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Going coast to coast without a clue


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I just checked out your Instagram. I've done a lot of touring in the middle of nowhere over the years, but have never come across such an honest sign. It's a classic! Where was this taken?

 

primitive road sign.jpg

 

-John

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I have been following your quest with interest and empathy. As a recent purchaser of a Caterham in need of TLC I recognize several of the challenges you faced, and am not surprised at all. Sorting out a new purchase on a road trip is not ideal. Good luck!

 

Anker

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I have been following your quest with interest and empathy. As a recent purchaser of a Caterham in need of TLC I recognize several of the challenges you faced, and am not surprised at all. Sorting out a new purchase on a road trip is not ideal. Good luck!

 

Anker

 

Write any sentence describing an activity such as:

Read a book.

Take a nap.

Google a restaurant.

Have passionate sex.

Drive cross country.

 

Now add “in a Caterham” and without exception it will be a less than ideal experience.

 

I am fortunate as I think my car was professionally maintained with no expense spared and very low mileage. The few issues I’ve had are largely the sort one would expect. The problems are mostly of the sort that would have gone unnoticed in a track car so it’s no surprise I’m discovering.

 

I just hope my very good luck continues.

 

At the end of the day, it’s the problems such as these you overcome to continue such a trip that make the stories you tell for years to come.

 

I didn’t explain the rewiring of the fan I did. I “mounted“ the switch in a clear plastic package electrical parts are sold in at the auto parts store. Wires go in holes punched in one end. The toggle switch is on the other end. It’s all wrapped in electrical tape and zip tied under the dash. Ugly as hell but I have a sense of pride every time I switch on that fan. That’s what it’s all about.

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Another productive day. Drove from Santa Barbara up the Pacific Coast Highway to Oakland where Andy/Ashyers and his significant other hosted me for dinner. It was a great time.

 

After dinner I made it about two blocks and my clutch cable snapped. That happened back in August so I had brought a spare. It wasn’t a great fit but with Andy’s skilled guidance we got it working with just a few “extra” parts. I’m not thrashing the car so it’s a bit odd that two cables have broken in only 2,000 miles and two months. Andy suggested it may be a bad grounding strap so I’m going to check that. Has anyone else suffered recurring clutch cable failures with suggestions to share?

 

With the new cable installed I forged ahead to Sonoma where the car is getting an inspection at Kampena tomorrow. I might have to inspect some wine.

 

Hopefully the car gets an all clear and I can head east on Sunday.

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Another productive day. Drove from Santa Barbara up the Pacific Coast Highway to Oakland where Andy/Ashyers and his significant other hosted me for dinner. It was a great time.

 

After dinner I made it about two blocks and my clutch cable snapped. That happened back in August so I had brought a spare. It wasn’t a great fit but with Andy’s skilled guidance we got it working with just a few “extra” parts. I’m not thrashing the car so it’s a bit odd that two cables have broken in only 2,000 miles and two months. Andy suggested it may be a bad grounding strap so I’m going to check that. Has anyone else suffered recurring clutch cable failures with suggestions to share?

 

With the new cable installed I forged ahead to Sonoma where the car is getting an inspection at Kampena tomorrow. I might have to inspect some wine.

 

Hopefully the car gets an all clear and I can head east on Sunday.

 

Bad ground, also bad routing of the cable. After the 2nd time I'd convert to hydraulic and be done with it.

 

Bill S.

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if there is not a pressure switch plumbed into the brake lines somewhere, then this is your brake switch. It would switch the ground path rather than the positive.

switches are in a 'normally closed' or 'normally open' configuration and some switches will identify the terminals as NO or NC in the case where the switch can be used for different applications.

 

you are not looking for power at the switch but a completed ground path when the plunger extends. figure which lead goes directly to ground then test for continuity through the switch from the opposite lead. operate the switch to see if depressing the plunger opens and closes the switch reliably, indicated by your meter. If this checks out go looking elsewhere.

 

Grounding point for circuits of this type are the first place I look. Cleaning ground studs is cheap. Shotgunning parts in on the hope the problem goes away is bad troubleshooting technique.

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The Caterham brake switch is a POS. You can take it apart, clean the plunger and repeat the same exercise again down the road. When the spring pops out and you will be searching all over the place trying to find it. Spend $ 10 at Summit Racing or Autozone and forget about it.

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Sander,

Hilde and I are happy you were able to drop by and enjoy dinner with us. It was a pleasure to meet you and the stories of your trip were great! Hope the remainder of your journey is trouble free and the only adventures you have are self induced! Drive safe and stay in touch.

 

Andy

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The brake light problem was ultimately solved. Either removing and working the switch freed it up and made it function again or it was a bad fuse. Not sure which but I think it was the fuse. When I’m home in a week I’ll be getting another switch from Summit.

 

We replaced the clutch cable last night and things just aren’t right. Shifting is very notchy and sometimes difficult. I’m getting a lot of grinding going into reverse. Richard at Kampena thinks there is something wrong in the bellhousing such as a worn out clutch or bent shift arm. Sounds like the engine is coming out and an exploratory visit to the bell housing will be necessary when I get home.

 

I think a big part of the problem though is the new clutch cable. It isn’t working the way the old one did and that’s creating a lot of the problems. I ordered the LHD Vauxhall cable on the Caterham site and that’s what I installed yesterday. There is also a LHD Ford cable on the Caterham site and I think that’s what I need for my Ford transmission. It looks like the old one. I’d order another of each but the Ford cable is out of stock. I’m calling Caterham when they open for business Monday morning.

 

Does anyone have suggestions for a company in the US that can make or repair a cable? Also, are there any cable repair kits anyone can recommend?

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Back in August I posted and indicated that so thought I had a bad pilot bearing. The car squeals when I let the clutch out and it’s in gear. It doesn’t happen in neutral or reverse. Richard at Kampena drove the car and said it’s coming from the rear end rather than the transmission. The sound is somewhere between a squealing tire and a squealing bearing it lasts 1-3 seconds as I let off the clutch. It only happens in lower gears but not always. I think it’s caused by something spinning between the differential and the wheel. Not sure what. Any thoughts.

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2E5F4C3A-47AB-47C1-9739-13A6D9C43EB9.jpgHere’s a pic of my clutch pedal stop as well as the cable end. Have you checked where the arm is when the clutch is fully depressed? Is it’s travel limited by the hole in the bellhousing? Edited by Lotusfan
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Saturday I had the car looked at and we were very concerned with the clutch and transmission. We noted the problems, pondered them and figured I could limp cross-country shifting little on interstate. Big problem was that the clutch wasn’t fully engaging.

 

After a night’s sleep I got back in there, adjusted the clutch cable a half an inch and all the problems were solved. Clutch and transmission are working well now.

 

I need to add a pedal stop as the clutch travels much past the point it needs to.

 

Yesterday I traveled from Sonoma to Palm Springs in 8 hours including gas stops for an average speed of 64 mph. Not bad for an old car. Repairs today focus on exterior rear view mirrors. In other words, things are good. The car is running great. I’ve done 2,500 miles and have about 2,100 to go.

 

Next stops are Joshua Tree, Marfa Texas, Austin, New Orleans and home.

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[ATTACH=CONFIG]17790[/ATTACH]Here’s a pic of my clutch pedal stop as well as the cable end. Have you checked where the arm is when the clutch is fully depressed? Is it’s travel limited by the hole in the bellhousing?

 

That’s a great set-up, Thanks for sending it.

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I tried putting a pedal stop in like Lotusfans. I could be wrong but it appears I have a bigger gap between the rear of the pedal box and the top of the clutch pedal. The stud I got wasn’t long enough to bridge that gap. Then I test fit a big rubber stopper in the pedal box where the clutch pedal hits the floor. The stopper didn’t allow enough travel. Finally, I drilled a half inch hole in the peak of the bid dent the clutch pedal had made in the pedal box. I put the stud through with a lock washer and nut inside and outside the pedal box. Made a quarter inch adjustment and it was just right. I need to clean it up when I get home but I’m all set now.

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