DieselAllTheWay

Video of Smart trying to start (but it won't)

46 posts in this topic

Yes the washers you want are part #100 buy 6 they are cheap!!!    And yes in a pinch you can reuse them IF they look in good condition, but it's not recommended.  To each their own and also what you have in your possession at the time.  That is why I say buy 6....I always have spares in the tool box just in case. That goes for many inexpensive bits and pieces that could cause my cars to faulter.  Again to each their own. It may come down to dollars and cents and also how many times you think you'll ever go back in to check something. These washers are crush washers and are supposed to be a single use item UNLESS re-heated to cherry red and cooled correctly to make them like new again. More work than what a new set costs imho.

Getting a seized injector or glow plug out is a similar headache I'm afraid.....time patience and plenty of swearing and plenty of penetrating fluids seem to work the best. Also if possible working on a hot engine is best also even if your hands don't agree. Again I would research the best penetrating fluids you can get your hands on and use it well days in advance to doing the job, allowing it days to do it's job of hopefully getting past the dirt and grime that is locking the injectors or glow plugs in place.
Good luck just don't snap off a glow plug by getting over zealous trying to unseize one!  They do snap! The injectors are made of very stout material and won't snap imho but you may damage the hole they live in as it's only soft metal compared to the injectors.  You could damage the very top of the injector or the feed line to them....again take your time and enjoy....lol.

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Definitely buying at least 9, don't care the cost. With this ongoing issue it wouldn't surprise me if I may revisit these injectors/top end a few times. Cold day today, tomorrow colder. Will have to wait a couple of days in order to warm up so I can work in the car. But making progress, moved the trailer at the back of the house to the streets in order to free up space to work in the Smart (don't have a garage). Managed to do all of that but what I couldn't do was get the car started. 

 

And this brings up a new question: do I have a loose starter wire?

 

Here's what happened yesterday to some extend and severely today. While trying to crank the engine by turning the key all the way I hear a couple of clicks and no crank. A click from what I think is the Sam unit and one at the engine bay. Sometimes I noticed that there's a second or two delay for the cranking to occur, while holding the key all the way to the right. This is intermittent, sometimes it takes half a second till it cranks, other times close to 2s. 

 

Today after trying to start the car some 20x I only managed to crank it twice. It's -7 here so I wonder if the cold temp had something to do with this. Had the engine block heater plugged in for hours (haven't checked to ensure it actually works). So the car will stay on the street for now till I can hopefully get it started again and move it to the alley. But does this lack of cranking tell you something? Yes, I waited till the glow plug lights went out before cranking. Ensured I was in N and all that. Unlocked the car a few times to ensure it wasn't the reason. It feels like a loose starter lead wire but I'm no expert with symptoms for this car. I'd like to check the starter wire just in case but not sure where it's located. If I was to lift up the rear of the car can I access it? Please don't tell me I have to drop the engine for this. Or if what I'm getting is totally unrelated, you folks got any idea? 

 

Edited by DieselAllTheWay

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oh god the dreaded starter question...  

unfortunately when MB built these cars,  i think they put the starter on a stand and said "lets build a car around this"

the starter is buried under the AC compressor, it is impossible to access from the engine hatch, and worse from under the car.

if you remove the right rear tire and plastic wheel liner you can see the starter solenoid and with a poking device you can wiggle the connector  (just be careful because the hot feed from the battery is there also and its easily shorted out if you are using a long metal screwdriver)

you can also poke at this from the top of the engine, again be careful.  

and yes,  to change the starter requires dropping the engine and usually involves a lot of curse words.

the click you hear from the SAM is the relay sending power to the starter solenoid, the click you hear at the engine is probably the starter solenoid.

so you could possibly have a bad connection between the solenoid and the starter motor.  (it is a copper braded connection that corrodes over time turns brittle and fails). 

IMG_20201118_210130.jpg

Edited by Sydney
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Well said Sydney.....but you can access the starter if you lower or lift the body off the sub frame high enough or lets say as high as the wiring will allow you to. As said above you must disconnect the air intake scoop and possibly the frame grounding wire which possibly is another issue you may want to deal with as in replacing it...?  Once the car or body is lifted safely off the sub frame the starter is better accessed. Not easy but far better than if you go in from either side.  IMHO.

 

To each their own as how you attack this nasty job. OR you have the option of getting your wallet out and .....well paying for it.....OUCH!!!!   This work is best done in a garage or warm situation as it isn't an easy day's work unless all the stars align.  IF you are attempting it, I'd have in my sticky hands all the parts that could go wrong ready to install when they do.  You can always return them if you don't need them.  I'd also say if you can do without the car for the winter and wait to deal with this in warmer weather I'd do so.  Again your choice. and personal situation.  You could also cover car and heat it as needed with heaters while doing the work outside.....but pick a day very soon .....as it's only going to get far colder very soon. Sad to say.

 

Good luck and again keep us up to date....fingers crossed for an easy fix.

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K, so there appears to be consensus that my theory about a loose lead wire to the starter to be a plausible cause. If true then I feel like strangling the PO, who dropped the engine to replace the starter just last spring. I wouldn't tackle this but have a friend who is a mechanic that could (who happens to have a warm, fully equipped garage). Here's what I'd like to do: as per Sydney's suggestion, I'd like to find a wooden dowel and press it against the lead wire at the point it connects to the starter. Then have someone crank the key. This could be an easy test to pinpoint a possible poor connection or a corroded wire end, if I can press the wire against the starter and thus make a good enough connection to see if it will crank. 

 

But at a loss still on how to access it "the easy way". Maybe someone could take a few pics showing where this gap is that I could poke at the starter?

Will also be interesting to see what will happen in a couple of days as temp goes back above zero. Maybe it'll decide to crank then. I hope so, I still need to move to the back of the house - and it didn't come with a tow hook, so it's not like I can just tow it back there with my SUV. 

 

Encouraged by what I hear so far. It all points to wiring issues, which can be tackled with patience and time. Another thing I was wondering is if the timing was off, which could be the reason for the hard start. But wouldn't that mean it'd run poorly? FYI it is very slow off the line. Once it approaches 4k rpm and make my way to 3rd gear I'm up along with traffic (when taking off from a red light), then leave them in my dust by the time I hit 4th and 5th. Don't think I could beat an automatic Echo being driven by a grandma off the line. 

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if the starter was replace a year ago,  there is probably nothing wrong with the copper braided connection between the solenoid and the starter drive motor (mabey who ever changed the starter forgot to tighten the 13mm power stud or starter mounting bolts, resulting in a shitty connection). my cars are in my heated (sorry) shop.  give me a sec and i take a pic from the top side so you can see where to poke at it.

ok, top of the engine,  between the 2 clear fuel lines and the vacuum line.  look down in the abyss and  you can see the 13mm nut (shinny thing in the center of the pic) and the hot feed from the battery on the solenoid.  just above it is the spade trigger terminal from the SAM.

 

IMG_20201119_000331.jpg

Edited by Sydney

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Perfect. This pic and explanation helps a lot. If I'm brave enough to tinker tomorrow at -10C I'll try and see if I can spot the opening. If you think it isn't plausible that this cable wasn't tightened properly just look at what the PO did to the injector and lines at the pic of the motor I posted in the previous page. Some people shouldn't be allowed to handle tools. 

 

Oh and btw speaking of really, really shoddy work done by folks that have no business being around tools, my neighbour took out the EGR to look inside for possible obstructions. He couldn't believe how many stripped bolts he came across. It took some effort but he was able to remove all the hoses to inspect the EGR, which was pretty clean. Point being, to get to that he had to struggle to unscrew stripped bolts. So it is so not beyond the realm of possibilities that the lead to the starter could be loose or attached in place with scotch tape.

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7 hours ago, DieselAllTheWay said:

Perfect. This pic and explanation helps a lot. If I'm brave enough to tinker tomorrow at -10C I'll try and see if I can spot the opening. If you think it isn't plausible that this cable wasn't tightened properly just look at what the PO did to the injector and lines at the pic of the motor I posted in the previous page. Some people shouldn't be allowed to handle tools. 

 

Oh and btw speaking of really, really shoddy work done by folks that have no business being around tools, my neighbour took out the EGR to look inside for possible obstructions. He couldn't believe how many stripped bolts he came across. It took some effort but he was able to remove all the hoses to inspect the EGR, which was pretty clean. Point being, to get to that he had to struggle to unscrew stripped bolts. So it is so not beyond the realm of possibilities that the lead to the starter could be loose or attached in place with scotch tape.

Damn.....he's a comedian also.....love it...lol

 

 

Yes if you are finding stripped bolts etc on many heads then i will bet my last donut that the previous owner didn't bother to buy any torx sockets to correctly/successfully remove anything.  They are cheap at either Canadian Tire or Princess Auto.....both have excellent return policies if you worry about crap tools breaking. I haven't broken a torx socket yet and mine are from both places.  IF you look down this deep location you should be able to see the spade connection for the soleniod that triggers the starter. It's a known problem to be a loose connection after time or someone messing with it. Again beware it'll be live at some point or it's right next to the live battery connection Sydney is speaking of. IF you think the starter wasn't fully tightened up maybe it could be pried a bit to see if it moves to say it is actually loose?  I doubt you'll get a 100% conformation of this but if it is definately wiggle loose then you know for sure your problem.  Long shot imho.  But easier than removing it for no reason..?

 

As for beating any Echo off the line or up to 50 mph I highly doubt it. I owned a 5 speed 2005 Echo and it would rip the tires off it'self....easily so I doubt the automatic ones were Smart slow...lol.  Maybe if the Echo's driver was sleeping...?...lol.

 

Good to hear you have another vehicle to drive ....and even better that you could use a buddy to help work on it in a warm garage. As for the hook, get in contact with Stickman007 and see if he has one for sale he can ship to you.  I do but he is far closer and the postal rate will bankrupt you..lol.  OR find a junk yard with a Smart and get it there.  The threads are specific I think...could be wrong...?

 

 

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not saying its a good idea but my coupe had a large piece of the firewall removed by previous owner to access the starter 

 

i welded it back on and sealed it but did it in a way that it would be easy to re-open if need be 

 

 

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4 hours ago, LooseLugNuts said:

not saying its a good idea but my coupe had a large piece of the firewall removed by previous owner to access the starter 

 

i welded it back on and sealed it but did it in a way that it would be easy to re-open if need be 

 

 

There's one way of dealing with it...lol

 

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4 hours ago, LooseLugNuts said:

not saying its a good idea but...

 

 

 

Hah! Now you're talking my language!

That's a brilliant idea. Sure makes a hell of a lot more sense than spending hours dropping the engine and then having to deal with an AC that needs recharge or whatever is needed to get it to work again. I'm guessing 10 min to cut the piece out. Another 10 min to weld a few spot welds and some silicone to seal the gap. This is brilliant!

 

Now that I know this I really would like for you to post a few pics, including one that shows exactly where it is to be cut and the size of the hole. Why? Cause I don't expect my current starter to last. With some luck I'll have the starting issue sorted out soon but I fear that the stress being put on the poor thing each time I get the running means that there's a chance it'll fry at some point. Or if indeed the lead cable to it is loose. 

 

So yes, please do post some pics when you get the chance. Show us what you did to cover the gap or whether he left the original piece in the car. If I need to access the starter I am absolutely following this method. This is genius.

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11 hours ago, Willys said:

Good to hear you have another vehicle to drive ....

 

 

 

At last count there were 5. And not goddamned domestic ones, the majority currently and in years past are German, so most tools are the "right" tools. And that's not counting vehicles on two wheels. Which is why I was in no hurry to get started on the Smart. Which was unfortunate as now that I want to get it going it's getting chilli out. Car is a keeper, wife quite likes it and can't wait for summer to drive the long way to her work with the top down.

 

And yes, have a lot of tools. One lesson my father taught me when I was around 5 or 6 that stuck: a man always have tools. He had plenty and was happy to land them to whoever needed it. I have tools all over the house and am constantly in the lookout for more on sale. To the dismay of the wife. Then when I fix something in the house or in her car, etc using the tools I had acquired I always point to her how much it would have cost a contractor/mechanic/con man or whoever is providing the service versus the few dollars I spent on tools and she's all happy. Till she trips on a tool that I left on the floor, gets angry and the whole cycle repeats itself.

Edited by DieselAllTheWay
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Before I bought my first Smart we had 8 running vehicles on the road, I hate the idea that I may not have a running vehicle at any time...lol.  Now I have scraped or sold all but my 1952 Willys/Overland Pick-up, my two Smarts and the Wife's Honda CRV.....The Willys hasn't seen sunlight in 3 years now as I just can't enjoy it after getting 80 MPGs and the Willy's gets 15 MPGs....it just burns me so badly to spend so much on fuel just to go for a drive....AUGH....!!!
So I will be selling the Willys hopefully soon one day next summer.  It is basically a street rod now which goes to car shows etc etc....or the occasional drive for an ice cream on a hot day. It is nice to get the thumbs up and smiles as you drive by in it.

As for tools.....don't ask....lol.

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22 hours ago, DieselAllTheWay said:

Now that I know this I really would like for you to post a few pics

 

i sold it years ago and havent seen it since

 

i dont recommend silicone...use seam sealer instead ..it doesnt attract water and should still be fairly easy to remove

Edited by LooseLugNuts

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Lets hope it doesn't come to this. Thanks to the pic Sydney posted I was able to peek at it today and it does appear to be fastened properly. Also managed to get the car started (more on this in a moment), despite the persistent sporadic cranking. But it is good to know that there's this option to hack through the firewall to access the starter. Since that part of the car isn't visible, sounds like a plausible alternative to dropping the motor, especially for those of us unable/unwilling to take such a drastic step. Then again hehe, cutting through metal isn't that much less drastic.

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Make sure you video it.....the good and the ugly...lol

 

 

It won't be the cutting being the hardest job, it'll be the patching afterwards, or the wires cut or........I hate to think.


Just make sure there is evidence....we demand it...!

 

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UPDATE:

 

Much to cover here, will try to detail things as best as possible.

 

- Managed to get it going today. Man, did it ever take a long time. 1C outside temp didn't help. I had the car plugged in with the OEM cable from Merc that plugs to the front of the car, via the round connector with the 3 pins. This may not be working as I couldn't feel any heat at the oil pan or anywhere else in the engine bay, after about 2 hours of plugging it to 110V. Maybe someone that has the OEM cord can confirm if it indeed leaves the oil pan cold? I mean, if it does than what's the purpose of this thing? 

 

- Car run poorly today. Lots of black smoke, including the mark it left on the ground after just a few minutes of idling time with the occasional high revs. The choking kind that literally makes your eyes hurt within seconds of exposure. Last time I drove the car there was no smoke and it sounded and accelerated great. Today there was a bit of sputtering, which is why I was very gentle on the throttle and only drove it in second gear around 700m to the back of the house (yes, very long street). For the record smoke was black and not white. No signs of coolant being mixed in. Beginning to suspect timing. What do you folks think?

 

- Starting the car was made harder by the fact that often I'd turn the key and it'd just click instead of cranking (yes, this persists). This issue seems to worsen the colder the outside temp is. But after a couple of hours of trying it did finally fire up, not sure spraying a bit of quick starting fluid into the air box helped but I did try it several times. This after draining the deep cycle battery and a few minutes of fast charge in between. Heck, even drained the booster pack I had connected as a means to ensure the car had enough juice to start. But persistence paid off, it was already dark by the time it fired up and glad to have moved it to where I can work without being in plain view of the whole neighbourhood.

 

- The SAM unit was hanging from under the dash and as I was attempting to put it in place (which I couldn't figure out but managed to secure it in place for now with electrical tape) I noticed that white socket in the pic below. Shouldn't this connect somewhere? Didn't see where it'd go. Any idea what this is and whether this could the reason for my issues?

 

- Alternator seems a bit on the weak side. Noticed this a few days ago when it run well. It didn't register past 12.8V with the car running then. Today it was in the low 50s. Revying it up only brought it up to some 12.6V. Then again I have a deep cycle batt in the car, not sure if these take charge differently. Someone said that these alternators don't like to sit. This car sat for over 2 years in a garage. And outside for the past 4m. Does the alt need some love? If so what would you recommend?

 

- Sprayed a good amount of PB Blaster penetrating oil prior to and after the engine was hot, to the injectors and glow plugs. Will let these sit for a couple of days, will continue to spray twice daily. Will only attempt to remove the glow plugs once I can get the engine warm so hopefully the car will start again in a few days. Have a second boat battery that I may have to use as a backup seeing how fast all the cranking drains even these large deep cycle batts. Or I may try booster cable from a running vehicle.

 

- There's a bit of diesel sitting on the engine, you may spot this in the video here:

 

Didn't tighten the lines much so it's likely leaking from there. Or from the middle injector seeing how I didn't add a new crush washer to it. Called local Merc they have them in stock, will pick up 6 of them tomorrow. Could a loose line allow air into the system and make it hard to start? Anyway, took the video to show the amount of smoke and hopefully pick up on the not so smooth running, although it does sound good in the video and it doesn't capture the bit of sputtering upon revving it up.

 

- Did an engine code reading and came up with the 3 codes below. Does this tell you anything? Please refer to pics.

 

This is great folks, having the car actually start and drive has given me the peace of mind that the car DOES run (and is a keeper). I can't thank my neighbour enough for the bit of work he did on the car and his persistence with the starter (well, I also had to fork out close to $200 for his time but at least he got me where I am today). You folks are super helpful and as you can tell I'm really enthusiastic with this project. Think I'm in the right place, as is the car - being back there make it so much easier for me to work on it.

 

 

 

 

mystery-plug.jpg

smart-error-codes-Nov-20.jpg

black-smoke-CDI-Smart.jpg

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OK, first oil pan heater gets so hot you can't touch it with bear hand, well at least mine you can't. Ask me how I learned that lesson! Blistered finger in a milli second!

Black smoke is from dealing with very cold engine, typical imho.

IF no copper gasket to seal well under injector it's not sealing and allowing full compression thus harder to start with weak compression. Again ..imho.

IMHO, take out injectors and lets see them, specifically the nozzles. Do not try and clean them using anything but a sonic cleaner. A wire brush of any kind will destroy them, again ask me...lol.

Yes keep soaking glow plugs and injectors if you think getting the injectors will be a pain to remove. Maybe they could only loosen the middle one and gave up..?

Yes the leak will not allow fuel pressure to be where it's supposed to be also. Weakening the ability to start, again imho.

IF you think this is a keeper, buy a new starter and alt , yes you are correct alts do not like sitting on this vehicle as the clearances are so tight that it easily rusts solid. Also street crap will easily plug it up imho because of the stock stone guard it has protecting it. The guard is very close to the alt and imho the road grim gets easily caught between the two. It holds the crud against and therefor in the alt causing it to seize up over time. A rebuilt alt should be a few hundred $$   worth every penny.  Then take off the stone guard and replace with a simple rubber mat placed a bit further away than the stock one. I attached mine from the front of the tube and under the alt using zip ties if I recall correctly. If you look at my rebuild my engine thread pics there is a pic of that guard I think, sorry there are many many pics to skim through.  You will also see exactly what the starter looks like , where it is and what you will need to remove to get it out. That thread is in the WIKI section. IF you can't get into it ask Glenn to give you permission if he can. Smart241 is his name here. PM him.

Cutting your floor etc will make it easier to get the starter out but will it give you that much easier ability to get to all the nuts and bolts to get it out? You must take the water pump and it's housing off the engine to be able to wiggle the starter back out of the transmission bellhousing.  again imho.  It's far easier to undo the 4 sub frame bolts and lift the body up off the sub frame....then have plenty of room to get to most of the bits and pieces. You have to remove the inter cooler scoop to get to the starter bolts if i remember right, I could be wrong....but that bolt is inside that scoop.  Look at my pics and you will see exactly where things are. I also covered my scoop over with same rubber mat to make it more of a ram air type thing and not rely on the under body to try and make this happen.
IMHO, take the EGR out, buy an emulator from Stickman007 and block off the exhaust tube, then remove 4 feet of heater hosing which will give you plenty of room to work on engine etc.  There is a perfect thread about this done by stickman007 somewhere. His stuff is excellent! I own 2 and no issue at all.

Don't worry about that white plug, I do not think, it's held up official looking right? No sign of something being in it from what i see...?

When the battery is low or the load is demanding the alt should be charging above 14 volts, mine does.

The SAM clips up easily after you get your head under the dash and you see where it goes...getting it down is usually the difficult part.....after forgetting how it lives up under there.

Those crush washers I usually buy them all as the dealership usually only carries 2 or 3 sets at a time.....

Hope this helps.

Personally I wouldn't cut the hole in the floor as you'll find undoing the starter won't be as easy as you think even with no body around it?   $ subframe bolts and you can raise the car body 10 inches up....without undoing anything but the air intake scoop for the air box.  The glow plug module will be the first wires that'll tighten up I think.....

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Gee Willys you actually answered each and every question? Don't you know that the internet isn't supposed to work this way? :thumbsup_still:

 

Much appreciated. Learning plenty from you folks. In fact I'm about to make a prediction here, mostly based on your observations.

 

No. 1 step should be to remove, inspect, reinstall injectors with the crush washer (hopefully they won't need new nozzles). While at it will refit the lines to their original position, although this will take a bit of reshaping and hoping I don't damage them along the way. $40 each and a week to arrive. If I manage to do things per the book this ought to prevent any possible loss of compression, thus helping with the starting. May even clear up the two error codes related to the fuel rail pressure. Makes sense to tackle this first.

 

No. 2 was to remove, inspect, possibly replace the glow plugs. But after reading up on the 6 pages on that wonderful thread on plugs it makes me think that this step can be avoided, as this car isn't exhibiting any of the symptoms other come across, such as the dreaded Po 380. The glow plug light on the dash is functioning as expected. Given all the concerns with possibly breaking a plug during removal I rather save this step for a later date. 

 

So the new no. 2 step will be hunting down some of the wiring, grounding, corrosion issues. The neighbour said that the silver box by the battery in one of the 3 smarts they have had a white/green corrosion on I think pin 13 or 14 that caused very poor start. This being a cabriolet it is bound to have gotten moisture in. Much like you he too suggested removing the box to check for corrosion on the pins, so this makes sense to pursue. Will also need to extend the battery to ground cable as it's so short, my deep cycle battery is currently sitting at a 45 degree angle (the posts are the opposite polarity and the short cable doesn't reach). Then will do as you said to all the other grounding spots, remove them, bring a drill with a wire brush to the spot and fully clean the metal till it's nice and shiny. Then apply anti corrosion gel (or did you say just plain old grease?) 

 

Step 3 will be to replace the coolant, as indicated in another thread I started today. This shouldn't make a diff as far as starting goes but man, I sure don't want to be in a car driving around without heat in Calgary a month away from winter starting. 

 

Step 4 will be to investigate and hopefully correct the oil pan heater. If nothing else I think I still have an old magnetic one in the house, the type you just slap in place then remove before driving off. All of our other vehicles have/had aluminum pans so this naturally didn't work on those. Hope I didn't sell it, been years since I last saw it. Or I may just buy one of these stick on pads, they work really well and are so cheap to run (125 watts or what have you?). Definitely think the car would start a lot easier if I had warm oil to start with. So this step is a must.

 

Step 5 will be keeping a close eye on the alternator. Hopefully it won't need replacing. But if it does it doesn't sound like such a horrible job if all I need is to lift the body. Was under the impression I'd have to lift the car then drop the motor, after removing the Axel, all the hoses, etc. Which is why the idea to cut a hole through the firewall seemed appealing. But if I can keep all wheels on the ground and literally lift the body off the car to have enough clearance then sure, count me in. Several places in town sell reconditioned alts, so hopefully it won't cost hundreds.

 

Step 6 and this is only after the car starts properly and is driving reliably: clean the hell out of it. it is a mess. It sat for so long. Lots of the body parts, panels, etc are off atm. This car will require a full clean if wife is to go anywhere near it. Plan to remove the seats, bring them inside and shampoo them. But as time consuming and agonizing as detailing is, I will gladly tackle it with a big smile on my face.

 

Great to hear that stickman has a EGR delete kit of sorts. As indicated earlier the hoses and egr look clean after inspection. But as you know these don't last till they clog up. Will definitely be hitting stickman for a kit. Hopefully it won't clog up till the summer. No fun working in the cold. 

 

K, in the morning will be heading out to grab the crush washers. The parts guy there already knows me by name (that didn't take long) and has put them aside for me. They have 13 in stock and asked me if I wanted all of them. Today being a Friday I naturally opted for only 6!

Edited by DieselAllTheWay

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Oil pan stick on heater pads...stick with the smallest version around 75-100 WATTs as I used the next size up last year and it cooked it'self, could have easily caught the car on fire if I had used it again....luckily I caught it before that happened! I left it on all night I think. They are far better than the magnetic version as you simply hard wire them to a plug at the front of the car as well as hard wiring two plugs inside near the passengers seat and maybe just behind the seats. Both I use as heater locations and a battery blanket. I use an in car heater I installed under the passenger's seat positioned towards the deepest area as not to heat anything up too much and also far enough away from seat material. The other one I use to power one of those ceramic square heaters stuck on a flat piece of wood. I place that sideways in the rear on low simply blowing heat anywhere safe.  All these are wired to a single cable that I thread through the driver's side air scoop fins under the windshield. You'll find that you need to snip out one fin to be able to get a plug through or rewire plug each season so you can hide it under fins for the summer months.  Old school looks for the winter and an easy place to plug into. The lower one is also a place to use but usually that spot is knee deep in snow when you wish to use it...lol.

The alt is used by many cars you'll find if your alt rebuilder knows what he's looking for.  I pay just over $200 locally if I remember correctly. New ones will hurt....lol.  Same goes for starters. 

The 4 bolts securing the sub frame on are tight and will take a long bar to loosen them. Again plenty of penetrating fluids for a few days may help? But I doubt it as the bolts are at least 3" long and face upwards.  The job is easy if you choke the wheels and stop them moving while lifted....again if you can afford, I'd be changing both starter and alt at the same time....just to not have to go back in again. While in there it would be a good time to check the gear select motor wiring, plug etc for condition and rubs where it travels past the inter cooler scoop. A known problem on some Smarts. You may also be able to check front lower section of inter cooler rad for any rubs if you can get a good visual that far?  Everything is so easy to get at while body is up. This is normally how my issues start, well it's easy to get at so why not take a peek and see. I end up changing everything for new so to speak and it gets expensive fast....lol. 

Those fuel lines are easily interchangeable so they shouldn't be bend that bad even upside down as they are.

I still say you should if you feel energetic go after the glow plugs even if only you test them electrically with a voltmeter.....resistance there is a number you are after. Sorry don't remember it off the top of my head, could be 1 or something....you either have it or you don't. Glow plugs are cheap so to speak as well .....and the list grows and grows...lol.

IF you are pulling the seats, lift the carpets and peek....I spray rust check under mine to help keep the rust at bay even if it has rust. Doesn't smell at all, or my nose doesn't work...lol.

OH....in the battery well did you check that flat white plug connection yet? Sorry forgot if you had or not..?  If not it'll be corroded I bet. Also you can take the silver box apart easily and wash it off internally as it also will be green or white....tooth brush worked for me with some cleaner. IF you clean off the coating off the circuit board you can apply clear nail polish to reseal it all. Again worked for me. Then relocate it higher up under the dash where water isn't flowing...lol.

Again sorry for long post, I'm bad for this..lol.

Hope this helps......

 

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