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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-03-2017, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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Gambler 500 Rally Smartie!

We've been a two smart apartment since October now and personally, I love it. My girlfriend doesn't drive so both cars are mine. Not long after getting the 453, I also got an incredible increase in my income that has allowed me to go back to my crazy hobbies.



Since then, I've been buying iPhones, repairing them, then keeping or selling them...and so on. I haven't been this happy and free in a very long time.

However, I still yearn to get back to my long dormant hobby, modding smarts.

When I first got Phil (the 453), my plan was that I was just going to restore Tucker to factory condition. For the most part, I'm finished with that. He's running like a champ, I cleaned up the damage from last year, I even gave him a heavy detailing.

When I got my 453, I told myself I would keep it mostly stock. At the most, I would get cosmetic stuff, lighting mods, a blow off valve, and of course my signature shift knob:



My 453 is perfect just the way it is, no need to ruin it!

So, that leaves us with my trusty 451 that's somewhere near 130k with plenty of life left in him. Well, what should I do with him? Finish the projects I stopped in 2014? Try an engine swap? Turbo? No, I think I have something more fun and hopefully not incredibly invasive for him.

Last winter, I took little Tucker out ice racing a few times. I even got him out on some trails. I had a blast. Everyone else had proper cars for the job, but Tucker did his best...better than anyone could expect.

I want to capitalize on it. I want to make Tucker into a rally smartie. I've gotten together my parts list and even a phase structure so I don't bankrupt myself with excitement. I know, I could just fully restore Tucker to factory condition and be done with him. But seeing as I plan on keeping Phil close to factory stock, maybe I should do something fun and unique with Tucker? Modding has always been a draw for me.

So, with that out of the way, here's my plan.

Phase I - Cosmetic and Emergency parts.

In this stage, Tucker is going to get:

- Rally lights! I’m finally going to get rid of that ugly front license plate box like I’ve always wanted to.
- Tow hitch spare tire carrier (with a spare, of course).
- A winch (if I can figure out how to make it work in a non-invasive way, still working on it).
- Roof rack? Not sure about if I want one yet or not.
- Maybe a jerry can and a tall antenna to compliment the look.

Phase II - Lift! Lift! Lift!

- Lift kit.
- Replace worn suspension parts.
- Alignment.

Phase III - Rubber.

- Getting all terrain tyres, or offroad tyres if I can find them.
- Shaving the bumpers (if necessary).
- Other finishing touches.

I think I could totally do something like this and have it done before the end of the summer. Thoughts? Advice? Am I crazy and should just keep my little Tucker nice and stock?
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-03-2017, 11:26 AM
 
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Great ideas for the 451 . A little lift and some aggressive rally style tires with the appropriate rally eye candy bits and it would look sweet . Do I hear a Dakar style look ? Pretty cool , keep us posted
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-03-2017, 12:05 PM
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-03-2017, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Once I get started (my planned start date is approx one month before Iowa) I'll actually start a build thread. I actually have a secondary goal of making it as easy as possible. I expect the only times I have to actually hire someone will be when it's time to install the lift kit, any suspension work, and mounting the tyres as those are outside of my skillset.

And honestly, I don't want the car to conquer Moab or anything, but rather be my fun adventure companion!
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-04-2017, 03:41 PM
 
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Sounds like fun! I've been trying to get an antenna mount for my 451. Plan was to get one of these tow hooks, remove the D ring and fabricate an L bracket to mount an stud for the antenna.

smart car Racing Tow Hook - Silver Finish Online Store - smart car Parts and Accessories

Now plan is to just use a bolt through the bumper mount for a tow hook and make a custom bracket, yours would be a lot simpler if you just fabricated a mount onto the jerry can holder. I had something like that on an old Jeep.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-05-2017, 09:11 AM
 
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Awesome, I'll be following this with much interest. I've wanted to build a lifted, off-road Smart since I saw pics of the one SmartMadness did way back.
[IMG][/IMG]
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-05-2017, 09:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neonspinnazz View Post
We've been a two smart apartment since October now and personally, I love it. My girlfriend doesn't drive so both cars are mine. Not long after getting the 453, I also got an incredible increase in my income that has allowed me to go back to my crazy hobbies.



Since then, I've been buying iPhones, repairing them, then keeping or selling them...and so on. I haven't been this happy and free in a very long time.

However, I still yearn to get back to my long dormant hobby, modding smarts.

When I first got Phil (the 453), my plan was that I was just going to restore Tucker to factory condition. For the most part, I'm finished with that. He's running like a champ, I cleaned up the damage from last year, I even gave him a heavy detailing.

When I got my 453, I told myself I would keep it mostly stock. At the most, I would get cosmetic stuff, lighting mods, a blow off valve, and of course my signature shift knob:



My 453 is perfect just the way it is, no need to ruin it!

So, that leaves us with my trusty 451 that's somewhere near 130k with plenty of life left in him. Well, what should I do with him? Finish the projects I stopped in 2014? Try an engine swap? Turbo? No, I think I have something more fun and hopefully not incredibly invasive for him.

Last winter, I took little Tucker out ice racing a few times. I even got him out on some trails. I had a blast. Everyone else had proper cars for the job, but Tucker did his best...better than anyone could expect.

I want to capitalize on it. I want to make Tucker into a rally smartie. I've gotten together my parts list and even a phase structure so I don't bankrupt myself with excitement. I know, I could just fully restore Tucker to factory condition and be done with him. But seeing as I plan on keeping Phil close to factory stock, maybe I should do something fun and unique with Tucker? Modding has always been a draw for me.

So, with that out of the way, here's my plan.

Phase I - Cosmetic and Emergency parts.

In this stage, Tucker is going to get:

- Rally lights! I’m finally going to get rid of that ugly front license plate box like I’ve always wanted to.
- Tow hitch spare tire carrier (with a spare, of course).
- A winch (if I can figure out how to make it work in a non-invasive way, still working on it).
- Roof rack? Not sure about if I want one yet or not.
- Maybe a jerry can and a tall antenna to compliment the look.

Phase II - Lift! Lift! Lift!

- Lift kit.
- Replace worn suspension parts.
- Alignment.

Phase III - Rubber.

- Getting all terrain tyres, or offroad tyres if I can find them.
- Shaving the bumpers (if necessary).
- Other finishing touches.

I think I could totally do something like this and have it done before the end of the summer. Thoughts? Advice? Am I crazy and should just keep my little Tucker nice and stock?
You speak my language...one day soon my life will afford such lux. Been wanting to do similar to my '89 rabbit convert, but I'll think I'm going to let her go since my recent score.

Today Will Soon Be Yesterday, Choose Wisely...
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-05-2017, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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Awe! I ball hard on a budget. I mean, the only reason I have two smarts is because the awesome deal I got on the 453 (super thanks to Mister_smart_LA on that!). Otherwise I'd have just the 453 and this wouldn't be happening.

One of my biggest stipulations about this project is the price tag. While I do have the income to mod my cars again, I don't have the disposable income to go all out on an offroad conversion. Thus, I'm setting my max budget of about $1,000, spread out over about 2 or 3 months.

That's not a big deal though, I'm used to inventing my way around issues like cost. I have no idea how much the SmartMadness and Daystar offroad builds were, but I'm not going to spend anywhere near that. For me, I finance my projects through eBay. It's amazing what parts you can get for cheap through eBay. Sure, you sometimes get what you pay for...but usually I get an incredible deal for something that should be much more expensive. It's how I can basically flip phones on a dime!

Due to the developments in another thread, I may be buying a new door panel for the new smart before I start this project. Though if the panel is cheap enough, I can do both at once.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-05-2017, 09:56 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neonspinnazz View Post
Awe! I ball hard on a budget. I mean, the only reason I have two smarts is because the awesome deal I got on the 453 (super thanks to Mister_smart_LA on that!). Otherwise I'd have just the 453 and this wouldn't be happening.

One of my biggest stipulations about this project is the price tag. While I do have the income to mod my cars again, I don't have the disposable income to go all out on an offroad conversion. Thus, I'm setting my max budget of about $1,000, spread out over about 2 or 3 months.

That's not a big deal though, I'm used to inventing my way around issues like cost. I have no idea how much the SmartMadness and Daystar offroad builds were, but I'm not going to spend anywhere near that. For me, I finance my projects through eBay. It's amazing what parts you can get for cheap through eBay. Sure, you sometimes get what you pay for...but usually I get an incredible deal for something that should be much more expensive. It's how I can basically flip phones on a dime!

Due to the developments in another thread, I may be buying a new door panel for the new smart before I start this project. Though if the panel is cheap enough, I can do both at once.
In my hemisphere, affordability often does relay to funds, but also other factors. I can make something happen with little resource. However, my biggest resource is patience (& making a nickel scream), lol.
I think your plans are AWESOME & will be so excited to live vicariously through your posts as it comes along! Wish we lived closer bc I would so be wanting to hang out, ha!

Today Will Soon Be Yesterday, Choose Wisely...
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-05-2017, 10:40 AM
 
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You know you'll have to fabricate a snorkel as well! ;)

Should be easy since there is an air intake already cut into the side of the smart!

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