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King of Smart Gadgetry
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Discussion Starter #1
I finally got Max finished up on installation of the Daystar lift, new SM3 Black matte roadster wheels and Solar tires. The daystar kit isn't real difficult to install but I had a major flaw with the rear crossmember bolts. The rear crossmember bolts are not the same thread pitch as what is originally on the Fortwo, there is a slight difference. When I went to torque the bolts to 65 foot pounds as directed in the lacking instructions I ended up stripping out the nut that is made into the frame. Ended up pulling off the rear plastic and rear bumper to get at the nut. Ended up going to Lowes and purchasing longer bolts and threading them through the stripped one and then double nutting it above and torquing to spec. I did video the entire install and will be posting it on you tube soon.

https://imgur.com/GxhLPAF

The rims came from China and are the roadster type wheels made by a company called BYT. They are 7x15 rims. The tires are Solar 4XS from Walmart. They are 205/60 R15. That is the largest tire you can run with the lift without cutting into the body parts or inner fenders. I originally bought 215/70 R15 and they would not fit. There's loads on room on the rear.

https://i.imgur.com/PIQYOPa.jpg

I had a slight rub on a lock to lock turn at the inner front edge of the inner fender. I merely drilled 2 small holes on the edge and 2 more in the brace beside it and used 2 zip ties to draw the inner fender away from the tire. I also still have a slight rub backing out of my driveway with the mcphearson strut just touching the inner sidewall of the tire. Gonna make me a set of steel front wheel spacers 1/8th inch thick and cure that problem. Don;t wanna go with the aftermarket 5mm spacers because the 205's are already just protruding past the fender and our yearly state inspections won't allow anymore.

https://i.imgur.com/Dk4s89W.jpg

The car rides so much softer and tracks straight as an arrow. The steering is tight and very responsive. The car drives so much better and smooth. Starts seem a little more torquey. It cruises interstate flats effortlessly but I do notice it struggling a little on the hills if you don't shove it hard enough to backshift. The best thing is the 205's make my speedometer spot on. 70 mph used to mean I had to run 74 on the speedo, but no more. 30 psi on all 4 corners. I like the difference in stance and the car is just over 3.5 inches taller overall. Tractor trailers passing does not buffet the car as much.

https://i.imgur.com/51CTsy4.jpg

Overall I think I improved the car greatly and I am much more comfortable in it. Potholes that would bottom the old 155's and 175's out are not as harsh on the 205's. The Solar tires have less road noise the the kumho and continetals did. For $39 a tire you just can't beat them.

Here are the 205/60 compared to the old rear 175/55.
https://i.imgur.com/AlwHht6.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/zWuicx1.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/KMbgp68.jpg
 

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No calipers in the rear! Disc brake lookalike dust shield?

How did you source those rims? I've seen them on Alibaba but I thought they were only available in large quantities.

Looks nice!
 

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Nicely done! Thanks for the unintentional confirmation that the smallest A/Ts you can get should work. Maybe I should finish my conversion instead of buying a motorcycle. lol
 
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King of Smart Gadgetry
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Discussion Starter #5
On Alibaba you can click on the tab to contact supplier. The wheel company I used was called BYT. They were more than willing to ship 4 wheels. The scary part of the transaction for me was sending $550 through Western Union to China. Western Union representative tried to talk me out of such a large transaction amount because it being a foreign country there was NO guarantee that I would recieve my shipment. There are things that can go wrong and shipments can NOT arrive. But against advice I sent it and then sweated a few days. Then UPS sent me notification that 4 boxes were enroute and they arrived well packed and very good condition.

I love the 3 spoke Roadster wheels. I fell in love with them when I saw a picture of I think Brabus007's wheels and disc brake covers, so I copied his idea of his very beautiful Fortwo.

I had my heart set on Aluminum or chrome finish but they didn't have those on stock so had to settle for black Matte. I am old school and loved my design 5 chrome wheels, but they were just damaged beyond repair. I love old chrome Cragar SS mags or old school aluminum slots, the black matte wheels are the choice of younger drivers and while it does match the car perfectly red/black I didn't think I would like them.DCO

I hope I am right about this being Brabus007 car. Also I hope he doesn't mind that I posted a picture of his car on SCOA again.
https://imgur.com/JyKoanb
 

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DCO, I thought that the rims from the Alibaba sellers were quite a bit less expensive than that, but maybe that was in the huge quantities (hundreds or thousands) that they would normally sell? I do like that they offer unique rims that you just won't see anywhere else. Have you had any quality issues or concerns? I'm continuing to strike out finding a pair of rear rims locally.
 

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The Chinese wheels should be okay as long as you don't care about unsprung weight...they're usually pretty heavy. The paint quality may also not be as top notch as OEM or more popular aftermarket brands.
 

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I'm a big fan of low unsprung weight and I can't find any weight specifications for any of those rims. There are quite a few different ones that I would consider.
 

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King of Smart Gadgetry
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Discussion Starter #9
The rims I bought are not heavy at all. They are very comparable to the design 5 Smart wheels I removed in weight.
https://imgur.com/mKqVuSs

They were only available in white or black matte finish. I certainly didn't want white, can you imagine all the brake dust? Have only had them on the car for a few days so can't comment on the long term durablilty of them yet. They survived Walmarts tire changer, once to install new tires (which were too big), then removal of those tires and then later mounting of the current set. There was no documentation with the wheels as is typical of Chinese vendors. Packing was excellent in bright yellow boxes with tyvek type shower cap looking covers over each wheel and a mound of reinforcing cardboard.
https://imgur.com/0uBSbzh
https://imgur.com/1P2aADv

They did come with center caps and smart logo stickers or BYT stickers, but I opted to just install the centers from my old wheels and also the Smart valve stem caps from Wish.

I have no idea how to care for matte finish. I would guess you cannot wax them. They appear to been dipped because the finish is all over the wheels even the bead area. I was able to pick up the TMPS sensors off Wish.com. That is also where I picked up the decals for the doors "Smart Open your mind". Alibaba has many Smart accessories. If you do a search for Smart Fortwo there are all sorts of European stuff like turbo and headlight eyebrows etc,... Wish has an ever changing inventory of unique stuff, nothing big mind you but at fairly cheap prices. DCO
 

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Huh, it sounds like Chinese aftermarket wheels are also like Chinese phones, they've gotten so much better over the years!

The Sport Edition SM3s were pretty heavy wheels and since Chinese companies love to steal from each other on top of stealing from others, I would not have been surprised if the weight of the SM3s carried over.

The most basic maintenance of matte paint is to not wax it, that includes automatic car wash wax. You'll also want to keep them clean of pollutants as much as possible and avoid hard scrubbing on the paint.
 
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Just aword of warning on valve caps, I had mine on my sm3 wheels for a while now and they were plastic caps with a metal finish on them. They corroded over the winter and I wasn't able to unscrew them when my TPMS went off a couple of days ago. I ended up using a wire cutter to get one off and destroyed the cap, luckily that was the low tire and I got home. Next morning I used a decent pliers to turn the others off, except for drivers front... it twisted the valve stem off just under the cap. it still holds air but I am unable to check the pressure or add air until I get it replaced. All the stems have plastic in the threads and will have to be replaced.

When they installed the new tires, they did not do the valve stem seal replacement even though I had the seals and extra stems, and sensors. Now I am paying for it. So now I am driving the Land Rover until parts come in....
 

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Is a post a bit ago I mentioned that all 4 of the metal aftermarket caps I installed on my 2016 seized. Not one would budged no matter what I did. Consequently, all 4 tires had to be removed, broken down and new valve stems installed. Chrysler type.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Jim and Oliver for the heads up on the valve stem caps. My old wheels were constantly leaking out air and I was never able to go more than 2 or 3 days without adding air to at least one or two of them. The TMPS light was almost always on. Now I finally got my system reset and it is now working properly. With the new wheels/TMPS the dash indicator flashed and would not reset with the button bank reset button. I checked all 4 new tire pressures and each was exactly 26 PSI. So I aired each back up to 30 PSI. When I started the car to go to work the next morning the dash light went out on it's own. But now I will be alert to the corroded valve stem caps. Maybe a whisp of anti seize on the threads is in order.DCO
 

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Discussion Starter #14
As I said earlier in this thread the new tires were "rub free" except when I would turn the wheel slightly as I was backing out of my driveway. Well I tried a little experiment. I went to lowes and bought a small sheet of steel that was 1/16th inch thick. I was hoping a single piece between the front hub and wheel would be enough to remedy the rub. If I had to use a second one it would only mean 1/8th inch thickness or about 1 thread of the lugnut, and I figured I could live with that. Well I cut out 4 circles the same diamteter as the hub and bolt pattern or roughly 6.5 inches acrossed. Then I cut out a center hole to just fit over the center raised edge of the hub. Then I marked all 3 lugnut holes and cut those out. I placed one spacer between each front wheel and the hub which spaced the wheel out 1/16th of an inch. I backed down the driveway but still had a rub that somehow sounded different. So I though okay I need the second spacer on each side. So I removed the wheel again and added the 2nd 1/16th inch spacer to a total of 1/8th inch per side. I backed down the driveway and as I cut the wheel the rub was way worse. I thought now what the heck? So after investigating I found the single spacer eliminated the inner sidewall from rubbing the strut, but moved the tire out just enough that it was now rubbing on the edge of the fender on the outside. The second spacer made the fender rub even worse. So I just removed the spacers and installed the tires back. With a slight angle parking in my driveway I can back out and turn at the end of my driveway without inducing the rub. That's literally splitting hairs. I guess it's just another reason why they didn't use the same size tires all the way around. DCO
 

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Discussion Starter #15
One last observation or two about this lift and I will be still about it. But I want anyone considering this lift to know the truth about the conversion good and bad. I had to make about a 100 mile trip on the interstate this morning to take care of some things, so it was my first extended run with the tires and lift. I did take my phone and dialed up Google maps to monitor my route and speed. I stated earlier that the speedometer with those tires was dead on. But that was based on my android radio running Google offline maps. According to my cell phone running live Google maps when my speedometer is reading 70 mph the phone tells me I am going 71. It felt odd to actually be outrunning the majority of the traffic. The tire cruised well but on hills the car has to pull pretty hard on the hills and on steeper hills you have to backshift it to 4th to maintain speed. The Mitsubishi 3B21 engine makes it's maximum 68 lbs of torgue at 3200 rpm which is roughly around 70 mph. But with taller tires 3200 rpm just won't get it.
Lastly it was a very windy drive and it blew the car around in the lane like a rag doll. Being 3.5 inches taller and more tire I made the drive with white knuckles. It was never that critical before the lift kit. It would smooth out and cruise so smooth like a much larger car and you would begin to relax and enjoy the drive, then a gust of wind akin to following a tractor trailer and the car would fidget and buffet and I would have to pay critical attention to keep things civil. Now I realize I have to get a front end alignment yet and that may be part of the problem. But on a calm day it does well but you have to live with it being ultra responsive to steering cues.DCO
 

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Good notes! :D

Most people that get the Daystar kit report that handling and crosswind performance is much improved after a proper alignment.

The speedometer stuff doesn't surprise me at all. I only have 185/60/15s and my speedometer is dead on. Any larger size tyre and my car will outrun the speedometer.

As far as the drop in power goes, that's something I figured out through my own experiments. Anyone that puts All Terrains on regular passenger cars experiences the same. In fact, if you put your smart on a dyno, the wheel horsepower number will be lower with your new tyres than before.

Ironically, I actually experienced this on a smaller scale when I upgraded from 195/50/15 to the 185/60/15 size. In normal day to day driving, you really don't notice the difference. However the difference is definitely seen when you're trying to peg the speedometer to 100 or when you're towing a heavy trailer. The car runs out of steam a little faster than normal.
 
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Hey DCO, I know its been a while, but I am thinking of the Daystar lift for my 451, looking to do the front only.
How hard was that job? Any info you may have would be appreciated.
dave
 

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Discussion Starter #18
You basically have to put a spacer ion the top of the struts. The bolts are inside the fender well and a little hard to get to. There's 4 spacers that go under the front suspension where it bolts the frame. Lastly there is an extension that goes on the steering shaft where it goes to the rack and pinion. The front is more involved than the rear. DCO
 

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Weirdly going to bring back a zombie here. I'm actually launching a bit of a car build with my new to me 2008. I want to give the 2008 my Genius Darwins and refresh my 2012 a little with some Sport Edition SM3s. So far as I can tell, you're the last person to find them brand new (awesome). Was there any wizardry to finding them on Alibaba? Their search query functions seem kinda weak and I've yet to find them, if they still exist.
 
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