18 March 2014

Days 39 - Steering Column, Boot Cover, Seats - Part 2, Mirrors & Hood - Part 1 (1 Day)

With collection day fast approaching I wanted to get started on some of the IVA trim and get some of other jobs completed. Richard and Alex were on a day off and offered to assist for the day. :-)

Job 117 - Steering Column

I had wanted to get this job done for a while to see how the quick release steering wheel looked. We started by putting the lower steering column in first of all as described in the manual! This was easy enough and was bolted in to the steering column via the universal joint.

Lower Steering Column attached to the Steering Rack 
Steering Column - A tight fit between the manifold
The next job was to slide the upper column bush over the column and then slide this in from the drivers compartment through the (already installed) lower column bush and connect to the lower steering column and this is where the fun began! However we tried, we couldn't get the upper through without forcing the lower bush out of its fixing. In the end the lower bush ended up getting forced out of its fixing, so we tired to fit it to the standard steering column and the quick release one I had purchased and this bush was somewhat tighter than the on supplied loosely on both columns. It ended up that the inner sleeve of the bush destroyed! I ended up putting the bush in without the inner (another thing for Caterham to look at in the Post Build Check).

Now that everything was roughly lined up, we needed to sort out the front wheel alignment which seemed to have a lot of Toe Out (too much) so we had to head to Halfords to purchase a ball joint separator so that I could realign the front wheels. This was completed with ease with the wheels and tyres on.

Once the upper was though it was a case of lining up the upper and lower columns and fitting the clamp.
Upper and Lower Steering Columns fixed with the clamp
Quick Release Column in place
Steering Wheel Attached
Works Bell quick release Steering Column from the side
Job 118 - Boot Cover

Having still not completed the task of tightening the Upper Harness Bolts fully I decided with 3 of us we should be able to complete the task! We started by fixing the 4 popper bases into the top of the bulk head through the boot cover. This was made easier using a clothes punch purchased from Ebay.

We then tried to tighten the Upper Harness bolts to 47Nm, but still with no joy, they started to ruck the boot cover at 20Nm so a job added to the list for Caterham to complete!

With Richard and Alex pulling the boot cover I marked up the location of the popper bases on the back of the car on the boot cover. I then started to use the clothes punch and with in 2 holes it was shot! Bad feedback for the Ebay supplier I think, so I resorted to the drill with Alex and Richared holding the cover tightly. We worked from the outsides in towards the centre one at a time so we managed to keep the boot taught. We used the durable dot tool to secure the popper tops using the bulk head as a base to hammer the popper tops in.

Job 119 - Seats - Part 2

We then looked at the seats again, definitely a 2 person job! With a bit of messing about we managed to install the drivers seat by placing all the bolts in the runners before lowering the seat in to place. We fixed the front bolts first, securing loosely with a nut so that the bolts didn't get pulled back out and then shifted the seat forward on the adjustable runners so that we could get access to the back bolts. Using an round headed Allen Key on multiple extension pieces we were able to tighten the seat. The bolts were torqued up to 20Nm as informed by Derek.

Extension bars used to fix the drivers seat rear bolts
We then moved on to the passenger seat and tried to fix this, the fronts went in relatively easily, but I could not get the back in and managed to strip the tread of on one of the runners! A call to Derek and a replacement was in the post, a common issue I believe!

Job 120 - Mirrors

The mirrors come mounted ready to be mounted on the side screens, but for the IVA they have to be attached to the window stantions (in the top screen bolts for Nottingham). The mounts are different so they had to be removed and put on the IVA mounts.
Side Screen Mirror Mounts
The near side mirror was completed easily within 5 minutes, but the offside mirror wouldn't grip in the IVA mount and as a result I have a hanging offside mirror! Another common issue I have been told! Caterham Midlands apparently have a set made up so they will be exchanged for the IVA test.

Nearside correctly mounted 
Offside hanging - To be fixed by Caterham
Job 121 - Initial Hood Fit

We decided that we would also try to fit the Hood, this was a challenge as the hood had been wrapped up for so long. We followed the instructions in the manual and fitted to the windscreen first (easy enough) and then had to really pull the back down (much harder than expected) and fix the poppers which match those for the boot cover. Once the poppers had been located and fixed we left it there to stretch a bit over night.

Initial Fix of the Hood from the Rear
Initial Fix of the Hood from the Front - I like the contract against the Yellow :-)


  1. Job 118. The boot cover 'rucking'... harness bolts and associated crinkle washers and spacers should be directly in contact -metal to metal- with seat back chassis member.
    This is an important safety feature.

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