This weekend Saturday 17th October 2020 and after 3528 miles saw the Caterham 7 420R return to South Coast Performance for its year 2 annual service. As per the unofficial PBC I was able to help out during the service, picking up tips about the Seven from the years of experience that proprietor Paul Dangerfield has on Sevens.
The car was given a thorough looking over totalling 4 hours on the four-poster ramp. Thankfully we found only one issue, a slight amount of play in the steering column lower universal joint. I'll come to that shortly.
As with any service the engine oil was addressed. Oil was removed from the dry-sump tank, the dry-sump lines were removed from the sump itself and the residual oil drained. The finger filter was removed and inspected. There was nothing notable present, it was cleaned and subsequentially reused. The engine oil filter was replaced as expected using the recommended Mahle unit. The car then received Motul Sport 5w50 Ester as now specified by Caterham Cars, approximately 6.5 litres.
Engine coolant and brake fluid were all deemed fine and so left for another year.
Through service we inspected the entire Seven which including the rear where the DeDion tube was inspected for any signs of fatigue. Due to an ongoing debate on BlatChat concerning life expectancy of the Titan differential unit, we spent a few minutes discussing the issue and visually inspecting the differential. Paul expressed a view the only real way to check the diff was to remove it. Although he did later give the Seven a hard road test and stated the differential felt fine and the 420R handled great. Any noise I was experiencing was normal. He seemed quite impressed with the 420R, although he did comment it would benefit from a brake upgrade. He recommended an Alcon kit which retained the current disc size..
As I stated earlier we did find an issue with the lower steering universal joint (sorry I forgot to video or photograph the issue). There was a very small amount of play which Paul felt unhappy about. He attempted to tighten the fixing but doing so didn't remove the play. As a result, Paul removed the bolt and found it had bent very slightly, plus some surface damage was present.
We didn't have an M8x40mm 10.9 bolt to hand, so an M8x40mm 12.9 was used. I've ordered a 10.9 to replace the 12.9, I wasn't aware that the stronger bolts were more brittle.
The Seven also got a set of new ZZS tires on the front. In truth only the front nearside tire was get close to the wear limits, but the Isle of Man Roads Policing unit are pretty hot on tread depth so I didn't want to take any chances.
That's pretty much it. It's probably not that interesting to read, but an important step within the life and thus diary of the 420R.