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2007 Caterham CSR 260

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Hello everyone, I recently purchased a 2007 Caterham CSR 260 from original owner with 1,800 miles and Cosworth Duratec 2.3l engine. Looking forward to getting to learn more about the car from you all. I’m already very grateful for Mike “Croc” posting the link to the for sale ad and being so generous with his time and knowledge coaching me on what to look out for during the pre-purchase inspection. I’ve now had a chance to drive it some and am being impressed by the overall performance and comfort of the car compared to other 7 type cars I’ve driven.






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Congratulations Ahavams! Great car at an amazing price, if it's half as good as it looks, you stole it! As Croc noted in his detailed write up, the weak link was the rear diff attachments on early versions. Fix it, if needed, and drive it like you stole it, which you did:)!

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Hi Jeff - Glad it all worked out right for you. You had an interesting purchase experience. Bit of remedial work on the weak areas and you have a beast of a car to play with. Enjoy it!




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Thanks for the warm welcome. I was able to contact the daughter/co-driver of the car based on the SCCA stickers on the car. She confirmed that they are the original owners and the same gentleman that built the car for them has been maintaining it over the years. It was registered for street use in California properly as a 07 Caterham with BAR exemption under SB-100 so it is smog exempt here but they very rarely drove it on the road, it was mostly trailered to/from Qualcomm Stadium where they ran it in SCCA autocross. Unfortunately her father is not well and they are getting rid of some of their cars. The gentleman I purchased the car from got it as a package deal along with a Corvette they had been collecting.


Overall I think I got very lucky with the condition of the car, it’s at a local race shop getting a few things done:


Rear differential, I will post pictures but looks good

we replaced the rear diff fluid as preventative maintenance

replaced brake/clutch fluid and engine oil

new valve cover gasket

plugs look good

compression test good

coolant and gear oil both look new

replaced lugnuts as the ones fitted were too large (19mm bulge vs 17mm)

replaced intake coupler with a better fitting one, the old one was making contact with the idler pulley and had a small hole worn in it.

all suspension and heim joints nice and tight

brake pads have 9-10mm all around


Monday morning they will try to connect to the MBE ecu, not sure if they will be able to since we don’t have any CAN adapter for it, are these the older serial connectors or CAN type?


they will run it on the dyno as a final health check for peace of mind.


at some point I will want to replace the following:


revert to original intake manifold setup

tires (205/50/15 & 225/45/15 Toyo R888 currently fitted). might try the Avon ZZS in 195/50/15 & 245/40/15 unless anyone has better suggestion?

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"at some point I will want to replace the following:


revert to original intake manifold setup

tires (205/50/15 & 225/45/15 Toyo R888 currently fitted). might try the Avon ZZS in 195/50/15 & 245/40/15 unless anyone has better suggestion?


I'll be interested what people say about running 245s on the rear. Seems it might be hard to get the car to rotate, though you would be able to power out of a turn.

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Hi Jeff,


You say the diff is ok but what was causing the whine? Also is it a two point mount or a four point mount? If two point then I would strongly recommend adding the extra bracing:



and replacing the diff bolt with the upgraded one




For tires, the Avons ZZS in 15s are the standard tire for a CSR. I use the ZZS as my road and wet track tire on my CSR and think they are great. Here they are on my car. I was the fastest thing out there that day and I think Caterhams are tricky things to drive in the wet






However, if you do not experience rain then consider the Avon ZZR. There are two compounds to choose from depending how sticky you like it. They are excellent performance tires. Going from the old Avon CR500 to the ZZR was a 3 second drop in lap time. I know a few Caterham owners local to me use them. However, the ZZRs are lethal in any wet conditions. You may be ok being based on the west coast.


And to answer Panamericano's question - there is enough power that rotating the rear is not a problem. Its more over rotation you have to watch for....


You will not be able to read the MBE ECU - its locked down. Its a J1962 plug under the dash - looks OBDII but is not. You need a cable from SBD and then Easimap to read what it is doing but is just to read it not re-map it. There is a password for allowing changes but that can be an offline discussion.



The workaround can be to use an AIM Solo DL. The AIM Solo DL using the AIM OBDII cable will read the MBE ECU if you tell the software that you are driving a Noble car. I use that approach to diagnose things. An illustration is via the following:






Some fields look goofy - the throttle position for one. I think the engine data is lagged compared to the GPS track data. But that still might be more useful than a laptop running easimap when you cannot record.







Edited by Croc
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