Monday, 28 November 2016

Academy Car Build - Day Eleven - A Twelve Hour Slog

A long, long day; twelve hours in fact and, probably another hour typing this post out... I'm beginning to feel the pressure of having to get back to 'work' on Thursday,  so today, Tuesday and Wednesday are going to be full-on days with a view to having the car finished by Wednesday evening...

A (not so quick) trip to the tip, ScrewFix, Halfrauds and Maplin out of the way and the first job was to fit the horns... I wanted to fit these after the engine, as I thought this would give a bit more room (when fitting the engine) and I think it helped. 
Horns fitted and wired up
Horns fitted and wired up
I mentioned in yesterday's post that I wanted to get the front end finished off as much as possible, so next up was the anti-roll bar... Which was straight forward really...
Anti Roll Bar fitted
Anti Roll Bar fitted
After the anti roll bar, next up was the radiator.  I couldn't work out if there was a top or bottom, and it seems identical top and bottom (I checked it numerous times, as the instructions do not mention a top or bottom), and then fitted the fan to the fan arms - the picture in the manual isn't that great, so thought I'd take this one for anyone who may need to visualise how this bit goes together.
Radiator and fan assembly from Caterham Academy Car
Radiator and fan assembly from Caterham Academy Car
Bobbins are fitted to the front of the chassis, then the fan, then the radiator - and this was another part which was satisfying to fit as it looked like another big step was completed.  Afterwards I spent a good hour or so fiddling around with the plumbing to see what questions I need to ask Derek (Howlett) in the morning... I'd say I've around a third of the plumbing and electrics completed already, so hopefully will finish that off tomorrow.
Fan and radiator fitted
Fan and radiator fitted
Sticking to my plan from yesterday and having as much done on the front end as I wanted to achieve, I wired up the reversing light on the gearbox - there have been a few questions (on the Academy Facebook group) about this and the other two connectors on the gearbox, and for the Academy car this is the right way to fit the wiring, and the other two (white) connectors are redundant.
Correct reversing light wiring on 2017 Caterham Academy Car - white connectors are not used
Correct reversing light wiring on 2017 Caterham Academy Car - white connectors are not used
Now was as good a time as any to fit the gear stick.
Gear Stick Fitted
Gear Stick Fitted
Next to go in was the handbrake cable - which I've partially fitted to the handbrake already.  And then the prop shaft went into the transmission tunnel.
Handbrake cable and propshaft in transmission tunnel
Handbrake cable and propshaft in transmission tunnel
Now onto one part that I've been dreading - the diff!  It's a bit of a pain to get this in - best bet is to line all the holes up and use long screwdrivers to loosely hold the diff in position whilst you bolt and shim it (as per the build manual).
Trolley jack lifting the diff into place
Trolley jack lifting the diff into place
Shimming the diff took hours - I just couldn't get it to line up...  Either horizontally or if I did that, then it was out vertically...  I was fed up and about to throw in the towel for the evening, but Charlotte called me in for some food and I took a breather for twenty minutes or so... The food done the trick and I went out and tackled the 'shimming'... At first the bottom needed two and one shim, but then after lining it up and re-measuring, it ended up being one shim each side.  The same for the top bolt too.
This diff cage eventually only needed one shim per corner (highlighted)
This diff cage eventually only needed one shim per corner (highlighted)
Now the diff was finally aligned, the three bolts were torqued up, and then the prop shaft was attached to the diff by four cap head bolts.  These need to be thread locked, and torqued to 40nm - best thing I found was to put the car in gear to stop the prop spinning.

With the prop and diff in, the last bit for the evening was to fit the drive shafts.
Drive shafts fitted
Drive shafts fitted
I don't get a feeling of immense progress today, but I'm pleased with what has been achieved as the time spent doing these more fiddly jobs means they are at least done and out of the way.  The number of boxes and parts bags laying around are getting more sparse, which means there's less to keep looking through and things should go a little quicker tomorrow and Wednesday.

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