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The adventure begins....building my 420R


mdork
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Sorry for no updates. Making slow progress. Engine is in and learned some lessons along the way. Keep thinking how much easier this would be the second time but having fun bumbling along. 

 

 

 

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On 5/13/2021 at 5:09 PM, mdork said:

First (dumb) question. I know the IVA trim for the suspension/body openings are required in the UK but are folks in the US installing? What's the risk/downside? The paint isn't totally perfect on the edges so might make sense to add but curious what the prevailing wisdom is...

I think I’m in the minority but when I asked about IVA trim with the tech folks apparently some of it is only used for kit builds in the UK, for factory build they don’t use it. No idea why except stupid government regulation. I basically only used IVA stuff that actually had an obvious function like grommets. The edge trim for the exhaust for example I started to put on but didn’t like the look of it so I took it off, still off today.

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Thanks - right now I’ve only done the steering rack exit and doesn’t look bad. Haven’t decided if I’ll keep going. Wish Caterham had done a bit better with the paint application. 

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Despite reading all the build blogs on the headlight process, it still took me 3 hours so get the first assembly done. Pure comedy as I repeatedly started over after getting the sequence wrong. Super happy with the end result. Second one will be easier!

 

 

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As expected, second assembly took 30 minutes. Got the front anti roll bar installed as well. Hoping to tackle radiator and some plumbing this weekend. Progress feels good. 
 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Slow progress continues. Caterham decided to ship my front dampers without the spacers installed - and of course I realized this well after installing the units. So out they came and spacers went in. Continues the theme of doing things more than once but glad to have noticed and sorted.

 

As with many others, my roll bar install was hilariously challenging. 5 of 6 bolts lined up reasonably well. One of the bottom bolts was not particularly close. I am sure there is someone at Caterham HQ that would explain "look mate, it's built wonky on purpose to increase the tension under load, innit" - but for a random dude building at home, it just means a 20 min job turns into 3 hours of sweat and profanity. Thanks to some help from my pops/co-builder - we managed to get it in and everything torqued to spec.

 

I also took the opportunity to test fit the upgraded parking brake handle which you'd expect to be a 5 min, simple replacement. But, as is tradition, the replacement part doesn't actually fit due to a fat weld on the underside of the assembly....some trial and error with my trusty dremel got everything cleaned up and it's now ready to install.

 

In other happy news - Bruce brought over a new set of the LED tail light assemblies. Look amazing. If anyone is looking for traditional rear lamps or the clear lenses, I have an unused set now in a box...


Hoping to get a few big build sessions in later this month. Weather in Seattle is so nice it's been tough to prioritize garage time...I'm enjoying going slow and having more fun than all my challenges would suggest :).

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Similar experience with the track day roll bar, lots of grunting and mumbling to get the holes aligned enough for the bolts to pull things into final alignment.

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That is a good build blog.  The list I compiled as I built is:

 

https://caterham420detailedbuildblog.co.uk/

 
@mdork, don't hesitate if you want a picture of something assembled.  I have a COVID 420R.
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1 hour ago, Pokey said:

That is a good build blog.  The list I compiled as I built is:

 

https://caterham420detailedbuildblog.co.uk/

 
@mdork, don't hesitate if you want a picture of something assembled.  I have a COVID 420R.


Thanks @Pokey. Will take you up on that I’m sure. I generally have a dozen tabs of various build blogs open. The “detailed build blog” is my personal favorite and don’t think I’d survive without it. 
 

Happy to host any locals who want to stare at a partially built car and reminisce. I’ll also happily stare at your finished car and find motivation. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tackled the prop shaft (easy) and diff today. As with just about everything so far - the diff carrier didn’t align particularly well so it was a rather long day with many moments of exasperation but the diff is in and torqued. Beer was extra tasty after. Thankfully have my dad as build partner as I’d have had zero chance without him. Progress. 

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3 hours ago, KnifeySpoony said:

Alignment on my diff mounts was terrible and getting the bolts in was an absolute nightmare. It took an ungodly amount of force. It better last forever, cuz I'm never taking it out...

Sounds like we had the same experience. We effectively installed it 2/3rds of the way twice before figuring out a sequence that worked to get all three bolts in. Based on the internet it seems there isn’t one way that works reliably but I’m not planning to do it again either. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

More progress on the rear end. De Dion tube is in along with rear dampers, radius arms (used the S holes as the R required drilling carbon panels), and the a-frame. Got within 2mm and calling it centered as there is no way to squeeze another washer in. 
 

Woke up in a cold sweat thinking the harness bolts would be too long to fit with the roll bar in place. Managed to get them in by backing out the roll bar a bit (of course I had to do this prior to damper install). Had a bit of a struggle with 1 of 4 bolts but par for the course. They’re in and torqued and not coming out for a long time. If I was doing it over again I’d put the harnesses in (shoulder straps) before fitting the roll bar (I have the track day bar). 


Life is a bit busy so progress continues to be slow but happy for the experience to last a bit longer. 

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Ah, good memories.  Other solutions to the lack of clearance between the rollover bar cross member and the shoulder harness bolt include putting the bolt in upside down with a nut on top, or cutting the bolt shorter.  I went for the latter.  Funny that the build manual just doesn't say put the harness in before the bar, or for that matter Caterham could just put shorter bolts in the fastener pack.

 

I wonder about the De Dion tube centering, exactly how critical it is.  Like you I went to the effort to get it within a washer, but I swear it moves a little back and forth.  I recently measured again, determined it must have moved, disassembled and reassembled, and wound up with the same number of washers on both sides.  Maybe I'm just losing my mind, I dunno, but I suspect there is some play.

 

Thanks for the updates.  If you can swing it those of us living vicariously would love pictures too!

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I used “the force” to try and get one more washer in but really what I need is two half washers. Feels snug for now. 
 

Hoping to get the rest of the rear end done tomorrow. 
 

Haven’t taken too many pics. If you’re bored tomorrow come on by. Maybe too hot and smoky for a blat. 

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It’s possible. The old manual says to get within +/- 2mm so if that means the tolerance is 4mm then I’m well within. If it means 2mm then I’m still ok. Think I’ll keep going and have Bruce have a look-see once I’m done. 

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Posted (edited)

Got the rear end more or less complete today. Missing the 41mm socket for the hub nuts. Uncle Jeff (Amazon) will bring me one on Tuesday. Then I’ll get the car on the floor and torque the front end before moving on to plumbing. 
 

Todays adventure was discovering the lovely lads at Caterham packed 3 M6x80 bolts for the ARB along with 1 M6x75 cap head. They look similar in the bag but of course the short one isn’t up to the task. Thank your chosen deity for Tacoma Screw and their vast selection. Made it before closing and they sent me on my way and at no charge. Funny how a small gesture of good service feels so rare and wonderful. 
 

Excited to have my pretend car looking more like a car :)  

 

 

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Edited by mdork
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