A few bits and bobs were removed, and having changed to an aero screen (with no intentions of ever putting the screen back on) I thought that the next quick and easy weight saving would be to remove the hood sticks and replace the boot cover.
I ordered the new boot cover towards the back end of last year, but as the car hasn't been with me for the last couple of months I couldn't remove the hood sticks and fit the new cover, so as part of my 2016 prep here is the removal and new boot cover refitting guide.
Now onto the Hood stick removal and boot cover refitting guide.
This guide is just the way I found it worked best, and I'd suggest reading the whole post before committing yourself.
Firstly undo all of the poppers on the boot cover and velcro around the top of the roll bar as per the picture below which should give you good access to the hood sticks and inside of the boot.
|Getting access to the hood sticks|
Removing the hood sticks is actually very straight forward. Literally undo these bolts on both sides, and unscrew the two self tapping screws holding the nylon fabric strips into the inside boot lip and the hood sticks are free!
|Removing hood sticks is only a matter of undoing two bolts and two self tapping screws|
|Caterham hood sticks weighed in at 1.5kg|
Now remove the top harness bolts - if you've not built your car it's worth mentioning these are longer than you may think! The four self tapping screws for the poppers also need to be removed, and that's the boot cover freed.
Now, and I hear the drum rolling... Here come the kitchen scales for the first time in 2016! Time to weigh the old boot cover. The reason for weighing this is there is more material to allow for the hood sticks, and the new boot cover will naturally have less material and I wanted to see if there was any substantial difference.
|Remove the harness bolts and self tapping poppers.|
|The boot cover (for cars with hood sticks) weighed in at 832g|
|Removing the metal strip from the passenger side of the boot cover|
With the metal strip removed, the only thing to do now was to count out the number of fasteners (for a fair test) and to weigh the new cover in! The new boot cover weighed in at 578g which is a MASSIVE saving of 254g, but added to the hood sticks that are now off the car it's a combined weight saving of 1.75kg which equates to 'around' an additional 3.5-4bhp / tonne.
|Caterham boot cover (no hood sticks) weighed in at 578g (inc fasteners)|
The next step is to align the leading edge of the boot cover with the top of the rear firewall (behind the seats). Mark the boot cover where the holes need to be cut for the seat belt bolts and the popper fasteners (I used a paint marker) . It's worth triple checking the holes, by lifting the front of the cover and replacing quickly in a flicking motion which like one of those flip books and gives the impression of the marked area over the holes.
|Leading edge of rear boot cover marked up ready for holes to be cut|
|Using punch tool to cut holes into the boot cover|
|Front of boot cover fitted|
|Rear of boot cover marked ready for hole punching and poppers to be fitted|
With all the holes punched, and no doubt a sore hand again! You'll need to get the dot fastener tool out. Put the fastener in the rounded part of the tool, and the socket in the top part (as pictured below) then the metal into the brass section of the fastener then using a metal hammer a couple of light to medium taps and it'll be all secure. Repeat for all poppers.
|Fitting the poppers to the boot cover using the dot fastener tool|
|Caterham R500 with new boot cover (without hood sticks)|
In summary, and if I done it again I'd probably just remove the hood sticks, and leave the old boot cover as the hood sticks equate to the majority of the weight saving... Plus, the new boot cover was £276 (I think) from the Caterham parts site, so over £1 per gramme saved!
Next post will hopefully be the carbon interior refit! I can't wait to get stuck into this one... The only hold up is the final three panels which should arrive tomorrow :-)