Thursday, December 29, 2011

I've been for another drive, and the beast is now at a cool 470 miles. Having driven it harder for a couple miles... still only 5/8ths throttle and not above 4500, I am ready to have this thing on the track! The list of things to do in order of importance: find a job, go to wales to buy racing gear, attend track days. I really hope I manage to get this list taken care of in the next few weeks. The ARDS day is coming up soon, at the end of February, so I want to be settled and set gear and job wise by then.

Wish me luck :-).

Tomorrow will see the final oil change of the break in. I wont be changing the oil again until the day before the first event... well, it depends on how many combined track/road miles I put on it I suppose.

I have to watch myself on the road though, this little beast is too fast for it's own good :-D.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Break in is 72 miles from completion!

Odometer changed to over 400 miles on my drive home from Verwood today. 428 to be exact... 72 away from finally being out of this break in time! I'm not sure whether or not I'll make those 72 happen before christmas, I do need to get some shopping done though...

Anyway, happy holidays, Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

VIdeo #2!

Here's the second video from the footage I got Saturday. It's still slow, but the scenery is way more interesting to look at :-D.

Enjoy! :-D

Sunday, December 18, 2011

First drive video!

Yes it is here, the first drive!

It's super exciting, i go from the factory, past a truck, and into a petrol station! In my car, that I built!

Anyway, the video! View at 720 with good speakers, the bass is aaawwweeeesssooommmmeee!

Hopefully a couple more will follow, but looking through the rest of my footage, it's pretty rubbish!

Some post journey pictures

Here are just a few of the mud from yesterday (do not worry, all of said mud will be washed away today!)






Saturday, December 17, 2011

:-D best time I've ever had getting lost!

I'm home! This car is a blast! I got lost, maybe subconsciously on purpose a couple times, well, 4 to be exact... turned out to be a 5 hour drive home, not too shabby! I must say I was cold... it was full blown snowing at one point (the first time I got lost...). Motorway merging in this car is the easiest thing to do in history! 1/4 throttle changing gear at 3500rpm and this blows some BMWs! I know it's much faster, even under those conditions, than my previous cars. I'm not hating on the e28, I love that to bits, but, this is just... it's a GIANT go kart, I can't wait to be passed the run in and be able to put the hammer down a little bit... It's insanely strange to have my eye level BELOW the bottom of the windows of a normal car.

I missed my 6:30 train, so I caught the 6:59. 1 stop at reading and I was in paddington, asked a nice helpful man where on earth to go... then went to the tube, switched tube at baker st. and went to london bridge. Got on a train at london bridge and cruised on down to Slade Green, hopped off, and had a nice brisk (probably 1* or 2* C) walk to Caterham. All told it was about 2 hours and 10 minutes.

Got met by a great nice guy who showed me around (sorry no pictures, I was too busy ogling and later he said no). But the building isn't big, they house parts, and have a two lane assembly line. One side the body arrives ready to go, it gets drilled and prepped for paint, then it moves on to front suspension and engine, then on to rear suspension, then fenders, moldings, final prep on the ground, then final checks and testing and driving etc.

That was just the start of my day!

I left dartford at about 10:15, started heading for my country road out of town... just a couple wrong turns later, I break out the map book, turn around, and find my way back. That was #1 (keep count...) so then on my nice country piece of road, driving having fun, getting use to the feeling... I suddenly realize i had taken several turns from the main road... :-D well... anyway, I pull over, look around... grey skys and... white fields? SNOW! I thought it was cold! So I start looking through my map book (really really need something with way more detail...), kinda sorta not really find out where I am, then look up to see this white thing fall into my car and melt... hmmmmm time to vacate the snow strom... Before I moved off I decide to trace my steps back to where I stopped turning (good thing I remember roads very well)... Eventually I found my way to the M25 and decided to blast up there to get to the M3 like I planned.... After getting a face full of COLD, there was a jam at the A3 (heaven, my face could warm up again). So I get on to the A3... some miles down the road I get lost, again... No idea how, anyway, after many a turn, and map reading (while stationary) I made it back to the A3 south. Eventually making it all the way to the M4, by this time I had spent another hour getting lost (so not a bad thing) but it was also 2 PM, and if I took my planned route I'd be home after dark... didn't really want that, so blasted down the M4 to the A34 and home.

The muffler saved my right hand! It's like they knew you'd be cold, so they put this heater beside you!

Yes, lots of words, words words words... Videos up soon, and lovely lovely pictures of the car resting in the garage after a wonderful first day of driving. I am very very glad to know I can drive the car for 5 hours straight and be full of energy (albeit bloody cold) by the end of it. no aching bones. No def ears (I think :-P) and I can NEVER get tired of the noise, it's amazing, majestic, a symphony of highly tuned epicness blasting forth from a metal heart.

I will do my very best to get the video uploaded ASAP, it will be by then end of my night (4pm for my many many US fans :-D). The video starts in dartford, leaving the caterham factory, then runs from ummmmm there till... somewhere... sometime... not really sure when the batteries died and the cards were full, but it was after all the good bits, and after I had decided to find the M4 and head home the "boring" way. But I tell you, when your eyes are at the exact right level to read the wheel size of a big rig, nothing's ever boring!

I seriously can't stop smiling, I'm so happy :-D :-D.

Now I just need to collect my uncles golf from the long term train parking...

Friday, December 16, 2011

Will be sooo awesome!

Planning my route home... :-D. I know I wont be able to sleep a wink tonight!


:-D tomorrow! Woohoo! Tomorrow's collection day! yyyeeeaaaahhhhh!

:-D :-D :-D :-D

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Still waiting...

Really hope they arrive tomorrow, that way I can go down saturday morning and have it for the rest of the weekend.. We shall see!

At least now it's like a giant christmas present! The most I've done is sit in it making brum brum noises, so that first release of the clutch will be a magical one!

Tune in tomorrow for more news... :-P.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Just a bit of fun

For fun I played around with an old video, to see how it sounded when sped up... Turns out you can turn a rather mundane 8 minute trip up a road in an M6, into a fast paced rally up a mountain in a supercar!

I sped this piece up 300%, and well, see for yourself, sounds pretty awesome! Anything more than 300 and it started to sound a bit, well, fake. The video of course doesn't make it look real, but I think it's pretty fun to listen to!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The waiting game...

Waiting is the worst thing in the world! At least my uncle has given me a couple things to be getting on with while my car isn't here. He joked yesterday that I'll have to be prized out of my car once i have it back... and that's 100% true. I figure I'll have 500 miles on it within the first week of having it back! :-D.

Also, took a look at my blog stats today... 4,400 views! Not too shabby, cheers everybody!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


My little beast of a car PASSED IVA and now all that is left is registration! :-D:-D!

Registration papers are going out today, and if all goes smoothly I'll be able to collect it early next week!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Some shots from Stonehenge

Adrik and I went there with my Uncle a little after we arrived, here are (finally) a few of the shots I took.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Post Build Check underway

Car is currently under the careful care of Caterham Dartford, and today the Post Build Check was started. There's a little list of things that needed attention, some washers we wrong, wiring needs tidying, and the clutch and brakes need bleeding, nothing major as far as I know. :-D I am currently very excited, the final stages leading up to the IVA test and registration are finally underway. Something that, last december felt like a wild dream, is finally becoming a reality.

Look out for the first drive video in the next few weeks :-D.

Monday, November 28, 2011

IVA is a week on wednesday! Here's hoping it passes! If I'm lucky, and everything moves smoothly, I'll get to pick up my car by the 16th!

:-D :-D

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Now that, was a great day.

I just want to say, next year is going to be an absolute blast! Every one of the guys I met seem to be like minded individuals, all very excited to be doing the academy, brilliant! It's going to be loads of fun, and a blast anywhere in the pack. Now I miss my car even more, I want to jump in and start driving it! Well, it wont be long, I'm fairly confident it will be ready mid december, but we'll see how smoothly various things go. It's really not long to wait at all, and gives me plenty of time to get a couple things done I had been putting off... :-).

A big thanks to the two guys who gave me lifts to and from, really nice to meet you both, and I honestly would have found it hard to get there otherwise.

I look forward to an awesome year!

Till... well, tomorrow, because I'm sure I'll have something to put up... :-P.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The car has left the building.

The beast is in a truck, actually, by now it's probably sitting in the lot at Caterham in Dartford. In a few weeks I'll be going down there to drive it home.

There's a nice little list of unfinished things that I remembered and wrote down, but I'm sure there's more that I didn't get to. I await the phone call from caterham over the next few days making sure it's ok to do any and all work required, which of course, it is.

On to the really important bit, pictures of the car away from the shed for the very first time! Then a couple of the car in the truck, then of the empty lonely shed... that is very clean and organized, ready for the cars return.

One picture of me with my car before it goes away. I'm very proud to have built this car!

Outside, sunshine, space to take proper pictures... amazing!




In the truck

The truck leaving.

Garage all empty, clean, and organized waiting for the return of the beast.



Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It was chilly today

So I decided to move some firewood around. The ability for vehicles to turn around in the drive is pretty abysmal, mainly because there was a pile of logs where they shouldn't be. I have moved some, but one massive one needs two people (I can lift one end but can't drag it). Really it needs a tractor, but my dads is 6000 miles away... it was a bit big to carry on the plane :-P. But, tomorrow morning (it is now dark... sun sets at 4:13 here!) I will start digging the dirt that's also in the way, make it easier to turn around, maneuver and generally not hit things.

The beast leaves tomorrow... I wont know what to do with myself! I suppose I should do some things like cut the grass... remake the doors for the garage (current ones are too small)... get insurance on my car, get registration papers and things ready to send to caterham...

There, that's a nice lovely list! Should keep me occupied until the day comes that I can go and collect my car...

Oh, and I need to sort my UK license out :).

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mmmmm petrol

Today I went out and bought 2 new Jerry-cans (petrol cans, gas cans, containers that hold petrol/fuel/gas). They are metal, and so awesome! One big green one, holds 20 liters and looks like something off a military Land Rover! The second is silver, holds 10 liters, and fits in the boot (trunk...) of my Caterham perfectly! So, wise investment, and they're metal, not plastic, so they're just plain awesome.

Pictures :-D.

The big one (so awesome!)

The little one - perfect size!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Blinked and missed it

So apparently 11-11-11 was friday... I blinked an missed it. Just like I blinked and missed 10-10-10 because it was my birthday. At least the world didn't suddenly implode, or get hit by a rogue asteroid, or have an outbreak of locusts.

Car changed to being picked up on the 17th. Oh well, will be a nice christmas time thing to have. I suppose I better find something else to fill my time and my blog with. I like taking pictures, so be forewarned, pictures of trees and streams may be forthcoming.

Monday, November 7, 2011

7 days! That's disgraceful...

7 days is far far too long to have absolutely nothing going on. Really, it is.

Now, I went sailing on saturday (again, so cool). This time it was on my uncles Folk boat Pipkin. It's a very manageable 26ft boat, but because of the design, it's very seaworthy and can take almost anything in its stride.


My uncle sailing his boat!

My uncles friend and owner of pipkin (bought it together because they both enjoy sailing).

Not much wind on the way out

My favorite :)

Long time coming

Finally I got the stupid stuff sorted out! Car will be picked up on the 16th and taken away, IVA papers will be sent in ASAP to get a test for the 23rd (hopefully), then some specified time after that, I can drive the car away from the factory! Registration, IVA, number plates... everything can and will be sorted by Caterham, meaning when it leaves on the 16th, the next time I see it will be when I go there to drive it home :-D. Hopefully by christmas... we'll see, I want to get a Nürburgring trip in before Christmas, so hopefully I will have the car for that.

According to last years drivers, it's all about the miles, the more miles on the car the faster the car is, just as well I have so many trips I want to do. Despite starting in december, I should have over 3000 miles on the car come the first event :-).

More as it comes along. I will also update this blog with other goings on in my life... like sailing.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Well, I'm better.

I seem to have finally kicked a bug/disease/thing that I've had since Tuesday.

Tomorrow really is the day that everything happens, Caterham will be receiving calls for getting the inspection, IVA, and registration done (hope to get them all done so it just returns ready to insure). Once that phone call is done, I phone the recommended Caterham insurance and see if they will insure me on my US drivers license (5 years driving experience :-D), if not, then phone call number 3. This call will be made to the DVLA to see what needs to happen for me to get a British drivers license, if I understand the website right, I can trade my US for a British, which is handy. I will be getting a British license anyway, but it would be nice to take some of the stress away by not needing to get it done ASAP.

As you can tell, I'm feeling much better, the whole typing thing is going much smoother... I can think in full sentences... I no longer have the lollipop song stuck in my head... :-). Nothing like feeling better after a week of doing nothing but sleeping, drinking water, and watching Top Gear...

Anyway, heading with good spirits into the next week, and I should be able to get everything that needs doing, done.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I really need to post on this more when I don't have something car related to post...

Over the weekend I went down to my uncle in the New Forrest, and went out on his friends 38' yacht. It was great fun! It was the first time in recent years that I've been out on a sailing boat, and it was a blast. I even learnt some bits about sailing :-). Definitely a blast, and I will try and make sure I go out there again next season.

I'm really suffering from car withdrawal now... I desperately need to get behind a wheel and drive! Unfortunately today was a really unproductive day, felt home sick and just couldn't get motivated to do anything that needed to be done. Oh well, tomorrow is a new day, and hopefully will bring me the ability to get some phone calls done!

Lets hope tomorrow brings some confidence, and makes my car on its way to being road legal.

Friday, October 21, 2011

First start up video!

Here it is, the one, the only, the first start of my of so pretty Caterham! (boy did it make me work for it too)

As always watch in 720 :-D

So happy I can no go to sleep!
Oh, and my awesome new business cards arrive today! Sporting a red colour and my Logo :-D.

Could knock me over with a feather...

My car started! YES! Finally! :-D:-D:-D

I am importing the video now (it says an hour left... :-(). When that is uploaded (will be tonight by the time I edit and then upload it) I will let you all find out how it sounds!

I took another walk to the petrol station, but this time I only had to walk on the way back, a kind passer by gave me a lift most of the way there. Came back, emptied the 5 liter can (5.3 liters and almost 8 quid to be exact...) into the tank, attached the charger and went and watched some tv. After about 20 minutes I went out, tried starting it, this time the fuel pump sounded like it was pumping fuel rather than air (thankfully). It turned over... turned over... and STARTED! At the time i was just in disbelief, didn't dance around or woohoo or anything. I think that might have been because I was concentrating on making sure it didn't die (idle needs adjusting).

Now, it's time to organize the post build inspection... where're the phone numbers I need then...

The car runs! :-D

After starting it I of course ran it up to 92 deg to let the fan come on, it did, and now it's cooling down inside the shed, happy and cozy as a clam!

Video WILL be up ASAP.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Emotions stop the brain from working

I failed to realize earlier today, that I do actually know a fairly large amount about cars and how to find out what makes an engine not run...

It wasn't until later, after my uncle told me there was a battery charger in the shed, that I remembered what I know. After several tries at starting, with a revitalized battery, decided to take the fuel line off and see if the injectors were actually injecting petrol... they weren't. SO, I guess 2 liters isn't enough fuel to run the car on, I will have to remember that for when I do my long journeys... no going below a gallon left!

Tomorrow I will get to the petrol station, get a further 5 liters, and try again.

I am glad I'm finally getting on top of when something like emotions are stopping me from thinking things through correctly. There's a long way to go yet, I need to make it a couple of minutes, rather than a couple of hours... but still, it's an improvement over what it was! :-D

No videos forthcoming, it's just some pretty crappy footage of my car not starting.

It's stupid. Not having easy transportation has turned half a days worth of set backs into a weeks worth. It's stupid, annoying, and I hate it.

Them's the breaks I guess.
I'm obviously not allowed to start this car for some reason.

First it was the relay, then the inability to get petrol NOW the battery is dead! It cranked fine for 10-15 seconds or so, I heard it slowing down so I stopped, waited, then tried again, still no fire for another 10 seconds and then the battery was too low to do anything with. MAYBE in half an hour or so I'll try again, see if it has enough juice to fire.

I mean come on!

If I were home I'd have no issue with this at all, just throw a spare battery in, or use the car starter. Here it's a whole day until I can get anything fucking (sorry, I needed to) done! No car, no easy transport, no shop close enough to give anything USEFUL to me to get this thing started. My aunt is out right now so no transport there either.

........ I'm going to have a beer and think about my options... this is bloody ridiculous.

Video of me getting thoroughly pissed off and annoyed forthcoming.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tried getting some petrol...

I took a walk to the nearest petrol station today to buy a jerry can, it's a 40 minute walk there, 40 back, and when I arrived they had NO jerry cans! I really didn't know what to say... Oh well, my uncle will be up here tomorrow, so I've asked him to bring some high octane petroleum with him.

A few things to get done on todays list: clean room, call Caterham, ogle car :-P.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Spent some quality time cleaning the garage today, it now matches the car, and is oh so clean!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Car is on the ground, with all body work on and secure!





I have to admit, it looks absolutely fantastic! I've been smiling since 3pm!





The tippy top of the car is only 3ft off the ground! Most car bonnets are 3ft off the ground! Crraaaaaazzzzzzaaaayyyy! I can hardly wait to get it out of the garage (tricky) onto a trailer, and down to Caterham for the post build inspection!


Tidying the shed is on the list for tomorrow, along with getting some petrol, and finishing the final little tidbits that need doing (SVA stuff, cosmetic bitsy bits).

:-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

Sunday, October 16, 2011

6000 miles away!

WOOOHOOOO!!! My dad is the most awesome amazing debugger in the world! From a whopping 6000 miles away he fixed my car! That has to be some kind of a record! He lead me, very patiently, through all the wiring diagrams, and helped me figure out what went where and why. Then he helped me track down where the issue would be, with 3 main point at the heart of the issue. The major one that he told me to do was to swap the light relay (something I know works) for the starter relay (same volts, no matter).

First however I checked there was continuity (something he also taught me how to find, from across the pond) between the negative battery terminal and all the ground points on the car, just in case. After checking and making sure those were fine, I decided to do as he had suggested, and swapped the light relay for the starter relay... pressed the button... and it turned over! YAAAAAYYYY!! I was so happy I jumped up and down for a solid 30 seconds! Just to see if the starter relay was truly bad, I plugged it into where the light relay use to be, turns out the lights still all worked, so, maybe it was just a little kooky... Either way it doesn't matter now because my car turns over!

Tomorrow I will find some gas, and start it up for the very first time! :-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D

Best day EVER!

Thank you :-D:-D

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The day the earth... didn't care

S today was supposed to be the big day, the day everything started and the car could finally get down on its wheels!

No such luck, there's a short, or a lose wire, or something that stops the "start" signal getting to the starter solenoid. I have checked every piece of wiring that I've done and they match the manual exactly. I will double check some things tomorrow, just to make sure it's not my fault :-P.

If I still can't figure it out, I will call Caterham on monday and see what they can do to help. I may end up just sending the car to them and have them finish it all up to the point where it's either ready, or almost ready for the road.

Until tomorrow! Here's hoping I can figure it out after sleeping on it.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Nice second birthday

Had a nice meal out with my uncle, cousin, my uncles girlfriend, and her son. Very nice meal, lots of fun hanging out with them all :-).

Tomorrow is the day... the day the earth stands still :-P.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

So I wont be painting the exhaust, it is in the regulations under exhaust, as something that is strictly prohibited to do... yay.... :-(.

Oh well, I did learn that the exhaust is SS so I'm happy that it wont rust at least. I will just have to work harder to keep it looking good.

Played around with gopro locations today after getting the interior riveting, heater block off plate, and rewiring done.

Location 1, front fender looking back. It will move a little so less fender shows, but this is pretty much it.

Location 2. drivers side rear fender facing forward, should be pretty much how it is in the picture, I think it works anyway, will change it if I find out it sucks while driving :-D.

Location 3 (3 cameras) will be either pic 3 or pic 4, unsure, will have to discover which is best through trial and error.

pic 3

pic 4

Tomorrow is fluids day! Awoohhoo!! first start up likely to be saturday middayish!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Not much left to do...

I'm finding it a little hard to fill the time. I suppose I should start in on the "final checks" part of the manual, but I really want to get it on the ground with brakes and everything working first.

Tomorrow I'll redo the headlight wiring, it's pretty grim right now, works, then doesn't so I'll see what I can do. I will also see if I have a drill small enough to do the washer bottle, otherwise that'll have to wait for another day.

I think it's time to test fit the nose cone and bonnet... yes, definitely time to do that!

Pictures from today, tonneau cover, and seat! It all looks so amazing!

Dash with tonneau cover (how it will be 90% of the time when I'm on the road, it's not allowed while racing).

Seat and harness in all their awesomeness

More dash!

Passenger side tonneau cover, it droops a little, but it will be better when the seat is swapped to that side.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Today, day 6 of actual work.

Rear boot cover done, headlights on and working, turn signals need bulbs... rear lights on and working, harness in, except for the lap straps... using the lap strap bolts to hold the boot cover in place on the passenger side since my passenger harness hasn't arrived yet. It's on back order.

It is really, literally, almost ready to drop down and drive away. There are some things to work out first, and do first, like put all the fluids in. As my dad said... it's not a race, yet.

Pictures :-D

Rear boot cover in all its awesomeness, you can also see one light.

Closer look, it is so awesome! All the poppers are pretty easy to put on, takes 10-20 minutes maybe to get them all on and done.

Working headlights!

Harness almost all in, still have some ugly drill shavings in the bottom... need to get the vacuum in there really.

The 3/4 inch drive socket set, that includes the 41mm socket for the rear axle bolts! Picture does not do justice to the shear size and weight of that box.

Tomorrow, it's tonneau cover and... umm... rear view mirror... and umm.... I guess... I'll see if I can get a lift into Didcot to buy some bits I need, brake fluid and such.

It's kind of scary having the car pretty much done!

Video from fender day (friday)

Here's the fender day video, at last. It starts out slow, but then goes back to normal pace when the music speeds up a little, it looked a little funky otherwise.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Waiting for uploads...

Uploading pictures takes far too long...

Here's the first one anyway. Tidied cooling, the hose to the reservoir now goes behind the spark plugs and under the intake, much cleaner look on top. The mass of wires is also cleaned up, and the clutch cable has been stylistically moved :-).






And windscreen wipers, on, and as you can see, work great! They cleared all the dust no worries!