Smart Car of America Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
471 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'd like to replace my front left fender due to some damage that was there when I bought my ED. I've tried searching around on salvage yard sites. Is there a better way to find gently used salvage parts for Smarts or do I just need to keep looking?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Lots of body parts - fenders, quarter panels, etc, on eBay. Some have high prices, some have some real good deals, and there are all kinds of colors out there. Just search for Smart Fortwo Exterior. Many prices include shipping.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
As a son of a former body shop owner, I have an answer from a unique perspective. I did body work and painting for years. I believe that new parts from Mercedes Benz are a pretty good deal. WHAT!!! Parts from a DEALER???!!!! ARE YOU NUTS!!!!!! OK. Not quite "inexpensive" but a pretty good value in my experience. Right front fender (I just bought one). It arrives in flawless condition wrapped in a special bubble/foam wrap already color coded to match your car. Ready to put on. The price? $200. Sure, you can get a scratched up one with a few attachment tabs busted off or reamed out for less (and add shipping costs if you buy them on e-Bay). But I found that the spread between e-Bay and new was between 0-30%. I actually bought a center rear bumper for LESS than the goofy e-Bay sellers wanted ($100 shipped to my nearby M-B dealer). If you have the good fortune to have a local yard that is parting out your exact color/year/model AND the parts are not too messed up AND they are selling the parts cheap, by all means go for it. In my experience that sweet situation can be hard to find - especially when you are a few miles away from a major metro area. And remember, boneyards are notorious for ripping parts from cars breaking off plastic tabs and scratching the hell out of them. If you get a cheap part that is all banged up and spend 5+ hours repairing and painting it (assuming you have the knowledge and equipment AND paint), you may not be saving money. Then again, if your car is all scratched up all over then a new part may look conspicuously out of place. Your mileage (opinion) may vary, but I think genuine new parts for the Smart are definitely worth considering.

Good Luck,
Mike
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,309 Posts
Depends what exactly it is you need. If it is a fender or panel. then the dealer may be a good way t go. I my case, I needed much more than the front fenders hood, and front end. I also needed the front frame, headlights, heater box, radiator/condenser, mount, fan, etc which was estimated at over $3K in parts. I got the whole front end crash repair kit with everything I needed (plus a bit more) for $700. Even with shipping , it was a good deal. Now I have a white front on a red car, but that can be fixed too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,961 Posts
As a son of a former body shop owner, I have an answer from a unique perspective. I did body work and painting for years. I believe that new parts from Mercedes Benz are a pretty good deal. WHAT!!! Parts from a DEALER???!!!! ARE YOU NUTS!!!!!! OK. Not quite "inexpensive" but a pretty good value in my experience. Right front fender (I just bought one). It arrives in flawless condition wrapped in a special bubble/foam wrap already color coded to match your car. Ready to put on. The price? $200. Sure, you can get a scratched up one with a few attachment tabs busted off or reamed out for less (and add shipping costs if you buy them on e-Bay). But I found that the spread between e-Bay and new was between 0-30%. I actually bought a center rear bumper for LESS than the goofy e-Bay sellers wanted ($100 shipped to my nearby M-B dealer). If you have the good fortune to have a local yard that is parting out your exact color/year/model AND the parts are not too messed up AND they are selling the parts cheap, by all means go for it. In my experience that sweet situation can be hard to find - especially when you are a few miles away from a major metro area. And remember, boneyards are notorious for ripping parts from cars breaking off plastic tabs and scratching the hell out of them. If you get a cheap part that is all banged up and spend 5+ hours repairing and painting it (assuming you have the knowledge and equipment AND paint), you may not be saving money. Then again, if your car is all scratched up all over then a new part may look conspicuously out of place. Your mileage (opinion) may vary, but I think genuine new parts for the Smart are definitely worth considering.

Good Luck,
Mike
Sometimes you have a good dealer near you that doesn't "rape" you on the parts' pricing, sometimes you don't. I drove about 2 hours to get to Beverly Hills because shopping around I realized I could get a better deal on stuff I wanted/needed. As an example local dealers wanted to send me to the service department to update a Nav, even the selling dealer which is far away. The parts guy over at Beverly Hills gave me the install code when I asked nicely and immediately provided my VIN.... (It might be good to provide your location so others can find this jewel of a dealer, or maybe because of your experience as a "body shop" you get special treatment? I used to get 10% off professional discount from my SA at the dealership here in my city because she knew me for so many years and also knew I would do my own work whenever I could. I'm not a mechanic.)

Depends what exactly it is you need. If it is a fender or panel. then the dealer may be a good way t go. I my case, I needed much more than the front fenders hood, and front end. I also needed the front frame, headlights, heater box, radiator/condenser, mount, fan, etc which was estimated at over $3K in parts. I got the whole front end crash repair kit with everything I needed (plus a bit more) for $700. Even with shipping , it was a good deal. Now I have a white front on a red car, but that can be fixed too.
Just thought of this. You could go the other way and have a completely white car! Here in relatively hot Southern California only white is preferred by me just to help reflect some of that solar heat......
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
I would agree that other non-body panel parts are generally way less expensive at the bone yard. That is because you don't have to pay for every rat-stinkin' bit of plastic/metal when you get a whole "chunk" (as you did in getting a front end). It can also be a lot less expensive to get bone yard mechanical repair parts like suspension parts (usually sold as an entire assembly) or electric parts (like electric AC compressor or electric vacuum brake booster). e-Bay has a couple 451 electric drivelines for $1000. Even with freight shipping that is less than M-B charges for one or two of the components. The deal includes the electric motor, charger, transmission, axles, and all the other electronic modules bolted onto the motor (is the DC-DC converter bolted onto the motor assembly??). If I had a place to store one, I would buy a complete driveline.

But I still like getting new, color coded body panels at the dealer. As you stated, you now have a red car with a white front end. First, I don't like painting plastic parts because adhesion and colorgloss match is unpredictable - even when you use the "correct" paints, additives, techniques, and preps. I was an auto painter for several years. And, paint, materials, and paint labor to paint the front end will likely be $500+ (retail pricing).

The drawback about used wrecking yard mechanical/electrical parts is that they are, well... used! They may last a long time or fail sooner. Given that these Smart electric drive cars usually have pretty low miles on them and the cars are mostly plastic should mean that used parts will tend to last a while and make economic sense. Also, since these cars are just driven locally, a breakdown when a used part fails is not catastrophic - other than the fact that you need a flatbed to fetch the things!

Good Luck,
Mike
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,309 Posts
Sometimes you have a good dealer near you that doesn't "rape" you on the parts' pricing, sometimes you don't. I drove about 2 hours to get to Beverly Hills because shopping around I realized I could get a better deal on stuff I wanted/needed. As an example local dealers wanted to send me to the service department to update a Nav, even the selling dealer which is far away. The parts guy over at Beverly Hills gave me the install code when I asked nicely and immediately provided my VIN.... (It might be good to provide your location so others can find this jewel of a dealer, or maybe because of your experience as a "body shop" you get special treatment? I used to get 10% off professional discount from my SA at the dealership here in my city because she knew me for so many years and also knew I would do my own work whenever I could. I'm not a mechanic.)



Just thought of this. You could go the other way and have a completely white car! Here in relatively hot Southern California only white is preferred by me just to help reflect some of that solar heat......
BUT... In Minnesota, an all white car could be lost in a snow bank for 1/2 of the year.... also hard to see when it is snowing out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
927 Posts
I'd like to replace my front left fender due to some damage that was there when I bought my ED. I've tried searching around on salvage yard sites. Is there a better way to find gently used salvage parts for Smarts or do I just need to keep looking?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
What color panel are you looking for?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,961 Posts
Mine is that darker color gray.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Mine is I believe "crystal white". I was working on the strut mounts on my W201 once and had left the jacks in place to hold things up in place. Apparently my dad backed the smart and nicked the end of the handle creating I would say between a nickel and quarter size scratch on one of my panels. That was a couple of years ago, and the scratch is still there. I guess I just live with it.

Towards the end of last October my mother accidentally backed her Prius v with significant force into the back of her office building. It took about a month to fix and close to $15k of work. It reminds me of the "mortality" of cars. Someone on PriusChat is selling a Japanese aero kit for that car for quite a low price, and I was thinking of pulling the trigger, but after the accident decided I might just leave it as it is. It could have been totalled, and this can happen at any time.....

That seems like a rare color. When searching try to get the VIN of the salvage car and someone like me with EPC access can attempt to get you the color code to see if it matches your car. (I am not exactly used to the way they put the color code because a smart has two, one for the panels, and one for the tridion, but it is worth the effort to try to check. For Mercedes models they most likely put the name of the color, ie. "Palladium Silver Metallic" looks quite like yours, but for the smart they sometimes just put a code like "EAZ", so you don't exactly know what you're looking at.)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,309 Posts
Dang! Forgot about that....

How's that plasti-dip stuff in the snow???
Couldn't say about Plasti-dip as I have yet to use it on a vehicle. Been thinking about it for the grill guard on my Land Rover which has the usual rust from within on the guard. The paint peels off in sizable sheets over time.

I think I am getting used to my 2 color smart and may leave the white front for now...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
729 Posts
Dang! Forgot about that....



How's that plasti-dip stuff in the snow???


If applied properly, plastidip should last a couple of seasons. Have friends that used it on their wheels and lasted 2+ years in Portland.

The nice thing with it is, if you're not happy with the look you just peal it off and apply a different color or reapply same color. Just make sure to use thick coating as it'll be easier to remove than a thin coat.

They also have some interesting colors/finishes now too.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top