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Hello there, I am a new member of this forum and the new owner of a Caterham 7. The title says 67' Lotus but I got some information based on the body vin that says this is a 2000 Caterham. It has a Ford Zetec motor w/ 5 speed and dry sump. Other than those details I don't know a whole lot about it. I see people referencing S2 and S3 and 160 and 165 models but I am unsure what this one is. Any help in identifying the body type would be much appreciated.

 

My future plans include dark wheels and maybe go down to a 15" with a 50 series tire. I believe now they are 205/45/16.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

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Welcome. Seriously? It’s an S3. Which means Series 3. Itis the standard size Caterham. Those other numbers are irrelevant to your model. Oh. And welcome to the clam club. Clams rule!!! :rofl:

Edited by yellowss7
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Welcome Justin, what a beautiful Caterham!

 

The S3 is the standard size (smallish) Caterham. This is clearly a late 90's, early 2000's Caterham.The Zetec engine doesn't quite fit, so they notched the frame a bit on the passenger side of the engine bay. I noticed your car had the notch when it was for sale on BAT. So this is occasionally called a notched frame Cat (like mine). Anyhow, that notch is a definitive bit of automotive DNA.

 

I am not sure what model S3 it is. There were several back then, as always. Maybe a Roadsport or a Superlight? I think there was also an "America" version then which was intended for racing. That may be what what mine started out as, tho the spec has changed via upgrades over the years. I will let those more informed than I comment on that.

 

Now that you know what it is, how does it drive? Best upgrade (IMHO) is new tires if those are the originals or on the old side. Short trips at first with some handy tools so you can trouble-shoot any lurking mechanical issues that newly purchased Caterhams occasionally have.

 

Have fun, it will be an adventure, and the car will blow everyone who sees its mind!

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I don’t know your plans for it, but in those pictures it has the aeroscreen so make sure you wear good eye protection or a helmet when you take it out. Bugs and stones hit really hard at speed and even with the clams you will find a ton of stones on your seat after a blat. Be careful and enjoy. One last tip. Make sure your steering wheel is straight when giving it the stick.

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Welcome to the forum. Congratulations on your purchase! Your new car really looks nice.

 

If you look under the pedal box cover there is a Caterham VIN. On the auction thread it was SDKLDKANSY0021853. This deciphers as:

SDK = Caterham

L = Left Hand Drive

D = DeDion rear suspension

K = Kit built (build type - normal for US cars)

A = Alternative chassis type

NS = Engine not supplied. US import rules at the time (and even now) required a separate purchase of the engine/transmission

Y = 2000 chassis produced at factory

0021853 = chassis number

 

All of this is expected in a US delivered kit build - no surprises

 

 

It is an S3 chassis. There are three types of chassis size/types produced by Caterham:

1) S3 = regular size.

2) S5 or SV = wider version. 4 inches wider in the cockpit and 4 inches longer in the cockpit

3) CSR = same size as S5/SV but with independent rear suspension and inboard front suspension

 

 

The reference you made to model numbers (160 and 165 models) are current Caterham model naming - does not relate to what you have that well.

 

Your drive train is a 2L Zetec with throttle bodies. Came out of a Ford Focus of similar vintage. These were about 145hp in that format. With the throttle bodies, custom ECU and possibly some other internal work, then I guess you may have 20-30+hp more than the standard. Not sure. The documentation that came with the car should provide more insight.

 

The gearbox is a Ford T-9 - used to be in the Ford/Mercury Capri from the early 70s. Its 60s era design so will not be as slick changing as a modern car - be patient as you try to hustle the changes.

 

A secret with wheels on a Caterham is that the acceleration and handling is improved the smaller you go - to say 13 inches. The wheel gets lighter, less rotational and unsprung mass. A thicker sidewall not only improves the ride but improves feel of the car close or at breakaway. The only downside of this is you have to thinking about tire/wheel diameter to ensure adequate ground clearance plus it can be difficult to find tires for 13inch wheels although Avon (ZZS/ZZR) and Toyo have good ones.

Edited by Croc
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Now that you know what it is, how does it drive? Best upgrade (IMHO) is new tires if those are the originals or on the old side. Short trips at first with some handy tools so you can trouble-shoot any lurking mechanical issues that newly purchased Caterhams occasionally have.

 

It is very fun to drive... I have yet to test its limits other than a donut once or twice. I want to go to a track day to really learn the car. Much different than the Subarus I had a decade ago.

 

I don’t know your plans for it, but in those pictures it has the aeroscreen so make sure you wear good eye protection or a helmet when you take it out. Bugs and stones hit really hard at speed and even with the clams you will find a ton of stones on your seat after a blat. Be careful and enjoy. One last tip. Make sure your steering wheel is straight when giving it the stick.

 

Very good points. I do have the windshield... maybe ill put it on a see how that looks.

 

Welcome to the forum. Congratulations on your purchase! Your new car really looks nice.

 

Thanks for the kind words and all of the information you provided. Ill look into smaller wheels and report back to the forum once ive found some.

 

Thanks all!

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Welcome. Seriously? It’s an S3. Which means Series 3. Itis the standard size Caterham. Those other numbers are irrelevant to your model. Oh. And welcome to the clam club. Clams rule!!! :rofl:

 

Clams plus British racing green, iconic!

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Hi welcome. What made you want to buy a Caterham? Was this a long plan purchase or something spur of the moment?

 

A friend of a friend had one about 10 years ago and ever since I saw it I wanted one. I've been lucky enough to save up some cash over the years and my fiances dad introduced me to Bring A Trailer and coincidentally this car came up a week or so later - and I had to have it :)

 

I've been reading a lot about the 2.3Li Ecoboost engines.... I think this car needs one. And maybe a 6 speed.

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A friend of a friend had one about 10 years ago and ever since I saw it I wanted one. I've been lucky enough to save up some cash over the years and my fiances dad introduced me to Bring A Trailer and coincidentally this car came up a week or so later - and I had to have it :)

 

I've been reading a lot about the 2.3Li Ecoboost engines.... I think this car needs one. And maybe a 6 speed.

 

If I recall there is a 360 horsepower Ecoboost build of a 7 in Europe. He's on the Facebook group.

 

Most engine swaps are limited in the chassis due to small size. Double so for S3 in comparison to SV.

 

6 speeds are common for Zetecs and Duratecs. Not sure on the Ecoboost.

 

6 speed the final gear is 1:1. 5 speeds the 4th is 1:1 and overdrive. Which means that 6 speed is much more of a close ratio gear box and very revvy on the highway. (I think I'm at like 5300 at 80). So when comparing the two it's not 5 speed + 1 more gear, no is it all 6 are a little more spread out, it's quite a drastic change. 6 speed fits 6 in the same speed range that 5 speed fits 4 and on top of that loses over drive for highway.

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It might be simpler (and cheaper) to buy a Cat with a Duratec, or spec one from Bruce B or spec a 2.5 Duratec Birkin from Tom Carlin. You have a different ECU, wiring, intake and exhausts are on opposite sides, probably different fueling system, engine mounts, etc. (I know this as I had this same thought one time:)).

 

Pretty hard to get big HP out of a Zetc, 220hp at the fly wheel seems to be about it. With the Duratec, the hp potential is higher, esp with 2.3 and 2.5 versions

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It might be simpler (and cheaper) to buy a Cat with a Duratec, or spec one from Bruce B or spec a 2.5 Duratec Birkin from Tom Carlin. You have a different ECU, wiring, intake and exhausts are on opposite sides, probably different fueling system, engine mounts, etc. (I know this as I had this same thought one time:)).

 

Pretty hard to get big HP out of a Zetc, 220hp at the fly wheel seems to be about it. With the Duratec, the hp potential is higher, esp with 2.3 and 2.5 versions

 

I hear you. We'll see what the estimate comes back as. Since the car I have is registered as a 67 Lotus I do not have to smog it here in CA.

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It might be simpler (and cheaper) to buy a Cat with a Duratec, or spec one from Bruce B or spec a 2.5 Duratec Birkin from Tom Carlin. You have a different ECU, wiring, intake and exhausts are on opposite sides, probably different fueling system, engine mounts, etc. (I know this as I had this same thought one time:)).

 

Pretty hard to get big HP out of a Zetc, 220hp at the fly wheel seems to be about it. With the Duratec, the hp potential is higher, esp with 2.3 and 2.5 versions

 

In my opinion, biggest benefit to Duratec if you're going for HP is the proven setup with a supercharger. That makes it a bolt on upgrade instead of being a pioneer trying to shoe horn something in there.

 

With that said, Ecoboost do fit. At least the 1.5 or 1.6 one that was installed by the Euro member. He's making about 390hp and calls it an R780.

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