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General Caterham recommissioning

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  • General Caterham recommissioning

    Hello California Seven drivers,
    My 1990 Caterham Super Sprint is getting a general recommissioning after eight years in the corner of the garage. Any input on the following will be greatly appreciated. Maybe even with a beer, if you come by my garage.
    So, the obvious items that need attention are:
    1. New tires that fit my 5" (pretty sure) by 13" alloys. Don't remember what this wheel designs called, but they were common on Europa's. I believe I need 185/60 R13's, or 175/60 R13's. Looks like my only choice in the US is Toyo R888, or various 13" country club cart tires. Demon Tweeks lists A048R's I'm tempted by, wouldn't be the first gear I've sourced from the EU. DemonT also shows Kuhmo V70A's in my size. I intend some sport touring, like Targa California, California Melee, hooning around Monterey Car week, etc. not thinking track days so much.

    2. Does anyone know a source for molded radiator hoses, like the ones Caterham delivered the car with?

    3. Rubber bushings, for front A-arms, trunnions, rear links, wherever else.

    4. Steering rack boots needed.

    5. I had a leak repair, and boil out done to Caterham stock Covrad S7350 radiator, but I'm pessimistic that it will stay cool. Would like to see if people have added soft ducting inside the nose to radiator gaps. I might replace the stock SPAL single fan, if someone knows something better.

    The crossflow 1700 is currently with Bill Schlossnagle for a refresh, so no issue with the engine.
    If this is to many topics for one thread, my apologies, I gladly split with moderator input.
    Cheers, Brad Baum
    Escondido, Ca

  • #2
    As for No. 2, I can't help with a custom molded hose. But for my recent engine replacement I used all new silicone coolant hose.
    You get it in various dimensions straight and 45, 90, 135, 180 degree elbows and can put a system together as needed. Just use the proper lined hose clamps.


    • #3
      Hi Brad;

      I've have had very good experience with my Toyota RA1s. Discount Tire (2nd & Escondido Blvd) ordered up fresh ones and price matched them for me last year. I got the RA1s over the R888s because they are supposed to handle damp conditions better. They are very predictable in our local weather conditions for early morning spirited driving. Size 205/60-R13 on 6" Minilite clone rims.

      I have sourced my hoses from HDS over on Mission near Nordahl. They have allowed me in the stock to match up to my existing hoses. Dave and John there are very helpful as is Don (owner and machinist). I've also had good experience at the Autozone near you on Felicita.

      I have a homemade dual Spal pusher fan set up that I'd be happy to show you. It was easy to fab the duct work out of fiberglass. Let me know if you're interested. Also, the old standby McMaster Carr is good for gap filler foam. Or you can cut cardboard for pattern(s) and fab what you need out of aluminum or fiberglass. BTW, my 1340 runs quite cold, 140-160F, with the fans on in the heat of the day in our recent hot August-October weather. I'm running the original old brass radiator that came in the car back in'61. Not the most efficient unit!
      Last edited by escondidoron; October 13, 2015, 06:53 PM.

      '62 Lotus Seven
      '84 Turbo Esprit (x2)
      '14 Evora
      '77 Esprit S1 (RIP) :(

      "A man must keep a little back shop where he can be himself without reserve. In solitude alone can he know true freedom." -Michel De Montaigne 1588


      • #4
        Thanks Guys, appreciate the insights. Ron, I'll get in touch. Would love to see your Lotus in my driveway in a week or two.


        • #5
          1. R888 is a great tire! In my opinion and experience, anyway.

          2. Redline.

          3. Redline.

          4. Redline.

          5. Mine is a 2006 car, and came with a 9" Spal fan (a puller) that may have worked well in England. I replaced it with a 12" Spal fan (also a puller), which helped. Ducting wasn't required after this in my case, but I know it can produce significant results.

          If you want or need original parts, Redline Components in the U.K. is always going to be at or near the top of the list as a source.

          Best of luck, sir.
          | | Sean


          • #6
            Homemade dual cooling fans

            Step-by-step: Homemade dual pusher Spal cooling fans for the Seven:

            I concur with Sean about Redline. John & Mick are very helpful:

            '62 Lotus Seven
            '84 Turbo Esprit (x2)
            '14 Evora
            '77 Esprit S1 (RIP) :(

            "A man must keep a little back shop where he can be himself without reserve. In solitude alone can he know true freedom." -Michel De Montaigne 1588


            • #7
              Black silicone hoses are available from Classic Silicone Hoses.




              • #8
                Silicone Hoses and Fans - in stock walk in and walk out with them
                CBR in Lake Elsinore or Kartek in Corona

                I Silicone baffled my Radiator to the nose, Baffle material sold by the foot at Aircraft Spruce in Corona.

                CBR in lake elsinore will build you a custom aluminum Radiator to your spec, mine is 2 rows, dual path cooling for up to 300 bph, made for California weather not English weather


                • #9
                  Re: radiator. Before you spend any significant money upgrading the fan or messing with baffles, look at installing the upgraded caterham radiator. I drive the snot out of my zetec on the track on hot California days (sometimes around 100 degrees ambient) and it has never overheated. No baffling, standard cheesy fan. Note that I also added an oil cooler behind the radiator and that should lower engine temps somewhat. YMMV. (With apologies to Escondido Ron... your home made fan mount looks sweet. I want one.)

                  Silicon hoses - I buy all that stuff from Pegasus (I think its ). Fair prices, good selection, quality products, good tech support.

                  Steering boots - as Sean said, try Redline in the UK.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Michael Murphy View Post
                    ....Steering boots - as Sean said, try Redline in the UK.
                    Even simpler. Go to Autozone and pick up the universal bellows. They have stepped in/out sections and you cut them to size. Worked fine for me.


                    • #11
                      Thanks for all the response. I figure a progress report is in order.
                      1. Because my alloy rims (think there called "Lotus Design") are 5 1/2", I now have four AO48R's in 175/60R13 from Demon Tweeks. I'm looking forward to trying them.
                      2. My molded silicon hoses arrived last week from Classic Silicon Hoses.
                      3. Rubber chassis bushings, TBD
                      4. Steering rack boots, I'm off to Autozone after lunch.
                      5. Radiator; after an email exchange with Ron Davis Radiator in Phoenix, and a phone conversation with Bill at RDR, I've decided to run the Covrad I have, with added silicon ducting. Engine tear down found a head gasket failure, and that might have been most of the issue. If it's a problem when hot weather returns, my preferred fix would be the uprated Caterham radiator as Michael suggests. If that's to hard to find, I'll add a second SPAL along the lines of Escondidoron.
                      6. I need to check with Bill S on engine progress. I would guess he should be ready for dyno runs soon, and I think I'll get some driving before thanksgiving.