Someone Else's Problem: One for the other foot? A French Impostor? - 2005 Smart Roadster Coupé

Nice tiptronic'd 911 you bought there.

If these weren't so expensive over here I'd seriously take a look at them. Don't you brits swap Honda engines (B- and K-series) in these for lots of braaaaap?

Also, you should take that little legroom as an opportunity to train left foot braking. :)
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Mitchi;n3550003 said:
Nice tiptronic'd 911 you bought there.

If these weren't so expensive over here I'd seriously take a look at them. Don't you brits swap Honda engines (B- and K-series) in these for lots of braaaaap?

Also, you should take that little legroom as an opportunity to train left foot braking. :)

Never seen a K-series swap on one of these but will look it up, not sure I can get both feet close enough together to left foot brake but will have to try it. :lol:

Got the back end off today to sort out a few things, the side windows come off easily by just unscrewing a bunch of T25 screws but I found out that some of the threaded inserts had broken out of the plastic on one window and some screws were missing on the other, a bit of GDPO syndrome. The bumper is then held on by more T25 screws, a couple of T20s and four plastic rivets, cleverly used where normal screws would likely rust. The whole lot then comes off, allowing you to unplug the light clusters with big multi-plugs and remove the number plate lights.

First job was to tidy up this crack. I wanted to attempt a repair before even considering swapping it for the spare I was given, it takes relatively little time so it would be daft not to try. It came out OK I think, it certainly isn't as noticeable as it was. Here is the work on the back side of the bumper. Note the metallic particles in the plastic.


You can barely see the crack now, it was drying here after being cleaned so it's actually more noticeable. Comparison with the spare I was given which is completely the wrong colour and has no metallic in it. I'll go over with the Gtechniq C4 stuff to protect the plastic on the original bumper.

Then I went all Nicjasno on the inside of the bumper, you know, the bit you never see. It didn't look like anyone has ever cleaned it so this was quite satisfying.

Finally I sorted a potentially big issue. The wiring loom runs under the metal body frame, then runs along the outside of the rear wing to the rear lights. There was no protection from the sharp metal and it has been known to rub through, short out and cause fires! I had a convenient bit of rubber edging that I had been saving, this was slipped over and should protect the loom just fine. The tension of the loom should keep it in place.



I then Nicjasno'd the whole rear frame with engine cleaner, I just forgot to take photos. Imagine the photo above but with no dirt, that's what it looked like.
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I can't believe you don't have a name yet.

Given that XLG is an anagram of LXG and she is dark, mysterious and perhaps someone you don't want to get too close to might I suggest Mina?

MWF;n3550022 said:
I can't believe you don't have a name yet.

Given that XLG is an anagram of LXG and she is dark, mysterious and perhaps someone you don't want to get too close to might I suggest Mina?

I'm terrible with names, the last few have been handed to me really so not much effort was required. :lol: I like Mina, hopefully she's equally as immortal but I shall look out for stakes in the road. Being mid-engined I don't doubt she could bite if angered.

I coated the rear plastic with Gtechniq C4 this afternoon, hoping to restore some of the colour and hide the crack a little bit more still.

Before. The crack is still visible, but better.


After. Not sure how much difference is the camera and how much is the coating but in the... uhh... plastic, the difference is clear.

I did the bumper on Bugsy too, I'll be posting about that soon.

Then I went for a 90 minute sunset run tonight, we don't have the best roads here but there are some good ones if you look hard enough, particularly around Rutland Water. Everything feels so fast in the little Roadster, then you glance at the speed and it's 50... the fact that you can then carry that speed through the next bend it what really makes it fun. I recorded the whole thing on the GoPro, I may make it in to a timelapse video as it'll be very boring as it is and I may leave out the bit where I found out that the positioning of the GoPro mount obstructs the wipers. I've now removed it...

Needless to say Mina performed flawlessly and by my calculations the fun driving only cost me a few quid![/IMG]
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Or the Suzuki Capuccino.
Huh, that’s strange. The site was down earlier, I wonder if some assets were lost. I’ll re-add them later. I expect the photo I added in Bugsy’s thread is dead too.

Edit: No that thread is fine, that doesn’t make sense.

Edit(2): All fixeded, hopefully they will stay that way. Strangely the forum remembered the previously attached pictures after I uploaded them again. Very odd.

Also when is someone going to buy a Fiat Barchetta?
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More jobs done today. I received my package from Smartmods yesterday, which included a 3.5mm adapter cable for the radio. It just plugs in to the back of the radio as if it was a CD changer. I then ran the cable under the radio and out of the hole that usually houses a dummy switch. It shows up as Aux, I don't know if it's intelligent enough to know this is an aux cable or if it always did that even with a CD changer. I also got the radio removal keys from Smartmods.


I have some grommets on order so I can drill the dummy switch and mount it properly and then get a spare dummy switch to convert back to factory if required. I may route it in another way, I still don't know where to mount my phone yet or if I will be using a Bluetooth receiver.

Next I wanted to have a look at the headlight mechanisms and see what screws needed rust treatment or replacing. I didn't have to remove the frunk tray for this but did so anyway so I could get some photos for you lot and see what needed cleaning here too. So here's what hides beneath the plastic:



Not bad but it needs going over with some engine degreaser, that's on the list of jobs. It's all very neat in there, with the ABS modulator, steering rack and PAS motor and battery all down there together. It does actually have a radiator at the front which surprised me at first. Mostly rust free, which is nice and it's interesting that all of those wires are individually earthed at the same point.

Anyway, headlights. The trim came off easier than I expected after removing the two screws, I've read horror stories about the trims breaking when people attempt to pull them off. Needs a clean and those rusty screws need sorting.


Plastic headlight frame made by our dear friends in Slovenia!

The real reason I was in here was to try out the LHD/RHD swapping, mainly out of curiosity but also so I can switch it over come Ringmeet, despite not expecting to use the lights I could do without the hassle of getting caught with them configured incorrectly and as it turns out it's an easy job to change them. Screws out, whole assembly out. I love Torx screws...



The lamp unit is held in with three screws, one of which has to be removed and the other two loosened for swapping beam patterns. This is where the screw that has to be removed lives, it's hard to see here but it has labels: L/D and R/D for the two positions. Confusingly, this isn't the side the steering wheel is on but the side of the road it's being driven on.

The two side screws not shown have to be loosened enough to allow this tab to release. Screws were rusty but came out fine thanks to the wonders of Torx. I'm going to get some Evapo-rust.

Final job, sort the roof runners out. The roof seemed to be lacking in lubrication, sometimes sticking when going down and struggling when coming back up. It appears that spray lithium grease was used and I've never really liked the stuff. I read on Evilution about using lithium-based LM grease, so I got my hands on a tub. It isn't exactly what I was expecting, appearing more grey than clear due to the moly content but having completed this job I can say that it does work.

First off I cleaned the roof runners out with a steam cleaner and old toothbrush, before getting rid of any remaining grease and water with paper towels.



This is the good stuff, technically sold as CV grease but also as multi-purpose and it seems to do the job well here. Applied using a cut down paintbrush and the toothbrush again after old grease was steam cleaned and wiped off.

Both runners were done...

...before grease was added to the fixed part of the runner in the back of the car using the toothbrush (right side shown here behind seat).

After opening and closing the roof a few times it seems much freer, some excess grease has been pushed out in certain areas but I would rather have that happen than not have enough. There are no areas where the grease can become pressurised and cause damage.

Next I need to look at the door seals. I have bottles of both Liqui-Moly rubber care (gummi pflege) and 303 UV protectant on order to arrive tomorrow (yes Sunday, kind of feel bad for the Amazon delivery driver) as I can't decide which one I prefer and need to test them. The 303 product has the ability to protect the rear windows from UV as and when I get them refurbished, so I was always going to buy it anyway.

Also I realised that my earlier thinking was wrong, the front bumper has suffered from yellowing as you can see in the first photo of the headlight assembly and the protected parts match the headlight trim perfectly. I'll get my hands on a magic eraser and see if that has any effect, then move up to Retrobrite as used on old yellowing PC cases and see if that has any difference. The 303 product or Gtechniq C4 will then protect it from UV.
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The products I ordered turned up yesterday so I got to work with them, but first I wanted to have a go at restoring that front bumper. I've seen baking powder used as a mild abrasive, so I gave that a try first. It's hard to tell, especially on this photo, but there may be a slight improvement around that black mark in the centre.


I then cleaned it using the Meguiars all-purpose cleaner. It got lots of dirt off but still isn't the right colour. I'm getting a magic eraser sponge so I can try that before restoring to peroxide bleaching of the plastic.

Anyway, back to the main job. First I cleaned all of the rubber seals using the all-purpose cleaner. They didn't look too dirty but the microfibre cloth I used is going in the bin.

This was the stuff I used

Clean seals


As I said in the last post I bought two products to try, one seemingly aimed more at UV than the other. For all of the outside seals I went for the 303 UV protection.


For the frunk tray seal I went with the other stuff as that will never see UV. It's much more like a gel than the 303, which is more like a very light varnish.


The seals all seem to be in good condition though and the roof was still operating well on my Sunday drive. I've found an eBay seller with genuine fixings so have 20 panel screws to replace the headlight ones and some body inserts as one of the rear bumper ones is stripped out. I also have a gallon of Evapo-rust coming so I can get the annoying rusty frunk quarter-turn screws sorted. Evapo-rust is highly praised, so I'm looking forward to trying it and have added some filter paper to my next amazon order so I can filter the re-usable liquid when putting it back in the bottle. :)
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My modern classic was the first to get parked at tonight's local car meet. Two other Roadster Coupés were there, both a bit tidier but I have a goal to work towards. The drive over was brilliant, as you would expect and the rain held off.


In other news, Evapo-rust is here so I can do some of the fixings, the new screws and threaded inserts are here and I have a cheap Bluetooth receiver to play with and see if I can integrate it.
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I didn't do much to the Smart this weekend, driving Bugsy yesterday and going for a short drive today after filling up with petrol. I got some stuff done at the end of last week though so here it is. Remember the rusty screws holding the headlights on? Well that had to be sorted. New ones were sourced as mentioned in the post above and it was time for them to be fitted.



After: I also took the chance to quickly clean up the whole headlight fitting.


The screws for the frunk box were removed and treated with Evapo-rust, then painted with anti-rust primer, silver paint and a touch of clear that I had lying around to make them look more factory.

I put 5.12 imperial gallons of petrol in today and have done around 205 miles since the last fill up, working out at spot on 40mpg. Not bad considering all of it was on twisty roads with no cruising at all. Should be much better on my trip to the Ringmeet. :)
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Now I have the 3.5mm audio input I'm trying to get a Bluetooth input working. As I have a blanked off switch the idea is to re-purpose a spare boot release switch to act as the play and pause button for the Bluetooth adapter, as that's all that's really needed. I bought the switch and the module, did some wiring and today was the day to try it out:


I don't know why these images won't add the right way up, it seems that everything is forced to rotate to landscape. :dunno:

It works! I had to add the relay so that the 3.3V circuit on the Bluetooth board was isolated from the 12V, I don't think the thing would like to have 12 volts shoved up itself! I probably should add a 0.5A fuse to this setup as I'm not really sure which circuit the power is coming from, it's ignition-switched 12V and that's all I know. Nothing should go wrong with the circuit but it's nice to have the peace of mind.
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If a tin of paint stripper advises not to use on plastic, you should probably take that advice and not use it. I didn't when using it to remove paint from my Smart button and ended up with something that looked like a tennis ball, the outer layer of plastic had reacted and puffed up slightly.

Anyway, some sanding later and I was ready for paint. The paint arrived today so I got the little Bluetooth logo vinyls I had cut out with my CraftROBO machine (I didn't think it would be capable of cutting out such small shapes but it was), stuck them on and then added lots of light layers. I went for a dark satin blue, for Bluetooth. It'll be a nice contrast on the dash without standing out too much, I hope.

Not perfect but good enough for me


Light still shines through, not that the LED is very bright anyway

I have some 1A fuses on order, I need to change the ones I used for the headlight warning buzzer in Bob too as those 5A ones are too high.
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That looks absolutely pro. Well done.

Which BT module did you use, btw, and does it make digital (ticking) noises at high volume?
I'm pleased with it, it's certainly the tidiest mod I've done to any car so far. The module I used was the Open-smart BK8000L like this one, however mine was from a UK eBay seller for speed of delivery. The reason I went for this was the 12V input after frying a 5V one trying to join it up with a 12V to USB power supply. It has connectors on the back for all of the control buttons, I'm only using the play/pause one as I only have one button.


I haven't tried it at high volume yet, didn't get any electrical noise when I tested it in the car or on my bench supply though.
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I haven't come across this one yet, I guess I'll order one for testing ;) Also has a serial port wired, nice. Do any of the docs describe the serial protocol details?