caterham academy build manual

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caterham academy build manual

The painted chassis then undergoes preparation on the production line. On completion, the remainder of the Seven is hand-picked and boxed up ready to depart the factory. We will then be in touch to book a delivery date at a time to suit you. The labeled boxes coincide with each step, enabling you to identify which box you need at any given time. Draper provides the perfect toolkit solution to help you complete and maintain your new Seven. Remember that our technical team is also available to assist with any questions you might have throughout the build. Our Service workshops are on hand to help you with IVA preparation and post-build checks. On passing the IVA test your car is then eligible for registration with the DVLA. Watch this shortened time-lapse of the assembly process. When they’re not bolting our British bundles of fury together, they’re hard at work theorising and ruminating on how they can save even more weight, refine the chassis further and extract every last drop of power from the Seven. By using this site, you agree that we may store and access cookies on your device. For more information on how we use cookies see our privacy policy. Could someone please confirm if this is the complete build manual and if not could someone please share the complete manual? Regrettably, it's woefully short on Duratec info such as plumbing, as other current 420 builders (such as CtrMint ) will attest. After much confusion Caterham told me to use the new manual for chassis only items. The older manual does fill in some of the gaps but it is still incomplete due to some of the revised practices now used by Caterham. As an example they fit the washer bottle in the boot stuff like that. You'll always get a response to any question at any level, so I wouldn't worry too much about the manual.

When I started out I was reluctant to ask too many basic questions for fear of the usual negative internet forum responses, I've learned that's not present here and the support is truly brilliant, infact they've given me a tremendous amount of morale support to keeping trying too ! Its just I've found so many omissions or misinformation in them, you just end up in a position where you take the manual with a pinch of salt, and that's not a good thing. Blog: Its just I've found so many omissions or misinformation in them, you just end up in a position where you take the manual with a pinch of salt, and that's not a good thing. Of course, assembling a 7 is more complicated than a flat-pack desk, but I think the principle still holds. Certainly, the diagrams show clearly the orientation of parts and the relationship between them. The main snag at the moment is that the info provided is incomplete as it doesn't apply to all models. Not including Duratec-specific stuff is unforgivable in my view, especially as those models are the more expensive ones. I would like to think that the current manual is simply work-in-progress, with someone beavering away to complete it! Of course, it's now old iron and CC no longer support it or offer it to builders. The big problem was how to cover accurately all the various models in a single publication. IME, it's a daunting challenge to do this well while maintaining a readable and flowing document. CC produce for their own internal use a set of Workshop Notices, which set out details of minor design and production changes. Some of these make their way into the 7 community. It would a big bonus if the relevant ones could be appended to the Guide right from the start. Many years ago I suggested they make these docs available to registered users online as a way of helping people trying to build their cars, but they didn't take up the idea.

The usefulness (or otherwise) of the assembly guides has been legendary for as long as I can remember so I can't understand the reluctance to host some photos and pdfs, can't be hard surely? It gets you close, and as already mentioned there is plenty of support, Caterham themselves, blogs and blatchat all are fantastic sources of information. I don't think you need to be a mechanic, or have years of experience working on cars to build a Caterham, but you must at least know your way around basic hand tools, and be happy to use them on cars, or find someone who does, and is prepared to help. Given the level of support available your confidence to complete the build wont be limited to the quality of the manual. I’ve had a brief read of the old the manual and there isn’t anything which stands out. I don’t understand how CC can think that the newer version is a suitable replacement, but I’m not going to dwell on that. However I’m sure they would have a lot more queries and unhappy customers without this group. Also after reading Mark’s (CtrMint) blog and the issues he has had, is this just bad luck or are they all of a poor quality? But I have to say the paint quality on mine is first class. It seems to me he's been unusually unlucky. Get to know your local club members, some may have been through this journey too and be happy to help. If in doubt.ask the dumb questions, usually you'll find they are not so dumb. I asked Caterham to paint the car the same colour as my Lotus Exige and they've certainly done a brilliant job of reproducing an exact match so I can't complain. The car has yet to hit the road so I'm not sure if I'll suffer any peeling from the chassis as shown by others. Blog. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Of course, it should be remembered that you are building a high performance sports car, not a flat-pack wardrobe, so it will be a little challenging from time to time;. You’ll find the refer-to-IVA-manual symbol in the bottom of each illustration where attention is required. Reading through it now, will save pain later. Don’t assume that because you’ve found a reference to one item relating to that. This is a free service offered by all Caterham service centres which we wholeheartedly recommend you take up on prior to your IVA test. It ensures that your car is correctly assembled and is road-worthy. It’s easier to Pack Pack NUMBER. Brake hoses come in PACK NUMBER PACK NUMBER. Rich T ASSEMBL Y GUIDE. The hose is used to stop chaffing. John K James A ASSEMBL Y GUIDE. Anthony L John S ASSEMBL Y GUIDE. James A ASSEMBL Y GUIDE. Mick F ASSEMBL Y GUIDE. John K Harry P ASSEMBL Y GUIDE. It's something of a jigsaw pattern, but the parts are simply glued in place like the bigger bits. Mick F ASSEMBL Y GUIDE. Chris N ASSEMBL Y GUIDE. These are, bleeding the brakes and preparing the engine for the its first grand firing-up ceremony (it will feel like that, even if you are doing it on your own). Ask your assistant to pump the pedal a few times. You should see bubbly fluid flowing through the pipe. When the bubbles die down, ask them to hold the pedal down, then tighten the nipple back up. Check and top of the fluid level in the reservoir as necessary. The shape of the Caterham fuel tank does not lend itself to making use of every last drop, so we recommend an absolute minimum of 10 litres in the tank before trying to start the car. Take care and good luck with the IVA and registration process. You will soon be experiencing the sheer pleasure of being a Caterham driver. Once again, enjoy! ASSEMBL Y GUIDE. Top eight, to be precise Just in time for the pre-season Handling Day at Donington Park Cones, consistent Midlands drizzle, fun But first we need a race licence.

Love sports cars. Hate the comedian Actual racing is next. A must-have I’d wanted to build a Seven for decades and doing so was hugely enjoyable, if occasionally frustrating (The old build manual was a nightmare: the new one, which looks excellent, is finally here). There were moments of pure joy. Other moments were genuinely terrifying, and yet more involved a level of stress and anxiety I thought was reserved only for giving a best man’s speech.I came home eighth that day, a hell of an improvement over the 22nd I recorded in the first event just a few weeks previously. The neat bliss I felt on the cool-down lap, cruising down Craner Curves in the late afternoon sunshine, will stay with me forever. Hurl yourself into it. Build the car. (Not least because once you have, pre-race checks and maintenance are child’s play.) Choose your race gear and feel like the real deal. Book trackdays. Make mistakes. Really understand weight transfer, lines and drafting. Go in cynical and come out with a bunch of new friends. Catch some slides, lose others. And at the end of the year wonder two things: what took you so long; and how on Earth you can find the funds to continue. But I adore the place, both in driving games and, it transpires, in real life. In qualifying for the last race of the season (where did that year go?) I bagged eighth on the grid, a PB. Note to self: be more Verstappen in future, elbows out. But throughout the qualifying session for our recent race at Rockingham, round six of the championship, it was raining; hard. Wipers-going-full-bore-but-making-no-difference raining. Fine, until you pass over the dry line towards the end of the corner, revs flare, and the car kicks sideways at 90mph. Good times. Come the chequered flag I was tenth fastest, my best of the year, and the spread of times a reflection of just how tricky the conditions were. The pole time was a full 10 seconds faster than my best, while my best was 20 seconds faster than the back of the grid.

One headlight had worked loose, low brake fluid was prompting a dash warning light under acceleration and Caterham supplied us Academy drivers with a new pedal to try to improve on the non-existent brake feel. Since trailers are expensive, the circuit just a couple of hours from home and the Seven road legal, I drove to and from both the Friday test day and Saturday’s qualifying session and race. Proper grassroots, keeping-it-real motorsport. But it’s also about engineering as many opportunities as possible to drive and enjoy what is an addictively brilliant road car. We’re all busy people. The time to sneak out in the Caterham for thrills alone is rarer than lithium in Elon Musk’s back garden. So why not use the car for every journey you have to make? A long, early and dull journey should show the Seven in the worst possible light, and I’m not going to argue it’s in any way refined. The transmission whine is endless and, with no heater, you’re invariably too hot or too cold. There’s nowhere to put your feet other than on the pedals and the car rattles like a shot-up Lancaster. Windows, cruise control, a radio and nav are pipe dreams. A mate came to watch on his Ducati, so after the race I threw my race support infrastructure into the car (fuel can, torque wrench, kitbag, pop-up camping chair) and we headed off for some lunch. The Academy-spec Caterham is a racing car first and foremost, and if you can only run one road car you’d have to be laudably nuts to choose it, but it’s a special machine precisely because it is so fun-focussed. You slide into it, you faff with the ignition and the six-point harness for what feels like hours and then you just drive. It’s the way the car endlessly fidgets about; in your hands, through the wheel, and on the road. It’s intoxicatingly physical. The passing slipstream tugs happy tears from your eyes. You smell everything; diesel fumes, the distant harvest, hot tarmac.

Block out most of the din, even at motorway speeds, and tune in to Annie Mac if you fancy it. GPS speed readout handy on the road with the speedo packs up, too. The bead seat (bags of polystyrene beads are formed around you and set with a resin, then trimmed and upholstered) gets me race-legal. Race two of the Academy season. Qualified 13th. Pre-race, Caterham’s Simon Lambert asks if I fancy a top 10. Yeah, right. Okay start, good first lap. Break clear of the dogfight for the last couple of laps. A retirement and last-lap spin up ahead promote my tenth to eighth. Euphoria. My heart’s going so hard I’m worried the valves might bounce. In a heartbeat we’re off around our warm-up lap of the short, sharp shock that is the Brands Indy circuit.Late last year I took delivery of a Caterham Academy car in kit form. Up to second gear, hit the limiter. Then somehow I’m through edge-of-the-world Paddock Hill with a decent turn of speed and without incident. At this point I remember to breathe again. He nearly does, then there’s a thump as his rear suspension meets my front wheel. I lose a couple of positions before getting underway again, so angry at myself I don’t even notice one bug-eye lamp pointing lazily at the sky. Our Caterham Seven Academy was finished in time for the series' first official pre-season event at Donington Park, but two admin errors by the DVSA meant road legality eluded it for a further two months. A perfect spring day and a Caterham you can't use is quite exquisite agony. Last night I stuck them on and did my pre-event routine: a diagnostic run over the car with the torque wrench, a check of the kitbag and a glance at the tyre pressures, oil level and brake pads. The way it moves is unique, feeling both floaty (thank soft suspension and tyres with actual sidewalls) and yet connected with a thrilling immediacy unlike anything else I've driven. It also feels fast on the road in a way it doesn't always on a track unless you've screwed up and lost control.

On a B-road, with closer reference points and less margin for error, the sensation of speed is cranked right up, at least until drag kicks in with a vengeance at 80mph. The drive home, sun on my face, was a blissed-out hour-and-a-half of almost transcendental happiness.And as you tell them about the one-make series, about how it's almost affordable (?25k, but you keep the car worth around ?19k at the end of the season), about how it takes you through every stage of the process (licence, tuition and myriad little but crucial things, like how to properly belt into a six-point harness) and above all how it makes motorsport almost fair, with identical cars on identical tyres, you see them doing the maths and getting excited like a kid at bedtime on Christmas Eve. Doesn't include kit, fuel (obviously) and some stuff you'll need, like a decent toolkit and cameras for your car (regs require forward- and rearward-facing video cameras). Open to racing novices only. Cars are based on Academy machines, modified with stickier tyres, a rear anti-roll bar and a more feelsome brake master cylinder. Cars retain their windscreen and road legality. Lights come off but you can re-fit them for road legality. A ?2000 leap from Roadsport. The highest class to which you can take your original Academy machine. I can’t offer any explanation for this but took the natty branded Avon Tyres cap, the fetching glass trophy and the sporting congratulations of my equally gobsmacked Academy classmates nevertheless. I learned this doing the job: I went with tie-down straps, so I could easily adjust their length to suit.Also, the manual suggests lining the inside of the tunnel with cardboard for protection. Believe it or not the final fit is so snug there isn’t really space to do this! After perhaps four hours, we were done. At 3pm, Ped and I went to the pub. Cheers, Ped.

The downpipes look like a tight fit but the manual’s clear on which one goes where, and in which order to poke them through the square hole in the side of the car. Soon the header bolts are loosely installed and you’re adding pipework and back-box. Within an hour, you’ve tightened everything up and given yourself a big pat on the back. Bolt the propshaft to the back of the gearbox, and fit the diff up into the rear of the car before bolting the propshaft to the diff. Fine, except that you also have to route the handbrake cable at this point, complicating everything. The diff also mounts to the diff carrier on bolts requiring spacers, and the diff itself must be lifted up from underneath the car and is really, really heavy. There’s a mount on the underside of the chassis that looks perfect for the handbrake cable, but it isn’t the mount you’re looking for. I found the curved castings of the BMW 1-series differential made doing so tricky. So I squatted down by one of the rear wheelarches and lifted it into position while my girlfriend poked the bolts through; an exhausting solution perfect for cultivating heated argument. For the successful third attempt, I lay under the car and bench-pressed it up into position while our eldest son did the honours with the bolts; much easier. And actually, the spacers weren’t too bad, their installation eased by a tip from the Facebook group; use copperslip grease to stick stacks of them together for assembly. All pretty easy, with a couple of hours spent hacksawing hoses to length, cleaning up the cuts and slowly working my way through a monster bag of jubilee clips.How does it work? Now I know, thanks to a weekend spent assembling the Seven’s rear suspension and driveshafts, a confection of tubes, control arms, dampers and really gorgeous machined aluminium parts; some of the nicest components on the car. I’ve never riveted anything before.

It’s fun, though if you do it on the dining room table, little bits of rivet will turn up at mealtimes for months afterwards. You’re holding a tighter line than you need to; fine in a Fiesta but in a Caterham you’re going to have a lot of oversteer!’. On track we’re given a handful of smart and smooth laps by our instructor, three of us Caterham Academy scholars crammed into the car like we’re on a particularly spirited sixth form lunch run to McDonald’s, then rotated through with 20 minutes each at the wheel. But you’re on a track in a car, so of course you go almost as fast as you can. And instructor Erling Jensen being a racing driver (a wrenchman for British Leyland on the works Mini Coopers, twice British Rallycross champion and a GT champion at Combe), he does all he can to help me go faster, with particularly good advice on the pros and cons of even subtly different lines, the benefits of smoothness and good forward visibility, and the importance of respect; for others, for the track limits and for Castle Combe on a wet February day in near-freezing temperatures. Having since compared notes with other Academy colleagues who elected to self-build, that feels about right.You’ve signed on the line, agreed a delivery date, taken delivery of the dedicated Draper toolkit (?475, and well worth budgeting for unless your garage is already very well equipped) and cleared the garage in anticipation. It’s the first chance to see whether you’re happy with your colour choice (Porsche Riviera blue, and very much so, fortunately) and to check out some of the Academy car’s unique parts, such as the very racy Tillett seats, impossibly big 1.6-litre Ford Sigma engine and the faintly terrifying low-grip, big-tread Avon tyres.Wishbones are easy to find, as are the nuts and bolts you need.These stages are relatively easy and really satisfying: big fasteners, easy access, no spacers and little to leave you confused. Gearbox is five-speed on the Academy cars.

Note cold, dark December weather outside. I’ll give you an example. It’s the no man’s land between Christmas and New Year. Me, I made a coffee, slid into the garage before the rest of the house was even awake and stuck on the radio. And when I felt I’d reached a suitable point at which to call it a day, I headed inside aglow with the satisfaction that comes only with achieving something tangible with your hands, your brain and some physical tools. The manual uses many, many words, not many pictures and an at once logical but unhelpful running order. A new manual is, you’ll be pleased to hear, in the works. Caterham has recognised the sheer brilliance of the instructions you get with a Tamiya radio control car. A pie chart of my time spent on the project so far would be 60% finding things in boxes and bags and 40% bolting them together. But be in no doubt: I’m enjoying myself immensely. Building a Caterham has been on The List for decades. Now I’m doing it, boredom is a distant memory and the idea of running as fast as I dare into, say Paddock Hill bend, in a car I’ve put together is at least as exciting as it is terrifying. In every detail, though, the Academy car is track-ready: roll cage, fire extinguisher in the boot, wafer-thin Tillet race seats, six-point harnesses. Fun though putting it together is, the wait to slide aboard the thing, start it and actually drive it is killing me. Spanning seven events (two sprints and five circuit races), the Academy package (?24,995 if you self-build, and you keep the car) is aimed squarely at people like me: 40-year-old men coming around to the idea that they probably won’t now reach Formula One, but for whom PlayStation virtual reality isn’t scratching the itch. If you need me, I’ll be in the garage. Includes the all-important torque wrench, myriad sockets, an embarrassment of screwdrivers and the axle stands you’ll need to sit the car up while you build it.

Several assembly steps ask that you protect painted surfaces with tape and cardboard: you only ignore that advice once. Top eight, to be precise Just in time for the pre-season Handling Day at Donington Park Cones, consistent Midlands drizzle, fun But first we need a race licence. Love sports cars. Hate the comedian Actual racing is next. A must-have All registered in England and Wales. VAT no 918 5617 01 H Bauer Publishing are authorised and regulated for credit broking by the FCA (Ref No. 845898). In early 2012 I finally signed up to go racing with the Caterham Academy. In October 2012, I spent a fun, frustrating, annoying, exciting and ultimately very satisfying 3 weeks putting together my race car with my family. By the afternoon, I’d broken it in the biggest way possible. Sadly, it’s not economically viable to repair the car. One of the factors in coming to this decision is that some time off from racing will allow me to recover damaged finances and the aim will be back on a grid for 2018. I wish all my racing family the best of luck and I will, of course, be following along closely and will hopefully see everyone at the awards dinner, if not before. Some of this you can do yourself but some of it also needs to be done by the factory or a team. In reality, most people drop their car off and pick it up again once it’s done. It stabilises the backend, especially on turn in and makes the car far more stable. If also offers 4 levels of stiffness so you can start to play with car balance through setup. Not everyone purchased the green ARB but I found it essential. That will depend lots on your own driving preferences.Essentially, it puts more effort through the pedal for less movement. This really helps keep the pedal firm and solid for heel toe. For me, this was another essential purchase. Essentially, it allows you to move the balance of the braking forwards and backwards.

With the valve fitted, you have more options on brake pads open to you because you don’t need to have 100% naturally balanced pads. It also becomes extremely useful in wet conditions when trying to prevent front lockups. Again, this is preference and don’t believe that spending more is always the best course of action. The choice you make will vary depending on if you have a bias valve fitted. If you haven’t already invested in spare wheel sets, now is probably the time to think about it. Most people end up with 3 sets. One set is kept new for wet conditions. The other two sets are managed carefully to make sure you’ve always got a set ready to race. How much will very much depend on your antics on track and an element of luck. Get it up on axle stands and give it a really good clean.Get a powerful torch and pay special attention to the radius arms, De-Dion tube and A-Frame welds. Each of these parts is susceptible to breaking and one or other will most likely break in Roadsport if you are not careful to remain vigilant. If any are showing signs of rust or tiny crack lines where the weld meets the main body, you should replace that part. Neither of these parts is ultra expensive, and so you may chose to consider these parts as consumable and replace them yearly. Make sure you look all the way around. Again, use a torch look carefully for any signs that the weld is cracking or pulling away. Again, rust spots can be a sign of issues developing. Again, get a torch in and inspect each of the welds and look for cracking on the attachment arms. It may well be that the new box is more resilient. Doing this job yourself can save you lots of money but shouldn’t be undertaken lightly. I did have a clutch explode on me over winter but I know of nobody else who has had that happen! You should really be doing that fairly regularly though the year but if you haven’t been keeping up with this, then you should certainly do that now.

It covers the final bits and pieces I’ve done to get the car race ready and also looks at what I do for basic maintenance. It’s a bit longer than I wanted, but I didn’t want to make another one! The nose cone is shattered down the right side, where it had an unwanted meeting with a tyre barrier. Other than the nose, the right headlamp is also out of shape where it was pushed back. As this attaches to the upper wishbone mount, I’m going to double check that once I get everything back into the garage this weekend. The radiator does have a mark on it where the nose was pushed up against it, but is hasn’t ruptured anything. There were no signs of drips where it’s been sat on the trailer. Fingers crossed, after some time in the garage, everything will be back looking the way it should ready for Silverstone. Competing in the 2019 Motul 270R Championship. This blog shows my full Caterham Journey from the build of the awesome R500 Duratec, the Academy Car in 2017, track day information, videos and race results. I'm beginning to feel the pressure of having to get back to 'work' on Thursday, so today, Tuesday and Wednesday are going to be full-on days with a view to having the car finished by Wednesday evening. I wanted to fit these after the engine, as I thought this would give a bit more room (when fitting the engine) and I think it helped. Which was straight forward really. I couldn't work out if there was a top or bottom, and it seems identical top and bottom (I checked it numerous times, as the instructions do not mention a top or bottom), and then fitted the fan to the fan arms - the picture in the manual isn't that great, so thought I'd take this one for anyone who may need to visualise how this bit goes together. Afterwards I spent a good hour or so fiddling around with the plumbing to see what questions I need to ask Derek (Howlett) in the morning. I'd say I've around a third of the plumbing and electrics completed already, so hopefully will finish that off tomorrow.

And then the prop shaft went into the transmission tunnel. It's a bit of a pain to get this in - best bet is to line all the holes up and use long screwdrivers to loosely hold the diff in position whilst you bolt and shim it (as per the build manual). Either horizontally or if I did that, then it was out vertically. I was fed up and about to throw in the towel for the evening, but Charlotte called me in for some food and I took a breather for twenty minutes or so. The food done the trick and I went out and tackled the 'shimming'. At first the bottom needed two and one shim, but then after lining it up and re-measuring, it ended up being one shim each side. The same for the top bolt too. These need to be thread locked, and torqued to 40nm - best thing I found was to put the car in gear to stop the prop spinning. The number of boxes and parts bags laying around are getting more sparse, which means there's less to keep looking through and things should go a little quicker tomorrow and Wednesday.Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest I've used the car three times sinc. The car's weight. I recently had the car flat floored by Rob at Rat Race Motorsport, and durin. I've been in-undated with well wish. Powered by Blogger. To say it was a daunting prospect is something of an understatement, I wasn't sure if I wouldWhat's this bit for?! Why are there both metric and imperial fixings. These were all questionsThe official assembly guide wasn't much help, andBut now I can help you build your Caterham 7! It allowed me toFind out how to do it in 5 minutes! I can see myself binning the assembly guide and working through your book instead All the missing parts you expect from the Super Seven build experience. A tiny 660cc turbocharged three-cylinder Suzuki engine that drives the rear wheels though a five-speed manual gearbox powers the cheapest Caterham Seven.