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Fitting the new radiator

Before starting to write my blog post about fitting the new revised radiator I thought I'd have lots of exciting observations which would make for a super interesting and lengthy article. Now as I look back at the photos I took and consider what to say I've come to realize how easy and quick the whole process was, making a massive difference to the original ill-fitting item and process. The new design has such subtle changes but they make for a massive difference. So, if you've been following the blog and are expecting a lengthy post then I apologize, the brevity is probably a reflection of how much of an improvement the revised radiator actually is.

Before I begin let's recap on the most significant issue with the original design, the overall height. My radiator and chassis combination produced insufficient clearance between the nose cone and radiator at the uppermost corners of the radiator, as a result, the nose cone couldn't be fitted without stressing the nose cone material and rubbing against the radiator. The second issue was the clearance between the lefthand side upper bobbin and the radiator top hose, however, I'd solved this by sourcing a smaller bobbin.

To solve both Caterham lowered the upper mounts on the radiator aluminium bracket by approximately 45 mm and produced a secondary chassis bracket to support the lowered upper radiator mounts. The secondary bracket is shaped to pull the fixing in underneath the original mount, as shown in the photograph below. All lower radiator and chassis fixings remainded the same. The net result of these changes allowed the top radiator bobbin to sit underneath the original chassis mount, in doing so produced ample clearance with the top hose but more importantly pulled the top of the radiator inward by about 16mm. That 16mm has brought the top of the radiator closer to the engine and produced ample clearance within the nose cone. A simple and effective fix!

Fitting the revision was very simple. Firstly I removed the new chassis bracket (adapter) from the radiator, (they'd been shipped attached) and attached those to the original chassis mounts. The mountings on the car were now essentially the same, only the top mounts were lowered and pulled inwards due to the adapter shape.

Caterham 7 New chassis bracket or adapter shaped to support lowered bobbin mount
New chassis bracket or adapter shaped to support lowered bobbin mount

Caterham had also shipped the bobbins pre-installed on the radiator it was therefore a simple case of aligning the bobbin bolt threads with the chassis mounts and securing with washers and nuts. Everything was super simple and aligned perfectly.

I then reattached the oil cooler hoses and the lower coolant hose. I've found it's best to release the righthand side oil hose from the top of the oil reservoir, attach on the radiator and then reattach to the reservoir, the hose is just easier to handle in that way. Following that method, I'd everything reattached in minutes. I've left the top hose off as I still need to fit the catch tank, which also requires the headlight electics sorting first.

Of course when fitting I did check the clearance with the nose, and there was plenty of room although I didn't take a photograph down the nose cone, sorry.

Right hand side fixings, showing the bobbin fitted under the chassis mount
Right hand side fixings, showing the bobbin fitted under the chassis mount

Right hand side fixings, showing the bobbin fitted under the chassis mount
And the left

I think I've stressed how much of an improvement the revision actually is, but I also want to thank Caterham for addressing the issue. Their commitment has certainly made a massive difference to the build.

References, previous posts.

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