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Info guides and mods

Working In The Engine Bay

Learn a few tricks the easy way.

Modification Details

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Holding Back The Carpet - 450


Working in the engine bay is hard enough but having to hold the carpet back with
your head is just too much. Simply hold the carpet up and out the way by using the
centre pole from your luggage cover or cut a length of wooden dowel to fit.

Keeping The Boot Flap Clean - 450, 451

With the boot flap down it gets in the way but also acts as a handy shelf to put things on as you work on the engine. Engine parts are usually greasy and dirty so cover the boot flap with an old towel or bin liner to keep it clean. The textured plastic can hold grease and look dirty easily.

Zip Ties And Jubilee Clips - All Models

If you pull off a pipe that had a crimped pipe connector on it, you will have to replace it with a jubilee clip. Get the right size and don't over tighten it as you can damage the clip, pipe and connection.

When you loosen a jubilee clip it will probably swing down, when replacing them and tightening them up, pay attention to where the screw head is placed to make access to it easier.

If you have removed a pipe that had no clamp on it, use a zip tie (cable tie) when you refit it.
Pulling off a pipe can break the seal causing it to easily come off as you drive.

Don't Lose Nuts, Bolts And Screws - All Models

It's really annoying when you misplace a fixing or even worse when you see that all important bolt roll into the engine bay and it doesn't drop out of the bottom. You can spend forever in that cramped engine bay with a torch trying to locate the missing bits.

Invest in a magnetic tray or dish, they are available from most tool shops and motorfactors. Throw the nuts, bolts and screws into it and they will be there even if you knock it off the boot flap.
They usually have magnetic bases as well so it will stay put when stuck in the boot.

If you have a 451, you get a tray free with your car, unclip it from the left boot side.

Running Wires In The Engine Bay - All Models

If you run any wire in the engine bay you have to be careful that they don't rub on anything.
Zip tie them to what ever you can find that doesn't get hot, don't use electrical tape, it won't last.

Most wires are designed for indoor use so the harsh environment of the engine bay can cause the plastic of the wires to melt or perish over time. Protect wires with external grade sheathing.

If you are making connections in the engine bay, ensure the completed connection is water tight or at least splash proof by using self amalgamating tape, adhesive lined heat shrink or a specially designed connector like a sheathed spade connection. Open connections will fail very quickly.

Be Generous When Routing Wires - All Models
Robert Hubrecht

When installing wires between the engine and the body, take care not to
route them too tightly. Take suspension bounce/rebound into account by:
  • routing the wires forward of the engine
  • leaving a bit of slack between the engine and body
  • looking at the factory wiring as an example of appropriate routing

    Dirty Silicone Hoses - All Models

    It's not easy staying clean when playing in the engine bay, when installing any silicone hoses you will find that they pick up fingerprints, dust, dirt and oil no matter how careful you are.

    Wearing gloves will help but simply cleaning the silicone hoses after installation is the easiest option. The best thing to use to clean silicone hose is Johnsons baby oil.
    Squirt some on a clean rag and wipe away all the grime to leave a clean pipe, smells nice too.

    Special Tools

    The smart uses some unusual fixings so therefore needs some unusual tools.
    Torx bolts and E sockets are a very common fixing on the smart. The removal of the SE Drive even requires a rare 5 splined security torx bit. The handy tip here is to use the correct tool for the job. Don't use hex sockets on bolts requiring E sockets or Allen keys on Torx screws.

    Yes, an allen key might just fit a torx hole and you may be able to hammer a hex socket
    onto an E socket head. This may work once or twice but will ultimately ruin the fixing.
    If you need a 22mm spanner, don't use a 24mm and some washers, buy a 22mm spanner.

    If you are going to work on the smart, check what tools you need and buy them.
    The time you will save will outweigh the cost of the tools plus you won't have to buy replacement fixings

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