One of the cheapest modifications you can do, not really an upgrade. My 7 grill remained the basic grey for a while and then got colour coded to match the car when it gained it's yellow stripe. It, of course, was again painted when the car changed to silver & red. On the first trip out with it on the car, whilst in a small convoy with Simon, Rory and Chris, I picked up a nice big hole in the radiator some 60 miles from home. Rory dashed off and managed to find some RadWeld and we fixed it up to get home. Needless to say, some fine (10mm square) mesh was then bought, painted black and cable tied behind the 7 grill and I have not had a problem since.

The original wheel was too big for me. It clashed with my knees and I found the horn switch in the centre a little over-sensitive, resulting in a few embaressing moments.
I looked around at the club meeting and decided I liked the feel of the Racetech wheel and the fact that it was half the price of equivalent Momo was a big bonus. I also liked the fact that it came pre-drilled and counter sunk to suit the new boss.
Some people don't like the Racetech feel, the soft and somewhat flimsy construction. But in a 7 I have never found it necessary to feed the wheel to get around a corner. So the 'wobbly' top doesn't bother me at all.
The only other wheel I have so far come across that I like the look and, more importantly, the feel of is the Momo with the cut-out top section and flat bottom. I know it is a bit reminisent of Knight Rider, but having held one, I have to say it was very comfy, and I would again be able to see the top of my dials. So when the Racetech need replacing I'll probably give one of those a go.

My favorite seven picture when I was saving up was the aniversary HPC shot on the beach on some very flat sand. The sun was just at the right point and the car looked great, 16" wheels, S-type leather, etc. When I bought my car, however, I couldn't afford to have this so I settled on an BRG. It wasn't until a couple of years later that it dawned on me that I could actually add the yellow stripe. A few phone calls and quotes later and I arranged to drop my car to Mark at Ratrace one Saturday morning. To keep the cost down my father and I stripped off the windscreen once there. A couple of weeks later (as Mark also MOT'd it for me) Mandy drove me there to pick it up. Wow, just like I had always wanted! A few minutes to bolt the screen back on and it was ready to go. The drive home was great, I just kept on looking at the stripe stretching down the bonnet and the yellow reflection just in view in the headlamp bowls.
It might have been around for a while now, but I still think it is one of the best colour schemes. Those in the know will recognise the Lotus relationship, but for me it just enhances the cars lines, making it look longer. Hence I kept the scheme when I redecorated.

A great, cheap upgrade for the feeling of the gear change. Removing the rubber thing and directly mounting a nice Ali ball makes a nice positive change. It does get a little cold though and it does clash with my wedding ring, so I swap that to the other hand for driving the seven.

Not excactly the last word in stickyness, but when you compared them to the Michelin MXT's that came with the car, it was like chalk and cheese. They offered wet weather grip which was a whole new experiance, and were perfectly suited to the 100bhp x/flow. I did find that they went off after 4 years, but that could also have been the fact that I was then asking them to deal with the Zetec power and torque.
I changed to the 510's just before the French Alps trip and that holiday was marked by the ability to become intimate with anything that raised itself more than 3mm above the road. See Dampers & Springs.

This I think should be standard fit to all cars. It is a vital safety item and something which I had tried to justify for a long time. Taking Mandy on a long trip to the Alps gave me a very good reason - it wasn't just my life I would be risking. It don't half weight a lot more, but you feel safer with it there. It also gives the car a much more macho look, purposeful I guess you'd say.

After the trip to the Alps, it was obvious that these were now required. Scraping the sump over every road imperfection or slightly higher curb wasn't enjoyable. This was at a time before I was on Blatchat, so the different opinions of dampers was not availiable. I therefore took the easy route and choose more Spax, although the Bilstiens were tempting, they'd have needed an adjustable kit which added another £100 or so. I also took the easy route and copied a friends spring rates of 310lb/in front and 115lb/in rear. Surprisingly this all actually gave a better ride as well as improving the handling no end. The front end stays absolutely flat when cornering while the rear rolls slightly. This is due to the softer rear springs required for the live xle, which would otherwise bounce and loose traction over bumps, normally mid-bend.
There is loads of good infomation on handling here

In the run up to the Zetec conversion I decided that I wanted to get the side exhaust for the X/flow. This wasn't the most cost effective way of doing it, but it did mean that I got to enjoy the last year of the X/flow more. Steve helped with the fitting, where we used a drill powered nibbler to open up the hole before finishing with an compressed air powered grinding tool. Everything went together fine and we even got a trip to the local pub to award ourselves.
The side exit really did liberate a couple of hp, but the other two benifits were better. The first was that the rear area didn't get covered in soot, which only took a couple of minutes to form. The other was more important and that was that exhaust fumes were no longer coming back into the car. I am convinced that there is a rear vortex which used to cause fumes to be blown into the car. I didn't really notice this, but Mandy used to get headaches after an hour or so in the car. The side exit cured this, so now she just falls asleep instead!

I'd been tempted to do this for a while, but my problem was that a bad paint repair on the rear quarter would have been very visable with no wheel fitted. I decided to copy the rear sticker on Steves car, but unfortunately Caterham had stopped producing these. A few phone calls later and I found a local sign writers that could scan in the logo (from my build manual) and produce a large sticker. Removing the wheel rack was just a case of using a hacksaw and masking the area to prevent accidents. I don't particularly like the look of stubs sticking out allowing the rack to be re-fitted, so I went for a clean removal. The last bit was filed down flat before being given a coat of black Hammerite. I positioned the number plate so that it covered the remains of the rack. The final job was to fit my nice big 18" Dia sticker.This was quite easy, but I did get a few bubbles, but these went over time. The end result was great, the bad paint job was masked nicely and the car looked less like a 4x4 without the spare wheel.
Oh, and all of this was done the night before the handling day at Curborough, so it was fun getting used to the changes is weight distribution, but around 15kg were removed.

This is a great little addition to a seven as it lets you see just what speed you are doing. The Caterham speedo, certainly from my cars era, are not too accurate, especially when you then change the tire profiles, changing the gearing. The fitting is simple, although the wiring does need extending to reach the wheel. A magnet is removed from its holder and glued onto the wheel rim. The sensor is positioned 1-2mm away from the magnet and hey presto, you'll get a reading. I made a bracket that came off the steering arm bolt when the car was running flared wings. The cylce wing stay is ideal to mount the sensor on if you have cycles, although I had to pack it out to get the sensor close enough. Now all you have to do is calibrate it according and find somewhere to mount it. I made a clamp for the steering column but found the wire required to allow turning got in the way, then I put it on top of the scuttle which was good, but after the respray I made a little bracket and it is currently hanging from one of the central toggle switches.
Jason's excellent guide can be found here.

Copyright © Webmaster