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About buellwinkle

  1. I have the $289 one, but pre-dates Smart Madness, actually my getting it was the reason Smart Madness started selling them. It works really well, had it for about 20 months. If I had to do it over again, I would buy the same one.
  2. So you replace driving with mushing, makes sense. I probably would have go with snowmobiles, ones equipped with bluetooth if I lived up north.
  3. Do people in Canada hibernate for the winter?
  4. Buy it if you want a cool litle car that's fun but if you are looking for a high gas mileage car, the Smart may not be for you and you should wait a year and see what comes out in terms of pluggable hybrids and hydrogen cars. To give you an example, here in So Cal, Honda released the Clarity in very limited numbers, gets 70 mpg and is midsize 4 passenger car. When the Chevy Volt is released in 2010 that will go 40 miles before having to run the gas engine. Personally, I don't care what gas cost, my preference is that we hit $10/gallon as it keeps people of the road which makes it more fun for me. It's too bad that fuel prices are going down so fast, 3.73/gallon in So Cal, that hurts, it's like they are giving it away.Also, google "Toyota IQ", it's a "Smart" car that Toyota is coming out with next year to compete worldwide against the Smart Car, hence the smart name they gave it. Seats 4 and weighs just a little more than the Smart.
  5. The euro, canadian dollar and british pound are steadily dropping against the dollar, the prices on Smart accessories sold in europe & canada should become more affordable as time marches on. If the canadian dollar drops down below 90 cents U.S., I may vacation there next month.
  6. For skills, you need to be able tell red from orange from green, you'll need to know how to safely operate scissors (never run with scissors) and be able to use a pair of pliers to push down the metal tab on the quick splice connectors (practice first). You can go to Rat Shack and get a bunch for a $2 or you can go to Home Depot and get a smaller package of 4 for 69 cents. The only other way I know is to solder the wires or cut them completely, strip the insulation of each end and use wire nuts. If you are in So Cal I can certainly help you with it.You also need to be able to remove the radio which requires the use of a torx screwdriver and not any real skills other than not being afraid to pull hard to remove the bezzle.
  7. You don't need to drill, there's two holes in the back of the seat bracket and you put the screws in there, the nuts behind. It's actually not very easy but you'll need a box end wrench to hold the nut and allen head wrench to tighten it. It takes patience and holding your body in un-natural positions. I actually gave up and took the seat out where I can work comfortably. You get what you pay for and at 158 Euros for leather and aluminum brackets it's really not bad. People are paying $500-ish for cruise control and it must be worth to to them but that's a lot to avoid working the throttle yourself.
  8. Real leather and very close match on leather color. If it looks slightly off in the pictures it's because the way the camera flash hit it.
  9. Here's the armrest I got from Berlin-Tuning.com, very nice fit & finish, adds the needed comfort I was looking for. I paid $158 Euros (shows more on their website but that's before VAT is removed). They take Paypal if that helps but it's really hard to navigate their site as it's in German. This is the height adjuster mechanism so you can adjust the height/angle. This is how it attaches to the seat hardware, uses existing holes.
  10. No, no, no. Only cut the wires that have the fuse on them marked with flags saying 12V Battery and 12V Ignition, red & orange respectively. Then use the quick splice connectors (or solder if you prefer), these two wires you just cut, to the wires shown above. If you never used these quick splice connectors before, they have a channel that holds the continous wire (uncut), for example the green wire, then the cut orange wire goes in a hole next to it and stops inside as the other end is closed. Then you use a pair of pliers and push this metal staple like thing in the middle and that slices the insulation on the wire and grabs on the copper inside the wire and make the connection between the two. When that is completely pushed in and flush you can fold the plastic cover to protect it from touching other metal. What I do before I close the plastic cover is test it at the staple with a meter for 12V and pull on the wires to make sure they are in for good. I then close the plastic because once you close it, it's a PITA to open it again. One common mistake people make is not have the continous wire in there perfectly straight and when the push the staple in, it pushes the wire out of the connector and doesn't make a connection or makes a poor connection. Once you figure these out, you'll wire your entire house with them (only kidding, don't do that, it's not for a 15 amp circuit, you'll burn your house down). You can solder them if you know how to solder properly and are not going to put a messy cold solder joint that will later vibrate lose. This may save you 69 cents. I've seen professional service techs do some horrible solder jobs so I know there are many that think they know how to solder. I was an electronics major and know how to solder well, yet I still splurged on the quick splice connectors as they work pretty well. Actually if you want to do a seemless job, take the connector apart and solder directly into the pin heads. I did this on my nav install on my MB to give it a factory look, second time I just used quick connectors, good enough.
  11. Depends if you want a Smart 450 when you can get a brand new 451 for not much more. Also, I would avoid the Pure, don't know how the Canadian model is equipped, but south of your border they come with NO radio, NO a/c, NO panorama roof, NO power windows/door locks and this sort of stuff maybe important in Montreal where it gets pretty hot and humid in the winter.
  12. Don't know what you mean by security feature, I had to disconnect the radio to plug in this harness and the radio worked immediately without any security codes if that's what you mean. During normal operation, it disconnects the speakers from the radio and connects them to the amp in the Parrot module, otherwise the two amps would mess each other up. You can hookup the mute wire if you like, this is safer in theory because it mutes the radio at the same time as it disconnects the speaker but I didn't have a problem running without it. To do this, if it's the same as my MB radio which it probably is, plug the yellow wire marked "mute" to the blue wire on the harness marked "mute 2", no splice or solder required, it's just a bullet type connector. You can certainly solder the connections, it's an easy solder & heat shrink job as it's just a harness, no electronics, just depends what you like and are capable off. Not too many people on the forum are good at soldering so I did it that way to show them it's easy to do. The splice connectors I used are the best 69 cents for four that money can buy at Home Depot, I'm sure they will last forever, or longer. I never had one come lose and they are far better than the old style crimp connectors.
  13. I've tried all sorts of bluetooth devices, the best rated ones out there, Jawbone, Samsung, Blueant Supertooth and nothing is as convenient or easy to use as permanent hardwired setup and the best deal out there is the Parrot CK3000 ($85 on ebay, $10 shipping). No need to remember to turn it on or off, no need to charge it, no loosing it, no falling off the sunvisor or off the ear. It doesn't require that you modify anything on your Smart, just plugs in the back of the radio and works. When you get a call, the radio automatically mutes and the voice plays through the speakers using it's own amp, not the radio amp so the radio need not be on for it to work. This takes about 16 minutes to do. You have to remove the radio, if you don't know how, remove the bank of buttons by pulling straight out. There's a torx screw in the middle that you remove. Then the plastic bezzle pulls out from the top at the dash. Then you just remove the screws holding the radio and it slides out easily. Here's what it looks like in my Smart with the mic to the left of the radio and controlles on the ledge below the radio - This is a minor mod you have to make to the harness that comes with the Parrot (BTW, this worked the same on my MB C230) -