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About marinersk

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    Parma, Ohio, USA
  1. I do have several of the yellow 5-gal diesel fuel containers, so the poor man's approach to extended range is of course already possible. To reduce the internal diesel smell, a small rack constructed to mount on the tow hook sockets (similar to how bike racks and spare tire racks are currently done) would keep those outside the vehicle. I'll forego the obvious comments about how they'd be susceptible to damage from gunfire and other hazards of the Mad Max scenario -- it's not like the Smart itself is particularly bulletproof LOL. I understand the newer tanks can be retrofitted to give a slight increase in capacity, so that's always an option. After that, I'm down to the kind of creative ideas I've seen here or fabricating something new, but there just isn't a lot of space to work with if we wish to keep the safety tolerances from the original design intact. Thanks for the walk down Creativity Lane, though -- it was fun!
  2. Well, we'd have to use a highly flexible definition of "problem" here. The working example would be driving from Denver to Miami on a single tank of fuel, or possibly coast to coast. Not exactly a problem which needs solving (until we hit a fuel infrastructure crisis of the post-apocalyptic Mad Max variety), but to *fantasize* about it... the inner Engineer wants to figure out how one might go about it.
  3. I had wondered about the starkly contrasting pink component, but figured it was somehow normal and didn't ask.
  4. Yes, in re-reading my note I realize I was not clear. The De-Dion tubes were being referenced as being in the "directly related to suspension" set. I also realized that Titanium as a replacement for Steel is stronger, thus less can be used, resulting in a lighter product. Flat replacing the steel parts with same-sized full-titanium parts would actually make the car heavier. That's the opposite of the goal of the SmartCar in the first place. So, traditional rust abatement procedures will be the norm.
  5. So -- yes, this is a crazy thought. Almost as crazy as driving a 2005 cdi. My goodness everything on this car is rusting. Badly. Through and through rust. Chunks falling off as I work to swap parts. Has anyone considered fabricating replacement parts out of a material that doesn't thoroughly oxidize so readily? So let's dream big -- Titanium. Not as rare as people think, but it sure is expensive. But let's roll with that for a moment. Imagine replacing all the rusting pieces not directly related to suspension (I'm looking at you, De-Dion tubes...) with fabricated parts made of titanium. Stronger, lighter, and serviceable even after riding around in the rust belt. Thoughts? Other than "hide my wallet whenever this guy is around". - Steve M.
  6. So, going full hypothetical here, if every bolt in the Smart were replaced with hex stainless, it wouldn't increase the weight enough to matter to the fuel mileage, I should think. Especially not after plopping my 15-stone behind into the driver's seat....
  7. Perfect, thanks! I hadn't gotten around to searching, so the vindication is welcome. However, I do live in the rust belt again (OMG do I ever). I will likely go with hex headed stainless and note that in my owner's log. Thanks!
  8. Okay, I wrestled with this little piggie far longer than I'd care to admit, and I've deformed the ever-loving daylights out of one of the E14 Torx bolts that holds up the X-Frame. Others show signs of wear due to poor socket fit during disassembly. Are these bolts fairly standard, or do I need to find a specialty provider?
  9. The weather has been very uncooperative. Each time I set a day aside to dedicate to the Smart, it's snowed heavily enough to eat up most of the day's time budget. That said, a few more tools, some digging around in the cargo area, and I now have 7 oil filters, a fuel filter, and I forced time today to *finally* get her off the floor. Realizing I would need to remove the right rear tire to get at the alternator, I took the wheel cribs I'd built and converted them into body cribs. Pics are a smidge larger than the site allows, so I'll try to get those up tomorrow. But she's in the air. FINALLY. Next up: Oil filter, fuel filter, alternator.
  10. Awesome pics!! I love the four Smarts taking less space than one truck.
  11. So I've been digging around, fantasizing about getting some seriously extended range on this little Smart. Evilution's smart-alec comment about having an extended fuel tank which has fuel dispersion points all over the globe notwithstanding, there's scant little out there for a real haulmeister option. Worse, it seems nobody even makes replacement tanks for the thing. If this one got damaged or rusted through, I'd have to scrounge up a dead Smart or look into one of the tank refurbishment companies -- which is fine, I get it, this is old and uncommon tech, and it's just not cost effective to make something for retail which rarely fails. But it sure does get me wondering what I could do to retrofit an extended-volume or extended-compartment tank on this thing. Thus far it looks like the "best" option would be to make a custom tank that fits in the cargo area above the motor and attach it directly to the main tank. I can't see how that wouldn't be a gravity feed system, though that's acceptable for diesel in DOT; but getting past the "fuel lines in passenger compartment" makes for a tough justification toward compliance. Worse, I'd probably want that 120L of cargo space for actual cargo most of the time, so the tank would have to be easily removable, and that introduces joint sealant issues and... and... and... Yeah. I think a more flexible definition of "extended range" will be needed: A bunch of yellow diesel fuel cans in the cargo compartment and some quick stops to refuel which are not required to coincide with national infrastructure. :: sigh ::
  12. My disappointing discovery of the day is that the 82/83 MPG rating is UK MPG, which translates to something like 69 MPG US. :: pout :: Worse, Disesel has been more expensive than gasoline since shortly after I bought my first diesel truck in 1997 or so. Which means even if I do my level best and get this thing into tip-top shape (hey, I can dream), I'm dealing with the cost equivalent of a gasoline car that gets 46 MPG. This is not as impressive as I would have liked. And I am likely to get to smell like diesel for my troubles. But hey, it's a cute car and a marvel of engineering. That should be enough for this geek.
  13. WHITEWALLS ON MY SMART!!! Fashion statement of the 50s?
  14. Yeah, my wife and I measured it -- a few inches short of being able to put two Smarts front to back given our use of the front wall. But she was completely enamoured with the thought of two of them parked front-to-back in the garage. If this project goes well and I don't come home every day smelling like diesel, I can see her requesting I find a second one for her. Actually, if she doesn't wind up using diesel, she's expressed an interest in an electric. Which means I need to start donating blood like yesterday, because if she's not going old school, my pride won't let me do anything but get her a new one. I think they still cost less than the house...
  15. Well, the project has officially started again. She's in the garage and I have nearly everything I need to proceed. I was going to build the tire/body cribs tonight, but got sidetracked with stuff around the house when my wife got home so we'll try to get the lumber tomorrow. She's packed in tightly, but everything around her can be moved easily except the wood up against the wall on the passenger side.