Friday 23 August 2013

Day 3 (Evening only)

This evening I got the chance to finish off what I'd failed to complete the day before. The front suspension is now pretty much complete having got the Bilsteins in place. I must admit though this job caught me out as I thought this part was going to be really quick and simple. It wasn't! The bolt going through the top of the shock was pretty hard to fit mainly due to the complete lack of access. It's a bolt with an allen key head and getting it undone (it comes fitted to the chassis) and refitted required a fair bit of swearing on my part. In the end I had to get out one of my trustier tools (the wife) to complete the job. She did it really easily so that cheesed me off as well!

Front suspension less Uprights and Anti-roll bar

Copper ease was liberally applied to each of the aluminum inserts that go through the middle of the various bushes before inserting the bolts. This job gave me my first chance to get out the torque wrench that had been supplied as part of the kit, an excellent tool it is too. There seems to be some confusion as to whether the wishbones should be fully torqued up at this point. The manual reckons they should due to lack of access later so thats what I've done but it remains to be seen whether I need to loosen them off again later.

The inaccessible top bolt for the front damper units 

Its also worth mentioning that the Headlight brackets (top right of image above) have to fit over the foremost top wishbone mount before you put the bolt right through the lot. They aren't a great fit so I had to resort to use of a hammer to lightly tap the bolt through the bracket and mount. The other side of the car was even worse and I had to get out a Dremmel tool in the end to alter the shape of one of the brackets holes a little in order to get the bolt to come thorough.

The manual is a little confusing at the point too as it suggests you need to fit a rubber grommet (no mention of which one!) to the bracket before it is fitted. There is no explanation of why. I believe its because the wiring for the headlight needs to pass through the inside shaft of the bracket. There being a hole both in the base of the bracket and about 2/3 of the way up the shaft also. The latter is cut at an angle so I couldn't see how you'd fit a grommet to it so I targeted the hole in the base of the bracket where it mounts to the chassis. Hopefully this proves to be the right one. The finish around this whole was again rather crude so I cleaned it up with the Dremel whilst it was out.

And that was all I had time for this evening so no other news other than to share a couple of pictures of the various tools that Draper had supplied with the kit. I have to say they are very good quality and I particularly like the Caterham embossed tool box which hopefully will become something of a collectors item in a few years time.

Caterham/Draper Tool Box

Draper Expert Spanner/Socket set

Some additional help in the form of my friend Leon arrives tomorrow morning to assist me over the weekend so hopefully I'll have made some more serious progress by the close of the bank holiday weekend.


  1. Just out of interest Tom, are you logging the amount of time you spend on the build?

  2. Hi Peter,

    I hadn't thought to do so but now that you mention it I might well do so. Will be interesting to see how long it really takes.


  3. It's the kind of thing that would help those wavering on attempting their own build. If those dimwits on Top Gear can make one in the time it takes the Stig to drive from Surrey to Knockhill....

  4. Ha - I can confirm that, like most things on Top Gear, the whole thing was a load of tosh. There is no way you are building one in a day unless you know exactly how the thing goes together already or, as is more likely, you have a fleet of Caterham engineers on hand to help you build it off camera.

    But lets face it, if it was done in a day it would be no fun :)