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@  Mike T : (29 August 2015 - 07:33 AM) I've no idea! Sorry, I rarely went there anyway. I think they had "issues". Driving to Banff today in the rain in prep for a 290 km bike ride from Jasper to Banff. Cheers
@  Francesco : (28 August 2015 - 11:24 PM) Ah. Just found Martin's tweet from January, but its link is dead so I have no details of why the club was dissolved
@  Francesco : (28 August 2015 - 10:49 PM) Hey Mike, what happened to CsQ? I haven't logged in in over a year, but it seems the lights aren't on...?
@  Francesco : (28 August 2015 - 10:39 PM) keep you eyes on the classifieds here, SCoA and CsQ, as well as Kijiji. Deals on rims pop up from time to time.
@  Francesco : (28 August 2015 - 10:36 PM) and yes, you'll find even with a one inch drop there is plenty of arch gap. I'm -1.25 in the front and -1.4 out back and it could go lower (but would drive balls). I hate the useless stanced look.
@  Francesco : (28 August 2015 - 10:34 PM) Figure a good $1400 or more to your door.
@  Francesco : (28 August 2015 - 10:33 PM) Ouch. The shipping will be more than the (discounted) 19% VAT, and then you'll likely get a collect bill from Canada Post for GST/PST and duties.
@  Surturiel : (28 August 2015 - 05:15 PM) I found these: http://www.rs-parts....r-smart450.html
@  Surturiel : (28 August 2015 - 05:15 PM) Question: With the lowered springs (Eibach, 25mm), can I still put a set of 16" on my limousine?
@  Surturiel : (28 August 2015 - 05:14 PM) I'll see what I can do...
@  Francesco : (28 August 2015 - 08:56 AM) Check with Fast Eddy to see if he'll rent you the correct tool for cheap.
@  Surturiel : (27 August 2015 - 02:43 PM) (like copper or aluminium)
@  Surturiel : (27 August 2015 - 02:43 PM) I'll try with something hard, but not as hard as steel
@  Francesco : (27 August 2015 - 02:42 PM) tolsen has posted about it before. Personally I thought a couple hours of tinkering was time better spent elsewhere, and the $50 for the tool well spent
@  Francesco : (27 August 2015 - 02:41 PM) you need a hardwood, soft won't do
@  Surturiel : (27 August 2015 - 02:41 PM) no worries, got the idea
@  Francesco : (27 August 2015 - 02:40 PM) the hole being the exact size of the rod, not the disc. Sorry about the syntax
@  Francesco : (27 August 2015 - 02:39 PM) A wooden clamp would work well. Drill a hole in a wooden disc the exact size of the strut rod's diameter, then cut the disc in half and add flats
@  Surturiel : (27 August 2015 - 02:13 PM) leather is too soft, as is rubber. I was thinking about either copper wire wound around the strut or tinfoil. and a vise Grip
@  Francesco : (27 August 2015 - 02:11 PM) An old leather belt might work better, but I had no luck with it
@  Surturiel : (27 August 2015 - 02:10 PM) (I was thinking about a vise grip and tinfoil. you know, tinfoil is aluminum, and can potentailly protect the shock, and a vbise grip is FAR more useful than the clamp, but this is me trying to Mcgiver a solution, as usual...)
@  Surturiel : (27 August 2015 - 02:07 PM) ah, ok, then
@  Francesco : (27 August 2015 - 02:06 PM) The strut spins freely, you need the special clamping tool to provide flats for a big open ended wrench (with this tool 47 mm)
@  Surturiel : (27 August 2015 - 02:03 PM) Can't I use LOTS of wd40, a t47 bit and a breaker bar?
@  Francesco : (27 August 2015 - 02:01 PM) The strut clamp is a necessity. Worth every cent I paid -- making something similar myself would have taken me more time than I'd like to spend in order to save the few bucks.
@  Surturiel : (27 August 2015 - 02:00 PM) c'mon! I'll use twine. And optimism.
@  Francesco : (27 August 2015 - 01:59 PM) I honestly didn't need them on the broken spring, and while handy for the lowering springs, not necessary.
@  dmoonen : (27 August 2015 - 08:06 AM) Spring compresssors are still needed. .Tolson why must you take the hard way to everything
@  Surturiel : (26 August 2015 - 03:59 PM) nah, the springs are broken, and I can use the ye old zip-tie trick. But since I'm going to put eibachs (-25mm) I won't worry.]
@  tolsen : (26 August 2015 - 03:43 PM) Clamp type spring compressors should not be used since the damage both protective coating and spring.
@  dmoonen : (26 August 2015 - 11:27 AM) The spring compressors you can borrow at Canadian tire
@  dmoonen : (26 August 2015 - 11:27 AM) I have the Mercedes strut clamp you can borrow just pay shipping and if you break it you buy it. Pm me
@  Surturiel : (26 August 2015 - 08:51 AM) thanks, guys! And... does anyone in Vancouver area have the clamp so I can "rent"?
@  dmoonen : (25 August 2015 - 06:43 PM) To and from SK*. I'm just waiting on some bits to finish the Golf build
@  dmoonen : (25 August 2015 - 06:41 PM) Still driving it, drove it to and from and average 4.7l/100l loaded to the brim.
@  Francesco : (25 August 2015 - 06:19 PM) Dillen how much did you end up getting for the wagon?
@  Francesco : (25 August 2015 - 05:13 PM) And if replacing the plastic bellows (dust boots) on the struts, cut a good 1.5" off the bottoms of them or they'll just compress around the stops and get in the way of the clamp tool
@  Francesco : (25 August 2015 - 05:11 PM) also, take a new knife blade and cut about an inch off the bump stops unless you love bottoming out on small bumps.
@  Francesco : (25 August 2015 - 05:09 PM) wont need it for the Eibachs
@  Francesco : (25 August 2015 - 05:09 PM) If the springs are broken at the top as suspected, the spring compressor might not be necessary.
@  dmoonen : (25 August 2015 - 04:49 PM) And a normal spring compressor
@  dmoonen : (25 August 2015 - 04:46 PM) Strut clamp tool*
@  dmoonen : (25 August 2015 - 04:46 PM) Lots of penetrating oil on the top nut and see if you can borrow a strut tool of you don't have the proper air tools
@  Surturiel : (25 August 2015 - 01:08 PM) Now, let's see if I can replace them without getting myself killed...
@  Surturiel : (25 August 2015 - 01:07 PM) Got the Eibach springs!
@  dmoonen : (25 August 2015 - 12:29 PM) Lol
@  Francesco : (25 August 2015 - 10:18 AM) ok, maybe MikeT
@  Francesco : (25 August 2015 - 10:18 AM) Who doesn't? Hehehe
@  dmoonen : (25 August 2015 - 07:46 AM) sounds like you have a decent to do list. .
@  Surturiel : (23 August 2015 - 08:00 PM) Perhaps even throw a set of powerflex purple bushings, and a set of 16" "space" wheels, but not now...)

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The Future of Smart in America


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#1 Britsmart

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 09:46 AM

2012_smart_fortwo_front_three_quarters.jpg September 28, 2011 By Scott Evans If you've been following sales numbers over the past few years as we have, you'd be forgiven for thinking Smart's time in the U.S. is running short. The company is believed to have sold fewer than 4000 cars so far this year, though specific data is hard to find. Daimler, parent company of Smart and Mercedes-Benz, hasn't bothered to include year-to-date totals in its monthly sales reports, nor any data on 2010 performance relative to 2011. Why? Because Smart's sales continue to spiral downward by double digits every month. You'd think that would mean the end is nigh, but Smart's refusing to go down in the U.S. market without a drawn-out fight. Click to view GallerySpeaking with executives at Mercedes-Benz USA, which has recently taken over control of Smart USA from original importer Penske, Motor Trend learned that the micro-car brand is far from finished in the U.S. With the full backing of the German mothership, Smart is planning to reinvent itself in America and return to profitability. But while there's a plan in place, it's a long road ahead. The plan starts with marketing. Think about it. When was the last time you saw a Smart commercial on TV? Your memory isn't to blame -- there's never been one. According to Mercedes-Benz, Penske simply didn't have the resources at its disposal to mount the kind of massive media campaign needed to sell cars. Mercedes on the other hand does, which is why you'll start seeing a lot more Smart advertising in the near future, beginning with a major ad campaign that started in mid-September. TV commercials will appear on all the major networks during a number of popular scripted, reality, and talk shows. The point of the ad campaign, we're told, is not to re-educate the market about Smart cars, but rather to expose people to them. Brand awareness, Mercedes says, is very low right now, and dealers say they haven't seen any advertising in three years. According to Mercedes, most car buyers don't know what Smart is, and those who do don't necessarily have the right idea about the brand. Judging by the comments on our last Smart Fortwo test, Motor Trend readers think the car only sells in San Francisco, but Mercedes tells us that many Smarts are actually sold in Texas, of all places. Smart is hoping to send a message of value and downsizing as the buying public begins to embrace small cars and restrained spending. Click to view GalleryAnother aspect of the plan comes on the dealer side of things. Mercedes cut loose 30 percent of Smart's dealer network when it took over the brand, dropping all dealers that weren't also Mercedes dealers. As of now, Smart is down to just 50 U.S. dealers, though that number will go back up to anywhere between 80 and 100 dealers in the near future, and all of them will also be Mercedes dealers. The idea is similar to Hyundai's plan for Genesis to have a dealer-within-a-dealer selling Smart cars as their own brand, not as tiny Benzes. They won't just be sold, either. Now that Mercedes is calling the shots, Smart will begin leasing gasoline cars for the first time. Meanwhile, the company is looking for ways to bring down the lease price on the Smart ED electric car from the current $600 per month rate. Mercedes is hoping that this plan will get Smart back to sales growth in 2012, though given 2011's low sales, it's not a lofty goal. Next year will also see the launch of the third-generation Fortwo as a 2013 model based on the Forvision concept that just debuted in Frankfurt. The update as we understand it will be mostly cosmetic, but third-generation electric models will feature increased range and performance and, if all goes to plan, will actually be for sale and not just for lease. Dealers will have to make do with that for another three years or so until an all-new car debuts. That product, we hope, will feature some big updates, as we've found the current car lacking in a few areas, though Mercedes insists that the opinions of automotive journalists don't reflect those of customers, who apparently aren't complaining at all about the transmission. Mercedes-Benz is working closely with its Smart dealers to craft a new awareness for the brand, one it hopes will get sales back on track. How well it works will depend on how effective the message is as much as gas prices and the country's economic woes. Beyond the short-term, though, Smart's future in America is still unclear and will depend heavily on future product we haven't seen yet. Source: http://www.motortren...art_in_america/
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#2 bilgladstone

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 10:54 AM

How well it works will depend on how effective the message is as much as gas prices and the country's economic woes.

"Perception is realty."

Smart's message will not be effective until they discover a feature of this car that actually resonates with the American consumer. The only one I can visualize at this time is our ability to customize/modify the car's performance to exceed that with which the car is delivered from the dealership.

They need to offer:
Turbo and engine displacement options, including a diesel!
Sports performance chip
Sports/lowering springs an dampeners
Wide tires and flash rims
Evil-looking paint work
Upgrade handling package/sway bars
Transmission upgrade (dual-clutch?) options

These are what will make the car sexy to Americans, not it's decent-but-so-so gas mileage and funky looks. I think the car's appeal in those categories has pretty much been exhausted already.
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#3 John & Angela

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 11:56 AM

I agree with what he said about the transmission. I don't find anything wrong with the transmission and can't figure out why many journalists do. I mean seriously, a standard transmission that shifts by itself...what the heck are they complaining about. Its probably just me but I doubt i could shift it any smoother. Just sayin....

Edited by John & Angela, 30 September 2011 - 04:46 PM.

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#4 yellow bumble bee

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 03:49 PM

As a standard transmission, I couldn't agree with you more. But they are marketing it as a automatic transmission, and as an automatic transmission it is lousy.Roy
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#5 1983JZR3W

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 04:33 PM

I think I read somewhere they are calling it "smartshift" in their new ads.

Edited by Z06-LITE, 30 September 2011 - 04:34 PM.


#6 John & Angela

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 04:49 PM

As a standard transmission, I couldn't agree with you more. But they are marketing it as a automatic transmission, and as an automatic transmission it is lousy. Roy

Well thats just dum. I never paid attention. It is so obvious it is a manual or standard transmission. I guess it would be accurate to call it an automatically shifting/clutching standard transmission...but thats kinda hard to say. :)

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#7 cadillacman

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 04:57 PM

isn't it a bit of a statement on north american auto journalism that the editors of these articles don't/can't figure this ( transmission ) out and call it what it really isor are they purposely being obtuse ?

Edited by cadillacman, 30 September 2011 - 04:59 PM.

My name is Bill
I got a 2005 pure coupe,,glass roof,,heated mirrors,,see 183099 in 450 DB

pushbutton start,,cruise control,,seat height blocks
mild re-map,,SCU trailer hitch,,scangauge
LED for CityLight,,LED angel eyes,,euro panels,,Braubus V alloys
GT exhaust,,GT intake,,water shutoff installed
EGR electronic bypass,,
1 touch windows,,EGR Replacement Pipe and removal of water exchange

207,500 km - fr brakes,,battery (x2),,intercooler fan (x2),,intercooler,,turbo,,fr springs,,fr rotors,,fr brake pads (x2),,rear shocks,,fr shocks


#8 bilgladstone

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 05:32 PM

The confusion is smart's own fault. They changed the perfectly good six-speed sequential configuration into a PRND shifter in order to offer the Americans something they would recognise.

They disguised a perfectly serviceable automated manual transmission as a North American automatic. And now they wonder why the American reviewers all say the transmission doesn't meet their expectations. No surprise there.

Edited by bilgladstone, 30 September 2011 - 05:33 PM.

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#9 Mike T

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 05:34 PM

The confusion is smart's own fault. They changed the perfectly good six-speed sequential configuration into a PRND shifter in order to offer the Americans something they would recognise.

USDOT requirement, so you can't blame smart. But I wish smart Canada had kept the old SeDrive unit......

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#10 John & Angela

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 05:37 PM

USDOT requirement, so you can't blame smart. But I wish smart Canada had kept the old SeDrive unit......

Whats an SE drive unit Mike?

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#11 Mike T

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 05:41 PM

smart 450 shifter.

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#12 Huronlad

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 05:45 PM

USDOT requirement, so you can't blame smart. But I wish smart Canada had kept the old SeDrive unit......

I am fairly sure the PRND is only needed for automatic transmissions in the US. The US could have had the SeDrive unit.

"Kalliste" 2005 Bay Grey Pure, tach/clock pods, panoramic roof, a/c, soft touch, ignition free windows, vertical wipers, Euro turn signals, LED fog lights, LED turn signal side marker lights, Scanguage II, LED interior light, LED license plate lights, LED reverse lights, LED high brake light, UWC wheel covers, tinted windows, Wet Okole seat covers with carbon fibre heaters, under seat drawer, EBC brakes and rotors, Eibach and Boge suspension, Stebel air horn.
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#13 cadillacman

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 05:48 PM

The confusion is smart's own fault. They changed the perfectly good six-speed sequential configuration into a PRND shifter in order to offer the Americans something they would recognise.

They disguised a perfectly serviceable automated manual transmission as a North American automatic. And now they wonder why the American reviewers all say the transmission doesn't meet their expectations. No surprise there.

I think you missed the point about journalists being fooled rather than technical neanderthals being fooled.
MB did try to mislead people, but the journalist should have outed them.
And the canadian journalists were no better, even before the PRNDL

Edited by cadillacman, 30 September 2011 - 05:50 PM.

My name is Bill
I got a 2005 pure coupe,,glass roof,,heated mirrors,,see 183099 in 450 DB

pushbutton start,,cruise control,,seat height blocks
mild re-map,,SCU trailer hitch,,scangauge
LED for CityLight,,LED angel eyes,,euro panels,,Braubus V alloys
GT exhaust,,GT intake,,water shutoff installed
EGR electronic bypass,,
1 touch windows,,EGR Replacement Pipe and removal of water exchange

207,500 km - fr brakes,,battery (x2),,intercooler fan (x2),,intercooler,,turbo,,fr springs,,fr rotors,,fr brake pads (x2),,rear shocks,,fr shocks


#14 bilgladstone

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 07:00 PM

Hmm... "technical neandertals" is a fair description of many automotive "journalists." My expectation of them is not that high ;)
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#15 Mike T

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 11:32 PM

I am fairly sure the PRND is only needed for automatic transmissions in the US. The US could have had the SeDrive unit.

The 450s that G&K converted had PRND indicators added! Thanks to DOT.....

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#16 Huronlad

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 02:25 AM

The display has DRN or DNR added beside the gear indicator section. There is no park position.

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88218.png

"Labeeba" 2011 metallic silver Pure, tach/clock pods, A/C, arm rest, Design 1 alloy wheels, fog lights, all panels colour matched, heated seats, storage bin, oem storage cover, Area451 cruise control, Ultra Gauge, Team Dynamic Smartie 16" x 7.5" wheels, Yokohama S-Drive 215/40R16 tires, resonator box deleted.
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#17 Francesco

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 04:31 AM

The 2011 shifter no longer has a "P"? Or are you talking about the G&Ks?



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#18 Mike T

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 06:50 AM

G&K

2006 smart BRABUS Canada 1 cabriolet, FlyingTiger map 380023_5.png
2013 Ford Fiesta SE 5 speed, 203A and Winter packages 542252_5.png
2008 Mercedes-Benz B 200 5 speed, other goodies 206221_5.png
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#19 mainefortwo

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 06:55 AM

In 2007 when I reserved my 2008 smart fortwo Passion Coupé on-line, my wife thought I was crazy. After test driving a car in June 2007 during a road show event near Boston, my wife began to understand why I was interested in the smart. Over the past 3 ½ years and over 43,000 miles (69,200km), we have grown to love the smart and I even surprised myself how much I have come to enjoy my smart since my previous car was a Mazda RX-8. Driving around Southern Maine my smart is still a rarity and continues to draws, looks, smiles, thumbs-up, and many questions when I stop at a store or for gas.I am very pleased to hear Mercedes is committed to the smart brand in the USA. My advice to help the brand grow (beyond the advertising which was sorely needed) is to increase the servicing network. I drive 80 miles (128km) from Maine to Lynnfield, MA to the nearest smart center for servicing by a trained Technician and have done so for every scheduled maintenance need. Even if Mercedes did not wish to add more smart centers at this point, if they would invest in training one (1) Service Technician at every Mercedes Dealership in America on how to service a smart car, I believe that would help the brand grow. I have two Mercedes Dealers with a 35 minute drive from my house and that would make routine service much more accessible. I am hoping in the next few years to purchase a smart fortwo Electric Drive, and that would make the need for more local servicing even greater because of the range of the electric car.News has already begun to spread about the 2012 Scion IQ coming the US starting this month, and most of the early reviews tend to compare it to the smart and how much better 3+1 seating and a CVT are than the smart. I disagree and feel smart should extol the virtues of the fortwo as compared to the IQ. For example, over the past three years I have had only myself in the car about 95% of the time, and can only count on one hand the number of times I wish I could have taken more than two in the car, so I see no need for a back seat. I prefer to have the available cargo space. The visibility from the smart is great, and I have already heard negative reviews about the IQ upward visibility around traffic lights because the driver seat sits farther back than the passenger seat. There have been times I have backed into a curb to park my smart, the IQ being longer would make that option awkward at best. The plastic body panels on my smart have saved many a parking lot incident, the steel body on the IQ will be very susceptible to dents in similar situations. Last but not least for Maine is Winter driving, my smart is one of the best cars I have ever owned in the snow, and having the paddle shifters I feel I can always be in the best gear for the conditions without taking my hands off the wheel and the rear engine/rear wheel drive is a great combination.The bottom line for smart to compete is to promote its virtues compared to other cars like the IQ and not to focus on one thing like the transmission (which I have no problem with by the way).Just my thoughts. ;)

#20 smart142

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 08:39 AM

A great write up!!!

''over the past three years I have had only myself in the car about 95% of the time, and can only count on one hand the number of times I wish I could have taken more than two in the car, so I see no need for a back seat.''

Toatally agree!

In fact smart used to say that the average number of people in a car is 1.2, they were generous and provided seating for 2.0 :D
Glenn.
2005 Passion coupe Bay grey-silver-loaded! ''Gina'' (deposit 1Nov02,delivered13Dec04)SOLD! 12 Sept 2014 - 3 months shy of 10 year ownership. Now driving a 2005 loaded passion. Blue/silver that was owned and modified by Dan Gold.

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#21 bilgladstone

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 10:48 AM

I so rarely have a passenger that I have been thinking about removing pasenger seat altogether!
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