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Buying a car from Japan


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Hi there, I'm interested and looking into buying a car from Japan and was wondering if anyone has experience with that? I know that there are certain models that are not legal to import, and that you have to pay a ton for shipping and then it has to pass emissions. So, I'm not a little kid dreaming about it, I am willing to drop a decent amount (well providing I get approved for a loan, but I have good credit) for a RHD from Japan.

 

If anyone else has looked into this before and decided it was too much of a hassle.. why? Is it going to be easier to buy a RHD from the US and just pay whatever premium the owner decides to gouge me for? I'm looking at most likely a mid-90s Honda (Accord, Prelude, or possibly Integra) and am willing to spend hopefully no more than $15k.

 

Thanks for reading! Looking forward to responses.

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I vote they buy it from a reputable vehicle importer. There are several larger companies that import the vehicles that are legal for use in the US, and a few that import the illegal ones and make the necessary changes to make them legal. The prices are surprisingly affordable.

 

A place I visit on occasion for info: http://greyintheusa.blogspot.com/

 

A pseudo-popular company in CA that does a lot of work with, and selling of, rhd accord wagons. Some of them with the full jdm aero kits and trim that was not even available as a dealer package in the US: http://www.righthanddrivejapan.com/

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Thanks for the quick response! Right Hand Drive Japan looks pretty awesome. They might be exactly what I'm looking for. I'm gonna stop by their business tomorrow morning and see what they have. Thanks so much for the info!!

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Stop by? Damn CA residents. Living in Ohio I get the shaft on all the coolest places.

 

A couple months ago they had a sweet looking red wagon with the full jdm aero package and full charcoal leather interior. only downside is it being auto, but that would be a relatively simple conversion. I would absolutely love to have an accord wagon 5spd with the h and the factory kit...just not rhd.

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Haha yeah luckily my life has brought me here to the OC so it's not terribly far.. about an hour. I'll take a few pics with my phone and post them if you want, though the site does a pretty good job with pics. I noticed that most of their cars are auto.. I've always wondered: how much is a manual conversion?

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diy the 'correct' way and not skip corners maybe $1000-$1500 for a wagon. You need the trans, different ecu, pedals, shifter and linkages and assorted piping for the hydraulic lines. If you sourced an American 5spd car for the parts the gearing on the trans wouldn't be as favorable as all the US spec cars were just commuters. If you brought in a JDM trans the gearing would be better but the transmission could be more expensive.

 

I would guess about double that if you paid someone to do it for you provided you sourced the parts.

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Hmm that's not too bad at all. Somewhere I had gotten the idea that it would be roughly $10k. I might have been looking at a custom geared tranny though. It was a long time ago when I saw it, and I was young and naive.

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Certainly, if you went down to the local transmission rebuild company and said you wanted a new one they would give you a $3500 bill and then you still would need to install it. But that is for the uninformed.

 

You live in CA. Japanese importers abound. You surely live within an hour of several places that can source you a low mileage Japanese import trans for a few hundred. The place selling these may even have the parts or a kit price to do the conversion for you.

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Awesome, very good to know. I know the places are around, I'm about an hour south of LA and 1.5 hrs north of SD, so that makes it easy to "stop by" :laugh: And if I may throw in a shameless plug, the place where I had my body kit installed and painted was Sinful Enhancements in SD. They did a custom kit for a car in Super Street. They know a bunch of junkyards that house many junked little ricers.

 

Thanks for all the info! I'm off to RHDJ to see if they'll let me test drive a RHD. Or at least sit in it :happy:

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi there, I'm interested and looking into buying a car from Japan and was wondering if anyone has experience with that? I know that there are certain models that are not legal to import, and that you have to pay a ton for shipping and then it has to pass emissions. So, I'm not a little kid dreaming about it, I am willing to drop a decent amount (well providing I get approved for a loan, but I have good credit) for a RHD from Japan.

 

If anyone else has looked into this before and decided it was too much of a hassle.. why? Is it going to be easier to buy a RHD from the US and just pay whatever premium the owner decides to gouge me for? I'm looking at most likely a mid-90s Honda (Accord, Prelude, or possibly Integra) and am willing to spend hopefully no more than $15k.

 

Thanks for reading! Looking forward to responses.

 

 

 

 

i know a guy thats got what i think is a 97 integra from japan and its in stock trim mugen accessories red and a few other goods. were in the marine corps and he got the goverment to pay for the shipping. but now he wants to sell it, well he is considering it. but its more than 15k. but its worth it. oh only 22,000 miles as well. its in north carolina btw.

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^ doesnt sound too bad.. but the OP is in california...

 

and i LOL'd when i seen where the OP was from.. i was just in irvine the other day :laugh:

 

and if you cant find a RHD honda, you could always just buy a regular LHD honda and call up hmotors or go on their site and see what RHD front clips they have for sale and do it that way.. :)

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  • 1 month later...

Hm see, you posted that picture trying to insult me, but you didnt realize that the south is not considered part of america.

 

We let all the nascar fans and their confederate flags be their own country.

 

Soon they will all die off from sheer stupidity and then we will go in and take the land back.

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Yes but that is the thing, with them inbreeding, that would mean full retard. Everybody knows you never go full retard.

 

Check it out. Dustin Hoffman, 'Rain Man,' look retarded, act retarded, not retarded. Counted toothpicks, cheated cards. Autistic, sho'. Not retarded.

 

You know Tom Hanks, 'Forrest Gump.' Slow, yes. Retarded, maybe. Braces on his legs. But he charmed the pants off Nixon and won a ping-pong competition. That ain't retarded.

 

Peter Sellers, "Being There." Infantile, yes. Retarded, no.

 

You went full retard, man. Never go full retard.

 

You don't buy that? Ask Sean Penn, 2001, "I Am Sam." Remember? Went full retard, went home empty handed...

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