OklahomaSmart

2002 Petrol Smart Converted Into A 2006 Diesel Smart

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Hello to all the Smart enthusiasts out there!

I am writing from Oklahoma where I reside. I thought perhaps I should share my Smart adventure with others, just in case perhaps there is someone else out there that might want to convert their Petrol Smart into a Diesel or vice-virsa.

My adventure started in 1998 when I first laid eyes on a Smart car in Monte Carlo. I said to myself, "I will have one of those cars no matter what it takes". Let the plan unfold... As we all know Smart car's up until recently were not going to be sold in the US market. While gas prices continued to rise I simply could not wait for stubborn Bureaucrats to make up their mind, about accepting the most efficient and intelligent automotive design in years. I knew I would have to build my own Smart out of parts. After 100’s of phone calls over the past 9 years I was finally getting closer to my dream. At one point I even spoke to the man who drafted the DOT laws governing the guidelines for importation’s of non-conforming automobiles. Long long story short after a lot of questions answered in “no. nope. can’t do that”, I finally stumbled on a loophole. Before the conversation was over he faxed me a copy of what "could and could not be" on the Smart when it enters the US. I was off to a solid start! From the beginning I knew if the Smart car's ever arrived in the States they most likely would not import a Diesel variant. Approx 6 years has gone by since I bought my 1st Smart and during that time, the lucky Canadians not only got the Smart cars, they also got the Diesel's. The rest of my adventure is listed below...

Back in Feb of 2006 I bought a complete 2006 Smart CDI that had been lightly wrecked in the front right corner. I was told it was one of the 1st 2006 cars to be wrecked in Canada. In fact, it was only 3 days old with about 400 miles on it. I flew up to Vancouver from Oklahoma. I stripped the entire car in 2 days (5hrs each day) only leaving behind the Paint and the Shell. I meticulously built a crate around the parts (800lbs of Smart including crate) and shipped all the parts back to Oklahoma. At the border I was dead honest and declared exactly what the shipment was (no need to mislead customs, every part said Smart on it) I paid my $12 in duties and happy indeed I was! By the time the crate arrived in Okla, I had completely stripped my 2002 Smart Petrol in my kitchen (unbearably cold in my garage). I rewired my 2002 as a 2006 CDI, bolted in the new cradle with Diesel engine and did a slight modification to the floor pan where the brake booster mounts up. The Diesel has a larger brake booster than the Petrol car. Simple safe fix. Documented the complete strip and build of both cars on Video Camera.

All in all, I would do the whole thing again in a heartbeat. I am certainly no purist as my Avatar suggests. I may just be the only Smart fanatic in the world to have converted a 2002 Petrol into a 2006 CDI. Without a doubt I must say it was FUN!!! Now I know these Smart cars inside out, every single last nut and bolt. Also have tons of extra parts. I love em so much I just bought my 2nd Smart Petrol last week, and plan to do the same again. If anyone knows of any more wrecked CDI’s please, please let me know.

I will never forget the wonderful people of BC and the beauty of the place. I fell in love with Vancouver! I will be back for more Smart cars soon enough.

Pictures can be seen below from some of the conversion. Including the kitchen and the crate.

http://s72.photobucket.com/albums/i190/pra...202006%20SMART/

*** I previously listed this conversion process elsewhere in the forums. If anyone ever needs a hand with such a conversion I figured it needed to be in the right ‘How to do it yourself’ index to be adequate for discussion. I would be glad to help anyone with tips and advice on the Petrol to Diesel swap (or the other way around for you lucky Canadians).***

Edited by OklahomaSmart

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OMG!!!!!! Good for you!!! The dedication is beyond description! Makes me appreciate my Gina even more!!!!

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Wow, that is some committment! I assume you have successfully registered the converted car with your dept of motor vehicles, and all is well?

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WOW! You now officially have the best working knowledge of a smart cdi of anyone here! Congrats on being the new "go to" guy!That is an unbelievable amount of dedication! Especially having a smart in your kitchen!!!!!Awesome!Be sure to come back to Vancouver for a rally one day.S

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MIKE T...

Yes, all is well.

I have Court Ordered Documents for Registration on both of these Smart cars.

I also run on Dealer Plates.

In the state of Oklahoma a car can still be registered as a Home Built Kit Car. Our state also does not require Emissions testing.

-----

I M SMRT…

I will be back in Vancouver soon!

----

Av8tr…

It was easy to get in the kitchen and not so easy to get out ;)

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Impressive!And here, I was all impressed by myself installing a push button starter... took me about 6 hours today (I really don't know what I'm doing around cars, trust me!) - if I were to have tried to take apart the entire car, two things would happen: 1) I'd probably give up and have to try putting it back together and 2) my wife would kill me :D - and rightfully so! LOLGood job!

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Good job. I have had bikes in the dining room, and bike engines all over the living room, but never a car.Where did the 2002 gasser come from? Was it imported in parts, or a G&K conversion?MG

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Beyond description. I don't even know what to say. You are the man!-Iain

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Wow your dedication is gr8. Before cars started coming to Canada I had thought about taking one apart in Europe and shipping as parts to be reasembled and then registering it at a homebuilt (love the kitchen part) G&K saved my marriage. 8 - )

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Hey, you have a couple of Deux Chevaux! Good for you!

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Hello again everyone!Much thanks for all of your interest. Honestly, at first I was reluctant to post my story, I never dreamed it would be so well received. After much thought I figured it was best to share the adventure with other enthusiasts, just in case there is someone else out there wanting to do the same thing. I should say this, apart from all of the positive support I have received here at ‘The Great’ Clubsmartcar site, there were also plenty of people in the Smart community abroad that tried to discourage me along the way. Many in Europe said that converting a Smart from Gas to Diesel was crazy, unfeasible, and several Smart Service Centers around the world even said the idea was not possible. In hindsight the negative advice only made me want to do the project even more so. The costs of the venture were truly reasonable and offset with the educational nature of the project. Because it was a hands on experience I now know my own car inside-out and can service it myself without having to worry about a lack of Smart centers in the States. This adventure was certainly exciting and as I said before I would do it again in a heart beat! Really, the best part of the whole experience has been all of the amazing friends and contacts I have made around the world. In fact, I have already made several neat friends here on this forum. I should make note of my biggest supporters and helpers from across the pond. Of all the people and places, the Maybach headquarters in London helped me the most (yup, you read that right). Every time I called they gracefully provided me with whatever I requested, even 50+ pages of wiring diagrams and schematics for all the gas and diesel variants. At one point they told me to “be careful what you ask for, at Maybach you get exactly what you request down to the most acute detail“. I also send high regards to the North Vancouver Smart Parts department.In the end, all I can say to those that have a dream and a vision.. chase it, never give up, at some point there will be a reward!! Smart cars rock!Stay tuned… I am currently in the planning and logistical stages of importing a Smart Crossblade… also strongly considering making the 1st diesel conversion to a Crossblade.Thanks again to all of you for your support and encouragement, it means a lot me!

Edited by OklahomaSmart

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Hey OK smart, I've got friends that live in Norman, you anywhere close to there? :)Good on you for making this happen! Honestly part of the appeal to your story is the Smart in the KITCHEN! :smitten: That's just awesome!I'm planning a trip this summer at some point, and part of my plans include going to OK to see my friends! So keep in touch and we'll see if we can't tool around in two smarts! That'd be awesome! :)

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Hey there HammerSmartActually, I used to live in Norman, now I only live about an hour from there. Sounds like fun, we should get together with our 2 cars and hit the city. I know a couple of neat places we could roll around. Give me a heads up when you do plan to venture this way so that i can make a point to be around.ttys

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Christmas 1995 my then Finance bought be a beautifully restored 67 CooperS. She had a couple of my friends help her get it through our double French doors leading into our living room and moved the sofa out to the garage.That wonderful little car sat in our living room till spring. We played drive-in many a night. Just sitting in the Mini. Turning off all the lights and watching the big screen. The only real issue was that she had forgotten to place a cookie tin or a mat under the engine and by spring it had marked it's territory permanently on our brand new white berber carpet.If I had done that I would have been banished to the dog house but since she did it.. well.. it was ok. :D

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That is so cool! Makes me think that if this can be done why can't one of us buy & drop a more efficient used 451 diesel motor ( after shipping costs are paid of course) into one of our 450's after the engine grenades.Or would thisbe a pipe dream? :D

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The 450 cdi gets better fuel economy in regular use.....

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I'm so impressed by this.There is hope for ther future. Perhaps a 451 gasser converted to diesel would be a viable option if Smart won't import an official version. Anyone know if the Qhebec laws allow homebuilt/assembled cars like this?2seat

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Wonder how difficult it would be to retrofit an electric drive, once they become available and the diesel packs in?PS: Too bad that original photo-bucket link no longer works.

Edited by Graham

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Of all the people and places, the Maybach headquarters in London helped me the most (yup, you read that right). Every time I called they gracefully provided me with whatever I requested, even 50+ pages of wiring diagrams and schematics for all the gas and diesel variants.

Heck of a job, (Much more than my lazy butt would do. lol) :kneel:We're Unworthy, We're Unworthy... etc heehee I've yet to be able to get my hands on *any* manuals, wiring diagrams, zip regardless or who I've called or how nicely I asked. Other than this site, I've relied on Evilution and fq101 for details -- both excellent sources of information, BTW.However, I supposed it balances out - I simply purchased it from a fellow not too far from me who purchased it used from a fellow in Ontario. Apparently, there is a loophole in the law that allows a private party to sell a Canadian spec'd vehicle if it is driven over the border and sold to a private US citizen. So... when I purchased it, I simply took the (2nd) previous owner's title and registration into to my county clerk's office, and in ten minutes, it was registered in Tennessee. Financed the deal through BMW (Who would have loaned close to original purchase price for a three year old car! Thank goodness it didn't cost that much.) I was able to transfer the original *Smart warranty, as well - all it took was a call to smart canada. So, all the easy stuff balances out not being able to get service info.... LOLOh, the comment about Brabus -- just adding Brabus badges to your smart will increase it's Horsepower by an amazing degree. The original owner spent half the cost of the car putting Brabus accessories, body panels, leather, etc when he bought it, so even though it's a CDI, it at least looks like it goes fast... :lol::watchout::lol: *Note: I would have had to drive or have it carried to a Smart Center in Canada for any warranty repairs. Edited by fernblatt

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