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Exterior guides and mods

450 Roof Protection Strip

Modification Details

The 450 is now officially ancient. In 1998, when the City Coupe came out, smart thought they were so
clever by fitting a full length glass roof. That clever feeling was cut short when roofs started exploding.

It wasn't just during driving. People were having their roof explode when they closed the door.
Some people even reported their roof smashing into tiny pieces when the car was just sitting there.

The problem was that the front edge of the roof was getting stone damaged.
Eventually, the damage releases the stresses in the glass and it explodes into a million tiny squares.

Smart's fix was to fit a stone chip protection strip along the front edge of the roof.

Being a plastic film, after 20ish years, it generally looks like shit. You can't just remove it, it needs the protection.

Removing The Old Film

The film becomes sun damaged, stone chipped and sand blasted. Water eventually gets underneath and it unsticks.

Carefully scrape the old film off. Careful not to scratch the glass. A heat gun or steam cleaner can help loosen the adhesive.

The glass should be in good condition underneath.

WD40 is good at removing old adhesive...

...but you have to clean the glass really well to remove the WD40.

I got a length of 3M paint protection film. To be honest, I think it was fake. It was poor quality for 3M.

The windscreen is curved... you lose a bit of height after the film is trimmed.

I ripped out the centre of the backing...

...and sprayed the roof area with water.

This stops the film from sticking immediately, giving you a chance to adjust the position.

Because the front edge of the roof is a compund curve, you have to gently heat the film to shape it.

Using a credit card wrapped in a soft cloth, use it as a squeegee to force the water out from under the film.

Once you have heated and squeegeed the whole strip, it's time to trim the edges. Use a new scalpel ideally.

Stand back, realise how bad a job you did of it, rip it off and try again. It'll be better next time, right?

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