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Smart Roadster - Small fixing progress made


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#61 OFFLINE   SiC

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 10:19 PM

The gearbox is quicker reacting in the Brabus model. And there is a (sort of) launch control. The has a notch you push past which brings the revs up higher for quicker standing starts. Not sure if non Brabus models have this feature.

Remap apparently speeds up the change too.

That stop is actually the kick down stop. But yeah at stationary it acts as launch control.
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#62 OFFLINE   Clevtrev

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 10:24 PM

Nice!! I'm jealous! That's pretty much what I really wanted - coupé and brabus. Except it's in silver. I believe though, the Brabus only came in silver. I don't like silver!

Standard Roadster can be remapped from 80bhp to 100bhp. Apparently quicker than a stock Brabus as it's lighter - Brabus added bigger turbo, injector and a charge cooler so extra weight compared to the standard Roadster. But because of the extras, you can remap the Brabus to 130bhp - which makes for a very quick car!

I did see a cheap Brabus (£2.5k) but the fact that there was so many unique parts to the Brabus put me off that one - was high miles too. Especially as most parts aren't available new anymore.

For good ones, you're looking at £3.5k-4.5k for a Brabus which for me is Z4 money.

Thanks. I was lucky I guess. Working in the trade meant I got it for less than £2.5k with about 67,000 miles and a pretty good service history. I'd just parted with my second mk1 MX5 which I'd had for 8 years. I only had to add £100 to what I got for the Mazda so thought I'd be daft not too. Yours looks pretty good for not a lot of money even if it has one or two items to deal with. Enjoy it.

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#63 OFFLINE   SiC

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 10:32 PM

That's a flipping bargain!
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#64 OFFLINE   SiC

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 10:46 PM

I'd just parted with my second mk1 MX5 which I'd had for 8 years. I only had to add £100 to what I got for the Mazda so thought I'd be daft not too.

How does it compare to the mx5 mk1? I've not managed to have a proper rag in any Roadster yet and it's been a while since I've driven a mk1 mx5 properly too. I was sorely tempted to go for another mk1 mx5. Doing it again I'd go down the supercharger route on one too.

Tbh, I don't think the 80bhp Roadster is far off 0-60 than my early UK 1.6 mx5 was.
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#65 OFFLINE   Clevtrev

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 06:07 PM

How does it compare to the mx5 mk1? I've not managed to have a proper rag in any Roadster yet and it's been a while since I've driven a mk1 mx5 properly too. I was sorely tempted to go for another mk1 mx5. Doing it again I'd go down the supercharger route on one too.

Tbh, I don't think the 80bhp Roadster is far off 0-60 than my early UK 1.6 mx5 was.

The MX5 is a way better drivers car. The gearbox is an obvious point in comparison but the steering as well. The Roadster has a slower rack so isn't quite so much fun on the twisty stuff. Like anything though, you get used to it. I do like the turbo power delivery that the Roadster offers and it has a good exhaust note as well. I find that I can get more comfortable in the Smart as I found I couldn't quite get the drivers seat back far enough in the Mazda to be properly comfortable. The Smart seems pretty good on longer runs (not too noisy and a reasonably relaxed engine speed in 6th). I'm heading up to the north east in a couple of weeks which will be the longest journey I've done. So long as it's not pouring with rain of course otherwise it might just dissolve!

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#66 OFFLINE   SiC

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 06:42 PM

The MX5 is a way better drivers car. The gearbox is an obvious point in comparison but the steering as well. The Roadster has a slower rack so isn't quite so much fun on the twisty stuff. Like anything though, you get used to it.


That's a bit disappointing to here! I was hoping it to be a worthy alternative to one. At least though in a bump you're probably better off in a Smart.

I do like the turbo power delivery that the Roadster offers and it has a good exhaust note as well. I find that I can get more comfortable in the Smart as I found I couldn't quite get the drivers seat back far enough in the Mazda to be properly comfortable.

The Smart seems pretty good on longer runs (not too noisy and a reasonably relaxed engine speed in 6th). I'm heading up to the north east in a couple of weeks which will be the longest journey I've done.


The guy I bought it said he did a lot of long distance driving to south of France and so forth on holidays. I actually got on quite well with the MX5 seats but then I'm not that tall at 5ft10.

So long as it's not pouring with rain of course otherwise it might just dissolve!

Well given the ability for the MX5 to rust, the Smart should at least not suffer that being mostly aluminium. Just don't forget the waterproofs! :D
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#67 OFFLINE   Clevtrev

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 07:07 PM



Well given the ability for the MX5 to rust, the Smart should at least not suffer that being mostly aluminium. Just don't forget the waterproofs! :D


I guess I meant the fragility of the electrics. The Mazda was pretty bulletproof in that department. Usual differences between Japanese build and French build. I should also say that even though the Mazda is technically the better drivers car, I thoroughly enjoy driving my Brabus. Looking forward to the spring to open the roof up.

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#68 OFFLINE   Kiltox

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 07:15 PM

For good ones, you're looking at £3.5k-4.5k for a Brabus which for me is Z4 money.


Didn't realise Z4s were so cheap - looking at ropey ones on eBay now!
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#69 OFFLINE   SiC

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 07:49 PM

Didn't realise Z4s were so cheap - looking at ropey ones on eBay now!


For me it'd have to be the 2.5l at least, but would be disappointed if it wasn't the 3l. However both are proper 6cyl tough BMW engines and, unusually for BMW good access in the engine bay.

Quite a lot of 2l cheap though. However a BMW convertible that is a 2l is just not right!
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#70 OFFLINE   cort16

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 08:02 PM

These also suffer from BMW build quality . This generation of car isn't bmws finest hour. I was looking at one on eBay the other day that was hanging with rust . I agree with what you're saying about the 2.0 4 cylinder. Why bother?
I estimate this car needs £3000 maybe £4000 spending on it to get it rite and when this is done it will be wotrth about £1500!!

#71 OFFLINE   rrsix

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 08:34 PM

z4s check the springs especially rear. I drove one that the owner hadn't noticed both had snapped. I told them that will be the metallic sound you've been hearing from the back on hard bumps for 6+ months  :-D 

 

It's a common problem with them so I was told..



#72 OFFLINE   SiC

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 10:33 PM

Current list of jobs to do so far:
  • Clutch actuator clean
  • Clutch actuator realign and recalibrate using diagnostics tool
  • Oil+filter change
  • Full error code scan
  • SAM (body computer) inspection checking for wetness/corrosion
  • Wiper scuttle tub re-seal (prevents water getting into SAM)
  • Check for/find wheel lock key
  • Remove and fully charge battery
  • Spark plugs + leads
  • Radio code obtain (disassemble and read from EEPROM)
  • Fix Hood not opening fully - rails cleaning and greasing
  • Find + fix leak under drivers seat
  • Interior drying and cleaning
  • Hood deep clean with convertible hood cleaner
  • 4 new tyres
  • Fuel filter change
  • Brake fluid change
  • Thermostat check/change
  • Compression check
  • Aux belt tighten/replace to fix squeal when cold
  • Aircon regas
  • Get new spare key/chase last owner for it
  • Sort missing arm rest padding
  • Left indicator hesitant (replace stalk?)
  • Heater fan switch not working on position 4 (clean contacts)
  • Retrofit cruise control (check for wiring first)
  • Grease/clean seat runners (stiff moving drivers seat)
  • Sort surface rust on removable hood sides (you take these bits off to go full hoodless)
A long list but admittedly this is to make it 100% for my OCD.
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#73 OFFLINE   SiC

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 09:22 PM

Being my birthday today meant I could choose whatever I wanted to do. Naturally it would be car fix it day!

Firstly an oil change. I wish I warmed it up before I did this. Took 30minutes to suck the oil out because it was cold.
IMG_20170219_123353.jpg

I then got on and stuck the car up on the ramps to remove and clean out the clutch acutator.
IMG_20170219_142624.jpg

While removing the actuator I came across this big significant find ...
IMG_20170219_152411.jpg

This is one of the wires to the gear shifting motor! It had rubbed through the plastic intercooler duct.

I chopped and resoldered the two halves back together.
IMG_20170219_154759.jpg

Not the easiest job as the strands were heavily corroded. Sanded as much off as possible and used plenty of solder to get flux over it and finish cleaning the wire.

I rerouted the wires around the bottom of the duct, so they didn't chaff through again. I also zip tied the loom onto the shifter motor body to hopefully stop it wanting to rub elsewhere.
IMG_20170219_165654.jpg

Finally got on and stripped the actuator apart. This is as much as you can remove. Lid is rivited on and not removable.
IMG_20170219_163258.jpg
Gave it a really good spray with electrical cleaner to remove all the old crap inside (actually wasn't much) and then thoroughly sprayed it with white grease. Then put it all back together and strapped it back on the car.
IMG_20170219_165618.jpg

Then noticed the front Gearbox mount was looking a bit worse for wear...
IMG_20170219_165607.jpg

Another job for the list!

Went for a quick blast around the block and it was hilarious fun!! :)
The naff and troublesome robo-box is actually quite good fun too. Not as slow as some make out. Tbh, it's really not much slower than 99% of drivers out there I reckon.

Convinced the wife to have a go. The car responded to that idea to a lot of beeping and not a lot of movement. :?
Appears that, very ungermanic, this car if it is upset by something, it doesn't throw up any warning lights but just beeps to tell you it's not happy.
Cut a long story short basically I think it's because she was being too light on the pedals and as I'd move the actuator it had lost its clutch bite point. You're supposed to use the diagnostics tool to recalibrate it but as I was running out of time and I put it as close as possible back to where it came from, I didn't bother. However I think it's really quite fussy about the position being moved. Literally a couple of mm different and it gets confused.

So next job is to plug in the tool and tell the car to sort itself out!
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#74 OFFLINE   SiC

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 10:50 PM

Oh yeah, forgot to also say that an alloy coolant pipe was gouged by the body/subframe. I ziptied this on to the other pipe to stop it rubbing. A close save! I suspect these alloy pipes are neither cheap not easy to find replacements for. If you have a Roadster and are reading this, I'd throughly recommend getting them checked to make sure it isn't rubbing!
IMG_20170219_145823.jpg

Also did a code scan.
ECU: P205F steering wheel gear shifters, implausible signal.
ESP/ABS: C1159 Brake light switch implausible signal.
Instrument panel (Dash): B1101 No or incorrect message from ESP, B1113 Fault in steering wheel shifters, B1138 Fault when writing EEPROM.
SAM (body computer): B1050 Remote key battery low, B1053 Multiple Keycode jump outside acceptable range, B1111 Unlock failed due to interruption
PAS: No fault found.

A lot of these I suspect are due to low battery voltage. EEPROM write error on be instruments is a bit scary. Really don't want it corrupting itself!
Key errors are I suspect old from the key that didn't work - the one he couldn't find.

I really need to get a spare key made and programmed. These keys seem rather fragile.

I've cleared the error codes, so will be interesting to see what comes back next time I scan.
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#75 OFFLINE   scaryoldcortina

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 11:37 PM

DS150 can do clutch adaptions and key coding on these.
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#76 OFFLINE   SiC

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 12:02 AM

I knew that the ds150 could do clutch adjustments (wierdly not in roadster but setting it as ForTwo), but didn't know about keys! Useful to know.

Thankfully compatiable/clone keys are really cheap from eBay. However I'm always wary of programming keys, as if it buggers up you can brick the car very easily. I'd rather shift that liability off by paying someone else to do it.
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#77 OFFLINE   Vince70

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 07:36 AM

I know it's not a deal breaker if it works or not but also check the air con pipes for cracks while you have the car apart as the things crack for fun on the roadster and last for about 5 minutes normally.

Smart did make quite a few revisions on the plumbing but never really sorted the problem out.
On my friends car and most others these might as well of been a service item but I think myself it was the cars that got thrashed that broke them caused due to a bit of engine movement but if your anything like me I hate it when something is broken on a car.

When I had my smart roadster my girlfriend had a MK2 and a half 1.8 MX5 which was a run out model and 6 months newer than my car and had done the same low mileage.

Although the MX5 was the better drivers car all round with a really nice gearbox and was a lot less fragile I always preferred the interior on the smart and the turbo chirp and 3 pot kind of made it sound like a mini Porsche which made it really addictive and on day to day use with the 80bhp smart you really didn't need the power plus it always had the feeling driving the smart that it was more a sense of occasion than the when driving the MX5 maybe because the MX5 was too good at its job in many ways I don't really know,
But there's no denying the smart really did turn heads whereas the MX5 was just another sports car.

And although the smart might of had its fair share of issues at least with someone like yourself who really knows his electronics it's the ideal car to play with whereas with the MX5 you've got to be good with a welding stick.

If you have the original stereo fitted try playing with the advanced settings as you might be surprised to find that it has the sound upgrade package as mine did and wasn't supposed to have it and a lot of smarts had more on them that the build sheet let on.

I fitted one of those leads in the back of mine for my iPod 8gb nano and it worked a treat but with technology moving on its most probably really old hat now unless you like originality.

I still have that Nano 11 years on in my daily driver and it still works a treat even though it's all Bluetooth these days.

#78 OFFLINE   SiC

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 08:50 PM

I lost my original reply in the server hiccup, so here is a more concise version!

I know it's not a deal breaker if it works or not but also check the air con pipes for cracks while you have the car apart as the things crack for fun on the roadster and last for about 5 minutes normally.

Smart did make quite a few revisions on the plumbing but never really sorted the problem out.
On my friends car and most others these might as well of been a service item but I think myself it was the cars that got thrashed that broke them caused due to a bit of engine movement but if your anything like me I hate it when something is broken on a car.


I agree, I don't like buttons that don't work anymore! I can't see any of the usual cracked around the pipes to the compressor, so might be a very rare case of needing regassing. When I mentioned to the seller that the pipes don't look cracked and how the engine movement seems to do it, he did say maybe it was thanks to his more laid back driving style. I reckon it might be a combination of driving style, bad gear changes from badly adjusted clutch actuators and worn engine mounts.


When I had my smart roadster my girlfriend had a MK2 and a half 1.8 MX5 which was a run out model and 6 months newer than my car and had done the same low mileage.

Although the MX5 was the better drivers car all round with a really nice gearbox and was a lot less fragile I always preferred the interior on the smart and the turbo chirp and 3 pot kind of made it sound like a mini Porsche which made it really addictive and on day to day use with the 80bhp smart you really didn't need the power plus it always had the feeling driving the smart that it was more a sense of occasion than the when driving the MX5 maybe because the MX5 was too good at its job in many ways I don't really know,
But there's no denying the smart really did turn heads whereas the MX5 was just another sports car.


This is what I found when I drove it. I think it's best summed up that it has so much more Drama than other similar priced sports cars.


And although the smart might of had its fair share of issues at least with someone like yourself who really knows his electronics it's the ideal car to play with whereas with the MX5 you've got to be good with a welding stick.

I reckon a lot of the bad rep is down to the badly fitted, inadequate seal they put on the tray below the wipers and above the body computer (SAM) out of the factory. Afaik if this is resealed properly then SAM failures are pretty much non existent. This is the large proportion of haywire on them.

A bit like the Laguna II and blocked sunroof drains soaking the body computer!

If you have the original stereo fitted try playing with the advanced settings as you might be surprised to find that it has the sound upgrade package as mine did and wasn't supposed to have it and a lot of smarts had more on them that the build sheet let on.

I fitted one of those leads in the back of mine for my iPod 8gb nano and it worked a treat but with technology moving on its most probably really old hat now unless you like originality.

I still have that Nano 11 years on in my daily driver and it still works a treat even though it's all Bluetooth these days.


That's one of the things on the list to fix, the standard stereo in it. Unfortunately the owner didn't have the radio code card. So I'll need to pull it and read the EEPROM in it to retrieve the code.

Apparently there is a upgraded sound module chip for improved sound. With it out, will give a good chance to check. The owner did leave the aux cable in too that goes to the glove box.
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#79 OFFLINE   Vince70

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 09:38 PM

It looks like that little smart couldn't have found a better home and it's going to be as good as new for the summer.
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#80 ONLINE   stripped fred

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 10:07 PM

Just had a look on ebay. There are quite a few being sold as spares or repair with electrical/gearbox problems!
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#81 OFFLINE   mrbenn

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 10:26 PM

Congrats on the Smart purchase, a bloody bargain and looks a very good base to work from. I suspect these will become quite collectable in the future.

 

I've not read right through the thread so apologies if this is something that has already been mentioned, but just a note on something I've noticed from my ex's Smart 450/City Coupe/Fortwo. It (and presumably all 450/452 models are the same) seems rather sensitive to battery voltage. The car in question has hardly been used for the last 6-8 months and, although it has always started ok, the gear changes tend to be very rough and jerky after sitting for a bit with low battery voltage. I've noticed that charging the battery/leaving it on the Ctek completely eliminates this problem. It can be left for some time and will then run smoothly right from the off.


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#82 OFFLINE   SiC

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 11:22 PM

Just had a look on ebay. There are quite a few being sold as spares or repair with electrical/gearbox problems!


Yup. Unfortunately it means that far too many are being stripped for parts and scrap than being saved. They only made 43091 worldwide over 3 years, so there was never loads around to start with.

They're supposed to be easy cars to DIY on, however I'd say that the MX5 is far, far easier. Certain jobs on the Roadster are a royal PIA - like bottom spark plugs require bumper removal for access (or drill holes in the bumper).
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#83 OFFLINE   SiC

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 11:25 PM

Congrats on the Smart purchase, a bloody bargain and looks a very good base to work from. I suspect these will become quite collectable in the future.

I've not read right through the thread so apologies if this is something that has already been mentioned, but just a note on something I've noticed from my ex's Smart 450/City Coupe/Fortwo. It (and presumably all 450/452 models are the same) seems rather sensitive to battery voltage. The car in question has hardly been used for the last 6-8 months and, although it has always started ok, the gear changes tend to be very rough and jerky after sitting for a bit with low battery voltage. I've noticed that charging the battery/leaving it on the Ctek completely eliminates this problem. It can be left for some time and will then run smoothly right from the off.

Doesn't surprise me. Given its all electrically driven, I bet it doesn't handle speed differences from differing battery voltage well. They're also all very small systems. E.g. the starter is so small that if the alternator pulley siezes, the starter isn't strong enough to turn the engine over!

Might vary a bit as the electrical system changed a lot around 2002 on the Smarts, with the Roadster getting the new system. This notably has the inclusion of the Sam body computer, taking over from the ZEE.

Speaking of which, the alternator belt on mine seems to squealing for a bit on startup. I guess it's the heaviest load due to starting current demands and idle engine speed. Probably just due for a replacement or even just tightening.
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#84 OFFLINE   SiC

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 10:13 PM

Yesterday I told the car, with a diag tool to find the clutch bite point. Rather weird sitting there, hitting a button, it starting up and then actuating the clutch back and forth. Apparently the clutch drag point is 26%. No idea if that's good or bad?!

One thing it has done is massively improved the driveability. It'll never be a slush box, but its very capable of crawling really slow now (while I assume its slipping the clutch). Also the gear changes themselves are massively improved. Lightly pressing the accelerator you can't feel the changes. You can still feel them when accelerating harder (lurch forward and then back as it changes), but much quicker than it was before. I know not everyone likes the gearbox & its changes, but I feel it does add to its quirkyness. To be honest, if it was a BMW Msomething with a SMG box, people would forgive it.

With the wet weather today, I've been fairly limited on what I can do. One of the biggest things I could check in the rain is...
2017-02-23 20.37.22.jpg
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Leaks! Many, many leaks. More leaks than a sieve. These are just a few highlights. The floor and foam underneath is sodden wet. I really need a dry day that I can pull it all out and give it a really good dry. I was hoping that I could start fixing the leaks today, but rain stopped me getting any further with leak repair.

Speaking of leaks, there is one thing that all Roadster owners fear more than leaks ... leaks onto the SAM (body computer).
This thing that lives under the steering wheel:
2017-02-25 15.29.26.jpg

According to the seller, Mercedes declared this as faulty. Despite it not having any problem. Anyway, I thought I better pull it apart to check for corrosion:
2017-02-25 15.45.18.jpg
2017-02-25 15.35.42.jpg

Looks good to me! What does one that has been water damaged?
$_571.JPG
Definitely nothing like that. Admittedly that's a very bad case, but I can't see any damage on mine at all.

This is really good thing! As a replacement from Mercedes is around the £700 mark. Even a second-hand unit is a good £150-200. Also shows why you have to be careful when you let a dealer mechanic diagnose your car. It looks likes someone has been at the SAM before too, as a mounting screw was missing from the SAM and the side plastic mountings were missing all their trim tabs.

Next thing to fix was the bonnet. As the engine is in the back, the bonnet is a main storage/transport area. Unfortantly this required an almighty slam to get it to close. First step was to clean up the catch. I forgot to take the picture before, but it was filthy. Full of oily, gritty crap.

It started off as very stiff. The catch wouldn't flick back and forth. After heavily dousing it with GT85, it all started clunking back and forth.
2017-02-25 13.29.00.jpg
2017-02-25 13.29.13.jpg

Still didn't fix it. :(
Removed the bump stops. Closed perfectly. Tried adjusting them but unfortunately they're solid. Hmm.

Ended up cutting the rubber bump stops down with a Stanley. Now closes perfectly. :)
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#85 OFFLINE   Hooli

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 10:20 PM

You can now sell it as 'race lightened' cuz you cut bits off



#86 OFFLINE   SiC

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 10:30 PM

DS150 can do clutch adaptions and key coding on these.


I did this earlier with this cheapo eBay key: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/172019352253

Talk about shitting pants!

I followed the instructions to the letter. Set key programming mode going. Turned the ignition off, waited for the immo light (flashing key in place of gear indicator) to come on ... nothing. Dashlights went out.

Uh-oh.

Turned ignition on.

Immo light flashing. Tried starting car. Nothing except beeping.

Oh shite.

Turned off. Press unlock (to deactivate the immobiliser), but nothing - usually it beeps. Turned back on. Immo light flashing. Tried starting. Nothing but beeps again.
 
:common070:

At this point I was freaking out that I might have to replace the ECU, instruments and SAM.

Thought I'd give it one last go again. Plugged in diagnostics and tried to start key programming again. Failed to connect to module it said. At this point, I turned off the ignition and frantically started pressing the lock buttons on both keys - this is what is supposed to be done to program the new keys in. No beeps, nothing to let you know it was doing anything.

Turned ignition back on in desperation. Flashing key gone and replace with a very nice big "N" to say it was in neutral and ready to start! :o *wipes sweaty brow*

No idea what/where I went wrong or what I was really supposed to do, but I now have 2 working keys. :)
Which is a relief as they're known to desyncronise, loosing sync of the current rolling code and leaving with a dead key. Having that happen to the only key I had would be a rather huge pain to say the least. I have got a third key coming on order, but I'm not sure I want to risk trying to program them all back in again.
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  • 2007 Honda Civic EX CTDi - The reliable runner.
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  • 2004 Smart Roadster 80bhp - The fun one that is the last hurrah before kids.




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