Sunday 1 September 2013

Day 12 (Afternoon)

So today was my last chance to work on the car before I go back to work on Monday so I was looking to make it a productive one. My wife Harriet kindly offered to muck in and give me a helping hand and between us we made extremely good progress leaving a more than manageable workload left to do before Caterham pick the car up on the 23rd September.

Rear Brake Lines

The first thing I did was go back to finishing the rear brakes off. I'd been concerned yesterday that I might've been in danger of doing something silly but confirmation from some kind individuals on Blatchat confirmed that gently bending the pipes into place so they could locate into the calipers was indeed the right way to proceed. In the end I resorted to bending the pipes gently round in a nice arc using a socket to help make the curve nice and smooth. The resulting rear calipers now look like the following and the brake system is now in a position to be filled and bled but that's still to be done and is perhaps a nice job for tomorrow evening.

Rear brake lines fitted

Carpets, Interior and 4-point Harnesses

I started out by fitting the carpet that sits behind the 2 seats. All of the carpets come in one big pack but none of them are labelled so it does take a little while testing fitting where you think they should go to make sure you've got it right, particularly around the boot area where there are several bits to fit. That said, the one that goes on the rear bulkhead behind the seats is obvious enough. Having done an initial test fitting and once comfortable with what went where, I then got out the contact adhesive and started to stick the carpet in place. I started off by sticking the vinyl strip that runs across the top of this piece of carpet to the chassis behind where the headrests would be.

Sticking down vinyl strip on rear bulkhead carpet

God knows how I managed it but shortly after this i noticed I'd managed to spray a bit of adhesive onto my shiny white paintwork on the boot of the car. Needless to say I was not best pleased but I was lucky to catch it early as I was able to rub it off with no signs remaining now of my little mishap. It did take me some 20 minutes though which was time I'd rather not have wasted but there we go.

Having stuck the vinyl strip down all the way around the top bar, I then set about cutting out some holes in the vinyl around the bolt holes already present in the chassis rail. These will later be used to fix the shoulder harnesses to the chassis.

Carefully cutting squares in vinyl

I then went on to fitting some of the remaining carpet panels in place within the boot space. The guide suggests that you don't need to stick the boot carpets down at all but I decided to do some of them around the sides, opting to leave just the main boot floor free of glue. It was relatively easy to get a decent enough finish though I am yet to fully finish off the boot completely. Trying to screw down the plate that protects the fuel pipes leading to the fuel tank was quite a tricky exercise. Mainly this is down to the relative lack of space to get a drill into the area in order to drill the required pilot holes. I did actually manage to get that bit done but still haven't got round to screwing the plate into place. That job will have to wait until another day.

Gluing carpet triangles in place

Boot mostly finished

Whilst I was doing that, Harriet kindly got on to bolting the shoulder harnesses in place on both side of the car. A single bolt and a spacer are all that is needed to fit the harnesses to the top chassis rail.

Not my hands I promise!!

That finished, the interior was left looking a lot nicer but we still had the carpets to fit to the transmission tunnel and in hindsight we did this bit slightly wrong as we'd fitted the lap belts in place only to find they needed to come off again to fit the carpets but hey ho. I had been tempted to use velcro for the transmission tunnel to make removal of the carpets again in the future a little easier. As it was, I didn't get it in time and just wanted to get on with the job so I've stuck it on with Evo Stick but only in a few places so I should be able to rip it back off if needed. By this point, this is kinda what the interior looked like

Harnessed and rear bulkhead carpet in
Before getting too ahead of ourselves and fitting the seats, we decided to split up and tackle separate jobs. Harriet kindly offered to take on the task of cutting and fitting the necessary bits of rubber piping needed around the interior. It needs to be fitted along the edges of the side panels before the panels are later riveted into place. Having done the rubber piping, I then put the carbon sill protectors into place and duly drilled holes through them inline with the existing holes in the side panel in readiness to do all the riveting.

Rubber piping in place and holes drilled in sill protectors
With that done, there was really no point in moving onto anything else without first riveting the side panels in place so I got out the riveting tool and got started. I was actually quite surprised at the amount of force needed to get each rivet into place but other than a bit of hard graft, the job was reasonably straightforward. I've also not riveted everywhere at this point as I still need to fit the knee trim panels and also a bracket which is designed to take the popper which is used by the side screen arm rests which are still to be fitted. Unfortunately, I may have to check in with Caterham again about the Knee Trim Panels as I think I may have been given the ones needed for an SV chassis rather than my S3. Certainly a check on the Caterham parts site suggests these could be wrong so I shall have to double check tomorrow.

The Gun Show!

Whilst this was going on, Harriet continued to cut up various bits of rubber and vinyl needed to protect a few bits needed ahead of the IVA. to start with she dealt with the trim required around the rear lights before finally fitting the vinyl protection needed around the scuttle which runs around the top edge of the dash.

The wife done good!
Oh and apparently I'd made a hash of some of the carpet in the boot so she went and sorted that out for me as well, thanks Hattie!

Harriet doing the business

To finish off the interior and before fitting the seats, we put the transmission 'Tunnel Top' on over the gearstick, handbrake and transmission tunnel. This is one complete piece and simply pushes down into place. By this stage the interior looked as follows:

Interior still missing some seats


We then moved on to a job which I knew before we started it wasn't going to be easy. The seats come armed with the adjustable runners already on the bottom. To start with, you are supposed to move the seats into their most reward position on the runners so that the very front of the runner is exposed to reveal a bolt hole through which you pass a bolt downwards through the runner and into the floor. Simple enough once you know how but did take us a while to read the instructions. Once the front 2 bolts are in, you then slide the seat forwards and then try and pass 2 bolts down into the rear of the runner, again bolting them through the floor and doing up the nuts from underneath. This is the hardest part as the seats impede access to those holes. You have to get all 'Stevie Wonder Hands' and feel your way along the runner and guess where the holes are. To make matters worse, a couple of our holes weren't quite aligned perfectly so the bolts didn't really want to go through. On one of them, I had to open up the hole slightly from underneath using the Dremel to finally get the bolts to come thorough. Once we'd finally bolted them in place, it was time for a well deserved photo of me getting acquainted with my new driving position.

Hmm, something is definitely missing

While I was there, I also noticed a couple of wires hanging down into the passenger side footwell. I've still not worked out what these are for and where they are supposed to be routed. If anyone has any ideas and can shed light on it for me, perhaps be kind enough to leave me a comment so I know what to do with them - thanks.

Unidentified wires

And at that point it was time to leave it and head off for a well deserved Sunday Roast. Really happy with the progress this afternoon and its starting to look nearly complete. Next job will be to start reading the IVA guidance and covering the whole car in tacky bits of rubber and plastic - ahh well, needs must.

Here's a picture of how the old girl looks this evening:

Nearing Completion


  1. Looks Great! Did you set your deadline for Caterham to collect the car on the 23rd of September?! Quite a tight build schedule. Did you take a couple of weeks of to get the bulk of it done? Is the IVA booked?

  2. Hi Dominic,

    I did indeed set the date for the 23rd with them. I took a week off work and so, with a weekend either side, I was able to do a solid 10 days work on the car in one stretch. I also got some help the first weekend from a mate as you will no doubt have seen on the blog to ensure that those bits which needed 2 people were out the way as soon as possible (diff, engine, gearbox).

    I'm back at work this week and hence the blog has not had an update over the last few days. I've only been able to do about 6hrs on the car during the evenings but will be sure to update on what I've been up to soon.

    The IVA is in progress. Had a call from VOSA yesterday to take payment of £450!!! pounds off me. The paperwork now goes off to Gillingham so it can be processed and hopefully they give me the date I've asked for which is the 1st October.

    Caterham need the car the week before to check it over before they present it for me hence collection on the 23rd.

  3. Those cables are for the 12v cigarette socket. :)