Build Day 7 – roll cage

Seventh day and managed to find a spare couple of hours to fit the roll cage. Which didn’t quite fit so had to widen some holes so the threads would line up. Also bolted in the passenger seat as I don’t think I’ll need to move it again.

Big day tomorrow for the build. Finally the engine will be going in along with the gearbox and the last of the heavy parts!

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Build Day 6 – handbrake

Sixth day and managed to spend a couple of hours on the car fixing some of the issues I was stuck on Sunday. The elusive handbrake parts were in the bag labelled ‘axle’ and putting that in was a quick job. The seats didn’t fit previously because I used the wrong set of seat belt mounting points on the inboard side. Totally missed the other holes because the interior of the car was not well lit. With a torch in the car it was easy to spot them. Won’t bolt the seat in yet as it would block me getting to the mounting points for the rear suspension which i’ve yet to start. At least with the seat in it is starting to look more like a car.


Also got around to drilling holes in the driver side floor pan so I could fit the 2 lower harness straps. The instructions don’t match up with the parts so made it up based on what made sense to me. Hopefully it’s correct.

I think i’m almost out of jobs without the engine in. So next is roll cage. Then fitting the engine in at the weekend which should give me a long list of new stuff to work on.

Caterham Academy seats

Build Day 5 – interior rivets

Fifth afternoon of the build and I had a simple aim get everything on the interior of the car done and possible fit a seat or two and maybe even the rollcage.

First job was to fit the knee trim panels and rivet the side panels. Three rivets in and my riveter broke! Painfully slow trip to screwfix to pick up a replacement and I was good to go. Sometime later and several cuts later the panels were in.


Decided to keep it simple and fit the fixed passenger seat first as I still needed to sort out the 6 point harness on the driver side. Since it was a fix seat how hard can it be I thought? Turns out not simple. The harness mounting get in the way and prevent the seat going back far enough to match up the holes in the floor pan. Either i’m an idiot or the holes are in the wrong place. At this point decided to have a tidy up and give up for the weekend.

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Build Day 4 – engine prep & seat belts

Fourth day (afternoon) of the build. First things first was a trip to Halfords to get some much needed supplies for a few of the upcoming jobs. I’m actually a bit ahead of where I thought I would be so now it was a case of skipping ahead in the build manual and finding stuff I could do that didn’t depend on the engine being in the car. Spent ages trying to find the handbrake kit. Pretty sure it’s not there so will come back to that one.

Managed to tick off the front anti roll bar, engine mounts, boot cover, 4 point harness. Then hit a problem with the 6 point harness. ‘drill a 11mm hole in floor’. I don’t have a 11mm drill bit. Added that to tomorrow’s shopping list and onto another job. That is the thing with kit cars every job has a dependency on another and if you can’t do one thing you have to abandon a whole lot of related stuff.

Decided I would try and get the gearbox onto the bell housing and then onto the engine. Apart from trying to move a 55kg gearbox around without doing my back in it was all pretty straightforward. Apart from one (well actually 2) minor details. The bolts that attach the starter motor to engine and bolt through into bell housing can only be described as complete buggers to get to. Should have taken 5mins instead took 30.

Caterham Academy front suspension

Build Day 2 – front suspension

Second evening of the build got off to a flying start assembling the right upright and brake hoses. After the trials of the previous nights bolts which were awkward to get to fitting the uprights was a joy of simplicity.

Quickly moved onto assembling the left hand side front suspension. This was a lot easier as I knew exactly what bits were needed where and was a breeze to fit.

 

Caterham steering rack

Build Day 1 – front suspension

First evening of the build started off with what was going to be the start of a typical pattern. “I’ve seen that somewhere, which box was it in again”. In this case it was the elusive steering rack fixing hidden under a piece of cardboard in the bottom of a box. Took three checks of every box and a lot of wasted time but found it! Fitting it was a lot easier than finding the fixings.

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Next up was the front right lower & upper wishbone. Sounded simple enough only everything is a tight fit so a little light hammering was required. Upper wishbone bolt also holds the front light bracket so had to build that as well. That sorted and onto the damper. The top bolt for this is in a stupid location and the manual says to ‘bend’ the bodywork out of the way which was a bit nerve wracking, will it bend back?
Decided to call it a night and tackle uprights and left hand side the following evening.

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