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Another Newbie - Titling & Wheels


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Hi everyone.  I'm really happy to have found this site!  After several years of hunting not just unicorns, but very specific unicorns, I've finally come to terms with having a Seven built.  I live in St. Louis.  I'm wondering if anyone has had experience titling/inspecting a Seven in MO or even better in STL city.  Any advice?  Things I should be worried about?  Things I should steer clear of?  The car will be a 310R.  A big part of my difficulty in finding a preowned has been that a SV chassis is a must, and I really prefer to not go over 160 hp (I'll be mostly a winding backroad driver, but would like a relatively rare trackday).  310R feels like the right fit for me.  At the risk of sounding like an endorsement (not sure if that is a no-no here), I must say that Josh at Rocky Mountain Caterham has been absolutely awesome with helping me really dial in on specs.  The screenshot is what she'll eventually look like (my productivity has taken a big hit since finding the online configurator!).

 

My other question that I'd love to get some feedback on is regarding wheel choice.  15" Orcus wheels with AVON ZZS come standard on the 310.  15" wheels on a Seven seem counterintuitive IMHO.  There is the option to instead go with 13" Apollo (also with TTS).  Here's the rub.  There are great driving roads nearby, but unfortunately I would have to drive it through the TERRIBLE STL city roads in order to get to them.  Massive pot holes, those cursed steel construction plates... just awful.  Sump damage is a real concern.  One suggestion is that the 15" wheels with the car raised a bit in height would be a good option for me.  A bit more peace of mind would be worth the somewhat reduced handling compared to 13".  Any thoughts about that?  I realize the correct answer is "DON'T HIT POTHOLES!".  But, especially in traffic, these can tend to sneak up on you!  Has anyone tried a skid plate over the sump?

 

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!  jordway in STL

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Welcome and glad you found the site!   One option to consider is the dry sump.  This increases ground clearance by over an inch (some say 35mm).  The downside is that the bellhousing becomes the low point as it is normally flush with the bottom of the wet sump.  If that's a concern, Raceline make a compact sump that requires a different flywheel and starter which corrects this and is flush with the bottom of the dry sump.  

 

-John

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I don't recall the difference off the top of my head, but do recall that the diameter difference between the 13" and 15" option as being small since the 13" uses a taller tire sidewall.

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The 13" tire will give a nice ride on the rough stuff due to the taller sidewall.

 

If you pick tire size correctly the OD of a 15" tire and a 13" tire will be nearly the same.

 

 

dave

 

 

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Long time Forum member/Caterham owner, BBall, lives it St Louis. Maybe he will share his experience regarding your titling questions?

 

Beautiful Cat and great spec! In all honesty, in spite of my worshiping at the alter of "more power", the 310 R seems truest to the balance of the early-and mid-cycle Caterhams with their X-flow engines.

 

Forum guru, "Croc" (Mike Johnson) who Caterham dealer, Bruce Beachman, swears has a black belt in Caterham, highly recommends the 13" wheels as they, apparently, are what the car was designed around. I think his is a more track oriented focus though, so....?

 

I can certainly second your enthusiasm for working with Josh at RMC. He has always gone above and beyond in helping me. As has Bruce Beachman.

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Jordway - Great to have another Seven in STL!  At one point there were at least 6 that I knew of, but recently it’s been down to me and maybe one in Belleville.

 

I registered mine as a “Custom Vehicle”, which has a clause that covers “replicas”.  I was literally the first person in MO to register a vehicle with the program.  My plate was CV001.

 

Happy to discuss titling and Sevens with you.  I’ll send you a message with contact info.

 

Steve

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Wow!  Thanks so much for the replies.  This is awesome!  Great feedback on the wheels... I hadn't considered a dry sump (but should)... very good to know about the Raceline compact sump... and now I know there is another Seven in STL!!!  I've made more progress in one day than I have in the past 5 years!  THANKS everyone! 

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Welcome to USA7s!

 

13 inch wheels are preferable.  Lighter weight overall and most importantly, less unsprung weight.  The difference is very noticeable in any form of driving - road or track.  @Davemk1 said it best earlier - nicer ride plus the rolling diameter is essentially the same.   I also find the extra tire sidewall helps communicate better what the car is doing as you push on.  

 

A dry sump is a good idea for ground clearance irrespective of which size wheel you choose.  I know all about rough roads - the frost bumps and potholes - the devils breed where I live. You will always have to drive defensively and you know this.  A thicker rubber sidewall of a 13 inch wheel is better protection than the 15 inch low profile wheels, where an impact is is more likely to take out a wheel and a tire on the 15 inch wheel while only damaging the tire on the 13 inch.   You can definitely do a sump guard.  On a former car of mine I had an angled piece of diamond plate that would skip the engine/car over the bump if I had the misfortune to hit it.  There are other types of similar guards that can be adapted for the bellhousing (Caterham used to sell one) that will hang down about 1 or so inches below the level of the dry sump, although this is a less risky area than the sump as it is further back in the car and so the front suspension will have had a fraction more time to respond to the bump you hit and start lifting the car.

 

cheers

mike

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I have a oil pan on my car that comes down to the level of the bell housing.  I have the skid plate mentioned above and it does a good job. The plate goes under the leading edge of the oil pan so what ever you run over slides down the pan instead of banging into it. I 100% agree about the 13 inch tires. I have both and the car feels very different between the two.

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I’m sold on the 13”/ZZS. Thanks to all for the advice. RMC will be building the kit. Would you recommend asking them to put on the skid plate, or is that something better done after I get it?

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11 hours ago, jordway said:

I’m sold on the 13”/ZZS. Thanks to all for the advice. RMC will be building the kit. Would you recommend asking them to put on the skid plate, or is that something better done after I get it?

 

Josh knows his stuff, I would ask him for ideas and get him to do it.  I am sure he will have seen something suitable.  

 

I found a photo of what I did on the old Zetec to protect it - just for ideas

 

 

Picture_096.jpg

Picture_094.jpg

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If you have a steel oil sump, you may want to extend the skid plate under the oil pan.  There is a good chance that the object you contact will not slide across the pan, but actual crush in the bottom of the oil pan.  See photo of extended plate added for sump protection,  which cover the bottom of the oil pan. 

seven sump small ph.JPG

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