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Introduction - me and my 88 Cutlass Ciera Coupe in Germany

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    Introduction - me and my 88 Cutlass Ciera Coupe in Germany

    Hello, my name is Trevor and I live in Germany. Recently I stumbled across a pretty well preserved 88 Cutlass Ciera Coupé that had been imported to Belgium new. I couldn`t resist and bought it. Now I am wrestling with the notoriously feared German "TÜV" - the vehicle inspection - in order to register it here. Basically the car is in really good condition. All I needed to do was replace the tires and the exhaust pipe. Done. But now all the conformity issues are at hand?. Headlights, taillights (no red turning signals permitted - and while we are with the taillights, the turning signal may not use the same bulb as the brake light). I can´t find any European spec lights anywhere and don`t even know if any even exist. Maybe someone here has an idea. The inspector is also not happy with the seatbelts, the side markers in red in the rear, the windshield and a few other random annoying details. Anyway, I am glad I found this forum and am sure I will now be here frequently :-)
    Cars aren`t like people - cars need love ;-)

    #2
    Welcome!

    Pics please!
    Brian - Carpe Diem

    I dont have to love my president, or any god, to love my country!!
    More people have died in the name of "God" than in all wars combined thruout history
    01 Pontiac Aztek GT AWD 127k - 04 GMC Envoy SLT XUV 193k

    Comment


      #3
      Welcome. It?s so nice to find these old cars in well kept condition. For pics you have to store the pics elsewhere and post links, there is no pic storage on this site.

      I can?t find any Euro spec Cieras. Unfortunate because both the Celebrity and 6000 came with amber turn signals at times. I have seen other cars converted to Euro spec with added on lights. For the rear you might be able to put some additional low profile LED amber turn lights on the trunk lid and some thin amber strips for side markers. Reconnect the existing brake light filaments to the 3rd brake light so they don?t flash, and the new turn signals to those in the front bumper. Might need to swap to an electronic turn signal flasher due to the different electrical load. Then again depending on how skilled you are with custom work you could fab up some tail assemblies with truck/trailer LED lights that fit the space well, and not have to screw anything to the body.

      I?ve seen several GM cars like Corsicas with sealed beam lights for Euro spec. Is that what they want? You could convert to a 1985-86 nose but it requires the whole front header assembly. Or again just fab up something solid and nice looking to mount sealed beams into the space and swap to the different connectors. If they allow that of course.

      What don?t they like about the seatbelts and the windshield? If the windshield is cracked then we have to replace it here too.

      Is there the possibility of going to a different inspector who might be more lenient? Considering the age of the car and parts availability. I?d find out the minimum you have to do to get it legal, and go from there.
      Last edited by tlc1976; 11-20-2020, 03:33 AM.
      1989 Celebrity CL 4 door, 3.1 MPFI, 4 speed auto, summer daily driver
      1989 Cutlass Cruiser wagon, 3.1 MPFI, 4 speed auto, special summer ride
      1996 Cherokee XJ 4 door, 4.0, 5 speed, winter daily driver & towing vehicle
      1991 Tracker 2 door, 1.6, 5 speed, needs work
      Previously several Celebritys, 6000s, & 2 U-vans

      Comment


        #4
        What I know someone in France did to "euro spec" was to wire the brake lights off the center high mount light, and then find a decent square light that doesnt look to atrocious, and mount them IN the bumper, and wire those lights off the front turn signals. Then you just need to plug in a flasher that is programed, or that is set up for LED bulbs, to get rid of the hyper flash. The other option for the amber turn signals is to move the turn signals, and wire in switchback bulbs into the reverse bar.

        Flasher piece
        https://www.grainger.com/product/2VN...P7A1P:20501231

        Switchback bulbs
        https://www.amazon.com/AUXITO-Switch.../dp/B078LYN5L8

        Example switchback
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFHALFp0v-0
        Brian - Carpe Diem

        I dont have to love my president, or any god, to love my country!!
        More people have died in the name of "God" than in all wars combined thruout history
        01 Pontiac Aztek GT AWD 127k - 04 GMC Envoy SLT XUV 193k

        Comment


          #5
          I never heard of switchback bulbs before. I like that idea as long as white rear turn signal lenses are allowed.
          1989 Celebrity CL 4 door, 3.1 MPFI, 4 speed auto, summer daily driver
          1989 Cutlass Cruiser wagon, 3.1 MPFI, 4 speed auto, special summer ride
          1996 Cherokee XJ 4 door, 4.0, 5 speed, winter daily driver & towing vehicle
          1991 Tracker 2 door, 1.6, 5 speed, needs work
          Previously several Celebritys, 6000s, & 2 U-vans

          Comment


            #6
            Let me see if I can post some pics? hope it works. First attempt:

            https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...unds&crop=fill

            https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...unds&crop=fill

            https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...unds&crop=fill

            https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...unds&crop=fill
            Cars aren`t like people - cars need love ;-)

            Comment


              #7
              I hope the links work.

              I haven´t been able to find any Ciera taillights with orange signals either, though there is a post of a ciera in Sweden here on this site with the kind of lights required. See here:

              https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...080&fit=bounds

              The lamp is terribly faded but obviously they did exist. Probably not to be found anywhere though.

              As I would not want to add any strange looking aftermarket lights to the rear, I was also considering using the reverse lights as turning signals using orange bulbs. That is something the inspector could agree on if I add a reverse lamp under the bumper just like the fog lamp on the picture. Of course a little rewiring would be needed. The switchback bulbs are an awesome idea! I will discuss that possibility with the inspector. The bulbs are not certified for use on vehicles here though but maybe a possible compromise. Many of the parts do not have the European "E" certification on them which seems to be the issue with my inspector. e.g. on the windshield or headlights. It´s the sealed beam lamps that are not approved. He wants halogene bulbs. I thought about converting to the 85- 86 headlights as certified inserts are available, but I would need to find that front end here which is practically impossible. And furthermore - and here it gets interesting - for registration as a historic vehicle (30+ years old) it must be as original as possible. Not talk about contradicting regulations? The way to go here is to prove that there are no certified parts available and then have him issue an "exception". A complicated process in a country that really likes regulations.
              I will keep posting my progress. So far it has been in the works for 2 months now. There are sadly not many inspectors for classic cars and/or imports. I have the combination of both. :-)
              Last edited by Tristar_100; 11-20-2020, 10:16 PM.
              Cars aren`t like people - cars need love ;-)

              Comment


                #8
                The problem with finding, getting, and using, the EuroSpec Amber tail lights is that your car is not wired for it, and you would have to customize everything. As you know that can get costly. And in either case, you have to do the custom wiring. So my opinion is to keep it original body wise, and modify the wiring, since you have to anyways.
                Brian - Carpe Diem

                I dont have to love my president, or any god, to love my country!!
                More people have died in the name of "God" than in all wars combined thruout history
                01 Pontiac Aztek GT AWD 127k - 04 GMC Envoy SLT XUV 193k

                Comment


                  #9
                  I definitely agree! I really do not want to make any body changes. Practically I can?t think of any changes that wouldn?t look bad at best. There is no way I will get around the rewiring and that is a challenge that I will be able to handle. I think I will go for the turning signals in the reverse lamps using orange bulbs. An additional reverse lamp will be mounted under the bumper, analog to the fog lamp, just on the other side. The inspector agreed on that compromise.
                  (I still like the idea of those switch back LED bulbs, but the inspector does not allow that - it must be possible that the reverse lamp works at the same time a turn signal or hazard lights are on)
                  Cars aren`t like people - cars need love ;-)

                  Comment

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