Smart Car of America Forum banner

41 - 60 of 64 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
I would not personally recommend brake parts cleaner as it can make the plastic brittle. I'd use something like engine degreaser or mild soapy water
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
You could spray a little black paint on the adjustment bolt and once it is dry take it off. This will allow you to put it back exactly where it was because the outline of the bolt head will clearly be visibile.
I just did my actuator lube per this thread today, and did the spray paint marking AND used a metal scribe. Glad I did both!! The project turned out great, and I only have 43,000 on my 2009, but I do feel a difference !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
NEVER EVER USE BRAKE CLEANER!

My smart after 10k miles had the clutch actuator go out due to the plastic snap in ball receiver breaking due to becoming brittle.

I "fixed" it with JB Weld for a good year or two:
http://www.smartcarofamerica.com/forums/f183/help-clutch-actuator-plastic-socket-broken-55801/

However I finally broke down and replaced it with a new actuator last weekend.

Brake cleaner is the surefire $3.68 fix short term fix for a guaranteed $600 long term repair.

If you really are concerned and want to clean your clutch actuator properly, simply mark the adjustment location with some spray paint - drop the unit and take the cover off. A toothbrush works wonders and if you really want some "spray cleaner", use some QC Plastic Safe Electronics cleaner instead.

This is a formal request for someone to edit the original post and remove the brake cleaner suggestion so others don't botch their clutch actuator like I did after following this post!

Sorry for the double post :) I've been drinking this fine 4th of July!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
883 Posts
Actuator Lubrication Port

I have seen pics of the clutch actuator online - some good pics on SCoA.

I noticed there appears to be a 'tube' next to the servo shaft. This tube is covered with a piece of plastic, and this plastic has a ring that goes around the servo shaft.

Could this be a lubrication port?

If so it would save time on simple lubrications; instead of pulling the piston boot and holding collar off and dealing with reattaching.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,303 Posts
I have seen pics of the clutch actuator online - some good pics on SCoA.

I noticed there appears to be a 'tube' next to the servo shaft. This tube is covered with a piece of plastic, and this plastic has a ring that goes around the servo shaft.

Could this be a lubrication port?

If so it would save time on simple lubrications; instead of pulling the piston boot and holding collar off and dealing with reattaching.
The "Tube" actually serves a dual purpose. It's a secondary support for the actuator motor, and the end has a semi-porous plug which seems to act as a vent. Definitely not a lubrication port.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
883 Posts
There should be an access port on the unit for lubrication. Maybe create a plug/port on the plastic underside of the unit for quick access.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,303 Posts
There should be an access port on the unit for lubrication. Maybe create a plug/port on the plastic underside of the unit for quick access.
Not a good idea. You would eventually fill the entire cavity with grease, and then it would fail for sure. The internals are mean to have a light coating of grease, not slosh their way through it... It's a simple hour job to R&R the unit, clean it, and reinstall. Why make it more complicated than that???:shrug:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
883 Posts
Not a good idea. You would eventually fill the entire cavity with grease, and then it would fail for sure. The internals are mean to have a light coating of grease, not slosh their way through it... It's a simple hour job to R&R the unit, clean it, and reinstall. Why make it more complicated than that???:shrug:
Good to know. I see videos and threads stating the benefits of loading the unit with grease. Since you are saying less is 'more' (beneficial) - that is good to know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,303 Posts
Good to know. I see videos and threads stating the benefits of loading the unit with grease. Since you are saying less is 'more' (beneficial) - that is good to know.

I was the first one on this forum to actually disect one of these. Given what I found, and how it works, anybody that loads it up with grease is asking for trouble.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Greasing the self adjusting rollers?

http://s1017.photobucket.com/user/rogerfroud/media/20150715_200328_zpsmjhnxnyu.jpg.html?sort=3&o=2

I'd be wary of spraying grease into the section where the automatic wear adjustment rollers are. I think those should be bone dry else they may slip. My actuator had symptoms consistent with these not gripping but sadly it's broken now so I can't prove the point.

Hopefully you can see the photo in the link which shows the rollers and how they are pushed against the walls inside the square section by the wedge.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
249 Posts
Well. Here I sit on the side of the road - car won't move. I agree with the do not use brake cleaner. I was an early adopter of this maintenance and had not been back to read the revisions. I cleaned the actuator last night but could not get the ball to stay in place when I had it apart. It looks like part of the socket just disintegrated. However since it was under spring tension I figured I was OK. Wrong.

Being towed to Mercedes now. Not looking forward to this bill but I HAVE to get the car back by 6:00 tonight for an appearance as Santa.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
244 Posts
Well. Here I sit on the side of the road - car won't move. I agree with the do not use brake cleaner. I was an early adopter of this maintenance and had not been back to read the revisions. I cleaned the actuator last night but could not get the ball to stay in place when I had it apart. It looks like part of the socket just disintegrated. However since it was under spring tension I figured I was OK. Wrong.

Being towed to Mercedes now. Not looking forward to this bill but I HAVE to get the car back by 6:00 tonight for an appearance as Santa.
Same thing happened to me a couple of yrs ago on my 08. A new actuator and $953 I was back in business. Good Luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
277 Posts
So I guess this is bad, huh? Does anyone know if the guy from Germany selling actuators on e-bay for $380 is legit?
UPDATE: I didn't try the guy form Moldovia ... sounds too good to be true, but I did go to Smart Center San Diego and they hooked me up with a good guy price on the part. Still hurt - but not quite as bad... They're good folks over there - have always been helpful!
When you install a new actuator, slide it in until it contacts the armature (put some lube in on the dimple) then looking at the number of little arcs where the bolt goes, preload the actuator 3 more then tighten the bolts to 10Nm.
You car should be drive-able ... a UK site says it takes about 200 miles for the system to learn the bite-boint but if it seems incorrect after 200 miles then hook it up to the MB-Star machine and have it set.
Oh - and when you first start the car you may get some beeping and 3 bars on the dash... it makes a sound like its going through each gear then after a moment it stops and gives you the "P" after which you can start the car and drive it.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
My Smart jerked and stopped moving at a major intersection. Turned it off and it wouldn't crank after. Towed home and checked the battery was good, unplugged the battery and tried to reset the transmission but got the 3 bars, then pulled the clutch actuator and I think it is bad. Looks like the drill piece sheared and was jammed into the gear. I am going to need to replace it with a new one correct?:|
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
244 Posts
My Smart jerked and stopped moving at a major intersection. Turned it off and it wouldn't crank after. Towed home and checked the battery was good, unplugged the battery and tried to reset the transmission but got the 3 bars, then pulled the clutch actuator and I think it is bad. Looks like the drill piece sheared and was jammed into the gear. I am going to need to replace it with a new one correct?:|
Correct, been there done that $900+ good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
I noticed in one of your photos of the actuator, a rather heavy spring. Our 2008 has 120,000 miles. A few weeks ago as my wife was leaving for work, I heard a pop sound, followed by a clanking sound, which was then followed by a half round of coil spring bouncing under the car. Looks like the same spring. Our smarty has morning sickness, often not going into R/D, without restarting the engine. To someone who has been inside an actuator, could this be the source of my rejected part? The coil is about 3 3/4 to 4 inches in diameter, and made of about 3/8 inch steel. Thanks, Al
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Thanks for your input. That is what I suspected when it happened, however both rear springs look good. The diameter of the coil spring material (I think they call it the wire gauge) is a bit thicker then then the broken part, and the coil diameter is also somewhat bigger. The suspension spring is smaller in diameter at the seat and that all looks good.
 
41 - 60 of 64 Posts
Top