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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have 207,000 miles on my 09 so I gave it a face lift. I am sure everyone has seen pictures of lifted smart cars. I
am going to let you know what I ran into. First, the lift and big tires look great and I did the project for fun. I chose to stay at a 2" lift as I increased the stance of the car by approximately 5 inch. I put 2.25" adapters in the rear and 2' in the front.
I used a 5 lug 4.5 pattern. The rims are steel with a 40mm offset to keep the tires under the flares. I put 215/65/16 tires on it. Depending on what you use your car for, I did not like the total lack of power in 5th gear from a 27" tire. I just downsized to a 25.7" tire (205/60/16) and can live with that as it is more workable for the driving I do.
I also took it up into snow country and tried going up a steep driveway with about 8" of snow on it. I stopped half way up
and tried to walk it up. It did fine, but it lugged the engine down as it crawled up and this was with the 27" tires. Looking forward to trying that again with the 25.7" tires. NOTE: It still fits in the back of the toy hauler.

Ratchetwrist.
Tire Wheel Trousers Vehicle Snow
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the build notes! I've seen someone put 30+ inch tires on a Smart before and they ended up reporting that top speed was like 45 mph. That completely ruins the appeal.

I used to run 25.2-inch snow tires (185/70/15) on a stock suspension. The car still went 90 mph and the nearly 3-inch taller tire (my previous size was 195/50/15) gave me just enough ground clearance not to scrape off-road.

Unless you're planning on running a Dakar or are turbocharging the engine, there's no need for the super tall tires you see on Instagram. lol
Interesting about the 185/70/15 tires as I was running 185/60/15"s prior to the mod and I thought that was close. Did
you use the stock rear wheels and did you use any spacers or stiffer shocks to keep from rubbing. Why I ask is that
I am thinking of buying a 2016+ car which has a wider stance and increased horsepower to do another mod.. Also, did you run into the anti-skid activating intermittently on tight corners as this has happened even prior to the mod.

Ratchetwrist
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I did it to my 2012. The rear tires rubbed on every bump and turn. The fronts also rubbed on every bump and turn. But after a few hundred miles it just stopped happening. Looks like the tires rubbed away at the plastic wheel well liners until they fit. No weird traction control engagements on the road, and I disabled the system when I got off-road.

Off-road, the little car got everywhere a 2wd pickup could go, and I won an award at an off-road endurance rally for "doing the most with the least." :)

Nowadays the car's back to a more normal stance, and I think its off-roading days are behind it.
Thanks for the info. The limitation of the car is the height. I will not drive my 4wd in the snow if I have the smart car
available. The locking rear end with the weight over the rear wheels is a great set up. I have tested breaking on snow
and ice with good snow tires on and it goes straight to a stop. If you have ever driven an old VW beetle in bad weather
you know what the performance is like in those conditions. Another issue is that you really don't have the power to
easily break the rear tires loose. These are fun cars to mess with and drive. Somewhere the public has gotten a bias
built in about small cars, but they are missing a great time at a low cost. Mercedes really didn't market the car like they should have in my opinion. VW did a better job of that and supported the vehicle 3 times better.


Ratchetwrist
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You are not a party pooper as it is good to know these things. Boots are a miner issue compared to others. Before I
lifted the car I drove over a rock hidden in some grass and it broke the oil filter off to include the casting part it threads
onto. That piece is part of the complete front cover on the engine which is a major project to do. I took a short cut
and taped it out and put in an adapter I had made up. Needles to say I like the extra height when going where I do with
my car.

Ratchetwrist
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That is an interesting thought on the EV. The 2009 gas produces 68 lbs of torque where the EV has 95. I see there
is an aftermarket mod to produce 115 lbs on the 2015 EV. It would be nice to see an increase in the miles per
charge.

Ratchetwrist
 
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