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2017 453 Passion ED/EQ
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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, first let me get this out of the way - my note, "all they did was install the 2012 hardware...???? - care to elaborate?" was for Toslow, at post #20.

Here's the picture of the transmission motors's vent with oil spewed debris on the exterior of the housing:
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Pictures at an Exhibition 02

Next is a picture of both transmission motors before removal. This view is with the engine hatch off, I am standing behind the smart looking into the engine hatch with the air intake baffle off. (also be sure to seal the air intake into the engine to prevent any debris from getting into the carb/fuel injection ports.)

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Pictures at an Exhibition 03

Right side electric transmission removed. Remove both motors and the housing as one would be easier (4 screws) than this, but was exploring in small steps at this point.

 

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Discussion Starter #4
Pictures at an Exhibition 04

Dirty housing, gunk mix of transmission oil and carbon from motor brushes.
Also the 4 magnets are shown, and the rubber plug at the end of the motor housing can be removed by your fingers before you (carefully!) pull the housing off the motor. The magnets provide strong resistance as you pull it apart.

 

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Discussion Starter #5
Pictures at an Exhibition 05

Dirty motor - what I failed to photograph was the gunk that I just knocked into the garbage can - this is just the debris left behind! Really, easily a couple of ounces. The left side motor wasn't as bad, but still needed cleaning.

 

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Discussion Starter #6
Pictures at an Exhibition 06

Cleaned motor - I flushed the housing and motor with "CRC QD Electronic Cleaner" found at the auto-parts store. Also used this stuff for the wire connectors, both sides

 

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Discussion Starter #7
Pictures at an Exhibition 07

Geared end of electric motor - This is where I suspect the oil is getting in. I used a cotton swab and applied a thin layer of automotive grease around the gear on the bearing seal in an attempt to slow the progress of any future oil from seeping through.

 

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Discussion Starter #8
Pictures at an Exhibition 08

Electric motor ready for re-assembly. Note rubber o-ring in place on housing and the 4 screws with Permatex threadlocker (I used medium strength blue) on it.

 

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Discussion Starter #9
Pictures at an Exhibition 09

Gasket material on housing: I used "Permatex Ultra Black maximun oil resistance RTW silicone gasket maker", available at auto-parts store in 0.5 oz tube

 

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Discussion Starter #10
Pictures at an Exhibition 10

This the opening in the manual transmission after removal of the electric motors assembly. I kept it covered with kitchen plastic wrap to keep the crap out as I cleaned around it. Drain the oil and open the overflow plug too from below. Once you are ready to reassembly use this opening to simply pour the new transmission fluid in, until it flows out the overflow port. I used Red Line Synthetic MT-90 75W90 GL-4 (Amazon, couldn't find it locally). I am hoping this will prove to be a better fluid than what was in it before, it could be that I had (I bought this car used) Penske's crap in there (see elsewhere in the forum on how they approved their GL-5 junk for this tranny). Maybe why this failure happened.

I used the threadlocker on the bolts holding this together too. I also noticed none of the bolts were difficult to unscrew - i.e. they were not highly torqued like most engine parts in other cars are. I also carefully lightly lubed with a di-electric grease the rubber bushings on the electrical connectors after cleaning them with the spray cleaner, to help seal out any rain & snow spray. (Note how the connectors are exposed to the road below!)

This completes my DIY pictorial project of my electric transmission cleaning procedure. Sorry about the delay, I wanted to be sure the problem was resolved for good.

 

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Ok, I've been following the thread because our '08 smart with 40K, got the 3bars of death, check engine lite and the maintenance wrenches. It would not start, but if I held the break peddle down, turn the key to pos 1, you could hear the transmission shifting and the bars of death went away and the car would start. I still had the check engine lite and the wrenches. Took it for a test run and had reverse, 2nd gear and 4th gear only. Looks like shift motors. Here are some tips for removing the shift motor assembly. First jack up the driver’s side rear (as if you were changing the tire) of the car until the back wheel is off the ground, as this allows the engine to go a bit lower from the body, giving you more room to get the air box out. Now for the air box, there is one bolt on the left side(easy to get to it) and on the right side is one more, but it is hidden with the head of the bolt on the bottom side of a bracket. Its best to remove the two bolts in the bracket, but remove the two connectors that are attached to the bracket and you can get at the bolts. Now you can get the air box out of the car. Now, for the fun part. None of you guys have said anything about removing the shift motor assembly. THE BOLTS ARE THREAD LOCKED IN. It took a BREAKER BAR to get them to break free and then a crow bar to get it off the transmission as there are two guide pins, one top and one bottom, that appeared to have lock tight on them. Once the shift motors are out it is easy to disassemble the motors and clean them up. It appears it is lock tight red, as there was red color around the bolt holes. Clean out the threads of the 4 bolts for the shift motor assembly and run the bolts into the holes to clean up the threads in the trany. I will use loktite Blue when it goes back together. This is as far as I have gotten. Its predicted to be in the mid to upper 50's Saturday and will put the smart back together and hope its back to normal
Buzzz42
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Buzzz42: "... None of you guys have said anything about removing the shift motor assembly. THE BOLTS ARE THREAD LOCKED IN. It took a BREAKER BAR to get them to break free and then a crow bar to get it off the transmission as there are two guide pins, one top and one bottom, that appeared to have lock tight on them..."

Hmm, mine came off quite easily, and I can see some of the red loctite in the photos too. I even remarked about it, i was impressed by the lack of torque needed to remove. But I did remove the motors first, and iirc, I tapped the motors' mount with a rubber mallet to get it off the pins.

You are replacing the tranny fluid though right? The crap that was in mine deemed it NG, and I suspect it foamed up when hot and forced itself into the two elec. motor shifters, which caused the failure. I'm now at +98000 miles on the odometer, and 3+ years after the 2012 job without any shifting issues with the Redline MT-90 fluid in the transmission.
 

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Jebcidic, I think they over did it with thread lock on my smart as it was all around the bolt holes and in the guide pin holes. I'm going to look for the Redline MT-90 fluid in the morning and change it out on Saturday. One shift motors looked fine and the other was gummed up bad. Flushed it out several times, had to soak it down and let it set, then flush it some more. Hopefully it will be up and running by Sunday. Thank you for the great pix and explanations.
Buzzz42
 

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update
shift motors are back in the car. Hooked up the battery, turned key to pos1 and the 3bars of death came up but the shift motors started running for a while and then P (park) came up on the readout. Ran through the reteach then turned the key off. Turned the key back to pos1 and ALL IS WELL. Started the car, put the top down, as it was 60+ outside and went for a test drive, had ALL 5 gears. Thanks to all who posted info in various posts and threads that helped me get back on the road again.

Buzzz42
 

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Great write-up

I'm looking to do this for my mother-in-law on her '09 ForTwo. I already did the transmission fluid, but couldn't get the airbox and other intake section out to have access to the shift motors. No matter what I did there was just not enough room to get them out of the engine compartment. Please advise :)
 

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How do the electrical connectors release from the motors? Is there a tab to push down and pull out? Or is a screwdriver required to push something in while pulling out the connector?
 

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There are locking tabs on the bottom side of the connectors. I was able to see them using a small lighted dental mirror.
I inserted a small, short, flat blade screwdriver into the tab and pushing it in, in the direction you would remove the connector.
 

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My 4 bolts where as well locked with a huge amount thread lock around the bolt holes and in the guide pin holes...

You need good tools to do this! And be careful - cleaning the bolts, threads, and as well the pins.
Cleaning of the trans shifting motors was easy. I changed the gear oil and I am amazed how smooth my smart is shifting gears now.
I had to re-teach the gearbox. Since I flat tow my smart I am used to do this.
 

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Hi, did yo change any brushes?
Is this a brushless motor?
I did not see any ... and you did not point out details of cleaning ...

Thanks for answer and perfect job ..

Fritz
 
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