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Thread: Maintance suggestion for Caterham 6 speed transmissions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Maintance suggestion for Caterham 6 speed transmissions

    Last year I replaced my Zetec engine with a rebuilt Zetec, for several reasons (which in all likelihood were unfounded). Soon after swapping it in, the car developed an oil leak that seemed to be emanating from where the engine's rear main seal was located. Reluctant to pull the engine to check, we did a variety of things, replaced the oil pan gasket, added oil leak stop, checked and repaired the Accusump system, drove and checked, drove and checked, followed by long periods of hoping the problem would magically disappear. Sometimes the leak was gone, but eventually it always came back.

    So I bit the bullet and had my mechanic pull the engine and transmission. On closer inspection, it turned out that my Caterham 6 sp was losing fairly large amounts of transmission fluid from its 3 oil seals (front, rear, top). After a heroic effort by Josh at Rky Mtn Caterham, the seals were obtained from Caterham in England. The new seals have solved the issue and the oil leak is finally banished.

    But, since its not cheap, my suggestion is that folks with this transmission order these seals now (they are abt $30, as I recall, my biggest expense was air freighting....). So that the next time the engine is out, you can perform this maintenance. In addition, as we discovered too late, there are several internal oil seals that I would have replaced had I been aware of their existence. There was nothing wrong with them but, as noted, being proactive can avoid unexpected issues down the road.

    I believe my transmission is a 2003, and the seals were probably original. Not sure 17 years is a reasonable life but if yours is over 10 years old, you might be thinking abt this.
    Last edited by Kitcat; 11-16-2020 at 03:13 PM.
    Kitcat:AKA, Sir Spinsalot
    '97 Caterham Super Sprint, 1700 Crossflow-sold
    '09 Birkin S3, Duratec-sold
    '03 Caterham Zetec track car
    '19 Honda Type R, sold
    '19 Miata Clubsport

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Albany, NY


    I can concur with my Zetec/Quaife 6 speed. Had leaks from the bellhousing front and back. When the engine/transmission had to come out for the clutch failure everything was addressed.

    It was not fun hunting down gaskets for the T9 and there were at least a few varieties to them too. I did manage to find them state side in NE. I can plug the contact here when I get home. I'll likely need another set regardless if my 5 speed will ever need to go into the car.

    Transmission was leaking from everywhere. Multiple locations in the top and all the seals in the front. I think one of them is a press/contact seal without a gasket which is also concerning. Don't remember if we used a gasket maker on it or not.

    Edit: found the email

    John Esposito
    Quantum Mechanics LTD.
    315 Riggs Street, Building A Unit 3
    Oxford, Ct. 06478
    Phone 203-463-8299
    Last edited by Vovchandr; 11-16-2020 at 03:32 PM.
    2001 Caterham Superlight R

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