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smartzuuk

The lifted 451 thread

41 posts in this topic

My 2008 pure coupe is at my friend's shop and the Daystar 2" lift kit is getting installed as we speak. I know of a couple other folks in BC who either have a lifted smart, or planning to lift theirs. Of course, smartcarofamerica has many members who have installed the lift, and the reports I have read through do not indicate much if anything in the way of negative feedback.

The original discussion at clubsmartcar that got me interested in doing this lift on the 451 can be found at:

http://clubsmartcar.com/index.php?showtopic=23859

That is a 450 that got lifted with the Daystar kit, although others have expressed that it's not overly suited to the 450. There is a 450 specific lift out of Europe AFAIK.

This is not intended to be a purely technical thread, but more of a general recap on the installation and more importantly the driving experience. Feel free to tell us about your own lifted smart, and of course, we want pictures!!

I am going to document good or bad, my experiences with this car as driven theough the winter in Prince George, BC.

I will post fuel economy results as well.

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One of the first things to do is order yourself a Daystar 2" lift kit. I chose to order it from the following:

http://ok4wd.com/daystar-2-suspension-lift...art-fortwo.html

Around $350.00 USD including shipping.

Next up was tires. Without going into all of the details, let's just say I settled on a set of four 185/65/15 Continental snow tires. I sourced those from tirerack.com which came to $380.00 CAD delivered into WA state. Note: Canadian prices on tires are much closer to the US this year, and had I chosen Michelin, I would have bought in Canada. Just an aside....

As for wheels, I elected to go with a full set of OEM 5.5" 451 steel wheels. This way, I can rotate the wheels front to back.

Pictures of the wheels and tires below.

I also have a full set of wheels spacers which I may utilize. I have 2 @ 25 mm, and 2 @ 30 mm. More on that when I actually get the wheels on. I'm hoping to only use spacers on the rear which will help to maintain most of the designed understeer the car normally has.

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One issue Steve noticed when doing the install on the front, is that Daystar are spec'ing and supplying a 12mmx 1.75 80mm bolt for the front strut extensionThe OEM bolt has a 1.5 pitch, not 1.75Steve suggest strongly to use the same pitch in case I want to return the vehicle to stockThe issue is ruining the thread, and as you can see by the pic below, the mount where the bolt attaches is part of the frame. I'm going to contact Daystar to find out why they are spec'ing the coarser pitch only on the front. (Must be a reason), but I am installing it with 1.5 pitch bolts

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A few more pics as we get closer to finishing and sending it in for an alignment tomorrowNote the steering shaft extension.... The driver side CV is at full articulation BTW (still on hoist) whereas the PS is not yet doneOne tricky bit is the new mount at the bottom of the shock, it doesn't make a correction for the new angle, so the shock actually has a slight bend in it especially at full articulation. Steve will actually use a spring compress to put the other side in which will save a half hour of time. This will save disconnecting the top end of the shock, which he did on the DS to be able to get the extension piece's bolt in - it was not going through due to the slightly off angle.

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One other note, I am putting brand new pads on the front. It's definately a good idea to make sure the brakes are in excellent condition with lots of life, as the larger wheels are going to put a bit more strain on the brakes. My pads were about 20% left anyway at 45,000 kms.... mostly city driving, and yes, typically wearing more on the inside pad.

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I'm heading over to the shop at 12:30 to see the car with the wheels on. Then we'll be in for an alignment right after that, and I should be on the road today. Obviously camera in hand...Aiming headlights tonight sometime as well.

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I think buying a winter beater would have been cheaper ;)

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Well, perhaps... especially if I pay per person at the alignment shop here in Abbotsford.But a beater wouldn't be as fun, or reliable....Okay, really quick, here's some initial photos, car is not clean, alignment wasn't done yet, and yes, I have a small rub on the bottom edge of the spolier, but other than that, I was reasonably satisfied. I haven't driven it yet with the alignment done (and they said it was out of whack big time, but is now good...)

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Okay, back from a short drive with the alignment done. I will post the alignment result too, just so you can see.Handles pretty close to stock now. It had a decent amount of sway before the alignment was done.I am running 25mm spacers on the rear, and none on the front. I am going to see how I like the handling on a longer distance tonight or tomorrow before I spend more time playing with spacers.We trimed the front spoiler which cured 'most' of the rub, but there remains a tiny bit of rub on the moulded mount on the front panels that the spolier attaches to. so a bit of playing around yet to resolve that. Most US owners have been installing 175/65/15 on the front and 185/65/15 on the rear. I wanted the same size all the way around, so I went with 185/65/15. Now, one vendor in the States states you can fit 175/70/15 on the front with no rubbing, but there are no 175/70 in existence that I can find. And 185/65/15 have a slightly smaller diameter anyway. Well... I'll get this small issue resolved.I've a few more pics to post later tonight.

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Okay, day two of having the car on the road....We re-torqued everything tonight. The front bolts into the frame needed it, but the rest was bang on still. Also did a trim job on the front fender (part two) - specifically on the moulded part on the panel where the spoiler clips in. Rub is 100% gone without doing anything else. No winged out front panel, no washers, no shims......I am totally happy with the lift thus far, the car handles great, and in Vancouver, Richmond and New West today, it was nice to have a bit more cushion on the ride. Actually good point, the snow tires are just breaking in now.... I'm looking forward to trying some summer treads.185/65/15 is easily doable on all four corners, but if you still want something more on the rear, I'm pretty sure 195/65/15 would be okay, or even 205/60/15. I'll have to run a few comparisons with a calculator to see what tolerances the ABS/ESP has for diamter differences. I would think up to 2-3% difference is okay from front to back. Some OEM pairs must be 2% different, like the Brabus 17"/15" combo.I am not noticing any strain, or lack of power. The car holds speed uphill still. I am shifting a few hundred RPM higher, but nothing unreasonable. 3300 instead of 3000 perhaps. Steve figures he could repeat the procedure on another car in under 6 hours, so if anyone in BC is thinking about doing this lift....... ;)Figure on about $1200.00 for the kit with install (includes HST), plus wheels/tires as required. You could be on the road with a lifted 451 for $1700 depending on the tires/wheels you go with. If you opt for the 175/65/15 on the front, you can use your original alloys or steels. A full set of tires could be had for $500 ish mounted and balanced.Below is a car2go and a go2car...

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Okay... Prince George has snow, not much, but also some ice depending on where you are. Should be a good week to trial the lift in less than ideal conditions. Tires are excellent... the best I have ever had on a smart that I can tell. I did a few trial emergency stops, and the car stays straight.One thing I note for me and others, it is crucial to not get lazy on gear changes with the lift on corners. If you think you need 4th instead of 5th, you REALLY need 4th. It's just something to be aware of.I opted to keep the rear spacers on for now (25 mm).Was flashed at last night a tonne of times. I would turn off the highbams in time, and still get flashed. Hmmm.....Went to adjust lights today, another bulb gone. Was it gone part way thru the trip? Anyway...... off to Crappy Tire. Opted for some green packaging GE bulbs... and replaced both. Will keep a spare in the glove box from now on. I think this is the 4th bulb gone in 45,000 kms, not that I have been writing it down.... I really should get the Hella I used to use on my 450s. They were great. Twice the price, but lasted 4 times as long.I pulled up the evilution site and looked up what was involved to do a 451 headlight aim. Two adjustments? Mine has one, and the other seems to be rivetted permanently.... okay... well, off to smartcarofamerica.... took the best post (the first one) and did 7 x 1/4 clockwise turns each. 6mm hex FYI. We'll see how that does it... Apparently many of the early 451 were all aimed poorly from the factory.I'm hoping to meet up with the owner in PG with the same year/colour as mine.... who might be allow himslef to be talked into a lift. At least he can test pilot it!There'll be more snow this week.One question if anyone reading this knows (though i will research if no reply)... does the ESP disabler from MDC that smartieparts used to sell work on a 451? I have TWO of them, It might we a handy item to have at some point.Talked to a couple guys today in PG about the car. One of themn thought studded tires would really be ideal. Only drawback is I'd HAVE to switch wheels every return trip home. Well, unless Vancouver gets a tonne of snow. Threatened often, rarely happens.

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To disable traction control on a 451:key in ignitionpress both information display buttons and holdturn key to position 1wait until TC light starts to flashstart car, ESP, ect is disabledshut off car and restart to reset.

Edited by Huronlad

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Well, test drove Smartzuuk's lifted Fortwo. It drives the same as my stock one. Thanks to Daystar for putting out a well designed, cheap and useful lift. His car is as stable as mine, rides a little smoother due to the larger tires and takes road irregularities better too. I may have to get a lift for my Smart too (wife said to go for it!). Last winter there was about 5 to 7 days when the snow was too deep on the streets to drive my Smart. The additional two inches plus larger tire size should make the difference to be able to drive it every day.

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A few photos from today... It would be pretty neat to have two of these in PG. And Chris has the room and tools to DIY.

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A couple other photos from another show and tell today. This is a friend's CR-V. The side view photo makes the CR-V seem taller, but I don't think it is. Check the rear photo.

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Visiting the Lower Mainland last weekend, I had a chance to stop by Keith's place and get a ride in the "4x4". We drove up a nearby seasonal mountain access road - not exactly a logging road, but definitely more rough and tumble than I would attempt in a stock smart (or most street cars).

The lift kit let us easily clear ruts and rocks, and the tall tires absorbed the jolts, resulting in a controlled ride that I found reminiscent of a late 80's Chevy S10 4-wheel drive I had, plus way more comfort!

Slaloming on town roads, it felt just as stable and snappy as a stock smart, but with just a tiny bit more body roll, being a little higher off the road. But that extra 2" made a surprising difference in driver visibility, again, more akin to a compact pickup. Vision ahead was wonderful, and though Keith didn't comment on it, it seemed to me that the notorious rear-view mirror blind spot was not as bad as before.

All in all, I was thrilled with what an inexpensive lift kit, along with a choice of taller, grippy tires, could to to transform the 451 into a machine that will make serious winter roads safer and easier to navigate. Big thumbs up from me! :thumbup: :thumbup:

Bil :sun:

lifted 451 versus lowered 450:

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Edited by bilgladstone

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And with the tires, I'm closer to 3.5" taller overall. I will get a definitive measurement sometime.

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Another one bites the dust...I have given the lifted 451 to Three Point Motors Nanaimo. They'll find a good home for it I am sure. The car did great through the winter to and from PG. I put 15,000 kms on the lift with the larger wheels.... the new intake (forge) really added a touch of power. Replacing the 451 is a 2012 Impreza sedan, silver, base model, 5 speed manual....

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Yeah, the double take when we met on the road after work was a good one.....

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I have just skimmed through this interesting thead.Two queries:1. What was outcome as regards thread pitch for strut extensions?2. Does plastic protective undertray fit?

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DIY lifted 450 next to non DIY lifted 451. This yellow 2002 model 450 Cabrio was lifted only 1/2" front and rear at a very modest cost.

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Ride was greatly improved, particularly after altering tyre pressures from 2.0/ 2.5 bar to 1.6/ 2.0 bar. See thread on Smart Maniacs titled "Tyre pressure anomalies" for further details: http://www.smartmaniacs.co.uk/showthread.php?67723

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