A confession. I don’t have the best garage exit for a Caterham. The garage floor sits 40cm above the level of the driveway, partly owing to the geography of the land about the house, and partly due to a previous petrol-head living in this location deciding that his/her garage should have a pit. The floor of the garage is raised slightly to make sufficient depth in the concrete foundation for a 1.5m deep inspection pit. The problem: neither the sump or the rear floor of the car clear the garage exit ramp to the driveway.
This challenge in getting the car out of the garage has led me to invest in some steel ramps, but also to pay some attention to the ride height of the car. My spec is a 360 with the S pack, so standard non-adjustable dampers. I also changed the S-pack wheels from 14″ rims to 13″ with an eye on unsprung weight. And looks, of course. I also added lowered floors. What I didn’t realise is that the consequence of these choices is that the unladen height of the sump above the ground, what I’m referring to as the car’s ride height, is under 66mm – the diameter of a drink can. With a full tank of fuel and me in the car this drops to 59mm.
After doing some research on Blatchat, comparing sumps with CTG Jason’s Sigma, contact with the Caterham Warranty team, and some excellent photos of CTG Simon’s 360R with adjustable dampers, it seems nothing is wrong, it’s just a consequence of my selections. The recommendation is to either buy some 14″ wheels (no chance) or fit the adjustable platform kit to the existing dampers, giving me full control over the ride height.
I’ve decided to buy the platform kit and in the meantime try it on the road when my registration comes through. My worries are all a bit academic if it turns out the clearance is fine. Speed bumps will be a concern but I’ll know after the first couple whether or not I need to avoid them until I get the kit. Wish me luck, and think carefully when ordering your kit and options as to whether it has any ride-height implications.