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About Grumpyb

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  1. Im in the UK so only get strong sun in the summer months, and I have 3 Smart 451s, a 2010 CDI (Currently very ill with engine issues) my Converted 2008 passion ELectric and its sister 2008Pure converted electric that was wrecked 18months ago, all have severe crazing. Its such a shame, as there is seemingly little you can do about it. I have as yet to talk to my smart dealers about as they are too far to drive the electric one to, and the CDI wont make the end of the road before going to limp mode. (Lots of issues with it having been severely abused in its early life, dead turbo, blocked oil feeds and a blocked particulate filter, as well as having the inlet tract down to around 1/4 of its capacity with the gunge caused by the EGR system)You are not alone, but on a moonlit night it looks nice and starry, and I have the blind drawn most of the time anyway.Grumpy-b
  2. In the UK my local Smart dealers charge £120 per hour or around $190. Hence my desire not to go to them for my sick CDI. Any non Smart service people need to have access to the Star software and Kit to do virtually any work on the cars.In general I have no issues with using pattern parts, many of which if obtained through solid car parts companies, are made by the suppliers to Smart. But I guess we are a bit spoiled for spare parts having so many Smarts in the UK and Europe.There are huge amounts of previously used spares on Ebay, and many cars being written off for sources of good components.Grumpyb
  3. Diesels used at higher speed also have less problems with the particulate filters as they get hot enough to burn off the carbon and get so dont get choked up so quickly. With many new Diesels they rev at extremely low speeds and so are very relaxed at higher speeds compaired to a small petrol (Gas) engine, and can overtake without excessive downchanging. However I would get a larger car for a 200km comute, a smart is small and is also more prone to side drafts from larger vehicles at high speed. Also whilst a Smart is excellent at frontal accidents (My wifes 451 was written off when hit in the front by another car at around 40mph, She walked away) they do get thrown around because they are so light in an accident. Take a look at some of the crash test footage. Being side swiped at 50mph by an 18wheeler would not be a good outcome. I would feel more comfortable in something like a Golf which will do 60 to 70MPG (Thats UK gallons) at around 60 to 70 MPH. I think a Smart would struggle to get much better.Grumpyb (UK)
  4. This was the company (The UK branch) who sorted the programming of my Smart without a remote/ key being available (I had the key blade) They have a US distributor, who may well have supplied other locksmiths with the Kit. I started off by contacting the Bulgarian company. Took a short time to get a response, but very helpful. Grumpyb
  5. You cant clone a 451 key. The only option is to have it programmed in by someone who has the Star software. Most locksmiths cant do this, unlike many other cars.450 could be cloned. 451 CantIn the UK the basic new 451 Fob is around £80, I think the blade was extra. I purchased a case and Blade new on Ebay for around £10, and had the blade cut by a local locksmith. The intenals could then just be swapped over.With 451 you have to have one remote already coded to the car, for another to be subsequently added to the car. I explained the problem I had with mine on my introductory post a few months ago.It cant be done by post. You need a new blank fob (Used ones cant be reprogrammed unlike the 450) and someone with the Star software and multiplexer. or a piece of Kit that can do the Job. When my car was done the clever Bulgarian chaps who made the kit and software had a workaround for the Star software as part of their toolkit that was supplied to the Locksmiths who sorted me out.My whole job cost around £65 + the key , and that was a complex solution. I had to take my nonworking 451 CDI 80miles on a pickup to get it done, but in my case with no keys Smart wanted nearly £800 to sort me out, even with the transport costs it was hundreds of £ cheaper.I will see if I can find the link to the company who made the kit and software, they have sold them all over the world.The Key can be cut by Smart IN Germany from the VIN, but not programmed to the car as well.Grumpy-b
  6. I have little noise, being an Electric converted 451, I dont go much over 50mph and have no engine noise, a bit of gearbox whine and a small amount of wind and tyre noise. Its great.Tyre noise is probably the worst element of noise.Grumpy-b
  7. I bought a number of Berlingo Electriques that were used for 8 years by a local authority for delivering hot meals to older people in a London Borough. Over the whole time thay had the vehicles in service they had no problems with the lack of noise or adverse comment from the public.This is a non issue, no one complains that Rolls Royce or Lexus make virtually no noise when they drive at urban speeds. A friend who has a Kangoo Electric recently hit a girl who stepped out between some parked cars, and thought he should add noise to his van. But the girl who apparently did not look before she stepped out, still had her earphones in when she was on the ground. So no matter how much noise he would have made, it would have made little difference.The next step will be to make all moving vehicles have a strobe light on the roof, so that the hard of hearing will see the car. This is all about perceived "Health and Safety" risks ie you have to assume the whole world is a fool so that if just one fool takes you to court you can claim you took steps to mitigate a problem. We live in a world that is so worried about being sued that we forget about personal responsibility. If you wear earphones and step out between cars you have a high risk of being hit by a passing vehicle. If you go near a road or a railway line large metal objects will hit you if you walk in front of them.Lotus in the UK managed to get some Government funding to come up with some solutions to this perceived problem. Great work if you can get it. I hope that legislation is not brought in to make this compulsory in the UK, if it is I will have the sound of horses hooves, or an uncorked V8 not sure which.I dont see Lexus trying to make their cars more noisy anytime soon.Grumpy-b
  8. With regard to the earler post on too often oil change. Some years ago I had a new Isuzu 2.8 Turbo diesel put in my Range Rover. After 100k miles its smoked badly. I took it out stripped it and found the pistons wernt sealing. My long term machine shop explained it was because I had used too good an oil from the start. The reccomended oil to start with was really low protection allowing the piston rings to wear with the hard chromed cylinder liners and having bedded in, to seal well. I used high quality oil right from the start and the seal was never good, and just got worse. So new cast iron liners , and rings on the original pistons and all was good. The point being oil does a lot, it lubricates, it cools, it cleans, it transports muck to the filter. What is needed also changes through the life of the engine as it and its components wear.Some oil will work better in cold conditions some in hot, none like short and cold journeys. In modern engines with closed ventilation, the oil level can go up as a result of fuel by pass and capture, the excess eventually getting pushed back through the inlet tract. Look in the Smart diesel inlet and EGR and you will find a terrible gooey mess, this is oil vapour/ excess oil.On many modern engines using fully synthetic oils, some auto makers no longer quote a mileage, but just say change the oil annually. Branded oil products are not better than generic, as long as they meet the required specification (US differs from EU but esentially the same) With whatever oil you use the important bit is the use of high quality OEM or better oil filters, dont buy cheap generic parts ( they often have larger pore size in the filter material so allowing larger particles of waste to circulate), buy original make (But not from Smart) The same is important with both Diesel and Petrol (GAS) filters. Injectors dont like dirty fuel, but do like good flow and pressure. So change the filters regularly (its quite easy to do) . If you have problems with failed turbo/ blocked turbo oil feeds, dont just change to turbo or pipe and Banjo bolts. Empty the oil, put in flushing oil and a new filter. Run as the flushing oil instructions, drain it out. Replace the filter and put in fresh oil.Synthetic oil is expensive, but it is designed for modern, close tolerance manufacture engines and extended mileage. So long term its no more expensive than doing oil changes every 5000miles with traditional oils.My Diesel 451 has no sump plug, unlike the latest petrol (Gasoline) versions, so I dropped the pan, cleaned out the goo from inside it and the lower engine, machined a small steel internally threaded bung to take a readily available plug, and brazed it to the pan. Tig weld would be OK but other forms can have small leaks at the start/ end of the weld. Now its really simple to change the oil and more important to get the solids out of the pan. A lot of carbon does build up inthese engines.Grumpy-b
  9. In europe and the US the average daily drive for 80% of users is less than 40 miles. Sure a lot of people do travel further and EVs will probably never be their first option, but for the large number of us EVs would work. We may need to consider how we go on longer journeys, perhaps even hiring (Rent in US) a car for those occasions. I have done this my self, last year I had a short contract that required me to travel up to 200m a day, so I hired for those days and used my EV on the more local work. Another route is when people in the same community choose to share vehicles, so booking the ICE vehicles when needed but normally relying on EVs.In the UK and europe a lot of charge infrastructure is being rolled out, unfortunately there are now loads of separate networks needing separate access rights / subscriptions. Thats not good. What would be good would be to have a single access route with your charge costs being billed to you who ever owns the network. A bit like taking cash from an ATM.Grumpy-b
  10. Earlier in this thread someone asked about the used EV market. Well in the UK they are now so cheap as to be crazy. You can now buy a 2 year old leaf that had an original price of £30k before government £5k subsidy, for as little as £11k. The prices have not been helped by the manufacturers basically dumping cars. Citroen and Peugeot who sell a re badged MIEV (About £28k list) were dumping them through 2013 for around £10k pre registered with dealers and less than 500 miles on the clock. Sounds great, but with residual values so low, lease costs are now huge. In the UK over half of new cars purchased are as lease cars with business users. Most do high mileage and so will never be the main EV purchasers or the main source of used EVs. The rest being a combination of Business outright purchase and Private purchase which used to be limited financed but is increasingly changing as new car costs are so high fewer people can now afford to buy with cash.But all finance and lease requires a decent residual price to make the lease costs reasonable. So that now means that new EVs are not cheap to finance, as the makers have killed the used price. Now Renault (Same company as Nissan) will only sell you the car but lease the batteries at between £70 and £120 per month depending upon the mileage you travel. This has meant that the used price for the renaults has dropped even more, there are huge numbers of Twizzy , Zoe and they have stopped selling Fluence models by dumping the few they had through the auctions, but you still have to lease the batteries. We dont like lease deals on the second hand market, so adopting this would require a major culture change.So watch how the markets change over the next few years, Nissan, Smart and a few others offer the coice of outright purchase of battery lease, I guess they are hedging their bets.Grumpy-b
  11. All lithium batteries suffer from the cold, both on charging and discharge, so you will actually get a double hit reduced charge and reduced discharge capability. On many of the latest EVs they have some sort of battery heating system, just to keep the cells in the quite confined proper operating temp range. Many Lifepo4s are noted as not being for use below 0c. Each chemistry has a slight differences. With the cells mounted under the floor they really suffer from the cold of the ground and the air flow underneath. So even if heated the heat will quickly be taken away in extreme conditions. To help get over the real extreme cold you could try a simple purchase of industrial cling film, like they use on Pallets around 40to 50cm wide and quite thick. Run it around the bottom on the car as low to the ground as you can get and try to block as much air flow as you can. The car wont over heat, but may just get your battery pack up a few degrees. Rip it off and bin it each time you drive away. Or if at home make a sheet of urethane insulating foam to cover the pack under neath and put it in place at night when charging. Just dont try and drive off with it still there.Im sorry but poor performance of EVs in the cold is a fact of life, it was the same with Lead acid the same with Nicads and its still the same with Lifepo4 or Lion or whatever exotic mix of lithium you have. Look to shield the car dont complain to MB they cant do any thing else, except not to sell you the car in the first place, and dont leave it unplugged. Living with an EV isnt easy does have its disadvantages, but does work for many of us. I have driven EVs for 5 years now and work on them for a living. I do have a converted Smart 451 that is no where near as good as the 3rd gen smart but I love it and live with its limitations.( I have no battery condition/ heat system but also only get a few degrees under 0c) Grumpy-b
  12. Just looking at the comments about flow back, if you are using Type 1 or 2 charge plugs or even something like the clipper creek single phase adaptor,that cannot happen as the charger unit and the car talk to each other without mains being present at the charge plug. The plug you put in the car is not live until the car has spoken to the charger and agreed its ready to charge (SIgnal voltage is 12 or lower v dc), the charger then turns on its contactor and the vehicle commences charge. When charge finishes the car turns off the external charge unit even if its still plugged in. If power goes off at the mains and comes back on again, the handshake happens again, and will turn on the charge plug if the car wishes to.In the US this follows the SAE J1772 standard and in europe whilst having a different plug the handshake is the same.Grumpy-b
  13. Use of a small generator can be very bad for many EVs. I have experience of regular damage to the calculator (French term for ECU ) on Berlingo Electriques caused by the very spiky output from a quite expensive 4kva generator. The output of the domestic generator is often a peak and not continuous, so go way above the size required by your on board charger. But beware the power is far from clean. I have built spike suppressors to enable a real emergency charge by these particular vehicles (They are used as mobile camera platforms for film work) but they now only use mains or the very large 40kva + Site generators which dont produce a spiky output.If outage is a real issue to you you could consider a battery pack and inverter system, I am currently building one of these using slightly depleted ex EV batteries coupled with a 1kw Solar aray and associated Charger and Inverter. Even these should be producing a sine wave which many cheaper inverters dont (Sort of a stepped set of blocks rather than a nice smooth sine wave)But do beware of using small generators, personally I wouldnt use one under a 10kva, and then only on 230V never on 110v and only as a last resort with a spike supressor.Grumpy-b
  14. On two of my 451s the rear window frames have water in them, trapped between the plastic frame and the bonded glass. One option I have seen is to drill a small drain hole each side in the plastic frame near the bottom. It could be that your frame is filling and spilling over higher up. I will drill mine in the week and if I have a camera around I will take some photos of it. When you lift the tailgate the water trapped in the frame flows out near the top, adding to the water in the rear of the car as it falls to the rear of the car body so doesnt get drained away.Grumpy-b
  15. Thanks for the link.I was astounded by the amount of gunge that was in the EGR system not just carbon but greasy deposits as well. I have already cleaned out the casting directing the gas into the inlet, and recently took out the main EGR valve. No mean feat.This was completely clogged and was blocked. This took away the error code of P1409. Upstream of this on the exhaust side is a round chamber attached to the turbo, not easy to get out but looking at the reasonable condition spare I have (Lower mileage but also a fair amount of internal deposit) mine is probably partially blocked. But this is a terror to get at. Turbo out again I think.It is a shame that Smart dont make the codes available, they stated that I would have to take the car to them and they charge £120 an hour just to get the code. Which aparently they cant give you but can only get while online. Seems a bit far fetched as the clones of Star give such data without being connected to MB.Grumpy-b