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Discussion Starter #1
I have started frequenting a Spanish smart forum (no problems noted with seat interference that I have found yet), and have come up with what looks like a potential water leak problem with the cabrió's top (I'm still struggling a little with the translation; others are free to give it a shot.):

"El problema de la capota, es el punto en el que esta se une al tridión por la parte delantera. Es una simple tela sin nada que la sujete contra el tridión. Ni un simple alambre, ni metal, ni nada que la ajuste para que no pase esto."
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"No se si no han podido hacerlo, o no han querido, pero viendo el mecanismo de visabras que lleva la capota, no creo que fuera muy descabellado hacer unas piezas metalicas con forma de visabra que cuando la capota se suba, hagan presión contra la goma del tridión para que no quede la tela suelta, porque queda así, suelta. Y en autopista se oye como la velocidad mueve la tela. No tuve la oportunidad de probarlo con lluvia y viento simultaneo, pero cuando me entregaron el coche, lo primero que hice fué descapotarlo, y todo el mecanismo de hierros que hay a los lados del coche, justo pegado al tridión estaba lleno de gotas, lo cual no es un panorama alentador.

Respecto a la luneta trasera, es de cristal, y como al bajar la parte baja de la capota, se va hacia delante independientemente de la lona, solo está sujera por la parte superior e inferior, quedando los flancos sueltos, y podemos meter la mano tal que así. Me imagino lo que será lavar este coche a presión, o a manguera."
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"Tengo que decir que el coche tenía 4000 km, lo cual no es mucho, y con el poco tiempo que tiene el coche, que era de mayo de este año, ya tiene estos problemas, con el tiempo cuando la tela ceda un poco, puede ser horrible."
 

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Using the Google translator, here's what it says:

"The problem with the soft top is the point at which it binds to tridión the front. Is a simple canvas with nothing to hold the anti-tridión. Neither a simple wire or metal or anything that adjustment that does not pass this. "


"I do not know if they have not been able to do, or have not wanted, but seeing the mechanism visabras bearing the hood, I do not think that would be very unreasonable to make some metal pieces shaped visabra that when the hood is climb, so pressure against goma's tridión not to be the loose fabric, because it is so loose. highway And speed is heard as the cloth moves. not had the opportunity to test with simultaneous rain and wind, but when I handed the car, the first thing I made was descapotarlo, and the entire machinery of irons there on the side of the car, just glued to tridión was full of drops, which is not an encouraging picture.

Regarding the rotating Bezel back, it is glass, and as to lower the bottom of the hood, is going forward regardless of the canvas, is only sujera by the top and bottom, leaving the flanks loose, and we can hand like this. I imagine what will be under pressure this car wash or hose. "


"I must say that the car was 4000 km, which is not much, and how little time you have the car, which was May of this year, already has these problems, with the time when the fabric assigning a little, it can be horrible.

You're probably going to have to use your imagination to get all the info out of this, but it gets close.
 

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I get the picture, and based on other articles and personal observation at road shows, my smart will be the first non convertible I've had for years. Viva la coupe!

;)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Javichanche just led me through the Spanish posting's intent off-line. The concern is about reaching in and swiping things from the back. But there was another concern about water ingress around the rear window when washing the car at a carwash or with a hose. Also of the top fabric loosening in time ("cuando la tela ceda un poco" - "when the fabric stretches a little.")
 

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Definately a possibility.

Most likely, a crook is going to get a razor knife and slice the top if they want something in your car. Knowledge from guys on the Miata forums I frequent.
 

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Any idea whether the soft top on the old 450 cabrio had a similar design, and if so are there any in-service issues with it? I know the back window was not glass on the previous model, but what about sealing problems in the area where the soft top meets the tridion?

fishrdnc - very smart move hanging out on those Euro forums. Could be a wealth of operational info available with these folks having driven their 451s for a while. Thanks for looking out for us all.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I have been away from Spain far too long to suit me, and my facility with the language is quickly leaving me. But, this is how I loosey-goosey translate the comments appearing with the photos. !Ayudame Javi...!

"The problem with the top is the point where it meets the tridion at the back. It (the top) is simple fabric with nothing to hold it against the tridion. Neither a simple wire, nor metal, nor nothing to adjust it so that it can’t be opened this way.
{first image}

I don’t know if it has been possible to do that, or that they want to, but looking at the frame mechanism that raises the top, I don’t believe that it would be difficult to make some metal pieces similar to the frame so when the top is raised, there is pressure against the weatherstrip of the tridion so that the fabric doesn’t remain loose, because it is like it is, loose. And on the highway one hears the the wind flapping the fabric. I didn’t take the opportunity to test it with rain and wind at the same time, but on my entry into the car, the first time it was lowered, all the steel mechanisms along the side of the car just stuck to the tridion which was filled with (water) drops, which isn’t a pretty sight.

With regard to the rear window, it is glass, and when it is lowered it lowers with the top, going independent of the canvas. It is only attached to the top and bottom, leaving the sides unattached, and it allows inserting a hand like this. I imagine what it would be to clean this car under pressure or a with a hose.
{second image}

I have to say that the car has 4,000km, which isn’t much, and with the small time that I have had the car, that was since May of this year, I have had these problems, and with time when the fabric stretches a little, it could be horrible."
 

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Watching with interest...

Since I have a Cabrio on order, I am watching this thread with interest. I don't have any knowledge about these tops nor the ones on the 450,but I did discover while looking at some sites from the UK the instructions on how to 'tighten' the material on the cabrio top, when it stretches or becomes loose. The top on the 450 has adjustment bolts under the snap off piece at the rear top edge of the folding top.

My hopes are that this will be addressed properly and there is or will be a 'fix' for any such problems.

I'm not going to panic, nor cancel my order for a Cabrio...until I have much more proof than what I've seen so far. I'm sure Daimler will want this car to be accepted and will make it right in order to make it so.
 

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I just can't imagine Smart building something that would seem so flimsy or suspect....something must not be right here*- I know....he got one of those knockoffs from China!

(this post brings to mind one of late Craig Ferguson's favorite lines (late, late show) - "If its on the internet, it must be true!")
 

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After thinking about this long enough beyond by the first smug remark off the top of my head....I got to thinking about the mechanism that the roof must use - presumably it slides in a track and relies on tension to make a water tight seal. Well duh.....

the roof is open in the first picture (and presumably in the second?)
therefore NO TENSION! Let me see him stick he hand through there with the ROOF CLOSED!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Roof Open/Closed

The part of the roof in the first picture does not move with the roof; it is fixed and is always that way.

I have followed the comments** appearing after the original posting on the Spanish forum, and others there have the same concerns, especially the sides of the rear window. Also the bulging, flapping, and loosening of the top.

**My command of the language has now fallen to rudimentary at best, and many of the comments contain unfamiliar coloquilisms; they often don't speak with Rey (King) Juan Carlos' Castillano correctness. It has been arduous, but if I don't try to mentally translate word-for-word, I can get the gist of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Roof Design

The sinuious, opening roof design (can be opened at any speed) seems a little reminiscent of the 2CV's (subject to opening at any speed!).
 

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Well Im not worried about it if water leaks once my arrives it will be either under warranty or SMART may do a recall to satisfy this delema.
 

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The part of the roof in the first picture does not move with the roof; it is fixed and is always that way.

No, the rear portion DOES drop after the top comes fully back. That's how the rear window folds and is stowed away. So the portion with his hand in it is not fixed to the frame either.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Maybe. But, personally I don't care about cabriós, and don't care to beat the drum. I only brought back an issue that some who have now have 451 cabs are looking at. For further developments, just go to: http://www.forosmart.com/
 

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I got some shots of a US spec smart cabio at the smart house today. You can mash your hand up to about your wrist between the tridion and the top. There is a rubber gasket (like the seal around a car door) at that point. Nothing "zips" it to the tridion. Also you can stick your fingers between the glass window and the rag top. It has to swivel when folded closed. See the pictures at

 
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