Monday, April 11, 2016

Aaaaaand............we're back...

Hi all,

We are back and building again! It's been crazy busy here since the wedding this past month and there is no sign of it abating anytime soon. However Dad and I hope to be posting more regularly and we hope to be making good progress over the coming weeks!

First off, around the time of the Wedding Loan Car (thanks once again Caterham!) - see previous post for details, Caterham informed us that we had to change our fuel gauge. This was due to our new Ford Duratec Engine now being made in Mexico (I believe) and there had been some minor changes to the ancillaries. We were sent the new Gauge (below left), to replace it and to send the old gauge back.

New (left) and old fuel gauge. Some cosmetic changes.

On the face of it, this appeared to be a quick and easy replacement job, however when we removed the old gauge from the dashboard it turned out to be far from a 'bolt-off, bolt-on' job, see below:

New gauge (left), showing the new style wiring connections versus the old spade clips style.

The wiring connections are completely different; the new gauge having an integrated 6-pin connection, versus the old gauge's three pin and a bulb holder. Naturally we can't find the right plug in the loom behind the dashboard and got onto Caterham, they are investigating, when we know something so will you. I really hope there isn't too much remedial wiring required... 
[EDIT 28/4/16: Latest info from Caterham is that it is more than likely going to have to be looked at in the Post-build check. Sounds like a connector will have to be spliced into the loom somehow.]

Loom connections don't fit new style gauge...

With that on the back burner for now, we turned our attention to fitting what Dad calls the 'Monuments' for the engine. These are the fixed parts that don't move under the bonnet and have all the connections going to and from them i.e. the heater, the water tank etc. The reason for this is that we could then more easily visualise where all the piping had to run and to work out the actual lengths of pipe required. We decided to fit the heater first and was a relatively simple job to do, we just had to enlarge the mounting holes, as the bolts supplied were too big.

Enlarging mounting holes on the heater.
Heater mounted.

The heater outlets under the dash.

EDIT 14/May/16
Andrew Bissell (who has a fantastic blog here) noticed that we've put the assembly in the pic above upside down and left a comment below. This has now been rectified; the 'ears' (see below) should protrude down from the bottom of the scuttle/firewall to blow air forwards towards your feet. This has now been rectified. Thanks Andrew!

'Ears' pointing down now...

One of the tasks on the manual that I wasn't looking forward to was mounting the oil breather bottle bracket onto the chassis rail. To compound matters we couldn't find the fixings required for the job in the fixings pack (a perennial problem!).

To do the job it required drilling off the existing rivet in order to use the vacated hole for a new one, this was so that the right side of the bracket could be attached. Also it meant drilling a completely new hole, through the chassis tube, for the corresponding rivet on the left side of the bracket, no mistakes allowed! In the end, I needn't have worried as it worked a cinch. The bracket (see below) is well and truly fixed and the bottle fits perfectly.

Oil Breather Bottle Bracket (note the 2 black rivets used)

The next job was to fit the radiator, again the SV arrangement is rather different, and the relevant section for the Duratec models was very short, vague and had few pictures to guide us! Fortunately there is a picture in the Sigma 125 engine section (figure 55?) and we were able to mock this up on the workbench:

SV Radiator arrangement mocked up on bench. We think it's correct!

We took some burrs off the edge of the Radiator Mounting Plates (silver pieces on the left and right sides) and fitted it loosely to the front of the chassis. This was so that the radiator could be centred on the front of the car and the slots for the bolts aligned.

Radiator fitted.

Finally, we fitted the steering wheel to the boss (you may remember that the screws supplied were mushroom-headed as opposed to countersunk). However as soon as we had completed this we noticed a rather alarming amount of play when turning the steering wheel. It turned out one of the Universal joints hadn't been tightened enough (oops), as soon as it was re-torqued to Caterham specs the steering became as tight as a drum and twice as responsive (note to self for when we drive her!). Also, another outstanding item checked off the list!

Steering wheel fitted. Time to climb in and make some 'Brum Brum, SCREEEEECH!' noises...

Apart from fitting the expansion bottle for the water (we have a wet sump, hence the tank fits on top of the cruciform, see below), that was it for the day. Decent amount of progress made and happy with what we had achieved. Next time we will be trying to get the engine properly connected with the mass of pipes and jubilee clips.

Note the expansion tank now fitted on top of the Cruciform. Overall Decent amount of progress made!


  1. Hi Kevin, I'm enjoying your buiid blog. I noticed on the heater picture that the plastic bit inside the car appears upside down. There are two 'ears' that are meant to always blow hot air down towards your feet. It may be you already know this and want the heater the way you have it. Hope you are having fun. Andrew.

  2. Hi Andrew, thanks for reading our blog and for the comment, I use your blog quite often for tips and tricks, particularly WRT the air box, thanks for sharing. Despite the slowish progress we are having a ball!
    RE the heater 'ears' you are absolutely right, thanks for the tip! I have now rectified this. If you see anything else, please let us know...