A very cheap modifiection that gives the car a more modern look - well relatively for a seven at least. The lenses came from my local Land Rover dealer and are the side lights from the Defender. The bulbs can be got from any motor factors, but orange bulbs with the opposing tangs are hard to find, so I got offset ones and filed down one of them and they still in the holders no problem and have worked perfectly for quite a while now. I think the lenes were around £3.50 for the pair and the bulbs were around £1.50.

I wrote an article for the Lotus 7 Club magazine, Low Flying, about my winter project of changing from the original Ital axle to a stronger Ford item. You can read a copy of it here

As part of the Ford axle conversion I decided to go to the Ford stud pitch and this meant new wheels. I liked the look of the black minator wheels with a polished rim but I couldn't really stretch to a new set of wheels and then new tires to go with them. I was therefore on the lookout for a second hand set. In the end Steve decided to sell a set he had bought earlier in the year while he upgraded to lighter wheels for his racing. I borrowed one wheel and a Ford front hub to make sure that the wheel would fit over my brake calipers. It was a pretty quick job to swap the hubs over and trial fit the wheel one evening, then swap it back again. This also had the benifit that when Jason had a problem with one of his bearings I had Steve spare hub to hand.
The fact that these wheels were the colour scheme was great, but they also came with a pretty mint set of Yoko 032R fitted. I couldn't wait to try these out. They are, quite frankly, fantastic. They do make the steering heavier but the grip is pheonominal, the car just grips and grips and means that at safe road speeds you still have an extordinary amount of grip in hand. I will never go back to anything less, but the 048's look nice to try next time, and the Avon CR500's are meant to be close to the 032R, slightly less grippy, but they save a lot of weight and last longer. I'll have to see how my bank balence is at the time though as the CR500's are a lot more.

I didn't plan to go the whole hog on this one, but it happened that way. I had been thinking for the last couple of years about changing to cycle wings, read about here

I've never liked the rear lights on the Caterham. They've always looked like a bit of an afterthought 'arrggh, we forgot the rear lights chaps... oh these caravan ones will do until we find something better'. I designed a replacment for the rubber block, have a look here

A lightweight rear wing protector bulk buy from Ammo, aka Raceco. A bit higher and a bit wider than normal to further reduce the paint chips of my freshly painted car. I fitted them higher still, see here

In an attept to reduce the stone chips on the rear wings now that the car had cycle wings I decided to make some form of mudflap. I bought some more aluminium weave adhesive matt (Motrax) from my local bike shop and also some plain black. I worked out the shape and cut out both with the black a little shorter. I stuck them back to back to give them more stiffness and the non-overlapped part was stuck to the inside face of the wing. This didn't hold very well, so I then mixed up some glass fibre resin and glued them on with that - it is still holding well, although one corner is coming away, but that that be re-attached easily.
They seem to be doing their job well, with only a couple of stone chips on the rear wings, but they are curling up at the bottom edge, so I will probably attach a thin metal strip to hold the shape.

After discovering that my starting problems were a seemingly known problem with the ECU (I wished I had known when I bought it!) a few people suggested taking the ECU off line while spinning the engine. Basically meaning that the engine would be spun up to speed on the starter before switching in the ECU to provide a spark. This would stop the ECU firing too early, just as the engine starts to turn over, typically stopping the engine dead. To do this I bought a nice ignition switch from Autocross for £11.00 with the flip down cover. The next problem was finding a suitable position where I couldn't knock it off accidently, which would kill the engine. I ended up moving the main beam switch to alongside the flash switch, and then using the old main beam hole for the new switch. In this position it is far enough away that I can't reach it without taking m hand off the wheel. The wiring is simply a case of putting it in series with the power line that it takes from the final position on the key barrel.

I'd had my eye on the Hawker Odyssey PC680 battery for a while so when Roy organized a bulk buy on Blatchat I joined the list. The battery is only slightly lighter than the standard Banner, but it offers more starting amps, something that I felt the Zetec has needed. It hasn't completely cured my starting glitch, which is down to the ECU, but it has helped. I was able to make use of the old battery tray which was a big bonus, with just the tie down clamp strip requiring some bending.

First in line for the 2003 winter weight saving was the boot floor. It seemed to me to be a fairly easy task to swap the pretty naff bit of plywood that came with the car for a thinner and lighter piece of Ali sheet.
I had previously bought some off-cut 1mm sheet from via Steve so I contacted them again as they advertise on the Racecar For Sale forum and arranged to pick some up. They are not too far away, in Guildford, and I got enough to keep my in supply for a good while.
The next job was to cut it to shape. For this I asked Brent for some help. I just wanted the right overall size and I'd hack the rest out, but he kindly cut it all out on his plasma cutter, so I just dropped it in place. I'll seal the out edges with some silicone and will fit some riv-nuts for the front edge fixing, oh, and give it a polish.

 
 
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