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Discussion Starter #1
I’m a pretty savvy woman when it comes to working on my orphan. But I’m not too proud about asking a question regarding my hood latches and installing a new top grill on my 451 2015 passion with styling package.
I purchased a grill without the chicken head and when I compare it to my original it seems the hood latches will not function correctly as well as not matching the mesh the new grill has. I didn’t realize this may be an issue with the latches.
I referenced Smartmaddness and found what appears to be hood latches that match. Before I purchased these has anyone here had to change their latches and locks in order to install a new grill? What does it involve changing the top latch?
I hope my pictures can be seen below so this thread will make sense.
The silver grill with the emblem is what I want to remove and replace it with the black grill.
I’m a new member here who hopes to be of some help to others. I have many projects under my belt including installing a solo exhaust system, installing spark plugs and working on the shift actuator to name a few.
Thank you for your time, please know I’m grateful and it’s appreciated.
Paula
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Paula, It looks like the rectangular openings to either side of the mesh area are where you would install you latches, I guess you remove them from the old grill to install on the new.
Did you think of just painting the old grill, including the chickenhead?
 

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Paula, if you look closely, you will see you have two different grills, not just different colors. Your silver grill is from the facelifted 451 and the black grill is from the 2008 until about 2011. My 2009 has the lower grill. The mesh is different and the silver trim protrudes more than the lower grill. You may be able to rig something up, but if it were me, I would return the lower grill for the correct model.
 

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I forgot to mention, on the bottom grill, the "Chicken Head" is on the service flap and not on the grill. It is also a lot smaller than your emblem. Look at the picture of my 2009 and you will see the difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Paula, It looks like the rectangular openings to either side of the mesh area are where you would install you latches, I guess you remove them from the old grill to install on the new.
Did you think of just painting the old grill, including the chickenhead?
Good morning,
My thoughts and wishes are to remove the chicken head if possible verses painting it, but unfortunately it’s part of the center piece of mesh, molded into it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Paula, if you look closely, you will see you have two different grills, not just different colors. Your silver grill is from the facelifted 451 and the black grill is from the 2008 until about 2011. My 2009 has the lower grill. The mesh is different and the silver trim protrudes more than the lower grill. You may be able to rig something up, but if it were me, I would return the lower grill for the correct model.
Good morning,
Absolutely agree with what you mention regarding the silver protruding more than the black outer frame. They appear to be similar but when held up to each other what you mention is apparent. My thoughts were to change the apron latches to match this new grill, but in reality it’s not the correct grill for this year Smart.
In the past three months I have purchased and returned two other center grills off EBAY that clearly showed no emblem but unfortunately they both came with the chicken head mount molded into the mesh.
I’m going to follow your advice, return this grill and keep searching for the correct year hopefully locating one without the chicken head. Thank you for your help and good information.
 

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Paula, unfortunately, all grills from the updated 451 have the "chicken head" in the grill like yours. The early 451's all had the "ch" on the service flap and was smaller in size than the grill mounted one. To get a proper fit, you may be stuck with your original grill. I have seen a few people mount a Mercedes emblem in place of the smart emblem. There are several sizes listed on e bay and either mount with double sided tape or screws. If you decide to keep your grill, measure your emblem and you can find a replacement very easily and not too expensive. Keep this in mind, all of the Mercedes emblems I have seen are listed in millimeters not inches. Good luck with your project.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Paula, unfortunately, all grills from the updated 451 have the "chicken head" in the grill like yours. The early 451's all had the "ch" on the service flap and was smaller in size than the grill mounted one. To get a proper fit, you may be stuck with your original grill. I have seen a few people mount a Mercedes emblem in place of the smart emblem. There are several sizes listed on e bay and either mount with double sided tape or screws. If you decide to keep your grill, measure your emblem and you can find a replacement very easily and not too expensive. Keep this in mind, all of the Mercedes emblems I have seen are listed in millimeters not inches. Good luck with your project.
I took the “If I was you” advice from your first post and sent the black grill back.
I was going crazy searching for a grill without the “CH” but you confirmed my suspicions that they didn’t produce a grill for the later 451’s without “it”.
I saw those emblem coverups on EBAY it might be my only option.
I really do appreciate your time and advice.
In retrospect like the Brady Bunch I leaned a valuable lesson after three months of searching, buying and returning . The lesson is as follows: If the seller states it fits all years, make sure their return policy contains free return shipping.
Thank you,
Paula
 

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I am sorry I could not have offered a good solution to your grill problem. Some auction sellers will say anything to make a sale, and some just do not know their product. Good luck in whatever direction you choose and keep enjoying your wonderful little car.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I am sorry I could not have offered a good solution to your grill problem. Some auction sellers will say anything to make a sale, and some just do not know their product. Good luck in whatever direction you choose and keep enjoying your wonderful little car.
You stopped what seemed to be an endless cycle of frustration, buying parts that just don’t exist.
That in itself is a solution in my eyes and serves to put my mind at ease.
 
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