Monday, 3 October 2011

Caterham Academy 2012 - Build (Day 4)

Day 4:

I had a bit of a late start today, but did manage to use the morning to go and pick up an engine hoist from a very kind Caterham 7 Club member not too far away, so I don't feel too guilty about the limited progress made today!

I managed to get a few hours in the garage in the afternoon and started by removing and re-assembling the front ARB, which I wasn't quite happy with. I was worried that one of the balls wasn't quite sitting correctly in the cup on the front of the upper wishbone. It was a good job I did check because it had shattered and needed replacing, which was a relativity straightforward job.

I then moved on to the bellhousing, which attached to the gearbox pretty easily. Having phoned Caterham in the morning to tell them I couldn't find the kit to mount the gearbox I realised it was in the one box I hadn't opened! Now there is a valid reason for is because the box was marked starter motor! Apparently they remove the starter motor and put on the engine, then re-use the box for the bellhousing/gearbox kit. With a bit of fiddling the gearbox and bellhousing went onto the engine without any great challenge. The bolts that attach the starter to the block were the main challenge, but weren't too bad.

Finally I completed a few of the small jobs required before the engine and gearbox can be installed in the engine, such as fitting the washer bottle and connecting up the coolant hoses at the back of the engine. I still need to do the horns and a couple of other small things, but they should only take me an hour or so before I look to get the engine in.

I hope to make an early start tomorrow and get a good 10 hours in. I would really like to get the engine and gearbox into the chassis, so I can then start work on the rear suspension the following day. The thing I find really hard at the moment is knowing how well I am progressing. Having never done anything like this before it is hard to know if I am on track to complete by the end of next week or not, but it is great fun, even if it is frustrating at times. Tomorrow should be a good day and help me to see a big difference in the build process and boost confidence further, but for now I am contenting myself with getting things done properly!


  1. I'd say, going from my own progress, if you manage to put good time in every day till the end of the week, you wont have any trouble getting at least all the mechanical bits done and out of the way, probably to a drivable state.

    Looking good! Keep it up, it only gets... well, after you do the rear suspension it only gets easier :D.

  2. it was in the one box I hadn't opened! Now there is a valid reason for is because the box was marked starter motor!

    I did exactly the same! After spending much of the weekend pottering about not able to do much (my diff arrives today, hopefully) I thought I'd best open the starter box before I asked Caterham to send it again, only to find the CRM, air filter, and fixings pack. I could have kicked myself, I really could.