWIW. vic

Hi All

As a follow on from my earlier request about putting my 4x4 running gear onto a 2 wheel drive minibus for my Chalet in France, thanks to the info found on this site it now appears to be an over optomistic solution to a problem

So not wanting to give up on using my Sprinter 4x4 as our chalet vehicle, i have another idea

So a bit of background info, my van is a RHD ex Police 4x4 with 9 passenger seats, Great for what we do, however it has proved to be imposible to register it in France, because the sliding door for the passengers is on the wrong side, which is what we need

So can anyone advise me as to how difficult it would be to fit a sliding door on the other side of the van, i have looked at it and it does not look that difficult, but i thought that about the 4x4 conversion

I did contact a French company but they were stupidly expensive

So any advise would be appreciated

Also does anyone know of a sensible body shop in the Uk

Regards

Sam

sam in france
09-17-2011, 12:50 PM
Hi

Thank you for your thoughts,

i did take the van to a body shop who thought it would be fine to get the registration in France done, if the door was moved, the problem was the costs

Regards

Sam

Aqua Puttana
09-17-2011, 01:19 PM
Hi

Thank you for your thoughts,

i did take the van to a body shop who thought it would be fine to get the registration in France done, if the door was moved, the problem was the costs

Regards

Sam
Not to belabor the point, but most of our beaurocrats are much more detail oriented than our body shop owners when it comes to commercial vehicle regulations.

"We did do a really nice job on that door install didn't we? Well, gee. I thought that adding that new door would pass inspections with no problem. I can't believe they wouldn't pass it. Anyway, thanks for the payment in full for the work you contracted."

:hmmm: Have fun. vic

Altered Sprinter
09-17-2011, 01:51 PM
Sprinters are designed for left and right plus dual doors the panels cut out and a new frame came be installed ,Its already certificated globally out side of the NAFTA region as per TUV regulations. the cost is the issue but there are many coach builders in Europe capable of professionally converting the retrofit to the opposite side,of which you require prior to preregistering in France. for registration. In hindsight it would have been cheaper to buy a Local 4x4 rather than the English-off set door variant.
Richard.
I'll sell you mine it's a gas to drive.


37227

mean_in_green
09-17-2011, 04:37 PM
I'm working in Paris at the moment as it happens. It's noticeable just how battered a typical French vehicle is - clearly a lot of reversing by ear goes on.

I guess you need a factory door with hardware, the side and rear quarter panels, possibly a floor pan to cut up unless the inset step comes separately (doubtful). Also the three rails/runners and the upper internal channel. Dealers are often surprisingly good value for body panels but maybe an easier route is going to be buying bits off a crashed van?

What about adapting an aftermarket door from a chiller conversion company? There are fridge vans running around which have had their side doors replaced by hinged openers, reason being so that thick insulation can be accommodated on the inside. It's not possible to do that with a slider. I can recall seeing two types: one is a composite flat door recessed into the side door opening. The other type is a GRP door moulded to look like the original exterior panel. Both are hinged rather than sliders.

You're still going to need some alarming grinder action and imaginative creation of a frame to accommodate the door but it's just an idea - you might decide it's easier than recreating the factory design?

Eric Experience
09-18-2011, 01:14 PM
Sam.
I have looked at the door instalation problem and it is a big job, the floor and internal step would involve cutting the side right back to the shassis, the B pillar would have to be changed and the roof would have to be cut back to the gutter. Its not technicaly difficult just a lot of cutting and welding. The best place to do it would be Italy, they have many high quality shops that do specials and prototypes, with there economy in crisis you should get a good price and be able to get a donor vehicle cheap. Eric.

sam in france
09-18-2011, 09:29 PM
Thank you for the replies

I need to think about this, probably contact DRIRE the guys in France that would have to approve the French registration

I have considered getting all the bits off a doner scrap vehicle, that would reduce the costs

The thing is i paid 13,000 for this van last year with 60,000 on the clock, the same vehicle spec in France would be nearer to 26,000

I have never seen a left hooker over here, like i said before it was a Police special order

Thanks

Sam