General Tips/Techniques

  • Dab of paint on every nut/bolt after torque tightening – helps the memory and looks professional!
  • Apply Copaslip to all threads before assembly. Note that Copaslip will not wash out of your best polo shirt.
  • Always have lots of waste rags available for mopping up oil spillages
  • Where a part is threaded to accept a bolt, have a trial run with bolt and part on the bench or the floor before final assembly. If the fit is tight and bolt thread looks ok, then obtain a tap of correct profile and carefully clean out thread in component. I needed to do this on the differential bottom mounting bolt threads. (I reckon I would have stripped the threads or sheared the mounting bolts if I hadn’t done this on the diff.
  • I also found it necessary to run a tap up the lower shock absorber mounting threads on the DeDion tube
Source: Blatchat build techniques,originally by Peter – Red Roadsport SV. List rescued by BBL from California
  • Get a box of latex gloves to keep Copaslip and other gunk off your skin.
  • Check bolts fit (and threads are clear) before trying to fit them in – particularly the rear diff.
  • If you are planning a part of the build for the following weekend – make sure you check the bits are there so Caterham have time to send you the shortages. You WILL have shortages. Caterham are very good at sorting these out, so not a huge problem. Always a good idea to check you have everything you need for the next weekend’s tasks though.
  • Double check that you have the correct bolt. It’s easy to end up using one that’s longer than it should be only to find that the longer one was needed somewhere else.
  • Try trial-fitting everything, hand tight at first so you’ll know whether it’ll fit before committing yourself.
  • And don’t be too surprised if the major, most obvious bits (engine/gearbox install, propshaft, wings etc.) run more smoothly and take less time to do than the supposed small awkward jobs (boot/tonneau covers, handbrake, De Dion mounted rear brake pipe).
  • Put the bonnet, nose cone and arches in the spare room and don’t let anyone in there.
  • Use copper grease on ALL electrical connections – including earth connections at chassis. If they’re factory installed, remove ’em and slather it on.
  • Threaded bolt holes in the chassis can be cleared by smearing bolt in copper grease and AFTER “starting” bolt by hand, wind in half a turn and back out half a turn, and so on – if you don’t have a tap.
  • Paint all exposed suspension parts after assembly with waxoyl – can be considered to look messy, but a lot less messy than RUST. Even the front suspension uprights – don’t get it on the disks though


Caterham Build Project