Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Back on the Radar and Pipe Polishing

Having gone off the 'Caterham' radar for a while, I thought it a good idea to bite the bullet and get back on with the show.  The weather was great at the weekend and subsequently I started to get that 'I need to drive the R500 again' feeling... So it was time to get a move on with the 2016 'prep'... Funnily enough I think a lot of Caterham owners felt the same last weekend, as there was a huge spike in web-traffic to the blog, so I guess everyone was thinking the same...

So... A bit of a laborious task, but I wanted to get the exhaust downpipes, cat bypass and exhaust can polished up (again) ready for a year of use and abuse.  I'd purchased a table mounted polishing machine last year, along with a number of mops and compounds, so thought it best to stick to my plan of polishing everything up at the start (or perhaps end) of every year.

I've already written a detailed post about moving dangerously to polisher status, that incorporates the polishing process, so rather than bore myself typing it all out again, I decided to just publish the 'after' pics.  
Freshly machine polished Caterham downpipes
Freshly machine polished Caterham downpipes
Gleaming exhaust and Cat bypass pipe
Gleaming exhaust and Cat bypass pipe

Pretty much everything on my list of things I wanted to do this year has been completed, but there are a few things that are still to be done - here's the updated list:-
  • Road Wheels Re-sprayThis is underway, the wheels have been re-powder coated and are currently having the rims repainted, and I expect to have these back before the end of March.
  • Polishing the Exhausts (again!) - See above... done
  • Replace ANOTHER headlight that's cracked - done
  • Fit my lovely new carbon interior panels! - done
  • Remove the hoodsticks and replace boot cover - done
BUT... There's a few additions!
  • Bespoke Carbon Parts - Pedal Box, Knee Panels, Fuel Pipe Cover and 12v Socket Holder
    I've instructed a carbon manufacturing company to produce a set of carbon parts that are an easy swap out and should save a kilo or so... I've donated my pedal box cover, knee (IVA?) interior panels, 12v battery socket holder and fuel pipe cover so the moulds have been made and the initial pictures look very encouraging as you can see below...
Carbon Pedal Box Cover for Caterham
Carbon Pedal Box Cover for Caterham
  • Carbon Bonnet!
    Based on the pics I received for these new carbon parts, I've also decided to go balls deep and instructed the manufacturers to fabricate a carbon bonnet for me too - more on this later!
  • Bespoke Tyre Rack
    I've also given the nod to a local company who are making a bespoke 13 inch tyre rack - more on this later too... 
  • Wiper Removal
    Following on from the main theme over this winter (which is weight saving) I decided that it'd be a good idea to remove the wiper motor, as this is rumoured to weigh about 7kg (which is a considerable amount), so will be pressing on with this hopefully this or next weekend.  Being a bit 'OCD' (I'd like to think of it as attention to detail!) removing the wiper motor would mean there would be three holes in the scuttle which most people would cover with grommets, but I decided to take the more 'no compromise' option and will be replacing the scuttle.  I've already ordered the new scuttle (which arrived a few weeks ago) and will get this painted at the same time as the carbon bonnet.
  • Final Fit
    I'll need to order a new tripe stripe set of decals and then put it the rest of the car back together.
Having typed up what's left to do (or should I say what I've given myself to do) I'm feeling happy that the end of this winters 'project(s)' is in sight and blatting time is nearly here.


  1. Have you thought about carboning your carbon for double double weight saving? I have heard about these new LPD (Liquid Propane Dust) tanks that should reduce emissions and add to your weight saving programme.

  2. I recently removed my wiper motor and it weighed in at 2.2Kg, this is off a 2000 imperial superlight R so may be a different design.

    1. Thanks for the heads-up... I'll be sure to weigh it and publish the info as soon as I have it!


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