November 4, 2003

Nothing much

Still got some bits to do. Still waiting for SVA....

Posted by charles at 8:00 PM

November 9, 2003

Day 28 - Finishing off

Last whole day for checks today before the trip to Dartford next weekend. On getting the car out I spotted a drop of oil on the cardboard underneath which on further investigation was coming from the gearbox. I cleaned it off and tried to tighten the drain plug a bit but the allen key tends to just turn. Hopefully the drip was left over from the filling.

I drove the car round the estate a couple of times and it was fine - I even hit 30mph :-). I did notice a sort of rubbing/knocking sound which corresponded to road speed but I think it is just the handbrake cable rubbing against the driveshaft. I put the car back up on axle stands and moved the cable to get some clearance and then ran the car in 1st on the stands (great tip Steve!). The noise was gone so I'll just have to wait and see. The other thing that I noticed was even with my new racing boots on, the accelerator is very tight with my boot rubbing against the sidewall and the brake pedal.

Tightened the headlights up and tightened the seat to the floor after putting it in the right place. The sliders don't seem to want to move when the seat is properly bolted down :-(. Unfortunately I then discovered that I couldn't get the crotch strap under the seat so it may have to be loosened off again.

Fitted the number plate light but blew the fuse because I didn't pay attention to what spade connector I was hooking the wire up to!

...and the wing mirrors are on using my 'custom' brackets.

3 hours today, 96 hours total.

Posted by charles at 6:48 PM

November 15, 2003

To Dartford for PBC and SVA

The day had come to drive to Datford for the post build check. They are also going to SVA and register the car for me, but the SVA appointment isn't until 25/11 so there's a week and a bit to wait. Here's some pictures of the finished car.

I had to fill the car up with petrol and Lucy was following in her car loaded up with tools in case it all went wrong. After telling her I was probably going to sit around 60 I shot off down the A22 and onto the M25 doing around 80 - the car felt so comfortable! It was a bit cold, but I didn't find it amazingly windy. I was surprised at how supple the rear suspension felt and how straight and planted the car was.

Dropped the car off and went through my list although I'm not sure they were really listening. I'll mail Simon with it on Monday as well.

Posted by charles at 6:55 PM

November 20, 2003

PBC done, now just SVA

I spoke to Simon Lambert at Caterham today to find out how my car had got on at the Post Build Check and although he didn't have any details, he said that it was fine. I'll have to wait a bit longer to find out what I got wrong :-). Roll on Tuesday and the SVA....

Posted by charles at 4:40 PM

November 26, 2003

SVA Pass!

Well, it passed. I assume first time. I assume without incident.

Why all the assumptions?

Well, Caterham haven't actually told me it passed yet :-). But Guy (7heavensoon) spoke to James Gibson (Caterham shortages master) who was the lucky one who took my car for SVA and he said that it passed. But he also moaned about how cold it was with no side screens or roof!

Caterham gossip, you can't beat it.

Assuming it has actually passed, I pick the car up on Friday!

Posted by charles at 7:51 AM | Comments (2)

Chris said:

Time for a (legal) blat then !

Meant to drop you a note thanking you for putting all this info up. It's helping me no end during my build.

('cr' on the various forums)

Charles said:

Thanks Chris - really glad you found it useful. First legal blat on Friday!


Spoke to Simon and he confirmed that it did pass - not that I ever doubted you Guy :-). They've fitted the oil/water temperature switch and the car is ready to be picked up on Friday. I haven't got the details on any problems yet as Simon hasn't had a chance to pull together the stuff but he's going to let me know tomorrow.

Posted by charles at 4:07 PM

November 28, 2003

Road legal

Picked up the car from Caterham today. Met Simon and he went through all the paperwork before getting the car round. They had fitted the switch to allow both oil and water temperature to be read from the existing water temperature gauge. It had passed SVA without problems, but it's interesting to see how many things have gained rubber edges - even the bonnet clip covers had rubber piping round the outside! I'd made one mistake on the build - the rear flexible pipe was fitted incorrectly and they had to move the lock nut to the other side of the bulkhead. I'd noticed this during the build and was sure that I'd followed the manual, even though it was obvious that the lock nut was going to pull the joint apart when tightened. Oh well. Simon handed me all the paperwork including my stamped service book and off I went.

I haven't had a chance to check everything I put on the list but as soon as I got in the car it was obvious that there was now much better clearance for the accelerator pedal, and the seat seamed to slide (reluctantly) on its sliders. I'll have to go through the list when I get the chance.

Drive home was great, if a bit cold, and I made a diversion to the Caterham builders second home - Halfords - to get some spray paint to redo my wing mirror brackets. They had to remove them for SVA and the paint was now flaking off. Once home I gave the car a quick wash and cleaned out all the bits of metal swarf that had been left in the cockpit following the switch fitting :-(. The aluminium has a bit of a nasty mark where the windscreen washer water has sat on the bulkhead after testing and I didn't really have time to get rid of it properly. I did fit the fire extinguisher handle whilst I was waiting though! I also pulled selected bits of SVA trim off - the dashboard bulkhead cover was the first to go. Sometime after me dropping the car off, Caterham had lost my fuse box cover and I quite liked that so I might have to get them to send me a replacement.

Well, it was very dark by now. I put the car away and won't be able to drive it tomorrow as I'm off to Caterham Midlands for the Academy 2004 seminar.

Posted by charles at 7:27 PM

November 30, 2003

Caterham Midlands Day

It was a good day at Caterham Midlands - a chance to meet everyone and find out a bit more about what to expect. I was rather miffed when the first thing that they did was hand out an appendix to the manual covering all the extra bits and pieces you need to do, like the rear wheel protection bar etc. Why couldn't we have this at the beginning!? It did make me realise that I have got some fixings mixings for the headrest and timing strut, so I'll be back onto James on Monday.

There's lots of warnings in the appendix about the rear wheel protection bar not being SVA compliant, but judging from the trim on mine (see yesterday's entry) it was on the car when it was SVA'd.

I have to admit that I was very impressed with the quality of the cars built by Caterham Midlands. Tie wraps everywhere!

Posted by charles at 7:56 AM