One thing that has annoyed me since I bought the smart is that the Pods are set to LHD with the rev counter on the left and the clock on the right... On a RHD drive car, this is not good. The rev counter is too far away and the clock cannot be seen by the passenger if it is rotated for the driver. Yesterday I found the articles on Evilution showing how the pods can be swapped. Looked easy enough. The smart owners manual shows the rev counter near the driver for RHD configurations... but it seems that pic was not shown to the parts suppliers and assemblers!
Should be an easy swap... yeah... right!
The first base is to pull the switch bank out. It's supposed to be easy to pull out. Not on my car! All that would pull off was the switch face plate, leaving the circuit panel firmly in place. There was no way it wanted to budge. Another cup of coffee later, pondering over what tools I had, I thought of the bicycle tyre levers. Reinforced plastic with a hook end. They worked very well and the panel was levered out. The bottom screw for the surround trim panel was easy too... Then came time to pull the big panel off. Just three clips at the top end... there was no way to get enough purchase to pull the panel up... more coffee. This time the tyre levers did not work, so I thought of a plastic sheetrock (plasterboard) spatula... that was strong enough to slide between the panel and the dash and lever the beast up off the clips.
Then it was time to unclip the wiring connector. It refused to budge. Ok: soak it with isopropyl alcohol and have another cup of coffee. The connector still wouldn't budge.. so try and work with the pod still connected. Then I discovered that the screws are T9 and I didn't have one on hand... more coffee and trying to remember where I had last left the small Torx driver set... ages later, I found the long forgotten T9 driver and the screws came out. It's not easy working on the pods still attached to the car. Removing them is easy enough, but putting them back is not. There are a pair of ratchet spring clips that do the click when rotating the pod that just cannot be put back when juggling pod and base while hanging on the wiring loom. That connector just had to release it's strangle hold!
More coffee and mumbling about the parentage of the factory guys who built the car and having dire thoughts of having to explain this mess to the smart centre and I just grabbed the connector and it pulled apart as it should... I'm sure the gremlin had ran off in fear by then. It is a fiddly job to reattach the pods. The spring clips are not easy to get back in position.
Fitting the pods back into the car and reassembly is very easy compared to getting the parts out! I used some silicone grease on the spring clips, just in case I ever need to pull the dash panel off again.
This whole adventure took about 3 hours longer than expected.. was it worth the agony.. yes! The pods are now where they they should be and the rev counter is now more useful and the clock can be shared... but what blithering idiots assemble RHD drive smarts with pods intended for LHD? is the question I have to ask..!
i wonder what would happen if i used coffee instead of beer... i may be installing brabus pods in my smart pretty soon, in 3 days i have an interview for a job that will increase my income by over 50% (i had the same job last year, paid off my smart in 3 months, got 2 experimental eye surgeries...)
currently, i shift by memory, the SG2 is too slow to show RPMs in tach mode, getting the brabus pods would justify the purchase of brabus sticky emblems, and after i dump the pure wheels, nobody will know better (except for the few that will know about the skyroof tops)
in future mods, stick to beer, it eases any frustrations, coffee adds edge to edge.
blithering idiots abound on this planet, remember douglass adams' description of earth in the hitchhiker series... "mostly harmless". a wise friend told me once "don't mind the knockers" ;)
As Douglas Adams also wrote for those that don't get the message: "bang the rocks together, guys"
What an afternoon... too much coffee... I went for a test drive along the quieter roads to check out the improved rev counter location and to see if a slight buzz from the pods had been fixed by fitting thin neoprene pads instead of the factory foam ones that had to be torn off to release the wiring... and... a dog ran full pelt onto the road and BANG!. Turned back and the poor thing looked dead, so I carried it off the road, then l knocked on the nearest house door to see if anyone knew where it came from. Nope: not from around here. The dog had a collar on, but no id tag. So: phoned the RSPCA as the dog started to recover; it was bleeding from the mouth, but seemed to be friendly and alert. The RSPCA arrived and gave a quick examination - a cut inside the mouth, but no idea of other injuries as they took it away. No damage to the car... I think it just crashed into the front wheel. If it is microchipped (as now required by law), the dog's owner may have an RSPCA bill to pay.
Good luck with the Brabus pods. Besides needing a few Torx drivers (T10 and T15), get a heavy duty plastic spatula in case the panel doesn't want to lift at the front. I hope you have an easier time than I did with the switch panel. It can be a 15 minute job... not 4 hours!
Good luck with the job interview... I had one last week and am awaiting an offer.
Evilution don't mention how to refit the pods onto the base and get the ratchet spring plates back in... if they had, I may have been better prepared for the challenge. The pod top must be held solid and the base positioned on it and held with tape while the retaining plate is fixed back with the ratchet plates set in position. A padded vice is needed... hence the job can only be done on a workbench, or with two pairs of hands.
It sure is nicer to have the rev counter instead of the clock close to the steering wheel.
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