31 December 2013

Day 7 - Headlight & Indicator Inspection (2 hours)

After spending a few hours out in the garage showing another mate (Richard) around the car I decided I'd had enough in the garage for the day so thought about what I could do indoors.

I spent an hour or so whilst watching TV taking the headlight & indicator apart to work out the best way to build up the headlight units. Having read on other blogs that it was a pain of a job, I thought I would look at possible solutions for feeding the cables through the headlight mount, this proved difficult with the plastic sheathing covering the headlight wiring. I may live to regret this, but I removed it and have decided to replace it with shrink wrap once I obtain some. A job to come back to.

Front Headlight in bits

30 December 2013

Day 6 - Engine Installation (Half Day)

Job 18 - Hoist Collection, Manual/Blog Study & Visitors

Following the collection of an engine hoist I borrowed from a friend of a friend, I spent the rest of the morning looking through the manual and other blogs, trying to figure out the best way of putting the engine and gearbox into the car! By that time my brother had arrived to assist with the installation of the engine. Shortly after I had a couple of visitors (Roger & Chris for our local Caterham Group) who were interested to see the car in the flesh and then another mate (Simon) in his TVR. This resulted in Alex going out for a passenger ride in his first TVR!

Job 19 - Top Radiator Hose & Earth Cable

Following delivery of the Earth Cable from Caterham I was able to fit this to the Left Hand Chassis Mount  before we moved on to fitting the Top Radiator Hose which we manoeuvred underneath the plenum chamber and out the front of the engine.

The Manual refers to a Water Rail (which is sometimes fitted), but I am not sure if I have one or require one, but there is nothing on the inventory list and nothing that looks like anything on the Caterham website. I have contacted a fellow Supersport R owner to get their opinion as Caterham are closed until the 6th I believe.

Job 20 - Bolting the Bell housing to the Gearbox

According to various blogs there are a number of different methods for fitting the engine to the car, but all involve bolting the Bell Housing to the gearbox. That said the manual is a little confusing at this point in the way that it talks about fitting the two together. After consulting with a fellow builder, he confirmed that the bolts on the 5 speed Duratec combination had to be inserted from inside the Bell Housing out and through the Gearbox. Once the Gasket had been coated both sides with silicone sealant with the two parts were bolted together and torqued up.

Job 21 - Mounting the Bell Housing to the Engine

In order to test the hoist and the tow rope we used the hoist to 'hover' the engine over my wheeled bucket trolley and mounted the front of the Gearbox onto another one using a jack to prop up the back of the Gearbox. This allowed us to butt the Bell Housing up to the Engine and we used the bolts to bring the two together and torqued them up according to the manual. At this point we re-bolted the starter motor that sits across the Engine and Bell Housing.

Mounting the Bell Housing/Gearbox to the Engine using the hoist

Job 22 - Installing the Engine

I covered the front of the car with cardboard and then Alex and I started to lift the engine up and manoeuvre towards the car when we hit our first problem, the moveable axle stands! It sits too wide to allow the hoist to move far enough over the engine bay. We back the engine away from the car and down on to the floor again and decided to replace the manoeuvrable axle stand with standard ones, which we also set lower. This meant the car was sat higher at the back than the front in the hope that it would allow easier installation of the engine.

Front of the car covered in cardboard before swapping axle stands
With the engine balanced over the front of the car we slowly shuffled the engine over the top of the engine bay and started the pull the Gearbox down so that we could keep the engine moving in towards the car. A combination of lowering and tilting allowed us to get the engine in to a point. We then opted to remove the engine mount (already attached to the engine) and this gave us just enough room to drop the engine in past the front top diagonals. We then re-attached the engine mount and alternator before we dropped the engine fully home.

Engine In :-)
Not a lot of room! Top Radiator Pipe extending out the front of the Engine
Once down in the engine bay we could only get one of the two engine mounts to line up with the rubber chassis mounts. Our solution was to fix the left hand side first and then loosen the right hand side (where it attaches to the engine) fix the mount to the rubber chassis mount and then tightened the mount to the engine which seemed to work very nicely. The mounts were meant to be torqued up to 41Nm, but in there lies the issue. The bolt is an imperial hex of which I had an allen key to do it up, but nothing to torque it up. Something I will have to revisit following an Ebay purchase.

Final job for the day was to position the back of the Gearbox in the centre of the mount and tighten it. A good days work. :-)

The Gearbox looking down through the transmission tunnel.

22 December 2013

Day 5 - Engine Preparation (3 hours)

Following last nights activities we arrived home at lunch time, whilst Katey was wrapping Christmas presents I was instructed to get out the way so resorted to the Garage.

Job 15 - Removing the Bell housing from the Engine

Again being on my own I decided to see what else I could do on my own. Engine preparation was the order of the day. I took lots of photographs of the engine and bell house mounting before doing anything. I removed all the bolts between the engine and the bell housing making sure to keep them in order. At this stage I had to sneak back in to the house and ask for a pair of hands to assist. Katey obliged and we had the bell housing and engine separated within 5 minutes using a screwdriver to break the seal between the two. Thanks Katey. :-)

Engine prior to bell housing removal
Engine after bell housing removal
In side the bell housing
5 Speed Gearbox - Looking at where it attaches to the bell housing
Job 16 - Locating Parts!!

Back to working through the manual I started looking through the manual locating the parts i needed. As said before, no easy task. So it was out with the laptop and inventory list, typing the part names/numbers into the the Caterham Parts store to gain images and then locating them on the inventory list (to see if they had been supplied) and then rummaging through the boxes to find them! This took most of my time up today and I still haven't located the radiator top hose or earth cable.

Job 17 - Gearbox & Engine Mount Installation

Having located the various bits I could, I laid out the gearbox and bell housing and 'dry' fitted them without the gasket, installed the gearbox mount and engine mounts loosely (need the earth wire to complete).
Right Hand Engine Mount
Heading back into the house, i informed Katey that I struggled to locate a couple of items and she has offered to come and do a proper search of the boxes rather than a 'man' search, what do you think are the odds of her finding what we need!

Edit - Radiator top hose found very quickly, but no earth to chassis cable located. A call to Caterham if they are open tomorrow. Otherwise that will halt progress. :-(

21 December 2013

Day 4 - Suspension removal & refitting, Brake Unions, Washer Bottle & Horns (Half Day)

Following various Christmas do's (including our local Caterham gathering) and a busy week at work, Saturday was the next opportunity to get on with the Car.

Job 10 - Removing & Re-fitting Left Hand Front Suspension (adding in damper & wishbone sleeves)

With Katey's assistance we removed the left hand side suspension and and fitted the sleeves to the damper and upper rear wishbone. At this stage according to the instructions I should have already fitted the headlight mounts and should be moving on to fitting the front anti-roll bar.  Following others advice I decided to fit the headlight mounts once the engine was in and as a result have not fitted the anti-roll bar as this would restrict access fitting the headlight mounts.

Inside view of the fitted upright - No Anti-roll bar fitted
At this stage Katey left me to my own devices as she and Charlie (my sister-in-law) had food preparation to do for a family gathering later that evening.

Job 11 - Torquing the brake unions & master cylinder connections

Following the purchase and delivery of some crows feet spanner heads (very useful), I decided to use them to torque up the braided hoses between the calipers, body & internal pipe work.

Braided hoses between the caliper and body
 Job 12 - Torquing the Discs & Re-fitment of axle castle nut

After a discussion with Derek, I re-visted uprated discs & axle castle nut as I wanted to re-check the torque values (there is no reference to the torque values in the manual as these are usually already fitted). For reference the disc bolts are 47Nm and the castle nut, tight to hold the hub in place and then backed off half a turn.
Axle Castle Nut with split pin
Job 13 - Fitting the Washer Bottle, piping and jet

I looked to see what I could do on my own and ended up fitting the washer jet and and bottle to the car
using lots of zip ties to keep the piping tidy and secure.

Washer Bottle & Horns Fitted
Job 14 - Horn fitting

I then moved on to fitting the horns which was an easy task and decided that was enough for today as I needed to don my Christmas Jumper for the evening. :-)

Horn Close Up with a single cable for both Hi & Low Horns

17 December 2013

Day 3 - Anti-roll Bar Assembly & Right Hand Upright (3 hours)

The right hand upright arrived at work today (Thanks Derek at Caterham Dartford).

Job 8 - Anti-roll Bar Assembly

As I was home alone this evening I spent some time reading about the next steps and prepped the Anti-roll bar. During the preparation I noticed that there were some metal sleeves in the package, wondering what these were (as none of the parts are labelled by name, just part number) I typed the part number in to the Caterham online store and found that they were sleeves to go in the rear of the upper wish bone and the dampers! Doh. No wonder I had found the dampers easy compared to others!

Job 9 - Fitting Right Hand Upright

Following completion of the Anti-roll bar I decided I would look at fitting the right hand upright and sleeves to the front end. First of all I removed the uprated disc from the 2nd left hand upright and fitted to the new right hand upright. I then used my Clarke mechanics seat to hold the weight of the wishbones and disc whilst I inserted the sleeve into the upper rear wish bone mount. A bit of wiggling and the bolt was through and tightened. Whilst the weight was still being held by the seat I mounted then manoeuvred the top of the damper into position! Then the fun began!

After finding it so easy first time round, with the sleeve in place it became somewhat harder! I messed about (putting it politely) for the next 1.5 hours trying to get the bloody top damper bolt through, as others have said, its' location creates the challenge particularly when coved in copper grease. You can't knock it in with a hammer as there is no space, you have to screw it in, the problem is that it is a rounded allen key head so you have to grip it in your fingers and turn it far enough in that you can get the ball end of the allen key in and turn it at an angle! Until you get it far enough in it spins in the allen key bolt head. Grrrr. Once in the bottom of the damper needed some gentle persuasion with the rubber mallet to move it in to position, a much easier job. I torqued up the lower damper bolt to 20Nm using the torque wrench, not a hope in hell with the top one, so just tried to apply the same amount of tightness to that of the bottom, by comparing the lower torqued bolt with the top one!

I considered starting on the other side, but decided I'd had enough for this evening!

15 December 2013

Day 2 - Uprated Master Cylinder, Calipers & Discs and Left Hand Upright (Half Day)

I had planned to get all of the front end suspension completed today, but looking through the parts I realised that there were a couple of bits missing, preventing me from completing the job.

Initially Katey and I started out in the garage looking at the left hand upright. Reading through the manual it became clear that the caliper would need to be in position prior to mounting the wing stay.

Job 4 - Fitting Uprated Discs to uprights

I had ordered the car with the standard brakes, but ordered the uprated brakes and master cylinder after the initial order (due to there being no cost difference).

This resulted in the car having 2 sets of front brakes and the standard discs mounted to the uprights. These had to be removed by removing the hub and disc from the upright and and replacing with the uprated, larger vented discs.

 Standard disc on the left and uprated on the right

Job 5 - Swapping Standard Master Cylinder for Uprated Master Cylinder

On completing this job my brother (Alex) and his wife (Charlie) came round to see the car for the first time since it had returned from painting and also to assist with the build. Alex swapped with Katey and we started by changing the standard master cylinder with the uprated one. Which in theory was an easy job, but in practice proved a pain in the arse mainly due to a used split pin that had to be replaced on the bolt attaching the master cylinder to the brake pedal. I have to torque the brass bolts attaching the brass hosing to the master cylinder, but don't have anything to do so! Another internet search me thinks! It is also fair to say that some tweaking will be required on the brake pedal & switch.

Standard master cylinder with the uprated on above before swapping them over
I had read in Tom's Blog that there should be some damper extensions supplied with the kit and I had contacted Caterham about this so thought I had them, but it appears that I was sent the steering rack extenders (which I don't need as I have a wide track steering rack already). Looking through the parts picking list and the manual there is no reference to the damper extensions, so I will have to contact Caterham tomorrow about them.

Job 6 - Fitting Uprights

We then moved on to the left hand upright following several more read throughs of the manual contemplating as to whether we should carry on and decided we would, the dampers could be removed and the extension fitted later if required! Hope that was the right decision.

The uprated disc fitted to the upright and mounted on on the car

Job 7 - Fitting uprated Caterham/AP 4 pot Calipers

I the manual there is a note detailing that with uprated calipers the brake pads should be fitted before the wing stays, but doesn't directly mention that the brake calipers should be fitted at this stage. We decided to fit the caliper which meant fitting the brake hoses and pads in the caliper which took a little figuring out with no instructions! But successfully done we mounted the wing stay on and tightened everything up to the required torque values (brass bolts excluded).

Mounting the AP / Caterham 4-pot caliper to the upright
Torquing all the bolts up
As we had made good progress we thought we would move on to the right hand side, until we found that we had 2 left hand uprights (even though the box was marked right), so this somewhat halted progress for the day.

I will call Caterham tomorrow to request the right hand upright, find out how they torque the brass bolts and discuss the wide track damper extensions.

14 December 2013

Day 1 of the Build - Masking Up, Steering Rack & Front Suspension (Half Day)

Despite having yesterday off with the intention of starting work on the build, I felt extremely ropey and tired so decided not so start.

Job 1 - Masking up the front end

I dragged Katey into the garage and we started work on masking up the front end using a combination of masking tape and insulation tape around all the openings, followed by pipe insulation around the chassis tubing.

Pipe Insulation protection over the chassis tubing

Job 2 - Steering Rack

On completion we started with mounting the steering rack, noting to hard or complicated about the job at hand one all the correct parts were located. As mentioned by other builders the hardest bit was finding the 'IVA Sleeves' which didn't come in the bag marked IVA.

Logo'd Steering Rack and Mounts
Job 3 - Wishbones and Shocks

I knew reading other blogs that this was going to be a 2 person job so I managed to persuade Katey to stay and help by putting on the propane gas heater. After the ease of fitting the steering rack, fitting the lower wishbones was somewhat more challenging! I ended up sitting inside the engine bay to knock the washers in either side of the rear lower wishbone mount with a rubber mallet and flat head screw driver.

Lower Wishbone Rear Mount with 2 washers either side of the Wishbone (As advised on the Caterham Forum)
Front Lower Wishbone Mount with 2 washers against the chassis (these wouldn't be there if the rear mount was as per the manual)
Following the challenge of the first lower wishbone we decided it was time for lunch and to read the next bit inside. It was then that I noticed that for the wide track cars (which the Supersport R is) then the washers should have a different arrangement to the way that we'd put them in! A quick look at BlatChat (Caterham Forum) I found out that this alters the castor angle and hence the stability of the car. This can be changed later if required so we left it as it was, this seemed to be the favoured option for others.

Mounting the Upper Wishbone was easier, but the front nut took was so close to the body work we were concerned it would rub, thank goodness we had protected the area. Only problem now will be removing the insulation tap around that area!

We then fitted the shock which was a reasonably easy job with a bit of gentle persuasion using the good old rubber hammer! Once in place all the bolts were torqued up and marked with a paint pen to indicate that I had tightened the bolts to the required torque value. The only one that I couldn't torque up was the top shock bolt as it is impossible to get a torque wrench in to that location, I ended up using an allen key and trying to match the feel to the lower torqued bolt.

We then completed the other side to the same stage.

Steering Rack, Front Wishbones and Shocks in place
The manual mentions during the above to fit the head light mounts, but following advice from another builder (Tom Wood), I left them off for the minute as they can be fitted at a later date, which I understand is how Caterham now do it.

12 December 2013

Paint Shop Collection - First viewing of the finished paint job!

After several visits to the paint shop whilst the chassis was in and numerous talks about what should be painted and how. I wanted to get as close to "Factory" style finish as possible, so this involved researching the web to find out lots of things, whether to paint he inside of the wings or not for example. Things that you would never consider if it had arrived painted! :-)

Due to work commitments and working away I wasn't able to pick it up as soon as it was ready!

As you can see from the pictures is was in the paint shop with good company, sat in between a E-Type Jag and a 1970 Maserati Ghibli both in for restoration work. Also in the workshop were a Porsche 993 (last air cooled) race car, a Jaguar Mk2, a VW Camper and 2 Lambrettas!

Maserati Ghibli 
Jaguar E Type 
Custom Painted Lambretta

One of my wheels?! I'll let you decide. :-)
Nose Cone & Wings sat with the left over paint
On the movable axle stands - Made unloading a lot easier. :-)

Any guesses as to what colour it is?! (Those of you who don't already know)

15 November 2013

Trip to the paint shop

Our first Wedding Anniversary this weekend, so a long weekend off in the Yorkshire Dales. Before we headed off though we had one job to do!

Having measured up the size of the chassis, I hired a long wheel base van to transport the chassis to the paint shop! I picked it up last night and text a couple of friends requesting some early morning assistance! Loaded up Katey and I drove the Caterham across to the paint shop, dropping it off (causing quite a stir).

Whilst there we had a look at the facilities and had our first glimpse at a mixed sample of the paint! We all looked at each other and decided it looked good in the pot and on a sample piece of ! Fingers crossed it works on the whole car!

To think, a year ago, I was getting ready to get married, how time flies.

Forgot to take any pictures, but will make sure I grab some on collection.

P.S. We had a great long weekend away on our first Anniversary. 

10 November 2013

Pre Painting Preparation - First Spannering!

As you will have read and seen on the previously posts, the chassis was delivered unpainted. It isn't that I didn't want the car painting, it was the fact that I hadn't decided on what colour I wanted it at the time of specifying my final spec! I could have waited until I'd decided, but I wanted to make sure that I kept my place in the queue, before the Academy cars head out for the 2014 season!

I have decided on a colour, which I really hope works! Time will tell. 

Following a chat with a friend who will be painting the car for me, we made some plans to remove some bits to allow easier painting! So for the first time since taking delivery I opened the toolbox and started work! An exciting moment!

Followed by a very nerve racking moment drilling out my first rivet! I started with a 1.5mm bit, going up by half a mm at a time until the head came of the rivet with a 4mm drill bit! I wonder if I will be this cautious through the rest of the build! Will be a first if I am! :-)

So I removed the following:
  • Bonnet Catches
  • Windscreen wiper caps
  • Fog, Reversing & Numberplate lights & Mounts
  • Aero Filler Cap
  • Battery
  • Heated Windscreen - Yet to be removed
I decided to take photos before and after removing bits for my reference! But I won't bore you with them all.

25 October 2013

An additional delivery!

Ordering when I did, I was fortunate enough to qualify for a £850 Caterham/Draper toolkit. This should have arrived with the car, but it was nice receiving it after the rest of the kit. :-)

The whole Caterham / Draper Toolkit

A nice little touch. :-)

21 October 2013

Its Here! :-)

The arrival and unloading of my Supersport R, all in all took about half an hour! A well practiced manoeuvre! You’ll noticed no paint, more to follow on that subject!
Oh and my first box of extra goodies! Modifying it before I have even taken delivery of it! Never a good sign!

The Caterham Lorry at the front door, a rare sight!

Are you ready?!
Ta da!

As instructed by Katey, a picture with me in it ;-)

A nice chassis trolley making it nice and easy to move!

And it's in!

My first box of goodies ordered to arrive at the same time as the rest of the kit!
Modifying already, god help Katey! :-)