Build Day 9 – Steering rack (again), handbrake (again), and uprights (again)

After two weeks of waiting I was starting to wonder where the heck my wide-track steering rack was and figured I’d give it another day before bugging Derek about it. On Tuesday, when I got home there was a small white box in the mail with Caterham printed on it. This must be the clevis pin I was missing so opened it up and out popped a little baggie with the pin and some odd looking metal hexagon nuts.

Clevis pin and steering rack extensions


I had a hunch what they were and after doing some Googling it turns out I was right. Caterham doesn’t supply a different rack anymore, just some extensions which thread into the normal S3 steering rack… which I’d already taken out of the car thinking I needed a whole new rack. I discarded those onto the workbench until I had more time to deal with it – it wasn’t going to be a quick job.

Fast forward to today, Saturday the 13th. First up is to put the steering rack back in and attach the extensions. Since this was the 3rd time installing the rack (first backwards on day 1, then in correctly on day 1, now in again day 9) it went in with no issues. Attached the upright (again) and then threaded the extensions into place as pictured.

Tie rod extensions

Steering rack extensions


Steering rack full frontal.

Full frontal


Next up was to bend the brake lines for the DeDion tube. Everything aligned pretty good, except for the right hand side rigid line. I procured a line bender from Home Depot for $30 and it worked great. I was a little nervous about doing the bending since I’d never worked with rigid brake lines before, and didn’t want to mess it up and have to deal with the delay in getting another, but first try it went perfect. Whew.

Bending brake line


With the line bent I went about riveting it in place. All was going well until I hit the last P clip, or rather, didn’t hit the P clip. I missed one of the holes and the clip wasn’t attached all the way. Easy enough to fix, just drilled it out slowly with a 1/8″ drill bit (same size as the rivet) but didn’t have any spares. That will have to wait until I can get to Home Depot to procure more. In the meantime, I snapped a bunch of pictures of the DeDion tube as its assembled on the bench.

DeDion tube assembled


Close up of caliper.


Close up of caliper


3-way junction.


3-way junction


Since the front end was mostly together and I was making good time I went ahead and tackled the front anti-roll bar (ARB). Following the manual, I put red loctite on the plastic balls and screwed them onto the ends bar after getting the blue bushings pushed on. These were fairly easy to do; a little dish soap and warm water and they slid right on.

Front ARB assembled


With the ARB assembled I enlisted Kim to help get it the plastic balls pushed into the metal sockets on the suspension A-arms. A lot of bending, pushing, grease, and cursing got it into place. The rubber cups were then slid over the grooves and secured with zip ties. Front suspension now complete except for torquing down the wing stays.

Front suspension mostly done


Feeling pretty good with where things were I went ahead and tightened up the brake lines and routed them to the hard lines. Washers, shake washers, etc. all done (and triple checked) according to the manual.

Right side brake line


Inside brake line, right side


Left side brake line


Inside brake line, left side


Feeling pretty good with things, I kept going. Last item of the day was to address the missing clevis pin on the handbrake. I cut the zip tie, pulled out the handbrake from the chassis, attached, and put the pin into place with the wire pin. And with that, we had the first functioning part of the car and a very successful day! You need one of those every now and then when working on the Caterham to keep your sanity…