Ownership Verified: We can rebuild it... we have the technology (7 - take two)

MXM

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This thread has started as a re-build thread, and continues as a car blog. Initially the first post was a rant about my fight with insurance, but I don't want that here any more. Instead here's a brief history of my ownership of this car.

2009

Day 1:
3554973

Day 11:
3554974

Yup, that happened. The next two years were spent completely disassembling the car, getting the chassis repaired, reskinned and painted, and the car rebuilt back. The first 10 pages of this thread are documenting this process.

2011

Went on a roadtrip to Italy with DaBoom, via the Ringmeet

First lap, finally!
3554975

Trip didn't go completely without issues
3554976 (photo by D-Fence)

But it was amazing to take the car to Alps for the first time
3554977

My avatar is from that trip as well, taken in Schwarzwald

2012

Badass photo taken by Lastsoul
3554978

Also had another Italian roadtrip with more FG people
3554979

2013

With the car mostly "sorted out", I started experimenting with questionable improvements ;)
Switched ignition to Megajolt, and got an aeroscreen. But for the roadtrip this year I still used a full screen setup, although with a lighter, and much cooler looking half-hood.

FG Roadtrip to south of France
3554980

Coverting people to sevenism
3554982

Unfortunately the car return from Nice like this
3554981

And for the winter my kitchen was temporarily a workshop
3554983

2014

Managed to rebuild the engine
3554984

Got the car on display at the Classic Motorshow, we got a bit of a floor room there as a club
3554986

Situation during the summer, featuring new smaller numberplates and the aeroscreen
3554985(photocredit on the watermark)

Despite the car running fine, the year was a bit tight financially, so no roadtrips were done that year.

2015

Norway FG roadtrip, via the Nordkapp
3554988

First roadtrip I've done with the aeroscreen, and enjoyed it immensely, even a few days were quite miserable
3554989

3554990 (photo by @Fairlady)

Had a few good laps on the Ring as well
3554991

2016

I got a bike license and a bike, so unfortunately the 7 wasn't used too much this year

3554992

3554993 (photo by Hzakk)

2017

Another slow year. No big trips of major projects. Can't even find any interesting photos.
3554994

2018

Took the car rallying! It was a great adventure.
3554998


35549953554997 (photocredit to PressRally photographers)

Did some mods to the car, attached motorcycle sidecases to the rollbar for luggage space when travelling, briefly tried LED headlights, but got tired of the look and switched back to halogens, and finally removed the spare wheel rack.

3554999

I'm quite satisfied with the look of the car right now, and have no further visual mods in mind.
 
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Cobol74

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Your Insurance company is rubbish! Why do people lie about that sort of stuff - makes no sense, and why are the Police so shirty - no one was hurt or killed FCS.
 

IceBone

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Looks like he crashed into a fence. 1500 euro worth of damage if you ask our cops.
 

captain_70s

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Because he drives a fast car. As far as the police are concerned anyone who drives a car that could be in any way fast or sporty is a idiotic driver who is a risk to everybody.
Also, all insurance companies are awful, I don't think I know anyone who has got the money they actually deserved from one...

Anyways, hope you get the re-build/repair done soon. Good luck with it!
 

Lastsoul

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Good to see it coming back! I'd really like to see pictures from the rebuilding process. The way 7 is made is so different from cars I'm familiar with, and I'd like to see a bit more of the technology. And of course I'm expecting shotgun ride in #gear.fi meet! :D (still not sure if I'm gonna make to the 'ring)

Oh by the way, Mazda6 would fit nicely between 5er and 7 :D
 

MXM

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One of the first jobs was putting it on the wheels, so it can be rolled in and out instead of carried.

The view of the front suspension:



The shocks, the wishbones, and the upright vertical link on the left side (what the wheel hub is attached to) are new. The original steering column survived. You can also see the upgraded type of anti-roll bar here, original Lotus design had it as a part of the upper wishbone, like this. In true Chapman style, using one part to do many functions :) Some time during the 90's Caterham decided to separate the two for better control of wheel position. Also, the upper ball-joint now can be brought in and out to adjust camber, as it's screwed into the wishbone. And because the chassis was re-skinned as a classic live-axle model, there is no hole in the skin for the front end mount of the upper wishbone! Solution: drill, cut and smooth with a file. I had to do this a lot. Also, note, that Caterham uses aluminium for the skin, unlike most other 7-makers. The only fiberglass parts are the wings on top of the wheels.



It's a hotrod :cool: As an example of one of those nasty surprises, see the bolt holding the front part of the lower wishbone? It goes into the chassis, and I used to have a thread there, where the bolt was screwed into. Since the front part of the frame is new, I have a slight difference there, at some point it was upgraded to be a threadless hole. So I needed a much longer bolt and a matching locknut to tighten it on the other side.

And let me tell you, the bolts on this car were a major PITA. There's everything, UNC, UNF, metric, pipe thread, you name it. Most of them are of specific length with thread starting at a specific distance from the head. Nearly impossible to get a hold on in Finland, luckily Caterham stocks everything, and can sell them individually quite cheaply. Too bad that also means international shipping in my case.

In general on Caterham pricing, I must say it's very reasonable for a tiny manufacturer like that! They source a lot of parts from other makers. Like that brass trunnion kit that connects bottom wishbone and the vertical link is from a Triumph Spitfire, and has a Quinton Hazell part number in their catalog. I paid something like ?10 for a new one. But the parts that are custom made are typically pricey. E.g. the vertical link I had to get as mine was damaged, is a rather simple cast part, but it's ?130, because it's Caterham specific.
 
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D-Fence

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So good to see it coming together finally......at least you are honest and take responsability for crashing it unlike some others.... :p

I always wondered: How far can you go on one tank in this (did you manage to go through one tank at all?)

Have you kept it like it was or upgraded some parts? I hope you keep the 7-Up bottle as a catch tank, that was seriously a cool touch :D

You forgot the video of you firing it up for the first time again btw :D


Happy MXM is happy :p
 

MXM

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I'm not at that part of the story yet, D-Fence!

And I tanked twice in one week :)
 

MXM

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When I got the footwell extension pieces and installed them, I wanted to add some heat protection in the footwells and the tunnel, before the engine goes in. The thing is, it gets hot there. Like melt your shoes hot, in the worst case. And since I had the chassis powdercoated black on every unpainted surface, I expected it to get even hotter than a bare alu would.

So I bought a few sheets of this stupidly expensive heat insulation mat from a racing shop, and covered both footwells and the inside of the transmission tunnel with it. It's held in place mostly by some strips of double-side tape and a foil tape along the edges. Here's a view into the tunnel:



You can see the handbrake cable there (goes into passenger footwell), the rear circuit brake lines (along the left wall), the wiring harness (goes straight up under the dash) and the black plastic tube coming towards the camera is the fuel line. Doing stuff in that tunnel requires some contortion skills :) Unlike the newer de-dion chassis cars, the live axles have a flat floor. So the tunnel is covered from below. And the transmission will be bolted to the floor through those two holes in the cross-member you see just under the tip of the propshaft. Due to the nature of the live axle, the propshaft swings with the rear suspension. So all those wires, cables and tubes have to be well secured against the walls of the tunnel.

A view from above:



You can see how the handbrake works (D-Fence had troubles understanding it in irc :p). It's under the dash on the passenger side, and you pull it towards yourself to engage. Caterham moved it to a conventional place on the central tunnel sometime in late 90's, I believe. The two rectangular holes on the bulkhead plate are for the heater unit I'll be installing.

Then went in the engine and the transmission. I don't have pics of the process, but it's was sooo damn frustrating. The things just wouldn't line up, either the engine mounts, or the transmission mounts or something else. It took a lot of wiggling about and a lot of effort to get two long bolts into their holes to secure the transmission to the tunnel floor, since the only access point is the cutout on the top of the tunnel, and there isn't much space on either side of the transmission once it's in.

This was also the first time after the crash that I could definitely check that the engine actually revolves freely and isn't seized or anything. Big relief :)

And then the car went to my place.



From here on I have a lot more bad pics in terrible lighting, so I'll probably write less and show more :p

Oh by the way, Mazda6 would fit nicely between 5er and 7 :D
You know, there was one and only reason I was thinking about a BMW 7er briefly :p
 
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MXM

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Nothing special here, a starter and an alternator.





The exhaust primaries will be quite close to the alternator, and for the life of me I can't figure out how the stupid plastic cover fits this lucas alternator. It just doesn'. It's also a bit broken and is missing some mounts, so maybe this is why I couldn't make it stay there. I will still need to solve this.

I guess you can also see how the engine is mounted. Rather simple really, 2 cushions on the bottom of the frame on each side, with arms holding the engine upright.The bolt is un-done there at the moment, as I needed to wiggle the engine a bit (I'll come to that point soon :p). Between the cushion and the engine mount one can put large washers to fine tune the height and inclination of the engine. This is quite important to make sure that air filters are centered in the hole in the bonnet and the same for exhaust side.

What was confusing was the power wiring. It took me a while to figure out the original configuration, not aided by the fact that British Standard used brown color for permanent positive... Finally realized that it went like this:



They used two wires in parallel to make the harness flexible enough I guess. But since I was re-making the wiring anyway, after some research of good wiring practices, I made a shortcut from the alternator to the starter. Didn't see any point on having positive wires going all the way around the car like that, and the starter to battery connection is very solid. The only wire out of the alternator into the main harness now is the charge-sense.

Funny fact, do you know where the original position for the battery on a Crossflow 7 is? Under the fucking carburetors! Just take a look at this. It's an absolute pain to reach or remove. But at least it keeps the weight closer to the ground :p I will have none of that, my battery stays on the bulkhead cover, above the passenger legs, as illustrated in that schematic above.

In the next episode: Oil cooling.
 
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D-Fence

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and for the life of me I can't figure out how the stupid plastic cover fits this lucas alternator. It just doesn'. It's also a bit broken and is missing some mounts, so maybe this is why I couldn't make it stay there. I will still need to solve this.
or
 

bone

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wow, i completely missed that first thread, had no idea you had one of those, nice!

why did you go for an original lotus? aren't they more expensive than their caterham counterpart while not being any better?


So I bought a few sheets of this stupidly expensive heat insulation mat from a racing shop, and covered both footwells and the inside of the transmission tunnel with it. It's held in place mostly by some strips of double-side tape and a foil tape along the edges. Here's a view into the tunnel:

aren't you affraid the double sided tape will melt, or that the glue will release due to the heat?
 

MXM

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why did you go for an original lotus? aren't they more expensive than their caterham counterpart while not being any better?
Due to the unique way Finnish taxation works, the car could only be older than 92. The Lotus vs. Caterham thing is not essential, this is by every mean a Caterham apart from the nosebadge. As much as it is a Lotus with a lot of small upgrades. It would be more expensive if it was all original Lotus, obviously. But I do get nice perks by having it registered as '70 - no emission testing being one of them.



aren't you affraid the double sided tape will melt, or that the glue will release due to the heat?
The double sided tape is sandwiched between the mat and the walls, so it doesn't matter. If anything, it'll glue it even better :p The foil tape on the other hand has been proven to work very well on another seven, so I'm pretty confident it'll do. Even if the worst happens, and my fancy heatshield will come off, it won't do any damage, being just a fiberglass mat.

EDIT: And before D-fence comes up with a ridiculous scenario, like the fiberglass wrapping around the propshaft and locking rear wheels - the mat is applied in separate pieces, and it won't happen! :p
 
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argatoga

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So when are you going to install an obnoxiously giant super charger?

Be inspired by this Triumph:



:p
 

prizrak

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So when are you going to install an obnoxiously giant super charger?

Be inspired by this Triumph:

You call this giant? There is a car that used to be in a house not far from where I live and you couldn't see the windshield past the intake.

:p
 
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MXM

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So when are you going to install an obnoxiously giant super charger?
No chance :p

I'll sidetrack for a moment here. So those parts compatibility issues...



Guess how many of those fit? 2 pieces. I still have the rest, I need to ebay them sometime.

Ordering parts from Caterham.. A bunch of small pieces, and I'll add a few brake lines for the front end, just in case mine were damaged. The box arrives!



... inside:



HOW much did I pay for the delivery? :mad:


EDIT: And the alternator cap I mentioned earlier:



It's pretty fucked. Can anyone recognize it and point me to where can I find a replacement? :)
 
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