Jump to content

“Barn find” Restoration Project


Rob J.
 Share

Recommended Posts

I know that many of you have seen my thread over in the general forum so forgive the duplication. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this project, here’s the brief story:

 

My father in law passed away several months ago. When my wife went down to his property, she found a 2005 Caterham SV parked, wasting away. She knew he had some kind of car (which they called “the Lotus”) because he had always talked about giving the car to my stepson. As it turns out, he wanted nothing to do with it, probably because it had been sitting outside for 15 years. My FILs health had declined over the years and he just didn’t have the ability to take care of it. 
 

My wife sends me the pictures of the car from her first trip to the property and I immediately fell in love. What’s a gorgeous car! I told her I absolutely wanted it if nobody else did and she made sure that happened (knowing I love cars). 
 

After several delays due to weather and the fact that the brakes are seized, I finally made arrangements to have it picked up and delivered 110 miles away to its new home - my garage. I’m so lucky to have this as a project and even though I’m not anything close to a mechanic, I’m going to give it my absolute best. Looking forward to the journey of getting this beauty back on the road where it belongs. 

F3193F92-E88A-49C2-BAEC-8BCF461178C3.jpeg

14A7B84B-58EA-4951-87B6-9E7F24F3857A.jpeg

051546A8-C9B8-46EB-B24C-00EA79B986C0.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 42
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Since I don’t have a center cap key, I’m focusing on simply cleaning everything. I’ve started getting the seats out so I can focus on the easy things first that don’t take a lot of “know how.” 

6C18F19D-D319-4CAA-975F-BD23142B95B6.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good luck! One step at a time it will get there.

 

A trick not having a key to those lugs (not sure what yours is exactly without looking at it) but you can either drill/dremel a slot into it and use a flat head screw driver to get it out (unless it's REALLY stuck from all the years), or you can drill a small hole and then pound in something like a Torx to get it out. 

 

One more alternative is to use a hammer punch to screw it out. I've used method on trick bolts that were anti-tamper. 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Vovchandr said:

Good luck! One step at a time it will get there.

 

A trick not having a key to those lugs (not sure what yours is exactly without looking at it) but you can either drill/dremel a slot into it and use a flat head screw driver to get it out (unless it's REALLY stuck from all the years), or you can drill a small hole and then pound in something like a Torx to get it out. 

 

One more alternative is to use a hammer punch to screw it out. I've used method on trick bolts that were anti-tamper. 

 

 

Those are great ideas. I have a few emails out to try to find a key and if not, I’ll have to make an attempt. I’m sure I’ll have to drill it out. I did spray them to start loosening up the rust to start. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Serious question for those who have done this before. As I think over the fact that this car has been sitting outside for a very long time, I'm wondering if it's just worth replacing the motor altogether. The reason I ask is because every fluid reservoir is bone dry (not a huge deal), but I just opened the oil cap and looking inside I'm seeing a lot of rust. I'd imagine this is just the result of water getting in there after being subjected to the elements. I'd really appreciate your thoughts. Pictures below. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Rob J. said:

Serious question for those who have done this before. As I think over the fact that this car has been sitting outside for a very long time, I'm wondering if it's just worth replacing the motor altogether. The reason I ask is because every fluid reservoir is bone dry (not a huge deal), but I just opened the oil cap and looking inside I'm seeing a lot of rust. I'd imagine this is just the result of water getting in there after being subjected to the elements. I'd really appreciate your thoughts. Pictures below. 

 

F9530E99-6151-443D-BAA7-A62136924612.jpeg

9BA8D3FD-6DF5-4A8F-8166-CAEFC20D64F6.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't see exactly what the bolts on your center cap look like in the picture. But if they're the ones with a small off-center hole at the bottom of the bigger hole, then I've been there. I made a little wrench for mine. It's really kludgy, but it worked fine for years. Those usually aren't really torqued down at all:

 

https://blog.garritys.org/2012/11/todays-kludge.html

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You might try your local Discount Tire.  They may have something.  My car came with lock type lug nuts.  Instead of $20 at Autozone, Discount had it for $5.  I guess they run across locked stuff a lot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, MPG said:

I can't see exactly what the bolts on your center cap look like in the picture. But if they're the ones with a small off-center hole at the bottom of the bigger hole, then I've been there. I made a little wrench for mine. It's really kludgy, but it worked fine for years. Those usually aren't really torqued down at all:

 

https://blog.garritys.org/2012/11/todays-kludge.html

 

 

 

I will assume that the center cap looks like this, can't get a larger file and better image on it. 3 small, offset holes, not sure you need to have something in all three to get it to turn.

 

 

wheel1.jpg

Edited by mrmustang
Link to comment
Share on other sites

if you end up drilling them, use a left hand bit

you might get lucky and have them unscrew

 

inside that cam cover looks really bad

Edited by 7Westfield
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, 7Westfield said:

if you end up drilling them, use a left hand bit

you might get lucky and have them unscrew

 

inside that cam cover looks really bad

That’s a good idea if I can’t find the key. And yea, it looks pretty bad. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Rob J. said:

Serious question for those who have done this before. As I think over the fact that this car has been sitting outside for a very long time, I'm wondering if it's just worth replacing the motor altogether. The reason I ask is because every fluid reservoir is bone dry (not a huge deal), but I just opened the oil cap and looking inside I'm seeing a lot of rust. I'd imagine this is just the result of water getting in there after being subjected to the elements. I'd really appreciate your thoughts. Pictures below. 

 

To do a proper clean up/restore you will need to pull the engine and gearbox to clean up any chassis rust present.  So with it coming out, and seeing the internal photo, it probably is a good idea to at least do a proper assessment by pulling the cam cover and looking inside the sump.  This car may have been parked because it had some terminal damage at some point.   The early signs are that a swap is possibly needed.   I would look for a like-for-like changeover.   Nice easy switch.  Uses same loom, sensors and connections.  I think this is the SVT Zetec?  May not be the easiest to find one to swap in but Josh may have a lead.  

 

This brings up the next issue which will factor in - what condition is the ECU in?  If it is MBE then a replacement is pricey although Josh may have something on the shelf since he has a lot of those older parts for a Zetec.  There are other ECUs but they potentially require a new engine wiring harness.  

 

EDited to add:  Before you pull the engine, you may want to do a compression/leak down test and see if it has any integrity left.  This might tell you if the internals have really gone too far.  

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, bball7754 said:

Have you contacted Caterham in the UK about a key?

Not yet, but that's probably the next step. Nobody seems to have one. It's weird because it looks like a standard lock, so I thought it would be an easy find. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Croc said:

 

To do a proper clean up/restore you will need to pull the engine and gearbox to clean up any chassis rust present.  So with it coming out, and seeing the internal photo, it probably is a good idea to at least do a proper assessment by pulling the cam cover and looking inside the sump.  This car may have been parked because it had some terminal damage at some point.   The early signs are that a swap is possibly needed.   I would look for a like-for-like changeover.   Nice easy switch.  Uses same loom, sensors and connections.  I think this is the SVT Zetec?  May not be the easiest to find one to swap in but Josh may have a lead.  

 

This brings up the next issue which will factor in - what condition is the ECU in?  If it is MBE then a replacement is pricey although Josh may have something on the shelf since he has a lot of those older parts for a Zetec.  There are other ECUs but they potentially require a new engine wiring harness.  

 

EDited to add:  Before you pull the engine, you may want to do a compression/leak down test and see if it has any integrity left.  This might tell you if the internals have really gone too far.  

 

 

Unfortunately, this is way outside of my knowledge base and comfort level. Not to mention, I have zero clue how to do any of the things you've mentioned. I don't know how to assess the current condition of the ECU, do a leak down test, or pull a motor without making a mess of things. I'd be afraid of taking things apart and then not knowing how to put them back together. Although, I have a gut feeling that the engine isn't salvageable anyway so that might not even matter.

 

If the engine isn't salvageable, I would have some decisions to make. I'm not sure that I'd want to replace it with the same motor if I have go down that road despite it being the cheapest option. Given the motors currently used by Caterham, I'd much rather upgrade to something more modern and powerful. I'm sure 175hp does very well in such a small car and admittedly, I've never ridden in one. But, when my daily vehicle has 750hp, it's kind of in the back of my mind to upgrade. Nevertheless, I think that's a decision to make later on when I get to the bridge. For now, I'm just cleaning away and trying to find that darn center cap key! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi. Fun project. 
 

I just pulled this exact engine from a 2005. It had 15k on it with no known problems. I have the whole drivetrain, harness, ecu etc I was going to keep the lot for some yet to be identified project but if you need to do a swap out PM me…

 

good luck

 

Bart

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Bartman said:

Hi. Fun project. 
 

I just pulled this exact engine from a 2005. It had 15k on it with no known problems. I have the whole drivetrain, harness, ecu etc I was going to keep the lot for some yet to be identified project but if you need to do a swap out PM me…

 

good luck

 

Bart

Wow, thanks! I'll definitely keep that in mind as I get deeper into everything!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...