Day 21. After a week of long evening in the office I finally managed to get back out on the car for a couple of hours. All the IVA related trim is now on the car and I’ve fitted the doors. Had to stop as I suddenly thought that starting on the car at 11am and drilling holes to 1am wasn’t the best way to make friends with the neighbours.
Day 20. Now that the electrics are done it was time to connect up the battery and see if the lights etc all work. Had a slight worry when nothing worked. Remembered the car has a master cut off switch which was off. Turn that and everything came to life. After a quick test of every switch on the dash it all seems to work correctly.
Moved onto the hood which was a lot of faffing and warming with a heat gun so I could stretch it to size. Had to mark the rest of the poppers and drill holes in the bodywork which is always a worrying stage. Case of measure twice and then again to make be safe! Going to leave the roof on till the car is collected for IVA in the hope that it will lead to the roof being permanently stretched to the right size.
Day 19. Nothing interesting to show just spent the evening working my way through the IVA checklist. Fitting plastic caps on bolts and edge trim on ‘sharp’ edges. In the unfortunate event of a rabbit running onto the race track I can sleep easier knowing he will be hit by a plastic capped nut instead of just a metal nut.
Day 18 biggest bit of news is IVA paperwork has been sent off and collection date arranged for the post build check with Caterham on the 21st November. Which sounds plenty of time except for being away every weekend between now and then and having a couple of weeks holiday. In reality got about 10 evening or less to finish it which is super exciting.
Now I have a caliper winding tool I was able to fit the rear brakes and sort out the handbrake. Had hoped to connect up the rear brake hoses. If I follow the instructions on washers and nuts there is not enough thread left to tighten up the nut and brake fluid will leak everywhere. Going to have to Google that one tomorrow.
After hitting that problem thought I would go for something easy like the wing mirrors. Turns out looking simple doesn’t mean simple. The IVA friendly brackets and the bolts that they mount onto are a good mm or 2 different in diameter. So out with the dremel again to fix them. Don’t like the look of them on the car so will probably get some more aerodynamic ones for racing. Assuming they are in the list of things we are allowed to change.
Sorting out the throttle cable and pedal was dead easy once you work out that the pedal is completely the wrong shape and when the manual say you might have to bend it a little bit with a screwdriver is actually code for it’s way out and you need to bend the end back about 5cm. I now have spot on 100% throttle travel. With a bit of luck some of my fellow racers will not bend it enough and end up with 90% 🙂
Day 17, spent the afternoon finishing off the electrics on the car.
Rear light clusters were an easy job as was the number plate light.
I missed the IVA requirements when I did the front lights early in the build (Would be nice if instructions related to a step were in the same place).
Had to unbolt the anti roll bar and upper wishbone to get the front light bracket off. After redoing everything in heatshrink and putting grommets in the correct places hopefully that is the last time I have to mess with the lights.
I found a really good guide on another 7 blog. http://www.caterhamr500.co.uk/2014/02/build-day-four-headlight-and-indicator.html. (At the time I had no idea that Dan French would also be building an Academy car and racing against him!)
Next job was to fit the cycle wings prepared yesterday. This would involve threading a cable down a narrow tube and out of an impossible hole. Perfect example of what I’m really enjoying about building a car. You hit a problem and have to workout a solution. In this case I remembered I had lots of spare cable from wiring the garage. Cut and stripped the copper core out and I had something to pull the cable through the hole. Five minutes a cycle wing and job done.
Been a bit lazy on the progress reports.
Monday was spent driving a Caterham around Silverstone GP circuit on one of their experience days. Had an absolute blast. It probably was made all the more fun knowing that soon I would be racing my own Caterham!
Tuesday – Thursday was mainly spent doing odd job like the boot cover and faffing with the seat to get the belts the right length.
Day 13 was a great day with a lot of progress made. Having dad visit for the day really helped getting stuff bolted together and working around the problems. Two minds is better that one!
Rear suspension is virtually complete apart from the brake calipers. As are the rear wings.
The drivers seat is known for being a complete pain but I didn’t even bother trying to use the bolts provided. Skipped straight to the better solution I read about. Which is use bolts that get locked into the grooves of the runners and no messing around with hex keys. After two attempts it was in.