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I need to replace the left rear panel on my 09. I have read through all the instruction from Evolution Site and FR101 UK site. The panel is $180 and labor from the dealer would be $258. So I save quite a bit doing it myself. It needs replaced because a large rock or something hit it and it is too large to touch up. I could get it painted cheaper than having the dealer replace it when you factor in the cost of the panel. The side skirts. boot panel, and taligate all have to be removed. What was odd is the dealer told me you have to remove both sides whichs makes no sense. He said the other side will come off also when I remove the tailgate but the instructions from both sites dont say that. Has anyone in the dayton Ohio area replace a rear panel that could provide some help or insight as to whether this is too tough for the average person to do.

Thanks
 

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they are partially right in that the rear is all clipped together so it is like a clam shell around the back AND sides. to remove it is really not difficult once you start. the only thing you might mess up is breaking a couple of plastic clips as you remove the side panels under the doors... these clips should be a couple of dollars at most and are very easy to replace. just read the evilution instructions three or four times to visualize the procedure as you do it.
 

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oh remember to have a bed spread or something on the floor to put the whole panel section on as you remove it... don't what to scratch it do we!
 

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$258?!? Do you have another Smart Center you could get to? I'd call them up and ask them for a price. I thought it took 90 minutes to replace the ENTIRE set of panels.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks. I called another smart center and they are quoting the same. The labor hours is 2.5 just to replace the real panel so they are both just quoting the cost per hour per the esitmated time from the Smart system.
 

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Jwight, your the kind of person that we all should try to be like.. that is a great offer to a fellow smart owner. kudos to you!
 

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Feel free to bring it over or I can head to your place. I've had the side skirts off (and even have some extra clips.) Will be happy to help. :)
I'd take him up on his offer if I were you.

Local Club Support.

I did a left rear fender panel replacement for one of our local club members and had her help me do it. Total swap out time........40 minutes! That included stopping to take pics of the process for her too! Oh, and the lady that helped do the replacement....over 80 years old!! The panels are that easy to swap (OK, I just had her removing some of the screws after I broke them loose)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Feel free to bring it over or I can head to your place. I've had the side skirts off (and even have some extra clips.) Will be happy to help. :)
If you look at the three steps:


1) Side skirt
2) Boot removal
3) talegate removal

You can then remove the panel. It looks pretty involved but when the tech told me you haev to remove both sides it gets even more of a proble because the gas tank tube,etc. I dont understand why the other side would have to come off. Makes no sense.
 

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I'm a klutz and a chicken, but still managed to change all the panels with the wife's help and the Evilution instructions. There are a couple minor head scratchers (gas filler neck/cup) and the removal of the tailgate that has to set inside the car just so (but you don't have to remove the tailgate panel). All three pieces of the rear (sides, center) are connected together so it isn't really possible to remove just one.

With jwight's excellent offer, I don't think you'll have too much trouble. :)

Panel Swap Video
 

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Sorry for the bad pic, but I WAS in a hurry. The rear is all together and it all needs to come off to gain access to the clips/pins that hold the fender to the rest of the panels. I know my description is as clear as the picture.


 

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I need to replace the left rear panel on my 09. I have read through all the instruction from Evolution Site and FR101 UK site. The panel is $180 and labor from the dealer would be $258. So I save quite a bit doing it myself. It needs replaced because a large rock or something hit it and it is too large to touch up. I could get it painted cheaper than having the dealer replace it when you factor in the cost of the panel. The side skirts. boot panel, and taligate all have to be removed. What was odd is the dealer told me you have to remove both sides which makes no sense. He said the other side will come off also when I remove the tailgate but the instructions from both sites dint say that. Has anyone in the dayton Ohio area replace a rear panel that could provide some help or insight as to whether this is too tough for the average person to do.

Thanks
You are NOT a chicken if you want to see it done and want to learn from it. Your request is prudent and and wise.

Your need is one of the reasons we (In the olden days?) had car clubs.
We had clubs with the intent to become self-sufficient and enjoy, camaraderie, sharing and learning.... not primarily to feed our egos by showing off our cars to the public.

This is why I am not an active member of any car club at this time.
I founded the "So Cal Smarties" in January 2008.
A dealer " Bob Crossman" (Smart Universal City), enthusiastically offered their facilities (meeting room including coffee&donuts for meetings), Seminars by his Service and his Parts managers in the shop as well as fun get togethers. THE GROUP DISPLAYED THEIR LACK OF INTEREST. Needless to say, I am not an active member anymore.

IF there were a number of Smart enthuiasts, in my (LA-SFV) area, that got excited reading the preceding paragraph, I would drop everything to participate in such an endeavor

I sincerely would like to be in Dayton right now so we could work(labor of love) on your car. This type of activity is bonding and lasts for life. I have NEVER taught something that I didn't learn something myself in the process.
You forget a conversation, but you remember the person who taught you something.

Donald LaFavor
 

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Feel free to bring it over or I can head to your place. I've had the side skirts off (and even have some extra clips.) Will be happy to help. :)
I didn't have to be some kind of prophet to know you would be the one to offer. I would really like to be there with you.

You posted while I was composing. Read your post after I posted mine.

Redbluff; You are in good hands.
 

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Sorry for the bad pic, but I WAS in a hurry. The rear is all together and it all needs to come off to gain access to the clips/pins that hold the fender to the rest of the panels. I know my description is as clear as the picture.



Here is NOT BLURRY photo.....:D




.

To the OP, it is fairly easy, do it yourself and save few $$.


CUBE
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I am going to tackle it so wish me luck. What was involved to remove around the fuel filler other than removing the gas cap?
 

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I am going to tackle it so wish me luck. What was involved to remove around the fuel filler other than removing the gas cap?
Take a rubber band and place it around your wrist, now take it off. It's that easy!! Just take the gas cap off first and then when you are removing the panel from the body just work the rubber dam from around the filler neck, replace in reverse. It is REALLY easy. I prefer ratcheting wrenches for tailgate removal myself, but that is just my preference.
 

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I had to replace the same panel for kinda the same reason, some parking lot incident where someone misjudged the turn and scraped that entire panel... It was realllly easy though. Took half an hour. Had help from one of the smart center's salesmen who wanted to see what it was like. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Ok guys thanks for the pictures, help,and encouragement. Got it done in 90 minutes. Used directions from Evilution site. Used his method to get the side skirts back on which worked perfectly. Got everything back on with no other damage to anything. I was also amazed at the design as was an engineering friend who helped. Thanks also to Jwight for his offer go help. He was not available at the time we planned to do it but I appreciate all the help.
 
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