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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys and gals....
As the heading says, I am thinking going up in the world and was looking at the DayStar kit and thought, how hard can it be? To copy that is...? I have a lathe and time on my hands and am an old jeep nut.....have made plenty of lift kits for jeeps etc. But I'm now 60, and I am aching...lol.
I'm looking for people who have lifted their Smarts that are willing to explain a few things to me on how they adjust their steering for the added hieght change. I see a few ways to easily lift the suspension, by either copying the Daystar kit or by cuting the brackets loose and simply spacing them up the distance I am looking for. The rear is simple to say the least. The fronts require spacers turning to add to the struts and extensions for the threaded piston. The rear cross frame is simply spacers also, rerouting brakes lines. Now it comes down to the front steering and the best way to either lower the steering box ...OR...? No I haven't lifted the front yet as i'm working on the engine and removing bits etc etc and reworking the muffler. EGR ran away....

So if anyone has suggestions or can explain to me how the daystar kit addresses the steering issues I'd love to hear it. Before i start to cut the rear loose...lol.

I have two Smarts, one for summer, one for winter....not willing to ruin a good rust free body just to drive it in the salt season. Besides it'll be fun!:shrug:

Thanks for all and any help offered.
 

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There are extension pins of some sort for the steering components. There are a few here who have finished their lift projects.


Another possible way is to install the shocks and springs from a 2011 electric drive. However I'm not entirely sure how well 450 will take 451 suspension.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply and help....Yes the rear is simple, As it's simply readjusting how the stock suspension attaches to the car. The front may also be that easy strut wise with an expension and a welded on bracket for the stock strut to attach to..? As I have said I haven't peered into the front yet. So haven't seriously reengineered the steering yet....and how it's atached to the car's framework.
I'm all ears as they say ...so please,, keep the suggestions coming.....one thing I'm not afraid of doing is spending money on toys...lol...but I do not think this needs to be an expensive venture. :shrug:
 

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I swear I was more coherent when I wrote that first reply. lol

Anyway, I would ask DreamCarOwner as I believe he installed his lift kit himself on his 451. I've also planned to do a sort of "double lift" to my 451, however I've shelved the project in favour of leaving the car better suited for towing. Ideally I will finish the project, however I'll finish using a well used 2008, preferably with existing body damage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am making it myself. I have made most of the pieces already. I spent the day machining the rear coil adapters out of hard alluminium. Then same material to make spacers for rear X frame. Front I will simply use 2X3 square tubing cut to 6" and drill through the existing hole pattern and through bolt and weld in place just for jiggles. Then the tricky bit is to machine new spacers out of rubber and alluminium to space the front struts.....that is what has me wondering? Hasn't stopped the pogress , just making me think a bit. It's not easy finding some solid hard rubber round things...but i found some boat trailer rollers that will work with an alluminium spacer underneath to help support it. All told at the moment parts for two kits will be under $100, time, well that's free for me....I'm retired and bored....

I have two Smarts, IF this kit works well and doesn't kill the MPGs on the winter beater too much I may just do it for the good summer Smart I drive now. I am planning a long cross country drive next June to Dawson City from Toronto then up to the Arctic Ocean on the Dempster Highway. 2000kms of gravel, so softer tires would be nice...
 

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The more sidewall you can put between you and the bumps and potholes, the better. If they could have managed another inch and a half of suspension travel on the front it wouldn't bottom out so much on expansion joints on the road. My taller tires helped handling tremendously but only helped ride quality marginally. Bumps that jar me in the Smart are barely noticeable and way less severe in my wife's Kia Forte. It must have to do with the weight of the vehicle because my Smart and the wifes Kia had identical brand tires bought at the same time. Her Kia has 195/60 R15 and Max has 205/60 R15, so technically Max has the larger tires, but ride is not real great. Put a 1000 pound trailer behind him and ride is stellar, so it is a weight problem, or should I say a lack thereof. Maybe I need to fill up the cargo area with cement blocks....Max doesn't like that idea, I asked him and here's the look he gave me. DCO


 

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Isn’t the recommended tire pressure 29 PSI front 36 PSI rear? With the ginormous tires you have you could run 27 PSI front and 33 PSI rear, and see where that gets you with regards to tread wear, as well as comfort.

Of course I have probably completely forgot how bumpy the smart is by now.....
 

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It's both weight and suspension. You can have a light car that doesn't shake your fillings loose on road imperfections, but you're going to need a good suspension. Since the 451 suspension (specifically the front suspension) is extremely firm, you have to use weight to counteract the stiffness of the suspension.
 
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The more sidewall you can put between you and the bumps and potholes, the better. If they could have managed another inch and a half of suspension travel on the front it wouldn't bottom out so much on expansion joints on the road. My taller tires helped handling tremendously but only helped ride quality marginally. Bumps that jar me in the Smart are barely noticeable and way less severe in my wife's Kia Forte. It must have to do with the weight of the vehicle because my Smart and the wifes Kia had identical brand tires bought at the same time. Her Kia has 195/60 R15 and Max has 205/60 R15, so technically Max has the larger tires, but ride is not real great. Put a 1000 pound trailer behind him and ride is stellar, so it is a weight problem, or should I say a lack thereof. Maybe I need to fill up the cargo area with cement blocks....Max doesn't like that idea, I asked him and here's the look he gave me. DCO



You need to "LUBE YOUR CHASSIS pivot points" That is where the extra inch and a half of travel is pent up at. Your chassis is not flexing correctly and that is where the harshness is stemming from. Don't do anything else until you get some Silicone Spray Lube and spray every pivot point, bushing, balljoint, tierod end, stabilizer link front and rear you can find. Now that you know this, if you don't LUBE YOUR CHASSIS this week you are not serious about your cars ride feel. I just want your car to ride happy again. Its feet are sore and all its joints are on fire and you can relieve its suffering for $4.00 and 15 min worth of time. And then you both will ride happy. silicone spray not petroleum based lube for now because the silicone spray won't harm the rubber bushings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You need to "LUBE YOUR CHASSIS pivot points" That is where the extra inch and a half of travel is pent up at. Your chassis is not flexing correctly and that is where the harshness is stemming from. Don't do anything else until you get some Silicone Spray Lube and spray every pivot point, bushing, balljoint, tierod end, stabilizer link front and rear you can find. Now that you know this, if you don't LUBE YOUR CHASSIS this week you are not serious about your cars ride feel. I just want your car to ride happy again. Its feet are sore and all its joints are on fire and you can relieve its suffering for $4.00 and 15 min worth of time. And then you both will ride happy. silicone spray not petroleum based lube for now because the silicone spray won't harm the rubber bushings.
You know it's funny because my good car the one i bought from Smart142 everyone says it rides so well and shifts far better than theirs does. He soaked the entire car in gooey black oily undercoating! It's absolutely everywhere, so I'm sure all the bushings etc are working freely as you say. I'm also a firm believer in oiling anything that is meant to move . I also like cleaning all nuts and bolts and adding never sieze so when it's time to undo them in the distant future they will move and not snap again...lol.
I personally do not have any silicon spray in stock, but it will be covered in rust check before the winter gets here, which will do the very same thing, I'm sure. I love Rust Check because it creeps like crazy. Also doesn't harm rubber etc,
 

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Isn’t the recommended tire pressure 29 PSI front 36 PSI rear? With the ginormous tires you have you could run 27 PSI front and 33 PSI rear, and see where that gets you with regards to tread wear, as well as comfort.

Of course I have probably completely forgot how bumpy the smart is by now.....
So far I am running 30 psi in all 4 tires. I bought the Solar 4XS tires from Walmart. I love the tread pattern and they are doing very well and were cheap. They hold very well on wet pavement and there is no understeer at all. I had 12 psi on one tire and the low tire light was on , but you couldn't tell which one was low by looking cause the tires fully supported the weight. I have always wondered if you had 2 identical tires with same air pressure and put one of them on a light car like the Fortwo and the other in theory on a heavy car like a Cadillac, which tire would wear out the quickest? The heavy car weighting the tire or the lighter car that would be more prone to sliding and scooting the tire? DCO
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Tire wear is subject to over or under inflation mostly.....being an old tireman from way way back before the wheel was invented, I used to install wider tires on narrow rims just because I couldn't afford to buy new rims, you simply drive over a wet patch and see how much of the tread pattern is carried onto the dry patch to see if you have the correct pressure in the tire. Ideally you want all of the tire tread pattern with maybe the last outer 1" missing at most. Usually this will get you the best wear out of your tires. The tire manufacturer suggests a pressure for the tire estimating what the vehicle weight will be but in real life the actual weight of said vehicle could be far off what they think. So going by either car or tire manufacturer's advise is or could be wrong. You need to find that perfect tire patch tread pattern from wet to dry to see how much is being transfered or holding the car's weight up. Too little the tire is too hard and too much and it's too soft....it's not a quick way, but it's an accurate way. That is for average driving, if you are going to do fast hard cornering then a harder tire is far better than a softer one for obvious reasonings.
Baby powder and some water and have fun!
 

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So far I am running 30 psi in all 4 tires. I bought the Solar 4XS tires from Walmart. I love the tread pattern and they are doing very well and were cheap. They hold very well on wet pavement and there is no understeer at all. I had 12 psi on one tire and the low tire light was on , but you couldn't tell which one was low by looking cause the tires fully supported the weight. I have always wondered if you had 2 identical tires with same air pressure and put one of them on a light car like the Fortwo and the other in theory on a heavy car like a Cadillac, which tire would wear out the quickest? The heavy car weighting the tire or the lighter car that would be more prone to sliding and scooting the tire? DCO

F=ma. No way the Fortwo can do the same damage as a 2 ton Caddy.

twcom is onto something. I remember the day I most likely bent a front wheel. It was pouring. I remember hitting a railroad track imperfection (or was it pothole), hard. I don’t remember bottoming out. Just a nasty jarring. Sounds like a great idea to try. I even have silicon spray in stock, just no smart......
 

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You know it's funny because my good car the one i bought from Smart142 everyone says it rides so well and shifts far better than theirs does. He soaked the entire car in gooey black oily undercoating! It's absolutely everywhere, so I'm sure all the bushings etc are working freely as you say. I'm also a firm believer in oiling anything that is meant to move . I also like cleaning all nuts and bolts and adding never sieze so when it's time to undo them in the distant future they will move and not snap again...lol.
I personally do not have any silicon spray in stock, but it will be covered in rust check before the winter gets here, which will do the very same thing, I'm sure. I love Rust Check because it creeps like crazy. Also doesn't harm rubber etc,
I am reading up on Rust Check now and also Graphite lubricant properties. I will also read post by smart142 .
 
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