Front uprights

My uprights arrived late due to problems with Caterham’s suppliers. I think a number of cars recently have gone out lacking the uprights, but supply has now started to catch up with demand.

This is the bit of the build covered by the beta version of the assembly guide. There’s nothing in there that isn’t in the traditional manual which I’m using, but the information is in a format that is much easier to  understand – at least for the way my brain works.

I chose to fit the wing stays on the bench. At this point the bolt on the stub axle is only finger tight. They took a spot of fettling to make them fit, I needed to hold the wingstay in a vice and bend the flat held by the top wishbone bolt down about 5mm. I decided not to drill the hole for the repeater ground wire at this point, and I think I’ll regret it. [Post-build update: I didn’t regret it, I ran the ground through the stay and connected it to the chassis for a better earth.]

Upright and wingstay on bench

Upright and wingstay on bench

The trick with the uprights is tightening bolts in the right order to draw the uprights into the right position. Well, that and holding them in place without them swinging uncontrollably while you get the wishbones to comply with your wishes. As Martin mentioned, the Beta Assembly Guide has a handy tip from one of the technicians at the factory – effectively to use the track rod end inserted into the steering arm as an extra hand while you are manoeuvering  the upright stems and nuts into place.

Top wishbone camber setting

8 visible threads

Before I started all that though, I had to check the camber setting by adjusting the number of threads visible on the upper wishbone. Eight threads are indicated in the manual, but this is a little arbitrary – it depends where on the thread you choose to count from.

This set as per the picture, balancing the upright on a thigh and using the track rod end trick, I got the lower stem of the upright through the spacer and into the ball joint. I put the nut on the thread, but just a few turns with my fingers.

Looking at the top wishbone, and pushing it down to meet the top of the upright I couldn’t see how it would go through the upright and wingstay flat to be bolted on the other side. It turns out they do – under the rubber they must be shaped to fit. It’s quite an effort against the damper and the unwilling upper wishbone to draw these two together. I ended up going back and forth between the two to tighten them together and get everything settled into position. If I was doing it again, I’d probably get both nuts in place, then tighten the lower one to close to full torque, and only then tighten the top nut to draw the upper wishbone ball joint down through the upright. Then once all was settled, tighten to the final torque.

Next it’s on to the front roll bar, flexible brake hoses and the delights of brass fixings and copper washers.

2 thoughts on “Front uprights

  1. Nice to see you have gone for vented discs and your 4 pot calipers are different they are radial mounted, see why you had wait for the uprights different caliper mounts.
    When is the engine going in?
    Still looking good, be ok drilling earth for repeater

    Regards Robin

    • I haven’t seen other versions of the calipers Robin, radially mounted or not, but I can say these are a lovely bit of engineering. I sat and stared at them for a while once I unpacked them.
      The big engine install day is this Sunday if all goes to plan, so I’m just doing the prep around engine mounts, washer bottles and horns. Can’t wait!

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