Sunday, 30 October 2011

Caterham Academy 2012 - Build (Day 16)

Day 16:

Yesterday was my last day working on the car before Caterham pick her up on Monday to complete the post build inspection and put her through the IVA. I had originally planned to do all of this myself, but have well and truly run out of brownie wife has been fantastic about the whole process and very supportive, but I work very long hours and don't really see my kids during the week, so being away from them at weekends is just too unfair on everyone.

My brother was over for the weekend, so came to give me a hand. I got him working through the IVA checklist whilst I finished up a number of the jobs I knew I still had to complete. I spent most of that time trying to get the plug out of the diff so I could top it up with oil, which was a bit of a pain, but eventually managed with an improvised tool consisting of a cut down 14mm bolt and some mole-grips (there just wasn’t enough room between the diff and de-Dion tube to get my 14mm socket in). I then wired up the front lights, got the IVA mirrors fitted, put the rear view mirror in and finally fitted the fuel filler cover. All jobs relatively easily and quickly completed. Meanwhile my brother put IVA covers on all of the suspension components, exhaust and all around the cycle looks rubbish and I can't believe that it will really make any difference in an accident, but needs must and I want the car to go through the IVA first time, so on it went. How long it remains on the car I just can't say!

After 5 hours in the garage, we dropped the car down onto her wheels, started her up and drove her outside onto the drive, which was a fantastic feeling and gave me a real sense of achievement. I let her run up to temperature, checked that the fan cut in and that I had no leaks. Everything seemed fine, but there are a couple of small things that are not quite right yet. The oil pressure gauge isn't reading (despite plenty of oil) and the tacho occasionally flickers, which suggests that one of my earths isn't quite right or that a fuse is playing up, but these are small things.

I then drove her to the end of the close and back again......well just because I wanted the satisfaction, before driving her back into the garage and getting the paperwork ready for Caterham. I have left them a list of a few things that I want/need checking/completing. I know that I could do these final few jobs myself in less than a day and am a bit annoyed that I didn't have the time to do them, but my family time is so precious that discretion dictated I leave them to Caterham next week.

This whole process has been hugely absorbing and has given me a massive sense of satisfaction. It has been hard work and frustrating at times, but I wouldn't hesitate to do it all over again and for now I am just looking forward to getting the car back from Caterham and starting to use her in anger. I have been without a Caterham for almost 6 years, but getting into my new baby and driving her to the end of the road and back has made me realise that has been 6 years too long....I can't wait for that first proper drive post IVA!

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