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Club smart Car > Technical Discussions > Operation and Maintenance: 450 Model, 2005-2006, diesel
FlyingTigerDevelopment
At one time or another. We all know the clutch will need to be replaced. But how soon?

As mileage is getting higher from some of the earlier smarts. We see clutch related issues more often. Some are really early due to towing trailer. Others, could be from neglect on maintenance. And I don't mean just oil and filter change. Although the clutch actuator is not really a serviceable item. Some may tried lubricating it. But I think it is a real waste of time. Only thing you can do is manually and electronically adjust it at a recommend interval.

But this device can easily be defected. We've seen as low as 25,000km while the car was outside 4 years warranty. If you sense some shifting issue, you should get your car scanned and repair immediately. Waiting for a day or two could cost you an additional $1600 to replace a clutch. While replacing the actuator may only cost you about $700 parts and labour. So a $700 job would becomes over $2000. If you do need to replace the clutch. Be sure to replace the release bearing assembly and transmission fluid at the same time. It is a labour intensive job.
smartzuuk
And some go well over 100,000 kms... your driving style will be a big factor
bilgladstone
If the clutch fails rather early, would it be a good idea to replace the oem with a heavy duty kit like Bonalume?
Duck
I'm about as rough as possible with my car, and my clutch is A-OK, after 250 000 km. So, in "normal" use, it wouldn't surprise me at all to see a clutch last the life of the vehicle!

-Iain
Mike T
Agreed; it seems that the most likely explanation for a clutch replacement in a 2005+ smart would be an oil leak from the transaxle or engine rear main seal, or a chronically badly adjusted shift actuator. Otherwise they should be good for eons. The clutch in my 366,000 km 405 had a hundred thousand or more km left in it......
smartzuuk
Poo Joe
tolsen
Hi,

I'm a new member residing in Banchory, Scotland.
A few years ago I had a clutch related issue with my 2002 Smart Cabrio Cdi. Took it to the Mercedes Benz dealer in Aberdeen to have it fixed. They diagnosed worn out clutch. The Smart had only clocked about 85000 km at the time. I towed the Smart home and removed the clutch and dismantled it for inspection. There was no significant wear whatsoever on the friction disc.


Pressure plate with detail of self-adjusting cam mechanism and spring.


Above photo shows friction plate with bits off one of the three springs for the self-adjusting cam mechanism. One spring obviously broke or rattled loose when my Smart was suffering from the jerk take off syndrome.

Fitted it back in the car, repaired the fault after first having invested in Win-Star Magus (good kit but can't do clutch adjustment on the Cdi). I believe the clutches will only wear out prematurely if the self-adjusting cam mechanism behind the pressure plate is incorrectly set at factory. As the friction plate wears, the mechanism will compensate by moving pressure plate nearer without altering contact position of trust bearing. Therefore if the mechanism is seized or not set to zero when new, what happens is that after some initial wear and settling in, there will no longer be any play between clutch actuator rod and fork. Clutch will start slipping, eventually burning out unless quick remedial action is carried out. The same can possibly be the result of incorrect mechanical adjustment of clutch actuator, i.e. setting it hard up against the fork lever.

Cheers,

TK
smart142
Thanks for your post! Very informative!

and welcome to the club biggrin.gif

Do you still have your cdi?


My clutch is still OK at 165,000 kms. Mind you my grandfather always said that it was not unusual to replace clutches after 100,000 kms in cars from the 40's and 50's
tolsen
QUOTE (smart142 @ Oct 1 2009 - 10:44 AM) *
Thanks for your post! Very informative!

and welcome to the club biggrin.gif

Do you still have your cdi?


My clutch is still OK at 165,000 kms. Mind you my grandfather always said that it was not unusual to replace clutches after 100,000 kms in cars from the 40's and 50's

Yes I still have my Cdi. Just fitted misterdotcom cruise control. The car runs well. Had to replace turbo recently due to fatigue crack in turbine, but was lucky and got a nearly new second hand unit from Pensylvania for GBP 124.16 delivered to the UK including tax, see OnSmart forum post for details.

Here is my Smart. It is a fantastic tow car:
gauchorojo
Thanks to both Eddie and TK for very informative posts.

TK, how many miles on your 2002 cdi? I have heard of one in Germany with over 500k km already!

Cheers,
tolsen
Mine has only clocked 123000 km.
Mike T
Mine's at 130,000 km and so far so good!

Banchory eh? I spent a fair bit of time at Portlethen and Stonehaven in the eighties.
dieselkiki
A bad clutch ajustment can burn a clutch pakage in short time!! If you have never adjust the clutch actuator, the pilot bearing dont release completely and the clutch slip on acceleration and on load. THAT could damage the clutch on a smart fortwo CDI.

At any oil change you must take a look at the clutch actuator rod handplay.

wink.gif
Silver
Did that replacement turbo come from Pennsylvania USA? Surprising as the 450 was not imported to the US. From whom? I'm wondering if they have any other parts ( for future reference).
tolsen
QUOTE (Silver @ Nov 29 2009 - 11:10 PM) *
Did that replacement turbo come from Pennsylvania USA? Surprising as the 450 was not imported to the US. From whom? I'm wondering if they have any other parts ( for future reference).

Hi there,
Bought it from Todd Kozak of Superturbosales on ebay. Yes, it did come from Pennsylvania USA. Todd keeps selling these KKK KP31 turbos all the time. Got no idea where he gets them from. He has one listed just now for $130 plus P&P. Don't worry about the dent in compressor housing. Todd uses the same picture and item description each time. Mine had exactly same description and picture as the one in above link. It looked like brand new when fitted.


Cheers,
TK
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