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Discussion Starter #1
I wasn't going fast in my 08, more like I was almost stopped and my foot slipped off the brake and I was about 10 feet away so speed may have been 5-7.

If I had to have a fender bender it couldn't have been in a better place....the very dead center.

We got the grille out without removing the front clip and had taken the hood off and finished what we could do and noticed a gap (I already noticed a gap on both outside edges of each headlight 1/2") and now I noticed a 1/2 - 3/4" gap on the upper inside edge toward the hood on each one. I generally notice stuff like this and can't believe I missed it.
My son and I fiddled with everything we could see what may be causing it but to no avail. Then we noticed the steel cross bar behind the bumper was pushed back about 3/8". I would think if it affected anything it would create the outer gap at each headlight (pushing the fender out) but not the gap at the top. All other gaps everywhere on the car are of equal portion.

Is this bar replaceable like unbolting and install a new one?
Does anyone have any other ideas or input?

The only parts I saw damaged and am replacing is the upper grill and driver side fog light insert. And, maybe the hood unless ya'll tell me this is normal (and everyone has a gap on theirs). I know plastic has a memory and it has been about 5 months since the accident.

I know you would like to see pictures but I just do not know how to do that.

thank you for you input
 

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Yes, you can replace the crash bar but there may be damage to the sub frame that you will have to check out. If so, this is usually not considered repairable & the insurance company would total it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
can the impact bar be replaced without taking the clip off?

I would think the sub frame could take a little lick better then that. Where could I see pics of the sub frame?

In everyone's opinion could just that little bit on the impact bar cause the gaps around both headlights evenly like that and the gaps are identical on both sides
 

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Discussion Starter #9
thank you for the pics Jim. Is the support replaceable like the impact bar is? That's rally bizarre if the support can't take a little tap like that. If that's the case the junk yards would be full of Smarts since every little tap like that would make the car salvaged. How do I tell if it is bent/damaged by visual inspection, taking measurements and comparing to specs etc. Is the support a sub frame assy that if it's damaged then you have to totally tear the front end down?
 

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Top ic is bent, bottom pic is new. The support is bolted to the firewall, and holds everything on the front from the radiator pac to the headlights,horn, except for the crash bar. If the gap around the headlights looks off, I would suspect that the support got damaged. Since it is a composite plastic, it needs to be replaced and not repaired.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
oh, I see the brace above the pass headlight is pushed back. Is it obvious visually what all is bolted to it? Do you have to pull a/c components off and drain freon and the cooling system? About how long does it take to do the bar? Any steering or suspension attached to it or is it mostly stuff from the bar upwards?
About how much time would you say it takes to do the support?
Sorry I am asking so many questions but just trying to decide if I want to tackle it or put it in the shop. I am very mechanically inclined (as is my son for helping) but limited physically because I am on dialysis 3.5 hours 5 days a week and very weak afterwards.


thank you again Jim
 

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The radiator core support can come out without messing with the AC and radiator. There are a fair amount of bolts holding it all together along with wipers and headlights needing to be removed. Takes several hours to replace. If the damage got through the front crash bar and bent/broke the radiator core support I would also check the 4 crumple zone parts that go between the core support and chassis of the car. They are designed to take any impact that gets past the crash bar bumper. I would assume a 5 mph bump wouldn't affect those, but you never know I guess!
 

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The crash bar has the air bag sensors on it (I think) as I recall, there are 3 bolts on each side holding the crash bar in place. the reverse torx kind I think. Been a while but it isn't too bad. the radiator support has the a/c hoses going through the center and might need to be split apart. I replaced the radiator pac on mine because I got one with the front end kit and didn't want to have to go back later if it started leaking from some crack I couldn't see, plus I didn't mind the new cooling fan and mount. I took my time and did it in 2 days, about 3-4 hours per day, but I wasn't in a hurry.

You can also see the tabs for the headlight mount were sheared off so there wasn't any place to mount the headlights, which were in a million pieces.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
found something else tonight....that being where the headlight has a screw going thru the back of the housing and securing it to the the radiator mount I guess. Anyway, both parts are that weird kind of plastic and I was wondering if JB Weld (the best) will stick to that kind of plastic.

I haven't started dismanteling yet but should I come across any more cracks could I just JB weld them since that stuff has umteen thousand PSI strength?
 

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found something else tonight....that being where the headlight has a screw going thru the back of the housing and securing it to the the radiator mount I guess. Anyway, both parts are that weird kind of plastic and I was wondering if JB Weld (the best) will stick to that kind of plastic.

I haven't started dismanteling yet but should I come across any more cracks could I just JB weld them since that stuff has umteen thousand PSI strength?
I haven't handled that plastic so I can't say for certain, but when I find cracks in plastic my usual method is to use a soldering iron to remelt and add some structure where the crack is. Doesn't work on all plastics, so test in a non-critical spot first if you do this. JB Weld might work, if I tried that route I would rough up the surface so the JB Weld has a better surface to cling to.
 
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