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Discussion Starter #1
I just completed the installation of an OEM style garage door opener in my 2008 Passion Coupe. This remote is the familiar 3 button Homelink transmitter found in many vehicles, but NOT available as a factory option in our fortwos. While the ubiquitous visor clip-on works, it is truly inelegant and I wanted a built-in.

Be forewarned! This mod involves cutting holes in the overhead plastic trim. A mistake will cost you $80+ for a replacement part. Precision is not required, but disaster is always possible. You will also be working around wiring that could also be damaged by a drill bit or knife. Your mileage may vary; don't call me if you mess up!

Enough of the downers! Let's do it!

Step one is to acquire a remote transmitter. I'm sure you can buy a new one for some obscene price, but salvaged units are readily available on eBay. Just search for "custom homelink" and you should see a number of items that look like this


You will see three different types in a variety of colors. The "rolling code" models appear to be needed for newer garage door openers, so that should be your first choice. If you have successfully used a non-rolling code remote, you can save a few bucks. I believe the rolling code version will work with almost all openers. There is a third variation with a built in voice note recorder for the true geek! Prices range from around $12 to $40 with shipping. I succeeded in getting one for $18.50 delivered.

After you receive your remote, the first task should be to test it and get familiar with programming it. There are many websites with Homelink programming instructions, so just Google for it. You will have to rig up a temporary 12v power source -- I used a spare plug-in adapter and just twisted the wires. The Homelink's power connector is not labeled -- the negative connection is the wire closest to the center of the unit (on the left in the picture).

Once you're confident that the device works with your garage opener, it's time to hack it into the overhead trim. I mounted mine just below the courtesy light:


Power for the transmitter can be picked up from the courtesy light wiring. I used two press-on taps to make the connections.

The hardest part of the installation is the mechanical mounting of the transmitter. I spent a couple hours figuring out the exact location of the holes, and then a couple more hours carving them bigger with a knife until they were where they SHOULD be. I'm not showing details here -- I will be installing a remote into my wife's Cabrio and will take pictures during the installation process.

I had to make three tiny spacers to enable the buttons to function through the thick plastic of the Smart's trim. After searching through my junk boxes for suitable material, I ended up cutting 1/16" slices from the end of a plastic chopstick, and then using a dab of superglue to attach to the switches in the transmitter. The other challenge is getting the button housing to fasten securely to the transmitter through the trim. I'll document that also.

The final product is worth the effort. Start shopping for your transmitter and I'll continue the instructions as soon as my second unit arrives.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I bought a second transmitter that should arrive next week. So, detailed instructions will be coming.

PS -- I'm really happy with the Scangauge location -- it's easy to check whenever you check your rearview mirror, and I can adjust the angle easily. No vibrations.
 

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Now chop a hole in that airbag light location and put that Scangauge up there permanent since you have a hole in your upper console. :)

Nice install, wish I didn't have roll up doors on my garage. I'd park in there a lot more often. Looks like one can be also found from a u-pick-it junk yard too if anyone has any of those around. A rarity these days I know.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I tried the Scangauge in a bunch of different locations and really like it above the mirror. It's shaded from the sun and directly in my field of vision when I look at the mirror. Plus, I can easily move it to our other Smart.
 

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'I'm impressed' as Ed Asner would say.
...it's well executed and makes sense. If Penske Motors would have a luxury version above the standard Passion or Cabrio with even an ON-Star or its substitute I'd get it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I just found out that a local (name withheld to protect the innocent!) Smart dealer is offering the Homelink remote as an option. It is the same unit that we have been discussing, and is installed in the exact location shown above. If you are hesitant to cut holes in your trim, this might be good news.

Of course, the convenience will come at a cost -- their price for the remote transmitter plus installation is $450.00!

Contact me if you will be in my area and want me to install one in your fortwo at a slightly lower cost!
 

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Great suggestion on the "home-link" transmitter. The way I handled this problem was to attach our opener control in the same location by using the new dashboard style velcro. Seems to be a better grade of adhesive on this type of velcro...
 

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TrooperBen,

I'd appreciate an explanation regarding how you installed the two homelink pieces back together into the overhead panel. Jim's pictures really don't show what he did. Also, did you do the install with the panel in place or did you take it down? If you took it down, what did you have to do to get it down?

Thanks
George :confused:
 

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HomeLink with Recorder

I just finished installing a second transmitter in my wife's Cabrio. Step by step instructions and pictures are here:
Picasa Web Albums - Jim - Smart Homelin...
Thanks JimDantin for the inspiration.
I found a HomeLink with recorder on Ebay and installed it using your instructions as a guide.
However, I did remove the whole overhead consol for easy installation and
made a round speaker grill from a black plastic pipe cap.

I recorded Scotty (of Star Trek fame) on the message recorder. Now I hear Scotty say "Captain! I can't give you anymore power or She will blow"
 

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I just finished installing a second transmitter in my wife's Cabrio. Step by step instructions and pictures are here:
Picasa Web Albums - Jim - Smart Homelin...
Thanks for these! This is one of the first mods I need to do.

TrooperBen,

I'd appreciate an explanation regarding how you installed the two homelink pieces back together into the overhead panel. Jim's pictures really don't show what he did. Also, did you do the install with the panel in place or did you take it down? If you took it down, what did you have to do to get it down?

Thanks
George :confused:
I was wondering the same thing.
 
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