9 March 2014

Day 34 - Bleeding the Clutch & Brakes, Exhaust Fitment & First Start

For the last week the plan was to try and start the engine for the first time today when all my family were available to come and see it take place! Katey, Alex and Charlie were around for the day whilst the rest of the family were coming around for 6.30pm! A deadline to aim for then!

Job 96 - Clutch Bleeding

In order to make todays job easier, the car was placed back on the axle stands and the wheels and wings removed to allow better access.

Having purchased a Brake bleeding kit previously for use on the bikes, I decided it would be wise to try and use this to start with.

Mityvac Brake Bleeding Kit - Cost that much and had limited use, thought I'd best use it! :-)
We started by cover up the area around the clutch and brake master cylinders with clothes to soak up any spilt brake/clutch fluid as it was going to be inevitable at some stage some would be spilt!

We then raided my tool chest to see what we could use to open the awkwardly located bleed nipple and we found just the ticket, a goose necked spanner which again was purchased for working on the bikes! This allowed us to up the Mityvac pipe over the nipple and still open it.

Using the Mityvac to bleed the clutch
Filling the clutch master cylinder very carefully (it only takes a tiny amount) using a funnel and measuring jug we started by opening the bleed nipple and pumping the Mityvac which sucked the fluid through. This seemed to work well initially and the clutch gained some weight to it.

We finished it off traditionally by pumping the clutch and then releasing the bleed nipple. We will have to wait and see how we get on when we start it later. Fingers crossed. :-)

Job 97 - Brake Bleeding

Having successfully completed the clutch we moved on to the brakes (not planned, but made sense as the clutch had gone so well) and started by checking all the brake unions and attachments were torqued up using the torque wrench and the crows feet. We then followed the instructions in the manual, with the aid of Charlie sat in the car pumping the brake pedal, Katey with the camera. It was like a game of innuendo bingo and helped pass the time with Alex and Katey both ending up very red at one stage!! :-)
All in placed ready to bleed the brakes
As you can imagine the first Caliper took a while to bleed as the fluid needed to make its way around the whole system. We opted not to use the Mityvac as there for this as Charlie was helping.

First Caliper being bled
Topping up the Master Cylinder
Even Charlie had to take her shoes off! Nice socks by the way! ;-)
Having the AP uprated brakes the front brakes both sides of the calipers need to be bled starting with the inside moving to the outside and then across to the front RHS.

Frothy brake fluid - plenty of air being bled
Once we had finished at the front left hand side we went around all the brakes again.

Job 98 - Exhaust Fitment

Now that the 3M Scotchguard had been fitted we could fit the exhaust. We started by by fitting the bobbin to the side pannel and easy enough job, but no details on how tight to torque the bolts.
Exhaust Bobbin Fitted
Having removed the gasket from the engine and all the masking tape, we then laid out the exhaust manifold on the ground in order and copper greased the manifold bolts.

Looking down one of the outlets
Manifold laid out
We then fitted as per the instructions which went well until the last pipe needed to be fitted which was a tight fit and we ended up bending the skin hidden by the cardboard we had placed around the hole in te side. Could have been worse though!

First Manifold Pipe in place]

Manifold in place ready for the collector box to be fitted
The next item to fit was the collector box with the lambda sensor attached which once aligned was tapped into place using a rubber mallet and a block of wood.

It was simply a case of fitting the silencer and collector box guard and then tightening everything up so that it didn't move. There was quite a bit of movement in the silencer and as a result we fixed it so it was tipped a bit on the basis that if any excess fuel/condensation would be able to flow out!

Exhaust Fitted - Supplied with lots of scratches and a couple of dints! To be replaced at the post build check
Job 99 - Fuel Tank Earthing

Simply a case of lifting the boot floor and attaching the ring connector to a rear wing bolt for the time being.

Job 100 - First Start

By 7 o'clock we were ready to try and start the engine! Not bad timing wise! Following a fluids check and couple of trips to the petrol station and about 18 litres in the fuel tank it was time to try and start the car!  This is where the fun began!

Following the instructions provided by Caterham we did the following:
  1. Disconnect the Inertia switch
  2. Run the engine (starter moter), for ~30 seconds.
  3. Watch that the oil pressure comes up.  Mine hit about 3 bar.
  4. Connect the inertia switch and press the button.
  5. Turn off then on again and press and hold the start button.
  6. At this point I should have heard the fuel pump, but nothing!
  7. Repressed the inertia switch and tried again, still nothing!
  8. First thing to check was the battery which had been sat on an Optimate since the battery had been connected! About 11 volts!
  9. At this point my dad popped home to get a battery charger and we connected it on his return while we left it and had some tea.
  10. Returning after tea with the we tried again and it started. What a great feeling :-)
  11. The idle seemed to be about 1500.
  12. I watched the oil pressure go up to 6 bar when it was cold. Left it for a minute as Caterham suggested and stopped it again.
  13. Checked fluids and identified a couple of coolant leaks - One at the T-piece with the temperature sensor and one at the connection with the water rail
  14. Once tightened we refilled the coolant.
  15. Tried to start again and nothing, so re-connected the battery charger and put on start mode.
  16. Again the engine started and settled at 1500rpm.
  17. I left the engine running to warm up to coolant and oil.
  18. The oil pressure dropped to 2 bar when it was warmed up.
  19. I sat in the car and tried to select all 5 gears, no crunches and the and the rear brake discs rotated, so happy that the clutch is working.
  20. Revving the car took the oil pressure up to 4 bar and 6 bar.
  21. At just over 90 degrees C the fan kicked in and the temp dropped to ~80-85 degrees.
  22. As soon as the temperature dropped down and the fan switched off we turned the car off happy with progress as it was 10.15pm at the time, I didn't want to upset the neighbours too much!
  23. Final job of the day was to connect the Optimate to try and charge the battery over night in the hope the engine would start properly the following morning at a more respectable hour!
A couple of photos of the start up:

The first two passengers with the engine running!
Idling at 1500 rpm and quieter than we all thought! A good thing given the time!
Oil pressure sat at 4 bar and temperature gauge rising

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