Sunday 1 September 2013

Day 11 (couple of hours)

With a jam packed afternoon of sport and some guests around for dinner I was confined to only spending a quick couple of hours on the car today. In fairness though and up until this point i've been working on it pretty much continuously so I was thankful of a bit of a break. That said, I did get enough time to do a few odd jobs, particularly those that had been put on hold temporarily whilst I awaited a shipment of a small number of missing parts from Caterham. 

Temp Sensor Earth

First job took seconds, I simply needed to fit the earth lead onto the submarine pipe. The earth is, I believe, for the temp sensor which is situated next to it. Its a small ring terminal to spade connector. fit it over the threaded bolt sticking out of the submarine pipe and use a nut to secure it. The black/black and yellow earth lead then simply pushes onto it.

Earth connected to ring/spade connector

Air box

The air box had been supplied in the kit but I'd been missing the bolts that hold the box together. With these in hand I fitted the bottom part of the air box onto the supplied rubber bobbins. The panel filter supplied then fits inside the box and the lid is screwed down on top. The final part of the puzzle is to get the supplied hose into the box and then attached to the end of the plenum using a jubilee clip. All pretty straightforward and it looks something like this.

Air Box with panel filter

Filling the Cooling system

Over the last few days I'd been looking at all the various fluids that I'd be needing to get the cat filled up and ready to go (Engine Oil, Gearbox Oil, Diff Oil, Brake & Clutch fluid & Coolant). I'd been eyeing up Caterham's first fill pack but had been hearing stories of people finding that their cars would take all of the 5l of coolant supplied without being properly full. Having completed the routing of all the cooling pipe work a few days previously, I had a feeling it was going to be more sensible if I got a bit more than 5 liters just in case so thats what I did.

As luck would have it, my local motor factors supplies the same Comma Coolant products that Caterham specify supplying it in both the pre-mixed (as Caterham supply it) and concentrate form and had it in stock for collection there and then. In the end, realising I might need more than the guide specifies, I opted for 5l of the Comma XStream G30 concentrate and whilst there also bought 5L of Comma Distilled Water to mix it up with.

Using some empty 2 litre mineral water bottles I then mixed up coolant using a 50/50 mix of distilled water to coolant. The result was a rather nice luminous red mixture which I then started to add to the expansion tank to begin with. I managed to get 5l into it no problems at all, the level dropping all the time as it ran into the rest of the system and it was still taking more. I then changed tactic slightly and took the bung/bolt out of the top of the radiator. Using a very small funnel that I had, I was then able to pour further coolant straight into the top of the radiator, it taking about a further 1 litre in all before seeming like it was full. Lastly I set about backfilling the pipe that runs to the Modine which connects to the top of the Heater Control Valve. Taking it off, I then put the funnel into the end of the hose and started to pour coolant in. This pipe took probably another half litre before coolant started escaping from the top of the radiator (I'd left the bung out at this point). I then reattached the pipe and replaced the bung in the radiator. All in all, about 6.5 litres of coolant have gone into the car and the level in the header tank is now sat on the max line. It will be interesting to see if further coolant needs adding once the engine is run up for the first time. There is a good chance that it might.

Coolant in the Expansion Bottle

Filling Gearbox With Oil

Filling the gearbox came next and I finally had the chance to see whether the tactic I'd decided to employ about filling it from the top rather than from the bung at the side was going to pay off. First job was to get the bolts unscrewed which hold the plate onto the top of the gearbox. With so much of the pipe work/ wiring in place in the engine bay there really isn't a lot of space to work with coming in from that end so I actually resorted to sitting in the car and running my hand up and into the transmission tunnel allen key in hand feeling for the heads of the bolts and undoing them one by one. I'm lucky that I don't have massively fat arms as this was quite easy to do even with the gear level in place.

Hand up the transmission tunnel

Having removed all of the bolts I then carefully removed the top plate, sliding it back in the tunnel slightly to leave a small gap at the engine end which I could use to fill up the oil. I pleased to say that this worked really well. peering directly down into the gearbox with the torch on my phone I was able to get a really nice clear view of the back side of where the filler plug enters the gearbox. It was then a simple case of rigging up a bit of spare coolant hose that I had to the end of a funnel and then filling it up. I was obviously extremely careful not to spill any into the engine bay.

Filling Gearbox

I found a way of being able to look into the gearbox whilst gently pouring in oil to the funnel so that I could see the moment the level in the gearbox came up to the lower lip of the gearbox filler hole. I was extremely careful not to overfill it. It's hard to see from the provided image but with your face close up to the removed plate you can see the back of the filler plug (bottom right of gearbox as you look at it) when using a torch.

Viewing reverse side of filler plug in Gearbox

There had been some speculation as to how much oil the gearbox would take before it would be full. By my calculations I got about 1.05 litres of oil in it before it started to trickle of the lip of the filler plug. (5 speed box).

I then refitted the top plate being very careful not to damage the paper gasket around the top of the box and then did up all the bolts using the hand up the transmission tunnel tactic I'd employed earlier to remove the. So that's that job done.

Engine Oil

Extremely easy job this one. I've got hold of some good quality mineral oil which I duly poured into the  oil filler hole on the top of the engine. In all about 6 litres of oil went into it before it was registering on the dipstick. I'll be sure to check that one again before cranking the engine over for the first time. The logic I've decided to employ with the engine oil is run it on the mineral oil for the first 500 miles to let the rings bed in properly. I will then do an oil change at about 500 miles, change it over to the sem-synthetic that Caterham specify and then at about 1000 miles I will probably switch it over to fully synthetic.

One thing that concerns me slightly is with the Cams. Before I put any oil into the top of the engine, I put my finger in through the filler hole to feel one of the Cam lobes that was exposed at that end. I was looking to see if It had any kind of oil film on it already. It didn't and so I'm a little concerned about cranking the engine over given this is the case. I realise Caterham specify cranking the engine over on the starter to build oil pressure before first staring it but is this sufficient? My line of thinking is why not take the Cam Cover off the top of the head and liberally pour oil over the lobes before first starting it. To be on the safe side I'm going to check this over with Derek at the factory before I do it as I don't want to do anything that would later invalidate my warranty. More on that in a later post.

And that was all I had time for today. I should have most of the afternoon to work on the car again on Sunday so I hope to get some of the interior items done but I might also try and bleed the brake system.

1 comment:

  1. Another option on filling the gearbox.
    I fitted a bung. You still have to remove the filler plug for overflow (but thats got to be easier then removong 10 bolts from the lid.