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Everything posted by GoFaster

  1. Having just done some car shopping ... Each dealer has about 3 or 4 of them, the bigger dealers have more. Most M-B dealers in the Toronto area also carry smart (evidently it is not like this in the USA). And the outcome of that car shopping ... was buying something other than a smart, and evidently I'm not the only one. Every 453 at any dealer was automatic, which I didn't want. Cabrios have not shown up yet, and it appears that manual isn't going to be offered, at least not initially. There's only a $500 incentive on the coupe and nothing on the cabrio. I test drove a 453 and really liked it but not the unavailability of manual transmission, and not the price tag. Meanwhile, the Chrysler dealer within walking distance of my house, had two left-over 2015 Fiat 500 cabrio manual (probably why no one bought them) in top-level Lounge trim, with bluetooth, leather, etc at a big discount from MSRP on account of the non-current model year, and with 0% long-term financing to boot. My name is now on the red one.
  2. I bought the smart's replacement today. I gave the M-B dealer a chance, but the 453 is just too expensive for what it is. I bought a Fiat 500c cabrio, manual, from dealer stock (and a proper manual transmission is another thing which proved impossible to find on a 453). The smart has non-functioning A/C, which is a problem this summer, and the clutch has become grabby to the point of being very annoying and sometimes stalling the engine. No, it's not the actuator adjustment; been there done that. I've had enough. The smart is still in my driveway for the next couple of days, I'm picking up the new car on Wednesday. Ad is in the classifieds. There's a good Bilstein suspension kit and a good set of alloy wheels sitting right there. 234,748 km as it sits.
  3. This will end up being watered down.
  4. Last chance before it gets traded in next week. At this point any offer will be entertained. Time to move on. Wheels shown here are 6.5x15 all around. The stock Passion alloy wheels have good winter tires on them. Both sets go with the car. Has Area 451 cruise control and Bilstein coil-over suspension kit. Engine starts and runs well but has intermittent "check engine" P0410 (secondary air injection). Power windows and locks all work. 2nd owner, I bought it in 2012 with 89,000 km on it. Lots of highway mileage; oil changes have been DIY every 10,000 km with Mobil 1 0w40. It is going to need clutch work, it judders on engagement. The air conditioning does not work. There is a stone chip in the windshield on the right side, which should be repairable. Selling "as is". Price drop - $1000 or make offer. LAST CHANCE before trade-in. Contact: - Private message on this forum - Email bpetersen@lucidengineering.ca
  5. Re anodizing colour - Don't care. Either clear (natural aluminum) or black is fine. In for a bulk buy on the wheel bolts, too.
  6. I would be up for a set of 4 15mm at that price.
  7. It costs several hundred thousand dollars to emissions-certify a powertrain. Look how tiny the sales volume is, even for the standard model. At least the 453 comes with a turbo and evidently is capable of more than stock power output without a lot of modifications. The 451, you pretty much got what you got unless you want to spend thousands.
  8. I'd do all four wheels at 15mm via the longer-bolts route if the price were decent.
  9. So it turns out that the only damage from my 360 spin cycle was a broken bracket for the rear valance. $24 for a new one, I picked it up today and put it back together. There were some scuff marks on the bumper cover ... sanded, wet-sanded, went after it with the buffer, good enough. On the way home after the post I made earlier from a coffee shop, I saw a Subaru WRX being pulled out of the ditch with lots of damage, Judging from the panel gaps at the trunk lid, I think the shell was bent. Probably a writeoff. 4 wheel drive won't fix all winter-driving problems. The car is in my garage and it is staying there tomorrow. The van has better tires on it ... and it's already at the end of the driveway ready to go tomorrow.
  10. In today's sloppy weather ... I did a 360 degree spin in my own lane on highway 9 west of Newmarket and lightly tagged the guardrail with the rear bumper just before the spinning stopped. Ended up facing more or less forward so I hit the gas and kept right on going without stopping. At the moment, I'm stuck in the parking lot of a favorite coffee shop until some of this crap melts. No visible damage from the guardrail tag. I'm sure there will be some scratches visible once it's cleaned up and dried, but I ain't gonna worry about it. No harm no foul.
  11. I cannot "accept" a 100 km range when the average workday (averaged over 1 year) covers 160 km and the outliers (~ 1% of the time) are about double that, and it's 160 km one way to my sister's place. It is not a matter of "accepting" anything. It simply isn't going to get the job done. I have another gas powered vehicle that I'm willing to use on the 1% workdays and for vacations, which will always exceed any foreseeable EV range. It uses double the fuel that the gas smart uses.
  12. The compromises that current EV owners have to make, and which are evident in that article, aren't acceptable to normal people. They're certainly not acceptable to me. And ... it's all about range! I know what my driving patterns are like; I don't have time to plan routes around charging stations (which may or may not be available or tied up) and I don't have time to wait for charging. Overnight charging is fine but it's gotta do the whole day's run without recharging. Current EV owners can be considered early-adopters. Early-adopters tend to minimize the downsides of what they have to deal with ... Bear in mind that the Chevrolet Bolt has my interest. It's not that I'm some sort of anti-EV crusader - far from it. But current EVs are either too expensive (Tesla) or unsuitable due to insufficient range combined with inadequate quick-charging availability.
  13. For the moment ... Useless! I am waiting for the Chevrolet Bolt, plus a little bit longer to see if the car actually lives up to its expectations, because that one - if it operates as claimed - will do my daily rounds without having to deal with (and wait for) public charging stations.
  14. I've seen exactly one 453 out in the wild. The dealer in Brampton has a couple of them out front. I don't think the average person knows they exist as there has been NO advertising.
  15. Looks just like the top end of a motorcycle engine. If you can do that in half an hour, including all of the disassembly and reassembly necessary to get to that point, wanna do mine?? I will work on bike engines any day (just rebuilt one a couple weeks ago) but the smart ... I open the engine hatch, look inside, establish that I don't wish to contort myself into whatever shape is necessary in order to get in there, look underneath the car and shudder at the thought of all the rusted bolts that have to come off, then close it up and keep on driving ...
  16. It is entirely possible that the valve clearance has gone tight. It is possible that resetting the valve clearance might sort out the problem - but if the car has been driven with symptoms for 6 months with it like this, I'm not optimistic. Setting the valve clearance on a 451 is a big job because of the shim-bucket clearance setting method - the camshafts have to come out. It is the same as on a good many motorcycle engines ... but with more difficult access to the top of the cylinder head.
  17. "Ejected from vehicle" almost always means "no seat belts". All the airbags in the world won't save someone who has been forcibly ejected from the vehicle via the (now-broken) side window.
  18. In the motorcycle world, there is a well known study which outlines the percentages of a bunch of common risk factors. A certain rather large percentage of fatalities were not wearing a helmet, another certain fairly large percentage didn't have a valid license, another certain unfortunately large percentage were legally intoxicated, another rather large percentage had never taken a proper training course. These percentages of those factors alone add up to considerably more than 100%, which means a not insignificant number had more than one factor (i.e. they were drunk, and not wearing a helmet, and had never taken a course, and didn't have a proper license, all at the same time). There is a population who know what the main risk factors are and avoid them and have few problems, and another population who don't give a crap and have lots of problems.
  19. A compression test will tell the tale. What are your driving pattens? All city, or some highway? Do you drive gently, or hard at least once in a while? Short trips, or long? Before condemning the engine, I'd try a tank of fuel with a good dose of Seafoam or Marvel Mystery Oil or some similar engine-cleaning agent, and then go on a good long highway run, preferably a couple hundred kilometers at higher speed. This MAY clean out some of the carbon and allow the valves to seat properly, at least for a little while. But be forewarned that there is a fair chance that the damage to the valve guides and valve seats is already done, and you may be looking for another cylinder head, or another engine, or another car, depending on how the numbers work out. It is a very expensive repair if you have to pay someone to do it out of warranty, or a very difficult and time-consuming one with the car out of commission if you can DIY. If (when?) this happens to mine (2008 at 209,000 km) it's not getting fixed. A giant crane will pick the whole car up and drop it on a junk pile. It isn't worth what it would cost to fix. If you opt to either replace the whole engine or the whole car, you might as well extract your money's worth, and keep driving it until the situation becomes unbearable. If you opt to replace the cylinder head, do it soon to minimize consequential damage to the piston rings and cylinder walls.
  20. LOL I wish the ESP/TC were less sensitive ...
  21. Real world 451 gas engine is not much different http://www.fuelly.com/car/smart/fortwo?engineconfig_id=105&bodytype_id=&submodel_id= Here's a "competitor" http://www.fuelly.com/car/fiat/500?engineconfig_id=28&bodytype_id=&submodel_id= Here's another one http://www.fuelly.com/car/ford/fiesta?engineconfig_id=30&bodytype_id=&submodel_id=
  22. At this point with VW having denied that there is anything illegal about the V6 TDI, but with the EPA having found a timer in the software that expires one second after the duration of the official EPA test procedure (which is timed to the second) and switches to another operating mode that emits 9 times more NOx than allowed ... The EPA is beyond pissed off. VW will not be allowed even the tiniest fart from this point on.
  23. By using the stock crash bar, there is at least a hope that if hit from behind, the crash bar will bend from the impact. (Happened to me.) If you make a replacement crash bar that is too strong, the impact is going to go somewhere anyhow, with a pretty good chance of bending the unibody instead of the crash bar. The crash bar is meant to be a sacrificial piece in a minor shunt. I know you can buy a hitch for these cars and I found a couple of pics on the internet. It appears that they share the mounting points where the crash bar bolts to the unibody, but they use their own crossbar that is well below the crash bar (structurally separate from it) and this also means no need to cut the valance because the receiver is below it. These would have no effect on the crash bar's ability to absorb an impact,
  24. I just got back from the launch event in Toronto. (Met Huronlad there, too.) The road test consisted of a pre-planned trip around a parking lot for maybe 3 minutes, and it happened to be dark and rain-soaked. Nevertheless ... Parallel parking and U-turns are ridiculously easy; their pre-planned route highlighted this, The overall level of refinement is much better than that of the 451 and it is immediately apparent. The interior looks much better than that of the old model. The transmission (automatic) was unobtrusive in those conditions, as was the suspension (the parking lot was bumpy) and the engine seemed pretty quiet and I didn't notice any vibration being transmitted to the interior. Steering is pretty light under parking-lot conditions. No idea what it does past 30 km/h. I'll have to do a proper test drive at a dealer to establish that. Something we were discussing was the trunk size and opening. I measured the opening of my 451. It's pretty close to the same width, it just looks smaller on the 453 because the taillights are bigger and the whole car is wider. Randomness ... The inside rear view mirror is in an acceptable position. (I had to replace it in my 451 with an aftermarket one because the stock one was sitting too low and interfered with forward visibility.) The height-adjustable seats have a good range of adjustment. The intermittent wipers have 4 delay settings (yay! I was reminded to check this by the miserable weather conditions). Cruise control is standard equipment. Front brake rotors are now internally vented. I like that the rear turn signals are now amber instead of being red and combined with tail/brake. I'm not about to run out and trade in my 451, but when something expensive breaks, this will be on the short list.
  25. I'm in. M-B Mississauga as a starting point