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Loading new smart, and "unloading" our old one


Jim Gell

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Cathy and I thought we would replace our 2011 smart car some day, but not right away. Not knowing if prices will drop or increase, or how difficult it will be to even find a 2016 or 2017 in good condition to buy a few years from now, with the coming smart car discontinuation, we decided we should upgrade to a new one before we leave the lower 48 for Alaska in the Spring.

 

This leaves us with two issues to deal with:

 

1) What do we do with our 2011 smart? I am sure , given time, I could sell it myself for more than we could get as a trade in. But time will be a factor, as we plan to Leave Tucson in April and we can't travel very well with two smarts. Any suggestions? What have others done? Has anyone sold through consignment or auction? How did it work out? I am thinking it may be best to just advertise it on places like this forum and AutoTrader on line and lower the price if needed to get it sold by April.

 

2) I will need to take the truck to a local fabricator, here in Tucson, or somewhere along our way to AK, and tell them exactly how I want the chocks and ramps modified. I already have a winch installed, but I am not sure of best way to attach a winch line to the new smarts. I would have paid more attention in Hutch last Fall, but I thought methods would evolve over the next couple years before we bought a new smart. I know some of you have been driving up and down the the otherside. How is that working? I have the 12" wide "Discount Ramps".

 

Any and all suggestions welcome.

 

Jim

 

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Jim,

 

I would trade it in if you are getting a new one. Your trade in is deducted from the sales price and you only pay tax on that new amount. You might make more money retailing but for the amount you make wouldn't be worth the headache. Also auctions want a fee for auctioning that can be as high as 20% of the selling price. As far as winching, three choices: 1. Add a custom hitch (pricey?). 2. Use the two hooks on the back and fabricate a bar to span the hooks so you can pull from the center. 3. Appears the 2017s have more power and better transmission so easier to drive on and off. Just go slow and have Cathy watch your tires on the ramps and you could paint or tape a white line on your bed that you can keep the tires aligned. Oh BTW if you drive on do have chocks to stop your forward progress so you don't Evil Knevil off the other side. Gonna miss you guys at the ECR but have fun in Alaska.

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Sean who made my hitch can make another. We can provide or tell you the tools and info re what panels come off. Mine works fine, Sean did a good job on the welds and fitting.

He could do the chocks and adjusting locations but is on Vancouver Island and it is spendy getting on and off.

 

Aside from that, you'd need to secure the car for the X country trip. Existing chocks may do the trick for the short term. They did with me and mine was a Gen 1.

 

You could consider getting the car in Victoria. Xchange is in your favor. Not sure about getting it back to the US. That should be easy enough to find out.

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Jim,

 

I'm sure you know this but don't take the dealers first offer on price or trade in. Do your homework and settle beforehand on a maximum "out the door price you are willing to pay". Be willing to get up and walk out. Also check a couple of dealers and play them off each other. Lastly, don't want to offend you but Donna is a better negotiator than I am so Cathy may be the same.

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Carl, since we will have the MT plates, I was expecting no sales tax. But when I told an AZ dealer that, he replied in our online chat session, and I quote him, "could be as little as zero tax, likely 2.2% but as much as 7.8%. I wont know for sure until I have it all laid out exactly how the deal, address, license, plates all play out." Seems like I heard something before about AZ having a unique vehicle sales tax policy for out of state buyers.

 

Same salesman also told me we would "always" be better off selling our car rather than trading. NADA list ours at $4,000 "rough trade", $4,700 "average trade", $5,300 "clean trade" and "clean retail" as $7,300. So the difference between clean trade and clean retail is $2,000. I will try to get best price on the new one I can and then ask about trade. It may or may not save me money on taxes, but it sure would reduce our hassle to trade it in.

 

It's funny you say Donna is the better negotiator. Cathy...not so much! We were selling stuff Saturday at a park wide patio sale. I asked Cathy before hand if she thought we should sell a particular item and she was hesitant, thinking we might want it in Alaska. We agreed to put a fairly high price on it, $20, and if it did not sell we would take it to AK. So a customer comes up and wants it at the sale and I tell them the price. They say it's too much. I look away to talk to another customer briefly and turned back to see the first customer walking away with the item. I ask Cathy what she sold it for. She says $5! I think she just wanted the fun of selling something!

 

We are sad to miss the ECR this year.

 

Jim

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Roger, if I recall correctly, your receiver adds to the length of the car. Maybe I am too paranoid, but I was concerned about the additional over-width load issue going down the road loaded on the HDT. Otherwise, I thought it was a great solution, and from pics he did a great job. Could the design be tweaked so the receiver did not extend beyond the rear of the vehicle?

 

What is the ideal distance, center to center, for the ramps and chocks for the new smarts? With that, I can determine better how my ramps and chocks would work as they are.

 

The front wheels and rear wheels are aligned/track to the same width on the new smarts, right?

 

Thanks for your help!

 

Jim

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Jim, I hate to tell you, but you may have limited - and I mean VERY limited - opportunity on a 2017 if you want Prime. As of last week there were only a few available in the country, and I'm hearing "no more coming in". May or may not be true - you know how these things go.

 

I can easily get you some very nice new chocks, etc. We are just building a whole new style for my truck. And it is TRIVIAL to drive the car on. If you insist on winching then you will want a hitch. Roger can help you there.

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Glenn,

 

Where is the bolt location on the new ones? Front,back, driver or passenger side?

 

Jim,

 

Any thoughts of just keeping the smart and replacing parts as needed? Donna and I talked about the same issue as you and that's the way we're gonna go. Someone even said the motor could be replaced with hyabusa (sp?) I believe. Yes would be pricey but still have a car that fits our needs.

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1 pull point driver side about a foot in.

 

The hitch could be shortened down by 2 ". You need enough room to push the 1/2" pin thru with the clip.

 

My deck is 98 1/2" wide and we have the car slightly off center towards the passengers side because the cops are looking down the drivers side plus the length of the trailer. The 2017 Smarts have a flat ass and bulbous front so perception factors in.

 

 

 

56 5/8" on center for the wheels, yes front and back are the same. This cuts you some more slack on the ramps as the old cars your foot print was from outside rear to inside front.

 

If your deck is wider than 98", that works in your favor 'cus it won't overhang as much as mine.

 

It was a pain moving chocks and ramps. Doubled up material to give me 1/2" thick material wasn't where it was needed. So with the rear chocks we added plates to the bottom to extend the chocks further outside the truck deck and still hit double up.

 

On edit,

 

This is not something you charge headlong into. A lot of thought goes into it. Sean is parts Manager at Three Point Motors in Victoria and not a shabby machinist or welder as Randy can attest to. he knows the Smarts inside out so as I've stated before, I am fortunate to be based out of Victoria.

 

Every step of the way has to be thought thru before proceeding or you will have a deck looking like it was shot by a shotgun with all the holes in the wrong place.

 

Then you will really be ticked off.

 

In 1 case we couldn't find doubled up deck where it was needed so we drilled another hole thru the ramp where it sits on top of the deck.

 

Like everything else, preparation is the key.

 

 

My last stop on this trip is Baton Rouge then up to Victoria about 2600 miles. I could swing by the ECR for you to see but it would add another 700 miles and make me late for getting to Victoria or out of the USA by the end of April. Let alone dodging more tornadoes like last year.

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Thanks for the info, Jack and Roger.

 

I think my best solution is to use 4 removable chocks and modify my ramps and attachment method so I can drive on one side and off the other. I may put a hitch like Roger's on someday, just to carry a bike rack, but I can't move my winch to line it up with the center of car, or the driver's side, due to the location of my singled short truck drive axle. I am now using a bar between the two tow hook holes and pulling from a point between the center and the passenger side tow hook hole. Pulling on an angle doesn't seem practical.

 

There seem to be some 2016 Passions available. Anything I need to know before we buy one of those?

 

Jack, if I remember, you went to a lower height removable chock. Why was that?

 

Jim

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Jim,

 

Before trading in, there are a number of places like AutoTrader where you can get an on the spot offer, for free. I'd at least do 2 or 3 of those, before going to the dealer, with that number in your back pocket. If it's too low, sell it yourself, via Craigslist, Facebook, and AuoTrader.

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Jim,Before trading in, there are a number of places like AutoTrader where you can get an on the spot offer, for free. I'd at least do 2 or 3 of those, before going to the dealer, with that number in your back pocket. If it's too low, sell it yourself, via Craigslist, Facebook, and AuoTrader.

CarMax does the same. Good point David.

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The engines are the same, not sure about the trans. Mine is a full auto but can be put in manual. It has cruise control and can accelerate up a grade in CC when the Gen 1 would need to be downshifted. Doors close like and sound like doors rather than a pop can.

 

Rear tires 56 5/8" center to center and I just went out to measure the front...it measured 58", so not quite the same but closer than the Gen 1's.

 

Re pulling off center. I thought this could be a problem with mine....putting too much stress on the hitch mount points but Sean said it was not a problem.

 

As it turned out the new car hitch lines up directly with the to snatch block on the A Frame which is not good. Now I need to weld a strut from one side of the a frame to the other in order to have it "stand off" the side of the truck so as not to have pulley on the rear of the car smash into the top pulley of the A frame.

 

Having them off center would be more of a plus than a minus.

 

Hiway mileage to Melbourne yesterday was 4o mpg, averaging 27 local.

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We upgraded from our 2010 to a 2016 and love the changes including the additional power it has. We were offered $2000 trade in from the dealer and it was a 2010 with 70,000 miles. We privately sold it for $4000. We were told the trade in was so low because there was not as much interest in the older models with the newer ones coming it. It did take us 4 months and alot of searching by our dealer to get the one we wanted. I would not wait to long to get yours purchased as I have heard they are going to be hard to find.

 

We wanted the 2016 for the new body style as it is roomier inside, cruise control and updated engine.

 

Good luck.

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