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Anyone ordered from caterham UK?

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  • Anyone ordered from caterham UK?

    After trying to polish the aluminum on my car, it seems that the corrosion is too bad to fix. A quick look at the website and current exchange rates shows that I could order from caterham UK and get the body panels at a substantial discount.

    Is there a catch? Does anyone have any experience ordering from UK? Are there any customs issues or 20% VAT that I am missing?

    Thanks in advance,

  • #2

    The only issue with ordering from Caterham UK is the shipping cost. Generally it's much less to order from them and pay shipping. Parcel Force part of the Royal Mail takes about one week and has been reliable for me.

    As the body panels are so large and light it may not be cost effective. They also tend to get bent a bit in shipping.

    Magnus has bought some but I don't know if they were from the UK or USA.

    No VAT on exports.

    In case you want to form your own, Arch motors says it's 1050A aluminum.

    Last edited by Doug Liedblad; May 12, 2009, 10:00 AM. Reason: corrected to 1050A from 1080 typo


    • #3
      I have had good success ordering from the UK. No VAT, but the catch is the shipping; Caterham UK wants to use Fed-Ex Next Flight, which is very expensive. My company has a corporate discount with Fed-Ex, but even if you don't, you can give the folks at the parts department your Fed-Ex account number and they will ship it at your speed. When I ordered a rear wing for my car last December, I found Fed-Ex Priority Air was plenty fast and half as expensive as Next Flight.
      2013 Boss 302 Mustang
      2005 SV Roadsport (gone but not forgotten)


      • #4
        Thanks for the info. I am still trying to figure out what to do about my overall corrosion problem, but most likely new aluminum is in the picture.



        • #5
          Is the aluminum deeply rock-pitted or some salt corrosion? Then you may have no choice, although what you get from Caterham will not be polished, either.

          But if it is just regular surface dulling (even if 20 years old) you will probably have much less trouble just polishing it out. With the proper power tools and good polishing compound is can be done.

          If you don't want to do this yourself, there are big rig truck detailers or a bike part polishing place who will do this for you.



          • #6
            It is salt corrosion with some deeeeeep pits. I have been polishing with nuvite and it works really well except the pits just don't go away. I am thinking about replacing the aluminum and then polishing the new aluminum. This would be both for appearance and corrosion control. From what I understand, keeping a good polish is the best way to prevent corrosion in the aluminum.



            • #7
              Oh well, sorry to hear that. But I would at least consider having a local place put some new planking on. I can not see much benefit of shipping sheet metal from the UK at high cost and damage risk.

              That said, I had the rearward panels replaced by a local shop after an accident. This job was not done really well; what used to be a perfectly smooth and even surface is now a bit wavy. So, your mileage may vary.



              • #8
                In addition to the part price you must add 2.5% duty to the declared value
                (unless it comes via Royal Mail). Check with your credit card company too as mine charges a 3% fee to pay in foreign currency.

                As has been suggested, see what CatUSA will charge. Just tell them that you are not in a rush and let them ship with their next inbound shipment.

                Just as an example of shipping cost from the UK - 2 rear wings, 2 cycle wings and supports in a HUGE box was around 100GBP or $150 for the heathen.



                • #9
                  Are you just polishing with a polishing compound/liquid ?? if so you wont remove corrosion.

                  Your best bet and this is what i did with the same promblem on my Birkin is to go out and buy some 1200, 2000 & 4000 wet & dry paper (you may not get 4000) then get a bowl of kerosean (deisel) (water will also work but Kero is better) and start rubbing with the 1200 wet and dry first untill you feel the aluminum surface become smooth, then clean with water and start again with the 2000 building up to the 4000 (4000 will give a mirror finish you can stop at 2000 if you dont want a mirror finish) then get some Mothers polish and start polishing and you will find you will remove the corrosion and the panel will look good again.

                  1998 Birkin S3sigpic