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Thread: New (to me) Caterham questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    Montgomery, IL
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    Default New (to me) Caterham questions

    I just purchased my first Caterham two days ago and had several questions. It is a 2001 SV with Zetec.

    1) I plan on using this car on track a few days soon ... Are there any inspections I should do on a Cat above and beyond the normal tire checks and brake pad wear checks?

    2) The brakes feel a little anemic compared to what I was expecting ... Very low initial bite ... Is this a normal feeling for a Cat? Lots of pad left and I plan on doing a brake fluid flush just for my own sanity before hitting the track ... Any other things I should look at brake wise?

    3) I would like to change all lights on this car to LED ... Headlights, tail lights, turn signals ... Is there a good source for info on how to do this properly?

    Sorry for all the questions ... Thanks in advance for any/all help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Southeastern Pa.
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    Congrats on your new Cat. If its a 2001, you may want to check the expiration dates on your Harnesses. Some Tracks require in Date harnesses. Same for Helmet date.

    Arm restraints are often required as well. Do a complete Nut and bolt check. Things shake loose on these cars often. Roll bar height above your helmet can also be an issue, you can remove the bottom cushion and put some foam, etc to get you lower.

    Make sure your tires are good. Brake pedal feel on my two cars is firm and firmer. MYMV.

    Car should not leak. Positive battery post should have a cover or tape over it.

    Torque your wheel nuts. Tires should have around 18 psi cold to start IMO.

    Don't forget to put fuel in it and check it after a couple sessions, running out of fuel is frowned upon.

    Check your bearings for any sloppiness.

    Keep it on track and have FUN.

    Tom
    2000 Caterham Superlight #123
    1.8L VHPD Rover K Series
    2009 Caterham SV
    2.3L Cosworth Duratec

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    A couple of additional observations to Tom's:

    - make sure the battery is secured properly - tech inspection usually finds that one.

    - Once you have changed the fluid and done a full brake bleed then the remaining soft pedal feel is normal if you have the regular road master cylinder. My CSR feels the same. You just have to dial yourself into the feel of the pedal. They will stop you (mine do at least). Tom is using the Caterham race master cylinders in both his cars which is a nice upgrade over the Caterham road spec master cylinder if you feel you need it.

    - The oil pressure gauge sender has been known to go on the fritz so don't panic if it quavers or reads abnormal. Gauge senders break (and more frequently) before the engines. That said, keep an eye on oil pressure if you are wet sump or running an accusump.



    Have fun and take some video to post here so we can enjoy!!!!
    Mike
    2010 Caterham CSR with Cosworth 2.3 Duratec

    1975 BMW CSL Group 4 (restoration - awaiting new engine)
    1977 Holden Torana "A9X" (awaiting restoration)
    1985 Holden Commodore Group A (restoration - awaiting engine rebuild)
    1982 Ferrari 400i (catching up on deferred maintenance)
    1965 Ford Mustang Fastback "Holman Moody"
    1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth

  4. #4
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    Feb 2018
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    Montgomery, IL
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    Videos are my specialty ... Trying to figure out how to get telemetry that I can overlay ... In the meantime, what is the hose coming off the valve cover and routed to a resevoir down below? Should the reservoir have a cap?

    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    NYC
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    oil vent with catch tank. Should be emptied from time to time.


    Basic data is easy - Go Pro 5/6 or many others offer inbuilt GPS which gives you the basic speed, GPS, elevation, etc.

    More complicated are things like RaceChrono, AIM Solo or full on data loggers.

    But for initial effort why not look at Harry's app for your phone. Either video with the phone. Or use a separate camera and then export the phone app data to a CSV file and overlay onto video using Dashware (I think it may be free now) or RaceRender.
    Mike
    2010 Caterham CSR with Cosworth 2.3 Duratec

    1975 BMW CSL Group 4 (restoration - awaiting new engine)
    1977 Holden Torana "A9X" (awaiting restoration)
    1985 Holden Commodore Group A (restoration - awaiting engine rebuild)
    1982 Ferrari 400i (catching up on deferred maintenance)
    1965 Ford Mustang Fastback "Holman Moody"
    1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth

  6. #6
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    Feb 2018
    Location
    Montgomery, IL
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    I've been using Harry's and syncing it with video from my GoPro 4 ... The syncing isn't perfect and I have found that the data acquisition from the Bluetooth OBDII dongle I was using wasn't consistent ... Wanted something that could show throttle and brake position, not just speed ... Was thinking Aim or Vbox

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
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    If the car has been tracked or autocross with R Comp tires in the past I would check each weld on the De Dion tube especially the welds that hold the end plates on. Check the De Dion aluminum ears, you likely have the old style that have a large hole in them rather than a web, these crack through and that leads to a rear tire going in a different direction. Again, if you are going to run R Comps I would install an Accusump or similar device as it is easy to starve the engine of oil in long sweeping turns.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Congrats on the purchase, I hope you have a huge amount of fun with it.
    To add to other suggestions of what to check / what can come loose: The Carb mounts on mine slackened off on one of the NJMP track days, but this is likely less of an issue with injection. It's also useful to check the rear Dedion "A" arm mounting bolts - I had one come slack, but thankfully it gives a usefully loud reminder "clunk" before falling off. I would also check alternator belt if you are going to be running it at higher revs than usual, not catastrophic if it fails but a bit annoying.
    Some of the other members have had overheating / coolant loss issues at track days, searching previous threads will link to the symptoms and cures.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    Montgomery, IL
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    Quote Originally Posted by seabbot View Post
    Congrats on the purchase, I hope you have a huge amount of fun with it.
    To add to other suggestions of what to check / what can come loose: The Carb mounts on mine slackened off on one of the NJMP track days, but this is likely less of an issue with injection. It's also useful to check the rear Dedion "A" arm mounting bolts - I had one come slack, but thankfully it gives a usefully loud reminder "clunk" before falling off. I would also check alternator belt if you are going to be running it at higher revs than usual, not catastrophic if it fails but a bit annoying.
    Some of the other members have had overheating / coolant loss issues at track days, searching previous threads will link to the symptoms and cures.
    Thanks for that tip, I did get a bit of a "clunk" while driving home the other day, and I was thinking possibly the diff... But I will check the bolts you mentioned first.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    NC
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    122

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    New Spk Plugs wouldnt hurt , I would only use the Motorcraft SP463 Plugs , gap them to .050 and make sure you have a 180 deg thermostat

    A wideband air fuel gauge in my opinion would be a must have if racing it and look for about 12.8 A/F anything over 13.2 A/F and let off the throttle

    Tom

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