Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Build Day Twenty Three - Radiator, Pipework and Steering Column

Sent numerous questions to Derek at CC late last night, and it took him six working hours to reply... I was very un-impressed (only joking) but I think this was his slowest response to my many emails over the course of the build, which goes to show how much of an asset he is to Caterham and how he is extremely reliable when you need his answers quickly (which is pretty much after every day's build for me).

I had a problem yesterday fitting the radiator, as the mounting brackets were fouling on the radiator bracket, so the oracle (Derek) said that this is quite normal on the R500 radiator, it's a pig to fit and what they do at the factory is to bend the brackets over the cowling with a hammer.  So out with the hammer, and in next to no time the bracket was bent around the outside of the cowling.
Radiator bracket bent round cowling.
Radiator bracket bent round cowling.
Then it was onto the expansion bottle, as a hole needs to be cut to accommodate the breather pipe from the oil tank.  I cut a hole using a 25mm drill bit and made a bit of a mess of it, but... got the Dremel out to sand the poorly cut hole and it turned out a good fit.  Then slid the bottle back into place, attached the breather pipe to the oil tank and into the bottle.  The cap (with the smaller gauge hose in the picture below) needs to be replaced by a rubber cap without a hose coming out.
Breather pipe from oil tank connected and routed into expansion bottle.
Breather pipe from oil tank connected and routed into expansion bottle.
Next task was to fit the bottom radiator hose to the radiator, the radiator and the cat's tongue.  All quite straight forward, and the newly 'moulded' radiator brackets helped fitting the mounting brackets to the chassis enormously.
R500 radiator and cats tongue fitted.
R500 radiator and cats tongue fitted.
Then I moved onto connecting the raceline hoses which was quite fiddly and once they're in there's not much space left at all.
A snug fit when raceline hoses are fitted.
A snug fit when raceline hoses are fitted.
I was then going to finish off the coolant and radiator hoses, firstly by fitting the coolant reservoir, but it appeared the mounting instructions I got from Derek aren't quite right (or I understood his instructions incorrectly).  I also noticed the inlet connector is broken off, so I'll ask some more questions and get a new one sent out to me - hopefully in time to fit on Thursday.

I decided it best to move onto the steering as this seemed pretty straight forward and the next logical thing to do as the exhaust manifolds are now (loosely) fitted.  I have a quick release mount which also has indicator functions on the steering wheel so there is a bit of cabling that I had to get my head around.

To get the mounting bush on I tried a number of different ideas, and then the most simple one jumped out at me... Take the quick release off... durrr!  Anyway, got that off along with the circlip, then fitted the mounting bush.
Quick release steering wheel boss removed and attaching mooting bush.
Quick release steering wheel boss removed and attaching mooting bush.
Steering wheel mounting bush attached to upper steering column, and quick release boss re-attached.
Steering wheel mounting bush attached to upper steering column, and quick release boss re-attached.
Then I pushed the steering column through the dash, rubber grommets and into the lower half of the engine bay.  I was going to fit the UJ at that point, but I'm missing a nut and bolt for this, so will ask for another set to be sent to me.
Steering wheel column (splined end first) being inserted into rubber grommet on pedal box.
Steering wheel column (splined end first) being inserted into rubber grommet on pedal box. 
Now that the lower steering wheel column was in place, the next job was to fit the upper column along with the quite thick cabling.  It was a touch fiddly, but went in generally OK, and as the steering bush was attached to the end of the column protected by a circlip this was pretty easy to fit - I know of others who have had trouble with this.
Inserting upper steering column through dash.
Inserting upper steering column through dash. 
Finally I finished off attaching the two steering columns together with the clamp plates, nuts, bolts and grub screw provided.
Upper and lower steering columns connected using with clamp plate.
Upper and lower steering columns connected using with clamp plate.
I'm not sure where the bottom of the steering wheel cabling plugs into, as I have no connectors supplied, nor do I have any steering wheel buttons or information about the upper cabling either.
Steering wheel, UJ, upper column with quick release boss and clamp plate.
Steering wheel, UJ, upper column with quick release boss and clamp plate.
I thought I was finished there, but decided to put the wheels on to give myself a glimpse of what it'll look like when it's finished.  I'm glad I did, as it seems the wheels haven't been balanced, and some of them have chips and scratches, so that's another couple of things to add to the PBC list.
Scratched R500 wheel.
Scratched R500 wheel.
I did also put the nosecone on, and I took a picture too... It looks really good, but I'll wait to give the final 'reveal' when it's ready for collection (this weekend).  Shame I'll be short of some seats as the 620R ones I've ordered are still a long way off being available as aftermarket accessories - but I'm still chasing to get them here before it gets collected...

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