Welcome to my website, which rather sadly I've dedicated to my Caterham seven. I bought my Seven new back in 1996, with the hard earned savings from my engineering apprenticeship. The spec was quite basic, 1.6x/flow, live axle, etc., but it was a start and perfect for a 19 year old to learn rear wheel drive handling in. And I'm Still learning.
For the first couple of years, whilst funds were still tight, the car was left pretty much standard but it was probably used the most during this time. I was single, living at home and with plenty of spare time. Now that I'm married I don't know where the time goes, probably learning to write this web site I guess! The upgrades started gradually, as I could afford the smaller things and progressed as I could afford to tailor the car to what I wanted. I would say that it is pretty much there now, although I do have some plans for an engine upgrade, but that is more just to give me something to tinker with in the garage than a necessity - it has a good balance as it stands.


In the beginning there as Colin Chapman, and in 1957 he did design the Seven. And, it was good. Thirty nine years later I bought mine and together with my dad built it in the space of 8 days. Here you can see what my original specification was, a couple of reasons behind it (mostly financial), some other things I'd have liked and a gallery of the build.


Sevens make great touring cars. Don't ask me why though as they have about as much luggage space as a typical glove box, a hood that is impossible to fit if it is wet and slippery, or cold and won't stretch - and the two are normally combined - and a fuel tank range that will just get you to the petrol station in the next town. There is, however, something about it that makes it all worthwhile. Of course, enjoying more than just your local roads is great, but it is more the fact that people treat you differently - probably whilst thinking "poor people, they must be suffering from a mental condition". Nevertheless, it is quite normal to be offered garages at hotels, asked for rides and treated like a hero for making it so far. It's as much about the journey as is about where you are going.


The inevitable will happen when you buy a Seven. You'll see other Sevens and you'll see other things you like. 'Ooo, that would look good on my car' or 'well, it needs replacing, so I might as well buy something stronger/lighter/more powerful'*.
As stated, this will happen, and resistance is useless. Seven owners buy their cars because a) they offer performance that very little else on the road can match and b) because they are rebellious and do not want to conform by having a modern namby-pamby pseudo-sports car. They like the fact that they are different from everyone else they see on the road - this is to be celebrated. Normal road users look at us and think we are mad/stupid/or both* but we look at them and think the same. It is therefore follows that when you get a collection of seven owners together they can't help but maintain this attitude. They need to be different even from other sevens. And so, the personalising of your seven begins and may you have an understanding wife/bank manager!
(* delete as required)


To prove the above is true, I ripped out a perfectly functioning 1600cc x/flow and lowered in its place a 2000cc Zetec. Well, ok it wasn't to prove the above rule, I just wanted more power, lots more power, and this was the way to go whilst retaining an unstressed engine which would give me future potential. I also wanted to be sure I could stop as well as I went, so a big brake kit was also fitted.


And, to survive the new engine, I fitted a Ford axle, with an LSD of course. A slight miscalculation also resulted in a full conversion to cycle wings rather than the planned staggered migration, but the results speak for themselves. A couple of smaller personalising touches finish off the 2002 winter garage project.


I've added some waffle pages, a vein attempt at a diary of what I've been up to 7-wise. This doesn't get updated as things happen, more when I can grab a couple of hours and remember what it was that I did!


A few spreadsheets that come in handy.

First is the corner weighting calculation chart. If you have a level garage, eight sets of bathroom scales, some bridging wood and time on your hands then this can help you flat floor your seven. You'll need adjustable platform dampers as well, of course, and someone to read the scales while you sip a cup o tea from the drivers seat is also a bonus. Punch in the numbers and then argue over which way to adjust them. Hours of fun.

Next up is simple collection of torque settings from my build manual. A handy addition to the front of any folder that saves searching for the right section. Also great for reference so that you can help out others on-line and look like you really are sad enough to know all the figures in your head.

There is also a simple calculator for checked the revs of the engine, propshaft and finally the speed, if you know the basic ratios of your car and the circumference of your driven wheels.

Finally there is the dreaded cost sheet for the Zetec. I had a more complete version of this with every part listed, but I can't find it at the moment, if it turns up I'll swap them over.


Just the usual here, my most visited sites, and a few suppliers sites that prove useful from time to time.

 
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