compaqnx

MB Star clutch increments reading

28 posts in this topic

Hi guys,

I am new in this club so I would first like to say Hi! 

To briefly describe the issue: my wife bought a Smart Forfour W454 2005 model with softouch+ gearbox which runs fine, except that does not auto crawls(does not move when I release break pedal) and sometimes does not engage R (it displays 0 on the screen). I was at a local shop, the guy scanned it with a MB Star, no errors on clutch module and the output was this like this(also please see the attached screenshot):

Quote

Actual clutch position: 7884

Specified clutch position: 7128

The mechanic said that the the values are not ok and that indicates that the clutch is worn badly. 

Do you think he is right? The values are that bad?

 

And sorry for posting here but I could not find a 454 section.

 

Thank you in advance!

Sorin

IMG_20200113_134313.jpg

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There is no 454 section here, because MB stopped bringing smarts into North America at the end of 2019 (end of the 453 run)  We never did get the forfour in North America, but a 2005 smart fortwo doesn't creep (auto crawl) when in gear and no brake applied.  This is normal for the fortwos in Canada.  All Smart 450 models brought in to Canada ( 2005 and 2006 ) were diesel.  I don't know about the European model forfours.  Others who are more mechanically inclined may offer their more educated opinions, but for now, that's all I have.  By the way, :welcome: to the club. :)

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Isn't the 454 the Mitsubishi Colt based forfour, produced from 2004 to 2006?

 

Smart_Forfour_web.jpg

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Hi jwight, yes, this is the one, based in Mitsubishi Colt.

I have attached a picture of it.

IMG_20200111_152526.jpg

Edited by compaqnx
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Not sure what transmission this car has but the fortwo guidance may not be applicable...:)

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Most likely, no. But I am hoping that someone who has experience with MB Star can tell me if the logged values indicate a worn clutch.

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Can't the STAR reteach the tranny or clutch to regain that 7128 value?   I have a STAR but do not know enough about it to preach by any means....I do remember seeing that value though when trouble shooting my issues last year.  I also think it can be questioned as how to resolve this issue within the STAR as in how the mechanic or technician is supposed to repair the problem.  Again not sure how to get to that directly. I spent days if not weeks running down rabbit holes searching for my problems and could never find my way back and found all sorts of things out by accident such as the above suggestions.   I know I'm no help but to say the STAR should give you more than just that single screen shot if you dig deeper.  IMHO.

IF you are like me, old and didn't grow up with a laptop in my hands from birth, you'll know why I can't deal with it as well as some can...lol.   The clutch new from SW-SMART wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be for my 450...under $300 canadian...!   A far cry from what the dealer wanted and all other suppliers.  It isn't a fun job getting it out but doable if you are determined.  IF you do buy a clutch buy a new clutch fork and release bearing while you are at it.  IMHO...cheap insurance for possible future issues after the new clutch. Unless you like doing the job twice...lol

Sorry couldn't be more help....

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The 454 has an automated manual transmission similar to the 450 and 452. 

 

Regarding condition of clutch, the incremental values shown look normal so nothing to worry about. 

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The reason that I started this thread is that the guy that scanned the car didn't seem that skilled and he was very convinced that I need to change the clutch without giving me some explanation.

Thank you Willis and tolsen!

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Can you check like in normal cars etc but stopping on a hill and seeing if it slips while in gear without turning over engine?  Try 3 gears at least enough so the forces won't urn engine over but forces car to slip by clutch wear only. Old school style...?  My car doesn't creep at all or move unless I touch the gas pedal if I remember correctly.....I know I had concerns when I first got car but now it's second nature the way it drives and is so slow off the mark I simply drive it like a 5 ton truck, I wait for a large enough gap in traffic before pulling out.  And almost no over taking....lol.

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In the meantime I have decided to replace the clutch kit, just for the peace of mind. I will let you know about the changes after the kit is replaced, but could take several weeks since I need an appointment at a local dealer. 

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1 hour ago, compaqnx said:

In the meantime I have decided to replace the clutch kit, just for the peace of mind. I will let you know about the changes after the kit is replaced, but could take several weeks since I need an appointment at a local dealer. 

See if they will install a kit you have already purchased...?   Then order from SW-SMART,com  it was  far far less than the dealership price and far less than anyone near me here. Just saying. What the dealership wanted was criminal...!

 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

It definitely will not creep.  It's a manual box, but instead of cables or linkages attached to the bottom of a gear stick there's a system of  robotised servo controls so it mimics the auto changes of a proper slush box.  There's no torque converter full of fluid to allow it to creep the car forward with the drivers foot off the gas.

 

Unless you drive like Lewis Hamilton on acid you'll get plenty of warning before the clutch goes.  You'll start to get good old fashioned clutch slip and revs rising when pulling away, just as on a conventional manual car.  I'd be reluctant to spend hundreds of pounds on a new clutch for a car thats probably not worth a grand anyway (at least here they're not)  until the clutch is actually starting to misbehave, which at the moment it isn't.

 

As an aside, they're nice cars.  They're obviously close relatives of the Colt, but there are a lot of detail mechanical changes to the point where surprisingly few items are directly compatible between the two.  Much better finished than the Colt and nicely appointed, but in typical Smart style they priced it way too high with no material justification, cynically hoping for vast profits from a market segment that turned out not to exist - people buy small cars because they're cheap to buy and run, and the moment they're not cheap to buy then they're really of little interest to that market.

 

Smart were geared up to produced 600 a day, but were on average selling only 40 a day across the whole of Europe at one point.  Unsurprisingly, they pulled the plug.  Sadly, it's a lesson that Smart have never completely learned.

Edited by Chopper

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2 hours ago, compaqnx said:

In the meantime I have decided to replace the clutch kit, just for the peace of mind. I will let you know about the changes after the kit is replaced, but could take several weeks since I need an appointment at a local dealer. 

That will be an expensive piece of mind and for no good reason.

 

Replacing clutch, release fork, release bearing and clutch actuator will cost in excess of £1000 which is way more than the car is worth.

 

Think of all the damage the dealer or garage will do to your car when they attempt this job.

 

Keep on driving and enjoy your Smart as it is unless clutch is slipping.

 

If clutch releases a bit uncontrolled, all you need is service your clutch actuator.

 

 

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After nearly 20 years of Smart driving I have never seen or heard of a Smart car clutch wearing out and slipping.  

Of course there has been plenty of clutch control troubles but not a single worn out clutch. 

Reason:  The clutch is operated by machine and computer, not by man. 

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10 hours ago, Chopper said:

It definitely will not creep.  It's a manual box, but instead of cables or linkages attached to the bottom of a gear stick there's a system of  robotised servo controls so it mimics the auto changes of a proper slush box.  There's no torque converter full of fluid to allow it to creep the car forward with the drivers foot off the gas.

 

Unless you drive like Lewis Hamilton on acid you'll get plenty of warning before the clutch goes.  You'll start to get good old fashioned clutch slip and revs rising when pulling away, just as on a conventional manual car.  I'd be reluctant to spend hundreds of pounds on a new clutch for a car thats probably not worth a grand anyway (at least here they're not)  until the clutch is actually starting to misbehave, which at the moment it isn't.

 

As an aside, they're nice cars.  They're obviously close relatives of the Colt, but there are a lot of detail mechanical changes to the point where surprisingly few items are directly compatible between the two.  Much better finished than the Colt and nicely appointed, but in typical Smart style they priced it way too high with no material justification, cynically hoping for vast profits from a market segment that turned out not to exist - people buy small cars because they're cheap to buy and run, and the moment they're not cheap to buy then they're really of little interest to that market.

 

Smart were geared up to produced 600 a day, but were on average selling only 40 a day across the whole of Europe at one point.  Unsurprisingly, they pulled the plug.  Sadly, it's a lesson that Smart have never completely learned.

The auto creep (auto crawling as it is described in the manual) is mentioned in the user manual and it says(with a side note) that, in order to protect the clutch for over use the SAM will disable this functionality:

 

Quote

Crawl function*
The crawl function enables you to drive
slowly without pressing the accelerator.
This form of movement will make it easi
er for you to park the car and roll along in
heavy traffic.

....

>Note!
The crawl function is only available
with the handbrake released,
on a gradient of up to five percent,
with the footbrake depressed while the
gear is engaged.
The function is cancelled if you acceler
ate or brake.
>Note!
If there is a risk of the clutch being
overloaded as a result of using the crawl
function, the engine automatically cuts
out.

 

This is one reason that I suspect over usage of the clutch, even without slippage.

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It not will creep, regardless of what the handbook says - there is no torque converter. Mine never did.  If you don't believe me that's entirely you're business, but I guarantee you're about to spend a lot of money on a car that will behave no differently.

 

Let me know when you've had your clutch changed.

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The 454 should creep but its creep can sometimes be a bit fierce and sometimes not creep at all. 

 

To make creep function work you must have a healthy clutch actuator and a clutch that does not slip. 

 

Therefore remove, clean and lube internals of clutch actuator. Keep grease away from rubber boot as boot will swell and no longer seal if exposed to mineral grease. 

 

Clean rubber boot internally and areas where rubber boot seals. Apply silicone grease to these areas and refit boot.

 

Refit clutch actuator following the recommended fitting procedure and have clutch bite point adjusted with diagnostic machine. 

 

If you are lucky enough to live nearby me, you can make an appointment and I’ll adjust your clutch actuator for four pints of good pub ales. 

 

It is important to ensure the elements do not enter internals of clutch actuator. 

Clutch actuator motor pinion, especially on the 451 and 454, is prone to snapping off. The cause is excess friction in the mechanism putting too much load on pinion which eventually will fail due to material fatigue.  

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Unlike the clutch in a 450 which has an internal cam mechanism that compensates for friction plate wear, the 451 and 454 clutches do not have this. 

Instead the clutch wear compensating mechanism is built into clutch actuator. 

It is a rather complicated but ingenious mechanism and it took me several days and uncountable drams of whisky to fathom out its inner workings. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I already opened and greased the actuator, but I do not know if I fitted back properly: I did push it towards the clutch "pedal" until it touched it, and then strengthen the screws. Is this ok or should I push it more? One note that my wife told me is that sometimes when switching to Reverse, it does not engage and displays "0" on the screen.

Unfortunately, I do not live near you; I would gladly buy you a round of pints.

 

This is a picture of the clutch actuator before greasing:

   

IMG_20200110_133715.jpg

Edited by compaqnx

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I recommend greasing socket in release fork to protect against rust and reduce friction.

 

Clutch actuator should be preloaded.  On the 450 this is done with a spring balance.  On a 451 and 454, preloading is done by moving clutch actuator a further 3 notches against release fork from initial contact when slack was reduced to nil.

 

Sachs instructions are attached.  There appears to be a printing error on page two "Installing the clutch actuator item 3".  I believe +/- 6 mm should read 6 mm or approx 6 mm.

si-si-sx-kupplungsaktuator-451-454-11988-en.pdf

 

PS.  The rather complicated but ingenious mechanism is the black rectangular shaped plastic piece in middle of actuator rod in your photo.

 

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Got it, thank you! Is there a problem if I do the mechanical adjustment only (without MB star calibration)? Or, can it be done with, let's say Delphi DS150e tester?

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Should be no problem doing mechanical adjustment of clutch actuator.  You may get your creep by trying different preload settings.

I have just checked functions in Wurth WoW which is similar to Delphi and also made by Swedish Autocom and found the only function available is for bleeding brakes.

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