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Before I even picked up my 450 cab I already had a name for her: "Laura" (after Laura Jane Grace). This car just rocks! Plus she is happy to open up...well not so happy right now, but I can fix that.

Unlike my 453 and 450 coupe, which are basically garage queens, this 450 will successfully unseat Tucker (451) as my daily driver, at least for the spring, summer, and fall. Not sure I'd drive a 450 in the winter with all of the aggro salt we have out here.



I've temporarily put Laura in a storage unit, there’s just not enough space at home for me to store a 4th smart.



(If you’re ever in Pittsburgh, I highly recommend Fiori’s Pizzeria. I’ve never had pizza with sweet sauce but it was absolutely delicious!)

I began thinking about this. I told myself that once I had a convertible smart, I’d retire my beloved first smart from daily driver duty and leave him for towing things/off-roading (once that project is finished). I just didn’t expect my convertible to be a rare W450.

I’ve completed my inspection of my new cabrio and here’s what needs restoring in order of severity:

- Tyres - Front two are serviceable but the rears are trashed.

- Headlight stalk (?) - Parking lights don’t work unless you turn on the rear fog light and turn on the high beams, then turn both off.

Similarly, the low beams don’t work unless you turn on the fog light, turn on the high beams, turn off the rear fog light, turn on the parking lights, turn off the high beams, turn on the high beams, then turn the switch to low beams. Oh and the high beams don’t work at all...only when pulling the stalk back to flash them.

- Cleaning - I’m not sure how these 450s get so dirty inside, but this one is just as dirty as Chelsea was. I’ll actually get before and after pics that’ll make a detailer blush.

- Protecting the convertible top - It feels very untreated, bad news for the salt belt. I’ll treat the top.

- Convertible top mechanism - It works...sorta. It’s very slow and gets stuck. I’ll first lube the tracks and crank down the tension rods a little. I'll just work down troubleshooting steps on Evilution to easiest to hardest until the thing starts working.

- Rust removal - The subframe was bottomed out on something, probably a curb. It’s rusting in that area. While that’s not a big deal, I hate looking at it. Away it goes!

- Convertible top roof rails - Huh, of all the things to start rusting on a smart 450, I’d never thought the roof rails would be the first. There are a few specks of rust on these things...somehow. I’ll clean them up and protect them. Maybe this is why the 451+ rails are plastic?

- Radio - Someone replaced the Grundig unit with a generic Pioneer system. If we’re going to go aftermarket, it has to have an an aux jack; so this one is getting the boot. Otherwise I’ll just find a Grundig.

- Interior parts - I’ll need floor mats (I’ll make my own), a cup holder, headlight stalk/wiper stall caps, and a new clock pod. I’ll also need to see why the A/C button on the safety triangle doesn’t work. I may have broken it while inspecting the clock pod.


Quirks



1. The odometer is the exact opposite of Chelsea’s (my 450 coupe). Whereas Chelsea counts in miles but measures outside temperature in Celsius, Laura counts in Kilometers and measures outside temperature in Fahrenheit. I assume these can be changed with my star machine clone.

2. The car had a CEL on when I picked it up. I couldn't figure out what was wrong until I was eating lunch with the engine running. The radiator fan kicked on and the CEL immediately disappeared. I bet this had something to do with this car having an old battery before I picked her up. 450s especially don't like low batteries.

3. To make gray market smarts compliant, importers have to add bulky padding to the entire interior roofline. I hate the padding and have always wanted to rip it out of Chelsea. However I’ve been afraid that they were mounted in a way that couldn’t be reversed. As Laura reveals...Nope! Just adhesive! Sweet!

I’m going to drive Tucker until the tyres come in, then he finally gets a well-deserved break! :D

...Now just to get my 450 coupe's battery swapped.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That's coolant temp, the one that's currently counting in Fahrenheit is the outside temperature. IIRC all G&K 450s count coolant temp in Celsius.
 

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Congrats!

The various electrical issues sound like a burnt out or at least badly damaged SAM unit. Drop it (T10) and inspect all the connector pins and for water damage to the main unit. If the SAM is gone, it will be about a $1000+ replacement. I'd only recommend using a new one, probably more than half of the used ones are likely damaged in some way or another. Low beam lights need external relays to prevent SAM burnout. Fuel lift pump too. Use the official smart 450 felt cleaning/lube blocks for the roof bar tracks.
 

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Congrats!

The various electrical issues sound like a burnt out or at least badly damaged SAM unit. Drop it (T10) and inspect all the connector pins and for water damage to the main unit. If the SAM is gone, it will be about a $1000+ replacement. I'd only recommend using a new one, probably more than half of the used ones are likely damaged in some way or another. Low beam lights need external relays to prevent SAM burnout. Fuel lift pump too. Use the official smart 450 felt cleaning/lube blocks for the roof bar tracks.
Thankfully the only true electrical issue is with the lighting, and from some short Internet searching it seems the light stalks are a common point of failure. It seems like my process of getting the lights to work may just be getting the stupid stalk to cooperate.

https://www.evilution.co.uk/electrical/light_stalk_fix.htm

So I'll replace it first then move forward from there. Hopefully the SAM doesn't need replacing! I'll probably end up joining clubsmartcar as my journey unfolds. :) And I'll have to examine the safety triangle to see if I broke the A/C button while trying to rip out the dead clock pod.

Interestingly enough, my other 450 doesn't even have a clock pod connector on its safety triangle, however there are holes in the dash from where a clock pod used to be. Hmmmm...

I'll send the VIN tonight!
 

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I'll do that for both of my 450s, if only for preventative modifications. When I was trying to start my coupe (I let the battery die over the winter) I discovered the carpet padding near the battery to be wet. As I haven't really allowed the car water exposure outside of a car wash and the drive home from Denver, it may be from when the PO stored the car outside with the windows cracked open. Either way, it's worth a SAM check. Thanks! :)
 

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I made a “template” by taking a box cutter to an old yoga mat and cutting it to the size and outlines of the footwells.

I then took a spare roll of carpet that was laying around the house and cut some pieces to shape.



I was able to get two sets of mats out of the carpet! The yoga mat lines the winter-driven smart.
 

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When were you in Pittsburgh? Fioris is about 10-15 minutes from my office.
Nice 450. I like!
March 24th! :)

Pittsburgh was a fun place to visit, not too far from home either. I loved it! :D
 

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Actually, I have that down to an exact science!

- The 451 is my daily driver. I know the car like the back of my hand, so no nasty surprises. Plus, it already has nearly 145k on it.

- The 450 cab is supposed to be the weekend warrior. Well, it will be once I get the clutch actuator lubed up.

I actually just got a condo literally 3 minutes from work. The 450 cab, the 451, and possibly a motorcycle will populate the parking spaces (the rule is two cars max, but there’s nothing in the rules about motorcycles) while the 453 and 450 coupe will get a storage unit together.

If my interpretation of my condo’s rules is correct, a motorcycle and the 450 cab will become my spring, summer, fall daily drivers and the 451 when winter rolls around or I need to tow something.

- The 453 is basically my museum piece. If I had a ground floor condo, I’d literally park it in my living room. It only gets driven on special events. I suspect that ten years from now, I’ll have one of the lowest mile 453s in the world.

- The 450 coupe serves the least practical purpose. I just drive her whenever I feel like it.
 

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MY08 cabrio MY09 cabrio Brabus MY15 ED
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Ah a blast from the past! 2012, the $3,800 250 watt 20 mph smart e-bike - technically a "hybrid" it had a range of 20-30 miles.

And then there was the limited edition Brabus e-bike with 500 watt and 25mph!

https://www.electricbike.com/brabus/

Did you know that in 2001 they tried a Mercedes e-bike, it flopped too.
 
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