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  • New member with a few questions

    Hi all,

    I just bought a used '98 superlight. I've wanted one for years. I've been tracking a Z06, and decided to do something different, so I sold it and got the Caterham. I went out to buttonwillow once with it, and the fun factor is huge!

    This car has a lot of miles and needs a lot of work. I've already got new hubs, rotors, brake pads, hoses, and bits ordered from Caterham U.S.A. The engine failed a leakdown and compression test miserably, so I'm having it rebuilt by a local race shop. $5,000 for the rebuild and tune. Ouch.

    I have a few questions:

    1. Does $5,000 sound like a lot for a rebuild and dyno tune? They are going to do a lot of machining, port work, forged internals, better oil pump, balancing, etc. It seems a little more than I'd like to pay, but I might save some money and hassle in the long run with a race built motor. The cams that are on it already are supposed to make 175 hp, so this seems like an adequate setup.

    2. I lost oil pressure on the long sweepers. Is a good wet sump pan adequate for racing? The dry sump system would be great of course, but I'd still like to operate on a budget. I will be running on R compounds, and I've read that a dry sump is a must?

    3. What are you guys (or gals) using for a roll bar or cage? How safe are these things with a FIA roll bar vs a cage. I will use the car on the street some, and don't like the look of the cage as well, but am on track with a lot heavier cars!

    Thanks for any suggestions!

    Justin

  • #2
    Welcome to the club!

    1. & 2. It depends on the engine. What kind of engine are you running?

    3. It really depends on how much risk you want to take. The cars are much more nimble than the other cars on the road. I also suppose it depends on how much time you will be spending on the track and who you are running with. The folks I know who are racing have custom built cages. See here: http://www.teambirkinsport.com/ Others of us just use the FIA bar or have a Caterham supplied cage. I would not feel comfortable with the stock roll bar myself.
    Tom "ELV15" Jones
    http://PIErats.com

    Comment


    • #3
      maybe stop the rebuild and have a durate built up and tuned.

      as for a cage, i guess it depends on what the sanctioning body requires. the side impact is the huge concern if going to a full unit. otherwise a FIA unit with a petty strut would be more than adequate i beleive.
      2002 SV zetec/sierra; yellow over green

      Comment


      • #4
        I'll be selling a 2.0L Duratec turnkey in several months time for around the same dough. The missing 40 lbs +/- is significant imo.

        NASA & SCCA both have very specific requirements for the roll cages and both require cages that are simultaneously super heavy and butt-ugly. Bleah.
        Chris
        ------------
        A day you don't go a hundred is a day wasted

        Comment


        • #5
          $5,000 might be OK for a race engine. It depends on what they are doing and how good they are. I've known people to spend a lot more. You can spend $500 to $1000 just on dyno time.

          I am assuming this is a Zetec engine.

          I also cannot speak from the experience of having spent a lot on a race engine, I've found other ways to get the power at reasonable cost.

          How is the engine equiped now? Stock intake, Webers or throttle bodies? What ECU, stock or aftermarket?

          The Duratec is a good way to go and you should get ~200 hp if it has throttle bodies. You will need a different exhaust as the Duratecs exit the other side so this will add to the cost.

          Raceline wetsumps are generally quite good. Do you have one of their wetsumps now? It is important that it have the windage tray installed, this does not come with the sump but is taken from the donor engine. Raceline says the wetsumps work so well they hardly sell any drysumps. It is important that they have the correct amount of oil.

          As far as the roll bar, most of us have the FIA roll bar but we aren't in the race group either. Time trials or HPDE only. Caterhams rarely roll over.

          Doug

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for all the good advice and information! Looks like it's a mute point on the engine, because the builder has already started. I like the duratec and SVT options, but by the time I converted to a duratec or tuned an SVT, I guess I won't be spending too much more on building this engine.

            Anyone have a source for the raceline sumps? I'm glad to hear they work well, because the dry sumps are so expensive.

            I'm going to do most of my own work on the car, but will probably leave the drivetrain up to the shop. The events I run are really just HDPE's, but with open passing rules. I think I'll get the FIA bar for now and avoid the big cars!

            Thanks again,

            Justin

            Comment


            • #7
              What motor are you having built and who is doing it??

              Comment


              • #8
                It's a 2 liter Zetec, and JBA is building it.

                Thanks,

                Justin

                Comment


                • #9
                  Excellent choice, JBA. My 7 will get onto their dyno one of these days.

                  How much HP are you seeking?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'd be happy with 175, which is what the cams claim. I'm hoping a bit more maybe from the porting and polishing and valve work.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Justin,

                      Welcome and congrats! I recently replaced my GT3 with Superlight R with a 207HP Zeetec and 6 speed and do not regret it. It betters my GT3 everywhere that it matters on the track which is saying a lot so it should really be a massive jump over the ZO6.

                      To answer some of your questions:

                      2. I have not experienced oil starvation yet but I have been warned that it does happen on high-speed sweepers where we can pull serious G's. Not sure about a dry sump as a solution since they are costly. My friends that are running Zs in their Rs have managed to get 8K abused track miles out of their engine before it required a rebuild so I am trying not to get paranoid.

                      3. I had the standard R bar which I just replaced with the FIA bar. The FIA bar is twice as heavy which is a good thing when you pick up the old bar and it almost lfoats away. The only negatives are that it is ugly and that it has a slight forward tilt which really makes me wonder if the bar to floor brace is required for it to be as safe as possible. However, the boys at RMSCI told me that it really isn't needed for track day use. I am tempted to do the full cage but it really kills the lines of the 7.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        which really makes me wonder if the bar to floor brace is required for it to be as safe as possible. However, the boys at RMSCI told me that it really isn't needed for track day use.
                        Perhaps the boys at RMSCI need a reminder of what can happen:

                        http://community.webshots.com/album/161470225yxFcxK

                        The Petty strut is required for L7CGB trackdays. It adds lateral and vertical rigidity to the structure, and contributes against collapse, like that shown in the photos. I always use mine and will do so until I can install a full cage.
                        Chris
                        ------------
                        A day you don't go a hundred is a day wasted

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Chris,

                          The car in your link "Barbarella" was running a standard roll bar - not the FIA bar. This was the exact event that what I was thinking of which made me suggest a FIA bar to sdcat.

                          It is also important to note that you can't have a passenger in the car when you are using the petty strut. So if you are planning on doing a lot of track days *and* you will be taking passengers, a cage is probably a better solution.
                          Tom "ELV15" Jones
                          http://PIErats.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Tom,

                            The car in your link "Barbarella" was running a standard roll bar - not the FIA bar. This was the exact event that what I was thinking of which made me suggest a FIA bar to sdcat.
                            Yes, that was my point too. The structure had warped forward but not collapsed. The Petty strut can only help. There's simply no downside to fitting one - it only takes minutes. I took my strut out of the car at the previous Willow Springs event only to get a check-out ride, and immediately put it back in.
                            Chris
                            ------------
                            A day you don't go a hundred is a day wasted

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I've had a raceline wet sump since I got the car, and it has served me well. You may want to think of an oil cooling solution, of which there are many, Overheating, with subsequent oil pressure drop, is a probably a bigger issue than oil starvation.
                              You can buy the sumps directly from Raceline in the UK, unless Rocky Mountain has one laying around.

                              175HP is the normally claimed output for a Zetec with a stock intake manifold and happier cams. I'd take it with a grain of salt. The next immediate step up can easily be acheived by adding a 65 mm throttle body, which removes the flow restriction of the original. I haven't dynoed the difference, but it is there.

                              An SVT engine is a much better choice due to its improved head design. Next step up after that is the Duratec 2.0 and 2.3L.

                              I am building a Cosworth Duratec 2.3L right now to replace my old Supercharged Zetec. There is an ongoing debate wether you would want the increased revs of the 2.0L, or the torque of the 2.3L. I am in the latter camp, reasoning that torque will get your speed up faster after those pesky hairpin turns. When Chris gets his 2.0L, we will have a major shootout.


                              /Magnus F.

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