A quick run, a new brake light and mirrors

Finally managed to get another run out this weekend. Weather was still not great, but it wasn’t raining, so I’ll take what I can get at the moment!

I removed the doors for this run, to see what that feels like. At lower speeds, it heightens the experience – you feel closer to the road, exhaust etc, and the hedges rushing past. Above about 50mph it becomes a bit more frenetic, with the air turbulence knocking you around a bit. Actually quite a fun experience, but I’m not sure passengers would enjoy it!

You notice the car ‘warming up’ on a run – it is still quite tricky to drive smoothly at the start, but once it warms up, it gets a lot more fluid. Keeping it below 4,000rpm is the challenge at the moment!

High level brake light

When I got back, I wanted to add a couple of the post-build items I’d picked up. I started with a high-level LED brake light, to try and reduce the chance of having someone go into the back of me because they’d not seen the brake lights low-down on the arches. I’m planning to replace the bulbs with LEDs too to make sure all the lights are reasonably bright.

Because my car is relatively new, it already had the required sub-loom fitted to the right of the fuel tank. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was looking for as I couldn’t find information online about the connectors, but I spotted a white spade connector wired into the loom that looked like a likely candidate. It was only a single wire connection however, but a quick poke around revealed another one hiding behind the chassis member.

Attaching the brake light required feeding the wires from the light down through the space between the boot floor and the body and then fitting two spade connectors. Except for the limited space around the loom connectors, it wasn’t particularly difficult and once the connectors were correctly attached (positive and negative), the LEDs lit when the brake pedal was pushed.

I then secured the light to the roll bar with cable ties in a position where it is visible with the half-hood fitted, ran the wires down the inside of the roll bar and concealed with some black insulation tape. Some more cable ties to secure the wiring around the connectors and a final test showed everything working 🙂

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New brake light

Pitking race mirrors

I then had a go at replacing the side mirrors with the Pitking mirrors I’d bought, but had a problem getting the mount tightened. The thread on the mount supplied is quite short, so gets limited purchase (1-2mm) on the thread within the windscreen mount. Tightening this then stripped the thread on the mount, so it just turned in the frame.

I sent Demon Tweeks a note to get a replacement, but a quick eBay search has also thrown up some mounts with longer threads that might be a better fit. I’ll see what Demon Tweeks say, and then look into other options. I would like to get these mirrors fitted as they give a better field of view behind the car.

Under the bonnet

Finally, I’d read a FB post about someone who’d managed to wreck their new 620R engine in 600 miles, so thought I’d better do a sanity check on fluid levels! The dials showed oil pressure and engine temperature were fine on the drive, but it gave me an excuse to take the bonnet off 🙂

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Pitking race mirrors, Take 2

No response from Demon Tweeks, so I ordered the replacement mounts from eBay. It turned out the seller lived locally, and was happy to drop them off too to reduce cost.

He actually machines the parts; he races Caterhams and had the same problem with the mirrors, so had made a batch with a longer thread for his and friends’ cars, and then put the remainder on eBay.

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New (longer) mount on left

Installing the mounts was fairly easy, although the LHS mount took a bit of patience, and required temporarily removing the other two screws holding the screen in the bracket to allow it to be aligned and tightened.

The mirrors then just screw onto the mount. I’ve deliberately not over-tightened them, so will see if they stay in position, or need to be tightened further.

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New mirror FOV

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Just need a quick test drive now 🙂

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Build reflections

With the build finished and the car on the road, I thought I’d start wrapping the blog up with some reflections on the build.

Build time

The car was delivered in October 2017, and I’d planned to do a winter build and have the car on the road for Spring 2018. This turned out to be wildly optimistic, mostly due to inexperience and limited spare time.

Especially towards the beginning of the build, I was concerned about doing something wrong, so took the build at a very slow pace, making sure I read the manuals thoroughly and got familiar with the car. This did accelerate as I got through the build, and became a bit more confident in both the manual and my own ability. Certainly I noticed that when a job was to be done on both sides of the car, the second side took a fraction of the time!

The other thing I’d over-estimated was how much spare time I would have  – especially with two young children! Once it became clear that Spring was not going to happen, I resigned myself to a slower build anyway. There seemed little point rushing and not enjoying the build experience. Limited weekends also meant the build went in phases of building/not building, with a couple of months where very little was done. At points, I also caught myself thinking of the car more as a project to be delivered rather than a car to be built, and I had to consciously push myself to re-engage with it – once I did though, I quickly got back into enjoying the build each time.

Estimates for total build time vary, but a rough guide is 100 hours. I know I spent considerably more than that, although I don’t know the actual number. 100 seems doable, and I’m sure if I were to do it again now, I would be much closer to that scale of effort.

Build manual and parts (the “Caterham experience”)

Wow, the manual is bad. This car has been relatively unchanged for 60 years, and they still can’t put a decent manual together…

I ended up switching manuals from the older text-heavy version to the new diagram-centric version relatively early on, and the latter was definitely an improvement, although neither completely covers all aspects of the build. There were times when I ended up flicking between the manuals for direction, and frequently ended up on others’ blogs or emailing Derek for advice on something not covered by the manuals.

This really feels like something that could easily be remedied with little effort.

The main frustration with the manual is that it’s hard to tell if you’re building it right. You end up either stopping for clarification or taking some educated guesses at times to carry on. This was not always successful either, and caused a couple of re-work items in the PBC (e.g. seat washers).

The other key challenge impacting whether you feel you are building correctly is that some parts didn’t fit and needed some adjusting/shaping (widening holes etc.). For these I wasn’t sure whether it was the part or, whether I’d done something incorrectly. As the build progressed (and I got more familiar with the “Caterham experience”), my confidence in adjusting these grew until it actually became a familiar, almost funny refrain during the build.

Part of the challenge I had on my build (which may not be a problem for others) was that my car was delivered with part references from the older manual (labelled bags etc.), but the parts are labelled differently for the new manual (or not clearly identified), so I had to spend time with each step trying to make sure I had the right parts.  Parts also tended to be packaged in odd combinations, with bags often containing bits not required for the build. This did at least get easier later in the build when there were fewer parts remaining, however.

Derek and the blogs

Because of the issues with the manual, I ended up emailing Derek a lot early in the build. He was always very helpful, and sent very quick responses. I found that short emails to him with photos got the best responses. He obviously knows every aspect of the Caterham build – not sure what I would have done without his help at times!

I found others’ blogs to be a really useful source of information too, particularly purplemeanie.co.uk and caterham420rbuild.com. They just help validate that you’re not going too far off course, and photos of the car at each step really help supplement the gaps in the manual.

I also enjoyed writing my blog – taking the time each day to capture what I had done and the experience, and it’s something I can keep to remember the build now the car is complete. It also turned out to be useful in the PBC debating a couple of warranty items!

Achievement and frustration

There’s no doubt that building your own car brings a real sense of achievement. It’s great seeing the car develop as you go, transforming from a shell into a completed car – slowly shaping into a Caterham as the key parts go on.

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Day 1

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Day […several]

There are also a couple of really significant bits of the build – the main one being the installation of the engine. Navigating the engine and gearbox hanging from a hoist above the car and then into position was probably the most rewarding and terrifying part of the whole build.

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I found that the parts of the build I most enjoyed were where I could bolt the chunky stuff together: suspension, prop shaft, rear hubs etc. Anything that was nuts, bolts and spanners was the most enjoyable aspect. As a result, I now know every bolt on this car, and feel really confident working with it.

The aspects of the build I enjoyed less were the more fiddly parts: headlights/wiring and grommets (what a PITA that was), engine plumbing and the last few bits and pieces of IVA prep. Some of these jobs just took hours for no visible gain, and for the IVA prep there was limited information as to what “done” looked like, so I ended up getting a bit 80/20 towards the end, willing to let Caterham tidy it up a bit rather than spend lots of hours with an uncertain goal.

I did screw a couple of things up too. The main one was the bolts for the bell housing and engine mount where I broke the thread, although I maintain this was the fault of the torque values in the manual (especially as others had the same problem). It was easily remedied at PBC though, so no lasting damage.

The other irritating thing was that I managed to scratch the bodywork twice during the build. Entirely my fault, as I got too casual working near the bodywork over time and should have taken more care to cover it up as I did earlier in the build. That said, I was able to repair the paint damage, and I now already have some stone chips from it being on the road, so you can’t get too precious – it’s to be driven, after all! I can always get it resprayed/have the wings replaced down the road.

The other couple of mis-steps were in how I secured the wings and throttle cable, both of which ended up getting re-done (at increased cost) with the PBC. These were the points I strayed from the guide, so that was a clear lesson.

Build space and help required

Oh, for a double garage! I completed my build in a standard garage, and although it was doable, it did require some contortion at times, and I had to continuously move bikes etc. out of the way each time I wanted to work on it, which meant I couldn’t just do a quick 30 minutes when I had time very often.

I think I completed 95%+ of the build on my own, but at times help is definitely required, particularly for the engine, LSD, brakes and lifting/lowering the car. Thanks Brendan, Ben, Tom, Rach, Ewan and Zoë! 🙂 Brendan in particular really helped with tools and time, which I really appreciated, and Ben’s help with the engine installation was invaluable.

Changes/Upgraditis

I made a few changes as I worked through the build, the main one being to fit an FIA-spec roll bar. I also bought some aeroscreen brackets, although I ended up not fitting these as I couldn’t get them positioned correctly without drilling bodywork. If I do switch to an aeroscreen at any point (unlikely, I think), I’ll have another go with these.

I also bought a high-level third brake light, half-hood, smaller side mirrors and some rubber to line the aluminium bodywork in the boot to be installed after the build. I plan to get some LED bulbs and possibly some clear indicator lenses and repeaters too (although fitting these with the wings now glued could be difficult).

Caterham community

Another aspect of this experience I have really enjoyed has been the Caterham community on Facebook. The groups were always friendly and helpful (S3 vs. SV pontificating aside!), and a great source of knowledge. These will be something I will stay a part of going forwards, and I’m looking forward to meeting more people on club nights, drives and events too.

Final thoughts

I can’t remember the first time I knew I wanted to build a Caterham, but it was a lot of years ago. The experience completely lived up to my expectations even though it was probably a bit tougher than I’d anticipated at times, and definitely took longer than planned! I think I’d rather that than it was too easy, however (although Caterham – seriously – fix the manual).

I love that I now own a fantastic car and motoring icon where I know every nut and bolt. I caught myself thinking today as I turned into a quick corner, “I built this!” 🙂

I really enjoyed the build experience (and writing this blog), and I’ll happily tinker with it and work on it in future, but I’m looking forward to using it now, with the roof off, sun beating down and exhaust rumbling away beside me (above 4,000 rpm)…

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Half hood and first “proper” drive

Soft Bits half hood

Well, the weather wasn’t quite as good as forecasted, so no drive on Saturday, but I did dash out between showers (and thunder/hail!) to fit the half hood, which just required replacing a couple of poppers on the boot cover, and temporarily removing the roll bar rear bolts to slide the restraining straps in.

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Half hood fitted

The half hood actually looks a little less sleek than the full hood when fitted, but does have the advantage that it can be put up/taken down very quickly and rolls away to a reasonably small package in the boot, so is easier to carry around.

First “Proper” drive

We were busy all day Sunday for kids’ football and dancing events, but Bank Holiday Monday gave me a chance to take my son out for an hour or so around the local country lanes.

I’m still keeping the engine revs below 4,000rpm, so nothing too rapid, but we got to have some fun with the roof off and enjoy the car on much nicer roads. I also managed to navigate the whole journey without stalling once, so feeling a lot more comfortable with the pedals now 🙂 The engine is still a bit lumpy at low revs – especially when cold – but I’m getting a much better feel for the revs, and blending the throttle with a gear change.

The handling is incredibly sharp though corners – the speeds we were doing were nowhere near testing the limits – and the exhaust sounds great, with the occasional pop and bang as you lift off. It is just starting to sound really good as you reach 4,000rpm, so looking forward to pushing it beyond that!

After the drive, I got back in my everyday “sports” hatchback to go pick my daughter up, and it was telling how soft and sluggish that car suddenly felt, despite feeling quite nimble earlier in the day!

Looking forward to some great drives when the British summer finally arrives 🙂

Collection and first drive

So – this is it. After 18 months spent in pieces or away pending paperwork, I finally get to drive it. I took the day off work to head down to Caterham Gatwick and collect the car.

Collection

I took the train down in the morning, subconsciously theming the trip:

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You are Here. Not yet, but soon

When I arrived at the Caterham showroom, the handover was pretty quick – just payment for the PBC and IVA, and a quick check over the car.

I’d taken the logbook with me for the PBC service stamp and the only other job was to attach the number plates to the car.

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Ready to go

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Fortunately Caterham had filled the car with fuel for the IVA, so I didn’t need to worry about that. The only question was whether to take the roof off for the drive home. Given the skies looked a bit ominous, and the last thing I wanted whilst I got used to the car was to get caught in a downpour, I left it on.

First drive

So, after a bit more procrastinating around the car feeling somewhat nervous, there was nothing more to be done but get in and get going.

Folding myself in with the roof on wasn’t too difficult (muscle memory from my Elise), and I spent a bit of time adjusting the seat, mirrors and straps. Then – deep breath – start the engine.

It fired up and rumbled nicely – the first time I’d heard it run properly. Next, a feel test of the pedals: the clutch and brakes both felt very weighty, whilst the accelerator was a bit lighter. Ok, here we go.

Clutch down, select first (nice mechanical clunk), give it some revs, and…

…kangaroo it across the forecourt.

Smooth.

Clutch in, more revs, ease it down the slope to the road, check for traffic…

…and stall it.

Crap.

This is going to be interesting. I remember from the test drive that they can be difficult at low speed – none of the electronic trickery on the accelerator and clutch a modern car has that forgives clumsy driver input. It’s up to the driver to smooth it all out, and drive it properly.

Second attempt, and I pulled away a bit more smoothly (albeit with too many revs), and headed off down the road praying for green lights. Of course, the first one is red. And busy.

Green.

Handbrake off, revs, clutch up…

…stall it again.

Ugh.

But, I could now tell what I was doing wrong – the bite point on the clutch is quite a bit higher than my other car, and I was lifting off the clutch too quickly at the end of the pedal travel.

Next set of lights… also red. Also busy.

Green.

Handbrake off, revs, clutch up… and pull away. Yes! Still a little bit lumpy, but no stall.

At the next couple of junctions, it was progressively smoother, and then out onto the M23 and M25 and some time to get more familiar with the car, without the sensory overload of managing gear changes (suddenly I remember what learning to drive was like!).

I need to run the car in for the first 500 miles, keeping it below 4,000rpm, so I took it relatively easily at 60-70mph, varying the speed and the revs a bit to prevent the engine running too long at one speed.

The first impression on the motorway is just how loud the car is, especially with the roof on. Between the LSD and road noise, it’s not a quiet environment 🙂 Mind you, the M25 is not exactly its natural playground, either.

The next thing you notice quickly is how sharp the steering and suspension are, even on the motorway. Changing lanes is instant, and the car reacts to every line and bump in the road. Even the cats eyes cause a noticeable thump as you cross over.

After that, it’s how small it is, even the SV. Other cars loom over you, and trucks look like you could drive straight underneath. I started to notice a few glances as cars passed by too, especially looking up at children peering out of back windows 🙂

Finally, you notice how hot it is. Oh wait, the heater’s on. I can fix that.

By the time I was coming off the M25, I’d got a bit more used to the environment and less apprehensive, and the next pull away from standstill was slick. Got a feel for the clutch now.

The brakes also feel quite different to other cars I’ve driven. The pedal is very firm, and needs a lot of pressure, but it stops quickly and smoothly. Easy to judge, too.

The final part of the journey home was country lanes, and although I was staying below 4,000rpm, you could feel the car wanting to push on, and carry more speed through the corners.

As soon as I got home, a neighbour wandered round to have a look, and we spent a while chatting about the car – people do seem to like and appreciate it.

Looks like we’re in for a sunny Bank Holiday weekend this week, so I’m looking forward to taking the kids and Rach out for a spin, as well as getting the roof off. After that, it’s the run up to 500 miles whilst getting more used to the car, and then really having some fun 🙂

Registered and taxed

Paint repair

I’ve been having an email conversation with Caterham South over the last couple of weeks following on from the PBC and IVA. They confirmed the bolts I was concerned about on the engine mount and the bell housing had all been addressed (either heli-coiled or replaced with longer bolts), and the only item that was left to resolve was the paint damage under the car from delivery. Caterham South put in a warranty claim to Caterham which was rejected however, because they had no record of the damage being reported during the build.

I had reported the damage to Derek at the time and fortunately had a record of that, so forwarded them the email and (after a couple of days further consideration) they agreed to repair it as a warranty item. Another valuable reason to keep a build blog…

The car is now in with the paint shop to get that touched up before collection.

Car registration

In the meantime, I’d been checking the DVLA site every couple of days or so, and today, rather than an error message, I was able to look up the car number plate, which means the car is registered and taxed 🙂

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Once I get the nod from Caterham South that the paintwork is done, I can go and collect the car.

One final build gotcha

Michaela from Caterham South sent through the invoice today as well for PBC and IVA, which was marginally less than I was expecting, but did include a new throttle cable on the parts list. It appears they didn’t like how that had been fitted either (with the end clipped), and replaced it. The two parts of the build I strayed from the guide both ended up getting re-done (and charged) – lesson for the next build, I guess..?

IVA Pass and registration

IVA test

The car was booked into Southampton test centre today for the IVA test, and got a call from Michaela this afternoon that it had passed 🙂

She will send me out the paperwork today, and then it’s a case of taxing and registering the car before I can go and pick it up. Caterham’s estimate is about 3 weeks.

Number plates

I’d started to think about car registration whilst I was waiting for the car to be IVA’d. I was planning to put a private plate on the car, and had intended to use the one I have on retention from my old Lotus Elise S2: R15 TGS (“RIST GS”).

I decided to have a quick look around the DVLA site to see if there were any alternatives I preferred for the Caterham, though. A quick “C7” search turned up one I liked: C7 AFK. In gaming speak, AFK is Away From Keyboard (Off doing something else), and I liked the connotations – when out driving the Caterham, you are definitely AFK…

I thought it might be a bit niche though, so I kept trying to think of other suitable Caterham/C7 plates (all taken or very expensive), until I thought of using the car model – 310R SV – instead. Purchasable “R” registrations don’t go as high as 310 unfortunately, but they do go to 31. And “O” is a thing.

So, another quick search for R31 Oxx and a couple look good:

R31 OGR – ending with my initials, but looks a bit too much like “ROGER” for comfort(!), and:

R31 OSV, or with some slightly ‘creative’ spacing:

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Let’s hope UK’s finest also appreciate the word play, as is technically an offence to misrepresent a plate… Given the number of incorrectly-spaced plates I’ve noticed on the road though, it doesn’t seem to be a priority, hopefully..? I can always carry the legal plates in the car anyway if necessary, just in case.

The plate was a bit of a bargain as it was on the cheapest cost tier for new plates (£250 including £80 assignment fee). The V750 arrived within a couple of days too – just in time for the paperwork to be submitted.

I’ve used myshowplates.com to order the plates – a standard plate for the rear and a 12” x 3” small plate for the front (the standard plates look enormous). I know some people go without a front plate (“Honestly, it literally just fell off round that corner, officer…”), but hopefully a small plate is a good compromise.

Purchases

Whilst the car was away, I also picked up a few more essentials:

  • Stormforce car cover (outdoor weather protection and indoor scratch protection)
  • GPS tracker
  • Phone windscreen mount/cable/12v socket USB connector for SatNav etc.

Spring’s coming…

A bit more paperwork (and money), and I’ll be on the road – just as the weather improves!


Final paperwork

The IVA form arrived from Caterham the next day, along with some instructions on completing the registration process.

This required populating and signing the (partially completed) V55/4 and V627/1 forms, and providing:

  • Original sales invoice
  • IVA certificate
  • Certificate of Newness
  • Invoices for the axles and engine

With the exception of the invoice for the axles I had to request from Caterham, all the others were provided with the car when purchased.

I also had to provide identification documents (copies of driving license and bank statement for name/address), sign and submit the Certificate of Entitlement for the number plate, and include a cheque for £310 for registration and road tax.

These all got sent to the DVLA via recorded post, and now I wait for the car to be registered before I can pick it up.

Barring any issues with the paperwork, I think that’s it for the build now. The car is waiting at Caterham South for its registration. The next step is to collect it and drive it home – that will be quite an enjoyable moment 🙂

Post Build Check

I’d consciously gone into the PBC with an attitude of “95% is close enough, and I’ll let Caterham finish up” for some aspects of the build. The alternative would be to spend more build days/weekends tweaking the last few jobs when I wasn’t really sure what 100% looked like anyway in most cases, so there was no guarantee the result would be any different.

I’d also found myself getting a bit fatigued by the last few prep jobs – having to balance the build against other commitments – and I want to get the car out on the road so I could enjoy it.

Consequently, I was expecting a few items to be identified in the PBC, and Caterham duly obliged. I then had a polite email back-and-forth with Caterham South around items that were definitely on me, and what Caterham would address free of charge.

The results are in…

Items highlighted as IVA concerns (i.e. at my expense to fix):

“Engine wiring loom not correctly routed and not secured every 300mm. Includes routing coolant hoses correctly and horn wiring”

Not surprised about this one, but it was the largest job identified in terms of time to be billed. My main issue with this is that wiring is not covered anywhere in the manual. I pushed back and Caterham South said that it is covered in the IVA guide (one low-res photo), but relented after another (polite) email, and reduced the cost.

“Both front indicator wiring looms need to be secured to the front suspension”

Not sure I’d actually seen this anywhere in the IVA guide, but it was only a quick job, so I didn’t challenge it.

“Rotate radiator fan is it is fitted upside down as per the guide”

Hadn’t realised there was an up/down. There is a ‘technician tip’ in the manual though that the fan may have a flat section which should go at the top. Think I just missed this. Another quick job though.

“Academy oil breather pipes are too long and the overfill pipe is missing”

This is not covered in the manual. I had asked Derek about this, and thought I had followed the guidance I was given, so Caterham agreed to reduce this as well.

“Tail lamps loose”

Think I just didn’t tighten these sufficiently as I was concerned about putting too much pressure on the lamps and wheel arch bodywork. I figured they were better under-tightened than over-tightened. Another quick job, with the time reduced by Caterham as a goodwill gesture.

“‘A’ frame is not aligned correctly”

Not surprised by this one either. I had measured this repeatedly, but wasn’t sure I had enough washers fitted. Happy for Caterham to properly align this.

“Speed sensor needs to be secured to radius arm as per the guide”

It was secured, but apparently not satisfactorily. Quick fix though.

“Front brake callipers leaking (suspect copper washers not central on the caliper); “T” piece at rear leaking; Rear brake hoses twisted and leaking to include brake bleed”

Not at all surprised by this (I’d reported this in my feedback). Tightening and bleeding the brakes were the bane of my build towards the end. Again, happy for Caterham to resolve and set up properly.

“Handbrake cables need routing correctly as per the IVA guide”

I’d reported this one also as I wasn’t happy with the cable routing (running very close to the driveshafts).

“Both front cycle wings need the cable ties removed and fitting correctly”

This one was annoying, and the second longest job identified. I had deliberately not followed the manual here (choosing to use bighead clasps and cable ties), and it cost me a bit as Caterham insisted that the wings be properly fixed to the stays for the IVA. As I wanted them to organise the IVA, and I’d essentially ignored their instruction, there wasn’t much I could argue with. Unnecessary cost, this one.

“Wrong washers fitted on seat rails (too small)”

Poor guidance in the manual here, and I’d used the washers that were supplied with the seats, but a close look at the manual does show different washers.

Items that Caterham will fix free of charge:

“Part of PBC”

  • Mirrors loose
  • Steering rack needs to be centralised as the cycle wings are hitting the side skins
  • Headlamps need to be tightened and aligned
  • Pedal set up required
  • Throttle set up required
  • All spring adjustors need to be tightened
  • Exhaust loose
  • Various IVA trims required to be fitted for IVA purposes

“Incorrect size “P” clips used on throttle cable – needs to be secured every 300mm”

Caterham originally wanted to charge for this, but I’d fitted the p-clips supplied, so pushed back on this and Caterham agreed to rectify for free

“Not clear in guide/incorrect in guide, so FOC”

  • Bulkhead ground should have a washer fitted underneath the terminal
  • Fan brackets should have no washers fitted
  • Engine mounting washers are incorrect washer
  • Alternator positive lead needs to half a half nylock

Other items I’d reported for the PBC (also FOC)

  • Replace the two bell-housing bolts that had stripped threads with longer bolts
  • Helicoil and replace the loose engine mount bolt
  • Check and repair the paintwork under the car

Thoughts

All in, not too bad – a bit more than I was expecting (maybe a B-?), but I’d assumed there would be some remediation and ended up with mostly FOC or quick jobs with the exception of the engine wiring and cycle wings. I could have taken the car back to remediate the concerns myself, but at this point, I’m happy to just let Caterham do it and get the car to 100% ready.

Interestingly, rubber piping for the rear fog/reversing lights wasn’t mentioned, so glad I didn’t mess around with that for too long.

Next steps

Now I sit back, and wait. Caterham will do the remediation and the IVA. I can then get the car registered, and go pick it up.

Car back with Caterham

Brake fluid leak

The car is going back to Caterham today for the PBC, but before I packed it off, I had one last look at the brake union. With my wife back in the car pumping the pedal, I could finally see where the leak was. I wasn’t able to fix it, but I could at least tell Caterham.

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Brake fluid visible between the nuts

Transporting the car

Brendan arrived about 8:30, so after the compulsory cup of tea, I fitted the bonnet, doors, steering wheel and weather gear, and we pushed the car out onto the driveway.

This was the first time it’s been out of the garage, so I took some shots 🙂

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We then manoeuvred the car out onto the road, did a quick 3-point turn and pushed/winched it up onto Brendan’s trailer.

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Ready to go

Driving down to Caterham South took an hour or so. We unloaded the car and I took one of the engineers through the PBC notes. He did comment that it was a shorter list than most, so I’ll find out what that means when they do the PBC on Monday. I’ve either been a) reasonably competent, or b) reasonably ignorant.

The only thing that looks like it might be a problem are the stripped threads in the bell-housing. I’ll see what they come back with.

One interesting aside: we were talking about colour and he mentioned that it isn’t Kawasaki green as most people (including me up to this point) think it is, but it’s actually a Porsche paint code: Gelbgrün, used on the 911 GT3 RS etc. Caterham call it “Hyper Green” 🙂

Showroom

Having dropped the car in, we grabbed a quick coffee and wandered round. They have a nice display with a 620R (same as my lego model), with the stripped-down chassis side-by-side. I always like seeing the engineering under the skin, and it now looks a lot more familiar than when I was last here.

 

IMG_4868

Version 2

All that’s left now is to email Michaela the PBC list, and wait for the verdict next week.